Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: Tourista829 on November 01, 2009, 12:57:09 am

Title: 2009 Bike Friday New World Tourist vs Dahon Speed TR
Post by: Tourista829 on November 01, 2009, 12:57:09 am
Please forgive me if this subject has been discussed recently, but I need the Forums advise. A few weeks ago, I would not have considered the above folding bikes. However, I would like to share a recent story with y'all. I went from Tampa to Cincinnati, by Delta Airlines, to visit my dad. I wanted to do some morning riding and explore Hyde Park and surrounding areas. Renting a bike, away from the beach, is difficult. The bicycle shop wanted $90 and I would have had to take a cab to and from the bike shop. I decided to take an old Kalkhoff folding bike, circa 1970's. It has a three speed Sturmey Archer with 20" wheels. I contacted Delta, and told them I had a small folding bike, with a soft case, less than 50 pounds.(that was my first mistake) Their customer service agent, checked with her supervisor and said $15 each way. I said ok and took the bike. I even asked the baggage handler, at the curb, if this would work. He said yes. As I was heading to the gate, I was stopped by a Delta supervisor and told, I owed an additional $160. I said I am not going to pay it. She said the only option I had was to take the bike home and fly another day. Doing that would have cost me more money than the $175 fee and the logistics did not work. I asked if I could store it at the airport? She said TSA rules would not allow it. I paid the additional $160. After the flight, I was very fortunate to contact someone, in their customer service department and received a check for $175. I enjoyed riding the bike, borrowed a regular suitcase and stripped the bike, and got it home for $15.00. Now that you have the background, I am interested in the above bikes. I would use it for commuting and some touring. I refuse to pay a fee of $350.00 to take my good bike. I suppose I could retro fit S&S couplers, but the bikes are expensive and to just ride around I might want to consider the above folding bikes. I like both designs and each has pluses and minuses.  After all, life is a series of compromises. I am leaning towards the Dahon because I like some of the features and accessories that come standard, however, I really like the travel case and the ability to convert it into a bike trailer from Bike Friday. I do not want to go with less than 20" wheels. If you have any thoughts or other suggestions, I would be very grateful. When I was deciding to purchase a Comotion Americano vs Norwest Tourer, the forum was extremely helpful. Thanks in advance. I think it is disgraceful, that the airlines, are allowed to discriminate against us cyclist and charge such outrageous rates!!!
Title: Re: 2009 Bike Friday New World Tourist vs Dahon Speed TR
Post by: paddleboy17 on November 13, 2009, 11:55:44 am
It does seem like they discriminate against us, and they cater to the golf club set.  Weight sound comparable, and ease to damage is the same.
Title: Re: 2009 Bike Friday New World Tourist vs Dahon Speed TR
Post by: indyfabz on November 13, 2009, 01:54:12 pm
While I have an old New World Tourist that's now a beater, I don't know anything about the Dahon, so I cannot help you there.  But regarding airlines, consider shipping your bike the next time you want to travel with it. I live in Philadelphia and did a tour out of Whitefish, MT this summer.  NWA wanted $100 each way for a bike.  The GF and I shipped our bikes UPS to the LBS in Whitefish.  Can't remember how much the shipping was because we had the bikes profesionally packed at an additional cost.  But it was definitely cheaper. You just need to allow 10 days for ground shipping just to be safe. The shop held our boxes.  When the tour was over, we dropped the bikes off at the shop and they packed them and shipped them back to our LBS. Takes the hastle out of ground transportation, too.
Title: Re: 2009 Bike Friday New World Tourist vs Dahon Speed TR
Post by: paddleboy17 on November 17, 2009, 11:23:53 am
You may have gotten a deal because the LBS could get a folded bike into a smaller box. 
If the bike is full size, UPS gouges you big time.

If you can deal with the logistics, Greyhound Bus Lines runs a freight business too.  Their rates are pretty good, but you have to go from bus depot to bus depot.  I once had to ship a full size bike to Seattle.  UPS wanted $160+, and Greyhound was $50.  I ended up not having to ship the bike, but Greyhound could be my new best friend in the future.

