New 2018 Bromptom Electric Bike - Brompton's First eBike

WonkyBass

New Member
We are booked in for firmware updates the week after next.

I only noticed the click on the evening before our Brompton tour. I had cleaned both bikes and they were upside down. Spun the front wheel on both - one clicked and the other didn’t. Showed it to the Brompton head guys after the tour. No idea as to the cause but they took it out the back and returned it 15 minutes later with a new motor.

I don’t imagine firmware updates will be a regular occurrence. Hopefully this one will be a keeper.

I keep checking to see if there is a Brompton app on the AppStore. When I quizzed the team about the app it seems that it will be read-only. Distance travelled, time to next service, battery level - that type of thing. I asked if it would allow tweaking of responsiveness, and was told not.
 

uguntde

New Member
We are booked in for firmware updates the week after next.

I only noticed the click on the evening before our Brompton tour. I had cleaned both bikes and they were upside down. Spun the front wheel on both - one clicked and the other didn’t. Showed it to the Brompton head guys after the tour. No idea as to the cause but they took it out the back and returned it 15 minutes later with a new motor.

I don’t imagine firmware updates will be a regular occurrence. Hopefully this one will be a keeper.

I keep checking to see if there is a Brompton app on the AppStore. When I quizzed the team about the app it seems that it will be read-only. Distance travelled, time to next service, battery level - that type of thing. I asked if it would allow tweaking of responsiveness, and was told not.
I would expect the next firmware update to remove again some of the power kicking in earlier of the current and still get it smooth. As the motor now kicks in with less torque on the pedal one will unevitably use more battery when in the same mode. But with this update the ride is perfectly smooth.

Do other ebikes have software that allows tweaking? I once rented an electical mountain bile with a Bosch motor which had a nice display, but all one could do was to switch between the power levels. They all try to keep things simple.
 

WonkyBass

New Member
Do other ebikes have software that allows tweaking?
I have no experience of any that do but have read, for example, that the GoCycle app allows one to:

“Fine-tune your motor assistance. Customise the motor power and torque for a workout or a no-sweat commute”

My interest in tweaking was only to overcome performance and responsiveness issues. The assistance is presently too subtle, assistance with hill climbing is insufficient and we use the maximum assistance level at all times (on our other, BH ebikes we invariably use the the minimum, eco assistance mode). The changes built into 1.0.2 will obviate the desire to tweak, I hope.
 

uguntde

New Member
I have no experience of any that do but have read, for example, that the GoCycle app allows one to:

“Fine-tune your motor assistance. Customise the motor power and torque for a workout or a no-sweat commute”

My interest in tweaking was only to overcome performance and responsiveness issues. The assistance is presently too subtle, assistance with hill climbing is insufficient and we use the maximum assistance level at all times (on our other, BH ebikes we invariably use the the minimum, eco assistance mode). The changes built into 1.0.2 will obviate the desire to tweak, I hope.
I get a lot more power after the update. I used to use level 3 up hills, today kept it in 2 all the time. It also used a little more battery.

The GoCycle is, I think, a lot more for technical enthusiasts. Brompton has London professionals in mind who want to take it on the tube.
 
I would expect the next firmware update to remove again some of the power kicking in earlier of the current and still get it smooth. As the motor now kicks in with less torque on the pedal one will unevitably use more battery when in the same mode. But with this update the ride is perfectly smooth.

Do other ebikes have software that allows tweaking? I once rented an electical mountain bile with a Bosch motor which had a nice display, but all one could do was to switch between the power levels. They all try to keep things simple.
The Stromer OMNI app gives you a fairly significant level of tweaking capability.
 

WonkyBass

New Member
I might be spreading misinformation about the (still to arrive) app functionality. Brompton’s website says it will allow you to “Customise your ride settings and track your mileage and service history using the Brompton Electric app.” Time will tell what customise means.
 

uguntde

New Member
I might be spreading misinformation about the (still to arrive) app functionality. Brompton’s website says it will allow you to “Customise your ride settings and track your mileage and service history using the Brompton Electric app.” Time will tell what customise means.
App is not available yet. I check once in a while. I don't need it, if it wa savailable I would play with it.

But after the firmware update it rides near perfect. I don't think any kit can compete, as it is all nicely integrated. When they service it their software checks all the components, the controller (which sits in the mount), the battery, the motor, the cadence and torque sensor.

After the update I get perfect torque sensing, good response, really nothing to complain. For me a kit would have to be much cheaper to be considered. You want a torque sensor, the reinforced fork (rather than opening it up to fit a wider hub). The Brompton battery mount is really smart so it can't disconnent when passing over bumps. The controller is nicely hidden in the battery mount. And customer support is really responsive, they respond same or next day.

Whether it is long-term reliable I can't tell yet, I have done around 500km during which it was (after an initial replacement).
 

