It’s great to hear about this type of brainstorming. I work in new product development myself (though not for bikes), and it is wonderful. I just hope the same brainstorming is being applied to BF’s marketing and distribution. In Boston, I have been delighted to notice small-wheeled bikes turning up everywhere – finally, people are realizing that compact bikes can make cycling a great option for urban commuting. But almost all those bikes are Dahons, because that’s what the downtown bike shops stock. Dahon has its place – I owned one once – but there are a lot of people who would be blown away if only they had the chance to try a tikit.
Just to set the record straight, a unicycle is a direct drive.
Regarding hills, Bailey Hill is a wee beastly. Last time I did it fixed I was second up with the Bike Friday lunch ride.
Gimpl Hill, on the other hand: always first.
I always feel faster on the flats, too, assuming an appropriate gear & cadence. There’s a simple reason: the wheel wants to keep turning forward despite gravity’s pull downward. A standard wheel just coasts.
I think the appropriate term is conservation of momentum.
Bottom line: there’s a lot more logic to fixed gears than people assume.
OK, direct drive. My bad. I’m just the marketing guy.
But people, do you see the knowledge our Bike Consultants wield? I learn something new every time I listen to them. It’s worthwhile to call.
Nice article. I’d like to know how your llama is set-up compared to mine and maybe a map link or similar reference to give me ideas of places to go? I haven’t used mine much for trail riding and it’s way too flat around here for a whole lot of that anyway. I do like the idea of opening my llama and me up to a whole new set of adventures.
Nothing really special about my Llama for trail use aside from the Thudbuster seatpost and Big Apple tires. The Llama itself has a higher bottom bracket for more clearance on the trail and can take the wider tires up to 2.25.
Where are you located? The trail I rode is in Oregon.
Really enjoy the fresh layout. I really liked the content. Many thanks for a great posting.
Merle’s art has been gracing the covers of my zines for years–and his cute comics have found a place inside my publications as well. Whether it’s a Great Blue Heron, a Harley, or an exasperated marsupial, Merle can draw it all.
Unfortunately, the Like function is not hooked up to our blog at this point. One of the things we’re working on.
Love hearing these stories. Great photos.
I haven’t ridden fixie in over two years ago now, but this series of posts has got me itching for it again.
I don’t have a Tikit (yet), so I’m curious what happens when the bike is folded and rolled around? Actually, looking again at a photo, the bike is rolled on its front wheel, huh?
It rolls on the front wheel, and rather easily. Simple, just like a fixie.
Bring back purple! ( You guys KNOW this already right?)
Ditto on the purple. Purple rules!
Dear Friday Family:
Just a note to anounce the proud owner of #1249 is alive, well – and still enjoying the New World Tourist my wife Winnie gave me as a retirement gift in 1994. Guess I was among the early members of the Friday fraternity. I have only positive memories of rides and countless miles in Ohio, New York, Indiana, Florida – and now North Carolina – and of course, one of the coolest treats is responding to inquisitive fellow riders and pedestrians about the Friday family.
Dr. Jerry Hopfengardner
YES, Please bring back the PURPLE before my custom Pocket Llama is RASPBERRY finalized in Autumn!
…. “I’m just saying”
If you guys are in Portland, you should make the trip up to Victoria! Those look like awesome traveling bikes and we’d love to have ya!
Thanks for sharing this Steve. Those of us in the factory send these bikes out into the world hoping they’ll facilitate experiences like yours.
When news gets out that the new metallic electric purple with tiny little sparkly bits in the paint has arrived at Green Gear, i see a convoy of Llamas and Tikits slowly, purposefully moving towards the factory, all eager to be re-sprayed in the color they should have been the first time around, Best to just simplify things and set up a PURPLE production line! It’ll make things much easier in the long run.
Nice to see some else with a Bike Friday enjoying the nice weather that the north island NZ has been having — enjoy your training rides
Dude! it’s PP
I’m waiting for the bike bike friday sent to Thailand
Glad you liked the photo!
Do you have a link to more?
Just Max is ok 🙂 I’m from Thailand also. We don’t usually use nickname in place of firstname when writing it with lastname. So either just Max, or Chaowaroj Wanotayaroj. I’m not upset or anything, just a FYI.
For the record, I didn’t get a chance to pass many, but I enjoyed every moment of it when I got one 😀
Now I want either a bigger chainring or an alfine 11 for my next (hopefully half-ironman) tri. Don’t wanna spend too much getting a new bike.
@patiphan à¸‚à¸à¹ƒà¸«à¹‰à¸‚à¸µà¹ˆà¸ªà¸™à¸¸à¸à¸™à¸°à¸„à¸£à¸±à¸š 🙂
My apologies. I will fix that. Thanks again for making Bike Friday look good!
No problem. I actually think it’s painful for the reader to see my full name all the time so I thought you’re gonna change it to Max everywhere. Well, it’s fine either way.
Congrats on a great ride, Dolores! I am very impressed.
Just wanted to add my congrats on a great summer of travel! I know someone locally who road a ways along the big sur area with you and he was impressed as am I. Thanks for sharing too. Wonder what your next ride will be?
Thanks for sharing your summer of adventure with us! I’m very impressed!
