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Read what our customers SAY about Bike Friday

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Pocket Llama - 19
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Overall Experience Rating:
Date: October 20, 2007
Posted by: Audrey Crawford
Bike tour of mid-coastal Maine with Pocket Llama and trailer - 10

I just finished a 10 day bicycle tour by myself the first two weeks in mid-coastal Maine.

This was my first bicycle tour on my BF Pocket Llama and I used the suitcase trailer system for the first time. I brought a milk crate as a carryon for the airplane, fashioning a shoulder strap with my bike cable lock. I could carry the trailer wheels in it and lighten the load in my luggage. It also made a great stool to sit on while assembling and disassembling the bike. I have toured using panniers in the past with other bikes so the trailer was new for me. I LOVED IT! the bike handled better, no fish tailing or sluggishness particularly when I got out of the saddle to ride. Was very nice and easy to detach for those days I stayed in one place and took day trips.

My milk crate made for a great basket on the rear rack, securing it with Zip ties. By the way, keep lots of extra heavy duty zip ties with you - saved me. Some of the rutted roads rattled some of the screws out of my rear rack and the zip ties came in handy (my extra screws are itting on my dining room table at home...) and worked well.

I got a flat on one of my trailer wheels within the first 6 miles - big shard of glass. Took some time to figure out how to get the acutely angled tube nozzle out - one must twist and turn the tube perpendicular to the rim for it to get out. But glad I had an extra wtih me. I felt the trailer sucked up rough roads pretty well considering no suspension so that was not an issue at all. I only felt tugging with heavier load and usually only on climbs or dips, but certainly nothing to stress about - ended up mailing all my camping gear home as the campsites were mostly closed this time of year; those that were not were quite far from biycle friendly roads, grocery stores and restaurants. Made a huge difference!

I took a leg strap that was all yellow reflecting tape and velcro-d it to the rear of the suitcase/trailer across which I am sure saved me one nite I ended up riding in the dark for an hour after finding camping areas closed along the way. I did have a rear red flashing lite on the back of the milk crate as well.

I had no squeaks, or creeky sounds come from my bike on the trip. The trailer system made for ease of putting the bike and suitcase onto a train fully assembled (people were unbelievalby friendly in Maine - I had a bike shop give me a free t-shirt asking me to wear it for advertising) - to bypass 40 miles I had already done, so I could tour elsewhere. I was also glad I had the very lite weight fenders.

My BF has also become my bike of choice for commuting. If ever I get caught somewhere later than planned, it is easier to cram into a friend's car if need be. I look forward to more adventures on my Pocket Llama. A very comfortable ride!

Overall Experience Rating:
Date: April 27, 2005
Posted by: Rick Gould
Email: rick.gould@one-step-writing.com
Most versatile bike I have ever owned

I have had my Pocket Llama for 21 months now. I bought it mainly because the people I work for decided to close our local, Lancaster office (5 minutes walk) and move us to another one near Preston, about 30 miles away by freeway, or 35+ miles by quieter roads. However, there is an array of cycle-routes between Preston station (15 minutes by train from Lancaster)and the new office, so as a duathlete with an aversion to the pollution caused by driving, I thought that I'd combine commuting with training, instead of driving all the time. Travelling with full-size bikes on trains in the UK can be a hassle or impossible, whereas folders are accepted as luggage. So I wanted a proper-sized, high performance folder - Bike Friday obviously met that need. Mt commuting/training goes like this - I'll get the train, cycle in one day, often extending the ride to 10 miles. Then I run back to Preston station in the evening, to run back to work next time. Depending on the weather and other things (eg time), I either then do a short ride (eg up to 10 miles) or go all the way home, which can be anything from 35 to 50 miles. On some days I'll get the train, do a short ride to the office and then cycle home - having the Llama gives me a lot of options and when folded, it sits happily at the office overnight. I have a couple of road bikes and a shared MTB at home as well. In terms of performance, I'd agree with the view that an aerodynamic position, tyres and overall weight make the biggest difference to performance, and not the latest components. My Llama, with fast tyres, is not significantly slower than riding even my best, carbon-clad road bike, when riding in a similar position. I have used my Llama for training rides with racing cyclists too, and they all express surprise that I can keep up with the Llama. So when we travel as a family, I take my Llama rather than any other bike. Also a quick switch from slicks to MTB tyres means I can play on the dirt and on the tracks with the children and their MTBs. I have made a couple of significant upgrades in the past 21 months. First, if you fold and lug the bike several times a day, I have to say that front mechs and folding don't always mix. So I switched to a SRAM DualDrive and put double chainguards on the triple spider - Pete Berra at BF made these metal chain guards for me, by removing the teeth from a larger chainring, and the new set-up is great. The DualDrive has its own merits and it could have been made for folding bikes alone. Secondly, high pressure slicks can make your arms buzz after a while - I found this on my racing bike as well, so I'd disagree that it is a small-wheeled issue. So I had a Pantour Prolite suspension hub put on the front wheel, which gives you the cushioning of a fat tire with low inflation, but without any loss in speed. Pantour hubs spoil you, though - I had a 700c wheel made with one as well. Meanwhile, the original, excellent BF sealed hubs are now part of a full size MTB's wheels. Overall, it is the most versatile bike I have owned. And I haven't even toured on it yet.

