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  1. #1
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Which Bike Friday for Light Touring?

    New World Tourist? Pocket Crusoe? Another choice? I realize economics will factor in at some point, but for now I'd be interested setting that part aside and in hearing anyone's views on performance and personal preference for road riding and credit card touring.

    Thanks!
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  2. #2
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    I've got a New World Tourist and I've been extremely pleased with it for touring, commuting, and recreational riding. I've gone on several tours with it, carrying rear panniers, rack pack, and small handlebar bag. I have not carried camping gear with it, though I wouldn't hesitate to do so. It has performed great, and its folding ability has made it possible to take with me on the TGV in France, and made it easier to put on certain buses in Thailand and Tunisia. I rode it on the unpaved but smooth 200 km "P'tit Train du Nord" rail-trail in Quebec. I rode over a couple of passes in the Pyrenees last year (with panniers), including the challenging Col du Tourmalet. I've also toured on it in mountainous Michoacan in Mexico. I've only converted the suitcase to a trailer once, and that turned out to be quite easy.

    At home, I regularly run errands on it, and it's the bike I prefer for road riding, too. My old bikes are sitting in my basement collecting dust. I can't really compare the NWT to the other BF models since I haven't ridden them. I'm small and am a good hill climber, but I don't ride particularly fast otherwise.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by axolotl
    I've got a New World Tourist and I've been extremely pleased with it for touring, commuting, and recreational riding. I've gone on several tours with it, carrying rear panniers, rack pack, and small handlebar bag. I have not carried camping gear with it, though I wouldn't hesitate to do so. It has performed great, and its folding ability has made it possible to take with me on the TGV in France, and made it easier to put on certain buses in Thailand and Tunisia. I rode it on the unpaved but smooth 200 km "P'tit Train du Nord" rail-trail in Quebec. I rode over a couple of passes in the Pyrenees last year (with panniers), including the challenging Col du Tourmalet. I've also toured on it in mountainous Michoacan in Mexico. I've only converted the suitcase to a trailer once, and that turned out to be quite easy.

    At home, I regularly run errands on it, and it's the bike I prefer for road riding, too. My old bikes are sitting in my basement collecting dust. I can't really compare the NWT to the other BF models since I haven't ridden them. I'm small and am a good hill climber, but I don't ride particularly fast otherwise.
    The New World Tourist is probably the only Bike Friday I would get. Well..... I did like their recumbent but it's been discontinued. ;-(

  4. #4
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=axolotl]I've got a New World Tourist and I've been extremely pleased with it for touring, commuting, and recreational riding. I've gone on several tours with it, carrying rear panniers, rack pack, and small handlebar bag.

    Thanks for your insight. Were you able to use standard panniers--or did you have to go with something specific to a folding bike.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  5. #5
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    I've used 2 different panniers and had no problems whatsoever. No special adjustments were needed, either. Bike Friday sells a custom rear rack. It has extra-long stays, otherwise, it looks like any other rear rack. I just measured the distance from the rear hub to the top of the luggage rack on my NWT, my mountain bike, and my old touring bike. The distance was virtually identical on all 3 bikes.

  6. #6
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by axolotl
    I've used 2 different panniers and had no problems whatsoever. No special adjustments were needed, either. Bike Friday sells a custom rear rack. It has extra-long stays, otherwise, it looks like any other rear rack. I just measured the distance from the rear hub to the top of the luggage rack on my NWT, my mountain bike, and my old touring bike. The distance was virtually identical on all 3 bikes.
    Thanksalotl Axolotl,

    I guess that means you can't use a regular bike rack and must use the BF rack? Or am I wrong?
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  7. #7
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    A regular rack would not work because of the different frame design and small-diameter wheels. It appears that the principal difference between the rack BF sells and an off-the-shelf rack are the two extra-long stays on the rack which attach to the bike frame below the seat. I just measured the stay length on the BF rack and they're 10" long. On my regular touring bike, they're only 4 1/2" long. (size does matter!) I didn't measure the stays that attach near the rear wheel dropouts, but they appear to be about the same length for each bike.

    I don't think BF makes the racks themselves. When I ordered my NWT, it arrived earlier than it was promised to me, but the rack was on back-order and was shipped later.

  8. #8
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    I have owned a New World Tourist for many years and have been quite happy with it. However, I had the chance to compare the two models at Cycle Oregon a few years ago (Bike Friday was there). The Caruso is weighs considerably less and for light touring would be ideal. When it's time to replace the NWT it's the Caruso is for me.

    Talk to Lynette at Bike Friday. She has owned both and she travels extensively. I think the Caruso is her main steed these days.

  9. #9
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    I think you meant Crusoe, not Caruso.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by axolotl
    I think you meant Crusoe, not Caruso.
    Both could be true. Like the great opera star, Enrico Caruso, this bike sings the song of the open road.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  11. #11
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    That's right Crusoe is what I meant. Whatever the name it's a fine bike.

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