The NuVinci N360 hub is Fallbrook Technologies' latest alternative to the limitations and complications of traditional indexed-geared systems.
It offers a simple and seamlessly smooth way of shifting throughout a wide ratio range without power transfer interruptions, or missed shifts.
It is now available on our New World Tourist, Pocket Llama, Pocket Crusoe and tikit Customized bikes.
"As the fixie riders will tell you, there is a special elegance and charm that you get from a simple fixed gear that a derailleur cannot match -- or any gear changer, for that matter," Bike Friday co-Founder Alan Scholz says. "But it seems that derailleurs have won out to date, as most modern 'real bikes' have them."
Derailleurs present maintenance challenges for a lot of cyclists.
"Hub gears solve some of the maintenance and mechanical challenge issues for the cyclist who is not also a top mechanic, nor wants to be one," Scholz says.
"But none of the hub gears to date have had that breakthrough that also gave them a better feel. That feeling of simplicity, elegance, and smoothness that fixed gear bikes promise but cannot deliver on the hills, down winds, and gear pulling challenges of real everyday anywhere cycling."
That's why NuVinci is a game-changer.
"The NuVinci hub is a different solution totally," Scholz says. "Not a new departure but a new way of mating a person to the bike. Doesn't look like it, but when I rode it I was struck by the feel that it was completely smooth and I couldn't tell what gear I was in. There are no gears!"
It didn't take long for Scholz to be convinced.
"Yes, my next personal Bike Friday is going to have a NuVinci," Scholz says.
NuVinci, N360 and their logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Fallbrook Technologies Inc. All rights reserved.
You can design your own New World Tourist Infinity starting at $2,150. Since you are designing a Custom bike, however, your options are seemingly endless as you build the touring bike of your dreams.
Your price will vary depending on the components you select to round out the Bike Friday that is perfect for your needs and desires.
|2d Seatmast:||01 .1 Left Fold Mast 2010> Silk/NWT/ PR / PL std .055 CrMo|
|2e Risers & BF Custom stems:||BF Stem Riser, Adjustable for / Ahead,1 1/4" SVS|
|Accessories:||Engraved Name Plate -bike comes w/custom engravd name plate|
|Bars:||MTB flat Kalloy 15degree flat bars,25.4 x 560mm|
|BB bearing:||113mm BF Sealed Bearing 68xEnglish|
|Bottle Cages:||Bottle Cage , Cateye Flexible|
|Bottles:||BF 21oz. water bottle white w/black lid - black logo|
|Brake Levers:||Tektro "V" style Brake Levers (2 finger)|
|Brakes:||Shimano Acera M422 V brake Fr or R oem|
|Cables:||Cable - Housing Black std w/ Decals Black or White|
|Cassette:||Dimension 9 spline 3/32 - 20T cog Silver|
|Chains:||KMC Z-51 8sp chain|
|Chain tensioner:||Shimano Claris 2400-SS 8sp RD|
|Cranks:||Alloy single ring cotterless (165,170,175) w/53t CHOOSE|
|Headset, Threaded:||1 1/4" BF Threadless cartridge, alloy, black|
|Hub Front:||BF Select 32o 100mm FRONT Silver / Black|
|Hubs geared R:||Nuvinci 32o, silver (w/shifter, disc brake) (135)|
|Packing Supplies:||Packing & Handling - Ready to ride pick up at Bike Friday|
|Pedals:||yNone supplied std. Choose if you want us to supply|
|Rims:||Alex X-101 Alum (406) 32o 20 x 1.5" Silver|
|Saddle:||y NONE SUPPLIED - add if you want us to supply|
|Seatpost:||Kalloy #243 silver adjust post 28.6 x 350mm|
|Shifters/Controls:||y Supplied with hub|
|Spokes:||Spokes DT 14 ga. Stainless w/ brass nipples|
|STEMS F:||BF 25.4 Ahead for Adj Riser(we will size w/ bike) no riser|
|Tires:||Primo Comet 20 x 1.5" (406) 100psi tire|
|Tubes:||20x1.5 to 1.95" SV (406) (NOT for 1"-1.25 width tires)|
I scored a 20th anniversary NWT at a very reasonable price. This is my fifth Bike Friday so don't expect an unbiased review :)
I use my bikes mostly for cheap transportation -- commuting, errands, and maybe an occasional group/charity ride.
I have become very accustomed to small wheels. I am not keen on high speed, in fact I'm pretty much of a chicken -- often applying the brakes on the downhills. So being at the head of the pack has never been a priority.
For me, riding is about enjoying propelling yourself without hurting anyone else, getting some exercise, and saving the car-gas-bucks so I can buy more bikes and equipment, pay for two kids' college, and eventually go on some adventures.
This bike gets me very ready to go on adventures -- moreso than a Pocket Rocket Pro, Pocket Rocket fixie, Air Friday, or even the Silk.
I love those bikes but this very well equipped New World Tourist outshines them on comfort, practicality, and ease of use.
In case you don't know about the 20th anniversary NWT, it is a diamond frame (good for me since I hover over 200 pounds currently) in big fleck metallic green with 406 wheels, and an emphasis on American made parts.
Some really nice parts they are too: White industries crank and hubs, Paul brakes, Thompson seat post, 2 sets of fenders -- 1 set beautiful, 1 set functional (not sure every one of these bikes came with 2 sets), a titanium bottom bracket, and an SRAM drivetrain. The Chris King headset, the crank, and the hubs are just plain gorgeous and work so well that you forget about them. The crank has a clip that makes the pedals removable with no tools -- nice touch.
BF provided a Titanico saddle that I gave a try, but ended up putting on my favorite Flite titanium instead. I ordered a custom sized stem to make this bike fit me.
The bike is pretty light, especially for a NWT. It also came with front and rear foldable/packable racks and front and rear Ironweed panniers.
The racks also have flecks of metallic green in them if you look closely -- another really nice touch.
This is my first 406 wheeled BF, and I can see why they are so popular. Now when I get on a 451 wheeled BF it feels harsher, but granted maybe a little bit faster.
When I get on the NWT, even with the tires pumped up to 100 psi, it feels cushy but not inefficient. Plus I get a lot more stability and grip in gravel, and everywhere else too.
I'm not selling the 451 equipped bikes yet, but I might start looking for a little wider 451 tire.
When you get top end components everything just works, so you think about the ride and not the bike. This bike feels like it disappears beneath me. I'd swear that it wants to move, and it feels like it is coasting more of the time than my other bikes.
Maybe the sizing is more right or something. It just feels like it makes the ride easier. I put on the fenders, racks, and panniers on and loaded it up, with some balancing of the load. It felt almost as easy to ride as with none if it on, but of course I noticed the weight on the hills.
The curved wood fenders are beautiful, but they are a little fiddly to put on. I had to remove the wheels and try a few things before I got it right.
The BF plastic fenders are not as pretty but you can put them on in two minutes, they weigh nothing, and they do their job well. The bike also came with the travel case and all the packing materials, so it has stayed in perfect condition even after a few shipping events.
I find myself staying on the big chainring (it is a double, not a triple) but I also have not hit the fastest gear yet, so I think this gearing is right for me, especially once I am loaded and hit some hills.
The brakes work very well in dry or wet. I had a little challenge learning to adjust them, but got it down pretty quickly. I also played with the SRAM thumbshifter (carbon!) location, cut the handlebar width by a little under two inches, and got everything tweaked just right.
Now that I have it dialed in I just hop on and go. I have light platform pedals so no special shoes, no special clothes, and I am very comfortable for many miles.
This bike has quickly become my go-to bike out of the 10 or so in my stable. When you get on and go fast enough, quiet enough, and effortlessly enough that you forget about the bike, it is a wonderful thing. I feel very lucky to have this bike.Submitted by: Eric Moore April 18, 2014
I have toured in Europe several times and the Bike Friday is awesome. The bike is easily put together you can ride from the airport or easily get on a train.
I would not travel in Europe without a Friday. I have a New World Tourist and I have towed three suitcases with it (over a hundred pounds) stacking the cases one on top of the other.
I pushed that little bike to the limit. One day we rode from the Czech border to Vienna almost a 100 miles up and down steep hills. The brakes help up just fine and the trailer held together!!!!!!!!! Two suitcases and a 30 lb bag.
I was pulling the extra suitcase and bag because riders were too weak to keep up (I didn't mind because they would buy me food and beer).
A Friday is the only way to travel, I am looking into buying a Llama it has a heavy duty frame and will work with 2.5'' tires.
In Europe we had all different kinds of roads from cobblestone to dirt so a Llama is your best over all bike.
I strongly recommend towing a 100 lbs a few hundred miles for training. When I came back I was super human on my Colnago!!!!!!
I find I ride just as fast on a Bike Friday. There is a 5-mile climb I do behind my house and I rode it just as fast on the Bike Friday as I do on my Colnago.
PS. be careful if you tow 3 suitcases on top of each other they will fall over going off curbs or big bumps, two suitcases work just fine, and be sure to bring replacement parts for the hitch it's hard on the rubber hose and the connectionSubmitted by: Edwin Wilkerson February 18, 2014
I bought the 600th Bike Friday, a New World Tourist, in 1993.
Over the years I've upgraded the crank, derailleurs and shifters. The original had Suntour and Sakae components and I now have Shimano Ultegra integrated shift-brake levers and Ultegra/105 crank/derailleurs.
I ordered the bike with 451 rims to get a racier ride on the 100 psi tires. I'm not really sure if that was a great decision because of the easier availability of 406 tires, but I've had no problems and enjoyed the quick ride.
Through many folds and travels, including shipping by airmail, it's continued to function, although once I opened the case to find my rear valve sheared off at the rim, probably by something that shifted -- the suitcase was also cracked.
One small problem is that the front derailleur often needs adjustment after folding and travel. I would love to have a NuVinci and drive belt system to fix that, plus eliminate the grease stains.
Although the bike is heavy by 21st century standards, it's still fast. I flew to France with it in 2011 and traveled around Avignon and Tours with no problems, towing the trailer.
In 2012 I will take it to the northern coast of France and into Belgium: Calais-Dunkerque-Oostend-Bruges-Gent.
Back in 1993-94, my wife and I toured Mallorca with our New World Tourists and reported on it in the BF newsletter. Later we flew to Hamburg and then rode on to Copenhagen using the travel system.
Overall, my Bike Friday has functioned as advertised for a long time, and the service from Green Gear has been courteous and efficient.Submitted by: June 18, 2012
After 15 years away from biking, at our 45th college reunion in 2009 my former roomate, a very experienced bike tourer and early adopter of the New World Tourist, urged me back to the saddle with visions of European adventures together.
After I suffered thru the logistical nightmare of schlepping my full-size Specialized Tri Cross to and from Germany last summer, he sent me off to Eugene and Bike Friday.
I love everything about the bike, the business, and the staff. There is almost no place left where you can get this kind of personal attention coupled with technical expertise.
I have a perfectly fitted, tricked out custom New World Tourist that has already made three flying trips: at 38 pounds with case ( I skip the packing materials provided and use clothes), I have room left for gear and no bag fees.
Mine is geared to climb with weight, and boy does it do that, but also cruises just fine. On really bumpy or high speed roads, one does occasionally pine for the 27" wheel ride, but the overall performance makes up for it.
In tight medieval cities and jumping on and off for photo opportunities, you really come to love the handiness. It may look like a toy -- mine is screaming yellow for visibility -- but is a serious, big time touring machine. The intimate experience of biking on it in new places is the best travel experience of my life. My Bike Friday draws a wonderstruck and admiring crowd wherever I take it.Submitted by: Paul Weaver May 31, 2012
We ordered two NWTs for our tour in Cuba for August 1. When we originally ordered them from the sales rep at BF we were not sure if the 3.5 weeks lead time would be sufficient to get our bikes delivered, but were assured they would be.
These are not custom fit bikes and would be shipped very quickly. Our Bike Fridays arrived on time. Packed beautifully.
After much anticipation we assembled my wife's NWT and enjoyed the detail the folks at Bike Friday provided. They even painstakingly labeled the plastic containers so we could have a good chance of folding it all back together.
Little screws were present for future accessories we started dreaming of. Now it was my bike's turn for assembly and sadly it turned out that the handlebars were not appropriate for a medium size frame bicycle.
They didn't fit together very well at all and measured substantially shorter than my wife's small frame NWT. Imagine how your wrists would feel when riding a bicycle where your hands almost touch one another. The handlebar length is more suited to a child's bike, I think.
I immediately called in as we are on tight deadlines for our upcoming vacation and needed to rectify or find another bike fast ... and spoke with a friendly gentleman named Tim in the service department who recommended sending a new handlebar bar over but that it would take a week to arrive.
In the meantime he recommended to cut out some of the grip material and reposition the shifters. I appreciate the time he took to help and did follow his instructions but the bike is still not ready to use: when I use the bike it forces my wrists to an unergonomic retracted angle that aches after a few minutes.