Overall Experience Rating:
Date: August 3, 2004
Posted by: Bert
The Bike Friday Sales Team is incredible, especially Dave!

Dear Alan and Hanz Scholz, It is not often that I write to a company, let alone to praise one of its employees, in this case one of your sales team, Dave Seybert. In my 41 years I can only remember writing two complaint letters and one other praise letter, and it too was for outstanding customer service. A little background: Having lost my only brother in the WTC on 9-11, he was FDNY, along with a cousin and 19 others I knew in the WTC and Pentagon, my wife and I have been making and updating plans if another disaster should strike us, God forbid (but it is a fact of life in NY and DC now). She has been concerned with my working in the DC area and how it took many of our friends 3 hours to exit the District on that morning. Having ridden bicycles since I was 4 or 5, raced on road teams in college and law school, and commuted to downtown 1 to 3 days a week while working for the federal government, she thought I should look into having a “bug-out” bike in the back of my car at all times. (We also have two friends that work for The World Bank that have put bikes in their cars since shortly after 9-11.) This, along with the fact that she knows how I love to rent bikes on trips no matter where in the world we travel, but I am either complaining about the fit or taking 20-30 minutes to adjust the seat and handlebars while upsetting the bike rental staff and not having my seat, shoes, and pedals for a good ride. So, this past May, after very little internet research I came across Bike Friday and was immediately impressed. I decided to talk with the two stores in the DC area that carried your, and your competitors’, equipment, one very close to my present work location and the other a distance away but a shop which I have used since may college days. The other companies’ equipment (only 2 or 3 real competitors in my mind) was interesting but it kept coming back to that recommendations that Bike Friday was the best, the welding was better than anyone’s, and that Bike Friday would work with me to customize my bike. That last part was key, since I am not a small guy even though I swim ½ to 1 mile a day. I filled out one of your online contact forms and submitted it and was assigned a sales person. I went online to research your products and read about your staff, an item I find very informative. I was glancing through the sales staff bio’s when I read about Dave Seybert and that his hometown was Bethesda, Maryland, where I have lived for the past 15 years and where my wife grew up. Knowing nothing about the sales person to which I was assigned, and who happened to be out that day, I took a shot and called Dave. Dave was great and very easy to talk with. He answered all my questions, he asked a few key questions, said that a Pocket Llama would fit what I was looking for and started taking information on building up a bike. I have strong preferences and ideas on certain things and Dave worked right along with them. He even pointed me towards certain items I might not have considered. After a few e-mails and a little research on parts I wanted or Dave recommended I placed the order. I can only say that Dave made the whole process a very pleasant experience. I purchase a lot of items online and this is the fourth bike I have had built over the past 19 years and only wish that other shopping and build experiences were half as easy and enjoyable as my dealings with Dave. I have read most, if not all, of the articles I could about Bike Friday and Green Gear. I have read the reviews and epinion postings, many mention the outstanding customer relations and satisfaction. If Dave is an example of your staff you must have some crew that is unmatched almost anywhere, in my opinion. I have become one of your biggest fans and advocates. I will be singing the praises of Bike Friday, and if you knew me that is high praise. My wife and I are known for researching everything we purchase. We buy only the best since it tends to last the longest and you get satisfaction and value from the purchases. Many of our friends come to us for recommendations and will buy what we have purchased because they know we have done our homework. I only hope that I can send business your way. You have a great product, great staff, and I wish the best for the company and employees. Oh… my requested, fire engine red (BF flag red), Pocket Llama was delivered right when Dave said it would be. I have already ridden over 100 miles on it and LOVE IT ! ! ! ! I have donated my old road frames and equipment to Pedals for Progress but I am holding onto one Trek mountain bike for some real mud rides and when a visiting friend or relative needs a decent ride. Keep shipping those incredible small wheeled bikes. The word will spread and I'll be singing your praises. Sincerely, Bert

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