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  1. #1
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    Pocket Rocket Pro, Air Friday

    I am sick of missing workouts because I have to travel. Traveling with a full sized bike is darn-near impossible for me, so I'm looking at the Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro or Air Friday.

    My interest is triathlons, but the purpose of this bike is to provide continuity to make workout schedule while I travel. I generally ride around 30 -40 miles per ride, and plan to continue increasing my distance.

    My concern with the PR Pro is that the ride may be too stiff and long rides may wear me out with road vibes. My concern with the Air Friday is bouncing with my pedal stroke, requiring a different ride style.

    Has anyone tried either of these bikes? Comments on my concerns, pros/cons?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinrunt
    I am sick of missing workouts because I have to travel. Traveling with a full sized bike is darn-near impossible for me, so I'm looking at the Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro or Air Friday.

    My interest is triathlons, but the purpose of this bike is to provide continuity to make workout schedule while I travel. I generally ride around 30 -40 miles per ride, and plan to continue increasing my distance.

    My concern with the PR Pro is that the ride may be too stiff and long rides may wear me out with road vibes. My concern with the Air Friday is bouncing with my pedal stroke, requiring a different ride style.

    Has anyone tried either of these bikes? Comments on my concerns, pros/cons?
    I don't have any experience with Bike Friday but with folding bikes in general. The smaller 20' inch high pressure wheel of a folder will give a much harder ride than one with 700 cc wheels. The Air Friday suffers from the same kind of flexing the SoftRide does but this may not be so bad on a folding bike. If you never ridden a folder, I would suggest you test one out.

    I noticed that Performance sells a bag that you can put a full size bicycle into for traveling purposes. Maybe if you wrap up the bike in newspapers, this just might work.

  3. #3
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    I have the Pocket Rocket- I was told it was similar to the Pocket Rocket Pro. I can't comment on the Pro, but I can say that the Pocket Rocket is a zippy, comfortable ride. I used that bike for my cycling trip through Italy, and I went on a few road rides in Switzerland. I changed the components to Shimano Ultegra, and with the Ultegra, I'm sure it made for a much smoother ride. The wheels are smaller, but I was pleasantly surprised to find I was faster on the Pocket Rocket than I was riding my Specialized Sirrus.

    I really like that you can fold it up and put it in the travel suitcase. It's a medium sized, Samsonite luggage with a combination lock, and when you get the luggage, you get the hitch too, so if you ever do decide to tour with it, you can convert that luggage to a trailer. It did take a little time to fold it up, but I was getting more comfortable with it. There's an instructional video that comes with the bike, and the first time you fold it, you just go with the video, then every time you fold it, it is definitely easier to fold. My only problem with folding was that I was trying to shove so many extra things in there (locks, clothes, tools, energy bars, books, maps, extra shoes, clothes, etc.) that it took a bit more time to get the bike situated into the luggage. But the good thing is that you can comfortably travel through the airports and not worry about being charged for a bike. When I returned from my trip, I found that the airline did treat my bike with care, but they just deposited it with the rest of everyone's luggage on the luggage bin, so I didn't have to do special check in or go to bulky luggage for pick up or anything. The luggage is very sturdy, so no worries about having your bike damaged. And with practice, you can quickly fold and unfold that bike, and there is a quick fold option for when you want to jump on and off a train too.

    For travel purposes, I would definitely recommend a Bike Friday. If there is a dealer in your area, ask them if you can go for a ride on the Bike Friday you're interested in.

    Koffee

  4. #4
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    Steve, I'd be afraid to put my carbon frame in a bag and hope for the best. For my last trip, I could have borrowed a bike box, but it wouldn't fit in my car with the bike in it! I couldn't find someone with a big vehicle to drive me to the airport and back, plus I would need a large vehicle on the other end. Add to that an $80 airport charge both ways, and I gave up. I couldn't help but notice your name is Dahon, any relation to those folding bikes? Do you have a Dahon?

    Koffee, Thanks for your opinion on the Pocket Rocket! I actually obtained the packing videos for both bikes, and I am attracted to the easier packing of the PR and the quick fold feature. What length of rides do you take your PR on? I'm thinking Ultegra components. Unfortunately, there are no dealers in my area. I asked whether there are any owners nearby, but I am a small woman, and finding a bike I can actually try out may not be possible. I hate to buy a bike I haven't ridden, but that is usually the case for me. I have to rely on recommendations, so yours is most helpful!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinrunt
    Steve, I'd be afraid to put my carbon frame in a bag and hope for the best. For my last trip, I could have borrowed a bike box, but it wouldn't fit in my car with the bike in it! I couldn't find someone with a big vehicle to drive me to the airport and back, plus I would need a large vehicle on the other end. Add to that an $80 airport charge both ways, and I gave up. I couldn't help but notice your name is Dahon, any relation to those folding bikes? Do you have a Dahon?

    Koffee, Thanks for your opinion on the Pocket Rocket! I actually obtained the packing videos for both bikes, and I am attracted to the easier packing of the PR and the quick fold feature. What length of rides do you take your PR on? I'm thinking Ultegra components. Unfortunately, there are no dealers in my area. I asked whether there are any owners nearby, but I am a small woman, and finding a bike I can actually try out may not be possible. I hate to buy a bike I haven't ridden, but that is usually the case for me. I have to rely on recommendations, so yours is most helpful!
    I have two Dahon bikes (not related to the Dahon corp.) but you're really looking for a Bike Friday and not a low budget commuter. If you wanted a good town bike that folds in 15 seconds, a Dahon would be the best choice. Since you're looking for a serious touring bike, Bike Friday is the better way to go.