Wait 40 more years Carol and I’ll be happy to race against you!!!
Sheesh, if only…
You are an inspiration!!
This Tandemonium Band Practice is wonderful.
After being married for over 27 years and owning a tandem for 26 – I can attest to the bonding power of a ‘bicycle built for two’. Our first years of marriage without children saw lots of riding on an old, 5-speed tandem. We talked, shared experiences and enjoyed riding as hard or as little as we liked together and never got separated on a trail. When children came along, we added a Burley D-Lite trailer and proceeded to wear it out over four children and 12 years of use. When the children moved on to their own bikes, we have upgraded to a Family Tandem. Now it goes where we go in town and when traveling. It’s been an awesome bike and we still get lots of looks as we ride the bike “with the funny little wheels” past children, teenagers and adults. It’s been a delight to ride and Bike Friday has truly made themselves our sole source supplier by the bend-over-backwards attitude! Keep it up!
We’ll expect Prismatic Purple soon then! 🙂 keep working on that!
Your personal crusade: Purple. Love it.
Can’t help it, I’m a designer. I Like exotic colors. Might settle for Black Narcissus.
That would be black with little sparkly bits in it 🙂
For now I’m enjoying my new Season Tikit in Merlot.
Test rode the Tikit at Portland Sunday Parkways. Amazing little machine. I must have ridden 20 miles starting at 11am (getting things set up and checking on logistics), on the tour with folks from all around the Portland region who are thinking of bringing Sunday Parkways to their town, out to Cully to check on the traffic plan, and then back to the Durham Marketplace at the very end of the day. Everyone wanted to look at the bike, but most of all, it was an incredibly good ride. I wasn’t fatigued, and it felt like I was riding my “regular” bike – only better. Love the ease of getting on and off and that it is so light-weight. Thanks to Rez for setting me up. You rock!
Our pleasure, and thanks for creating such a great event. We love coming up to Portland any chance we get.
Thanks for the mention! The trip was great and I was really impressed with how well Samara kept up in spite of the smaller wheels. She even passed me a few times and I was on my entry-level racing road bike! Thanks for letting us borrow the bike, you might have to pry it out of Samara’s hands when she returns it =]
I have tears in my eyes from reading the Hailey bike build blog.
Way to go you guys!
I knew there was more to Bike Friday when I bought my Pocket Lllama. I didn’t just fall in love with the quality of the ride or the fit or the color; I fell in love with Bike Friday the company.
Keep up the good work(s)!
Thanks for the wonderful words. We attempt to put our heart and soul into every Bike Friday we build. That, you can count on.
Awesome story. I just found this and yes I like to read your stories. I gotta say I am not a reader however when I start to read your writing it sucks me in.
Thanks RAZ I enjoyed the story as well as the photos!
This tour was awesome! Beautiful weather, flat eastern NC roads, and of course my favorite bike – the Tikit! Riding my Tikit takes me back to a time when riding a bike was purely for fun. The fact that it folds is simply icing on the cake. First and foremost, it’s an awesome bike that rides as good or better than my traditional bikes. I plan to ride this puppy until the wheels fall off!
Hi, are you planning to offer the NuVinci as an option for the ordinary consumer? Why did all the people who trialled it like the NuVinci so much? is it not too heavy?
Thanks in advance, Doug Austin
NuVinci is available on the tikit, New World Tourist and Pocket Llama. Simply talk to a Bike Consutant.
The NuVinci hub weighs about 5 pounds, but most people who ride it find that its advantages far outweigh, literally in this instance, its weight.
When you are riding, the weight is displaced so you can’t feel. It might come into play with a tikit if you are folding and lifting a lot. However, I rode the NuVinci in New York and had no trouble lifting it to get into the subways, etc.
Thank you Rob; I have now a little more feel for what is behind my Pocket Rocket Pro Custom. Having in my teens seriously competed in Southern California and made it to the nationals, it seems that acquired riding refinement and love of attention of details in equipment never leaves one, and therefore, that need is satisfied in my Bike Friday while also opening many new opportunities for extended use. I must confess that when out riding it, I start testing my snap, and find it to be there, and it feels right to kick out of the saddle (racing lingo) – I was not expecting that. When assessing stiffness (in riding position putting force on pedals with wheels locked and observing amount of pedal travel) there appears a fair amount of flex, but, what with the very long stem in the power line, I accepted that as a compromise. If you have been that successful in completive in hill climbing, obviously however, the bike does not compromise power transfer. Although I possess a good level of technical riding development, in use of my PRP I wish to suggest to others considering the compact chain ring set 50/34 with the Capero 26-9 to be right on target for gearing for sport riding. I tend to ride a high cadence with 170mm cranks. Is nice to have those two lowest gears from the 34 chainring when the hills get extreme, or when pulling a loaded trailer; and spinning in the 50/9 is actually very well as fast as I ever want to go on this bike. Riding just the big chainring and skipping along through the 10 Capreo cassette cogs works very well.
In cooler weather, I like to kind of tweed up on my PRP, but not slow down. Waving to passing riders in the other direction, I chuckle at the sense I get that they seem to not know just how to respond: where does this rider, dressed in knickers on that shinny small wheel bike with drop bars, fit in the scheme of things? I think I want to go out and ride now.
