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Reviews

Read what our customers SAY about Bike Friday

It’s all here. Raves and rants, kudos and krankiness from Bike Friday owners everywhere. We want to hear it all. And we share it with anyone who is interested.

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.

But everyone is sharing their experience. And we are grateful for the opportunity to learn.

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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You can also see what the Press says about us in articles.
 

All Reviews - 324
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Overall Experience Rating:
Date: May 17, 2007
Posted by: Gonzalo Ojeda
A bike for travel, not for commuting.

I live in NYC and I bought my Pocket Tourist from the BF local dealer about three months ago with the intention of using it for my commute. The bike is very comfortable and easy to handle. It does have, however, serious drawbacks. The bike is not really a folding bike but a bike that can be disassembled and transported in a regular suitcase. Once “folded” you are left with parts that do not want to stay together. My overall experience with this BF model has been very disappointing. I have never had a bike with so many transmission-related problems. Even with the chain retainer the chain falls off every few miles. Although I had the bike checked by a professional, I continuously have trouble with the gears. I have called the people of BF and reported my problems. They have been very nice and very supportive. The company seems to be very customer-service oriented. Unfortunately long-distance support does not keep the bike’s chain in place. I have since then purchased a Brompton and it does everything I expected the Pocket Tourist to do. It folds quickly to an unmatched size, rides well, and in more than 300 miles of NYC commute I have not had a single problem. My opinion: if you want a bike for your commute and folding is a necessity buy a Brompton. If you need a bike for travel the BF may be a better option.


Editors note: The new BF tikit is more the ticket for commuting. Thanks Gonzalo for giving us a try.

Gonzalo, you're right. A BF is a travel bike. However, since 2008 we have the new tikit. Much better suited to multi-modal travel, with the famous Friday ride that can take you  further than most folding bikes.Thank you for trying us out.  - LC, Bike Friday

Overall Experience Rating:
Date: January 26, 2007
Posted by: Bennett Fischer
Great travel bike to tinker with, and fun too!

I bought the PT because the price, and frame quality, was right. I wanted a good travel bike that I could upgrade myself with a combination of old parts I had lying around, and some new stuff.

The cheapest model in the BF line, the PT frame appears to be the same as the NWT (except for a narrower top tube, and easy pack seat mast). It also comes "fully loaded" with saddle, pedals, kickstand, etc., so you can take your time about swapping out components.

Apparently discontinued by mail order, the BF website says you can still get this bike through BF dealerships (as I did). It's too bad that BF doesn't offer any "frame only" options, but considering the PT's reasonable price and high frame quality, I guess you could rationalize that this is the closest thing to "frame only" that they sell. The folded bike easily fits into an old Carlton travel case, even without a splittable handlebar. (A quill stem with removable face plate allows for bar removal.)

I'm very pleased with the ride quality. With proper saddle and stem adjustment the fit is spot on. (After a couple of test rides I opted for the size Large frame, rather than the size Medium that the BF literature recommends for my body size.)

The rear triangle is very stiff and stable; the long head tube is slightly flexy, but not unpleasantly so. Fitted with my favorite saddle, pedals, and handlebars, this is a very comfortable bike indeed.

This is my first folding bike, and the most pleasant surprise for me, is discovering just how much fun a 20" wheeled bike is to ride. It rolls great, is extremely maneuverable, looks cool, and is just, well... a lot of fun. I find myself riding it a lot more than I anticipated I would, just because it's such a kick!

Overall Experience Rating:
Date: July 31, 2006
Posted by: Jim Langley
Email: jim@jimlangley.net
The ultimate portable flyer

Since 1994 when I got smart and ordered a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket, I've taken it on every vacation, and I tell everyone who'll listen that this amazing machine makes every trip a great one. This year's vacation (to The Big Island) was extra special because it was the first with my new Bike Friday, a Pocket Rocket Pro. Here are my impressions.

Before the trip I rode most of my favorite local loops (I'm in Santa Cruz, California) so that I could dial-in the bike's fit, and ensure everything was right for me. Ingeniously, the bike arrives with an adjustable stem, which allows on-the-road experimenting to find the perfect handlebar height and reach. A pre-addressed/postage-paid Fed Ex box is supplied making returning the stem to Bike Friday easy and fast. From the fit stem they make your custom one and return it. And, with that in hand, I trimmed the cable housing, fine-tuned the brakes and derailleurs, and installed the new Selle San Marco seat I had ordered.

