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Old 01-20-09, 08:04 AM   #1
vik 
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My Bike Friday NWT....



I suppose it was inevitable that I'd be seduced by another Bike Friday given how much I dig my Tikit... I got a New World Tourist - the classic Bike Friday touring rig....

I'll be posting about it on my blog for the next few days. Here is post #1.

I also managed to visit Bike Friday HQ in Oregon on my way home from my winter holidays. I was great to meet a lot of the Bike Friday team and see where my bikes were made...

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Old 01-20-09, 09:38 AM   #2
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Vic, I glimpsed a hubbub adapter. Is that a Nexus 8 with a double chain ring? How is that combo working out? I know it goes well with zebras.
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Old 01-20-09, 11:13 AM   #3
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Nice! I tried BF Pocket Rocket in CA. I liked it a lot. How does the model you bought compare with the Pocket Rocket or the Llama? How long did it take them to build it up to your specs and deliver it?
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Old 01-20-09, 11:19 AM   #4
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Your NWT looks great!

Just two cautions: 1) Stay out of snow storms - you'll be close to invisible, and 2) You can't ride it like that Pugsley!

Have fun with your new bike.

(Great vacation pics, too.)
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Old 01-20-09, 12:37 PM   #5
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Mmm... Yummers!
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Old 01-20-09, 07:37 PM   #6
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how come you didnt go with the JTEK bar end shifter??
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Old 01-20-09, 07:50 PM   #7
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Sawweeet! I love that 'new bike smell.'
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Old 01-20-09, 08:08 PM   #8
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how come you didnt go with the JTEK bar end shifter??
Check out his blog...he is considering it. I think the JTEK came out after he ordered the bike.

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Old 01-20-09, 10:28 PM   #9
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Thanks for the comments it's a pretty bike...

I haven't had the bike out much due to sloppy roads so I'm not 100% on the gearing. I may actually go to a single front chainring to simplify things as I don't need an uber low gear even when loaded on tour.

The NWT has a 1.5" lower BB than the Pocket Llama, a different fork as is not quite as burly a frame. I'm not sure how it compares to a Pocket Rocket. I was headed on a 1 month holiday so I told BF to take their time building it - they still got it to me before I left at Christmas. I assume Dec is the ideal time to order a bike for a fast turn around. Spring is probably the worst time. BF was very accommodating so if you have a deadline let them know so they can help you meet it.

I didn't go with a JTEK because I didn't hear about them until after I rec'd the NWT. I have one on order and will use the Nexus 8 twistshifter on my Surly Pugsley.
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Old 01-21-09, 08:16 AM   #10
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My NWT specs.....
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Old 01-21-09, 10:26 AM   #11
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Vik -

Re your plan to get Greenspeed Scorchers - I did a search to find out what they are - got this - on a recumbent tricycle (!) forum -

http://www.bentrideronline.com/messa...t=45952&page=3

Guy says they have a lot of flats. I just ordered the Kojak slicks. They sound better.

There's a mention of Moulton tires there, too.
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Old 01-21-09, 10:39 AM   #12
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Vik -

Re your plan to get Greenspeed Scorchers - I did a search to find out what they are - got this - on a recumbent tricycle (!) forum -

http://www.bentrideronline.com/messa...t=45952&page=3

Guy says they have a lot of flats. I just ordered the Kojak slicks. They sound better.

There's a mention of Moulton tires there, too.
I've used the TR [Thorn Resistant] version of the 349 size scorchers on my Tikit all last riding season with zero flats. I live and ride that bike downtown with all the usual glass and crap on the roads. Not saying others haven't had issues, but so far they have been great.