I was so excited to get my Bike Friday, dreaming of all the new upgrades and miles we'd add on... but at this point regret buying this bicycle. Shipment was on time as promised but I sincerely wish that the bike would have been checked out for rideability prior to shipping.Submitted by: Steven Brown May 29, 2012
In July of 2011, I fractured my when the front tire blew on my diamond frame bike. I elected to have the hip reconstructed rather than replaced as a reconstruction would allow cycling without the worry of an artificial hip's reliability. Rehab took several months and the the hip joint was patially frozen with little flexibility, even in February of 2012.
The only option I could see for me to continue riding would be to purchase a Bike Friday of some sort. I decided on a NWT with the help of Larry Black of Mt. Airy Bikes in Mt. Airy, Maryland.
We sort of designed the NWT as a sort of sport tourer (compact double crank with a 10-speed cassette and bar end shifters). Never doubt the wisdom of ordering through a competent dealer who can almost read your mind!
The bike arrived in Mt. Airy toward the end of March with only few quibbles (no seat post shim). The bike felt a bit skittish at first, although not riding for almost seven months could have had a lot to do with that feeling. I doubt that I will ever use the folding option of the bike as it fits rather nicely in the back of my Elantra hatchback.
In fact, for all I care, the frame could have been welded at the folding joint! My only real complaint has been the Continental Sport Contact tires supplied with the bike. Although rugged and fairly comfortable, they are nearly impossible to mount and dismount to fix a flat.
I gave up and ordered Primo belted to replace the Continentals when needed.
Overall riding impressions. The frame is STIFF and does not flex a bit, a nice surprise considering the complexity of the joints. The bike feels a bit doggy climbing hills although, again, this could be because of my ongoing rehab with my lower parts. All of this may be academic, however, as I still can't get my leg over one of my diamond frame bikes (57 CM Paramount). I am resigned to the NWT being my one and only bike for the future.
All in all, this has been a good purchase. Bob Rosebrough Columbia, MDSubmitted by: Bob Rosebrough May 14, 2012
I needed a new bike with lower gearing to cross the Rockies and Appalachians, traveling the 4,200 miles from the US coast to coast.
Knowing that the bike would have to come back and that I would like to do some international bike touring, as well as the fact that my city lacks bike racks on some buses drove me to consider a folder.
I have met several people with folders, including Dahons, but for touring people always raved about their BF. On a coastal driving trip, I stopped into Eugene to try one out. Wow. Pretty nice.
It took me awhile to commit to the price, but in comparison to a Surley Long Haul, it was comparable. In retrospect, the 4,200 miles were delightfully uncomplicated bicycle wise. The one suggestion for someone putting that many miles on a NWT would be to get the Chris King headset, for the stock headset required tightening every 1,000 miles.
Other cons are the lack of a top tube to support a fully loaded bike while straddling the bike and the increased difficulty (very tight) of changing a tire due the small circumference.
The complaints are few. The pros include the ability to fold the bike and step on a train, plane and bus (without extra cost or restriction) as well as its ability to start from a start quickly (important on a hill) and fast handling to avoid obstacles. Fully folding the bike to put into the suitcase takes me 30-45 minutes and putting it back together takes me about 15 min.Submitted by: Leslie Duggleby April 23, 2012
I just returned from a five week bike tour of New Zealand.
Due to New Zealand's narrow roads and the Kiwi's reputation for fast driving, I did not take the flight case (I have it and will use it on my next overseas tour to Germany).
Instead, I wrapped Betsy (my Flag Red BF NWT) in bubble wrap and placed her in the black standard size BF bag. She arrived unscathed in Kaitaia, New Zealand (that's 3 plane changes). I began my ride in Kaitaia and noticed right away how stable my NWT rode fully loaded. She climbed the hills with ease.
At first I was somewhat unsure going downhill with too much speed. Soon, however, I realized Betsy was just as stable going downhill at a speedy clip as any other terrain.
The H-Bar is ultra-comfortable -- so much so, that I could ride without gloves when it rained and I didn't want to get my gloves wet.
With the 1.75" Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tires the ride was very smooth. I also had a couple of bus rides on the North Island to avoid riding in Auckland.
I just folded Betsy, put her into her bag (which, when I wasn't using it, I was able to easily carry folded up and bungy corded to the front of the rear rack), loaded her on the bus, and didn't have to pay the extra $10 for a bike.
Piece of cake! I have a full-sized touring bike. I don't think I will use it to tour anymore. I will only use my Bike Friday NWT!Submitted by: Colleen Welch April 2, 2012
I've had my NWT for nearly two years now, so I felt like I now have enough experience to review it. My full review is posted at Crazy Guy on a Bike, but in a nutshell: the NWT is a fine touring and randonneuring bike.
It's comfortable, handles very much like a 700C touring bike, carries quite a load, and packs into a standard-sized suitcase (for US-based airlines).
It's not ideal for people who need to fold the bike several times a day, but for everyone else who wants a packable touring bike, it's well worth considering.Submitted by: Brian Ogilvie January 22, 2012
When I was shopping for a bicycle I thought I was going to buy a 700c type suited for a relaxed upright riding position. This meant for me a bike setup this way had to have a Brooks B67 saddle and fenders. But I was troubled by the fact that my life style is not condusive for a full sized bike. I live in a small apartment which does not allow bicycles without special permission and an extra $50 per month charge and since I am an over the road truck driver driving a "day cab" type truck, a full sized bike would not fit in the cab and sometimes it would not fit in the cargo area either. There would be the risk that I would drive to work one morning only to find out that I could not take take the bike with me. Leaving it at the shop would be risky. Leaving it in my car or attached to the car on a rack was not an option either. I was not in the market for a Walmart bike so the risk of leaving a costly bike behind was too great. Now what do I do? Up to this point I have not heard of or concidered a folding bike. But when an REI sales person suggested this idea it finally dawned on me that this might be the solution I was looking for. He was thinking of a $700 Dahon. I was happy because this seemed to be my only good option to that of the 700c wheel size. Instead of spending $1100, that was what I thought my budget was, I could save money for other things I needed at the time. Additionally, the Dahon was on sale for $560. It was a good thing I did not have the money at that time. I would have bought it. I test rode the Dahon being mentally prepaired to accept the down grade in ride and quality but was suprised that the ride was not that bad. I could live with this. My intention for the bike was to use after my work day. I would park my truck and use the bike for short rides to a restaurant. Or for short errands. On weekends I might take a short ride somewhere. I am often away from home every other weekend. One fine day I wandered into Campus Cycles in Denver looking to test ride another Dahon but learned they had Bike Fridays instead starting out at around $1000. I was thinking at the time, "OK, I'll test ride but I will not spend this kind cash on a folding bike. The moment I sat on a large Pocket Companion and took my first down stroke on the crank I knew this fit and felt just like a big bike. But yikes, the price tag. I was already liking the idea of buying other things in addition to the bike. Since I travel all over the northwest it was actually just as convenient for me to order my NWT direct from Walter in Eugene. I wanted a dyno hub and other features that the Pocket Companion does not offer. Now I am in it for $2400! I thought that I must be crazy spending that kind of money on a bike. I am glad I did. ( Who needs new clothes and a computer anyway). What I thought would be short errands and visits to restaurants has also included 20 to 50 mile fun filled outings. I never anticipated the level of satisfaction my NWT would bring me. I am often making presentations to individuals and small groups while out riding because of my bike. It is a nice way to meet people. I have riden my bike for approximately 1200 miles in places like The Golden Gate Bridge, Bellingham, WA, lake Coeur d' Alene in Idaho, The Garden of the Gods in Colorado, Glenwood Springs Canyon, 60 miles of the Caty trail in the St Louis area, toured the Little Big Horn battlefield in MT and riden it for 30 miles in the Amarillo TX area just to name a few places...there are many more. Sometimes it seems like the bike goes by itself but not into strong Kansas head winds or while climbing Vail Pass. The rest of the time it seems to carry me further and faster than I originally intend. Lastly, for you truckers out there there are two reasons why you should concider a Bike Friday: you will break down at some time. I did in desolate SD and ended up riding my bike 30 miles in the dark...good thing Walter spec in the Lumotec Cyo Senso Plus along with my dyno hub. Secondly, the regulations for driver fitness coming soon will definately unemploy many drivers. Besides, it is just plain fun to ride. I heartily recommend buying a Bike Friday. Is it worth the cost? Yes. Do I want to buy another Friday? Yes, but if I do then I would be torn between the two and I love my NWT too much to not ride it.Submitted by: Steve Smith December 12, 2010
I enthusiastically agree with the numerous positive reviews and comments about Bike Friday's customer service and bicycle quality. My wife and I brought two bikes (built-to- order New World Tourists) back to Australia after including a visit to Eugene in a trip around the USA in early 2010. The frame geometry and components combine into very good touring bikes which also happen to be easy to pack compared to our other touring bikes. We are in our mid 50's and are experienced cycle tourers and commuters so have some comparison with other bikes. The responsiveness and expertise of the BF staff (thanks Peter Berra!) overcame the challenge and uncertainties of making a long-distance purchase from Australia. If you are looking for top quality, great service, excellent documentation, attention to detail, a huge range from which to choose then Bike Friday should be on the top of your list. Our bikes were not cheap but they are good value especially for bikes which were made-to-order. We met the Bike Friday team and saw where and how our bikes were made in Eugene. This visit confirmed that Green Gear is an excellent, innovative, hardworking company with a committed staff. In this age of mass production, it was great to see a business of this size thriving and contributing to the local community. I'm more than happy to recommend Bike Friday in general, and especially recommend the New World Tourist as a versatile, comfortable, stable and fun bike to ride and to travel with.
firstname.lastname@example.orgSubmitted by: Graham Smith October 29, 2010
Hello. I am writing from Vietnam where I am traveling with my New World Tourist. I just want you to know how happy I am with this bicycle. It has done absolutely everything I've asked it to do, from riding off road in Cambodia through a cornfield in the dark, to riding a paved road of spectacular vistas of the rice fields in the Mekong Delta.
