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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 04-04-06, 08:10 AM   #1
Kenal0
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Anyone with a BF Pocket Pilot?

Ever since seeing the Bike Friday website I have been intrigued by a folding road bike. The Pocket Pilot is the only one that I could reasonably afford. I love the idea of having a road bike that can go anywhere.
I can not only take it when I go on vacation or away for a weekend but I could take it with me to the gym.
Taking my full size roadie is not practical. I work out in Chicago and when I cross train, I might ride the spin bike for 30 minutes then run for 30 minutes. This way I could grab my bike out of my trunk, ride on a nice day up and down the Chicago Lakefront instead of going to the spin room with a picture of the lakefront painted on the wall, throw the bike back in my trunk and go right to the run or weight room. Much more appealing. The full size roadie is not practical for this, having to lock and put on carrier is a pain and not worth doing.
Anyone with a Pocket Pilot or any other Bike Friday roadbikes, how do you like them?

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Old 04-04-06, 11:05 AM   #2
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I have one. I also own a Pocket Tourist...

If I had to buy any BF model, I'd go with the Pilot. The only thing I added was a one piece custom stem($125 upgrade). I ordered the basic Pilot and stripped all the components and added my own but even the basic specs are fine as travel bike. I went to BF and picked up my Pilot and did a century in Portland the next day.

I've since converted my Pilot to a single speed.
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Old 04-04-06, 03:45 PM   #3
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Nice Bike!!, I have a fixed gear roadie that I like to ride for a change of pace once in a while.
I am ordering the pilot pretty much basic- double with their standard gearing.
I cannot wait. It will be about 4 weeks.
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Old 04-04-06, 08:36 PM   #4
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Great...BF is very good about meeting their delivery commitment.

I went on a factory tour when I picked up my Pilot in September. All bikes are custom made right in Eugene. The frames are all built from the ground up. All the wheels are hand laced in the factory.

Personally I love the 451 size wheels. 451 is Jr. BMX size so tubes are readily availible. I've never had a problem getting tires or tubes. I've built a couple of wheel sets from rims purchased on eBay.

good luck and post some pictures when you get your Pilot...
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Old 04-05-06, 11:00 PM   #5
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Another BF fan here, though I have a pocket rocket My new ride
handles 95% as well as my favorite road bike (an old Masi), delivery estimate was perfect, customer service has been excellent. One nice thing about the fridays is that most parts of 'standard' bike stuff, so very little needs to be special ordered. Velocity also has started making some very nice high-end 451 rims and they are very easy for any bike shop to order from (they'll set up an account with the first order and have no minimums.) Only real risk is if you want to do extended less-developed-world touring the 406's are much more available.
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Old 04-05-06, 11:12 PM   #6
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I have a Pocket Rocket I found used. I love it. One thing I like about it that I didn't expect is that it lets me bring a bike with fenders in a very small space. Fenders are important in Seattle. This past weekend,for example, we did a trip to Vancouver in the car, and I wanted to bring a bike with full fenders. Turns out I just folded and tossed the Pocket Rocket in the car. I couldn't do that with any of my full-sized bikes with fenders. I also like that it's mostly off-the-shelf parts, so I can make it whatever I like.

It's a great bike. I have a bit of a bike addiction, so I have a lot of things to compare it to, and it doesn't lack much compared to any of my full sized bikes. I would also like a quick folding bike like a Brompton, but that's a whole other thing.
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Old 04-06-06, 07:19 AM   #7
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I order the bike yesterday and it will ship on 5-11. I cannot wait. In the meantime I have a 2006 Downtube that should be on the way that is going to be kept in Florida for boating trips and I will have my Motobecane Messenger Fixed Gear that will be waiting for me when I get home. (Birthday present from my wife).
So I have a lot of OOBE (Out of Box Experience) to look forward too. Now if the weather in Chicago would be nice on the weekend for a change.
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Old 04-07-06, 03:50 AM   #8
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Anyone with a BF Pocket Pilot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Hickey
I have one. I also own a Pocket Tourist...

