I got my Brompton second hand. I believe it was originally manufactured in 2011 and I strongly suspect it's never been properly serviced - most teeth are pretty worn and the chain is sitting on circa 2-3% stretch. The rear rim is also pretty worn so I want to replace that too.

All this obviously necessitates a replacement of quite a few components, so I was hoping I might at least be able to keep the gear hub - but truth be told I have no idea how to tell whether it also needs replacing or not. Should I just assume that it's a lost cause after a decade of use with minimal servicing? Should I get a whole new rear wheel assembly? Or is there any hope in the current hub being fine and being able to rebuild the wheel on it with a new rim?

Any wisdom appreciated.

  • Does the rear hub work, i.e. can you switch gears as expected, even with the old chain and sprocket?
    – arne
    Mar 20, 2023 at 17:39

1 Answer 1


The chain/sprocket wear isn't a good indicator, because Brompton chains sit low to the road and collect a lot of dirt, so they wear pretty fast.

it's probably aiight. you could take it apart and check the condition if you wanted to. I have an '07 or thereabouts that's never been serviced; works fine. I depends on where you live too, if you have a lot of dust or rain or something, maybe things could get in there.

were you going to re-lace the wheel yourself? because paying a shop to do that might be even vs. buying a new back wheel.

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