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flashpacker 07-27-12 12:30 PM

My new preloved Bike Friday!
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I just bought a preloved entry level Bike Friday. Very excited - it's not here for 2 weeks. I'm only in the US for 2 weeks after that and I want to get some extra bits and pieces because it will be much easier and cheaper than in New Zealand. I need a saddle, pedals, some fast and light tires, spare tubes, some extra bar tape. What else?

Here are the specs. I am going to try to lighten it up a bit without spending too much extra cash. I put a post on the weight weenies board about this, but I wanted to post here too as I got a lot of help with the initial decision of what to buy on the touring forum.

They are replacing the QRs with bolts for weight saving and easier locking. It's a NWT Pocket Sport 24. Are there any mods people suggest I make based on the specs below. Since it is preloved, I wasn't able to make any mods to what is already on the bike. I'm 115lbs.

2a Main frame CHOOSE Bike size >S, M, or L - CHOOSE 15561 1 $0.00
Headset 1 1/4" BF Alloy Headset 1 $0.00 522
Stems BF Ahead style 4 - 100/105mm 28.6 or 25.4 bl 7273 a 1 $0.00
QRs,Clamps, Shims Seat Mast Collar, 1 1/4" (32mm) Si 155 lver (Alloy Kall 1 $0.00
QRs,Clamps, Shims Seat Mast Collar, 1 3/8" (34.9mm) 7573 (Alloy Kalloy) 1 $0.00
Bars Dimension Split 40cm Drop-Custom Stem or 4 bo 1 $ 9827 0.00
Bar Tape & Grips Black Cork Tape 949 1 $0.00
Brake Levers Tektro RL520 Silver/Black Linear pull E 13467 rgo Aero L 1 $0.00
Brakes Tektro "V" Brake, 839AL 2 $0.00 150
Derailleurs Front MicroSHIFT triple long arm FD-R438 12630 braze on 1 $0.00
Derailleurs Rear Shimano Altus M310 (34t max x 43 to 10656 oth total) = 1 $0.00
Shifters/Controls Microshift Bar-Con 8sp set index r 14376 ight only 1 $0.00
Cranks Alloy triple ring (165,170,175) 30/42/52x130/ 11844 74 C 1 $0.00
BB bearing 118.5mm BF Sealed 68xEnglish -oe 1 $0.00 8793
Cassette 11-28 8sp SRAM PG820 - td 1 $0.00 15446
Chains KMC Z-51 8sp (from 367) chain 1 $0.00 13336
Hub Front BF Select 32o 100mm FRONT Silver / Black 1 $ 12589 0.00
Hub Rear BF Select 32o 130mm rear-Silver 1 $0.00 12591
Rims Alloy touring rim for tires 20" / 406mm may be 14139 32 2 $0.00
Spokes Spokes DT 14 ga. Stainless w/ brass nip SPE 845 CI 64 $0.00
Tires Primo Comet 20 x 1.35" (406) 100psi Blackwall 962 t 2 $0.00
Tubes 20x1.125-1.5" SV (406x32-37) 2 $0.00 984
Pedals Standard Spec. - NONE SUPPLIED - add if you 689 1 $0.00
Seatpost Kalloy #243 Sil adjust post 28.6 x 350mm 1 $0 768 .00
Saddle y Std Spec. - NONE SUPPLIED - add if you need 747 1 $0.00
Bottle Cages Velocity Bottle Trap Black Cage 1 $0.00 15360
Bottles BF 21oz. water bottle white w/black lid - bl 114 ack log 1 $0.00
Cables Cable Housing set Black - Select upgrade 1 $0. 15565 00

2_i 07-27-12 01:15 PM

Congratulations! As history unfolds, the US has indeed become a place for shopping, not just BF. Have you got a suitcase into which the BF will fit? The needed extras depend on your intended uses of the bike. Are you going to ride in the dark? In rainy weather? Are you going to ride on rough roads?

flashpacker 07-27-12 02:00 PM

does anyone have comments about the gearing? the sheldon brown calculator is giving me the following. [TABLE]


fietsbob 07-27-12 03:10 PM

30 is box stock 3rd chainring, I use a 26 on 52-42 triples ..
tooth count half of the big one.
NB you only gain 2 gears for hauling around that extra cog, smaller granny gains another ratio.