Sounds like you need a beater suit case to put your folding bike in.
Title: Re: 2009 Bike Friday New World Tourist vs Dahon Speed TR
Post by: bokes on December 20, 2009, 02:16:24 am
I have both, We'll almost, I have a Speed P8, which is the same frame as the TR, but without the Dual Drive. Hands down I like the NWT waaay more. Much more fun to ride. The Dahon is flexy and creeky, feels like it's going to fall apart any minute. The NWT on the other hand is solid and well built.
Title: Re: 2009 Bike Friday New World Tourist vs Dahon Speed TR
Post by: scott.laughlin on December 21, 2009, 05:06:12 pm
I've owned Bike Friday products since 1997--Tandem Two'sDay, New World Tourist, and a trailer.   Thousands of fun filled miles.  There's no passing the buck here.  I've never flown  with it, but people do it all the time.

Title: Re: 2009 Bike Friday New World Tourist vs Dahon Speed TR
Post by: Galloper on December 23, 2009, 10:08:50 am
Cycling plus did a comparison of a number of folders a few months ago.   The Brompton came out best but given your concern on wheel sizes it may not suit you.   If you go to and dig around you should be able to find all the reviews.

Title: Re: 2009 Bike Friday New World Tourist vs Dahon Speed TR
Post by: janetanorth on December 28, 2009, 06:58:53 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.
Title: Re: 2009 Bike Friday New World Tourist vs Dahon Speed TR
Post by: tfmkayaker on January 03, 2010, 09:55:31 am
Went shopping for folding bikes over this last summer - ended up with a NWT.

Looked at the Dahons - some were OK.

Ended up with a NWT - partially because of the kind of riding I do with my wife (she got one too) with the suitcases and w/o the trailer hardware.
I have flown with it several times (just about to again) without any trouble - besides getting gouged for standard luggage charges once - not the "special" fees they have for bikes.

The nice thing about Green Gear / Bike Friday is that you can get the kind of bike you want built for you, as opposed to taking the standard offerings of Dahon.

We went with the NWT with 3x9 gearing.  The dual-drive was interesting, but we decided to stay away from it to keep us with technology that we could get just about anywhere (well, except for the Capreo hub and rear cluster, as I'm discovering through reading - but I don't think I am going to have any immediate problems with them).

If you wanted to go full on road, then you could look at the Pocket Rocket series, with the 451 wheels (which are kind of hard to find tires for), or stay with the 406 wheels of the NWT or the other pocket bikes.

If you like flat bars - you can do that.  Drop, that too.  Funky H bars - they got them too.  Barcons, STI, Gripshift - whatever setup you want.

Title: Re: 2009 Bike Friday New World Tourist vs Dahon Speed TR
Post by: flecknerj on January 03, 2010, 05:00:18 pm
Can't comment on the Dahon, but I've been riding a Friday for a decade in dozens of cities and states and a few European countries too, including a cross country tour on the tandem version this summer.  If you travel and you want to ride, this is the answer: lives in a suitcase that becomes a trailer making your trip entirely self supported (but also possible by taxi, train, subway --- anywhere a full sized suitcase can go).  I commute and shop on big wheel bikes at home, but my Bike Friday is my preferred ride.  Try it out!
Title: Re: 2009 Bike Friday New World Tourist vs Dahon Speed TR
Post by: RSB on September 22, 2010, 07:51:12 pm
     I read your post that mentioned touring Japan on a Bike Friday. I also have a BF. I solo toured, wandered really, three months in Northern Europe summer 2009. I am just starting to think about a solo trip for three months in Japan. Could we connect about your experiences, recommendations, etc.? Were you self contained? What's your cut on the best time to go to Japan?
     Anyone else with experience touring in Japan would be welcome to comment.
Thanks,  Richard
Title: Re: 2009 Bike Friday New World Tourist vs Dahon Speed TR
Post by: pptouring on September 22, 2010, 10:02:02 pm
Airline companies (most) suck!  >:(