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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 04-30-10, 10:03 PM   #1
Foldable Two
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Vancouver, Washington and Ocean Shores, Washington, USA
Bikes: 2 - 2007 Custom Bike Fridays, 2 - 2009 Bike Friday Pocket 8's, Gravity 29'er SS, 2 - 8-spd Windsor City Bikes, 1973 Raleigh 20 & a 1964 Schwinn Tiger
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Bike Friday Folding Stem - Installation Report

Received Folding Stem from BF today for wife's Pocket Crusoe.

It comes with 5 pages of instructions - with color pictures - and the install took about 30 minutes, as they say it will. That included a number of small adjustment needed after installation to get the folded handle bars parallel to the frame.

Had to do one clean-up chore first, that likely should have been done by Kalloy, who makes the folding portion of the stem. When I opened and folded the stem before installation, I found lots of metal shavings inside the unit (see pic). Looked like after the "key hole slot" was cut into the top of the black portion of the stem riser, no one used an air hose to clean-up the mess. It was easy to do, but meant hooking-up my small compressor.

I should note that the delivered product appears a bit different than the one on the BF website. It is basically a three-piece unit - Collar, folding section and vertically adjustable
portion (silver with a silver seat tube collar). That last section (the two silver parts) does not appear to be a part of product as shown in the online pictures and video. I'm guessing that was a pre-production model.

Once installed and tightened, it's a very solid component, and my wife said it might even feel more secure (stiff) than her bike was before. It adds a little extra weight, but I don't think it's very much. I didn't weigh the old and new parts.

Right now we have it folding to the right side with the wheel staying in the riding position. Later we may experiment with a set-up where the handle bars fold to the right, but with the front wheel turned around 180 degrees for a more compact fold.

Only other point, I think it needs to be greased in several places, especially the latch. The instructions did not speak to this issue.

I have, by the way, already forwarded my feedback to BF.

Bike Friday Foldi.jpgBike Friday Foldi.jpgBike Friday Foldi.jpgBike Friday Foldi.jpgBike Friday Foldi.jpg

Last edited by Foldable Two; 04-30-10 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 05-01-10, 02:16 PM   #2
Foldable Two
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UPDATE:

Rode out to breakfast in the Marina. Wife didn't have any incidents stemming (bicycle humor) from my mechanical ineptness installing her new folding stem - always good news. She still thinks it's great, even the new beefier look.

I greased all the sliding, contact surfaces and now it works much smoother. I also adjusted it so the handle bars are perfectly parallel with the frame when the stem is folded. Takes a bit of work as moving the base a small amt in one direction, results in having to move the erect handle bars about 3X that in he opposite direction.

By the way, the I think the new bottom 'collar' (the small Black part) has a heavier metal tube because the main unit basically is a quill with a wedge to hold it in place. (It is hidden by the plastic cover it was shipped with in the picture.)

This appears to be a lot sturdier design than used on the Dahon Boardwalks we have owned. It also locks in the 'down' position.

Lou
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Old 05-01-10, 03:50 PM   #3
lucille
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Foldable Two, what kind of handlebars does your wife have?

[edit] Never mind, just had a closer look at your picture.

Last edited by lucille; 05-01-10 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 05-01-10, 03:56 PM   #4
jur
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Great! I am enjoying the picture culture that is developing here.
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