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  1. #1
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Bike Friday or Ritchey Break-a-way?

    You don't have to tell me which to get. Those kinds of questions come up all the time, and are a bit silly. But, I would like to ask a few specific questions. First the background...

    I have several road bikes, well, too many really. But would really like a bike that I can take on an airplane. The Bike Friday packs up much, much smaller, as we all know. But the Ritchey is a "full sized" bike, and rides/looks like a traditional bike. The RItchey would be less expensive as I could move a component group from one of my other bikes, unless I get the Titanium frame.

    What I would like to ask, being somewhat suspicious of the marketing hype, is ...

    1, Can a specific person ride a Bike Friday for as long, (time and distance), and as fast as one of his or her full-sized carbon fiber bikes, (with the same level of effort)?

    2. Is a Bike Friday as twitchy and responsive as some of the short wheelbased carbon bikes made these days ... or are they more stable and predictable like a touring bike?

    Thanks for any opinions you can offer. I'd like to get something for my Thailand trip in August/September.
    Deut 6:5

    ---

    "Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia'".
    - Vizzini during his "battle of wits" with the Man in Black

  2. #2
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    I have ridden my Pocket Rocket across the USA on a PAC Tour (3000 miles in 28 days) as have many others. It isn't twitchy after the first 50 feet you ride it. It is very responive to rider input as a good road bike should be. They do make touring versions although mine is not that. Roger

  3. #3
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    I also have the Pocket Rocket model. Mine has a pretty standard Shimano 105 component group with the main modifications being larger chainrings (60/42) to partially compensate for the smaller wheels and, of course, the smaller rims themselves. I'd expect you to be able to use most of an existing component group if you have one available.

    Handling of mine seems partway between my Cannondale crit-geometry bike and my Specialized Sequoia steel sport-touring bike. Its weight and speed also fall in between the above 700c-wheeled bikes, but closer to the Sequoia. Haven't taken mine all the way across the country, but I have used it for a few tours down the California coast with a full camping load as well as unloaded on more local rides.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    had a Brompton for a couple years, and a bike friday Pocket Llama for almost a year,

    Neither are Twitchy handling, and get even more steady once I put stuff on the front.
    frame mounted Touring bag on the Brommy, and front Panniers, on the Bike Friday's front Racks.

    [53/16, rohloff IG hub]


    Got another option, DaHon paid Toms license fee to use the break away stuff
    on a 700c touring and a mountain bike.. lower cost..

  5. #5
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your thoughts. By coincidence, I received the printed catalog from Bike Friday in the mail yesterday and spent some time last night going over their different models. And, I spent some time reading the stickys in this sub-forum. The Xootr Swift looks interesting too, and a lot less expensive than a BF.

    What I need to do now is some thinking. I remember a couple years ago when I went to purchase a Vespa that the owner asked me, "what do you want to use it for". For those who don't know, Vespa makes scooters in many different displacements and each is designed for a specific purpose. His question stopped me in my tracks and I went home to do some heavy thinking. (p.s. I'm very, very satisfied with the Vespa that I did eventually purchase.)

    Anyway, I need to really analyze exactly what I want from of a folder, how it will be used, how often I'll be traveling with it, etc.

    Thanks again, everyone.
    Deut 6:5

    ---

    "Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia'".
    - Vizzini during his "battle of wits" with the Man in Black

  6. #6
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    The Xootr Swift is also an excellent choice,and you can reuse all your componentry aside from the rims. It doesn't fold down as small as some of the other options, so it's not ideal for taking on a bus, but it certainly packs in a suitcase for travel (I've done it several times). it takes about 20 minutes to (un)pack, as there is some minor disassembly involved.

    and the ride is fabulous, nearly indistinguishable speed-wise from my road bike. I own two, actually, one with a flat bar and one with drops.
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  7. #7
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by volosong View Post
    You don't have to tell me which to get. Those kinds of questions come up all the time, and are a bit silly. But, I would like to ask a few specific questions. First the background...