I had 406 sized Kojaks on a recumbent and didn't love them. They were not as fast or as comfortable as the GS scorchers. That's just my experience so take it for what it's worth. Normally I love Schwalbe tires, but the Kojaks didn't do it for me.
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Old 01-21-09, 02:23 PM   #13
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I’m well impressed with the Kojaks on my Dahon MU SL... I have ordered a new stelvio clad Brompton so it will be interesting to compare the different types.
That’s a really nice looking bike Vik. I’m sure that I will buy a Bike Friday one day, probably the Pocket Llama.
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Old 01-21-09, 04:54 PM   #14
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Beautiful bike! That white is a nice color. If it wasn't so hard to keep clean I would use it more often. I hope to do the same as you and acquire another BF. I have an older NWT, which I enjoy, but have my eye on a Tikit. One of these days...
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Old 01-21-09, 05:42 PM   #15
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Beauty!!

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Old 01-21-09, 06:27 PM   #16
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White BF - many cleaning sessions, like my beautiful Birdy Monocoque.

They are like chocolates, aren't they?
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Old 01-21-09, 07:07 PM   #17
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I've read quite a few positive reports on Kojaks myself so clearly there are lots of folks who like 'em. I've just been so pleased with the GS Scorchers on my Tikit I'm going to try the 406 size on the NWT and see what I think. The stock Marathons are great tires as well so they may get the nod for longer tours depending on what my experiences with the larger scorchers are.

I don't tend to clean my bikes that much so perhaps the NWT will end up looking a little thrashed - that's okay....just proves I ride it...
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Old 01-22-09, 11:57 PM   #18
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Vick, those front racks are nice. I got a NWT with with a Llama front fork so I could ride with 2.0 Schwalbe Big Apple on the front. They make for a comfy ride. I went with a 9spd Capreo and 44tooth front chainring that gave a reasonable range of gears. One thing I discovered with that front fender, which I changed out, was that while it did prevent water from being tossed onto the legs and cranks the water would still fly up in front and present a spray of water up to chest level that would then blow back when riding above 15mph. Not sure if that fork crown prevents the spray or allows for fenders that extend forward of the head tube but I had to change it.

I opted to only carry panniers on the front and on the rear I installed a cheapo Sunlite rack modified to fit the frame. It sits lower down to the wheel and happens to be a perfect location for a Jandd expandable rack pack. The pack is just narrow enough to clear heels and when expanded the top tilts towards the seat tube so all the pack weight is close to the center of the bike.
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Old 01-23-09, 01:33 AM   #19
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Hey Vik,
I'm looking forward to hearing your impressions on the NWT's ride. Also, would you mind giving us a comparison to the NWT vs. Tikit ride feel? thanks
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Old 01-23-09, 09:22 AM   #20
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Vick, those front racks are nice. I got a NWT with with a Llama front fork so I could ride with 2.0 Schwalbe Big Apple on the front. They make for a comfy ride. I went with a 9spd Capreo and 44tooth front chainring that gave a reasonable range of gears. One thing I discovered with that front fender, which I changed out, was that while it did prevent water from being tossed onto the legs and cranks the water would still fly up in front and present a spray of water up to chest level that would then blow back when riding above 15mph. Not sure if that fork crown prevents the spray or allows for fenders that extend forward of the head tube but I had to change it.

I opted to only carry panniers on the front and on the rear I installed a cheapo Sunlite rack modified to fit the frame. It sits lower down to the wheel and happens to be a perfect location for a Jandd expandable rack pack. The pack is just narrow enough to clear heels and when expanded the top tilts towards the seat tube so all the pack weight is close to the center of the bike.
Thanks for the fender tip Lee. I'm a fan of close fitting full coverage fenders so that's something I'll be looking at. I need to ride/fold the NWT a bit to fully understand what issues might arise with different fenders, but I'll be giving it some thought.
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Old 01-23-09, 09:24 AM   #21
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Hey Vik,
I'm looking forward to hearing your impressions on the NWT's ride. Also, would you mind giving us a comparison to the NWT vs. Tikit ride feel? thanks
I definitely will. I just want to have enough time on the NWT to give an intelligent report of how it rides. I can't do that with 30mins of saddle time and the weather here is awful [wet/sloppy/cold] so I don't want to trash the NWT and am waiting for things to dry up a bit.
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Old 01-23-09, 09:51 AM   #22
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I got a NWT with with a Llama front fork so I could ride with 2.0 Schwalbe Big Apple on the front. They make for a comfy ride.
When Vik initially asked about NWT vs Llama that very idea crossed my mind.

