I’m sure many people like myself have wondered how to get enough luggage on a Brompton for a couple of weeks touring.
Last weekend I went away for a few days with friends and was able to try out various options.
I went for a combination of Brompton C bag at the front and my own solution at the rear by using an Ortlieb pannier plus a roll bag, total baggage space about 50-60L. This combination was a little wobbly at the rear sometimes and maybe I should of used fixed straps rather than elastic bungies. Apart from that if felt no different to ride than without baggage. This is a fairly cheap option for me as I already had all these bags. With a small modification of the Brompton rear rack the Ortlieb hooks can be hung on the rack.
In train mode it was fairly easy to carry this little lot. With easy rollers on the rear rack the bike can be pushed fairly easily around.
Stijn went for a Radical design Cyclone trailer with a capacity of 100L
This option means the Brompton is still very light, no baggage or racks on the bike and is therefore lighter to carry and more mobile for zooming around town. The handling was fine though you have to consider the extra lengh and try not to fill the 100L 🙂
The trailer is cleverly made to also be used as a hand trolley to drag around rather than carrying it. The clever quick disconnect coupling means the Brompton can easily be parked without disconnecting the trailer.
Radical design have also recently brought out the Cyclone chubby which is wide enough to carry the Brompton inside.
The only downside of this system is slightly more weigh (about 2-3kg I guess) plus the slightly higher chance of punctures(though not much because there’s less weight on each wheel). The only thing I don’t like about all the Radical products (Brompton bags and the trailers) is that the fabric is not waterproof. But I guess with such a small production set up to go waterproof would make them even more expensive than they already are. They do provide a lightweight waterproof cover with their bags and trailers though.
Edit: Stijn recently wrote a full review of the radical design trailer on the Travellingtwo website.
Another baggage option which keeps you fairly mobile is to attach a backpack to the rear rack. This is the solution the folks from Pathlesspedaled use.
All options have their merits and draw backs.
And for those interested on how I packed my gear for a week away, click on this photo to see the tags.
Update : Using an Orlieb pannier on a brompton rear rack:
As requested by a few people here is a little extra info on how I attach my Ortlieb pannier to my Brompton rack. I’ve added a piece of threaded steel (M5) to the rear of the rack where the wheels usually attach.
I also reversed the pannier hook “rail/attachment bar”
This way once the pannier is hooked in it can’t slide backwards, the downside of this is that the pannier is attached quite far back and will tip over if not tied down properly. This does give excellent heel clearance while cycling though (which is often a problem with other baggage solutions).
Initially I used elastic bungies to keep the pannier in place but this is still a little wobbly, its better to use some kind of webbing to tie it down firmly.
And thats that, good luck finding out your own solution to Carrying baggage on a Brompton 🙂