WOW!!! I am so inspired!! Thanks for the great write-up Rob! I have never owned a BF and have only been riding regularly in Feb this year. I wanna get a BF soon so I can maybe do a little touring with it. But I am still not sure which BF model I should be getting. Any advise?
The choice of bike for touring depends on your destination, load and type of roads expected. Personally, I travel light (about 25lbs of gear with camping stuff), and relatively fast, and have done all my touring (Europe, US, NZ and Australia) on my Pocket Rocket. I have found the 1-1/8″ tires suitable for gravel and dirt roads as well as paved surfaces. If you are carrying more weight (which I would question; so many people carry far too much stuff!), then the wider tire options of the 406 wheelsize on the NWT and Llama would be a better choice. And if you will be in more remote locations, this tire size is commonly available, whereas the 451 size from the PR is harder to find.
I have toured on several different bicycles, and have found the PR to be by far the best. The small, stiff rear triangle gives little or no pannier ‘wag’ to the back of the bike, whilst the long cantilevered seatmast provides a degree of passive suspension for comfort in the saddle. Likewise the curved stem will take the edge off road vibrations being transmitted to the handlebar. The small wheels are inherently stronger than larger ones, so with a sturdy set there is no worry about broken spokes. The only downside could be tire wear, but it is easy to carry a spare (when I rode cross country I chose to use fast tires (Schwalbe Stelvios), and wore out the rear tire in 1600 miles. I carried a spare and had BF ship me additional tires part way).
Generally on point to point tours I fly in with the bike in the travelcase, then mail the case to my destination, then it is ready for the trip home when I get there. If you tour on a BF, just be prepared to answer the small wheel questions everytime you stop to refuel!
There are details of my various trips, and a kit list of everything I carry on my website at: http://rob.bikerevuk.com
needs more red. (too blue)
I love BF. This is not purple.
naw..pretty but too blue. Purple needs to be PURPLE!!! More like Merlot.
i like it… is it available for all fridays or just the tikit?
It is not available on any bikes. Yet. We are testing various purples as a possible new color for 2012.
Jinx, jokes, you owe me a coke!
I sent this earlier…it said it had to be moderated and now has disappeared?
NOPE !….A real Deep Purple….like the skin of an Egg Plant would be cool. This one looks like some bubble gum I bought as a kid.
Not actually a true purple – like the paint you had to discontinue. However, is a pastel, and pastels are good – both toned and bright. You are on the right track – extraordinary colors for an extraordinary bike; this color says just that. I could go for a bright pastel lime.
If my dog gets “away” with it .Why can’t I ?
As others said this probably isn’t what people have in mind when they think of purple. It’s too ‘ milky ‘ looking. Doesn’t do a Bike Friday justice because it’s too toy looking. Something a BIT darker perhaps. The color needs to have more depth. More Angelina Jolie and less Lady GaGa. 🙂
To add to Performance that packs….Fitness that Folds!
At about $1,000 per pound reduction, it should fly.
Said the Bike Friday: Anything you can do I can do better…
it will be great if you can show how you connected the chariot to the Bike Friday. I have that problem at the moment an couldn`t find a good solution with any Weber hitch. Which hitch do you use?
Thanks a lot
Very nice article and great photos!
Thank you for shairng the adventure. Your spirit for exploration and discovery comes out in the story, and brings to mind my own passion for riding. I love the fact that Bike Fridays are made in the USA, and in Eugene, OR not less. I’m very interested in trying a Bike Friday. It’s on my list of things to do when the weather gets better!
Every time I view BF pics, I have thoughts of moving to OR. Absolutely beautiful scenery surrounding a BF bicycle.
I enjoyed the black Llama pic with the “dirty tires”… IMO it sells “the BF Image” better than if the bike was clean. Instead of displaying a “showroom queen” in the middle of no-where!
…. And one can never go wrong with a dog. I really like the “Ridgely w/ the Llama folded” pic.
I look forward to installment #2.
Looks wonderful! Bring it to Phoenix. It’s great riding this time of year and we and our RV and Tikits are having a blast
Miss you all. Bobbi
Hi Mr Yang,
It must be very beautiful places and scenery to cycle with your Bike Friday. Must have enjoyed the trip. Hope to have the chance to ride with you someday. I just got my pocket companion bike recently and also enjoyed riding the bike. I am from Singapore and like to have this opportunity to cycle Taiwan, such a beautiful place.
Seah Yong Sen
What brand is the triangular bag? I have been hunting for a nice way to store clothes on my Air Glide and this looks great.
The bag is a new design for Bike Friday by Alan Scholz that should be available later this year. Stay tuned for more information,
When you decide to upgrade to something new I want first dibs!
Question, though: Until Rob English & Co. put together something even MORE outrageous, is an upgrade possible?
And even if/when they do engineer something (assuming Hanna is anything like my daughter as a business person), how are you going to get it out the door past your capable General Manager? Being a “founder” has its privileges; but when Pocket Rockets reach that level of sophistication you may be pushing a savvy, well-trained business gal’s limits. . .
I am very impressed by your tour, and on top of that by the shoes you show on a picture, which apparently use two soles!!!