If you asked, what does the Llama fork do to the geometry of the bike?
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Old 01-23-09, 10:22 AM   #23
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White BF - many cleaning sessions, like my beautiful Birdy Monocoque.

They are like chocolates, aren't they?
Not sure.. Chocolate you enjoy, and then you regret . Eventually you get fat.

These bikes you just enjoy and enjoy and enjoy..

They are pieces of art.
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Old 01-23-09, 10:58 AM   #24
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Vik, I think the idea behind those fenders is ease of removal with one bolt and no other hardware but for what a fender is supposed to do,,keep water off best as possible I found the spray thrown up in front of me bothersome at night with bar mounted headlights on, for visibility and the water. It was primarly a problem on very wet roads and fast riding, still much better than no fender. Now that I recall it was the back fender that was also a problem as it didn't extend down enough to keep it from sending a strip up my back, yours looks like it would cover better. Now I remember, I couldn't put a Planet Bike fender on the 2.00Big Apple because it was meant for narrower tires but I could fit it on the rear wheel where the total coverage was better and the tires were 1.75". Who knows, maybe I'm just picky. I think Planet Bike markets them as 20" recumbent fenders for 1.75"and under tires. The rear PB fender doesn't affect folding and provides excellent coverage front to back.

I'm still able to pack the NWT or Llama down leaving the fender on but I remove the front wheel. I had a Blackburn front rack that was more of a problem for packing down than the fenders. I had given the Blackburn front rack away to a friend on her first tour(only to discover they don't make them anymore) then ordered the Friday collapsible rack. It really is a good rack, worth the money for it's minimal construction. I also got a Llama,,for the gf,,who happens to ride the same size seat tube as me and installed the BF front rack on it. She wanted a basket up in front,,which at first I thought wasn't my style but I came to appreciate it. It's this kind, I simply bungied it on the front rack and it works great. When I did a short week long tour,,my first in 20yrs, I took the NWT with a small duffle strapped vertically on the steerer tube and the Jandd rear rack bag. Front panniers would have been more convenient but I wanted the smallest and most aerodynamic package possible.

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Old 01-23-09, 11:21 AM   #25
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When Vik initially asked about NWT vs Llama that very idea crossed my mind.

If you asked, what does the Llama fork do to the geometry of the bike?
I don't have enough different BF experiences to make a worthwhile opinion. I ordered the NWT first because in my ignorance I thought the higher bb in the Llama would be awkward with small wheels but the small wheels give a strange kind of low speed stability compared to big tired bikes while losing some high speed stability with the lessened gyroscopic effect. Even though the bb is higher on the Llama it really has no functional detriment except it's different and is a good idea for longer cranks.
To your original question,,I don't know. The Llama has straight bars with bar ends and the NWT has drop bars. I road the NWT with a 1.6" and 1.75 rear tire and the front with 1.6"-2.0 tires. The Llama has had 1.75-2.0 tires. The NWT feels more secure flying through corners but that just might be my preference for drop bars and not anything particular about the geometry.
I will say that the Llama pulls to one side too much to ride hands off whereas the NWT tracks straight enough to take my hands off to do something, I haven't determined the flaw but it's not ideal. I don't know about the rest of you folks but hands off riding in general doesn't seem like a good idea with small wheels.

When I took my short tour riding from Klamath Falls to Grants Pass there was a 10mile 5%-6% downgrade and it took about 25minutes,,,the trip back took 3 1/2hrs. yes,,I'm out of shape. I sure appreciated the fat front tire as there were stretches with gravel and rocks on the road.

Vik, how do you like the 8spd hub? I was considering it but went with the Capreo. I'm not to sure about longevity of the 9tooth cog and chain but most of the time I was in the 11. I was doing fine with a 32"-93" gear range.
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