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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 04-16-09, 12:45 PM   #1
n00bL35
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Bike Friday New World Tourist

Are Bike Friday folders considered good, average or Fred? I'm a roadie but I've admired the NWT for bike adventures. What are your thoughts on how they stack up? Good value? Rip off?
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Old 04-16-09, 01:21 PM   #2
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I am on my second BF.. Like you, I am a roadie, not sure what you mean by Fred...The short answer is.. They are among the best in the business and their customer support is second to none.

My first BF was a basic "Metro" which was like having a hybrid. It was not one of their custom jobs, but one of the production models that came in S, M and L. I was unsure about folding bikes in general and I actually ordered two. The metro and another brand name that I will not mention. I was going to do a side-by-side comparison and send back the one that I did not like. When they both arrived, it became very apparent which one I was going to keep. Just in my living room the quality and build was quite different with the BF being the best. The real story was riding it. That "other" bike was a lousy ride and the BF stood way out. In fact, once I stopped looking down at the 20 inch wheels and concentrated on riding I couldn't tell I was on a folder. I referred to that Metro as a high end hybrid and that is pretty much what it rode like. I must have taken that thing all over the country and Canada. It opened a whole world of riding to me when I was traveling.

After almost 5 years on that bike it was still going strong. A few parts gave out and I upgraded those to better higher end stuff. But I got a hankering for a better model. being a die hard roadie I decided I would get the Pocket Rocket. I went custom this time and it has been great. I easily sold the Metro to a friend who still rides it today. I have ridden that PR in groups where some actually rolled their eyes when they saw me... But I left them behind later That PR rides as good as my road bike.

Customer support has been fabulous. I once broke a pivot bolt while on the road. They actually Fed-Ex'd the replacement to my hotel. It was waiting on me when I got there. In 10 minutes I was on the road again. They also contribute a lot to the cycling community.

Now, can I tell a difference between my main, full sized road bike. Yes, but it is not too much of a difference. With the small wheels comes lower gearing. BF works around that by using large road rings and a small cog in the back. The small wheels can be a tad harsh to ride on. This can be offset by using slightly larger tires and some even use a thud buster seat post. would I take my PR on a century... yes. I have already done several all day tours on it.

Good luck to you.
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Old 04-16-09, 01:23 PM   #3
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You get what you pay for.

Fridays are excellent bikes, and when you ride one you really feel that you're riding a "normal bike", not to mention the fact that it will pack into a suitcase to take to exotic destinations. You can buy the stock bike, or have it built to order, so it's precisely the right size for you.

And the price ranges from relatively high to almost stratospheric, depending on how many bells and whistles you want to add.
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Old 04-16-09, 01:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by n00bL35 View Post
Are Bike Friday folders considered good, average or Fred?
Okay is that Fred as in dressed in full team kit and riding the most expensive bike around, but can't ride for s***? Or is that Fred as in dressed in cut-offs and riding an ancient Raleigh three speed but beating the other riders like a drum at the local club ride?

I have a NWT. I like it a lot. If you are a racy kind of guy you'd probably have to go to some biggish ring sizes to be happy, but my aging knees like the low gears I've got on mine.

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Old 04-16-09, 03:43 PM   #5
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Are Bike Friday folders considered good, average or Fred?
Good. Bike Friday is among the very most respected in the business. But understand that the NWT is not a commuter folding bike: it's bike designed to be packed for flying.
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Old 04-16-09, 07:43 PM   #6
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BF will custom build your dream bike exactly how you need it. if they don't get it right, they will fix it. I don't know of any other bike company that will do this (there must be some others though... Rivendell?)
AND the ride is excellent, better than many expensive full size bikes. I am currently waiting on my Tikit
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Old 04-17-09, 03:07 PM   #7
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I just bought a Bike Friday Pocket Expedition. It's the stock version of the Pocket Llama. It has been wonderful. I've been commuting on it and riding in fast road groups with it. It's not designed for the fast road groups with it's fat tires & heavier wheels, but it has handled excellently. I doubt I will be buying anymore 700c wheeled bikes. Customer service is the best I've ever dealt with.
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Old 04-17-09, 03:39 PM   #8
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Okay is that Fred as in dressed in full team kit and riding the most expensive bike around, but can't ride for s***? Or is that Fred as in dressed in cut-offs and riding an ancient Raleigh three speed but beating the other riders like a drum at the local club ride?
Same thing crossed my mind.
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Old 04-17-09, 07:15 PM   #9
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If you do a bit of reading on this forum you will quickly find out that Fridays are not average, nor is Green Gear Cycling, the company that makes them (in Eugene, OR).

As you can see by our "signature", or whatever they call it, my wife and I both ride them. They are our 5th set of bikes in the last 45 years. (The 4th set were Dahon Boardwalk D7s. The other three were Schwinns - Collegiates, Varsitys and Miradas.) These are by far the best bikes. Even the wife, who was VERY apprehensive about spending close to $2,000 for her custom Crusoe, realizes she has a very good bike. And at 6'3" with 36" inseam and 6'6" arm span, I really appreciate my custom NWT.

As far as Roadies go, if I am on my Cruiser (going to the store) 95% ignore me. If we are on our Fridays, 50% will normally acknowledge us. A great many roadies know of Bike Friday. I would say that the folks who don't "understand" them (especially how much they cost) are non-bike riders, or cruiser riders here at the beach.

Other than my Cruiser - which stays here at our beach condo, and will be sold with it - I don't see owning another 700c or 26" bike.

Last edited by Foldable Two; 04-17-09 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 04-17-09, 07:52 PM   #10
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Info on my Bike Friday NWT.
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Old 04-20-09, 07:45 AM   #11
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I appreciate the responses. By Fred, I meant an extremely expensive bike that riders with more experience avoid because better value could be found elsewhere. @vik, your rig looks pretty sweet.
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Old 04-20-09, 03:16 PM   #12
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I appreciate the responses. By Fred, I meant an extremely expensive bike that riders with more experience avoid because better value could be found elsewhere. @vik, your rig looks pretty sweet.
Dude, update your mental map asap. That isn't Fred at all. Fred is dayglo safety vests and rear view mirrors, Air-Zounds and coffee cup holders, Technomic stems and Brooks saddles. Basically, Fred is doing what's comfortable, useful, or safe with complete indifference to how it looks to others.

Freds are often the most experienced and thrifty cyclists out there.
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Old 04-20-09, 05:18 PM   #13
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Dude, update your mental map asap. That isn't Fred at all. Fred is dayglo safety vests and rear view mirrors, Air-Zounds and coffee cup holders, Technomic stems and Brooks saddles. Basically, Fred is doing what's comfortable, useful, or safe with complete indifference to how it looks to others.

Freds are often the most experienced and thrifty cyclists out there.
Some roadies refer to "Freds" as poseurs / wannabe's, while it can also be a reference to the type of fellow you describe above. Depending on who you talk to, you're both right.

As for Bike Friday, they are exceptional. Extremely exceptional.

I purchased a Bike Friday Pocket Llama after having an enjoyable experience with my Dahon but wanting more in the performance department, and the Llama does not disappoint. BF matched it to ride like my Rocky Mountain Hammer, and did an excellent job. Its a top notch bike.
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