Can you tell us where you found them, because they look very appropriate for this type of voyage. Thanks.
Still looking to get a Bike Friday
0.5 to 1.6 is only a span of 320% (1.6/0.5). My Air Friday with Rohloff hub (525% range, distributed in 14 gears at uniform 13% steppings) gives a range of approx 22 gear-inches up to a nice tall 115 gear-inches. Oh to have a Gates carbon drive….. drool, drool…. Roll-on Rohloff!!
Correction: NuVinci => 1.8/.5 = 360%
But that still doesn’t approach the 525% of the Air Friday’s 14-speed Rohloff hub which is such a sweet machine that it’s often hard to decide between the Air/Rohloff and the full-size LiteSpeed/Campy alternative….. Roll-on Rohloff !!
From Rob English:
Because the Rohloff is mostly underdrive (direct drive is gear 11), the gear range you have now can’t be matched. With 60×20 (the biggest Gates gear ratio) on 406 wheels the Rohloff gives 16″ to 84″. Plus, of course, we don’t currently have a 20″ bike that will accept the belt drive, and on the tikit with 16″ wheels the range drops to 13″ to 70″.
That doesn’t look such a bad range of gearing for a hilly commute. What we’re looking for now is a Gates/Rohloff set-up on a New World Tourist. It’s a design problem that needs to be solved.Go to it! If you can manage it I’m up for two next year.
Oh, rest assured we are working on a solution to make belt drives an option for our Pocket bikes, too.
FROM ROB ENGLISH:
This issue with the 20-inch wheeled Pocket bikes is having a unified rear triangle for the belt, but then still enabling the bike to fit in the suitcase without removing the rear wheel. There just isn’t room! Alan and I have been discussing possible new designs to achieve all the goals, but I can’t put a timeline on when development will go further.
I suppose Bike Friday’s philosophy is that every bike should pack easily for travel. But we only travel with our BF tandem. We use Pocket bikes for commuting because they’re nimble, compact, lightweight, and high performance, and you can throw them in a trunk if you have a flat or mechanical breakdown. For non-tikit commuters, carbon drive would be great, and we’d be willing to accept compromises on packability and folding speed. I can understand if that’s too far out of the BF mainstream, though.
What would be involved in retrofitting a carbon belt and variable drive to my Bike Friday?
I’ll have Rob address this question as soon as possible.
FROM ROB ENGLISH:
Currently the belt drive is only available on the tikit. To retrofit on a currently owned frame would require at minimum a new rear triangle, plus the rear hub, wheel rebuild and the belt drive parts. It may be a better option to trade in an older tikit and get a completely new belt drive NuVinci bike.
What do these components look like? Pictures please.
NuVinci news release
Gates news release
This issue with the 20-inch wheeled Pocket bikes is having a unified rear triangle for the belt, but then still enabling the bike to fit in the suitcase without removing the rear wheel. There just isnâ€™t room!
I have an Air Friday, and packing it in a suitcase has always required removing the rear wheel. So why is this a big deal? Fixing a puncture also requires removing the wheel. It has to be easy … is that the design problem?
I’m also used to packing an Air Friday so as long as there’s a way of dropping the wheel out and re-tensioning on replacing it, packing into the case would be no extra hassle. However, I do use the quick fold + beam removal when packing into a soft bag for train travel. I guess the quick fold would be less quick but if the other design problem (removal and re-tensioning) was solved (presumably an eccentric bottom bracket and/or re-designed dropouts won’t work, I could cope with the extra inconvenience in order to have Rohloff and Gates. And as I get older that 16 inch gear is looking attractive.
Hi, clearly I’ll have to wait for my next Friday to get a belt. Right now, if I’m stuck with a chain, I was wondering if you have any nuvinci built up wheels I can buy to replace my Sachs 3×7 wheel on my circa 1999 bike. I would likely have to get an eccentric BB or a single speed conversion chain tensioner. Have you guys been involved in such a project?
We’ll see what Rob has to say.
I just read about the bag. It sounds like a neat idea.
A quick website recommendation …
Could you increase the resolution on the pictures? Many people — old owners as well as potential owners — attempt to look for details on the bikes or new items and the relatively low resolution photos make discerning anything meaningful difficult.
Thanks for your time and consideration.
hope you make it to ABFC Inc before long to tell your stories.
Our blog is at:
I was there! A big thank you to Chris for the excellent adjustment to my disk brakes. Glad to see you all at Sunday Parkways and hope you make some more of them.
Nice article Raz. What would it take to convert a Pocket Crusoe with a SRAM internal 3×9 to NuVinci?
We’ll turn to Rob English for an answer, and get back to you as soon as we can.
Here’s the word from head designer Rob English:
You would need a new rear wheel with the NuVinci hub (which includes the
shifter), then you could use the existing rear derailleur as a tensioner. This assumes
you already have flat bars or H bars, since the NuVinci shifter won’t fit on drops.
Thanks Rob. Leaving the long cage derailleur on seems like a shame. Does replacing it with something more purpose-built introduce other complications?
