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  1. #1
    weirdo
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    Llama spec comments?

    Hi, foldites. In short, the B.F. salesman I`ve been in contact with has just about convinced me that I`d be better off buying a new-old Pocket Llama than the preloved NWT which originally caught my eye. It turns out that the Llama, more or less set up to my preferences, would only run about 150 more than the particular Tourist I was looking at. I could pretty easilly live with the bike as quoted, but there are a few things I`m considering ordering as upgrades and a few components that I`m not familiar with and somewhat uneasy about, so I thought I`d run them by here to see what kind of comments turn up. I`m also open to comments regarding stuff that might not have occured to me, so fire away if you have any of those.

    Headst upgrade? I`ve read a few places that the extra leverage from long stems in combination with very short headtubes has a way of toasting headsets in a hurry. Worth shelling out now for a premium set, or just wait and see how it goes? I see they offer house brand, Cane Creek, and CK in their "store", so presumeably they keep all those in stock, although at pretty steep prices for the CC and King.

    Stock wheels: "BF Select" hubs and Alex X-101 rims. I should note here that I requested rim brakes on my bike, while the new ones have discs, so these aren`t the wheels that go with the current PL Select. That might be a big part of why the total price is so much lower than I expected, but I`m tempted to go big here anyway. Any problems with their house hubs? Are they cup and cone style? While I don`t have any opinions one way or another on Alex rims, it looks like that particular model doesn`t show up any more on any Fridays. Probably nothing to worry about there, but it does make me wonder a bit.

    Microshift bar end shifters and deraillers. A buddy has these on his `bent and likes them well enough, although they apparently don`t have a friction mode- no biggie. But are the rear derailler and shifter both Shimano compatible, or do they need to be replaced with Microshift when they eventually give up the ghost?

    Fenders: Are the ones they offer anything special? I see Planet Bike offers 20 inchers that I can get cheaper elsewhere, but I have no idea of the quality of either option or if the ones that BF sells are somehow designed to make for easier folding.

    Well, those are the specific points that I`m scratching my head over. What`s the consensus on those parts? And as I said at the top, if anybody has comments about something I might not have thought about, please let `em fly. Maybe there`s something else that would be better to order, change, or check on right from the start. I will run most of this by the sales rep also, but prefer to hear the opinions of people who don`t have a stake in the matter. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    Headsets: Have both 'stock' model and Chris Kings - both seem to do OK once I learned how to tighten them myself.

    Fenders: I like the Bike Friday fenders. They are a bit flexy, but I love the one bolt install/removal. Very fast and easy and keep the mess off us and the bikes. We have one set that I use on both sets of Fridays.

    Lou

  3. #3
    Bike Nerd Mr. Jim's Avatar
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    That's not the red BF NWT you are eying, is it? I'm still trying to decide if I want that or a new one. LOL

    I've had microshift in the past, it's "ok" and is supposed to be compatible with shimano stuff. I didn't keep it long as I had scored a set of ultergra for the last bike. I do not like how BF front fenders fit so I am ordering without them and will try the Planetbike ones, if they fit similar I'm no worse off than the BF ones. Every pic I see of a NWT has the front fender about three inches from the wheel. I'm going to try something else and see if I can get a better fit.

    I'm sitting down with my dealer tomorrow to figure out options and pricing, good luck with yours.
    Jim
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  4. #4
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    I've been trying to decide between a NWT and a PL. The "pre-loved" NWT caught my eye, but I'm planning to go with discs. I find them indispensable in Pacific NW weather.

    Good luck on your build

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Have a disc PL, with an IGH, I would, if given the choice , opt for zip tie guides for the brake
    making pre bled hydraulic discs possible, mechanicals are fine with the section of tube , brazed on.

  6. #6
    weirdo
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    Thanks, guys. Good to hear that the Microshift stuff is Shimano compatible. Still not sure about the headset- I`ll find out what the upgrades cost and decide from there. Not sure about the wheels either- I`ve been thinking I might just go with the cheapest possibility, then lace up a new set after my checking account recovers from the original purchase. That sounds especially convenient since I`ve already been tempted to build a 406 dyno wheel for my recumbent, which will now be able to do double duty on the Friday.

    F2, the Bike Friday fenders only use one bolt? Interresting. Do you just leave the stays on the bike and fold them out of the way? They do look purdier than the Planet Bike models.

    Yeah, Jim- the red NWT. It has a few niceties that the PL they quoted me for lacks (including Deore hubs and Cane Creek headset), but I like the extra tire clearance and the downgraded LLama I`m looking at turns out to be quite a bit cheaper than the current Llama Select model. If I were still looking at a difference of $600 just for fat tire capability and a raised BB, you and I might have ended up in a race for that Tourist! Good luck with yours, too.