Naturally, I can't help but compare the Pro to my old Rocket and one thing that stands out is that the new bike is equipped with Shimano's elegant Ultegra 10-speed component group, including a stock crankset. My old Friday works like a champ, however, it was an 8-speed, which at the time required swapping to larger and different-model chainrings to get high enough gearing. Having the stock Ultegra crankset gives the bike a professional look, frees up a little space in the suitcase, and ensures I fully benefit from Shimano's engineering. (FYI gearheads: I was riding a 56-tooth chainring with a 12-tooth cog for a 93-inch high gear; now I'm riding a 53-11, which results in a 96.)

In fact, about the only detail that's different from a regular road bike is a small add-on on the rear-derailleur cable housing that ensures the STI lever moves enough cable to shift accurately across the 10-speed cassette. This is needed due to the longer cables and housing on the folding frame. Other than that, the bike is a full-Ultegra roadster right down to the hubs and quick releases, so there's no question about reliability, and shifting and braking perfection.

Shimano's Ultegra group has been out for some time and you've surely read how nice it is already so I won't go into that here except to say that it's a beautiful, great-riding group, and it's obvious why it's so popular: all the function of Dura-Ace at a nicer price.

I will say that the Ultegra's silver/grey parts look especially nice on my Pro's rich metallic blue paint, which glistens in the sun like Bike Friday's paintshop somehow put aluminum foil beneath the finish. And, it's not just a stunning finish. Powder paint, which is applied via an electric charge, is extremely rugged, too, and perfect for a portable that'll see plenty of baggage handlers with an attitude. (I haven't found one yet that can remove the bike and put it back the way I had it.)

Luckily, on this trip the bike arrived unscathed. We'd never been to The Big Island before so I wasn't sure about the riding there and was happy to find smooth, wide roads; slow, courteous traffic; plenty of climbs and descents; stunning scenery; and Hawaii's pristine air. I ride around 5:30 a.m., an hour when in most places the roads are deserted. I was surprised to have lots of company every morning, runners and walkers and even beach-goers already swimming and boogie boarding.

Typically, it takes me a few miles to feel at home on small wheels, yet on the Pro I rolled out of the Kona Magic Sands Hotel's parking lot feeling rock steady. I've compared the wheelbases of the old and new Fridays and the Pro's is slightly longer. The Pro also has a different fork than my regular Rocket. I don't know if they've tweaked other aspects of the frame geometry or tubing, yet this bike is really stable, which is especially noticeable (and appreciated) descending at speed.

Not that I've ever had a problem with my old bike, but this one is stabler whether I'm just cruising along, really flying (so far I've been over 40mph and had no trouble riding no-handed at that speed) or only idling around a scenic turnout taking in the view. It's a wonderfully efficient ride, too, and the Pro lives up to its name accelerating and climbing with authority. You feel this with every pedal stroke, yet especially when you're out of the saddle. And, this complements the stable feel making cornering perfectly natural and comfortable even on unfamiliar roads.

I've always told people that Bike Fridays ride just as good as your regular favorite bicycle, and that you can do all the same things on it, too. This holds true for the Pro, only more so. If you're looking for the ultimate portable flyer, this is it.

Jim Langley | July 2006

Jim Langley has a fascinating website which includes a review of his original Pocket Rocket

Bike Friday prides itself on honesty and disclosure - that's how we make our product better and better. We pressed Jim to offer suggestions for improvement.


Hi Lynette, Attached is a photo to put with the review. And, for a rating, I'll go with 8.5, based on the assumption that a 10 would be perfect and there's always room for improvement with anything. I also can't fairly judge the packing. I packed it into the old suitcase, which is difficult, and Peter tells me I really ought to be using the new suitcase. I've been trying to reach Alan to order one w/out luck so far.

In any case, you asked about other gripes about the bike and I have 2 small ones, you can add to the review, if you wish. They're hardly worth mentioning, though.

1. While it may be intentional to make it easier to reach, I find the location of the water bottle cage on the main frame (down tube) too high. When you try to remove the bottle, it bumps into the stem unless you make an effort to take it out at an angle. And, when it's so far up on the frame it looks wrong, especially when the other cage is nice and low on the seat tube where it should be (the bottle placement should be symmetrical in my opinion). A few inches lower would make the bike look right, and no one who rides a Pocket Rocket will have trouble reaching a tiny bit lower to get their bottle. I know this is a silly little detail, but it's going to take me a while to ignore it.

2. The other issue would be a non issue if I lived where the roads are smooth. But the pavement is terrible here and this makes the bike rattle loudly. It took me a little investigating before I discovered the culprit. It's the cable housing sections that run alongside the frame. These are held by small brazed-on eyelets, but they're a loose fit for the housing, which means on bumpy roads the housing vibrates and slaps against the frame tube making a surprisingly loud rattle. I fixed it by wrapping tape around the housing, however, I may try to find a cleaner solution, perhaps O-rings that fit over the housing like the ones made for cables.

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