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NoReg 10-09-05 07:47 PM

BF frame only?
I have a recumbent I that has all the parts necesarry to fill out a BF, the 450 wheels, 3 speed hubs derailleurs, v-brakes, mega chainwheel, you name it. Will they sell the frames alone? I guess I could ask, but the "travel consultant" stuff makes me think of the maxim "always be closing".

v1nce 10-09-05 07:59 PM

To my knowledge they do not. We were just talking about that in another thread...

Even so it can't hurt to ask! They might make an exception. Also there are many people who would love a BF frame and quite some have asked BF about it. The more people ask them, the bigger the chance they will start selling them!

You could try to buy a second hand one perhaps.

wpflem 10-09-05 08:41 PM


Originally Posted by v1nce
To my knowledge they do not...

Which begs the question: What folder companies will sell just the frame? Off hand I don't know of any true folder companies that sell only the frames, but two separables come to mind: Airnimals and the high end Moultons.

yangmusa 10-09-05 08:44 PM


Originally Posted by wpflem
Which begs the question: What folder companies will sell just the frame?

Peter Reich of Swift Folders certainly used to. I've read about several custom fixed gear Swifts that were built up from the frame... (but the ones I read about were the older steel frame. I haven't seen any with the new alu frame, though I can't see any reason why it would be different..?)

v1nce 10-09-05 10:49 PM

I think i read elsewhere that he still does. I really appreciate that about the Peter Swift/Xootr thing. They have gone big(ger) time, but Peter still does his one on one service on the side a little from what i gather. Nice! I think many folder manufacturers could take a few leaves from Peter's book on design and customer service.

Dave Hickey 10-10-05 05:26 AM

I've tried twice and was turned down both times. I ended up buy the bikes spec's with the lowest grade components possible. If you want to run 451 wheels, the Pocket Pilot is your cheapest option. Spec's with the cheapest components, the bike will cost you just over $1,000.

FYI, the Pilot is a wonderful bike. I stripped evreything and added a Dura Ace group. The bike rides and performs great..

NoReg 10-10-05 09:15 AM

It's a really simple bike, time for someone like the crew at Urbane or Surly to rip it off. Not to suggest they typically rip stuff off, but there are a lot of shops these days selling asian frames.

I must say I just came off a tour where I couldn't replace even 700c touring tires. I was planing on carrying a replacement, but held out for a Kevlar bead tire, which I never found. I wasn't too worried because the only other tire I had bust previously lasted years after an internal tape repair. So guess who didn't take their tape... 451s would be totaly impossible to replace in so many paces, which does give the BMX sizes some appeal.

v1nce 10-10-05 05:47 PM

Thats a nice notion: I wish Surly would make a BF type frame!! I love their normal steel frames but am now a folder junky. Maybe we should strat bombarding Surly with this request!! Are most BF designs patented or...? don't get me wrong, i'd love to support BF, but my budget is really an issue plus i think buyiong a complete bike only to dump all the components is just senseless. Too bad they don't leave you the other option..

Yeah about the 405 vs. 451 wheel thing. I don't really get it, the added efficiency and comfort of 46 added mm's must be really minimal...? Or am i mistaken? Are we talking a few % here or 10% or...? If it is a tiny increment i don't think i'd ever go for 451.. unless there are other benefits i don't know off?

NoReg 10-10-05 08:19 PM

I have them, that is possibly it. I guess they make real nice stuff for that size of wheels, like discs, but there is the parts issue.

No way it is patented, and anyone could figure out how to make a similar thing, if it is. As a tig welder, I might try something similar. Rather than fold it, just some bolts to hold the rear triangle on. The only reason to fold it would be to get places, or storage, for me. Otherwise I would have it just like a regular bike.

I already wrote Urbane. I will write Surly. Either way, not likely to happen soon enough...

jasong 10-10-05 10:08 PM

I second (or fourth) the vote of trying to get a folding frame only. I don´t want the rest of their components. Just the frame and possibly fork.

