Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Comparison between Brompton and Flamingo London NX7

The Flamingo London NX7 is a bike that is very similar to the Brompton bikes. Not only is the folding similar, the ride also feels very similar. However, there are also subtle differences. Let us put the two bikes side by side and compare them when they are both folded!

 The Flamingo and Brompton side by side

From this angle, the bikes' size look very similar. Without comparing the bikes side by side, you will not be able to tell that there is a difference. However, as you will see from the pictures below, they are not quite the same!

Side View

From the side, you can see that the frame of the black Flamingo is higher than the Brompton. This is mainly due to the rack of the Flamingo, which gives it slightly more clearance from the ground compared to the Brompton. Otherwise, the frame height should be similar.

The seatpost of the Brompton is taller only because a longer non-standard seatpost is used. Otherwise the seatpost should be completely hidden when fully lowered.

Top View

Looking down from the top, the biggest difference I can see is the saddle location. Somehow, the seat tube angle seems to be different. Also, the Flamingo seatpost has a setback, which places the saddle further back on the seatpost, whereas the Brompton seatpost is straight up without a setback at the clamp area. This causes the saddle on the Flamingo to be located further back, making it stick out the rear more when folded.

The Flamingo is a little wider, due to its 7 speed Shimano Nexus internal hub and the kickstand.

Close up view of headset and headtube

This is the biggest difference between these two bikes, the height of the bikes when folded. The Flamingo headtube is already located higher than the Brompton because the frame is higher up. Also, the handlepost clamp for the Flamingo is located about 2 inches above the headset, as compared to the Brompton handlepost clamp which is located directly above the headset. This causes the overall folded height of the Flamingo to be higher than the Brompton.

As can be seen from the pictures, the Brompton is still the champion when it comes to folded size. From what I measure, the folded Flamingo is about 65cm X 65cm X 33cm when folded. The Brompton seems to be about 3 to 5 cm shorter in all dimensions.

Other Major Differences between Brompton and Flamingo:
1) Flamingo uses an integrated headset, Brompton uses a traditional threaded headset
2) Flamingo uses V-brakes, Brompton uses their proprietary bottom-pull Caliper brakes
3) Flamingo has internal cable routing, Brompton has external cable routing
4) Flamingo uses a simple metal clip to hold onto the rear triangle, Brompton uses a more sophisticated rear frame clip that hooks on automatically to hold onto the rear triangle
5) Flamingo has a wider rear triangle for the internal hub, Brompton has a narrow rear triangle for a super compact fold

If you absolutely need a super compact fold, the Brompton is the one for you. There is no folding bike that folds as well and ride as well at the same time. On the other hand, if you like the folding of the Brompton, but don't mind a slightly larger package, and you are on a tighter budget, the Flamingo would probably be suitable for you!

49 comments:

  1. I've been hoping for someone make a comparison like this. Great job taking the time to do it. I have a few questions that maybe you can help me with...
    1) In your opinion/experience would Brompton parts fit on the Flamingo?
    2 Similar to the 1st question, would the Brompton luggage block and bags fit on the Flamingo?

    ReplyDelete
  2. some generic parts such as the handlebars or seatpost should fit. special parts such as the 3 speed hub or 2 speed rd is unlikely to. you can be the first to try!

    the luggage block should fit. just measure the hole to hole distance and check.

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  3. Do you mind if I ask how much the Flamingo costs?

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  4. Replies
    1. That's only lightly cheaper than a Brompton! It does not make economic sense to a buy a rip-off product that is only slightly cheaper than the real thing.

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    2. for an equivalent specs Brompton, it will cost at least SGD $2k.

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    3. brompton is made of steel and can rust while flamingo is made of aluminum. A more value for your money compared to the original.

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    4. No, a Brompton is an investment. They hold there value very well. I spent months looking on Ebay for a cheap used Brompton. Due to the high prices I decided is was better to pay slightly more for a new one. Bromptons are an iconic quality product with excellent spare parts service. It just does not make economic sense to buy a clone that costs nearly as much as the original.

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    5. And no, a steel Brompton will last much longer than an aluminium clone. Alu has a much shorter fatigue life. Rust isn't much of an issue as Bromptons are intended to be stored indoors.

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  5. Thanks for the comparsion.