WonkyBass

New Member
But after the firmware update it rides near perfect
Thanks, that’s good to hear. We’re a week away from our updates and are looking forward to great British product being even better!

I’m with you - I used to play with kits as a kid and remember putting together early computers from components. It was great fun and we learnt loads from our successes and setbacks. I was at band rehearsals last night at our guitarist’s house. He’s a born tinkerer and his garage and drive are full of bits of cars that make him happy. I’ve known him for years but never seen any of them running! For him, the challenge is fiddling about.

I’ve been lucky enough to visit Brompton’s factory and see the endurance rigs testing complete Brompton Electrics to destruction. That fact that there is one company behind the whole product gives me the necessary confidence cycling on the increasingly busy roads with my wife. But I’m all for the tinkerers; if it makes you happy and doesn’t hurt anyone else, go for it.
 
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WonkyBass

New Member
Our Electric Bromptons had firmware updates today at Brompton Junction in Covent Garden. The black bike had done 300kms, the white one a bit less. We then took them for a ride around London, down the Embankment, past Parliament and on towards Buckingham Palace. Rather than going straight home we did a circuit of Hyde Park in the sunshine (the hottest UK winter day on record).

The firmware has transformed the “responsiveness” of the PAS. The power is now delivered smoothly throughout the entire pedal revolution. Previously I only rode in maximum power mode 3 but mode 1 now gives useable assistance, perhaps similar to but smoother than mode 3 pre-update. The hill on the way back from the station wasn’t effortless (in mode 3) but assistance was more noticeable and momentum was preserved by the smooth power delivery.

I think modes 1 or 2 will become our new normal setting. The powerful mode 3 will no longer give me the exercise I need but it was great to use on those city cycle paths.
 

MrFantastic

New Member
I have just ordered the Brompton 6 speed electric and would like some feedback from owners

Do you notice the weight ?
Has it been worth the investment ?
Can people tell it’s an electric bike ?

Thank you for the help.
 

uguntde

New Member
I bought one in December, and used it a lot since (probably around 400 miles). For me it was well worth the investment. I use it for my daily commute to work, 8miles esach way with hills in between. It rides very well, but only after the firmware patch, make sure you get this in the first place. I think the firmware is then 1.0.2.

The weight is not much more than that of a regular Brompton, they are somewhat heavy, you carry the extra battery. But you can roll it on its tiny wheels.

It would be nice to get the app, but this won't change the ride much, I see this more as for the technical fun aspect.

I had a first one with a fault in the hub, which was replaced, but this happened quickly. Customer support is very good. They also had a lot of problems before the software update, but the update resolved these issues. If you start pedalling and then switch on the motor you get error messages that are hard to get rid of - good to know in advance.
 

WonkyBass

New Member
Do you notice the weight ?
Carrying it? Yes, you will not want to lug any Brompton very far. Unfold it ASAP on the flat. In a bag over the shoulder is a little easier. I see Brompton have a new wheelable, foldable bag to fit all of their bikes. We like our Gillybean padded carry bags for home and car storage (45 GBP delivered).

Riding it? The front end with battery and motor is heavy but the riding balance is fine. Lift it over the curbs though.

Has it been worth the investment ?
Compared to non-electric? We use them more often and go further. We did 20 miles last Friday in the sunshine using low power on the way out and higher power to carry us home.
No regrets. Lots of fun. We have over 10,000GBP invested in four e-bikes and find that gives us an impetus to use them as often as possible!


Can people tell it’s an electric bike ?
Some maybe. I invariably have to tell them as most people don’t notice. We rode the London East-West Cycle Superhighway from Savoy Place to Lancaster Gate in the February mini heat wave. The cyclists in front would turn round to see what was on their tail so I guess they could hear us! I can hear my own bike. I wish more pedestrians could hear us coming.
 

Kenyon

New Member
I have not noticed any change to the assist level 3, and am still getting the very occasional hesitance/soft sand slowdown. I have tried to deliberately see if I can induce this but without success. It is intermittent and the failure to pull away at the lights which had been a problem before has not reappeared

I do think that there have been teething problems which they have acknowledged and are trying to address. I did take it back to Brompton after experiencing this after the free service and they looked at the software. There had been no faults recorded so I am now back on the road.

I am enjoying the bike and on the whole am satisfied. I acknowledged that with an early bike I was a bit of a guinea pig but am hoping that the problems that have been appearing are slowly being found and corrected.
 

uguntde

New Member
The hesitance problem I would say is gone since this software patch. This is at the expense of full power on cadence with minimal effect from torque, at least on '3'. This means it pulls full power as soon as the pedal moves, and power is not scaled much by the force on the pedal. They did set the torque threshold to almost half of what it was. The step between '2' and '3' is now almost negligible. It would be nicer to give users a few more parameters to play with in a smartphone app (on Android and iOS), as many other ebike manufacturers now do.
 