  7. #7
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Headst upgrade? I`ve read a few places that the extra leverage from long stems in combination with very short headtubes has a way of toasting headsets in a hurry. Worth shelling out now for a premium set, or just wait and see how it goes? I see they offer house brand, Cane Creek, and CK in their "store", so presumeably they keep all those in stock, although at pretty steep prices for the CC and King.

    Stock wheels: "BF Select" hubs and Alex X-101 rims.
    Any problems with their house hubs? Are they cup and cone style?

    Microshift bar end shifters and deraillers. ?

    Fenders: Are the ones they offer anything special?
    For the reasons you suggest, I always recommend the headset upgrade. Although I suppose that it depends on your riding style and your personal characteristics. I know two people that had to replace non-CK headsets after somewhat short times.

    I forget whether the older BF Select hubs were cup and cone or sealed bearing. I have no recollection of anything bad being written about them and the few people I know with the stock hubs have never complained about them; although I never asked about them either.

    If my memory is correct, those rims are single wall. I would swap them out for Sun CR-18s or Rhyno Lytes according to the tire width you plan on using. If you build your own wheels, this can be done at a reasonable price; assuming new spokes, I think less than $100.

    I believe that Microshift makes the Nashbar brifters and such and are Shimano compatible. Roughly, they seem to work fine. I have never seen or heard of their bar ends, however.

    There are many posts on the Bike Friday YAK on the fenders. They are easy to install and remove. But as you imply, there are questions about its coverage.

    Given that I answer the question regularly, I wrote a blog post on my Bike Friday recommendations.

    http://washingtonwheelman.blogspot.c...ke-friday.html

  8. #8
    Bike Nerd Mr. Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Yeah, Jim- the red NWT. It has a few niceties that the PL they quoted me for lacks (including Deore hubs and Cane Creek headset), but I like the extra tire clearance and the downgraded LLama I`m looking at turns out to be quite a bit cheaper than the current Llama Select model. If I were still looking at a difference of $600 just for fat tire capability and a raised BB, you and I might have ended up in a race for that Tourist! Good luck with yours, too.
    Well the red NWT is out, it is too big for me. And it looks like I can get a custom NWT for the budget I had in mind. Waiting on a spec sheet from Dave at BF to go over before making the final order.
    Jim
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    2008 Surly LHT with Axiom Racks and SKS Fenders (for sale)
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    F2, the Bike Friday fenders only use one bolt? Interresting. Do you just leave the stays on the bike and fold them out of the way? They do look purdier than the Planet Bike models.
    There are no stays (or struts), just one bolt per fender, and I leave them (the bolts) on he bikes.

    There seem to be a couple of different styles of BF fenders - ours are NOT the flat ones. The profile is curved and they are much closer than 3" to the wheels. I'd ask for the curved ones, if you have a choice. Ours also have fairly long mud flaps.

    Lou

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I got the PB mudguards, they are an each, in 20" because PB was thinking of Recumbents,
    with 2 different wheel sizes, 20" there is also a long back one..
    .. they only made front 16", Tikit has a short mudguard in the back, as a result.

    I made my own mount of Al flatbar from the hardware store,
    and added struts to support the rear of the back one..

    a friend butt welded, 2 ESGE stainless struts together to form one double piece,
    with a tab to screw into the fender, but the included struts are probably fine too..

    shorter front doesn't need a strut.. as it is held by 2 holes in the fork steerer,
    wont rotate, like it might around just one bolt.


    Bike Friday's own fender is a thermoplastic, ABS, probably.
    Tried them, sent them back,
    found they wont go well with larger than the 406 1.5" wide tire.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 12-29-11 at 12:24 PM.

  11. #11
    weirdo
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    Today`s message from BF says it`ll cost an extra 85 for a Cane Creek headset or 138 extra for King, and for 50 I can have Deore hubs with CR-18s. The wheel change is a no brainer, and I`m probably going to order the CC headset also. I was surprised that the rep told me they won`t change chainrings. Is that a new policy? I`ll take it anyway, but I really wanted to bump up the standard road triple to 34-46-56, which seems reasonable to me. I have a much stranger mix with bigger spread than that on my tandem and it works (though not very well) with an indexed front shifter- should be no problem with friction. Oh, well. As of now, it`s supposed to ship with 1.35 Comets, but I`m now thinking it would be safer to get 1.5 something. Maybe the wider Comets, maybe Scorchers- will have to mull that one over. If I`m still not sure by the time I sign on the dotted line, I`ll just spit out one option or the other, and I`m sure either way will be fine. Will place the order tomorrow or Friday.

