In the previous blog post (you can find it here) we have taken a quick view at the overall outlook of the ORi Bike M9 versus the Brompton.
In this episode, we will drill in to compare the important components and specifications of both bikes.
For the case of Brompton, the most basic configuration available would be the single-speed version with only a single cog attached to the rear wheel. Upgrades to the 2-speed, 3-speed or 6-speed versions are possible. However they may require an overhaul to the wheelset and other proprietary components.
For ORi Bike M9, the basic version starts with 9-speed. The upgrade to 18-speed can easily be achieved by adding a double chain-ring, a front derailleur, a shifter and the necessary cables independently from other components. In fact any competent bike shop would be able to perform the upgrade with the correct components that are easily available in the market.
Based on customer feedback, we think that the more speed the merrier. Some say 9-speed is more than sufficient for Singapore terrain while some will say 6-speed is also great. Those on 2 or 3-speed Bromptons may want to consider an upgrade if they feel that the number of gears are insufficient for the occasional up-slopes and descends.
Brompton uses proprietary components manufactured by their own factory for crankset, shifters and drivetrain etc to ensure maximum compatibility with the design of the bike frame. The end-result is evidently the highly compact folding that is touted as the best.
For the case of ORi Bike M9, it employs the use of industry standard components such as those from Shimano/SRAM/FSA. This ensures service-ability from competent bike shops and the easy upgrade-ability in future without the limitation of brand-proprietary knowledge and spare parts.
Since components related to the drive-train have the highest probability of wear and tear in the whole bike, we think it is an advantage if the nearest bike shop or the rider him/herself has the know-how and right spare parts to perform the servicing. For example, tyre punctures are one of the most frequently encountered servicing issue for any rider. If the process of servicing tyre punctures can be done easily without fighting a war against the drive-train, wouldn't it be great?
Brompton employs mainly the hinge clamps on most part of its folding design. This is a simple yet effective way of securing the folding joints when the bike has been unfolded.
The ORi Bike M9 employs the use of the Instant Rebound Catch as well as the CLIX front skewers that springs into action whenever a folding or unfolding operation is required. The time taken to fold and unfold the M9 is greatly reduced by the invention of such intelligent gadgets.
If you are someone who cannot stand the need to twiddle a couple of the hinge clamps every time you need to fold or unfold the Brompton, the ORi Bike could be the bike for you. If you feel that it is not of a big concern, then the hinge clamps are certainly simple and effective too in performing its role well.
The most basic Brompton "E" model comes without mudguards or rear-racks. One of the upgrades that you can opt for is the "L" model that comes with a mudguard and a small roller-wheel attached. The next available upgrade is to a rear-rack and easy-wheels, officially referred to as the "R" model.
For the ORi Bike M9, the mudguard and rear-rack comes installed by default, and we include the easy-wheels for free as long as stock is available. On certain days when you know you do not have any cargo to carry, you may choose to dismantle the rear-rack, easy-wheels and mudguards in order to go faster and lighter - a set of small support wheels can then be easily swapped in to still maintain the stability when the bike is folded.
We think both Brompton and ORi Bike M9 have useful and effective mudguards and rear-racks that serve a great purpose when you need it. However the easy service-ability on the ORi Bike M9 to swap out the rear-rack may have a slight edge over the Brompton.
For the Brompton, you need to decide up-front the handle-bar type that you require, be it the P, M, S or H type. All of the handle-bar options are of fixed height although the P handle-bar allows 2 different holding positions.
For ORi Bike M9, the handle bar is similar to the typical ones where you can adjust the height to suit your preference.
Moreover, the handle-bar for ORi Bike M9 is significantly wider and has a slight inward curve towards the bar-ends to boost ergonomics.
For this comparison, we think the ORi Bike has a clear advantage, unless you do not mind buying and swapping different handle-bar types every now and then when switching riders or when you need to adjust from a more relaxed to a more aggressive posture, or vice versa.
This concludes the 2nd of the 3-part series of the blog post in comparing the Brompton versus the ORi Bike M9.
In the last episode, we will compare the compactness as well as the ride quality. Click here to read on.
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