Two nights ago I took it for a "rua xe." That's Vietnamese for a motorcycle wash. My NWT was positively pimped! There is nothing to say about this bike but all the best things and I will post some of it's portraits to the community when I have a little more time.Submitted by: Nancy Janus July 20, 2010
I have finally received it, my brand new, custom-made Bike Friday! In fact, I received it over a month ago and that should give you a hint as to why I haven't been posting since: I had too much fun riding my bike :) First of all, let's say that choosing my new "adventure bike" was quite an adventure in itself. I'm a perfectionist and I wanted to make sure I was making the very best choice. So it was a lot of reading all over the web, a lot of thinking, comparing, and even sending a few emails and making a few phone calls. But that will be the topic of another post. For now, I'd like to share my experience with Bike Friday and the bike. My first contact with Bike Friday was through email. I had written a long one, asking about 10 separate questions, the goal being helping me to figure out which one of their bikes was the best for me as well as trying to understand how they would build me a bike that was better than the one I had, with me being in Quebec, Canada, far away from Oregon... That email was never answered and another email triggered the response that the sales team would try to answer my mail shortly but there was many questions in my mail so there would be a delay. After about a week since I had sent the original mail, I couldn't wait anymore so I did what I should have done upfront: give them a CALL! It was a saturday and my call was handled by Ruthy Kanagy. Lucky me! Why lucky? Well, I'm pretty sure all representatives are very competent but for me it was Ruthy and I really enjoyed the whole process of buying a bike with her. Also I researched her profile and when I saw she had been organizing bike travels in Japan, I just knew I was in good hands :) and already I had thoughts of me biking in Tokyo, LOL. With just a few questions, Ruthy was able to give me an overview of my best options, comparing the models and explaining why she thought this or that would be better. She patiently answered all of my questions and I felt pretty much at ease and not pressured into buying quickly. This was great. As it turned out, I didn't buy on the first call at all. I just had too many questions in my mind and I felt insecure in my choice as well as regarding which measurements to use for my new bike. The problem is that I really DISLIKED my previous bike, so I couldn't use that one as the basis for my new bike! No problem: Ruthy walked me through the process. She took the time to have me take my body measurements, and also measure my old bike and explain to her what I didn't like about it so that she could fix that. She discussed everything with me over a few phone calls/emails and really, she was just great. In the end, we came up with what we both believed would be "the very best fit" for my new New World Tourist and I finally placed my final order, hurray! As is always the case, I was given a delivery date, which was respected. In fact, I received the bike ahead of schedule by many days! After having waited for over a month I was quite very happy with that :) There were a very minor mishaps with Canada customs. First, there was a delay because they needed to know the exact fabric of the bag, the country of origin of the replacement tubes and so on... So whatever is not precise enough on the shipping bill caused delays. It's depressing to see how much effort is spent on such insignificant trivialities: tax dollars at work... Also I had been told that only country taxes (GST) applied to the bike but take note, Bike Friday, good ol' time is over and shipping a bike into Quebec now incurs provincial taxes also (cost me a few hundred bucks.) After a 1.5-day delay, I finally unpacked my big box with a smile! I won't go through the whole process of assembling the bike, it's pretty easy and the instructions are pretty good. They could still improve, though, as my lack of experience there caused me a problem later on. When I assembled the pedals, it seems I didn't put them in place tightly enough (the manual didn't say and I so just tightened them "normally"). During a long ride down the canal here, I suddenly felt my right pedal being "off-center". I stopped and indeed, it had unscrewed itself. It could have been as easy as re-screwing the pedal in place but I wasn't so lucky. While unscrewing, it seems just a few turns of the pedal was enough to damage the threading of the pedalier!!! I found a bike shop but they couldn't fix it, they in fact damaged the threads further :( So I wrote an email to Ruthy, explaining the problem and asking what kind of cost I was looking at for repair? That's when things started to shine even more... Even though she was on vacation, Ruthy immediately got back to me and transferred my email to Jordan Bishko at customer service. In just a few short days I had a replacement crankshaft, free of charge, to fix my bike! The whole thing was resolved quickly and to my total satisfaction, thank you Bike Friday (and Jordan, and Ruthy! :)) So it's good to know that Bike Friday supports you even when things go wrong (and even though it clearly was MY fault.) This looks like a long story, but really, everything happened over just a few days and then I could start to really enjoy riding my new bike! The most important conclusion: THE BIKE RIDES LIKE A CHARM. I can say this without reserves now, as I have been riding it for over a month and a few hundred kilometers :) Not only does it fit my body well, the "feeling" of riding this bike, with it's smaller wheel, is GREAT! My wife would tell you: I didn't ride my bike anymore, I only did "tricks" on my inline skates because that was WAY more fun than my bike. But since I received my Bike Friday, I'm always going on a ride with her on our bikes and guess what, she likes that ;) The reason for my enthusiasm is that riding the smaller wheel is a real pleasure to me. It's feels sporty and very responsive. To give you an idea, I do "spins" on inline skates and so I really enjoy such a "playful" bike! I can turn on a dime and let me tell you that you can really "feel the power" and responsiveness of the bike when the traffic light turns green and your turn that crank! I could even do a wheelie :) I love the bike and guess what... my inline skates fit perfectly well ON my rear Bike Friday folding rack. So I can bike with my wife and when she stops for breath, I put on the inline skates and do some freestyle inline skate dancing. It's paradise!!! There are so many things to be said about that bike. I'll just have to write another post because it's sunny today and guess what... it's time I go have fun for another day on my Bike Friday :)Submitted by: June 20, 2010
Like everyone else, I felt like a kid at Christmas recently unwraping my new custom made New World Tourist. After my wife and I paid $700 in baggage fees to transport our traditional touring bikes back East, I decided the time had come to explore a Bike Friday to meet my future touring needs (and escape ever increasing baggage fee ripoffs imposed by the airlines). My New World Tourist has been the answer to my dream. Not only does my wallet thank me as I check in my samsonite suitcase at no extra cost, I smile ear to ear at the performance of this great bike. It is everything that I had imagined and more. More importantly, I was equally impressed at the service I received from Bike Friday after delivery. In my inaugural trip to Texas, a crack developed in my Shimano Ultegra large front chain ring. A quick call from the dealer to Bike Friday resulted in a new replacement part being immediately delivered to my local dealer at no cost. Not only am I impressed with the bike but I'm equally impressed with how they stand behind their product. Cross country here I come.Submitted by: Mike Broderick May 5, 2010
I was a little concerned about the performance of a bike with such little wheels. I had had a BikeE recumbent (as well as a Tour Easy and a Volae highracer)and it seemed to be very doggy on hills. I was told by BF that I would love this bike and I do. The first time I rode it I couldn't help singing at the top of my lungs the Richie Havens tune FREEDOM! A week after I got it I was on a 400 mile tour across upstate NY with hundreds of people. I got lots of questions, gave some test rides, and had the tour mechanic tell me that it was a nice bike. The oddest comment I got was when I wheeled into the parking lot at the end of the week and a gentleman said, "You rode 400 miles on that bike?" And clapped. I said, "This is a better bike than most of the bikes on this trip. Wanna try it?" He did and loved it.
A few weeks later I had to go away for a week. When I returned, I took my NWT out for a morning spin as usual. As soon as I got on the bike, I thought, "I LOVE THIS BIKE!" It's my trusty steed. Flying with it was a breeze and I loved not having to deal with UPS or Fedex (nothing against either company) and not having to send my bike ahead and worry if it got there. The morning of the trip, my friend and I strapped our tents and sleeping bags to our rear racks and strapped her duffle bag onto my trailer and rode the 5 miles from our B&B to the start of the ride. FREEDOM!Submitted by: August 18, 2009
I just got back yesterday from a 3-week vacation in Europe and brought my new New World Tourist with me. Getting and bringing the bike was one of the wisest decisions I've ever made in my experiences as a long-time traveler. My son and I biked for a week along the Danube River in Austria and my NWT performed like a charm. The bike withstood all the surprises and abuses I put it through, with flying colors.
For example, I would often have to shift gears really quickly not knowing what kind of terrain was coming around the bend. I biked on some pretty sharp and jiggly cobblestones in almost all of the little towns we biked through. I also carried the bike up some pretty narrow steps and through narrow passageways.
My son's Dahon, in no way, matched the performance and durability of my Bike Friday. After we first arrived in Europe and he put his bike back together, he had problems with the gears. Also, at one point, he fell down and the fork got bent, meaning he had to constantly adjust for the cock-eyed steering. I, on the other hand, did not have a single problem with my Bike Friday.
After biking along the Danube, we used the bikes to explore the cities we visited: Vienna, Innsbruck, and Paris. I notice this time around in Europe that the larger cities are becoming much more bike-friendly. In Vienna and Paris, you can rent a bike right off the street, paying by credit card for the time you use the bike (similar to the system in Amsterdam, except there it's free). When you're done with the bike, you just drop it off at any bike station. I figure that these cities realized that if they're going to make bikes available for everyone, they had better make more bike lanes. And lo and behold, there's more bike lanes.
I spent five days biking all over Paris, feeling very safe because there are often designated bike lanes for cyclists. Often, you share the bus lanes with the buses and taxis. I know I'm basically preaching to the choir when I tell you how great my experience was with my Bike Friday. If you want any tips on biking along the Danube or in Europe in general, just let me know.
Here's two of them: It's a good idea to carry your folded bike in a bag when you ride the long-distance trains in Austria. Otherwise, you'll be charged an additional 7 Euros per bike. We didn't bring bags and were charged twice for our bikes, which really hurts your pocketbook when you're traveling in already-expensive Europe. If the bike is disguised in a bag, it will just be considered part of your luggage.
If you still want to bring your bike unfolded and undisguised on the train, it's a good idea to get a reservation for your bike because space is often limited, especially in the summer when everyone, including Europeans, is traveling.
I also got a lot of interested stares at the Bike Friday trailer that I was pulling around with me during my travels in Europe. No one else in Europe has a system like that and every European who commented on the trailer thought it was a great idea and a nifty design.
I also wanted to say that pulling the trailer was a breeze and did not cause any hinderances or problems. In fact, I was able to keep up with my son, even though he was carrying less weight. The only snag was when I had to go uphill (which was not often during this trip). During those few instances, I had to get off the bike and push the bike and trailer up the hill. Although I didn't mind pulling the trailer at all, next time I bring my bike to Europe I'll opt for having both front and rear panniers (I only had rear ones this time around), instead of bringing the trailer. It's just easier to maneuver your bike without the trailer when you're riding around in those small European villages with those darn narrow cobblestone lanes.
My son was able to leave the suitcase that held his bike at the hotel he was going to stay at on the last day of his trip. We just asked the hotel if they wouldn't mind keeping his suitcase for two weeks until he checks into the hotel and then from there, flies back to the States. The hotel graciously said yes. If keeping the suitcase at a hotel is not an option, you can also check it into long-term storage at the airport you're arriving at and leaving from. At the Frankfurt airport, they charge 5 Euros a day per piece. To sum up this review, I love, love, love my Bike Friday and would highly recommend getting a bike from them. Bike Friday is a great product, made with great care, high quality, and, I think, with a lot of love.Submitted by: Anita Vacation Painitz August 18, 2009
Have just returned from a month cycling the Canadian Rockies on our Fridays. The bikes travelled in bags from our home in Darwin Australia to Calgary via Singapore,Hong Kong San Fran and Vancouver with no hassle what so ever. They were a delight to ride yet again (We have already given them a thorough test on the dirt roads of the Flinders Ranges in Australia) and we are converted. Next year they are going on a cycle of the world and they are raring to go!!- We are so pleased we made the decision to buy them.Submitted by: Trish Whitaker July 20, 2009
My brother donated his BF NWT to me after several years of use (he loved the bike but moved on to a recumbent). The NWT had a slight crack in the seat mast (he's a very tall, heavy guy). With one emailed request, BF sent me a new seat mast in my size at no cost - not even for shipping. That's excellent service!Submitted by: March 5, 2009
I’m a member of the Bike Friday Yak List and I’ve read lots of NWT owner comments that the New World Tourist rides just like full sized touring bike. I figured that must be a bit of an exaggeration since a 20″ wheeled folding bike has to be different than a 26″/700c wheeled bike.
Well I must say I see where they are coming from. Other than having slightly faster handling and feeling bumps a little bit more the NWT fits and rides a lot like my Surly Long Haul Trucker. I find that pretty amazing.
Speaking of amazing I must give Bike Friday credit for dialing in the fit on this bike for me so well. All they had to go on were some measurements from my tikit as well as some general riding preferences. I just wanted to make sure we were in the ballpark and I figured I’d do the rest once I got the bike. To my surprise the bike fit me like a glove right down to having a long TT and a short stem. I haven’t had to adjust a thing — sweet!
One of the reasons I think the NWT and the tikit ride so well when compared to other folding bikes is that Bike Friday allows you to customize your frame to fit you. This is more than just pushing your seat back and adding a longer stem to make a small bike fit a large person. Anyone who has ridden a bike like that will agree the feeling of having your weight too far over the front wheel is not pleasant nor confidence inspiring.
The effective TT (top tube) on my NWT is around 59cm which allows me to keep my weight well back of the bars and allows the bike to handle very pleasantly. Between the handling and the fit I’m really looking forward to doing some touring on this bike. Read more of my NWT ramblings here: http://thelazyrando.wordpress.com/tag/nwt/ safe riding, Vik www.thelazyrando.comSubmitted by: Vik Banerjee February 2, 2009
I purchased my red NWT right after I tested ride several folding bike at local bike shop. I really like the way the bike handle, it is much better than what I expected from a folding bike. Set the saddle, stem and handle bar as close as my MTB setting and when I ride it, I forgot that I am riding 20 inch folding bike.
Well, until I hit a bump because obviously it has no front and rear suspension. :) I've been riding this bike for about 300km, and rode it quite hard through some rough street here in Jakarta-Indonesia with no problem at all. However I did change several components like crank, RD, Shifter, stem ( mine was a quill type and change it into aheadset style stem) because I just dont like the standard components came with the bike.
If you are looking for long distance touring/riding then NWT is a strong contender but if you are looking for a compact and easy bike to fold and short distance riding then Tikit is a better choice.Submitted by: Robertus Hadisurya December 31, 2008
I first saw a Bike Friday (tikit) outside the US Embassy in Baghdad last winter. I'm tall, at 6'6", and what struck me was that the seat height was higher than that on the Fisher commuter I was riding.
After talking with the owner, I decided that I'd buy a NWT on return from my deployment. I'm in the Army, and my assignment has me traveling quite a bit. Naturally, the Bike Friday's portability was what sold me, so that's what I'd like to address first. I bought the Samsonite case along with the NWT, and in my excitement to learn about my new traveling companion, overlooked the plug that protects the top of the steerer. Big mistake! I took my first trip from San Antonio, Texas to Norfolk, Virginia back in August. Imagine my dismay on opening my case and discovering the crushed steerer.
Fortunately, Hugh talked me off the ledge, helped me apply a little self corrective maintenance, and I was soon back on the road. My NWT has a very long stem, and I was afraid that it would feel unstable, but after many miles, I am as confident on the NWT as I am on my Cannondale road bike.
This is a very well made machine! I've now taken my bike to Utah, Virginia (again), Oklahoma, New Mexico, and ride it regularly here on Fort Sam Houston. I take it on shopping trips, towing a trailer that I made from a lockable Rubbermaid box and the BF trailer chassis, and it is a joy to ride. The only trips I haven't taken the bike on, I've regretted not having it. It sets up and folds quickly, so it's only stayed home when my duties wouldn't support the time needed to ride.