    Invisiblehand: Ah-ha! I`d read your blog entry on Fridays in the midst of a googling frenzy, but couldn`t remember where I saw it. Very informative- thanks for writing it up and thanks for redirecting me to it.

    Mr J: Bummer about the preloved not working out for you, but yeah- the new ones really aren`t all that expensive. I was surprised when I saw my initial price quote, anyway.

    F2: Yes, I saw pics of those strutless fenders after posting last night. I dunno. I guess that`s strong enough (apparently, it doesn`t cause any grief for you), but I think I prefer to have it nailed into place a little bit more. Will worry about that later, and maybe the SKS 20s that Thor mentined in Jim`s thread will be on the market. Or maybe I could somehow get the extra 26inch front SKS and the broken 26 inch rear that are currently in my storage shed to work somehow.

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    they won`t change chainrings. Is that a new policy?
    when you buy components, wholesale by the case, as a manufacturer does,
    they ship what they have..
    nothing prevents you from doing personalizations after delivery

    I returned my H bars ,when It got here, swapped for Ergon GC3 grips , short grip-shift version,
    that ended up on my Brompton, when I didn't like the way they fit on the straight bar. [with gripshifter]

  13. #13
    weirdo
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    "when you buy components, wholesale by the case, as a manufacturer does,
    they ship what they have.. "

    When you buy components wholesale in the quantities that Greengear buys, you can get them Burger King style. Rans offered 39-50-62 when they had 20 inch drive wheels on their menu, Dahon still offers 44-55 on some models. "BF Select" cranksets are obviously produced specially on Greengear`s request, so they could also come just as easilly with bigger rings. Admittedly, not all customers want the same thing, and stocking every possible combination would be expensive, but they are NOT limited to 30-40-52 like end user, low quantity buyers are. Furthermore, Bike Fridays have used some very creative cusomization in the past, including even custom cassettes directly from the Eugene plant. Customizing cassettes on a regular basis is more time consuming, and probably more expensive, than a simple ring swap. Since I`ve already ordered my bike from them with the chainrings they opted to put on it, it obviously isn`t a deal breaker for me, but it could be even better.

    EDIT: My bike should be here in another two to three weeks Can`t wait!
    Last edited by rodar y rodar; 01-24-12 at 08:18 PM.

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    "BF Select"
    only means they picked it. maybe go a logo imprinted, Nash-Perform-bar
    is an example of that ..
    you haven't deconstructed advertising and promotion speak yet,?
    by November you will get 2 firehoses of competing stuff ..

    enjoy your bike , when It gets there , Im still sorting out issues with mine
    CK gripnut HS not put together right, , so It would not stay tight.

    wrong , short, BB for the Rohloff chainline,
    should be the same 127.5 as the Other , a Koga WTR, with one, is.
    so I have to spring another $20..
    Realistically,
    it's not exactly aero-space germanic precision. but it works..

  15. #15
    weirdo
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    I wasn`t talking about the name or the logo. The crankarms they use are apparently 74-130 for square taper BB. That in itself is kind of unusual these days, and I really don`t think anybody else offers that combination under 170mm, leading me to believe they`re specially produced on request.

    Two firehoses in November? You lost me.

  16. #16
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Today`s message from BF says it`ll cost an extra 85 for a Cane Creek headset or 138 extra for King, and for 50 I can have Deore hubs with CR-18s. The wheel change is a no brainer, and I`m probably going to order the CC headset also. I was surprised that the rep told me they won`t change chainrings. Is that a new policy? I`ll take it anyway, but I really wanted to bump up the standard road triple to 34-46-56, which seems reasonable to me. I have a much stranger mix with bigger spread than that on my tandem and it works (though not very well) with an indexed front shifter- should be no problem with friction. Oh, well. As of now, it`s supposed to ship with 1.35 Comets, but I`m now thinking it would be safer to get 1.5 something. Maybe the wider Comets, maybe Scorchers- will have to mull that one over. If I`m still not sure by the time I sign on the dotted line, I`ll just spit out one option or the other, and I`m sure either way will be fine. Will place the order tomorrow or Friday.

    Invisiblehand: Ah-ha! I`d read your blog entry on Fridays in the midst of a googling frenzy, but couldn`t remember where I saw it. Very informative- thanks for writing it up and thanks for redirecting me to it.
    I just saw this ... I spent far less time over the holidays on the Internet. You're more than welcome.

    If you look on the YAK, you'll see a thread on Primo Comets late last year. I used to be the case that Primo Comets were undersized relative to their ERTO specifications. Although it appears that newer ones are much closer to specs. So the difference between 1.35 and 1.50" will be about 4 mm (40 - 36 mm). Note that the change in volume of air in the tire will be disproportionately larger (20**2) / (18**2) or 400 / 324 or 20-25% more air.