MrFantastic

New Member
Hi Guys,

I picked up my Bromton Electric today and i'm having problems and hope someone can help.

Every time I cycle on it the battery cuts out and starts flashing giving me no power and making the pedalling hard.
I have checked and the battery is fully charged up.

Thanks for all the help.
 

uguntde

New Member
Hi Guys,

I picked up my Bromton Electric today and i'm having problems and hope someone can help.

Every time I cycle on it the battery cuts out and starts flashing giving me no power and making the pedalling hard.
I have checked and the battery is fully charged up.

Thanks for all the help.

Did you get the firmware upgrade? If yes, these errors are largely gone. If not, get it updated.

There is another scenario where this happens: This is if you start moving the bike and then switch it on, pushing it is enough. I then get a blinking light 2 and 5, I think. It can take a while for this error to clear.

Unfortunately there is still no app to clear these errors quickly and see what they mean. Therefore, if it doesn't go away you need to take it to an authorized repair service. Unfortunately not all places that sell Bromptons are also repair centres (e,g, Evans cycles are not).
 

MrFantastic

New Member
Did you get the firmware upgrade? If yes, these errors are largely gone. If not, get it updated.

There is another scenario where this happens: This is if you start moving the bike and then switch it on, pushing it is enough. I then get a blinking light 2 and 5, I think. It can take a while for this error to clear.

Unfortunately there is still no app to clear these errors quickly and see what they mean. Therefore, if it doesn't go away you need to take it to an authorized repair service. Unfortunately not all places that sell Bromptons are also repair centres (e,g, Evans cycles are not).
Not Sure if Evans updated the firmware but they did say the bike was the new model.
I guess I will take it into Brompton Junction tomorrow and have them check it for me.

On another note Evans made me buy the extra bag with the bike which I have no need for.
Would anyone be interested in buying it for around £80 can meet in central London.

Thanks for the help.
 
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lrm

New Member
Hello

I'm an e-brompton owner since mid september 2019. I was very much looking forward to it. I owned a superlight M3L for 10 years before trying the electric version
Was bought from cycle surgery in bishop square. The staff is super lovely and helpful however the bike has been giving me grief many times in that short period.

It's actually the 2nd e-brompton I got. First one died on me on the first day, Brought it back to the shop only to find out that it was faulty and they simply gave me a new one.
2nd bike has been okay-ish. I recognised a lot of the stories in that thread. The one about inconsistent power in particular.

But on saturday night I was left stranded in Archway late at night and had to take an uber home.
The bike worked fine all day. I had three dots left in the battery and was heading back to walthamstow.

The battery would connect as you can see on the attached video. But normally after you connect it. The battery lights appear but then the power indicator (1,2,3) would appear shortly after (and so would the light if activated). But the power assist level lights never appeared, Tried it relentlessly for 25 min before I gave up and took a cab.
Even though the 3 lights of the battery were still on, There was no assist at all.


https://www.dropbox.com/s/jbt5h9pan7qa1ol/e-brompton_vid.mp4?dl=0

I don't know about you but I find riding the e-brompton without assist rather dreadful. It's very resistant in the higher gear. Much more than a regular bike. and moving to a lower gear makes it way too loose. So I never use it without assist.

What really throws me here is that the battery was showing none of the error light patterns helping you identify what could be the issue as per the brompton user manual.
I'm really disappointed. I'm past 30 days to return the bicycle and already sold my old M3L

Taking it back to cycle surgery for a diagnostic tomorrow.
 

WonkyBass

New Member
Sorry to hear of your problems.

Inconsistent power was solved for us by that February update. If your September 2019 Brompton is reluctant then insist they sort it out.

Do you have two or six gears? I haven’t experienced issues when riding without power although there are few instances when gear 3+ is much use with or without assistance. I would probably choose two speed over six In future.

I’m just going outside to tinker with ours (brakes and SA hub). I’ve never tried to induce an error by disconnecting cables but will see if I can reproduce anything similar. I get the occasional 2 & 5 flashing errors but it clears on a restart.

The UK has been extremely wet over the last few days, which has kept us off two wheel. My garden is currently semi lake. I wonder if moisture might be your culprit (rain or the rather frequent cleaning Bromptons with their low-slung chains require)?

You are fortunate to be in Town. If I couldn’t get satisfaction from my dealer I would personally go to a Brompton Junction or their Greenford factory and plead my case. Our other ebikes are Spanish (BH) and UK dealers have abandoned them so fixing problems is more tricky. I ordered updated BH control units from a Canadian shop (Scooteretti) in June but they have today cancelled my order because they can’t get joy out of Spain.

My points:- a) unfortunately stuff does break, b) our Brompton Electrics have performed much better since February and c) you have the option to express your frustrations personally to a human being who has the intention and ability to fix it, in my experience.

Good luck, please update us on your outcome.