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Bike Friday vs Conventional Tandem -ride experience

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Bike Friday vs Conventional Tandem -ride experience

Old 05-11-24, 06:47 AM
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Bike Friday vs Conventional Tandem -ride experience

I am looking for a tandem that I can transport easier than our Electra and thinking of a Bike Friday tandem. The Bike Friday tandem will fit in my minivan going up the middle without removing wheels and can be hung from a standard rack without taking off wheels if I change vehicles to something smaller. The other option I am considering is a more conventional tandem which would require removing the front wheel for getting in the van or hanging from a rack. I am trying to make the transport as easy as possible as I know from my history that if there is a too much effort involved, I will default to the easier option such as riding in the neighborhood. I would be buying the Bike Friday without benefit of riding it prior to purchase and mainly am looking for feedback on how the ride experience will be compared to one with 26" wheels. I will be riding with my adult autistic on in the stoker position who does well on the Electra. We will be riding on bike trails that are paved or crushed limestone and flat.

I found a local bike store that has a folding bike and took it for a ride and it was very responsive (twitchy?) compared to the Electra. I am thinking that a tandem with it's longer wheel base will in between the Electra and the single folding bike I tried. A few sales reps at local bike shops commented that they nobody buys a folding bike unless they have to, implying the ride experience is not very good. Any advice will be appreciated. Thank you!

Last edited by adamsdp; 05-11-24 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 05-11-24, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by adamsdp
A few sales reps at local bike shops commented that they nobody buys a folding bike unless they have to, implying the ride experience is not very good. Any advice will be appreciated. Thank you!
Since any bike that gets ridden is a great bike, a folding bike is a good choice for your situation. Folding bikes add complexity and cost, but the tradeoff can absolutely be worth it.

I haven't ridden a Bike Friday, but I'm guessing that you'll adapt to it quickly. I've ridden many unique bikes over the years, and I've found that different geometries can feel shockingly weird at first, but our brains sort things out after a couple of rides.
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Old 05-15-24, 09:06 AM
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We've had a Bike Friday family tandem in our stable for 15y. A truly great bike. Not a racing machine, but with that in mind, it can do everything. As to the wheels, 406 (20") are no problem. At slow speeds they feel different, but above walking speed you won't notice a difference. Tires are readily available, small wheels are stronger and lighter, and BF has sorted out the geometry to make their bikes handle well. Our bike is a "take apart" travel tandem, not folding. I've transported it by the top tube on a rack more times than I can count. Yes, our 700c tandem is my choice for most rides, but the BF is great.
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