Bike Experts: Do these difference in specs make a big difference?
Iam comparing between a ready-stock Bike Friday Pocket Companion and their lowest cost model of New World Tourist, which is custom ordered. Here are the main differences I have found based on the specs list but I don't know what it means:
Pocket Companion: $895
Pocket Companion: MicroSHIFT braze on triple front Deraileur FD-
NWT: Shimano R443 Braze triple Ft Der
I probably shoudlnt answer since you want experts advice but...
Speed wise not really; the only difference you would see is between the two (in my opinion) would be in how smooth the shifts between gears really are. Both gear shifters themselves are twisting shifters I believe which are somewhat annoying.
Looking at the parts, the shimano deore is probably worth the extra 30 dollars or so if youre going to go on more bumpy rides, but if youre just using the bike for beach rides or whatever then the sram will probably work fine . I read reviews on both products, and the sram seems to skip gears alot especially on shifts I don't know if its because the reviewers themselves may be new and don't know how to tune rear derailleurs or youre actually getting what you pay for (the sram goes for around 15 - 20 dollars).
As for the front derailleur, I really havent heard much about microshift; I know they work with Nashbar a lot but other than that I have no idea how well they work someone else may be able to help you out on that; if it were up to me I'd go with the shimano (Shimano has proven their quality to me and even if its not top end or anything I'd still trust shimano over a product I havent heard much about at all)
I would worry more about the rear derailleur before the shifters themselves because a cheap pair of shifters in my experience will still do better overall with a good derailleur than vice versa.
Is there a difference in weight maybe? I dont have much experience with folding bikes but I would think that weight would be a huge factor since folding bikes (in my opinion?) would seem to be really popular to take on airplanes as you wouldnt have to pay the ridiculous extra fee to carry on a bike or surfboard :\.
sorry if that didnt help much I know it was kind of a rant