One of our four select bikes is the New World Tourist Infinity Tour NuVinci and so far all those who have test-ridden this bike have commented on the quietness and ease of changing the “gears.” I am going on a 200 km tour with 10 other riders and can’t decide which of the demo select bikes I’ll take: the Llama, Pocket Rocket, Future’s belt-drive Tikit or the NWT NuVinci. I guess for the new and wow factor the NWT NuVinci is great, but for overall comfort, the Llama with Disc brakes and Big Apple tires would be better. But your article has made me think that the NuVinci might be the one. Thanks for your insights. Keep them coming, Raz.
Quick note to everyone that Doc Andy is our dealer in Malaysia, thus he’s a kid in a candy store. I personally own a Llama, sans disc brakes, but the New World Tourist with the NuVinci is sweet. You can’t go wrong.
Indeed, I feel like a kid in a candy store. However my own tikit is out of the question as I think bigger tires are better. Pros and cons:
1. Llama, large frame is my size, at 6 ‘ and 220 lbs. easier to sell a less-used demo.
2. New, smooth nuvinci hub, has attachments for the trailer., medium frame nit big enough for me?
3. Pocket Rocket–light and fast, have 3 requests to borrow for races, but if used would not be an ideal demo for short test-ris.
4. Future Tikit–belt drive means lighter weight, but disappointed no hyperfold.
So the ride is this weekend, advised not to take my family tandem traveller and can’t take a recumbemt trike, Azub Tricon, so I am leaning to the Llama or NWT. What will it be?
I’m impressed! I think I would stick to the part of the trail around Belknap Hot Springs (smoother and well… right next to the hot springs). You should try out Flat Creek in Oakridge. I think the Pocket Llama would do really well on that trail.
Good point. The lower portion of the McKenzie River Trail is very rider friendly. I’ll have to check out Flat Creek. Oakridge has plenty of great trails.
are you ever coming to the Washington DC area?
Actually, the past two years on our way to New York we have stopped to visit our dealers Mt. Airy and College Park.
I totally agree. I recently took delivery of a tikit with a nuvinci hub and it is an amazing ride. I call it my tikit2infinity
I was sent your link from Aubrey from the Als Oregon foundation. I have been recently diagnosed and as a result I bought a nice bike and am riding in the ALS ride on the 14th, while I still can. I am attempting the century.
Me, I am 48. 2.5 years ago I decided my former athletic self was sick and tired of being non-athletic and began to work out regularly and eat “better”. I lost 50lbs in 6 months and am still doing the same.
I honestly think God gave me that chance to get my crap together before I face the full fury of this disease. I am in the best shape of my post 30 year old life and would not like to imagine my body trying to compensate as it does try to with the additional weight and poor conditioning.
I still work out most every day…so far. Though I have toned it back a bit. I have my peeps and I love the circuit class I attend. It allows me to get a great workout both on my body, and my mind as I can taunt/tease/interact with the rest of the people there. This will be something I surely miss going forward, when it happens.
Your story touches me and I want to reach out to you. I think I know what you have been and are going through. When people say they will pray for me, I am grateful, and always ask them to also pray for my family. Whom will go through Hell and then have to get on with their lives after all…
Good luck to Xiangyu! I have been riding my Pocket Sport in Shanghai since last November, and although there are tons of folding bikes here (mostly cheap Dahons in various states of disrepair), I have yet to see another BF.
My experience corroborates Alan’s advice. Years ago I drove a pace car for local club races in Brooklyn. The racers were divided into the Cat 1, Cat 2, through 5. It was a very cemocratic group; bike messengers on their day off to investment bankers and lawyers. The bikes ranged from dumpster specials with no two parts of the same brand name to $2,000 “wonder bikes” (this was in 1992, when a $2,000 bike was a rare object of beauty). There was no correlation between the rider’s place in the peleton and the fanciness of his bike. Also, universally, the first upgrade was a good set of wheels and tires (in those days tubulars still ruled).
I needed a headset tool for my Bike Friday in Cuba on a recent trip. I was about to have a metalworker I had met there in 2002 make me one, but was able to work things out with a pipe wrench and a big crescent, both of which took a long time to find!
I like the “incremental” concept. I assume that if I buy a Bike Friday, that you can upgrade ihcrementally over the years, yes? That is, you are recommending starting with frame and saddle and “budget” components (if needed). Then coming back in 1 year for wheels and in 2,3, or 5? years when I want to upgrade from “steel to alloy” or otherwise improve the bike as I wish and can afford later?
Yes, that would be a good course of action.When you work with a Bike Friday Bike Consultant, we ask what your budget is and attempt to find the right bike to fit your needs and budget.
I have just started looking at foldable bikes. I see the weight of the bike listed, but I have not seen the weight the bikes will carry. Is there an average weight foldable bikes will hold?
The amount of weight a bike can carry is more a function of the rack than anything else. With our rear racks, you can carry 65 pounds. Front racks 25 (30 for tikits0.
Thank nou so much for writing this. I am planning on returning to London for the Paralympics and I thought: Why not take my Bike Friday? After all that is why I brought it in 2004?
Have been visiting France for years, from Australia. The Bike Friday lives at the Home of my sister in Col de la Forclaz. A 13% climb included in the 2004 Tour de France
I want to make the same trip in September of next year with my Tikit. I would love to get in touch with anyone from this group to ask for suggestions. I will be traveling alone so I would appreciate any tips.
this is a really charming and enjoyable blog to read. Thank you for writing it.
