First impressions of a BF Pocket rocket
2012 custom bf pocket rocket with stock components, standard gauge tubing for frame.
Touch up paint
cut drop bars
As everyone reports the service at that company is really warm and friendly.
On to the bike. I'm still working with the temporary stem but I think I have it almost perfect. If you don't know what I mean you can get a temporary stem and adjust it until it fits then send it in for a one piece custom stem.
Assembly, packing, folding
It went together in 25 minutes the first time. I think getting it into the case quickly will take practice. If you have worked on bikes just a little you don't need the video. Just put it together. The fold is harder than it looks on videos. Keeping the chain on the bike is difficult, keeping the chain on packed is almost impossible without help, I'm going to try velcro. The pocket rocket is small and fits in their hard case nicely with lots of room for extra stuff. I probably could have gotten a small pannier in there; you could definitely get a spare tire and bike clothes ect.
The travel bag is nice and easier to get the bike into than I suspected. I got it in there with the rack on, there is a side pocket on the bag big enough to put a pair of cycling shoes in. You won't be running around with this bag but it went into a cab way easier. You can fold the bag up easily and attached it to the seat tube.
It has enough gear range for me with the capreo. The triple and the capreo have a gear range real close to my touring bike. I like the brakes. The tires look flimsy but we will have to see. I was surprised to find they put little presta valves on there. The standard rims are hand-built and well tensioned. These are nice wheels, they feel strong and sturdy. They sent me a bunch of spokes, hope I don't need them.
Hmmm the microshift 9 speed brifters... Ok they feel just like shimano shifters as far as grip. But they have a downshifting button way up on the shifter making it impossible to shift from the drops. I suggest upgrading to tiagra to anyone buying this bike.
I got the candy apply red paint job with matching rack paint. It looks great. But there is a reason the bike comes wrapped up with a million protectors. This paints scratches really easy. To be fair they warned me this paint chips but if you look at it wrong it will come off. Touch it with your shoe, bye bye paint. Hit it with a water bottle, there's a scuff. I'm trying to wait until my custom stem comes in but when it does I'll have to have it wrapped with protective coating if I want to keep it decent looking. It is sure to get scuffed up during packing. I'd suggest going with a black to future buyers.
A lot of the pictures don't do these little bikes justice. These are pretty bikes. They look sleek. They don't look silly to me. They are eye drawing to people that don't ride. Most people never notice my carbon bike, really only other cyclists. Everyone wants to look at a little BF with panniers on it :) The drop bar versions look a little more serious than the flatbar BFs.
I really don't feel the twitchy sensation people talk about. I just got on it and rode it like any bike. Just like a big bike, if you set the stem up short it will be twitchy; if you set the stem up long it's going to feel pretty steady. I measured my Spec. Roubaix and used that as a starting point for the stem. It feels very similar to the roubaix on a flat road. Which one feels better? The carbon road bike of course. But the BF isn't uncomfortable. The BF is more agile than a big bike though, it will takes corners well. It falls short on bumps. A bike without a top tube just can't take potholes like a bike with a triangle frame. (Edit: here I complained about flex, but later found out it was my assembly error)
The little tires are responsive. You take off a little faster. There is flex on bumps but the crank on up through the seat tube is very stiff.
Basically, it does feel like just another road bike like advertised.