Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: adventurepete on September 22, 2006, 02:56:42 pm

 
Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: adventurepete on September 22, 2006, 02:56:42 pm
My wife and I are thinking of buying new touring bikes. I like the concept of the Bike Friday design. It seems that they would be easy to travel with. If you have had any experience with these bikes would you please let me know what you think? I am interested in both the performance of the bikes and the travel trailer.   :)

Travel Safe.  Peter Campbell
Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: bokes on September 24, 2006, 02:45:20 am
Peter,
I recently rode a New World Tourist on a 500 mile tour in Sweden. I was totally impressed how well it rides, and the trailer works great, i frequently forgot the trailer was back there. But i thought the ride was too harsh when i hit cobblestones, gravel, or chewed up pavement. I have since ordered a Softride stem, a NitroPro suspension seatpost, and a Pantour front suspension hub. And i'll be more disciplined about letting air out of the tires for rough conditions. I hope that smoothens things out.
I was also tempted to get an Airnimal Joey, it seems like a great bike and the 24" wheels seem like the ideal compromise for a folder, but I think it would be too hard to find wheel and tire replacements if you had a problems on a tour. Perhaps in 10 years the wheel will become popular.

Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: adventurepete on September 24, 2006, 04:57:01 am
Thank you very much for your response. If I may ask some additional questions&
How was traveling with the bike? Did you have any problems at the airport, or in packing and unpacking? With your bike in the travelcase how did you transport your other gear?

I think you are smart getting the shock absorbing equipment that you did. My touring bike, which is a converted mountain bike, has a sprung Brookss saddle, which I love, although I fear that cobblestones would be too much for even it to handle comfortably.


Travel Safe.  Peter Campbell
Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: bokes on September 24, 2006, 03:36:34 pm
No problems at the airport, the bike was treated like any ordinary suitcase. The BF comes with a video which shows exactly how to pack and unpack, and they provide about 8 different felt bags that are sized just right to hold the pedals, stem, seatpost, trailer poles, handlebar ends ... So the components don't rattle or  scratch the frame when you move or turn the suitcase on it's side.
Like most BFers, on the plane I used a large duffel to hold my panniers, clothes and gear. Then when you land, the bike comes out of the suitcase, and in goes the duffel rolled up and any gear that didn't fit in the front panniers. For this trip i didn't need rear panniers.

Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: TheDaltonBoys on September 26, 2006, 02:07:03 pm
Don't own one, but have read a lot of them and I can't seem to find anything that owners don't love about them. Apparently quite good touring bike.  Enjoy the voyage...Mark of the Dalton Boys

Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: adventurepete on September 29, 2006, 12:27:36 am
Thank you for the information. It has been very helpful!!!

Travel Safe.  Peter Campbell
Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: DaveB on September 29, 2006, 09:21:11 pm
My son-in-law has a Pocket Rocket with 9-speed STI shifters and components and the shifting, particularly in front, has always been poor.  Three e-mails to Bike Friday's tech service brought prompt replies but not much help.  Their answer was sort of "they all do that".  The very long and convaluted cable runs on the Bike Fridays are responsible for the shifting problems according to their tech guy.  I'd recommend barcon shifters if you buy one.

And, before anyone asks, yes I know how to properly install and  set up STI, Ergo, barcon and down tube shifters for every speed from 7 through 10 so I did do it correctly.  

Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: char2006 on November 06, 2006, 02:18:31 pm
I have a Bike Friday Pocket Pilot that I bought a year and a half ago.  Out of the 3 other bikes I own, I like the Bike Friday the best.  It rides and handles just like a regular bike - though with the smaller wheels, you have a better turning radius, and you can also draft off people a bit more closely - which comes in handy on windy days! :)  I had decided to get a Bike Friday because I was tired of paying the high airline fee for bringing my other boxed bike on the plane - the fee is now $300 roundtrip!  The Bike Friday pays for itself in just a handful of trips.  I haven't bought the trailer accessory yet, but probably will in the future.  Right now, it works just to be able to fold up the bike and put it in the suitcase.  I have traveled on 3 trips so far with the bike and it has done excellent in the hard suitcase you buy with it.  I have left the suitcase at my originating location and picked it up at the end of the trip.  It doesn't take long to fold/unfold the bike.  I would recommend the Bike Friday bike to anyone. :) :)

Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: adventurepete on November 08, 2006, 03:38:53 pm
From what I gather in talking to people this will be a good choice for us. I like the idea of a portable hand built bike. Very cool. Thanks for the input!!!  :)

Travel Safe.  Peter Campbell
Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: rleduc on November 27, 2006, 07:49:45 pm
I, too, am interested in the Bike Friday New World Tourist.  The first
logistics question that comes to mind for me is what do you do with the
suitcase when you get to your destination.  For example, if I were to fly to
Munich airport with the intention of riding away from the airport, what
would I do with the suitcase?  Is the bike to big to take on as carry-on
luggage when in a bag?  I am also wondering how practical the trailer is?  
Is it difficult to ride with it attached in city traffic, for example. Thanks for
you assistance.

Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: RussellSeaton on November 28, 2006, 11:56:08 am
"The first logistics question that comes to mind for me is what do you do with the suitcase when you get to your destination.  For example, if I were to fly to Munich airport with the intention of riding away from the airport, what would I do with the suitcase?"

You buy the trailer package and convert the hardcase suitcase into a trailer.  Hook it to the bike and ride away.  Or take a taxi to your hotel, with the bike still in the hardcase suitcase, and leave it at the hotel.  I think many hotels will allow you to store luggage like this while you are gone if you stay with them at the beginning and end of your trip.



"Is the bike to big to take on as carry-on luggage when in a bag?"

Yes.  The folded bike fits in a large Samsonite hardcase suitcase.  Way over the carry on size limits.  Its a full size suitcase meant for putting in the suitcase storage area of the airplane.  Even in a bag its still about as big as the hardsided Samsonite suitcase.  The hardside suitcase does not add much additional size to the folded bike.


"I am also wondering how practical the trailer is?  Is it difficult to ride with it attached in city traffic, for example."

Maybe not as huge as a BOB trailer or Burley trailer.  But its still a trailer sticking out 4-5-6 feet behind your bike.  I suspect BOB and Burley trailer people would be able to give you an idea of how trailers handle on bikes.

Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: adventurepete on November 29, 2006, 03:51:54 pm
Last spring my wife and I did a half day test ride on a NWT with the trailer attached. The trailer had around forty pounds of stuff in it. After awhile I became accustomed enough to the trailer that I forgot that it was even there. It is very stable and tracked right behind the bike. Since the trailer has two wheels it does not affect your balance as I am told a single wheel trailer can. The suitcase will hold the bike, trailer and some extra gear when traveling. It seems to have plenty of room for gear when used as a trailer. The one disadvantage to a double wheel trailer is that it does stick out to your left a bit but not too much. It seemed to be maneuverable enough but I am not a good judge due to my lack of trailer experience. They make folding racks that will fit in the case with the bike if you prefer to use panniers instead.

Travel Safe.  Peter Campbell
Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: TCS on November 29, 2006, 11:00:49 pm
In addition to the wonderful BikeFridays, other airline-checkable
options include full size bikes with S&S couplers (example):

http://www.co-motion.com/travmenu.html

Bikes using the Ritchey BreakAway system (example):

http://image.www.rakuten.co.jp/hakusen/img10633839300.jpeg

http://www.dahon.com/images/bikes/large/folded/allegro.jpg

And upper-end folding bikes (example):

http://www.gaerlan.com/dahon/pack.htm

It's a great time to be a bike tourist!
TCS

Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: miles2go on December 10, 2006, 02:21:31 pm
Lost in Switzerland (http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/1390)

That link will take to our month long tour of Switzerland on brand new Bike Friday NWTs.  Go straight to Day 16 if you'd just like a quick look at the bikes on the road and click on the photos to enlarge.