I got a thudbuster suspension seat post with appropriate for my weight elastomers in it.
I have the front rack for utility to carry smallish panniers ..
mudguards , Hub dynamo for lights..

think Ill go ride it..

flashpacker 07-27-12 08:19 PM

Color schemes:

Am I right that I should be able to remove that red Bike Friday decal? Is it a decal that could be removed by heating it up with a hair dryer?

I might ditch the black bar tape for some other color. Any suggestions?

fietsbob 07-27-12 11:31 PM

Less a decal than a clear plastic bumper sticker..

An adhesive remover is a 3M product, solvent for the same adhesives they make..

Black hides dirty hands so well. I still favor it ..

Foldable Two 07-28-12 11:18 AM

Great favorite, too.

Decals will come off easily when heated. Suggest BF fenders - one screw, and each is on or off. Also, like BF folding rear rack and highly recommend previously suggested Thudbuster seat post.

My Green Friday is trimmed in Red, your taste may vary.



flashpacker 07-29-12 07:22 AM

Gearing question
Gearing question: Before I started doing research for this bike purchase, I didn't even change gears before stopping for easier restarting. I'm trying to learn a bit about biking efficiently. I could have this wrong but it seems like the gear I am riding around in on the flat on the mountain bike I use now is around 70 gear inches? Does this sound right. Based on the chart above, I assume I'm going to be riding in the 68.5 gear most of the time. Would it be normal to change down 2 gears before stopping, or something different than this?

Is it right that I would have the cross-chaining problem riding in the 70.4 gear on the middle ring?

I wish there were more gears in the 60s and 70s gear inches on the bike.

fietsbob 07-29-12 10:13 AM


Would it be normal to change down 2 gears before stopping, or something different than this?
seems reasonable..

my most used bike, now, resolves that with an internal gear hub.
since they will shift at a full-stop,
[or with a moments pedal hesitation, down-shift (bogged down) climbing..]

adds weight, but, there are hybrid hubs 3 speed in the hub + a cassette,
then there is a multiplication of the cassette gear by 4/3rds, and 3/4.

given the small wheels, bigger chainrings are a common. option.

maybe a 60 50 30?

Foldable Two 07-29-12 11:46 AM

The 'spacing' of the gears (granularity) is a funtion of the cassette - what the actual gear inches are is adjusted by the size of the chain ring(s) you install.

We have the aforementioned "Dual Drive" set-up (3-speed rear hub) on our my NWT & wife's Crusoe. I like the ability to "thumb down" he gears at a stop when I haven't done so beforehand.

We started with 42T chain rings, went to 46T, now I'm considering a switch to either 48T or 50T to adjust where the gears fall in 'direct-drive' (middle position on the hub). Would like to normally ride more to the middle of that range, but not lose the low gears we like on Portland's hills.


fietsbob 07-29-12 01:46 PM

a double crankset to set the range for the 8x3 hub is another possibility..

Todd , a partner in clever cycles in pdx, put a 36/44 double
on a Brompton 6 speed . uses it for loaded touring ..
there are blogs about that on the shop website.

Dual Range for the back was accomplished without adding a FD.
using what I'll call greasy finger shifting ..

Back in my gear head youth [JFK era, Pre Dallas]
I had a 3 lever 3 cubed, '27 speed' drive train

3 cogs on 3 speed hub, and a triple crank..
2 derailleurs + the hub internals ..

rodar y rodar 07-30-12 09:42 AM

Nice, Flashpacker. Hope you enjoy it. You probably already realize that replacing the cam lock quick releases with bolts is going to slow down the fold by several seconds- as long as you can live with that, I think its a good idea. When I did that it gave me about a half pound in "free" weight savings and went a long way towards cleaning up the cluttered look. Now if I could just find a way to reroute the cables without that big loop under the BB...
My little brass name plate came off easily with a hair dryer, didn`t even leave a bunch of sticky goo to clean off. I didn`t try to remove the Bike Friday sticker, so don`t know about that one. I suspect Fietsbob is right about removal.