    The Flamingo stem looks similar to the new Brompton H Type stem. The unfolded length of the H type stem is the same like your S Type. Is this the true for the Flamingo, too?

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  6. Not too sure about the length, but I think it is the same as the Brompton M type handlebar.

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  7. You can buy them in Taiwan for about 750 to 800 usd.Maybe not the exact one but very similar. http://tw.page.bid.yahoo.com/tw/auction/d62818840?u=Y8676871429

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  8. The Brompton's caliper brakes aren't proprietary, most calipers can be set up in this way.

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  9. There are very few bottom pull caliper brakes on the market. If you know where to get bottom pull caliper brakes, let me know!

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  10. Do you know if the Flamingo rear rack will fit on the Brompton?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think so. It looks very different.

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  11. The ride is VERY different, it isn't "similar"

    The fake brompton (flamingo) is very rickety and flexy where as the brompton has a much more solid feel to it. Ride it a significant distance and you can tell the difference very easily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After riding the Flamingo for some time, yes I have found that the Flamingo feels less rigid. but after changing to flat bars and firm suspension it feels much more rigid.

      the flamingo also goes slower, which I believe is largely due to the low pressure tires (Max 55 PSI) and also the internal hub which contributes quite a bit of weight and drag.

      yes there are differences, but probably not as much as you think. to me, the Brompton does not ride twice as well as the Flamingo

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    2. I agree with the comment that the ride is very different. I sold my flamingo only s
      Less than a month of using it. The difference between this and the brompton is quite significant. I always felt unsafe with it because of the flex. I have owned several kinds of folding bikes and the flamingo takes the cake.

      Delete
  12. Hi, do you know if the carrier block for the Brompton would fit the Flamingo? They do look similar but I wasn't sure. Hope that you might know before I place order for one. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. from what I have heard, it will fit, but you will need to rework the brompton block a bit. like filing the inside of the block to make a bit more space. not too difficult though.

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  13. Hi there, from what i've seen on the pictures, it seems the flamingo doesn't come with elastic bands on the rear rack to strap your bags and whatnot securely on the rack like the brompton does, can you confirm this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no it doesn't come with elastic bands. but you can always get your own bungee cords to use.

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  14. Whats the weight difference between the two

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Flamingo is actually a bit heavier, even though it has an aluminium main frame.

      This is due to the steel rear triangle and internal hub on the Flamingo.

      Delete
  15. Hi! I understand the current MIT model is V8.

    Can you do a comparison of V8 & Brompton?

    Tq.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The MIT V8 has a similar folding method as the Brompton/Flamingo. The major difference is that instead of the internal hub used on the Flamingo London NX7, it uses an RD and cassette instead.

      From pictures, I also spotted some other improvements, such as the new rear triangle catch system, and the use of caliper brakes on the front fork.

      Best is to try riding the bike for yourself to see how it handles and whether you like the folding or not. What I am sure is that the Brompton has a more compact and easier fold, and rides better than the Flamingo or MIT.

      Delete
  16. Skidog wrote... "You can buy them in Taiwan for about 750 to 800 usd.Maybe not the exact one but very similar. http://tw.page.bid.yahoo.com/tw/auction/d62818840?u=Y8676871429"

    Sorry, but you appear to be incorrect Skidog. I translated the page and the price is as I wrote in the other review. You save only SGD113

    This Ad is from the very same shop I visited - Eric the salesman at the bottom.

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  17. Hi,isn't a RD better than internal hub?i saw brompton with those funny looking gear change..but can i upgrade the gear shift to better ones like XTR,XT,etc etc?cos i know brompton can't....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An RD system would be lighter in weight, but be more prone to damage and wear and tear from weather conditions and dirt.

      For internal hub you need the compatible shifters. MTB shifters such as XTR and such can only be used with MTB RD.

      Delete
  18. Just bought this Flamingo model. Challenge is now the airlind travel case. Everything seems to be made for the Brompton. Flamingo dimensions are different. Are you familiar with which rugged or even padded cases/bags fit the London NX7. I feel like a round peg in a square hole!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Flamingo is slightly larger in dimensions, the best way is to use the cardboard box to package the bike. Difficult to find a luggage that fits folding bikes as they are usually too big.

      Delete
  19. Thanks for the comparison test but I think I go for a second hand Brompton same price as a new Flamingo. This makes me more sense than strugling with those small disturbing problems. I never riden a Flamingo only a Brompton and it feels a realy refined high quality folding bike.

