Posts filed under ‘News from the Factory’
By Matthew Corson-Finnerty
For the last several months I’ve had the privilege of beta-testing a Silk, our new 20-inch Gates Carbon Belt Drive bicycle.
I’ve been impressed with the sturdiness and durability of the new design. I take the bike off curbs (sometimes up them). I drop the bike regularly. I never clean it. And I haven’t oiled it once.
Despite the repeated, and intentional, abuse it still runs smoothly.
My favorite moment, what really sold me on the Silk, came during a heavy downpour in the dark of night.
I was leaving the Bike Friday factory and traveling home via a bike path that runs alongside a canal.
I noticed that the water level of canal was high but didn’t think much of it. When I came to the first underpass, however, I was abruptly soaked from the knees down by a long stretch of water 7 inches deep.
My rain gear didn’t hold up so well and my boots filled with water, but the Silk didn’t skip a beat.
A half a mile later, still cursing myself for getting drenched, I encountered a second underpass.
This time I knew the water was coming and I thought, “Well, I can’t get any wetter … let’s see what this thing can do.”
I sped down the underpass as fast as I could, hitting the water with an even greater splash.
This time it was up to my knees and pedaling through it felt like I had the brakes on.
Downshifting with the Shimano Alfine 11 hub and the Gates CenterTrack Carbon Drive Belt entirely submerged? Not a problem.
In fact, the drive system responded just as well as it does when its not under 22 inches of Oregon winter runoff.
I pedaled out of the flooded underpass feeling victorious.
11 comments February 8, 2013
Some say the third time is a charm, and when it comes to our third season of offering the Select Groups for our most popular models, well, we have to agree.
The Select concept began to allow our experts to easily share their wisdom and insight with you by putting together optimum component groups for each of our core models.
The goal is to offer you a great performance for the best price. By continually searching for the perfect mix to offer, and listening to your feedback from countless miles for experience, we’ve come up with our best packages to date.
NOTE: Our tikit with the Select Group will be unveiled February 1.
The Select Group simplifies the order process. You choose the frame size [52 cm, 56 cm or 60 cm for 20-inch bikes], crank size [175, 170 or 165], your frame color and your decal/cable colors. It’s that easy.
You can make changes to your design and create a Custom Select model that’s as individual as you are, just contact a Bike Consultant.
All 2013 Bike Fridays will include a Threadless Headset, which has become the industry standard while the Threaded Headset has become more and more rare. The change will provide Bike Friday with more options to offer to you. [NOTE: The upgrade is for 20-inch Bike Fridays. The tikit already uses threadless headsets.]
Engineer Rob English points to the benefits of the Threadless Headset:
- It is easier to take the stem on and off since there will be no threads to slide over.
- The steerer is stronger because there are no threads.
- The headset is easier to adjust since it only takes a 5mm wrench.
The change allows Bike Friday to offer more price points for headsets, including the Bike Friday Threadless Loose Ball, Bike Friday Threadless Sealed Cartridge, Cane Creek and Chris King.
Introducing the 2013 Select Group for 20-inch Bike Fridays
New World Tourist with the Select Group: The 2013 Select Group is nearly the same for the New World Tourist, our most popular model. Why is it most popular? We have a solid package that delivers high performance and durability for touring, commuting or just enjoying a wonderful ride. The 2013 group will include a new Bike Friday cartridge threadless headset, FSA Gossamer Cranks (165, 170 175), 27-speed SRAM X-5, SRAM trigger shifters, Primo Comet tires and Bike Friday H-bars. Saddle and Pedals are not included. Its retail price will be $1998.
Pocket Llama with the Select Group: The availability of a heavy-rider upgrade or the flexibility to go with tires as wide as 2.25 make the Llama a popular choice. The 2013 Select Group will include a Bike Friday cartridge threadless headset, Avid disc brakes, FSA Gossamer Cranks (165, 170 175), 27-speed SRAM X-5, SRAM trigger shifters, Cane Creek Thudbuster seatpost, Schwalbe Big Apple tires and Bike Friday flat bars. Saddle and Pedals are not included. Its retail price will be $1998.
