Sunday, July 23, 2017

Brompton M6R: Pentaclip Design and Saddle Change

The Brompton comes with its special saddle clamp, which is designed to shift the saddle position forward. This is to keep the folded package small, by tucking as much of the saddle as possible within the frame dimensions. Also, when the saddle is pushed all the way forward, it places it in the correct position for efficient pedaling. This is different from full sized bikes where there is usually a rear offset on the saddle clamp.

As much as I tried to like the Brompton stock saddle, I could not get comfortable on it. The saddle has a concave shape that makes it hard for me to find a good position on the saddle and maintain that position. Therefore, I decided to change the saddle to one that is more comfortable for me.

Stock Brompton saddle

Since I have spare saddles lying around, I looked to see if there is a suitable saddle. The stock saddle from the Merida Scultura 5000 is actually quite comfortable, and I changed it out only because it was heavy. Also, the colour matches the Lagoon Blue Brompton quite well!

Blue saddle from the Merida matches the Brompton quite closely! Not 100%, but close enough to look matching.

First, I have to remove the stock Brompton saddle from the saddle clamp.

The saddle clamp on the Brompton is called Pentaclip, and it is rather unique that I have not seen other brands use this design before. As shown below, it is made up of so many parts that it can be rather confusing to put everything back properly.

One side of the clamp disassembled. Made up of multiple copper washers and steel washers. Too many parts I feel...

The advantage of this Pentaclip is that it offers infinite angle adjustment, without any discrete steps of most other saddle clamps. I just wonder if they could have designed it so that it does not have so many separate parts...

Upon removing the Brompton saddle, I found a M5 threaded hole that can be useful for mounting a rear light. There are also two loops at the side for saddle bag straps.

Merida saddle installed! Flat top profile is what I prefer over the concave profile of the Brompton saddle.

Blue colour looks quite matching. Pushed all the way to the front for correct positioning and also compact folding.

From this picture, you can see why a saddle that is pushed all the way forward will make the whole folded package more compact.

This is a free upgrade since I am just using a spare part that I have lying around. Makes the ride more comfortable and also looks better in terms of colour matching. Many more upgrades to come!

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