    Not to say you could not tour on a Dahon, but the aggressive rider deserves more. I believe Bike Friday has a money back guaranty (sp) in case you don't want the cycle. They'll practically walk you through the process over the phone and service is better than most. I think they have three frame sizes but raising the saddle and stem can resolve most issues.

    I didn't know you took a carbon bike on a plane and if I were touring, it would probably be with a less expensive bike. Still..... Give BF a call.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinrunt
    Koffee, Thanks for your opinion on the Pocket Rocket! I actually obtained the packing videos for both bikes, and I am attracted to the easier packing of the PR and the quick fold feature. What length of rides do you take your PR on? I'm thinking Ultegra components. Unfortunately, there are no dealers in my area. I asked whether there are any owners nearby, but I am a small woman, and finding a bike I can actually try out may not be possible. I hate to buy a bike I haven't ridden, but that is usually the case for me. I have to rely on recommendations, so yours is most helpful!
    I am not a tall woman myself- I am 5' 1 1/2", so I was concerned about ensuring my bike would fit, but it does! You send in your measurements, and they can custom make the bike, or you can pick from the pre-made bikes too. I do a lot of rides- it varies from a short jaunt for local errands to long rides that can go for up to 100 km. That's so far. I've actually put the bike away for now since I've returned home from my trip and focused on my road bike since it is new, but I will be riding it whenever I travel, and I still will ride it every so often just to keep my body familiar with the bike.

    I sent you a PM with more details. Drop me a PM if you have any questions after you read it.

    Koffee

  7. #7
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    I have no experience with any folding bikes, but I read about this bike recently and it seems to be a great idea (Ritchey BreakAway):

    http://www.ritcheylogic.com/babmain.htm
    2004 Bianchi Virata

  8. #8
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    I have a bad back and have not had any problems with extra vibration from the 20" wheels on my Bike Friday Crusoe. I think the ride on my BF is as smooth as on my aluminum Specialized Allez racing bike. If you are used to riding an aluminum bike, you may find that steel compensates for smaller wheels.

    Jonathan

  9. #9
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    Actually, I am used to carbon. A hard thing to match. I'm leaning hard toward the Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro, rather than an Air Friday at this time. I'm also hinting hard for my birthday and Christmas. I don't yet know whether my husband will go with the hints.....

  10. #10
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    I have a BF metro and one thing I have always liked about it is the liveliness of the ride.

  11. #11
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    Hi Steve,
    I bought an Air Glide a couple of years ago and am very happy with it. The first summer I did Andermatt (source of the Rhein) to the sea and this summer did the Moselle; Metz to Koblenz and then back uptream to Strasbourg. Bike rides like a dream and travels well. It's also been twice to Bike Florida and once to Bike Wisconsin. I got both the suitcase and the bag. The bag is good for trains and buses and there is space to roll and carry it beneath the rear rack so you can strap it on and forget it. On buses and trains it's often sufficient to just fold it once without the bag. I use the suitcase for overseas travel and simply leave the empty suitcase in the Paris hotel where I stay. No problem. The Air Glide packs well, but I suspect the standard model folds a little easier and quicker. Confirm this with someone else. The Air Glide is terrific on cobblestones overseas. It not only gives a smoother ride but sticks to the road better. The ride is harder because of smaller tires but BF will supply a suspension element fitted just beneath the seat on the standard model which I hear good things about. Bouncing up and down? Yes for the first few days. My stroke was not as even as I though it was. After a few days it evened out. When you then go back to your regular bike (if you ever do) you'll find your stroke has improved a lot. Bike Friday after purchase support is unbelievably good.
    Tod Moore

  12. #12
    SAB
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    Although this is a folding bike forum, I second the notion of looking into the Ritchey Breakaway. It's a full-sized bike that can be broken down to fit in a large suitcase. Also look into bikes equiped with S&S Bicycle Torque Coupler devices (www.sandsmachine.com). These are large bolts which are installed in-line with the top and down tubes of a bike frame which allow the frame to broken in two parts, designed to fit into a suitcase. You can get frames pre-built (custom or production) or have an older steel or Ti frame retro-fitted with the couplers. What this gives you is NOT a folding bike that is ridable, it's a high-quality bike that happens to collapse for easy travel. I have ridden folding bikes and find them a great way to get around town, to/from work, on/off trains and buses, etc... And there are some very fine foldable frames out there. However, I find that the geometry and ride quality is just not the same as a "regular" loaded touring bike or a racing bike. Again, a bike with the coupler devices is not truly foldable. These are normal-looking bikes in which the frame can be separated into two parts for traveling. You can retro fit any style frame - touring, mountain, cross, racing... The whole thing, including wheels, fits into a suitcase which meets airline regulation - they don't know what's in it and don't charge extra. Also it's much easier to wheel around and take in a taxi than the huge full-size bike box. Check it out. I recently had a Surly Cross Check frame retro-fitted and will post when I get it completely built up.

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