The Folding Society

Issue 20 - 7 March 1999

Cycle and Leisure Exhibition

As mentioned in the special email sent out on Monday 1st, there were a number of interesting developments to be observed at the Cycle and Leisure Exhibition. For Brompton enthusiasts there were prototypes of an alternative, larger front bag, a saddle-mounted bag and a bag suitable for taking the bike by air. Not on show and not even at prototype stage, but overheard while passing the stand, there plans for a simple, light single-speed model, and for a 7-speed model with the Sturmey-Archer hub. We also heard that tyres are being investigated. All the things noted as overheard were being discussed when we first passed the stand and had not introduced ourselves, so we feel free to mention them here. The prototype items are just that, so please don't pester your dealer for them - we would guess that they will not be on sale for some months, and design changes may occur, or they may even be abandoned.

A non-separable Moulton fitted with an automatic hub gear with electronic control and over-ride was also seen, carrying the model number FX4 - the bike was not on a stand, and I think it was a Shimano demonstrator. Incidentally, I hear that Pashley are not at all pleased that this fixed-frame machine has appeared on the web site.

For more news and pictures of what as on show, please see the report on the web pages at

Mongoose folders

Martin Clinton emailed me on 6th March to say that he has received a Mongoose catalog which contains two foldables, details of which are as follows:
SX Mountain bike, $499.99: Front suspension, single-beam monocoque 6000 aluminium, folds with single quick release, 21 speed Alivio, 26 inch wheels.
CX Comfort bike, $399.99: Kalloy suspension seatpost, alloy monocoque, chrome/hi-ten rear triangle, 24-speed Alivio, 26 inch wheels.
Folded size quoted at 36 x 28 x 12 inches, 30 seconds folding time.

You can find more information at

Bike Friday News

Those of you who are members of the Bike Friday User Group UK should have received your second newsletter on Saturday, or if the post is a bit slow, you should receive it very soon. If you don't get it by mid-week, or you haven't yet joined the group, please contact me. Please note that I am limiting sending this newsletter to Bike Friday owners, as the cost of printing and posting means I can't afford to send it to everyone. However, most of the contents should get on to the user group's web pages fairly soon - keep an eye on the web site at

The versatile Brompton

On Saturday 6th I needed to undertake a photographic assignment using a medium format camera system and tripod - bulky items which are quite a problem on a bike. While investigating how I was going to manage to carry everything on the bike and get on a train without too much difficulty (3 trains each way actually) I removed the front bag of the Brompton from its frame and mounted the back-pack style camera bag on the frame instead using bungees. The tripod was then strapped across the front. Although in the end I was able to get the photographic equipment taken to and from the location by 3 people travelling there by car with a lot of other equipment, this solution was so effective that I am wondering whether the Brompton might actually be the best choice for a one week visit to Scotland in September with a similar load and more. However, for this longer trip in more hilly terrain it would probably depend on whether a T7 model is available by then!

It's odd that I never seemed to use the rear carrier on the Brompton when I had it fitted, but since I removed it I have needed it several times.

If you haven't visited the official Brompton web site at I would recommend that you do so - lots of useful information, including such details as how many links are needed in the chain and spoke lengths - essential data when maintaining your Brompton.

Steve Parry's Brompton modifications

It's only a few months ago that we were describing some major modifications that Steve Parry had made to his Birdy, and now we hear via Gary Lovell that he has turned his attention to the Brompton. Modifications so far include fitting a Shimano Nexus 7-speed hub (less the hub brake), cantilever brakes and a modified chain tensioner. Some members may have seen the bike at Mud Dock on Saturday 6th March - unfortunately a prior commitment prevented me from attending, so there are no pictures of it for the web site yet.

More on Moultons

When I was speaking to Nigel Sadler earlier today (Sunday 7th), he told me that some additions have been made to the Alex Moulton Bicycles web site, and that more should appear in the next week. These are changes to the web site, and not new bikes! Moulton enthusiasts may well want to take a look though - the address is


We intend to keep the Weymouth gathering 14-16 May an informal occasion, although the fact that we now have Organisers Liability cover for approved Folding Society events does remove one concern which we had about making this a more formal event. As it is informal, we don't know quite how many people will be there, but from what we've heard quite a lot of enthusiasts are planning to be there - we hope that you will be among them.