  17. #17
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    I was surprised that the rep told me they won`t change chainrings. Is that a new policy?
    It's new to my knowledge. Although perhaps their policy with used bikes is different or they are simply not stocking big chainrings anymore. Is the the derailer mount -- the slot -- high enough to fit a 56 tooth big chainring? I find it hard to believe that it isn't; but I'm grasping at straws to understand why they wouldn't sell you new chainrings and install them for you. Personally, I'd find it annoying without a good explanation.

  18. #18
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Want a taller high gear?
    Upgrade to a Schlumpf Speed drive crankset. Their overdrive internal gear, 1.6X,
    makes a smaller ring act like its bigger,
    the chainring turns at a different rate, thru a planetary gear set,
    than the crank-arms, when engaged ..

  19. #19
    weirdo
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    They still sell rings individually, but you have to buy the rings that come with the crank and change them yourself. Since I think it`s a bottom pull derailler, there`s a small chance that going to big rings would require a raising the FD beyond the extra length of the cable, so besides two sets of rings, replace a brand new cable. Not a big deal, but still some extra money that I shouldn`t have to spend.

    I asked my rep (Peter Berra) specifically about how much room there was in the braze-on for vertical adjustment and he says that up to 60t is usually okay, so my intended 56 should be fine. His explanation for not selling bikes with "custom" rings was the Shimano matched rings/pins N ramps/bad shifting story. I understand that, but I`m familiar with how mix and match rings shift, and it doesn`t bother me. Whatever. I`m going to ride it as is for a while anyway before I decide if I want to regear.

    Good to hear about the Primos getting closer to their marked size. I did end up changing my order spec from 1.35 to 1.5 Primos. A full 1.5 should make for a pretty nice all purpose tire. Will buy myself an extra set of fatties soon (probably BAs) then, when the original Primos need replacing, likely step down to something a little bit sleeker for a fat/skinny option.

    Thanks for the Schlumpf tip, Fietsbob. I`ll keep it in mind.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    Once you get the bike, changing chain rings is no big deal. I have done so on all four of our Fridays.

    Lou

  21. #21
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Ah yes, now the previously un stated drivetrain detail comes out..
    You want Index/SIS shifting too..

    With an IGH, or friction shifting that is less of an issue.

    a hybrid drive train is mechanically there too SRAM dual drive,

    or like an Alfine 8 speed and 2 chainrings, to use the IGH in 2 ranges.

    And a chain tensioner to take up the slack..

    I like Rohloff hubs, all the shifting is in the hub itself,
    2 cables, pull-pull, gripshifter, no springs.

    others 1 cable and a return spring , detents in the lever.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 01-26-12 at 09:36 AM.

  22. #22
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    They still sell rings individually, but you have to buy the rings that come with the crank and change them yourself. Since I think it`s a bottom pull derailler, there`s a small chance that going to big rings would require a raising the FD beyond the extra length of the cable, so besides two sets of rings, replace a brand new cable. Not a big deal, but still some extra money that I shouldn`t have to spend.

    I asked my rep (Peter Berra) specifically about how much room there was in the braze-on for vertical adjustment and he says that up to 60t is usually okay, so my intended 56 should be fine. His explanation for not selling bikes with "custom" rings was the Shimano matched rings/pins N ramps/bad shifting story. I understand that, but I`m familiar with how mix and match rings shift, and it doesn`t bother me. Whatever. I`m going to ride it as is for a while anyway before I decide if I want to regear.
    I'm forgetting ... I'm going to assume that this is a non-Capreo cassette.

    52x11 is pretty low for road sport riding but probably fine for touring ... I'm mentally calculating something like the low 90s in gear inches. Not terribly far from a 26" wheel MTB with a 44x11.

    Cable length is not an issue in my experience for the front derailer. I suppose if your handle bar is really high and have something like an albatross bar. With a Rollamajig, I can use a standard derailer cable length to reach the rear derailer.

    Good to hear about the Primos getting closer to their marked size. I did end up changing my order spec from 1.35 to 1.5 Primos. A full 1.5 should make for a pretty nice all purpose tire. Will buy myself an extra set of fatties soon (probably BAs) then, when the original Primos need replacing, likely step down to something a little bit sleeker for a fat/skinny option.

    Thanks for the Schlumpf tip, Fietsbob. I`ll keep it in mind.
    I think Primo Comets are underrated. But there are people who say that their wet weather traction is poor; but this was not my experience.


    BTW ... have fun with your new bike.
    Last edited by invisiblehand; 01-27-12 at 11:48 AM.

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