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Thread: My folder fleet

  1. #1
    Senior Member Dave Hickey's Avatar
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    I travel a lot for business so I decided to buy a folding bike so I could still ride. As you can tell, I've become addicated to folding bikes.

    The first picture is a highly modified Dahon Boardwalk. Changes include dropbars, BMX rear wheel, internal brake cable routing and new cranks. This bike performs flawlessly and is a blast to ride.

    The second picture is my Bike Friday Pocket Tourist- It is equipped with a mix of Dura Ace and XTR components. I use this bike as my primary travel/communting bike and plan on doing some touring with it.

    The third picture is my Bike Friday Pocket Pilot. This my is main daily ride. It rides just a well as any full size bike. I regularly do centuries with this bike.
    Last edited by Dave Hickey; 10-08-05 at 07:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dave Hickey's Avatar
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    It's hard to put a cost on the Boardwalk since I used part I had laying around. I paid $189 for the bike at Camping World and I'd guess I put another $150 of used parts into it. There is some handlebar/stem flex but it is not too bad. You really have to pull on the bars to feel the flex...

  3. #3
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    Sweet mother of jesus! That's quite a collection! Very nice! I would do crazy stuff for any of those bikes! What is was curious about:

    How big is the quality (ride, flex, folding, comfort, speed) difference between each bike? Big diff between Dahon and BF? I am particularly interested between the difference in the two fridays as i am considering both for a (future!) purchase. Also, how come you didn't go for a Pocket Rocket pro?

    Do you think the BF's could last indefinately with some care? Maybe even decades?

    The pro is prob. the bike i most want but i am a little worried that i won't be suitable for somewhat loaded touring (as BF site suggest) and as i can only spend that kind off loot once i would really like to have a durable bike that can pretty much do it all.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by v1nce; 10-08-05 at 10:20 AM.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dave Hickey's Avatar
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    In answer to your first question, it's not fair to compare the ride quality of the Dahon's vs the Bike Fridays.
    Dahons are great values but they cannot compare to a Bike Friday for ride. The BF are stiffer and have a much more solid feel. Another problem I have with Dahon's is the frames are one size fits all. I'm only 5'7" tall and while the Boardwalk fits me, I'd prefer a shorter top tube and a long stem. Bike Friday's are all custom built to your measurements so the fit is perfect...

    It's harder to tell the ride difference between the Tourist and the Pilot. I'd give the nod to the Pilot because the 451 size wheels feel better to me than the 406 of the Tourist..The trade off is tire availibilty. Very few shops stock 451 tires so when I tour I'll take the Tourist because I can get tires/tubes anywhere I travel.

    I went with the Pilot instead of the PR or PRP for a couple of reasons. I really like the easy pack seatmast of the Pilot and Tourist. I can undo the quick release and remove the whole seatmast assembly. It is much easier to pack in the suitcase vs the folding mast of the PR or PRP. I also believe the Pilot is slightly lighter than the Pocket Rocket.

    Cost was the main reason for not buying the PRP. I ended up betting a very basic spec'd Pilot for around $1100 becasue I wanted to add my own components. I really wish BF would sell a frame only because I ending up stripping both bikes and adding my own parts. To purchase a basic PRP would have cost at least $500 more. If money was not object, I would probably get the Pocket Rocket Pro.
    Last edited by Dave Hickey; 10-08-05 at 09:26 AM.

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    Cool. Thanks for the info. That all makes a lot of sense. I hear many people say they would be much more likely to buy a BF if they sold affordable framesets. A pity and missed opp. i think. I can envision tons of couriers and such wizzing about on their own modded and build up BF's frames, that would be some marketing. But maybe BF simply doesn't want to go that route, not their style/thing. Fair enough.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  6. #6
    www.getafolder.com wpflem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1nce
    ...I hear many people say they would be much more likely to buy a BF if they sold affordable framesets. A pity and missed opp. i think...
    V1nce, I was at first skeptical about Bike Fridays, but now that we are working with them--our experience is limited, only so much we can do in this first year of our business--I'm quite impressed really. I think they are worth the additional dollars. Plus, one thing many people overlook is that they come packed very well and they are ready to ride right out of the box. I'm planning on shifting our inventory more into Bike Friday territory. Also, don't forget that in the USA Bike Fridays have an excellent name and I expect their resale value is outstanding when compared to most of the other brands.
    Celebrating Bicycling
    The Past, Present, and Future

    http://www.sfbikes.com or http://www.getafolder.com/

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    Oh, i am not skeptical about BF at all. I have heard nothing but good things about them. And i really like their product as well as biz. model. But my budget is limited and i personally love to mix and match components/assemble a bike myself on occasion. I happen to know a fair amount of people/messengers that would def. get a BF is they could only buy a frameset. I mean, buying a fully kitted out bike only to throw out most of the drive train to replace it with a fixed gear set is pretty odd for example...

    Imagine if BF were to sponsor a couple of messengers/sell them cheap Friday Frames, that could expose so many more people to their product and it's advantages. I for one have loved bikes most of my life, like 15 years of it. I had looked into bikes lots and lots. And I had never heard of BF's untill about 3 months ago and only learned by co-incidence. That is the reality of the BF profile in NL and possibly most parts of Europe i would guess. A pity as i would love to see everyone riding a BF or other good folder.

    But i don't begrudge BF anything, it is their choice and people can always try to buy a second hand BF or go elsewhere. And sure BF's are a little expensive but well worth the cost. I like the idea that people paid a fair wage in the US make these machines rather than cheap labour being exploited in asian countries (many other brands).
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dave Hickey's Avatar
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    I agree. Buying from a US company was one of my reasons for going with BF. When I picked up my Pocket Pilot, I toured the shop in Eugene. Prior to visiting them, I wasn't sure if BF had the frames made elsewhere and just assembled them in Eugene. I can tell you all their frames are handmade in Eugene. BF doesn't stock any models. Every bike, from the Pocket Tourist to the Pocket Rocket Pro is custom made to the owners speciifcations. They limit color choice and components on the cheaper Tourist and Pilot models but even those frames are custom built. I was quoted 6 week delivery time on both my BF's. Both were delivered(Pilot was picked up) on time..

    Both bikes were tuned perfectly. I was really impressed with the wheels. Every wheelset is also handmade in their shop. I have over 3000 miles on my Tourist and the wheels are still perfect.

  9. #9
    Seņor Mambo
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1nce
    Imagine if BF were to sponsor a couple of messengers/sell them cheap Friday Frames...
    One of their employees, Walter, is a former messenger from Cleveland. He's the one who promotes fixed gear BF's.

    The thing is, the majority of BF's buyers tend to be "older folks with more disposable income" - that statement comes from them, not me, though it seems true enough. That also means the majority of their income comes from buyers who desire customized setups. Their recent catalog, in fact, doesn't even promote their stock model bikes except for one: the Family Tandem.

    In my case, I went with a used, stock model, the Pocket Nomad. And since I don't fit their usual customer profile, I did buy the whole bike only to strip it of its components.
    Last edited by spambait11; 10-08-05 at 09:44 PM.

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