Does anyone know how much the Swift frame alone goes for?

v1nce 10-11-05 04:10 AM

Cool! I say we let this forum and our buying power speak. If enough people post here and or write the companies in question they will perhaps be more likely to listen and accomodate. I hope a lot of people post and write them. I will send them the important parts of this and other threads once they die out. At the very least it will inform them of the people and opinions of some of the people here as well as these boards themselves.

Perhaps if people get (negatory) replies on their inquiries we can post them here as well.

I really like the Swift too although i do feel the BF is a somewhat superior bike (for my taste anyway) in terms of material/weight and folding capabilities.

Maybe if someone engineers/builds their own BF clone they can try and improve upon the BF folding. It is the only thing i would like to see get somewhat better/smaller.

v1nce 10-11-05 04:56 AM

Hey i decided to just get on that thing rather than wait. I just send BF, Urbane and Surly the mail that follows below. Following below that mail was 95% of the 2 discussions we have had on Bike Fridays/frame only etc. stuff.

I guess now we wait and see what they say. I think i can more or less guess. Hope they take it in a good way, see it as encouragement or some free market research and feedback rather than an attack of some sort. Unfortunately people and companies rarely can muster some critisism so i am a little apprehensive, but hey.


Dear Bike Friday People,

(N.B. as you can see i have CC ed Surly and Urbane as well as i think this mail may be of interest -see discussion below!- to them as well.

Since i found out about your bikes (and the benefits of small wheel/folder riding) i have been a huge fan of your product. I hope that one day i may be able to purchase on of your bikes. However, there is a chance that i won't be able to, or will have to save for a long period of time as my budget is limited. I am also a regular poster on the Bike (mostly the folding sbuforum). Recently we have had many discussions on Bike Fridays.

The gist of those discussions is that we would love to buy one of your bikes but that we find the cost (especially when compared to other good Folders such as Swifts and Dahons) and the fact that no bare framesets are available (despite many requests for them) rather prohibitive. As you know a few other manufacturers do offer bare framesets, and many of us are convinced that BF is one of the very best bikes out there but we find the notion of buying a complete bike only to ditch the components in favor of the ones we like rather undesirable.

Anyway, in this letter i have included a sample of those discussions. I (and i think with me other bike forums folder & BF enthousiasts) would be most gratefull if you could read through our thoughts and writings and give me your view of them in a reply. What i mention about framesets and such is one of the points we raise in the discussions. I hope you can enlighten us on that as well as the other points.

Sincerely Yours,


Dave Hickey 10-11-05 05:27 AM

1 Attachment(s)
We could ask this guy. I know nothing about the company but I came across this 20" non-folder on eBay.

Mrazek X7 non folding 20” wheel bike bicycle

Item: 7187935567

Here we go again. End of season demo bikes sale. This is great chance to get your hands on one of the most exiting 20” bikes on the market today. One of a kind, high performance, not folding, compact, 20” wheel bike. This auction is for the frame and fork only. Made in the USA. Please call 503-757-0852 if you’re interested in complete bike or need more details. For more info visit

v1nce 10-11-05 06:45 AM

Nice Bike! Looks very engineered/thought out, like a modern Moulton. Too bad it doesn't fold! Still someone who could build that would prob. find a BF knock off a breeze.. interesting.

Looks like something Batman would ride!

Could you pl. post a link? I couldn't find the auction. Thx!

v1nce 10-11-05 06:55 AM

@ Peter pan. If you do clinch it/weld one, i'd like to order NR 2 from you! :)

Dave Hickey 10-11-05 07:41 AM

I'm not sure if this link will work but here it is

If that doesn't work just type 7187935567 in the eBay search screen

NoReg 10-11-05 08:53 AM

All right, thanks, the orders are pouring in! I was thinking of something simple like the basic layout of the BF, with the rear triangle attached to the post with the loops like they built, except just eyeleting on to mini axles. So the rear triangle would hang on the frame the way the forks hang on a wheel, or the way the Xtracycle bolts on. On the other hand getting the transverse "axles" attached isn't necesarily a clunk free exercise. Sadly there isn't a BF dealer in Toronto where I can see one. If anyone wants to show me one, it might just be simpler to go with their system. I have a lathe, Tig, and tubing benders, so this is mostly, but not totaly, pie in the sky. I've been building motorcycle frames for the last while.

v1nce 10-11-05 09:46 AM

Sounds good to me! Will you able to get the right type of Chromoly/thickness tubing though? There are tons of BF pics on-line which might help, plus you could check their site for a BF rider near you that will let u check out their machine. This is a very nice service/thing that BF does for potential buyers... ehm, yeh i guess that's not us necessarily ha ha, but i think you can do it all the same.