Pocket Rocket with the Select Group: The 2013 Select Group will include a couple of enhancements based on your input to bring the Rocket more in line with its drop bar, road performance heritage. The Select Rocket includes a Bike Friday cartridge threadless headset, a 20-speed SRAM Apex group, Apex Double Tap integrated shifters, Apex cranks and Schwalbe Durano tires, as well as FSA brakes and 4-bolt ahead stem with unsplit drop bars.. Saddle and Pedals are not included. Its retail price will be $2298.
Silk with the Select Group: The 2013 Select Silk will include a Gates Carbon Belt CDC Drive to go with Alfine 8 Internal Hub, Nexus Twist Shifters, Avid disc brakes and Kenda Kontact  tires. Saddle and Pedals are not included. Its retail price will be $1998.
Add comment January 22, 2013
Due to popular demand, here is another photo of Leo’s Electric Blue out in the sun.
Add comment January 15, 2013
With no glimpse of the sun for more than three days, expectations focused on a possible photo or two of the haze and mist as I rolled out of Mt. Shasta City after a breakfast burrito and latte.
Rounding a corner, the view exploded like a bolt of lightning.
A soft haze blanketed the dark green forest in the foreground, for sure.
But beyond that the sunlight blasted on the stunningly white peaks of Mt. Shasta set against a spotless blue sky.
While Bike Friday owners are famous for their epic adventures intricately planned and executed, for some of us, it’s the spur of the moment surprises that rock our world.
Convenience that Bike Friday offers some of us is having your bike with you at all times.
Driving home from a folding bike demonstration at the train station in Sacramento, I spent the night in Mt. Shasta and hoped for some free time to steal away a ride. I typically have my Pocket Llama in the back of my SUV, tucked beneath a blanket, so it’s always there for me.
Having just done a demo for the company, well, I had more than one Bike Friday in the back, but the New World Tourist with the NuVinci hub screamed to be ridden up the Ski Highway. Who am I to say no?
There might be no better situation for NuVinci than climbing a big hill. The weight watchers will argue that pulling a 5-pound internal hub up a hill is no picnic. I’ll argue the pros outweigh the cons, pun intended.
Imagine being able to find that perfect cadence for a climb, and being able to maintain it, the entire climb, with just a flick of your wrist. Sweet.
It didn’t take long before some gravel road, then a trail, called for exploration. No worries, the bike was up for it.
So I took the first turn possible, pedaled my way to the first trail — which at this point of the year was more like a soft creek bed.
In a blink, I found myself even farther removed from any possible brush with humans. The silence overwhelmed me. The fresh mountain air invigorated me.
Finally, I just pulled over and sat. Soaking in the moment.
It’s not just these out of the way adventures that await if you always have your steed ready to ride
I managed to hit Sacramento a few hours early for the demonstration, which allowed me some time to tool around California’s capital city with my camera. As usual, I opt for the NuVinci hub whenever I get the opportunity. This time on the Carbon Infinity tikit.
Again, you never know what surprises lurk around the corner.
I’m used to getting caught off guard by a great view.
Most, however, pertain to things in this century. Or thereabouts.
Of course, you can’t ride around Sacramento and not find yourself at the Capitol.
Bike Friday lobbies for the fold.
Sacramento is such a wonderful mixture of everything California has to offer, from big cities, to palm trees to its Western Frontier heritage.
Then again, you can really appreciate the essence of any place. When you’re traveling by bike.
Add comment January 3, 2013
Bike Friday owner Paul Webb recently sent us this photo of Tour de France champion Cadel Evans leading a ride in Australia, with Webb and his Bike Friday close at hand. Webb writes:
I’ve owned a Tandem Traveler XL Triple since 2000 and a tikit since Hanna Scholz brought a pre-production model to Australia in (that was 2007, I think).
