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  1. #26
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    How much do you have to disassemble a Birdy to fit it into a Samsonite 31" Flite, for example?
    J. Gaerlan used to have a page on packing the Birdy in an Oyster. I recall that it is straightforward.

  2. #27
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by energyandair View Post
    I would expect the Birdy to be more comfortable than any non suspended bike regardless of the distance travelled but I've not ridden a Friday or done long distances on my Birdy so my expectation is based on extrapolation of how the Birdy has felt to me on shorter lightly loaded rides. I'm sure you should be able to find better qualified opinions. I would try searching on the birdybike forum among other places.
    But one would expect the Bike Friday fit to be considerably better. In my case, that more than compensated for a lack of suspension. The availability of drop bars, bigger selection of tires, longer wheelbase, and more sport-oriented bike (front/rear derailer drivetrain) made my decision easier.

    BTW, here is the link to Gaerlan's packing a Birdy page ... http://gaerlan.com/bikes/birdy/birdypk.htm

    If you are willing to call Japan, one can find a front derailer clamp for a Birdy. And you can put drop bars on a Birdy ... of course, price becomes an issue at some point.

  3. #28
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    The Birdy has the exact same wheelbase as my friend's road bike. The fit of the Friday will be better for very tall folks (>6'5"). The Birdy does not offer a custom frame build. However, I find that it's relatively easy to fit the bike to the rider since it's possible to adjust the reach considerably.

    In a 31" F'light, you can almost certainly just remove the wheels, pad the case, and drop the bike in within 5-10". It took me about 15" to pack it in the 29" Oyster shown in the Gaerlan page. (In fact, that is my bike in that suitcase. I bought it used from him about a year ago.) You don't even need a chain keeper as it's built into the bike!

    Some folks also like the steel frames on Fridays better than the aluminium Birdy frame.
    Last edited by pm124; 09-22-07 at 07:20 PM.

  4. #29
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by energyandair View Post
    You will find some answers re the birdy on the birdybike forum.

    I found this thread and some of the photos it referenced very interesting. http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group...e/message/6923 I recommend reading the whole thread. Here are some photos it references http://sports.ph.groups.yahoo.com/gr...os/browse/bf77 but there are also others that are worth looking at.

    Somewhere I saw a post showing both a Friday and a Birdy in 31" cases. The Birdy was the easier fit and I think it also required less disassembly but I'm less sure of that.

    I would expect the Birdy to be more comfortable than any non suspended bike regardless of the distance travelled but I've not ridden a Friday or done long distances on my Birdy so my expectation is based on extrapolation of how the Birdy has felt to me on shorter lightly loaded rides. I'm sure you should be able to find better qualified opinions. I would try searching on the birdybike forum among other places.

    David
    Check out this link as well: http://64.233.179.104/translate_c?hl...%3Den%26sa%3DX

    The Sweden link shows a guy with 44,444 Km on his Birdy.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    BTW, here is the link to Gaerlan's packing a Birdy page ... http://gaerlan.com/bikes/birdy/birdypk.htm
    There isn't much extra room there for a drop bar. I don't know if one could fit at all. It is nice that you don't need to remove the cranks -- I did have to remove the cranks when packing my NWT (with 56t large chainring) into a 29" suitcase. This might not be an issue on the newer left-fold frames.

    It is nice that you don't need to remove the rear wheel when packing Bike Friday's. This lets you keep a fender installed and means that you don't need to fit both a 135mm rear triangle and a 135mm rear wheel into the suitcase at the same time. It seems like a small thing, but makes a big difference.

    A dozen messages ago I was asked about the ride of the Swift vs the Friday vs a full size bicycle.

    "full size bicycle" is difficult to say since there are so many different geometries out there. For touring I prefer a low trail bicycle (around 40mm trail, 73 degree head tube angle, 35mm tires). There aren't many production models out there, but the Kogswell P/R and 1983 and earlier Trek sport touring frames are examples that meet this. In comparison the Bike Friday is less stable (I can't ride it no hands), but not bad. I owned my Swift Folder a long time ago so I don't remember the handling that well. It was also a steel model and I don't know if the geometry is the same on the aluminum ones.

    The Bike Fridays are plenty comfortable. In 2002 I rode my Bike Friday about 120km on the Rainbow Road, a 4x4 track on the South Island of New Zealand. I used two front panniers and a rear saddlebag to carry basic camping equipment and three meals of food. The road was rough and I was riding in 2" deep snow on the second day (that snow masks the potholes, making the road rougher), but the Bike Friday did as well as I'd expect any bike to do. My only problem was with the low hanging rear derailleur picking up snow and pulling it into the drivetrain. That would be an issue with any 406mm or smaller wheeled bicycle. I don't think that suspension is necessary on this size of wheel. There are some good wide and low rolling resistance tires like the Avocet Fasgrip Freestyle and Tioga Comp Pool that are comfortable yet fast when run around 50-60psi. Suspension just adds more complication and failure modes. The odd-ball 335mm wheel size would also be a hassle when looking for spare tires. 406mm is the second most popular wheel size in the world and it's easy to find spares.

  6. #31
    Junior Member
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    Traveling with a folder

    I have a bike Friday Airglide and I think it's unbeatable. I took it to France twice this this summer. I've been touring extensively in Europe most summers for about thirty years. About five years ago I got an Airglide and it was the best thing I ever did. It takes half an hour to put it into the suitcase. After years of angling for a box at the airport or wrangling a packed box out to the airport it's such a pleasure to just roll a suitcase up to the checkin desk. In Paris, or Galway, or Frankfurt, or where ever I taxi into a hotel unpack the bike, leave the empty case at the hotel (they all have luggage rooms) and pedal to the train. If the train takes bikes, fine. If it doesn't I roll it inside, turn it upside down and fold it. That usually does it. If not, I put it in the travel bag which takes about two minutes. At the destination I reassemble it on the train platform and roll away. The bike is very, very strong and rides like a dream. I use rear panniers for hoteling and both front and rear for camping. BTW I used MKS pulloff pedals for the first time this year. They're great. Some of my friends were on NWT's and one was on a Swift with a Schlumpf gear in the bottom bracket. Good reports. The ride is hard but can be softened with an under the seat suspension. Suspension also makes for very secure descents. The Airglide has built in suspension or course. The following website (mine) deals with with self-contained log distance touring, both techniques and routes. www.TodMoore.net

  7. #32
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Hrm, much to consider.

    I think for the moment, I'm going to stick with the Swift unless it is truly impossible to trick it out for a comfy ride. Hopefully a Brooks saddle and wider tires will do the trick, without a massive performance penalty. If I start to fly to my tours more than once a year or get into longer tours, I'll probably get a BF.

    Changing mind in 4, 3, 2, 1....

  8. #33
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    That's the most logical option. Make sure to get a large suitcase for it. A suspension seatpost might help, too.

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