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Read what our customers SAY about Bike Friday

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The opinions expressed here are from Bike Friday owners who have chosen to share their views. Many are clearly thrilled with their bikes. Some offer us insight on possible improvements.

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Simply select a Bike Friday model from the list on the right, and you'll get reviews specific to that model. If you want to read it all, just dig in.

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Tandem Traveler XL - 7
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Overall Experience Rating:
Date: October 5, 2008
Posted by: Greg Illes
Email: illesg@yahoo.com
Beyond my expectations

After some flak on the YAK forum about BF quality, I confess to having been more than a little concerned. In fact, I had conversations with both Dave Seybert and Tim Link about the company's quality control and overall reaction to all the recent growth. This posting is to let everyone know how well BF is actually doing.

Friday, my new pumpkin-orange Tandem XL showed up, in 100% perfect condition and operating order. The bike is a DD 27-speed with a huge rear cassette (11-34), and it will climb a redwood tree when we get our legs in shape. Set up with everything, the bike is 41 pounds naked and about 50 pounds with all of our gear and water for a full day on it. The fit, finish, workmanship, component quality, and overall results are simply outstanding. The packing was light, economical, and perfectly protected the bike during shipment. I am a really picky guy, and during assembly I went over every piece of the bike with high scrutiny - perhaps higher than normal due to my previously mentioned concerns.

What did I find wrong? The rear wheel was out of true by 0.020" (told you I'm picky). I didn't like the style of the stoker's bar mount, so I swapped it with one I had in a drawer. There were a couple of typos in the instruction manual. In short, things were about as perfect as it's reasonably possible to get.

Today, Sunday, my super-stoker/spouse and I went on a carefree 40-mile ride through the California redwood forests of Santa Cruz County, without a single concern or mishap (well, there was that one little moment where I dumped it in the dirt during a faulty U-turn, but we won't dwell on that). Our new steed performed flawlessly.

The bike rides like a dream. It tracks, turns, shifts, and stops with a gliding smoothness that decries the tiny wheels and unusual construction/design. We had it cranking up 10% grades in second gear, and howling down the other side at almost 40, spun out in top gear, and every speed in between. For the whole ride, it tracked the turns like it was on rails. The frame has a little spring to it (vertical), but we quickly learned how forgiving that made some of the imperfect road's jolts. Tires are 406-1.75 Schwalbe Marathons at 65psi, a very nice combination of big-tire softness and small-tire low rolling resistance. Special note on the DD setup: fabulous. Thought-quick shifting, many times totally forgetting to remind ourselves to back off the power while shifting - it doesn't seem to care, but we'll do it anyway to extend the lifespan.

It's also QUIET, no chain noise or clattering between gears. You can feel the slight stretchy-ness in the longer tandem cables, but it's just an idiosyncrasy. We always had a gear to use with this setup, and it never complained about any combination of course, because there aren't any bad combinations on the DD setup. In short, a marvelous bike, a fabulous day, we're both just blown away by how much fun we had and how great a product we bought. Best money ever spent. Many thanks to Dave and Tim for their patience and attention. Greg Illes

Overall Experience Rating:
Date: March 27, 2006
Posted by: David Miller and Ann Hastings
Email: tallcorndavid@yahoo.com
Avid front disc brake works well on TiLite model

Alas, Bike Friday opted to suspend marketing of our model, the TiLite Tandem Traveler XL. Ours is a 2004. It's similar to this bike, but with the lightweight stem and titanium main tubes and seat masts. Ours is all Ultegra with Dura-Ace cranks. We really love this bike and want to tell about our front disc upgrade. Not long after we first started riding the bike we had an opportunity to do some fast descending near Mountain View, CA. It was a great rush until I saw the stop light as we came around a curve at about 45 mph. It was all I could do to haul the rig down in time using those little Ultegra brakes. After mulling this over and considering other factors such as the potential for a high-speed blowout with rim brakes, I did a little research and consulted my son, Eddie Miller of Bicycle Village in Colorado Springs. It turns out that Avid makes a disc brake that's compatible with STI levers. One thing led to another, and before long Bike Friday had hooked us up. In addition to a new front wheel, they had to creat a new fork because the disc fouled the old fork. After a good day or more of hard work by the mechanic at our LBS (John at Urban Bicycle Gallery) it was ready to go. As you may know, the traditional place to put additional or upgraded brakes on a tandem is the rear wheel. Everything I've ever understood about the physics of stopping, however, implies that the most powerful brake should be on the front. So that's what we did. We kept the original Ultegra rear brake. The front disc works great and I'm very happy we have it. The improvement in stopping power is very significant. So far we haven't had an opportunity for a long, fast descent, but we have demonstrated it in the occasional panic stop, with excellent results. Thanks.

The Tilite is now available under a slightly different classification - as an upgrade to the Tandem Traveler. Same flavor, different name. 

Date: August 28, 2003
Posted by: Chris Chambers
Email: chris.chambers@sf.frb.org
Fastest suitcase I ever rode

My wife and I first heard about Bike Friday about two years ago, and after a test ride of a couple of models, I was hooked. After some research, and some saving, we finally placed our order for a Traveler XL. I specifically wanted a sport tuned tandem that was stiffer than the folding models. I weigh quite a bit more than the average bike industry expects to ride their bikes, and when I saw that a 240+ rider can get on the XL I was very pleased. We picked up the bike, and after a bit of patient coaching from the Bike Friday staff, we had the bike in the suitcases, and we were on our way home. Our first ride was simple, we put our two kids into our Burley DeLite and went for about ten miles, then back to the house, dropped the wife and kids off and I went on for another ten miles. The tandem XL is quick to accelerate, and very nimble. The light weight is nice when I am towing the family, or just on it by myself, and the easy step over height is wonderful for getting on and off. The staff at Bike Friday has been helpful and accessible. Thanks Bike Friday!

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