Thanks for your nice story. I love riding my bike Friday here in the states but look forward to taking it over the pond for some adventure like you described above. Thanks again for sharing your story!
Jacob, this is AMAZING! I love the Q and A part. I want to copy and paste and use it on my blog
Of course!! I’m sure you can think of more great questions to add as well
I am so sorry to hear that these bikes were stolen. Please let us know if you find them again! The program with the school is a great idea and I hope the bikes are found so it will continue.
Awesome shop video strongly featuring the Bike Friday!
Hope my Silk is not Beta tested; oh well then, okay for everyone to try it. Although the Alfine hub is not a submersible, and therefore not really totally water proof, I understand that you can just drain and replace the gear oil bath (basically a transmission oil change). Wonder if the hub wheel bearings are easily accessible for repack. The Silk fame seems quite adaptable to be configured either as mountain bike or road bike. From my mountain biking experience, the problem with submersion riding (like riding down the Coyote Canyon Creek) is that of cartage bearings, especially on the bottom bracket which, cannot be repacked, and are not easily replaced. One really nice mountain bike had grease injection plugs for its bottom bracket (hint hint). I understand based on a post over a year ago, that Rob English has been racing on a frame similar to the Silk: with a rear fork, rather than seat/chain stay triangle. So this rather radical new frame design is fairly tried and true. It makes me want to ask if that dampens the ride a bit: does the rear fork give a bit of a suspension without detracting from pedal power transfer? Seems as though it might. Also looks as if there is frame room on the Silk for me to put on the fattest 451 tires for to taking it off pavement, and the frame and wheels can hold up fine. If there is some slight loss of efficiency with the belt/gear hub drive train, it could be made up for, I should argue, by always being in the right gear at the right time. Derailleur gears may offer greater efficiency with less weight, but demand a great deal of maintenance and replacement to keep it that way â€“ especially when used in the wet. So now you have essentially a foldable commuter bike with 20-inch wheel performance. As soon as everyone there is finished riding my purple Silk with drop bars and Alfine 11 hub, please send it to me.
To think of it now, the Alfine 11 hub should be fairly water-tight. If in deed it is an oil-bath lubrication, then it must be oil-sealed, and therefore, rather impregnable. It is the Nexus that, being grease lubricated, is not sealed against submersion, and would need repacking. No matter how heavily greased is a chain, it is a mess when getting wet. Or else it starts wearing quickly, stretching, and will cause all the sprockets to be in need of replacement. Chains are high-maintenance, especially with derailleur gearing. That is just one thing I like about the belt. Have thought the Carbon Belt system might be vulnerable to mud or snow build-up causing it to jump and be damaged; whereas sprockets can push through the chain spaces. However in a race under heavy mud/snow conditions had even one-speed chain-cog drive trains clog and fail, where the Gates Carbon Belt drives were unaffected.
Hey Matthew, great to hear your working with Bike Friday and great to read your bike testing story. The Silk sounds like a dream of a bike. I still ride my old Miyata on the Saint John River Road here in New Brunswick. I wish I could justify buying a Bike Friday Silk, but old age is catching up with me. I recommend Bike Friday every chance I get.
In looking at the Silk frame design I wonder if it precludes the use of rim brakes and rear racks.
Nope, both are available. Most of our Silks have disc brakes to make the convenience package complete.
Matthew, thanks for sharing your impressions with the Silk. I’m new to folding bikes, but I’m really pondering to get one (also, since I need to new bike).
I am still a bit concerned about the durability of the bike, especially when I stand up from the saddle and lean onto the handlebar with my weight (I’m 6.1 ft and 165 lbs). Can do this with the Silk like to do with my normal bike (trouring/cross bike)?
Matthew is busy building Bike Fridays, but I can tell you that our frames are guaranteed for life. We’ve built Bike Fridays for individuals 7-feet tall, weighing up to 280 pounds. They are built for the long haul.
Thanks for your response Raz. I am really getting anxious to try out the Silk.
It should be noted that the Silk appears to come standard with the heaver rider frame. I still have a body weight in the lower 140 lb and I would of course not worry about my Silk frame. I recently marveled at how good my Silk took to a stretch of gravel road – until taking a pinch-puncture. With no rear triangle, the Silk looks rather fragile, but I recall an article by the Silk designer: Rob English, a Cat 1 class racer, discussing racing with a Silk configuration prototype bike. He was winning top-level hill climbs. Thus I do not think the frames have an inherent weakness. I have detected no instability in my Silk. Although the Silk is intended as a utility, touring bike, it also feels good to get out and hammer with it. I would not hesitate taking it on rough terrain, or getting out of the saddle to really push a climb. I think one can safely not hold back riding it. Go ahead and try to break that frame. The Silk I would venture is as sturdy as any bike. It seems well suited to standing out of the saddle to give it everything you have. Before long, you will consider the Silk a normal bike: I think – correct me if I am just hooting.