A big (huge) part of bike setup depends on exactly what you plan to do with the bike. Carrying only your own behind, or packing a lunch and a sweatshirt along in a trunk bag? Or full camping gear and pulling a trailer with a kayak? Generally flat terrain or mountainous? Is rain a frequent issue? Pavement only, a few unpaved paths thrown into the mix, or extended offroad adventures? Will you be packing the bike often? When you do that, does it mean a suitcase or just stuffed into the trunk of a car?

As mentioned, the Bike Friday folding racks are very nice, and I doubt you`ll find more suitable racks IF you plan on using full luggage with the bike AND you plan to put it all in a suitcase. Under other circumstances, you can save a good chunk of change by skipping the racks (at least for now), or by just picking up a a cheap aluminum rear rack and a Nashbar-type trunk bag. The 20 x 1.35 Primos will be a little bit on the skinny side (my opinion) for unspecified general purpose use, but I like the tires (I have 1.5 Comets as my "skinny" fare). For a strict budget buy, you`re probably best off to just stick with them for now and see how they do for you under your riding conditions. On the other hand, tires will be the first thing you wear out, so buying your next set would be understandable too. I`m pretty sure the NWT will handle most 1.75 width tires- maybe get a set of tough fatties along with the the skinny Primos so you can see how you like the bike with both extremes? Black bar tape will turn your hands temporarily black, but I use it anyway because hands are easier to wash than tape.

Originally Posted by flashpacker (Post 14540750)
Gearing question: Before I started doing research for this bike purchase, I didn't even change gears before stopping for easier restarting. I'm trying to learn a bit about biking efficiently.

Oy. Gearing possibilities are infinite, but it opens a whole can of worms- every change has a "but" and some kind of tradeoff. From what you said above, and since you haven`t said anything yet about your plans/riding style, I`d strongly suggest to keep what`s already there at least until you get some time on that bike and find something you can`t live with. It`s already a very nice range and I`d be surprised if it left you lacking for anything.

flashpacker 07-30-12 09:21 PM

Thanks for the suggestion of the trunk bag. I think that would work well. It's this one right?
Eventually I want to use it for some cycle camping but in the meantime it is going to be for any of my 5-6km each way or less quick trips where I would usually drive or walk.
The other use will be taking it on short city breaks when I won't be hauling luggage on the bike.
So for the main use of short rides in the city, I want to go as fast as possible on it (I'll be on the flat). There are some hills where I live that I am quite looking forward to getting driven up and biking down :p but these are not part of any route I need to take to get anywhere.

rodar y rodar 07-31-12 01:58 AM

I didn`t mean any specific trunk bag, just any of the cheap ones. But yeah, something like that. Other options for carrying a small load cheaply and easily include handlebar bags and frame bags, maybe big seatbags, but for some reason there don`t seem to be many cheapo versions of those. All those methods have their own little plusses and minuses, and any will probably do the job for you as long as you can get it in time.

For other accessories that you might want to pick up: rear blinky, tire pump, small seat wedge spare tube, tire levers and other misc "always there" tools? Be careful that you don`t end up with so much stuff that you end up paying more in extra luggage fees than you save by buying abroad!

flashpacker 08-03-12 05:09 PM

rear rack
This is a light (385gm) and cheap rear rack, but how to do I figure out if it will fit the bike? Am I likely to need some type of special mounting hardware for 20" wheel bike?

rodar y rodar 08-03-12 05:53 PM

The legs will fit- you may or may not have to stretch them a little bit to get them in place around the dropouts on your bike. You most likely WILL need a little bit of extra hardware, but not a big deal. The little braces that keep the rack from pivoting front to rear probably won`t be long enough to reach the little bosses on your "seatstay" assembly. Just make longer ones from a strip of sheet metal or light gauge steel bar (like 1/8 x 3/4) and drill a little bolt hole in each end. If you use sheet metal, it would be nice to put a bend along the length of each (like super-light angle iron), but they should work without the bend if you can`t find somebody with a sheetmetal shop to "brake" them for you.

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