Now that I have a great small headlight, even that won't be a deterrent any longer, as I can take early morning or late evening rides. I'm headed to Arkansas next, so more new adventures await. Thanks for a great machine and superb support after the sale!Submitted by: Verb Washington November 30, 2008
After being away from biking for several years I decided to give it a try again earlier this year and immediately wondered why I had ever stopped riding. I have arthritis in one knee and have trouble walking, but on a well fit bike I discovered I can ride for hours! I live in Honolulu so I can ride all year round, though we do get wet once in a while. I also travel a lot and an upcoming 18 day trip to Mexico City got me thinking about biking while traveling.
I realized I couldn't take the bicycle I was using, a well fit, but inexpensive bike, I purchased to give biking a try. That led to a search for ways to ride while away. I gave some thought to renting a bike, but couldn't seem to find a place via the internet that would work for me in DF. [There may be one or more, but I don't read or speak Spanish well which hampered the search.]
Buying a cheap bike there and leaving it didn't seem like a great idea either. That left taking one. After a couple of weeks of research I settled on a Bike Friday NWT custom (I'm a big guy so the heavy rider upgrade was in order). It was a bit more than I'd hoped to spend, but in the end was totally worth it.
Once I made the decision I called Green Gear and was partnered with Ruthy K. who led me through the process of measuring my current bike, choosing components (standard except for the DD gearing) and extras. We had to set a "ship by" date because my trip was coming up fairly quickly and had I waited much longer it might not have been possible to get a custom. I paid and immediately began fretting. I'll be honest and say that my bike did not ship on time and I had to upgrade my shipping to insure that I would get it before I had to leave for Mexico.
In addition the TravelCase I had ordered did not, for some reason, come with the bike. I had to call about that as I was surprised. I think Ruthy was surprised too. In any case it was also shipped to me in time for the trip. I had a week with the bike before I had to pack it up and head to Mexico and in that time I fell in love with the bike. I had no trouble assembling it, the directions were very clear and I was riding withing 90 minutes of opening the box.
I do wish it had come in the TravelCase, but later I had little trouble with that either - the DVD is very helpful. In fact I put the video on my iPod so I could have it with me wherever I go. The ride was far smoother than I expected and after a few minutes of getting used the geometry I felt comfortable and safe. The bike itself fit perfectly for me. I used it every day for a week before I left on my trip so I was very comfortable with it by the time I had to pack it up for the trip.
The bike arrived safely in Mexico and I didn't have to pay a dime extra. I was allowed two check-in bags on Alaska Airlines. The day after I arrived was Sunday and in DF the Paseo de la Reforma, major artery, was shut down for bikes, joggers, and skaters. I got out and rode the 7 miles loop between Chapultepec Park and the Zocalo several times as well as going through park. Wow! I attracted a lot of stares as my Green Gear Green NWT definitely stands out.
There were other folders around, but I did not see another BF anywhere. The only thing I wasn't particularly happy with was riding on cobblestones in the "Historic Center." I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have liked it on anything. I didn't ride as much as I might have liked on the trip as there were few places to park and lock a bike and I didn't want to fold it and carry it around museum after museum.
Maybe with a Tikit...hmmm... That isn't to say I didn't ride though. I rode a lot on the Sundays I was there and a bit the rest of the time, so it was definitely worth it.
Having a bike that fits perfectly makes all the difference. I'm back now and am planning on getting the wheel assembly for the TravelCase so I can fly interisland without renting a car.
In short, I'm stoked. I have several other trips planned in the next couple of years and the NWT is definitely coming with me. And don't think its going to sit in its case the rest of the time, I live in an apartment and it's a great fit for that too.
Aloha!Submitted by: Robert Harrison November 12, 2008
I recently visited Bike Friday in Eugene and spent 3 glorious days in the area. I've owned an Air Llama since 2002. Since I started riding my AL I've always wanted to meet the fine folks at BF and have a tour of their company.
After six years of constant riding the AL (I don't own or drive cars anymore), and my horrible attempt of repainting the bike, I decided to get a complete overall and paint job done on this incredible bike. I was also thinking of trading in or selling the AL for a New World Tourist as my riding needs have changed over the years. So I took the Amtrak from Sacramento, Ca. to Eugene, my bike folded up into the nylon carrying bag. (I have done much travelling on Amtrak taking my AL folded with me on board and have never had a problem).
I arrived in Eugene around 2:00 PM and I'm unzipping my bike bag, and next to me I hear a little voice saying "We have a Bike Friday too". I look over to my left and there are two young boys (about 7 years young), and they are sitting there with two BF travel cases and panniers. And then their father walks up and opens up the suitcases and starts putting together their 3 seated tandem. It was the same beautiful green that my bike once was. We intoduce ourselves and continue assembing our bikes with people about us in amazement of what is literally unfolding before their eyes. I could tell this father and his sons were totally into their bike and they shared with me how they love their tandem.
So they pedaled off to Cottage Grove and I to the BF factory. When I found BF and met Walter, I told him what I wanted to do with my AL and wanted to test the NWT and tikit. I first tried the tikit out of curiosity of this new BF design. There was another man there also trying one out. We were both totally impressed with the handling and stability of that little bike. But I basically live with/on my AL and the NWT would fit my needs more. There was not a NWT assembled, so I tried his Pocket Llama. I rode it for awhile and loved the way it handled and was told the NWT is much like the PL. Fortunately they had one large size NWT still in the box. So I bought it then and there.
Walter assembled the bike as I took off some of the components from my other bike and transferred them to the new one. I loaded my four panniers onto the NWT and tested it to make any needed adjustments. I loved the NWT right off. So I spent the next 3 days riding all over the Eugene area. I knew that I had definately made the correct decision. Before I left Eugene, Peter gave me a tour ot their company and how business is run there. Later that afternoon I boarded Amtrak with my new folded NWT and headed for Minneapolis. I've been here for three weeks and it's hard to stay off this bike. So, my Air Llama is at BF restored, but I'm finding it difficult to think of letting go of it. If I do sell it, you'll see it in the YAK section.
Every BF I've ridden is right on. I may just end up with a fleet of these wonderful bikes, the bike lover that I am. And I always meet the most interesting people who come up to me and ask me if that's my neat little bike hitched to a tree or post or whatever. I proudly acknowledge them and the conversation goes on and on and ... It's really nice to find something in this material world that works so well as a Bike Friday. It makes life so much more flowing. Thanks so much Walter, Peter, and Jordan (and the whole BF crew) for your wonderful assistance and making my travels such a success. Bike Friday has got it together!!! Happy Trails, DougSubmitted by: Douglas Straight September 1, 2008
Stephen, Haven't gotten a chance to provide you with any feedback on our purchases of two New World Tourists, but now wish to do so now that we've taken our first short (3-day) tour with them. We both LOVE our bikes. Mine performs every bit as well as my Cannondale T2000, so much so that I wonder if I really need two bikes. Alice doesn't even use her other touring bike anymore. We've been riding a lot of unloaded trips. But now, we just came back from a three day trip in Vermont - we both used our front and rear panniers. They ride really well both loaded and unloaded. I'm not very technical, but if there was a forum where you'd like me to put in my two cents worth of recommendations, I'd be happy to do so. Bill and AliceSubmitted by: Bill & Alice Mullen July 7, 2008
Thanks for everything, Steve. This is the greatest bike I ever had. What a ride and what a way to see Oregon. I can't thank you enough for all you did. The Bike is just perfect for me and I've had our local bike shop set me on it perfectly. I have a million memories of the ride and now I just ride my Friday exclusively. You guys at Bike Friday rock Mike Oles Bethel, CTSubmitted by: Mike Oles July 7, 2008
After several trips to Europe with full size bikes packed in boxes and plastics bags, I am pleased to have a Bike Friday that packs in a suitcase. The safety and security of a hard case ensures that the bike will arrive in good condition and ready to ride. The upright position of this bike allows me to see more when touring than my old bike. The short wheelbase is great in the towns and villiages of France. The 27 speed Bike Friday has even more gear range than my old bike and the 3 speed hub allows me to change gears even while stopped. If you travel by plane with a bike, check out the NWT.Submitted by: Bill Guthrie April 1, 2008
My first ride out of the box was an amazing adventure. We flew out of Minneapolis and began the trip from Fort Lauderdale then proceeded through the Florida Keys out to Key West. What an amazing ride over 42 bridges, the longest being the "7 mile bridge" It was like riding my bike over the ocean. The bike fit better than any bike I've ridden. A couple years prior to buying the Bike Friday I had broke two elbows and a wrist. I wasn't sure I'd ever ride without pain again. But the Bike Friday crew came through, as I didn't have any pain the entire trip. Absolutely amazing. One day we hit a bit of a tropical storm but we peddled right through it with no problem. Toward the end of the trip I began to struggle thinking I was moving into a state of exhaustion. When I got off the bike I noticed a flat tire (lots of glass in certain areas). Once the flat was fixed I was off like the wind. I can't say enough for this bike. The bike packed beautifully. Zero problems at the airport. The trailer was fantastic. Fully loaded...I still forgot it was even there.Submitted by: Rebecca Dirks March 8, 2008
Writing from Frisco, Colorado, elevation 9100' where I use my stealth black New World Tourist to cruise from my home to the Town's marina docks. It fits easlly onto my boat, pedals effortlessly up the Main Street and is easy to get on after a couple of beers at the local saloon. It is the babyboomers dream machine! Chances are that I will order Bike Friday #2 as soon as I get finished negotiating colors with the girlfriend. regards, RobSubmitted by: February 24, 2008
Bike allows for many adjustments. Easy to get the right fit. Very stable bicycle inspiring confidence. Little more sensitive to steering input than a big-wheeled bicycle but something one could easily get used to. It took a couple of rides to learn to keep the bike on line when looking back to check on traffic. Can stand up on the pedals uphill. Climbs well with no noticeable frame flex. Pulling hard on the bar during acceleration makes the riser flex a bit.Submitted by: Sampath Palaniswamy February 19, 2008
I purchased my BikeFriday NWT in July 2004 and have had a never ending list of problems with this bike from day one. Here is a list of some of the problems experienced: The bolt that holds the front derailleur assembly was stripped and fell off when I unpacked the bike on day one. The bike was received with no shim in the seat post so that the seat could not be fastened tightly The chain broke after one month's usage. The rear brake cable broke after 7 months usage. The chain guard (the black part) was set too far from the small inner front sprocket, and failed to keep chain on when I shifted to the low gears. Then the chain got jammed, and I had to loosen the black chain guard to release the chain. I finally removed the chain guard from the bike - too much hassle. Screws came loose (got lost) on the Travelcase suitcase causing the handle to get loose. I recently ordered a new replacement rear cassette to replace my worn cassette after 3 years and BikeFriday shipped the wrong size cassette even though they told me that it was identical. Yes, I still ride the bike, but the never ending problems that keep occuring is discouraging since I thought I bought a custom fit, super bike.
Bike Friday responds:
Dale appears to have a frame that is slightly too big given his age. His suggestion - that as most of our customers get older (60 and up - Dale is now 67), they will require a smaller frame and more up-right position - is very valid, and we try hard to be mindful to specify bikes with these criteria in mind.
We have offered him a replacement shorter main frame and stem that is built as needed - gratis- to get him back on his bike in a more comforatable configureation.
As for the Capreo 9-32, this was a BF custom part discontinued because it made adjustments at the factory difficult when installed.
Dale also mentioned a split rim along the center of the rim - between spoke holes - about a year after having the bike. We encourage our customers to seek our help in matters such as this. Even if the original maker of the part won't stand behind their product, we will. Ouir goal is a life time relationship with our customers.
We are pleased to hear that Dale's wife is happy with her bike.Cheers, Hanz and HughSubmitted by: Dale Fiolek September 29, 2007
This is the first in a series of reviews I intend to post, each from a different point of view in terms of its different uses. This one is about quality, initial feel, and first impressions of its performance around my city, Minneapolis.
I have been really enjoying this bike. I haven’t even needed to take it anywhere yet- it just sits there assembled and I ride it all over. It has facets to its personality that I don’t expect to come in one bike, though I like the combination. When I first look at it, I see a geek toy- gosh, a folding bike! A second later, I notice the immaculate quality of construction- very nice welds, impossibly light rear triangle and articulating members, perfect paint. After a minute, I see some mature, restrained genius- All the hinges are out of line, so the ends of the members fold next to each other, thus more tightly. More foldability, no extra weight! Another couple seconds, and the ad-hoc improvements that make it much more convenient become apparent- Three water-bottle holders with built-in “tool”, bolted-on velcro strap to hold it folded, nice lugs everywhere.
I raved to three different patient friends about the insanely low overhead weight associated with towing a trailer- One male air fitting, one ¾” long stub of thin threaded tubing, just a few grams. What’s better than that? Oh, yeah, I’m supposed to ride it. So I get on. I got Crank Bros. Candy eggbeater pedals and a closeout Bontrager racing saddle for relatively cheap. They get the job done. I ride around for a while.