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  20. I love the way the flamingo actually takes the best part of brompton bikes (the fold) and actually goes forward with it while being more reasonably priced than a real brompton would. I have ridden both of these and compared them, non biased of coarse as I did not own both. I could safely say that they have almost the same feel to them when riding, but as mentioned previously I do not need to care too much about the Flamingo bikes as it's aluminum (so no need to dry when it gets rained on as it won't rust and I wouldn't need to care for the paint much anyway) and it has 7 gears which is really handy when going uphill (though to be fair the Brompton that I rode only had 3 gears) but the price was worlds apart. Almost 800 dollars.

    Unless Brompton steps up it's game and not stick to that traditional make nonsense then my money goes to the flamingo.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks for such a very useful and detailed comparison! I bought a Flamingo because of the price. In Argentina there is a difference of 800USD or even much more, depending seller and model. I'm not so satisfied with the riding (never ride a Brompton) expected better feeling. The plastic folding pedals look not long lasting. I would like to know the eventual implications consequences of the Other Five Differences well detailed upwards. Another question: is the (difficult to explain) rear automatic clamp from the rear part that adjust below the tube seat, completely safe? (It's got an esferical plastic to pull to take off to fold.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1) Flamingo uses an integrated headset, Brompton uses a traditional threaded headset.
      Not much impact, both types of headsets are still readily available.

      2) Flamingo uses V-brakes, Brompton uses their proprietary bottom-pull Caliper brakes.
      V brakes can be easily upgraded, while the special Brompton caliper brakes are the only ones that are suitable.

      3) Flamingo has internal cable routing, Brompton has external cable routing.
      Flamingo might have a neater cable routing, but more difficult to change cable.

      4) Flamingo uses a simple metal clip to hold onto the rear triangle, Brompton uses a more sophisticated rear frame clip that hooks on automatically to hold onto the rear triangle.
      No safety concern, as the clip will not open up during normal riding.

      5) Flamingo has a wider rear triangle for the internal hub, Brompton has a narrow rear triangle for a super compact fold. Easier to upgrade the Flamingo with normal hubs due to the standard rear triangle width.

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    2. More articles about the Flamingo here. http://handsonbike.blogspot.sg/p/flamingo-london-s7r.html

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  22. Hello tylsteve. What do you think aboyt reliability of flamingo? For example about cracks in seatpost tube. Flamingo is made from aluminium, brompton is made from steel. There is difference between of corners seatpost tube brompton and flamingo. How long did you have flamingo?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had Flamingo for about 2 years. No reliability problems for me.

      Delete
  23. Hello tylsteve. What do you think aboyt reliability of flamingo? For example about cracks in seatpost tube. Flamingo is made from aluminium, brompton is made from steel. There is difference between of corners seatpost tube brompton and flamingo. How long did you have flamingo?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Steve,

    What do you think on
    price/reliability/performance compare on both 2017 brompton and Tyrell IVE? Getting either one for my wife.

    Myself, i wish to build a foldie similar to your cover page Dahon boardwalk with sub-spec. and flat bar. Pls recommend how i pick up the skills?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Price: Tyrell IVE is cheaper by 1000 SGD, when you compare the 6 speed 2017 Brompton ($26++) to the Tyrell IVE ($1600)
      Reliability: Both should work well, although the Brompton design is more tried and tested.
      Performance: Tyrell IVE will ride faster due to more gears for more efficient pedaling.
      Weight: Tyrell IVE is lighter in weight
      Folding: Brompton is still most compact after folding, and can roll around easily.

      Delete
  25. Thanks you steve for sharing. IVE will be a faster,price better and lighter as well...I will then look into details on the IVE first.

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  26. I'm curious if the gear ratios are similar. The MIT has an extra gear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure about the gear ratios, as I did not study further to check the gearing.

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  27. Thinking of getting the new 2017 Flamingo. Do you know of any changes that have been made?

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    Replies
    1. Not sure about any changes, but it looks quite similar to what I had.

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    2. Do you think It would be better than a 2006 Brompton at around the same price?

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    3. Probably yes in terms of frame and component condition, as the Brompton is more than 10 years old and with older part designs. However, I think the Brompton will still give a better ride.

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