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Tandem Traveler XL - Full Custom
Tandem Traveler XL - Full Custom
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The first bicycle that Bike Friday Co-Founders Hanz and Alan Scholz built? The Burley Duet Tandem, long before Bike Friday was a sparkle in their eyes.

But the Scholz brothers didn't just build tandems, they raced them. And won on them.

Tandems are ingrained in the Bike Friday DNA. They represent the essence of family cycling, which represents a core goal for us.

The Tandem Traveler XL has a low center-of-mass and classic touring geometry to provide steady climbing and descending.

Most unique to Bike Friday tandems is their low standover height compared to conventional tandems. This means anr ability to not only be built for large riders but for smaller riders. This means moms can be captains. Yes even 5 ft tall moms.

At just 36 pounds with the ability to carry loads up to 400 pounds, its 406mm wheels can handle tire sizes from 1.25-inch slicks to 2-inch knobbies to cater to whatever riding you have in mind.

With 24-speed gearing and Microshift bar-con shifters, this isn't your Grandparents' bicycle built for two. It's really built to perform, from its BF touring H-bars to its Primo Comet Kevlar-belted tires.

The variety of sizes for the captain allows versatility for the family.

It is available in four standard frame colors (Flag Red, Cream Soda Blue, Ink Black and Green Gear Green) with other colors available for a Customized upgrade.

Like all Bike Fridays, the Tandem Traveler XL can disassemble for travel. It will fit into two suitcases.


Bags: +Available, Call BF Dealer or BF factory for choices
Bars: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Bars, Tandem rear: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Bar Tape & Grips: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
BB bearing: *Campy Centaur
Bottle Cages: Bottle Cage , Cateye Flexible
Bottles: BF 21oz. water bottle white w/black lid - black logo
Brake Levers: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Brake Parts: y?How do you want levers wired - Front brake Right or Left?
Brakes: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Cassette: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Chainrings: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Chains: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Computers: +Available, Call BF Dealer or BF factory for choices
Cranks: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Derailleurs Front: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Derailleurs Rear: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Fenders/Mudguards: +Available, Call BF Dealer or BF factory for choices
Headset, Threaded: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Hub Front: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Hub Rear: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Kickstands: +Available, Call BF Dealer or BF factory for choices
Miscellaneous: Name Plate on Custom Bike Fridays - see design might be JPEG
Pedals: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Pumps: +Available, Call BF Dealer or BF factory for choices
Racks, Front: +Available, Call BF Dealer or BF factory for choices
Racks, Rear: +Available, Call BF Dealer or BF factory for choices
Rims: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Saddle: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Seatpost: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Shifters/Controls: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Spokes: Spokes DT 14 ga. Stainless w/ brass nip SPECIFY LENGTH
STEMS F: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Tires: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices
Trailer: +Available, Call BF Dealer or BF factory for choices
Travelcases: +Available, Call BF Dealer or BF factory for choices
Tubes: - Contact BF Dealer or BF factory for your choices

Related Support Articles
Independant pedaling system Do you have an independent pedaling system so that a child can ride a tandem and either contribute or coast independent of the adult?
Disassembling and reassembling a Traveler tandem We have a "Project Q" tandem and enjoy it very much. We have been partially disassembling the bike by separating the front and back halves by loosening the four joints and removing the top...
Overall Experience Rating:
A great Family Tandem

I have owned this Family Tandem in red, for about 15 years. I love it! It has a rear hub 3-speed twist shifter, which has held up remarkably well and worked perfectly without even servicing it. Smooth as ever! The frame is so stiff and there is no give or flexing. I put on Comet Kevlar 110 pound tires, and really like them. I have ridden this with my teenage daughter and also with my 6 year old daughter. It is a great ride and we get so many compliments. By the way, the low frame step-over height is very much appreciated! This is a great machine and highly recommended! You will love it!

Overall Experience Rating:
Enjoying the new ride!