Cranking pulses cause the frame to palpably surge forward each time. Partly this is the light weight, my other bike weighs 40.5 lbs with panniers and tools and lock. Partly it is the two long sticks that connect me to the bike, flexing. A more even cadence straightens it out. This thing gets up to speed alarmingly fast, at least to the spandex-clad dude on the Titanium race bike next to me at the light. I just get on the gas, and shoot past him at running pace, bunny-hopping up the curb on the other side, back onto the bike path. I didn’t want to cut him off at the ramp. This thing hops almost like a little BMX bike. Now THAT’s a good feature for an urban-assault weapon that my cargo-bike does not have. I’m just giggling- a 27-speed BMX racer with 95 PSI slicks and a good seat height! Zing! A minute later I hear his chain humming, and he passes; slowly but surely. I, however, am going about as fast as I ever go on flat land, and I’m pretty pleased.
In a few miles, there’s my exit from the Greenway. They planted a community garden with two woodchip-mulched entries onto the bike path. We are in a railroad ditch, and the path is a pretty good grade, maybe two stories in 70 feet. I get into granny gear, lean low over the handlebars, and crank away. Up I go. No wheelies. No funky handling. I giggle some more. The Bike is a Jekyll-and-Hyde, handling-wise. With my arms near straight, I can hurtle down any hill in town (Minneapolis) at top speed, and not feel freaky. With my arms bent and my body lower, it maneuvers like a squirrel. U-turns on most sidewalks. The river road is very bumpy, and I feel every one, with the small wheels.
But it is actually not that bad, as the bumps are then mediated by the long sticks for the handlebars and the seat. I would be as happy to sit on this all day as on any bike I have ridden. If the game is going from one place to another quickly on paved roads, whether straight and open or tight and technical, the New World Tourist will not disappoint. If the game is tight and technical, sidewalks, alleys, small paths, there is nothing better with multiple speeds and a high seat.
I only have a few reservations as I get off the bike. The v-brakes are top-shelf, and have good feel. Unfortunately, the good feel reports that my rear tire starts lifting off the ground long before I am out of power in front. So absolutely manic speed is not safe where there is cross traffic. The very tall riding position, due to my 6’ 3”, combined with the short wheelbase (41 ¼” versus the 42 1/8” of my cargo bike) and light tail allows nice bunny-hops, but disallows maximum stops. However, they can stop you much faster than most people care to stop, I’m peculiar that way. For the same reason, plus the thin tires and the folding frame, I am afraid to ride this thing down stairs, which was within the realm of possibility on some BMX and mountain bikes.
Then, there is good old San Francisco. I bought this thing to ride there, and I have not done it yet. How will Divisadero Street feel towing my microscope tools on a trailer? 14th going up from Church? How do they ever feel? Terribly, terribly steep. So there it is, leaning against our easy chair in the living room, barely longer than the chair. Finally, I see the whole.
It is a folding bike, and the basic construction, the elements, are in common with several other folding bikes. It looks a bit strange, yes. But this one has a dignity, a class to it- it looks trim, minimal, REAL. It looks FAST. Remarkably, it does not look compromised, so as to fold. I LIKE this bike. Oh, yeah, and it fits in that suitcase. Did I forget to say that it fits in a suitcase
Paul Ashman, Field Service Technician Minneapolis, MNSubmitted by: Paul Ashman July 19, 2007
New World Tourist meets San Francisco!
This is the second review I have submitted. It is about traveling by air with 25 pounds of tools and a home office, fixing hospital equipment, and lugging said tools all over mountainous San Francisco.
Well, it happened. I got a service job in San Francisco again. This is a week of truth. I bought this machine because of San Francisco. I know it is good to ride. I know it is fast and fun and folds into a suitcase. But how is it assembling and disassembling in some dark corner near the airport? What is it like escaping an international airport on a bicycle? Did they gear it low enough to tow all my stuff up those hills?
I checked at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International airport, and the woman at the information desk, who had wanted to do this as well, and had checked into it, said there was no legal way to ride a bicycle to the airport. Since the roads were salty and icy, I did not test this theory, and took a cab. I could stack my other suitcase on the BF suitcase, to wheel them to the ticket counter.
My method depended on me being tall. Shorter people may need to strap one bag to the other, piggyback style. The bike and suitcase are so close to the weight limit that the addition of a battery pack and headlight put it over 50 lbs. I had to move some stuff around to bring it under. l had all the documentation, plus a mini pump and tire patching stuff, and the tool kit that came with the bike, which I had to move to my other bag.
At San Francisco, there are two options. You can take the Air Train that connects the airport together, to the Rental Car building, the northernmost edge of the airport. I broke out the bicycle and trailer beside the building where people waited for offsite rental car shuttles.
You can also take the train to the BART station, and take the train into town. It takes me at least twenty minutes to put the outfit together, and another ten to figure out how to get all my stuff on board. I could fit my service toolkit and “Purse,” which has my home office in it, into the BF suitcase. I used the straps from the other soft suitcase and the service tool kit to strap the soft suitcase to the top of the trailer. It never slipped off.
The rental car building is a nice place to do this job. It is far enough from the airport that security does not kick you out, yet is very inconvenient and unattractive for people to get to, who have no business there. Nobody bothered me at all. I rode off on surface streets.
An unfamiliar airport can be cased pretty effectively from the web. Look for airport transit to a remote location, preferably offsite rental cars. Mapquest recommended a route that got me where I was going. It involved many long, 35-45MPH surface arterial roads that skirted the US101. The route was direct, but mostly very noisy and loaded with fast traffic. Not a relaxing ride. You must take up the space you need with confidence, remember your trailer’s girth, take great care to be visible from behind, and be prepared to muster several surges of chutzpah when it is time, for instance, to dive into one of the left lanes of Bay Shore Blvd, so you can catch the ramp onto Potrero. Avoid sudden moves and act decisively.
The problem is, through roads that show up on maps were not often made with bicycles in mind. Advantage BF: Anytime you need to get your bearings, just pull up a driveway onto the sidewalk, lay the bike carefully on the trailer-hitch side with that pedal up, and look at a map. Wrong turn? Ride the wrong way on one way streets on the sidewalk. Go through parks, pedestrian walkways and overpasses. Not a through street, my ass. Parking Schmarking. Never once did I fail to find a rack or signpost right in front of my destination.
In San Francisco!!! So much easier to get where you are going in unfamiliar territory, than in a car.
The trailer is less annoying over bad road than you would think, but the bobbing was annoying going over big dips. Bad roads really slow me down on my 1.35” tires, and the trailer really drags if the wheels are hitting lots of sharp bumps. Luckily most SF roads are ok. Even with all my stuff, I made acceptable progress, and made it to my hotel.
Before entering my hotel or a coffee shop, I detach my trailer from the bike, lock the bike, and pull the trailer in with me. It stands on its tail in a relatively small footprint, and usually is not in the way. Time comes to go to work. The trailer can carry it all. It weighs less, behaves a little better. I get to the hospital on my old nemesis, 14th St. coming up from Church. The first two blocks work out fine. The third block is granny gear. It is at least two stories in a block. Granny gear is too high for this hill. I have to stand up and pedal to reach the top. But I’m here on top, so it’s ok.
At the bike rack, I change shoes, pull out my tie. In a bathroom, I put the tie on. I just wheel the trailer right in. It looks almost professional. And very convenient. I, however, am sweaty. So be it. San Franciscans dig any attempt to travel green.
Advantage BF: At your destination, all your stuff is already on a handy cart, to wheel around with you. San Francisco is a crowded, tight, slow, picky place to drive or bike. Almost every intersection is a 4-way stop or traffic light, in the hilly part of town.
For this reason, the requirements for the ideal bicycle are different than in Minneapolis, where your progress is limited most by air resistance or tires. In San Francisco, top speed is nothing. You can’t attain it uphill, you can’t maintain it on flat ground for all the stopping, and your brakes limit your top speed downhill. In San Francisco there are three things to optimize: Weight, handling, brakes. Agility, acceleration and deceleration are what makes a bike fast here. It doesn’t hurt to be skinny, either.
The trailer ruins the BF’s portfolio in this department. It makes it heavy, fat, and harder to stop. But it carries your stuff really well, and that is what I need. But when you leave the trailer at the hotel, and pack light, WATCH OUT!
I have never ridden a bike that felt this good going up a hill. It is no more likely to flip over backwards than any other bike I have ridden, despite appearances. My body position is perfect for the climb, with the H-bars and the clipless pedals. At around 27 lbs. with seat, pedals and lock, it is not a featherweight, but it is ok, especially considering that I weigh 238 lbs.
As I went on voyages in the evenings, I would crank up any hill I saw. It is efficient, smooth, and easy. I could tell even in the flatlands that this bike took off and changed direction faster than anything since my BMX bike when I was a kid.
In SF, the hilliness and congestion quadruple the value of these traits. The BF has truly got game in this department. The H-bars are not very wide, so you can slip through many tight spots. It has the wherewithal to accelerate and merge into and out of city traffic like nothing I have ridden. It gets leaned over so quickly that I can often make very tight maneuvers without slowing down. And never underestimate the value of that short footprint to duck suddenly between two parked cars, or into some little spot where you can take a breather.
Yet, going down these killer hills, where I could coast to 45 MPH easily if I didn’t brake, the bike felt secure and controllable. Once I was going down Green St. to go to a show, and the road dead-ended, continuing in a narrow staircase, descending about four stories in half a block.
There I discovered that the big main tube is so low and horizontal that it is easy to find a balance point and carry it through narrow places like a suitcase, right beside me. If I lived in SF, I would want to fit a disc front brake. I didn’t really push the nice V-brakes on the New World Tourist, but my experience with V-brakes on other bikes, if you insist on super fast stops with a heavy load or going downhill fast, they fade. I want to be able to hold as much downhill speed as possible, without any doubt as to my brakes’ ability to take the heat.
While I'm at it, a couple quibbles about its performance:
-Braking ability is limited by short wheelbase and light tail, at least for tall people. -You feel flex in the stem if you stand up and pull on the handlebars to get more pedal force, not that it is often necessary on a 27-speed with clipless pedals
- The trailer handles an adequate load, but does not handle overload gracefully. The wheels are at the back, which means the weight on the coupling goes up dramatically with the towing weight. The trailer starts to bob back and forth, resulting in a funny oscillation in forward speed, if there are pavement irregularities. The coupling, though, is ingenious and amusing.
-If you have to push the bike up a hill with a heavy trailer, you cannot push by the seat, because it will fold down. In short, with the exception of relatively (for me) sober speeds going downhill (I had not found the limit, maybe it is higher than I think), I rode as hard and fast as I could all over the place, and the New World Tourist rewarded my efforts with such alacrity that I was often laughing at how quickly I could make things happen.
Advantage BF: for the slow, congested inner-city environment, especially San Francisco with its hills, the New World tourist is superior to a full-sized bike in agility, acceleration and hillclimbing, better than most in braking, and beyond all necessity in top speed.
Overall, I do not believe a full-sized bike of any kind could match its performance here. After three days of this lifestyle of going everywhere under my own power, another difference was obvious. I felt full of energy. My muscles ached just a little, but were toned and ready, not lethargic. I was eating restaurant portions three times a day, and not feeling like a blob. Usually these trips make me feel bad because I don’t move enough and eat too much. The BF allows this otherwise unhealthy situation to become healthy and joyful.
Advantage BF: You don’t have to recover from your journey. You don’t gain weight, you don’t feel bad. This new way of business travel does require some new things of the traveler: -You need to be willing to mix it up on the street with the traffic, which is an acquired taste.
-You need to be willing to be seen by strangers messing with your belongings for 20 minutes at the beginning and end of your stay.
-You will have sweat on you when you arrive. It dries soon enough.
-The maximum amount of other stuff you can have on the plane is reduced by one checked piece.
-Depending on the locations of things, your transit time may be longer on a bike. It probably cost me an extra 1.5 hours to put the bike together and ride the 15 miles to my hotel.
On the other hand, you get all these advantages:
-The ability to park right in front of, or even within, your destination, free, anytime, anywhere.
-Stay fit and happy the whole time
-The security and autonomy of having your own vehicle, with none of the cost.
-The ability to poke your way around much more easily in unfamiliar places.
-All your stuff is already in a nice wheely-cart.
-Near immunity to traffic, DUI and parking tickets.
-The ability to reach destinations in the densest urban cores quickly and for free.
-Depending on the locations of things, your transit time may be shorter on a bike. The difficulty of finding parking can eat up more time than the meager speed advantage of a car in a city center can buy.
