Over a year ago, we began a whole new style of bike travel, when we put our sturdy Long Haul Truckers in storage and started touring on the unlikeliest of bikes – the Brompton folding bike. Almost immediately, we knew that these funny little folding bikes would be capable of great adventures, and the seed was planted to write a sort of “how to” guide for other folks interested in self-supported travel on the Brompton.

We rode our Bromptons from Central Oregon across Montana to Glacier National Park. We traveled with our Bromptons via train, plane, and car across the West Coast to various bikey events. We flew across the planet with our Bromptons to explore New Zealand. All told, we pedaled these little guys approximately 5,000 miles, fully-loaded with all of our camping gear and other necessary travel accessories (such as cameras, computer, metalsmithing kit, etc.).

And we know now, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Brompton is an amazing little machine that can take you places that it was probably never intended to see. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can treat a Brompton like a Long Haul Trucker, and we are always extremely vigilant of the amount of weight that we carry and how we attach it. While we fully trust that the Brompton can handle a responsible touring load, we recognize that we have pushed our Bromptons beyond their stated purpose, so we have always traveled this way at our own risk… which is why our how-to book is “Unauthorized.”

Introducing… The Unauthorized Brompton Touring Guide

The Unauthorized Brompton Touring Guide is 41 pages of in-depth information about how to set up your Brompton for touring, how to pack, how to maintain your new touring machine and troubleshoot any issues you might have on the road. You’ll also find links to videos we made while traveling on our Bromptons and external links to helpful resources.

UPDATE! 8.8.12

Over the past few days, we’ve received some great feedback about The Unauthorized Brompton Touring Guide. We’ve also received some requests for more detailed information about the contents of the book. Below, we’ve listed the major sections of the book and what sort of information is covered in these sections.

1. Introduction: Why did we initially choose to tour on Bromptons?

2. Meet Brompton: What is a Brompton folding bicycle? What sort of touring is ideal for a Brompton? Yeah, but, can you really tour on a Brompton? Folding Bikes vs. Small Bikes.

“We’re often asked in the Bromptons slow us down – to which we answer, No, because we would be riding slowly anyway. Do they have limits? Of course. You’re probably not going to fly down the road at 25mph, and you won’t be able to bring everything and the kitchen sink. But we like to remind people that all bikes have limits, you just choose the bike with the limits that work for you.”

3. Building a Touring Brompton: How do you navigate the near-infinite combinations of Brompton builds? Which Brompton do we ride? In-depth explanation of why we chose the components and details of our Bromptons.

“Before we toured on the Bromptons, we thought it was necessary to have 27 gears. What we’ve found is that six gears is plenty, as long as you have the right six.”

4. Packing a Brompton for Touring: What options do you have for packing a Brompton for travel? Front bag only vs. front bag and saddlebag vs. front bag and backpack. How can you trim down your gear? What gear do we carry? Includes links to several videos in which we further explain how we pack.

“On the Bromptons, there simply isn’t the space or carrying capacity to collect and haul random stuff. In exchange for strictly limiting our gear, we ride faster and don’t tire out as quickly.”

5. Taking Transit with a Brompton: How easy is it really to pair the Brompton with transit? How do we fly with our Bromptons?

“In our day and age, there is something about the word ‘bicycle’ that causes many airline emplyees to transform suddenly from rational smiling customer-service representatives to fang-toothed, myopic, money-grubbing monsters. Should you lapse in your diligence and call your bicycle a bicycle, extra fees and attitude are heaped relentlessly with great zeal upon you.”

6. Cheating, Ride Sheds and Jet Packs: Is it “cheating” to take transit on your bike tour?

“…the more we’ve toured, the more we’ve also appreciated getting to good riding quicker. It makes less and less sense to suffer through the banality and dangers of riding through suburbia just to prove a point.”

7. FAQ: What questions do we asked all the time about the Bromptons? How do we respond?

8. Maintenance and Troubleshooting: What’s in our basic repair kit? What additional tools and supplies do we take for a long tour? What are the most common maintenance issues?

“Bromptons are impressively stout bicycles, but they are not indestructible. Admittedly, we have probably taken the Bromptons beyond their original intended purposes, and we have definitely pushed their limits. They have held up to the beating and, over the course of our travels, we have had very few mechanical problems. But we have also dealt with a few issues that we want to be sure to address here.”

9. Conclusion & Resources: Our parting thoughts and links to more information.


The Unauthorized Brompton Touring Guide is a downloadable ebook. You will receive a file in a PDF format, which should be readable on any computer, as well as iPod/iPhone/iPad and some e-readers (it is not currently optimized for the Kindle, however).

Price per ebook is $20. (Payment is through Paypal, which also accepts all major credit cards.)

Upon purchase, you will be directed to a link, from which you’ll be able to download the file.

To purchase, just hit this button:

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We hope this book inspires you to dream big about where you’ll next take your Brompton – and we look forward to hearing about your own adventures on the road!