I still have to finish this journal but there's plenty to see there already.

Cheers,

Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: adventurepete on December 13, 2006, 04:22:59 pm
Great pictures! I enjoyed looking over your site very much. I appreciate the information that you gave about the bikes. We live in SLC and I would enjoy speaking with you about bikes and trips.

peter.campbell@granite.k12.ut.us

Travel Safe.  Peter Campbell
Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: miles2go on December 14, 2006, 03:51:11 am
Nice pouring rain we're having Adventure Pete. :)

I'll send you an email from one of my 10 or so addresses and perhaps we can get together for a beer or soda and talk touring.

Nancy's Friday is sitting inside the house all together aside from the pedals.  Mine is still packed in the suitcase.  We're running out of room to put all these chain driven contraptions.  I seem to keep coming up with excuses to buy one more of them.    :confuse:

Cheers

Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: adventurepete on December 18, 2006, 03:28:36 pm
Miles2go - I was looking at the setup you used on your NWT and I was wondering if you found the gearing adequate for the mountainous touring you did. I am buying a Llama and I am having 58, 48, 36 up front and 11 to 34 on the rear. After looking at your setup I am questioning mine. We will be doing some off road travel but mostly road. I like lower gears for the steep hills. What is your opinion on my setup?

Travel Safe.  Peter Campbell

This message was edited by adventurepete on 12-18-06 @ 11:29 AM
Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: miles2go on December 18, 2006, 10:40:15 pm
Hey Pete.  Just in from work and will answer your questions in a bit. 

Did you not get my email to the account you provided?


Cheers,

Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: scott.laughlin on December 19, 2006, 12:02:13 pm
Hi,

My wife and I pedaled a Tandem Two'sDay (built by Bike Friday) several years.  We pedaled the Katy Trail, and from Williams, AZ to Grand Canyon and back to Williams...in the rain.  We cross much of Arizona's Sonoran Desert several times, and even rode it into Mexico.  We didn't have an odometer, so we don't know how many miles, but it was several.

I pedaled a Bike Friday, New World Tourist from near Yuma almost to El Paso, and part of Washington and Idaho.  It's on the back porch at this very moment.

The smaller tires make for a rougher ride on washboard surface, but as for comfort...well, the handlebars are right where they ought to be.  If you've never experienced that you've missed something.

As for portability, they are easy to transport.  We hauled our Two'sDay in the back of a $500 sedan with a blanket covering it.  I don't know anyone who looks in $500 cars for $3,000 bikes.  We left it parked on the street all over the American West and never worried.

Scott

Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: adventurepete on December 19, 2006, 01:43:27 pm
miles2go - I did not get an email yet.
peter.campbell@granite.k12.ut.us (peter.campbell@granite.k12.ut.us)
adventurpete@hotmail.com (adventurpete@hotmail.com)

Travel Safe.  Peter Campbell
Title: Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
Post by: miles2go on December 20, 2006, 12:17:39 am
AdvPete,

I emailed you at your k12 account but will try once more. 

We often gravitate toward mountainous terrain and I'm known to carry very heavy loads so we went with gearing down into the 17s.  I climbed a 20% grade with the bike loaded to 112 pounds.  It wasn't easy but I made it with this gearing.  I wouldn't have with a taller granny gear.  Another place these rings came in handy was on a nice Swiss back road through the mountains that quickly became a narrow rutted out, embedded rock trail with a 10% sustained climb.  All in a day's adventure.  :)

Your listed setup puts you at or just under 20" for a low gear.  Most tourers aren't geared under that so you should be fine but that depends on your particulars.  I.E., physical abilities, typical load and road...etc.

Congrats on the Llama.