-No rental, parking, tolls, insurance, foreign driver’s license, or gas. And, lest it be lost on you, one revolutionary point: I have a really nice bike that carries all my stuff and I am 2000 miles from home. And I could as easily have been in any city around the world that has an international airport. I get my nice bike wherever I want it. And thanks to the trailer, the whole outfit comes along. I never have to return for anything, it all comes along. Just think it through. I am, already.
I have a feeling this machine shall be pressed into service as a mountain bike, my apologies to the engineers. After all, it is the one that will be with me on the back of my motorcycle when I go to a rally in West Virginia. My full-size mountain bike sure won’t be there.
I can see it coming. It will be used for whatever I want, just because it is the one that is HERE, wherever that may be. It will live a hard life, but it will be greatly appreciated.
Paul Ashman Field Service Technician Minneapolis, MNSubmitted by: Paul Ashman July 19, 2007
Hi: What does a 63 year old woman do when she wants to take a month long bike trip but doesn't have a bike she likes ... nor has ever taken such a trip? So, here's my story.
My name is Wintergreen. I live most of the year in New Zealand. Two years ago I purchased an automatic shifting bike. I sorted of like it but there were some issues ... it had a high center of gravity; although there was a woman's bar it still was high; it didn't feel stable on turns, hitting uneven spots or off road; you couldn't stand up because the gears could shift. In 1988 I lived in Eugene and come back periodically to visit. I shipped my bike back to Eugene last year. Over the year I decided I wanted to take a long bike trip and knew this automatic shifting gear wasn't going to work well. When I returned this year, I went to Paul's and asked about bike options for travelling. I knew I could carry a bike on an airplane but how to get to the airport is more my issue.
The salesperson at Paul's told me about Bike Friday and Co-Motion. Bike Friday was close by. I rode over, met Steve, got on a bike and 5 seconds later committed to purchasing a New World Tourist. Bingo! Why so fast? Well when you experience something so special you can tell right away.
Bike Fridays evolutionize cycling.
Sure we all know:
* Bike Friday's have a low step over.
* The bike is amazingly stable!
* It folds up into its own suitcase and I can drag the thing around behind me! Isn't that a WOW?
* It's comfortable to ride for extended periods .... and I haven't even started my trip.
* The parts are common.
There's no doubt that Bike Friday is a perfect bike for seniors and I'll do my best to spread the word. I'm addicted and have only had it a few days. I'll be heading from Vienna to Holland and will put updates on this site about my trip.
Wintergreen, trustee http://www.birthingbetter.comSubmitted by: Winter Green June 26, 2007
I recently used my upped VA disablity to buy a NWT. I hae had a Pocket Tourist so I was familier with the product line. I was asked by Stephen at customer service if there any changes I would ike. I asked for the front stem to be a little longer so I could ride more upright (back problems). The machine came through as ordered and it rode well folded well and continue to ride it. The best thing is that it does fold ride and perform with no fuss. That is the great thing , it just goes and goes. I am riding my NWT in the 2006 Cycle Oregon. with my sister and I expect no problems. What else can one ask from a bike. it is sized for me and it is always dependable. Also I would like to thank all you taxpayers who paid for it for me. ( My VA disablity was upped because of Agent orange, diabetis, and nerve damage problems).Submitted by: Kenneth Kulesz May 22, 2006
I have taken my New World Tourist on 2 trips so far: Orlando FL, and Portland Oregon. It rode wonderfully and was a joy to have along. I had previously shipped my road bike, and the Bike Friday was so much less hassle. 15-20 minutes and I was ready to ride.Submitted by: Andy Hartle October 29, 2005
I am a Little Person also known as a dwarf who is 4'2" tall and 41 yrs old. As an adult I have had a never ending search for a bike that would fit my stature. I could find kids bikes with Batman or some other character on it that would have training wheels or some other kid related decorations. These bikes without any gearing or other serious bike parts were not the answer. I had found larger bikes on 20 inch frames that would offer some gearing and other options. However the most important option, reaching the ground was not an option for me. I would have to find a step, a curb, or some other thing to put my foot on so I could stop my bike. Otherwise I mastered the dump, tuck and roll technique which at my age was no longer a viable option. I find that things hurt now when I did this technique. Then one day I was on the website for Little People of America and saw a link to Bike Friday. I read the story on Dan Okenfuss and was impressed with his endurance and his bike. I knew that my search for the bike I always wanted was finally over! The next steps were to figure out what my bike needs were. Walter Lapchynski my sales consultant was excellent to work with. He was there every step of the way. Walter figured out what bike, and what specifications would meet my needs. During the process he would respond promptly to any questions that I had and kept me updated during the whole process. He is an excellent representative and I urge everyone interested to contact him at his email address; email@example.com he will work hard for you. I live in the beautiful State of Maine where I will enjoy future scenic rides. Where I am a Little Person I was able to receive a grant from a program in the State of Maine called Alpha One. This grant was awarded to me to obtain adaptive items that I would not normally be able to afford. I used this grant to purchase my New World Tourist bike. During this process Walter again was extremely helpful and assisted both the program representative and myself in providing the information needed to process this grant. If you are in the same situation that I was I urge you to check your local disability or adaptive equipment programs to see if there is one that can assist you with purchasing a new Bike Friday bike. When I received my New World Tourist bike I was very excited with the anticipation of being able to ride a bike that would fit me and was made to my specifications. When my UPS truck arrived I was like a kid a Christmas waiting for Santa to arrive! I easily unpacked the bike and followed the instructions to assemble or unfold the bike. I soon was on the road! My first ride consisted on short distances making a few adjustments to find what was perfect for me. I found my ideal comfort zone and then I was off! Being a bike novice my first day of riding I went 7.5 miles and enjoyed every minute. Since then I can't leave the bike alone! Every spare moment I take a ride even if it is just around the block. I have received several great comments about the bike. Where the bike is able to fold so easily I can put the bike in my car trunk and take it everywhere I go. I truly love this bike and urge anyone like me to seriously consider this bike you will not be disappointed. If you are a Little Person and have been looking for that perfect bike, this is it. Please feel free to contact me via email with any questions or comments. Thank you for reading about my New World Tourist experience. -Dennis Healy; MaineSubmitted by: Dennis Healy July 23, 2005
Summary: Great bike for travel, touring, commuting. It is a lot like a New World Tourist, although for folks who are big or want wide tires, it may be a better choice. Quick history. Some years ago, I bought a used Pocket Rocket on eBay and was not crazy about it. The bike was light and whippy – rode like a serpent on a merry-go-round. Packing was not easy in the early suitcase. Derailleurs would not stay adjusted. Folded, it was not small, not portable, and often not folded – it tended to open up when you carried it. So I sold it and got a Brompton – easily best folding bike around. Bromptons are really convenient and easy to carry – so long as you don’t actually have to ride one. For a guy like me who runs 6'1", and 230 lbs, a Brompton looked like something from the circus. No gears, no brakes, no real wheels, and no frame -- but man, it folds like a sunofagun! So I called Bike Friday and pestered Steve Strickland to within an inch of his life. Yes, they could build me a bike that was stiffer. Yes it is now easier to pack. Yes they could gear it low (I live around steep mountains and have yet to be confused with Lance on the hills). I spec’d a Pocket Rocket – because I like road bikes. Then I started looking at the tire selection for Pocket Rockets. In my experience, tires, far more than anything else on your bike, determine what the bike can and cannot do. So for me, a frame that can accept a wider range of tire sizes is more versatile. The tires for the Pocket Rockets run thin – not good if you are heavy, hate flats, or like dirt roads (and I love to ride dirt roads when I can, because there is less traffic). The Llama can take skinny tires, fat ones, or high pressure Schwalbes that are great on roads and OK on dirt if you give them less pressure. Plus Heinz Stucke, the guy who started touring 42 years ago and forgot to stop, rode one for awhile. Then a deadline came: a business junket to Santiago , Chile. I would have three riding days. Unfortunately, it was winter there, so I figured on rain or snow. But I had to do it – I mean how many Pocket Llamas get to start life cycling past llamas? (Actually, Chile offers an even more obscure connection to this bike: in 1709 Alexander Selkirk was rescued from an uninhabited island off the coast of Chile – an event that received worldwide publicity and many believe formed the basis of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe featuring his trusty companion – after whom Bike Friday is named). So I ordered the bike. You don’t make many decisions when you order a Bike Friday; here were mine: -- Stiff frame with a strong headset (they had an old XTR lying around. I also like Chris King headsets a lot – especially if you can find the ones without the logo). Weight was not my main concern – if I want to ride with five pounds less, I can skip a few meals. -- Barcon shifters. I have used them on a half dozen bikes. They are bulletproof -- I have never had a pair break and they would be easy to fix if they did. -- H-bars, which I regarded as a risk. I love drop bars, but liked the look of the "Lynette" setup – brakes on the top vertical of the "H" with barcons on the bottom vertical, which makes for easier shifting than with drop bars and leaves enough horizontal real estate for a handlebar bag. Gives you several hand positions and it’s easier to pack than a drop bar, so it seemed worth a try (and so far, I like them fine). -- Shimano Capreo. Brilliant – get it unless you are touring far, far away. This is really just a hub designed to take a special cluster with a 9T small cog (normal clusters do not go smaller than an 11T cog). Capreo exploits a little known fact that Shimano derailleurs can handle 9T cogs. This is great with a small wheel bike because it means you can get a wide range of gears with a pretty tight rear cluster. (This means you can use a short cage derailleur, which reduces the odds that you will smack a long derailleur cage – a definite risk with smaller wheels). I would not want to try to replace a Capreo in the wild however, so if you are touring in strange places, think twice about it. -- Touring cranks (meaning mountain bike gearing). I got Sugino XD-500 triple cranks with 46/36/24 rings. This crank uses the 110/74 bolt circle pattern, so it takes a huge variety of different rings and you can get replacement rings for it just about anywhere. (It is also well-made, cheap, and gives you low gears without looking like a freaky mountain bike crank). This setup yields really, really low gears. The Capreo was designed to give you high gears with a road crank – no more need for a 56T chain ring to spin an 11 or 12T cog. For me, that misses the point (I used to care about the high gears – many miles later, I now care about the low gears). This setup gives me a 17.2” low gear (about as low as you can go and stay upright) and a 95.5” high (good enough for downhill). It is a great setup. Why no SRAM Dual Drive hub? Because I don’t like the chain thingy and it seemed to me to solve the wrong problem – it eliminates the front derailleur which is no big deal. Why no Rohloff hub? Love to, it looks very sweet, but it’s a budget-buster. -- 36 hole wheels, Schwalbe Marathon tires, Avid brakes, a Brooks B66 saddle (leather, with springs. I love it, but saddles are highly personal – and I will not claim that it has been a painless break-in process – only that Brooks has never let me down yet and it seems like attractive, low cost suspension). Some NOS TA quill pedals with toe clips, Carradice handlebar and saddlebag, Burley rain gear, and I was good to go. Got the bike at 4pm the evening before my flight. I assembled it and repacked it without attaching pedals or tet riding it. Seemed fine (although the brakes had come setup on the horizontal, not vertical – easy enough to fix). Made it through TSA and Chilean customs (“you spent quantos on this bike, seňor?). Assembled it in the hotel and hit the road. 110 km the first day through the Maipo Valley (wine country in cold rain, two llamas, great snowy mountains, and 5km of dirt road. When I got tired, I descended to a village, folded the bike, tossed it in the back of a cab and was back at my hotel 35 minutes later). Second day I climbed to a ski resort, Ferrellones, on the advice of a Chilean friend. 55 km and I was tired from the previous day. Frankly, there was too much traffic and too little shoulder. Third day, a great 120 km ride through the National Park, around Valparaiso, up the overdeveloped coast at Villa Del Mar and inland along a pretty river whose name escapes me. Some rain, a 10km dirt road in the park. In all the riding, I used the 26” low gear on my middle ring and never used the granny gears -- but I was not riding under load. At the end of a long day with a load, I’ll be glad for some real “bail out” gears. After a day of city tourism with my wife after her conference, we packed up and flew home. Typical customs silliness about deflating tires (lousy physics, but if they feel better, I feel better). The suitcase was scanned and sniffed by both countries in both directions, but I did not pay a dime of freight and it did not slow us down meaningfully at all. Was this a good purchase? Psychologists document our tendency to justify our decisions retrospectively – and I did not exactly run a double-blind test comparing multiple bikes. But the Bike Friday folks were great to work with. The bike was delivered on time and performed beautifully. There is not the slightest chance that I would have taken a conventional bike on this trip – the boxing, the fees, and the taxi would have been too much hassle. It is not an inexpensive investment – but I would have paid a lot to have the kind of fun I had on my rides, so a few more trips and, for me, the bike is paid for. I will commute on it and ride trails with my kids on it. Would I buy another? I already have: a nice Llama came up on eBay two weeks ago. I grabbed it for my wife, who is thrilled.Submitted by: Marty Manley May 31, 2005
