« on: December 28, 2009, 04:58:53 pm »
i have a bike friday llama and a dahon muxl. i took the friday to japan last year for a fully loaded 3 month tour. as i ended up using public transportation frequently, it became obvious that the BF is really only an in and out of the suitcase bike, not a fold/unfold commuter (their tikit is, but it has 16" wheels). i saw many dahons over there, and purchased one upon my return to the US. it folds in under 10 seconds w/o the chain ring gouging you, chain coming off, or any parts at all needing to be removed. it has a slip cover for train use and i use my massage table bag for air transport (padded with bubble wrap & using the BF crush protector).
the friday is now my bike for long tours with big loads. it is well made and i expect many years use. it goes easily in to the suitcase, which is great until you get to your destination and don't want to haul it as a trailer. we used some $6 salvation army suitcases for our last trip, which we discarded. the soft bag sold by BF is pretty useless for transport-awkward for carrying and too big.
the dahon is my urban machine. it folds and goes in and out of the car, on the train and in to the hotel room w/o a problem. i feel comfortable putting on two panniers with a rear rack, but this bike is for more B & B type touring. i'm not sure how it will hold up, but i am a small woman and don't ride in an aggressive manner.
with proper planning and a clear itinerary i believe there is a place for both bicycles in this world. i have never paid a bicycle fee with either bike when using the original BF suitcase or any of my make shift containers.