Bike Friday European meeting
We've heard from Bike Friday enthusiast Enno Roosnik that there will be a Bike Friday Meeting in the Netherlands on Saturday 31 July and Sunday 1 August. This year's event will be in the Arnheim/Nijmegen region, and the plan is to stay in a youth hostel. There will be touring and sightseeing, and a visit to the Dutch National Bicycle Museum Velorama in Nijmegen. Although intended for Bike Fridays in particular, Enno indicates that other cycles will be welcome. For more information, contact Enno at

Bike Friday Homecoming, Eugene, Oregon
Green Gear, the manufacturers of the Bike Friday, are having a Bike Friday homecoming event in their home town, Eugene, Oregon, on 20-22 August. I think we can safely assume that this is a Bike Friday only gathering, and that other makes will be as welcome as non-Moultons are at the September Moulton weekend! For more details, try looking at the Bike Friday web site,

Speaking of Moultons, the date set for their annual weekend is 4th-5th September. However, judging by the problems described in the most recent issue of The Moultoneer, there may be a question mark over this event taking place. Personally I can't imagine the event being cancelled, although it may be a more informal gathering with less organised events if no one volunteers to run it. And if the Moulton Bicycle Club folds, Moultoneers are welcome to continue to participate in Folding Society activities, so long as they can overcome the obsession with tyres which fills their email list!

The very popular autumn Porteirion event will be taking place in November as usual. However, some details remain to be arranged, and as time is marching on these need to be sorted out fairly soon. 2 houses have been booked for the week Monday 29th November - Friday 3rd December. Like last year, the arrangement is that individuals need to book houses, and work out who will be sharing them, although A to B have agreed to act as a clearing house again for helping to fill/find rooms in houses. For those who find it difficult to get away during the week, it would seem possible that they could go during the preceding or following weekend instead (or as well!). Although quite a number of people might want to take this option, they would need to let people know the arrangement, and make the necessary bookings. I'd suggest that in view of the time of year and possible weather conditions it might be wiser for anyone thinking of doing this to go for the preceding weekend. Like Weymouth this year, the event is fairly informal, and for it to work it is up to people to do some of their own arranging, though as I mentioned earlier David and Jane Henshaw are willing to act as a clearing house, and we are more than happy to print additional information in FSN as it becomes available.

As well as these special events there are of course the regular monthly rides - Mud Dock in Bristol on the first Saturday of every month, Origami Ride at Meriden on the second Saturday of every month (next ride on 13th March is the Spring Flowers ride), and the London ride from Battersea Park on the third Sunday of the month. If you need more information on any of these rides the contacts are as follows:
Mud Dock - Gary Lovell Tel: 0117 932 4633
Origami Ride - John Pinkerton, Tel 0121 350 0685 or see web page
London Ride - Rob Cope,

A note to anyone thinking of organising a ride
One thing that may discourage people from organising a ride is the fear that in today's litigious environment the organiser might be held liable in the event of an incident. We have now obtained Organiser Liability insurance to cover those organising official Folding Society events in the UK. Please note that this is only organiser liability cover and NOT third party insurance covering personal liability of those taking part in an event for any accident they may be involved in, or might be judged to have contributed to. We would suggest that members should consider obtaining third party cover to provide some protection in the event of legal action whether from something arising at an event or in the course of cycling as an individual. CTC membership automatically gives third party cover, so those Folding Society members who are CTC members have third party cover already. To qualify for organiser liability insurance via the Folding Society's cover, you must notify us in writing and receive confirmation and an event log number; only events in the UK can be covered.


There is a good deal of overlap and duplication in what is being covered on our various web pages, this and other emailings and paper mailings, and this currently makes for extra work. We are therefore intending to do some rationalisation in the not too distant future. Although there is a preliminary plan of action, we would be interested to hear from you if you have any thoughts on the subject. Please bear in mind though that we want to reduce the amount of work involved, rather than increase it. If you have any material to contribute, or have a web site with some folder content which we could link to, please let us know.

Please send any news for inclusion in future issues of FSN, or for inclusion in the web pages, to The Folding Society at the address given below.

The Folding Society
If you have any news or other information of interest to other members of the Folding Society, please email us at the above address.

If for some reason you wish to be removed from this mailing list, please send a message to this effect to the same email address.

All information given here is provided in good faith, but no responsibility can be taken for errors or for any consequences arising from the publication of this information.

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Copyright (C)1999 Ferrets Anonymous
Last updated: 7 March 1999