Having done one China tour with a regular bike and one with a Bike Friday, I'd have to say that I'll be taking my Bike Friday on any future tours. I honestly couldn't tell any difference in the ride. My first trip was almost all flat, and I averaged 18-20 kilometers an hour. There was almost no flat roads on this trip (Sichuan and Yunan), but on one day when there was an extended mild climb, I was able to average 18 kilometers an hour. On really nasty climbs I usually did between 5 and 7 kilometers an hour. Furthermore, being able to fold up the bike and stick it in a bag in 2 minutes was an enormous convenience, for example, when one of the hotels in Sichuan wouldn't let me bring it into the hotel courtyard, much less the room. Taking a taxi to the bus station - no sweat. Want to put my bike in my train sleeper car - piece of cake. I would strongly recommend the Bike Friday NWT to anyone contemplating touring in China. My bike took a lot of punishment on this trip, including over 150 kilometers of cobblestone roads that would practically rattled the fillings out of my teeth, and I only had two problems - one flat and a busted chain. The one flat was no problem - Chinese roads are practically coated in broken glass, and I had at least six flats covering a similar distance on my first bike tour in China. The broken chain was a bit more disconcerting - it happened only about 100 kilometers into the trip (and I'd put no more than 400 miles on the bike total). But I don't think that Bike Friday can be held responsible for that. I spent many, many hours doing some really nasty climbs, and felt the Bike Friday did a great job. At no point did I feel like a regular bike could have made the ride easier. The only way I think the trip could have been made better with a different bike was if I had suspension for my NWT. This was an option, but I elected to go without because (a) price, (b) it seemed like one more thing to break, (c) it makes the bike look more expensive, and therefore more likely to be stolen (folding bikes are becoming more common in China, but they're generally cheap and low-quality, and never with suspension, and I like to think my Bike Friday was therefore more likely to "blend in", even if I couldn't). If you're interested in doing a bike tour in China, I've written up a summary of my trip, including pictures, and posted it on the web at www.feichangdao.com/biketrip/index.html.Submitted by: David McFee February 20, 2005
Decided this year to buy a "travel bike" trip to Europe and other future flying trips which I desired to have a bike. Initially thought of dedicated road bike, and settled on the NWT for flexiblity of road surface, and general touring. Have 3x9 configuation with mt bars with extension. Currently own Cannondale R500 road and V 500 mt. bike, and this bike is a good touring compromise between these two. 1.5 100 psi tires perform well on asphalt, light gravel and european cobblestone. Traveling by car in Europe, placed NWT in the bag, and stored the frequently wet tents and camping gear in the polypro suitcase with 5 suitcase, 2 adults and 3 teens. Renault Kangoo (boxy subcompact) held all comfortably, and having "bike in a bag" allowed more parking flexiblity, saved time and greatly enhanced to trip. Have purchased 1.8 knobby tires and "thudbuster" which good performance on jeep roads. Generally, sales staff is very good, service a little confused but coming along, and suitcase packing is a little more of a challenge than anticipated. Overall experiences excellent, and I am looking forward to taking this bike on several future trips.Submitted by: Paul Aufderheide September 17, 2004
Greetings to Pete and all at BF, thought I would put about a K on my NWT before I critique its performance. I have to say that the bike lives up to everything you said, it is a solid little commuter,pack mule, take it anywhere kind of bike. It has a solid feel at all riding conditions, and at some pretty decent road speeds.It is not a racing bike, but then it is not intended to be. The stock bottom bracket should be relegated to the scrap barrel, and at least a decent of quality shoud be used, for any one set on some serious riding, upgrade. The shifter and deraileur sets are adequate, but could be screaming for a future upgrade. Once the brakes and various mechanics were adjusted(as with any bike) they all performed flawlessly. Kevlar tires at the entry level price would also be a plus with maybe a tab welded on the steering tube for the handlebar stem bolts to pass through for a little added security and peace of mind. It cannot be beat for travel, as our transit system allows bike on the trains at all times excepting holidays. It is set up so that you may dress it or undress it with racks and such depending on your needs, overall a very versatile machine.My sales experience with BF was very good with Pete Berra answering all related questions,and taking care of all the fine details, while the parts dept. Delivered what I neeeded on swift wings, definitely a plus. Overall I am very satisfied on how Green Gear represents themselves, and their products.Submitted by: Scott Ness August 16, 2004
I rode the STP using the new tires and it felt great. The bike remains comfortable, even with the high pressure tires. I think they improved my speed, adding about a mile or two to my average speed compared to two years ago on the Waterford. My one hitch in the ride had already been resolved-- the rear Stelvio developed a massive deformity at mile 189, causing me to thunk my way into Portland, where it blew on the final hill. They sagged me in, telling me that since I had made it well into Portland that I should walk/carry the Friday across the finish line. I was a bit embarrassed, but the folks gave me a a great round of applause, and my family was thrilled. I have already spoken with Tim who made good on the bad tire --it will probably be on my porch when we get back to Springfield. You folks have gone the extra mile... I met two ladies in Lake Forest Park, WA, near Seattle who asked a thousand questions about the Friday. They had visited Eugene some time ago and were reluctant to buy a bike "from a bunch of pot smoking hippies." I told them that I had a completely opposite experience, including a wonderful ride (at a charitably reduced pace), and that my salesman could pass for her Allstate agent if she would overlook the shorts. Suggested she might even enjoy looking at your legs, but that's another story. When we got done, they said I ought to be selling Friday's, so maybe it will bring you a sale. If it does, it will be my joy to have the opportunity to repay your many kindnesses each time we had an occasion to visit on the phone or in person. In short, the visit to Eugene and my great STP ride have solidified my satisfaction with my NWT. Sincerely, John DaySubmitted by: John Day July 22, 2004
OK, now that I've put a thousand miles on my Bike Friday, I suppose it's time for a review... First, I should say that I bought this NWT used, so it's not custom. Even so, I can't imagine a better fit even if I had ordered it myself. I'm crazy about this bike. I love the fact that a middle-aged gasser like me can do 3000 foot climbs on it. I love that I can do 45 mph descents and still feel in control. I love how quickly it accelerates, and how nimble it is in traffic. And I love that I can hang with the guys on their carbon and titatium bikes on the noon rides at work (well, OK, almost hang with them, but the deficiency is the rider, not the bike). I like this thing, just as a bike. It's the compact size and the ability to fold that really makes the Bike Friday special. If I don't ride all the way to work, I take it on the BART train. A bike that's nearly a foot shorter that my full-sized ones is much easier to handle on a train, even if I don't fold it. It's easier to take up and down stairs, and easier to fit in an elevator. And at the end of the day, if I'm just done, I can drop it into the trunk of almost any car. And I haven't yet put it on a plane to take it on a great escape (soon!). Nothing's perfect. If you're considering one of these you should be aware of some of the deficiencies of the design. I've met a quite a number of Bike Friday owners, and every one has tricked out the bike at least a bit to address the things that don't satisfy them. Here are some things to consider: - The ride is somewhat harsh. This is a consequence of the short wheelbase. The design of the frame provides a lot of vertical compliance, but it can still be a rough ride. My bike came equipped with a suspension seatpost and a SoftRide suspension stem, which are great, but you might not be willing to accept the added weight. - Shifting is sloppy. The cable runs around the lower hinge are a little bit weird, so keeping all the rear cables in adjustment requires a bit of work. I'm not very finicky about shifting, but if you demand crisp shifts, the Bike Friday can get on your nerves. Most Bike Fridays I've seen have been equipped with a rollamajig on the rear derailleur or teflon cable housings in an effort to improve this. - They look weird. One Bike Friday owner described it perfectly: "you look like a circus bear". If you think you look totally bitchin' in your lycra tights and Rudy Project shades, if you dream of everything carbon, you are going to have a hard time accepting this bike. On the other hand, if you feel like a complete fool in lycra, but are willing to be seen in public anyway, you're probably ideal Bike Friday material. --NJSubmitted by: Noah Jacobs April 26, 2004
I just have to say my experience with the bike friday staff and owners has been excellent.Bike Friday set me up with a couple who owned Friday's and I was able to test ride the bike before I bought one. The ordering process was a great experience. I recieved the bike before the promise date and it was very well packed and easy to put together.I also was impressed with the extras they threw in. The bike is everthing I wanted and more. I am 100% satisfied and would recommend them to anyone. I am glad to now be a proud NWT owner!Submitted by: John Boalick April 13, 2004
Back in February this year I decided to go ahead with an idea I had been toying with for some time: to put together the perfect touring bicycle, without for once worrying about keeping within a budget. This would be the bike I'd take with me wherever I went; it would be versatile, fast, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Ever since I tried cycle touring for the first time in my early twenties, when I spent a month cycling through Italy, Ive held it to be one of the keenest experiences life has to offer; with the sole downside being the hard labour of lugging bike and equipment to your starting point and then getting it home again - always a drag. The new bike I had in mind would have to fold. When it comes to folding touring bikes, youre not overwhelmed with choices: Bike Friday, the British Airnimal Chameleon, and maybe the Birdy, by Reise and Muller of Germany. Brompton and Dahon just didnt have what it took: too few gears in the first case, not refined enough in the second. The Birdy initially looked attractive; it has full suspension, funky teutonic-industrial looks, and locks cleverly together when it folds, but unfortunately would only be any good if you were traveling exceptionally light. It doesn't yet have racks capable of coping with substantial loads, and because of the smaller wheel size, heel strike would be a problem with side panniers anyway. This left me with the choice between Bike Friday and Airnimal. Sorry to say this, all you good folks at Green Gear, but I've always thought Airnimal bikes have the aesthetic edge over BFs. The Airnimal is one cool-looking bike, and if looks were everything I would have got myself one. The only trouble with the Airnimal, so it seemed to me, was that to get it in its soft carry bag you had to remove both the front wheel and the rack. The Friday's quick fold, while ending up as a slightly bulkier package, is more practical in that it doesn't necessitate any fiddling about with hex keys. Material was another consideration. I wanted a tough touring bike that could be my companion for years on end. I didn't want any frame failures, and wasn't sure Aluminum was going to be suitable. Also, if serious touring in various conditions is what you want to do, the available tire choices for the 451 size wheels of the Airnimal are a little restrictive too. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I began to understand the superb practicality of the New World Tourist, and this was what I opted for in the end. For instance, you can pack the whole thing away in a suitcase, and yet when you put it back together there is absolutely no need to readjust seat height or angle or handlebar height or reach. The only thing you need to readjust is the angle of the bars. In my view, this is a supremely well thought out design feature. I love it that the bike fits me perfectly as soon as I unfold it, that all my fine adjustments have been preserved. This combined with the custom sizing makes the New World Tourist the most natural feeling upright bicycle I've ever owned. As Id make up my mind that just this once money was no object, the specifications I eventually settled on included, among other things: a SRAM Dual Drive transmission; a Cane Creek Thudbuster suspension seatpost; a Pantour suspension hub in the front wheel; Shimano Ultegra STI shifters combined with V-brakes with travel enhancers; Vaude Hightail seatpost bag; Terry Liberator saddle; Cateye Cordless computer; and, since I was spending a load of cash anyway, a candy-apple red paint job. The sales guy I dealt with, Steven Strickland, was patient, professional, and gave me a lot of sound advice. Obviously the folks at Green Gear set themselves some pretty high standards in customer service. Nothing is perfect however - come to think of it I've never been completely happy with any new bicycle right off. I've always found changing and adjusting things here and there to be an important and necessary part of the process of making a new bike uniquely yours. The NWT was no exception in this regard. Most things were fine - just as good or better than I expected (especially the Pantour hub, which I would unhesitatingly recommend to anyone). Right off, however, I hated the SRAM Dual Drive. Not for its function - it did what it was supposed to do - but for the intensely irritating high-pitched whine the freewheel makes. Even if you resolve to keep pedaling to shut this noise out, there's the incessant tick-tick-tick of the hub chasing you along. I couldn't get used to it, I even heard it in my sleep - though this irritation seems to be something unique to me; Ive never read of anyone else complaining about it - in fact most reviews I've read about it are very positive and enthusiastic. What's more, after a few months, the plastic click box got bashed against something and part of it fell off. So now it was ugly as well as noisy. Finally, just a few weeks ago I changed the Dual Drive for the new Schlumpf High Speed Drive transmission in conjunction with a Shimano Deore LX silent freehub (by this time I was getting quite morbid about transmission noises). Even now there was still quite a bit of chainline noise, which I mercifully silenced by exchanging the rough-and-ready KMC chain for a well-lubricated DuraAce. Now, at last, my candy-apple red NWT and I are in (almost completely silent) harmony. Florian Schlumpf informs me that this slight chainline buzz is in fact a design glitch of the High Speed Drive, which should be worked out soon, and he has offered to exchange the drive for the updated version for free in a few months time. Here's another important point I'd like to pass on if you're considering a New World Tourist with STI shifters (this is a pearl of wisdom from one of BFs knowledgeable service guys, Walter Lapchynski): get brakes with a cartridge-type brake shoe. Standard brake shoes flex to a much greater degree, and this slight softness will be amplified by the travel enhancers necessary to combine road the V-brakes with the STI brake lever unit, with the result of quite squishy braking. A brake with a cartridge shoe flexes far less, and will give you far crisper braking performance. This may make it sound like STIs aren't worth the trouble, but they are - they really are. They're extremely comfortable, and feel very safe, in particular when going fast downhill, when you can lock your hands into the curve of the bar. So now I have what I always wanted: my ideal bike. It was expensive, especially when my predilection for discarding expensive components for other even more expensive components came into play, but in the end it was worth it. The bike is strong, light, quiet, comfortable and performs so well its an effort at times to keep in mind that this is a touring, not a road racing bike. And it folds up and goes in a suitcase. I've been a keen cyclist most of my life, the kind of person who spends far too much time thinking about bicycles and their components. And from the depths of whatever knowledge and experience I can muster, I would say this: with good components and some minimalist suspension thrown into the mix, I cant think of a touring bike on the planet right now that can hold a flame to a Bike Friday New World Tourist in terms of its versatility, performance or comfort. Simple as they may appear at first glance, in practice these are truly innovative machines that take the demands you can make of your tourer to a whole new level. If I was you I'd get one.Submitted by: John Hopkinson April 1, 2004