Our Tandem XL arrived on April 9th, 2010. The instructions were good and I had the bike together in a few hours. It took a little longer than I thought since it takes me only a fraction of the time to put our Crusoes together, but I'm sure that that will improve with a little practice on my part. The workmanship, packing and paint were all very good. The next day we took it on a 22 km ride around the neighbourhood. The bike worked very well and the control and agility of this compared to our old French tandem is amazing. We have had some growing pains in regards to riding our new tandem but these are to do with riding styles. Particularly my wife and I have different cadences and it has taken a little time to come to an agreement on an acceptable cadence. The main issue has been seat comfort for the stoker. We found that the Thudbuster seat post when built to the correct weight had too much bounce to it. After reading some web postings we replaced the elastic pucks to a much heavier weight ratio and I set the preload to its highest level. The result has been very good. There is still enough movement in the seatpost to absorb bumps but the pogo effect is gone. Also my wife has historically used a well padded seat and has changed to one that is much less padded but with the common grove running along the middle. This has also helped. We've now been out on several rides with it, the longest ride being 53 km, pulling a loaded trailer. In total we have 370 km on it to date. All in all we are very pleased with the bike. Once we have some more km on the bike I will give a follow up on how it's gone. The one thing both my wife and I have commented on is that we've already had some good laughs on our new bike. Often at the captains expense!

Overall Experience Rating:
Tandem XL - first 500 miles report

We've had our Tandem XL since last September, "Pumper", a bright orange mid-range model with SRAM 3x9 gearing. With a mega-cassette (11-34) and 42T front ring, we're getting gearing from under 20 to over 100, depending on tires. For our purposes, the Schwalbe Marathon 1.75x406 are superb, offering low rolling resistance and a decent ride over the rough stuff. We've got it set up with front and rear cargo bags for day-rides, plus 5 water bottle racks, and fenders. Full of tools, spares, first-aid, water, food, and camera/batteries it tips the scale right around 55 pounds (41# empty and bare). It takes down in less than 15 minutes, and (for the aviation crowd out there) it packs into the luggage bay of our tiny Van's RV6 two-seater. We've ridden it pretty much every weekend, 20-50 miles, until the really bad weather set in, and have stacked up nearly 500 miles of everything from flat pavement, rutty fire-roads, 10% hills (VERY short ones), and a couple of sewer grates (ouch). No flats, no problems, not a squeak or a creak or an issue of any kind whatsoever. Finally got around to lubricating the chains this (rainy) weekend. As when we got it, the bike handles like it is on rails. We can crank up the gruesome hills at 3mph, then howl down the other side (our max speed to date is 46mph). No trace whatsoever of any wobble, weave, or instability - it's just simply one of the most rock-solid bikes I've ever ridden. The one thing I've added is an Arai drum drag brake - I would not even THINK about running a tandem in the hills without this or something like it - it was clear we would fail a brake or blow a tire for sure. Before we got the Arai, the rims would get too hot to touch even on a short 200-300 foot descent. Since we got the brake, we've done 1500-foot non-stop descents with ease and peace of mind. As for BF support, well, I've had outstanding support from BF in working on my other bikes, getting ideas and parts and advice. But there hasn't been any trouble with my XL, so I can't say they've helped me with it because they just built it right in the first place. It's a great team. Bottom line - a fabulous bike, great company, and superb way to spend time with my beloved friend/wife/stoker Karin, watching the redwoods/beaches/fields go by. Here's a pic of a couple of months back, in Santa Cruz along Sea Cliff Drive: http://www.bikefriday.com/node/1955?imageId=7843 What incredible fun, Greg Illes

[Read more about BF pilots - LC]

Overall Experience Rating:
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:
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. 

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!

Overall Experience Rating:
Kids love coming along on the XL.

Frustrated at being left out of group rides with the fun-loving adults, my 8-year-old daughter demanded a solution. Road bike? Trailer? Boarding school?

My goal was simple: find a lightweight tandem which would let me (a fairly strong rider, 5'11", 145lbs) take my daughter (4'4", 60lbs) on 20-30 mile rides maintaining 18-22mph. Rejecting tempting solutions from Santana, Cannondale and Burley as way too expensive or too heavy, I remembered Bike Friday and discovered the 34 lb. XL.

My XL arrived on time, configured exactly as I requested. There were no assembly instructions in the carton, however, and at 8:00pm that evening the carefully wrapped pile of tubes and cables seemed intimidating. But by 11:00pm, I had constructed something that could be pedaled with gears that shifted and brakes which braked.

The performance of the XL has exceeded my expectations. In our hilly surroundings, my daughter and I fly down the hills, cruise the flats and climb with determination. Next summer, Italy!


Bfa Fender Set, NWT, Ll, old FT, CRU tires to 1.5"" wide
Part No. 489
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Terry Womens Butterfly Chromoly
Part No. 11870
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