Stuart, thanks for your feedback. Good to hear more impressions from a Silk owner. I was not really concerned about a frame, but more about the stem, when I get off the saddle. I am now in contact with a retailer here in Germany, so I can get some hands on experience.
It is so gratifying – and surprising – to see how cycling is such a common ground, in the diverse cultures of the world. As a Tweed rider, I very much appreciate this.
Nice article and photos, I love my Tikit Infinity too and find it very practical pretty much everywhere. The only thing I wish was a better gear range, now I’m waiting for my Infinity Silk and I see what I can do or don’t 😉
Having trained in competitive cycling, I retain the skill of pushing out of the saddle, as it is called. I have found that the Silk for some reason, invites me to do that. Without much thought, I have found myself pushing it out of the saddle (no not getting off and pushing the bike), and am surprised at how natural it feels. And even with a custom fit stem. I would notice if there were a lot of flexing, for the response would be noticeably soft, but, it is not soft. Although the frame is heavier and more durable, the bike seems to want to take the slams; there seems almost a shock absorbing character. That may be why it does not feel abusive to jump the bike off curbs. Wonder if that is related to the unique design.
Send catalog via E-mail if possible!
That’s a fantastic story from start to finish and I enjoyed reading it. I’m glad Mr. King helped out to ensure our Tikit stems are configured optimally. Thank you Mr. King and Bike Friday!
Press On, Richard. I’m 75 and I still ride my Bike Friday even in these hot Texas temperatures.. You have a lot of good years ahead.
Thanks Scott, that’s inspiring to hear.
Our Northern California temperatures have been rivaling even Texas lately.
Well done Richard, can you tell me the chainrings/sprocket size?
At 91 I still am riding; hope you do the same.
Congrarulations Richard and Scott for hanging in there. I too ride my Bike Friday regulary, usually 20 or so miles, at the ripe age of 86 and I plan to continue !!
I had bought a NWT years ago and loved it. Then for some foolish reason still unknown to my rational thinking, I gave it to a friend that lives 6 hours away. I am so sorry I did that and will regret it for years to come. I am getting ready to move from NYC to North Carolina by the end of the month Aug. 1st 2013 and will not get it back. My heart breaks. But I have promised myself that when I move and get a new job and save up ( I am a registered nurse) that I will buy myself a new NWT or one like that for commuting but instead of the blue I had, I’m getting black. I am so excited about the thought of it and just wanted to share that with someone!! Take care and happy travels, Margaret currently in NY and missing my cool Bike Friday!
A gimps at the life behind the bicycles now made in USA. Things are looking good. One must say that Richard will go down in history as one stepped in at a pivotal moment to uphold the innovation that will bring about future bicycles, as well as the rebirth of United States bicycle manufacturing.
Funny how the wife thought the aero suit and timetrial helmet strange, but not the riding of a 20″ wheeled folding bike.
I like riding my PRP because on it I feel the way I did (feel is important here) when I was 17 and could almost not be dropped when I rode with the best in the San Diego Bicycle Club.
I had a NWT I bought through Steve years ago. I foolishly gave it away to a friend, I cry as I write this. Anyway I am moving from NYC to NC before July 1st 2013. Once I start working there I will start saving for a new one for commuting to this new job. I am probably thinking of getting another NWT because I don’t like the 16 inch wheels of the new silk. Anyway I look forward to your e catalog. Thanks so much, Sincerely Margaret Goodwin currently still in NY- Staten Island
I meant August 1st 2013 I will be moving to NC.
My favourite riding partner is my wife. We usually ride at 18-20 Km/Hr, which is slow, as most riders pass us. We talk, laugh and see the chipmunks scoot across the road ahead of us.For us it is all about the journey, not the destination. There is nothing wrong with competition, but since we are all going to the same place eventually, we prefer to take our time getting there.
Keep riding and do enjoy the journey.
Regards. Richard and Edna Kelly
Comfortable riding position.
So many people, it seems, assume that the head- down position is the “best?” way to ride.
We are not racing, so why not sit more upright, accept the 0.5% less aerodynamic speed restriction and arrive more comfortably?
Just one more thing to like about my Tikit.
That is one of my favorite roads. Down towards the bottom (before the switchbacks) there was always a stretch of trees over the road which on the right early spring day gave off the most beautiful tree-dappled sunlight.
I’ve been looking at this bike for some time and wondering about–well about the weight, of course. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to a test or even a visual look-over of the Silk, so I appreciate your review very much. Can it possibly be true that all the extra weight of the steel framed BF plus the Nuvinci don’t have an impact? Not even the knees?
Maybe I’m not the best test ride for this since I’ve never paid that close attention to the weight of a bike. That said, I expected it to be a more difficult ride than my Pocket Llama, but it wasn’t. Then again, the last time I rode up McKenzie Pass was on a GT i-Drive, so that certainly wasn’t a lightweight bike. That said, I did climb on a Super Pro earlier this year on a steeper, shorter climb.The Super Pro was sub 16 pounds. The Silk isn’t in that class, but for a bike that can take a touring load, it sure performed well.