Cadel is back in Australia at the moment and is ‘brand ambassador’ for Siemens. I deal with Siemens in my work in the railway industry, so was lucky enough to get a fairly select invitation to ride with Cadel (and also Henk Vogels) on a cruisy ‘river loop’ in Brisbane.
Cadel struck me as a genuinely nice guy, interested in a whole range of things outside bike riding and I thoroughly enjoyed riding alongside him talking about things like high speed rail.
Add comment December 14, 2012
The Eugene-Springfield area is undergoing a Bike Parking survey to help the local transportation officials:
Lane Transit District’s Point2point, our regional transportation options program, has secured funding for a regional bicycle parking study in the Eugene-Springfield area. The study is measuring short and long term bicycle parking supply and demand, concerns about existing facilities, potential new locations, bicycle parking for transit stations, and development code changes. We need your help!
To fill out the survey, CLICK HERE
Add comment November 27, 2012
Got plans for March?
Why not make some? Say, spend a week in the Arizona desert enjoying miles of pleasure on your bike, great company, tasty food?
Each March PacTours sets aside a week for Bike Friday owners and enthusiasts to join the fun in the sun. Desert Camp’s Historic Hotel week is March 9-16, 2013.
The December 1 deadline to sign up for PacTour’s Desert Camp, and receive the commemorative jersey is right around the corner. Plus, if you are a Bike Friday owner and register by December 1, your name will be put into a drawing to be one of five individuals to earn a $200 discount on your registration.
Bike Friday Co-Founder Alan Scholz and his wife Theresa will be on hand, riding with you. They plan to bring down our latest offering, Silk, for others to test ride. All in all, with hosts like Lon Haldeman and Susan Notorangelo, it promises to be a great time.
Just check out the fun from the past:
Add comment November 14, 2012
Here’s a neat post from our Bike Friday Dealer in Redwood City, CA, Mike J
Yep, your Bike Friday is always there for you …
Raz had the chance to visit him a few weeks ago. Beautiful place. Great remodel.
Add comment October 26, 2012
Roll down Lagoon Avenue on Swan Island in Portland’s Industrial valley, past the Daimler Factory to the end of the road, and the towering cranes reach toward the hazy skies over Vigor Industries behind chain link fences and security gates.
First thought is obvious: This just might be a little bit too far off the beaten path, even for stout Northwest cyclists in search of the unique.
But as you roll down the road past the Vigor parking lot, you see a connection you wouldn’t imagine. Bicycles. Everywhere. Hundreds of them.
Once through the security gate, it becomes obvious. This place is huge. And what better way to have workers in hard hats get around the massive complex than bicycles? They are everywhere. Every way shape and form.
Parked in groups of 20-30, bicycles outside the huge factory work bays with door openings large enough to roll in, well, a ship, catch your eye. The bicycles distract me enough that I realize I’ve rolled past a huge “10″ painted on the side of the building, so I pull a U-turn.
Decked out in his Vigor Industries hard hat, in soiled heavy-duty gray work pants and hearty jacket as if he walked off the set of Flashdance, a worker waves me down.
“You’re looking for BUILDING 10,” he said, pointing farther down the road. “This is Building 4, Bin 10.”
I smile and wave, and head down to building 10. Inside the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show slowly emerges from an empty factory floor. Show director Aaron McBride tells me this show is the fourth in a series of Art Shows in the venue.
It all fits together. The raw and gritty atmosphere of the shipyard reflects the simple beginnings of bike building that eventually gives way to true art.
The Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show is presented by the Oregon Bicycle Construction Association, so while a lot of these guys are homegrown frame builders, what they dress their bikes up with are quality components from some of the world’s best.
And some of the best begin right in Oregon, with Portland’s Chris King.
Suffice to say, there was plenty of bike stuff everywhere to catch your eye, and make for a fun weekend all about bikes.
Add comment October 26, 2012
The bikes were OSATAs, designed to be an adjustable bike to fit anyone from 4-foot-6 to 6-foot-4.
1 comment October 22, 2012