If I had to buy any BF model, I'd go with the Pilot.
[Snip]

I'm considering a BF but am torn between the Pocket Rocket and the New World Tourist. What are your reasons for preferring the Pilot, Dave? Could help my choice....
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Old 04-07-06, 04:35 AM   #9
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i have a nwt and a pocket tourist. i ride them almost all the time. I got them for the folding feature which allows me to always have tem close by. thye work i get to ride and that is the important thing. the customer service was great . the bikes are sized for me and with my back issues that really helps.
I first hsaw and heard about them when i met a guy who was riding hos from washington state to boston and wandered through maryland. i figured if it could hold up that far it was pretty good , so i started saving my pennies. the NWT came when the va upped my disability, sooo in essence your tax dollars paid for it. that and my impulse purchase a dahon piccalo thank you very much folks
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Old 04-07-06, 07:04 AM   #10
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The Rocket or NWT are both great bikes.

If you plan on primarily road riding and light touring, I'd go with the Rocket. I like the larger and narrower 451 size wheels and the ability to run standard road brake calipers.

If you plan on loading touring, I'd go with the NWT. The 406 size wheels allow you to find tires and tubes virtually anywhere around the world.. The v brakes allow you to run much wider tires.

The Pilot is basically a cheaper version of the Rocket. It don't have a folding seat tube. I bought the Pilot(and Tourist) because they where the cheapest models and I planned on stripping the spec'd parts and adding my own components.
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Old 04-07-06, 07:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor455
, sooo in essence your tax dollars paid for it. that and my impulse purchase a dahon piccalo thank you very much folks
At least some of our tax dollars are being spent wisely!!!

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Old 04-07-06, 09:07 PM   #12
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thats what i thought too.
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Old 05-18-06, 07:32 AM   #13
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I finally got my Pocket Pilot. Of course it was pouring rain when I was ready for a test ride, same as when I picked up my Dahon Helios last week. I was able to get it assembled, admired it for a few minutes, then tore it all apart to see if I could get it back in the Samsonite case. Put it back, then took it out and reassembled again. I did manage to take it for a ride around the block in between thunderstorms.
Initial impressions:
Nice ride- just like my road bike.
shifting is right in the money both front and rear derailleurs, first bike I owned with bar end shifters.
Brakes are a little soft, new pads will be installed today.
I purchased a black Pocket Pilot and installed a honey Brooks B-17 saddle which looks really nice.
I will give a more detailed report after a little longer ride.
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Old 05-18-06, 03:35 PM   #14
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Here is my new BF Pocket Pilot in the standard roadie shot by the white garage door.
Kenal0



IMG_0609.jpg

IMG_0610.jpg

IMG_0608.jpg
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Old 05-18-06, 05:14 PM   #15
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Drool, man.

Does the seat post fold or is it telescopic?
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Old 05-18-06, 07:39 PM   #16
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Telescopic. The seatpost actually stays in the seatmast and the whole thing comes out as one when folding or taking apart for traveling.
Just threw on some Ultegra brake calipers. Now it stops like my full size road bike.
Rides nice. I will take it out for an extended ride over the weekend.
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Old 05-18-06, 08:01 PM   #17
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In your report, I would love to hear about the robustness of the seat mast: is it solid (i.e. handles vibrations, etc. well)? Any slippage issues? Would it be possible to get a pic with the seatpost in its collapsed/folded position? I already trust the Bike Friday ride. But I know the telescoping seatpost is a fairly new design for BF.

I also think your ride looks better than BF's own pictures. Is your headset 1 1/8"?
Thanks for any info.
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Old 05-18-06, 08:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spambait11
In your report, I would love to hear about the robustness of the seat mast: is it solid (i.e. handles vibrations, etc. well)? Any slippage issues? Would it be possible to get a pic with the seatpost in its collapsed/folded position? I already trust the Bike Friday ride. But I know the telescoping seatpost is a fairly new design for BF.

