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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 01-15-08, 07:52 PM   #1
judy french
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Bike Friday

I've been told Bike Friday has a model that when taken out of it's case, the case becomes a trailer. I'm wondering how the ride is, comfort and other wise. It's appealing because apparently there's nor bulky box to deal with in the airport and next to no assembly.
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Old 01-15-08, 08:43 PM   #2
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Basically, BF uses Samsonite Oyster hard-shell cases, and make a custom trailer rack for it.

IMO it's going to be heavy and kind of a hack, but some users swear by it.
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Old 01-15-08, 08:46 PM   #3
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Lots of opinions on the BF Yak discussion...see the BF website.
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Old 01-15-08, 08:53 PM   #4
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I've been told Bike Friday has a model that when taken out of it's case, the case becomes a trailer. I'm wondering how the ride is, comfort and other wise. It's appealing because apparently there's nor bulky box to deal with in the airport and next to no assembly.


Bike Friday has a multitude of models that will all pack fairly quickly into a suitcase that can then be used as a trailer.

Here is an overview of how to do it.

I haven't used their trailer/suitcase option so I can't comment on how well it works. Enough people swear by the Bike Friday & suitcase trailer option that it is worth at least looking into.

Give them a call and explain what you want to do with your bike and they'll point you in the right direction.
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Old 01-16-08, 12:17 AM   #5
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Judy,
All Bike Fridays can be packed in a suitcase that can be turned into a trailer. The trailer works very well and you forget that it's back there, except that you go a bit slower The only time I disliked it was going over gravel. The small wheels really slowed me down.

I've done tours with both the trailer and panniers, and I prefer the feel of a loaded bike (panniers). But it's expensive and a hassle to ship the suitcase, so if the tour is not a circular route (destination = start), then I'd pull the suitcase as a trailer.

Here's a few pics of my 2 week tour in Sweden.




Last edited by bokes; 01-16-08 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 01-16-08, 03:01 AM   #6
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It feels surprisingly good. Slows you down abt 20%, unnoticeable until you hit bumps. It thens to tug at you. But sometimes, this is the only way to go!


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Old 01-16-08, 08:25 AM   #7
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In the pictures above I see two (OldiesONFolies and vik) showing BF Tikits with trailers. Do the Tikits come with the trailer attachment point or do you have to use an adapter?

To the OP, most of the answers so far have addressed the trailer aspect. I have a Bike Friday New World Tourist and the Samsonite suitcase, but not the trailer kit. The ride of my NWT is very good. It is not exactly like a full sized bike but it is comfortable, and not a limiting factor in any way. I bought my NWT last year, and "graduation day" for the bike was back to back centuries on TOSRV East.

The 20 inch wheeled Bike Friday models are mostly semi-custom. You can be assured of a good fit with one of these semi-custom bikes.

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Old 01-16-08, 09:22 AM   #8
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In the pictures above I see two (OldiesONFolies and vik) showing BF Tikits with trailers. Do the Tikits come with the trailer attachment point or do you have to use an adapter?

...snip....

Speedo
Hey Speedo,

I don't have a BF trailer or case, but I think you'd use this hitch with a Tikit:

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Old 01-16-08, 10:32 AM   #9
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Oh hell no. Don't get the above attachment; it's bulky and will ruin the aesthetic of the bike, plus you have to attach it to your rear axle - a pain when you remove the rear wheel to change a flat, for example.

BF also offers a hitch that can be clamped to the chainstay instead. Don't know why they don't have pics of it, but if you're going to use a hitch, ask BF for this option instead. If your chainstay is too thin for this clamp (I'm talking tikit here, but I doubt they'd be thinner), then use rubber inserts/spacers/padding so that you can use this clamp. Because the trailer attachment end is a rubber hose, it will flex to accommodate any wheel size, so no worries there.
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Old 01-16-08, 11:30 AM   #10
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Vik, spambait11-

Thanks

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Old 02-09-08, 11:54 PM   #11
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I would say do not tour with the suitcase/trailer combo. I toured 400+ miles of the Pacific Coast with a NWT and said setup. I was in phenomenal shape yet was dead last (and not even near the pack) going up hills. It's possible that I overloaded (I didn't weigh my loaded rig), but there was too much drag on ascents. It's a clever design, as I was able to check it cross-country through Amtrak. The bike itself, though, was as smooth as butter with no mechanical issues whatsoever.
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Old 02-14-08, 05:15 PM   #12
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I have had two Pocket Llamas. I traded in the first one when I upgraded to disk brakes once I knew better what I wanted/needed in a bike for winter biking in Minnesota (my former bike had been a 1970ís Schwin five speed!!). The ride is very similar to a full size bike, very nice, but it is different. Fits in the boot of a car quite nicely, but the Brompton (quick fold, small size, but a funky feel to the ride) is much more useful in local utility commutes unless you get a Tikit, which may not be the best if you plan substantial off road riding or long tours.

Bike Friday has a program where they can match you up with someone in your area who will meet you and let you check out their bike. Iíve done this once myself for someone considering a purchase. I would recommend that you try it yourself before investing in the thing. Iím very happy I got a really good folder right off the bat, and it will really help if you know what your needs will be before ordering one, but not everyone has liked their Bike Friday.

I am a utility cyclist and donít care about speed, so my use of trailers is not an issue for me. My trailer (a Bykaboose, folds, carries up to 80 pounds, good for hauling, would be hard to pack) does make the ride less enjoyable but for large loads itís much better than a big backpack and often the only way I can get a load from A to B. The panniers interfere with the ride much less, especially if the load is distributed evenly on both sides and front & back, all as low to the ground as possible.

Hope this helps some!
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Old 02-14-08, 05:29 PM   #13
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For folks with a Friday tandem there is a set of stackable suitcases.
A great American outfit to deal with!
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Old 02-14-08, 09:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spambait11 View Post
Oh hell no. Don't get the above attachment; it's bulky and will ruin the aesthetic of the bike, plus you have to attach it to your rear axle - a pain when you remove the rear wheel to change a flat, for example.

BF also offers a hitch that can be clamped to the chainstay instead. Don't know why they don't have pics of it, but if you're going to use a hitch, ask BF for this option instead. If your chainstay is too thin for this clamp (I'm talking tikit here, but I doubt they'd be thinner), then use rubber inserts/spacers/padding so that you can use this clamp. Because the trailer attachment end is a rubber hose, it will flex to accommodate any wheel size, so no worries there.
Interesting. I did not know that. Thanks SB.

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