    I have several road bikes, well, too many really. But would really like a bike that I can take on an airplane. The Bike Friday packs up much, much smaller, as we all know. But the Ritchey is a "full sized" bike, and rides/looks like a traditional bike. The RItchey would be less expensive as I could move a component group from one of my other bikes, unless I get the Titanium frame.

    What I would like to ask, being somewhat suspicious of the marketing hype, is ...

    1, Can a specific person ride a Bike Friday for as long, (time and distance), and as fast as one of his or her full-sized carbon fiber bikes, (with the same level of effort)?

    2. Is a Bike Friday as twitchy and responsive as some of the short wheelbased carbon bikes made these days ... or are they more stable and predictable like a touring bike?

    Thanks for any opinions you can offer. I'd like to get something for my Thailand trip in August/September.
    Here are my thoughts on Bike Friday bikes.

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

    Bike Fridays are low trail bikes. Most modern race bikes are designed with high trail. In my experience, there is a short adjustment period and there is no global "better"; just what you prefer.

    I don't have a modern carbon bike so I'm a bad person to make the comparison. I suggest finding one to test ride. Wheelbase, geometry, and even tire selection will have an effect on handling.

  8. #8
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    In my experience, there is a short adjustment period and there is no global "better"; just what you prefer.
    +1 - If I've been away from home and jump on one of my Fridays it will feel strange for the first 5mins and then I forget about it and we are back to being best friends. Same goes the other way...if I have been riding my Tikit a lot and jump on my Surly LHT 700c bike it feels broken for the first 5mins and then it feels normal again.

    I've had a break apart travel bike [not a Ritchey] and own a NWT as well as a Tikit. I found the fast fold of the NWT more useful day to day than the break apart bike as it was enough hassle I was rarely motivated to use that feature - whereas I fold my NWT at the drop of a hat. The NWT packs into a suitcase easier, but the difference in that regard is less dramatic.

    I ended up selling the break apart travel bike after a year or so and keeping the NWT.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    The top (main?) tube on the BF is not broken when the bike is folded which makes if different from most folders. I believe this contributes to a "feel" that is closer to a full sized bike. The NWT rides like a touring bike and is quite stable. Gyro effect causes larger wheels to coast a bit more, but this is hardly noticeable on the BF. It does accelerate quickly from a stop which is nice when crossing some intersections. When loaded the bike has a very nice low center of gravity which contributes to the handling of the bike. If not overloaded you almost forget the load is there--at least on the level. Marathon tires give a great ride and puncture protection while Duranos make for a racier experience.

    I also have a Specialized Roubaix carbon bike with Continental 4000 tires which I prefer for fast centuries. It is actually lighter than the BF and rolls with less tire resistance but is not more comfortable. For touring and local rides up to 50 miles I prefer the BF. Longer rides I ride the Spec. If the comparison was with a steel touring bike I think I would just stick to the BF. Also note that BF makes lots of different models--not all of which are aimed at loaded touring.

  10. #10
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    I thought this thread was dead. To bring it to closure, I placed an order for a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Select Custom last week. After spending a lot of time on the phone with one of their consultants, we opted to go with their standard spec bike, but instead of one of the three normal frame sizes, they are going to lengthen the top tube by two centimeters so that the geometry will match my existing 700c bikes. All other components to the Select spec. To go with SRAM would make it just too expensive for what I want to use it for. Getting the folding rear rack and travel case as part of the order. With the rack, I can carry my camera, lunch, and a change of shoes/clothes when I wander about some exotic country. I need to call them in a few day to confirm what color I want the thing to be. I opted for the BF over the Ritchey due to the travel size once broken down.
    Deut 6:5

    ---

    "Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia'".
    - Vizzini during his "battle of wits" with the Man in Black

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Yea, hard to make the travel case smaller than the wheels themselves.

    Much older zombie threads have been known to rise up, again, on this site.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Volosong will you please update when you get to know your bike?

  13. #13
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by profjmb View Post
    Volosong will you please update when you get to know your bike?
    Of course. Projected delivery date is the very beginning of April.
    Last edited by volosong; 03-03-12 at 01:06 PM. Reason: typo
    Deut 6:5

    ---

    "Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia'".
    - Vizzini during his "battle of wits" with the Man in Black

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