I also think your ride looks better than BF's own pictures. Is your headset 1 1/8"?
Thanks for any info.
I will post some thoughts after an extended ride over a variety of road conditions.
Headset is 1 1/8.
I will try to get a few pics with the seatmast removed. I can leave the seatpost in its postion remove the seatmast and it will fit in the case without taking the post out of the mast. I have a piece of black tape marking how far to put the seat mast into the frame so I can take the bike out of my trunk and have it ride ready in less than a minute.
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Old 05-20-06, 11:52 AM   #19
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I took the BF out today for a little longer ride.
I found the seat mast to be very solid and robust making it a non issue.
I was very impressed how well the bike rode. I gave BF the measurements of my current Flyte bike and they built based on that. I am in virtually the same riding position as my Flyte.
I am going to take the bike on the Tour De North Shore 50 mile ride for cancer tomorrow so it will get a good workout. My Flyte was already to go, tuned and running great but I cannot resist taking the new BF.
Here is a few photos.
IMG_0613.jpg

IMG_0614.jpg

IMG_0615.jpg

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Old 05-20-06, 02:01 PM   #20
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Thanks for the pics, Kenal0. Good luck on the ride tomorrow!

If you wanted to, could you push the seat mast down into the frame without having to remove it?
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Old 05-20-06, 07:14 PM   #21
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You could push it down but it would definitely scuff the paint as it is a snug fit.
I am not sure how far it would go.
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Old 05-20-06, 07:23 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenal0
I am going to take the bike on the Tour De North Shore 50 mile ride for cancer tomorrow so it will get a good workout. My Flyte was already to go, tuned and running great but I cannot resist taking the new BF.
Kenal0
Be careful. I made the same mistake about this time last year. I now bike my Bike Fridays 99% of the time The big road bikes collect dust in the garage...It's gotten to point that I prefer small wheeled bikes for long distances.
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Old 05-20-06, 08:10 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Hickey

It's gotten to point that I prefer small wheeled bikes for long distances.
Dave, why's that? Top 5 or 10 reasons would do..
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Old 05-20-06, 08:15 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Hickey
Be careful. I made the same mistake about this time last year. I now bike my Bike Fridays 99% of the time The big road bikes ollect dust in the garage...It's gotten to point that I prefer small wheeled bikes for long distances.
t

If I did not ride it, I would spend the whole ride thinking about it in the garage. I also cannot stop tinkering. So far I replaced the Tektro brakes with some Ultegras, changed the brake levers with
some nice Shimano levers and I have an Ultegra rear derailleur coming to replace the Altus that came on the bike. Oh and I also replaced the cheaper Shimano 52T big ring with and FSA 53 I had lying around.
All this and I have absolutely no trips planned to take it on!
My wife went to school in Santa Barbara and wants to take the kids out to the west coast. Maybe I should suggest we do it toward the end of summer now that I have the BF!!
I also found the straps at Target to secure the case. Now all that is left to do is ride.
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Old 05-21-06, 06:46 AM   #25
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Hmmm..Let's see...How about 3?

1. I think they're more comfortable. Most of my road bikes have 700 x 23c tires. My Bike Friday's are running 451 x 1 1/8. 1 1/8 translates to approx 28c wide tires. The wider tire give a more comfortable ride but doesn't seem to give up performance. I'm just a fast( which isn't very ) on my BFs as my full size bikes.

2. The long stem riser and seat post dampen vibration better. I am must less fatigued after a long ride on a small wheeled bike. Less fatigue the biggest reason I prefer my Bike Fridays for long distances

3. They are more fun...I realize that this a subjective view but I have more fun on the small wheeled bikes. I ride between 6,000-8,000 miles yr. Maybe I got bored with diamond framed big wheeled bikes but these little bike are so much fun to ride...
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