We could call it "Bike Peter Pan" ha ha. Or "Bike Sunday, we Are Cheapskates".
"Bike Freebies"? "Bike Freeloaders". "Bike Bottom Feeders"? hmm i dunno. Needs some work those names.

v1nce 10-11-05 09:51 AM

Thanks Dave. Yeh an impressive machine but i think the drops are only suited for ss/fixed/not intended for derallieur use. Not exactly cheap (nor very expensive) for a bare frame either. Nope not my cup of tea but nice to see some originality in frame design.

v1nce 10-11-05 10:13 AM

Truth be told though, i think one day i may buy an actual BF. It may take me another 5 years (and in the meantime i would love a knock off) but i would like to support those guys even if i don't agree with their "complete bikes only" policy and would have to save money for a long time. But who knows, maybe they will change their minds about frames and such. Also cost is relative, perhaps one day i will have more disposable income. And if someone comes along (maybe Surly) that can make great frames for low cost,.. well so much the better. Competition it usually a healthy thing to a degree.

Dave Hickey 10-11-05 11:14 AM

Count me in...I'd be very interested in a frame only BF type folder

NoReg 10-11-05 12:24 PM

Surly got back to me. They have some interest, and they have been thinking of this on their own. But only if they can add unique value. I told them what I thought that would be. Briefly, I said I though the fancy folding comuter end was glutted and complicated, and that loaded touring, bulletproof, airmobile end was a good bet. Americans like ridical gear, that expands freedom, not ways to slide into their slot on public transit.

But as mentioned, it won't be quick, if at all.

spambait11 10-11-05 01:12 PM

2 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Peterpan1
I was thinking of something simple like the basic layout of the BF, with the rear triangle attached to the post with the loops like they built, except just eyeleting on to mini axles.

Bike Fridays already attach in such a manner. They use a cylindrical tube to attach the seatpost and chainstays. The quick-release rod then goes through this tube to lock it together. I'll take a better picture of this part next time.


On the other hand getting the transverse "axles" attached isn't necesarily a clunk free exercise.
I don't know what a transverse axle is, but here are some pics.

NoReg 10-11-05 09:47 PM

Thanks for those pictures. I also looked at the website folding explanation, and I see how they work it. I was just planing on making it come appart, but the way they pivot it certainly keeps the chain mess down, and is pretty simple in execution.

Materials wise, I can get 4130 in all the usual sizes. And can turn any special parts that might be required. But I haven't even given any of this much thought yet. The holy grail would be a totaled frame, I guess if one really wanted to rip the design off. For myself I would be pretty happy just winging it. But you can't do that if others are involved.

v1nce 10-12-05 06:29 AM

Yeh i would very much like to see a very good or even superior copy. That would require a totalled frame as an example or otherwise borrowing a good condition BF in order to at least get some eye-balling and measurements in. If you do manage an improved version for a reasonable cost i would no longer ever buy a BF! Just make sure i support them by maybe buying special BF components like Panniers, mudguards etc etc! I hope you get on it! I REALLY hope you clinch it! Do you have any clue as to the material costs involved (Chromo tubing etc.)..?

As for the Surly thang, well i am very happy with that result. I have yet to hear a reply on my own mail from anyone. Surly excells at great value and bullet proff frames. But that has always meant their frames are a little heavy. I hope if the make a BF type frame that it will be almost as light and fold well at a reasonable cost.

Even if nothing more comes from this than a wake up call to a few cool companies then it is a very good thing.

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