That is a buncha bike bits in a box
Hoping some of those bikes are recovered from the heist of a fleet in a trailer. It is a start for education. It is a valuable skill and knowledge that is not possessed by a large portion of our “educated” populating in the United States. In some European countries, bicycle education is part of early schooling. The children in Holland, for example, can ride as if they know what they are doing: smooth, straight, and in tune with the rest of the traffic in the bicycle lane or bike roadway.
when the OSATA and cargo top secret bike will release?
Soon for the OSATA. Not so sure on the Haul-a-Day.
For some other examples of kit airplanes, see “Hobby Field”, at http://www.efn.org/~hkrieger/hobby.htm
Is this a carry-on?
Yes, if you are the pilot. However, it isn’t small enough to qualify as a carry-on for a regular airline. Sorry.
Dear BIKEFRIDAY owner, when I worked as a Lufthansa Captain until 1999, my BIKE FRIDAY
(#819) travelled with me on the flightdeck many times. Now I see that there is some space for those lovely bikes on all kinds of airplanes, congratulations!
I was there, and I saw this demo! It prompted me to take a spin on a couple of these bikes, too. An amazing experience, I must say. I didn’t want to get off of it. I’m definitely planning on one or two of these for my RV-7A when I get it finished. 🙂
Any plans for Bike Friday to get back in the ‘bent biz?
Sorry. Not at this time.
Hi Steve, your trip sounds fabulous. very scenic and nice to be off busy roads. riding in the Alps sounds so steep but seems you managed it with ease. Bikefriday should give you a free bike for all the excellent advertising you are giving them. i’m interested in a bike trip some time before June 2014. what did you have in mind?
Thank you, Steve, for such a wonderful description of your trip, the photos, and how the Silk handled the terrain it was on. You’re motivating all of us who read your journal.
Encouraging read. Can you say which internal hub and the size of the front and read pulleys? The fear of mountains on a pannier-laden Silk has made me afraid to get one.
I have an Alfine 11 hub which worked perfectly the whole trip. The pulleys were 55 on the front and 24 on the back. Apparently you can get a 26 tooth rear which would make the hills a lot easier and I have contemplated getting one if I do another big trip.
Like you, Steve, the spec just grabbed me. I travel with my bike a lot and all the felt packing bits supplied with my previous NWT were covered in oil etc, so as soon as I read about the Silk I knew I had to get one. I sold my NWT and ordered the Silk with great help from Walter at BF. I picked it up at the factory in Eugene last month and rode the 400 miles back to Victoria BC through Oregon & Washington. What a delightful – quiet – ride! BTW if you’re going to change the rear cog you may find you will have to install a belt with a different number of teeth. And remember to change the oil after the first 1000 kms
Sounds like a good trip, Bruce, one I hope to make one day! I have been assured that I should be able to get away with the same belt with a 26 tooth pulley so I have gone ahead and ordered one. I’ll make a further post once I have fitted it. Already changed the oil but apart from that maintenance has been minimal.
It is a real picture of Hollywood.
wow! Soooo wonderfufl! i would love to have someone to do that with!! HOw fabulous. thanks so much for the story. Make it longer next time!
I should have asked how many miles did you do each day? how did you find where to stay?? did you book ahead? thanks
Dear Eugenia and Peter, Those who have trekked on bicycle know it’s the best way to travel. Congratulations! I wanted to bike to my 50th reunion in Texas, but it didn’t work out. Besides, it’s really hot in TX in May. Your northern route sounds better. I have traveled W. Europe several times; it’s a great way to immerse yourself in the culture. If Chalice reads this, perhaps she and I could discuss such a trip. Send email to Hannah Scholz at Bike Friday, mention Joe E. from TN
How can I get information about the group mentioned for those over 50? My husband and I travel by bike most always self-contained but being over 70 now, we would like to lighten the load a bit without having to use motels every night.
Great story about your birthday trip!
This is a great story, Eugenia. It sounds as though you and Peter are living the good life.
My 24 year old son, Nick, and I will travel from Vancouver, Canada to the Mexican border, just south of San Diego, California, in October 2014. While I have a traditional touring bike, I am contemplating a Bike Friday, especially to help with the air travel portions of trips.
Best within to you and your husband. I am 54, but hope to be riding long tours into my 70s.
Hopefully, my 80-year-old
Strong just like you
Thanks so much for the mention Bike Friday people. I could never have met the goal without my amazing Pocket Rocket (my first BF) and Pocket Rocket Pro (my second BF). Your special bicycles are the magic that helped make one of my cycling dreams come true: to ride every single day… and I’m going to try to keep it going and log lots more wonderful rides on my Bike Friday. I often get this question, so I’ll answer it here: My favorite ride ever on my Pocket Rocket Pro was riding up the Haleakala volcano in Maui and then back down. The climb took about 5 hours, the descent only about 90 minutes. Going from sea level to above the clouds and back again was an experience I’ll never forget. Thank you for so many fantastic memories like this Bike Friday! Jim
Thanks in advance for helping me with the following:
Pocket Pro as is OK. The question is regarding the suitcase.
Are there any suitcase options? the specific request is to be able to fold the suitcase and use as a backpack. The reason is while traveling the suitcase needs to carried.
As with all Bike Friday’s, the suitcase is a Samsonite case. We have a package that turns the suitcase into a trailer that can be towed by the bike, making it a self-sufficient package.