On Friday of this last week, I traveled to Eugene from Seattle to take delivery at Bike Friday World Headquarters of my first of two Bike Fridays, a New World Tourist. I wanted to pick up the bike and have my first experiences with the bicycle to be in the spirit in which it was designed, "performance that packs". So instead of driving to Eugene, I rode the Amtrak Coast Starlight from Seattle, and on returning home the next morning I rode the New World Tourist, Travel Trailer behind, via the Fern Creek Trail to the Eugene Amtrak station. Inside the train station, I packed the bike back up into the Carleton and boarded the train home for Seattle. If only the train had not been so late, I would have realized my plan to ride home from the King Street Station in Seattle - but it was already 11PM. But, the Carleton fit easily into the trunk of the taxi. It is now Monday, and I have resumed my regular Bike commute to work in downtown Seattle - on a new Bike Friday. The experience of purchasing the bike was wonderful thanks to Tim Link. It was apparent right away during that first Saturday telephone call that he knew bicycles, and was not just a salesperson reading a features and and specifications sheet. I liked his low key, cheerful positive personal style. In the six weeks from order to delivery he promptly answered all my questions about the bike as I second-guessed all components - and we made adjustments to this and that all along the way to delivery. After inviting me to a demo ride in Seattle in July, I almost changed my order to another model - and he was so patient and ready to do that for me, until I just started trusting his cycling judgment. And he is a good judge of bicycles...and people. At delivery in Eugene, he met me at the train station in the company car. That evening, we took the New World Tourist out of the Carleton, assembled it, and took it out for a quick spin. The next morning, we practiced packing it back in the suitcase - but not before making a few adjustments to the rear hub and seat. We even got in a few last minute sales of an extra saddle and lubricants in your showroom. Then finally, a friendly wave and smile and I headed off down the trail to pack my Bike Friday back up for the train home in public-in front of other people. His instruction stood me in good stead. I plan on being back to take the bus to Baker City for Cycle Oregon with the rest of the owners that are arriving for Homecoming 2003. Oh, a few comments to pass along from people watching me with the bike the last two days: At the Eugene train station, "That bike will not fit into that suitcase. No way!" The big wheel biker returns later, "No way, it did!" A fellow traveling cyclist asks to borrow my pedal tool, and on handing it to him, "They custom made this tool!" Riding home from my office downtown Seattle today, someone shouts from the curb. Cool, Bike Friday!" Just a few first impressions of the design and how it gets made into a real bike. The design feels like it has alot of integrity, and that translates into how it rides and meets my goals as the owner. The manufacturing quality is superb. I like the warm personal touches of the felt cases for tools and bike parts when packing for traveling. The piece of candy calmed me down as I was puzzling through packing the bike back up in the train station. All in all, when riding the bike I feel like I am riding with a team of people who thought and cared about my ride. You can sense the people who designed, made and marketed this New World Tourist. All of you at Bike Friday are right there ... part of the bicycle. Thank you for everything as I await my second Bike Friday within the week....a Pocket Crusoe! Sincerely, Franklin FurlongSubmitted by: Franklin Furlong August 4, 2003
I am a new recumbent rider, an existing Bike Friday customer (New World Tourist) and long tine Cyclist with many bikes including a tandem in my stable. I just took delivery of a Bike Friday Sat Day recumbent and would like to share the following with you: First I would like to thank David Morgan, Gaylynn H. and the rest of the Bike Friday team for the kind assistance. The customer support was excellent. The Sat Day arrived on schedule in its travel case. Upon opening, it I was at first overwhelmed that so much was packed in this case and that I would never get it together, at least not that day. However, I watched the video that came with the bike and read the instructions and decided to give it a try. Well, it went together in under an hour with no problems with the exception for connecting the Dual Drive cable. A quick call to BF took care of that. Now on to my initial observations: Systems Components: My Sat RDay came with Above Seat Steering and a mix of Shimano Ultegra and Deore XT components. The Frame was painted Powder Blue and the quality was excellent. Comfort /Ergonomics: I found that this bike takes a little time to set up and adjust for proper fit and it is important to take the time to do this before you can get anything approaching the full potential of this machine. The seat on this bike is the tall version fully adjustable for length and recline. I find this is more of an upright recumbent. However, once I dialed in the seat to a more reclined position, it really became comfy for me. Ride Handling: After riding a few other recumbents, I find the ride, once set up properly very smooth and efficient. While not a racer, it is quite fast and has a lively feel and combined with the comfort factor would do quite well as tourer or century machine. Pros: A very well made recumbent. Nice attention to details Great customer service Great quick fold. Comfortable seat and fun to ride Lots of comments and questions. Con Can take time to adjust for full performance potential Initial intimidation on first time assembly. Bottom line: It a Fantastic Bike, Fun to ride, with Great customer service. Think of this bike as performance recumbent that happens to fold. Thanks Bike Friday. Richard B. Clarke Orlando FloridaSubmitted by: Richard Clarke May 29, 2003
Here are my thoughts on the Pocket Gnu I bought in Feb. It arrived well packed and at the time promised. It was reasonably easy to unpack and assemble. My bike has Tektro brakes and the Sram 3x8 with Sram shifters and derailleur. It was however, difficult to disassemble for packing in a case, owing to the fact the instructions I received were for some other bike (NWT I think). After some thrashing I realized that it was not going to pack the way the instructions said and winged it from there. I figured out how it had to go in the case and it been getting easier every time. I got it packed and it made it to Phoenix fine. (How TSA treated it on the way back is for a different forum than this). The bike rides well and the front suspension is adequate for moderate off road. The suspension seat post is the best I have ever used (and I have used two other brands, one hydraulic and one elastomer) If your looking for a mountain bike to replace your full-sized tire, full-suspension bike, for xtreme riding this bike is not for you. The ittletires don pop over rocks very well, and tend to hang up in ditches and holes. The rear derailleur is perilously close to the ground and hanging out there in space with nothing protecting it from getting hit. If you are looking for a well engineered packable bike that will handle moderate trail riding and give you some cushion, then this bike is for you. The SRAM system shifts well and it has a wide gear range, making it great for combination trail and road riding, in fact I have to say I love the 3x8 internal hub. It shifts very well in all the conditions Ie encountered so far. The upside of the little tires is that the bike is very maneuverable. It is great on single track trails and switchbacks, with tight turns. I have put this bike thru some pretty rigorous trail riding and curb jumping. It hasn had any problems (other than pinch flats!). I find myself riding it more and more. It folds up real quick and since I drive a different company vehicle every day I can fold it up and carry it any of them. We are planning to take them (my wife has one too, but she will have to write her own revue) to Cozumel on our next vacation. That the real beauty of these bikes, you can take, and ride then any where!Submitted by: Ken Smith May 27, 2003
I bought a Bike Friday because I lead bike trips for the Bicycle Adventure Club (http://bicycleadventureclub.org) in France. I frequently combine these trips with other activities so I end up traveling by just about every mode of transportation available including trains, taxis, bus, subway, etc. I already have an S&S coupled heavy duty Miyata touring bike in good working order so this is not my first travel bike. The quick packing of the Bike Frday and it's good performance were the deceiding factors that pushed me to finally buy my own Bike Friday after 10 years of going on annual trips with other members using them. Had a bit of a quandry about getting a Pocket Rocket versus a New World Tourist. My friends all have PR's but I ultimately got an NWT for two reasons. First the standard weight limit of a normal PR is 200# (but you can order a beefier version) and the NWT is 230#. I weigh 210#. Secondly the 406mm tire size is much more available worldwide since this is the standard BMX tire. Also 406mm has a good tire selection and the NWT can accept fairly wide tires. I wanted drop hadelbars and the SRAM 3 speed hub. The drop bars for fighting headwinds and the hub because of it's fantastic wide gearing. With a 9 speed 11-32 cassette and a 46 tooth chainring we're talking a gear range of 19 to 105in. An excellent touring gear range. Incidently I'd recommend the TTT anatomic bars that GreenGear offers. Very comfortable in the drops! Smaller wheels mean faster acceleration and more responsiveness due to less momemtum & gyroscopic effects. On the flip side you feel bumps more and high speed downhils don't feel as stable to me. With the Primo Comet Kevlar 1.75" width tires I'd judge the ride as just a tad harsher than the ride I'm used to on 700mm X 28mm (1 1/4") tires.
Interestingly I think the NWT has better performance with the wider 1 3/4" tires than my Miyata with the 1 1/4" tires so I agree with Bike Fridays' performance claims. Green Gear provides a really informative video on packing their bikes and a well thought out set of frame protection covers, bags, etc that make packing a breeze.
My ratings: Packability & Transportability: 10 Unloaded Performance: 9 Loaded (w front & back panniers): will find out this July during a 2 week independent tour in the Pyrenees Mtns of Spain & France.Submitted by: Chuck Shinn May 19, 2003
I've toured since 1974, and my New World Tourist feels nimble and quick like a sports car. It fits better than any bike I've owned.Submitted by: June Hills May 7, 2001
In the year 2000, I bought a blue New World Tourist and it has changed my life. FedEx dropped off a standard Samsonite suitcase (I live in Toronto, Canada) within two weeks of ordering it.
I went for the used, smaller Samsonite case to save money, and believe it or not, I can get the complete bike and trailer into the case along with a standard rear rack, standard full fenders and other assorted items. It takes a casual half hour either way--I've always had to do this while talking to onlookers and handing out referral cards.
I was immediately gratified to find that my bike looked better than the NWT in Bike Friday's advertising, because the chain ring-guard had been painted the same colour as the rest of the bike. A little detail that makes a lot of difference. And the stem looks better--the one in BF's photos looks a bit clunky.
The bike is so much fun to whip around on that I use it as my everyday bike. We don't own a car so I have a utility trailer for groceries, etc. So the bike gets a LOT of use.
OK. I found out that I was getting more than I had bargained for. The system not only eliminates several problems for bicycle tourists, it has transformed the way I get around--it is so easy to quick-fold I no longer get "trapped" by horrendous weather--I just fling the NWT into a cab or onto a bus.
The system also opens up opportunities to the "business" traveler. For example, let me desribe a quick trip I made to Ottawa (hey, that's the capital of Canada, eh?) last weekend.
I packed my clothes, etc., in a soft suitcase and put it in the Samsonite trailer. Then, with trailer in tow, I cycled to Union Station, found a quiet spot, removed the clothes case, folded the bike and trailer and put them in the Samsonite (while answering questions). Then I boarded the train with my two regular bits of luggage--no questions asked--even though my VIA ticket warns "NO BICYCLES." At the other end, I reassembled the bike (while answering questions), put my clothes case back in the trailer and followed a bicycle trail along the canal from the train station to the Novotel (The trail also leads directly to the Westin and Chateau Laurier for those cyclists with deeper pockets).
Between meetings, I took advantage of the extensive bike trails to get out for some exercise and "see" Ottawa. As well as the usual sights, I saw things most tourists would never get to see: miles and miles of scenic Rideau Canal and Ottawa River bike paths; kayakers rolling and spinnning in the giant standing waves of the Ottawa River; a fantastic little cafe/caterer, "Delish", between the picturesque Minto Bridges and the Governor General's grounds...
And this was a business trip.
I can't say enough about this bike - "travel system" would indeed be the correct term.
P.S. Another recommended item: the Mountain Equipment Co-op pannier/backpack.Submitted by: Phil Strong April 28, 2001
The bikes are fitting just superbly. We are just amazed at the way you have taken our measurements and created bikes that gives us the same positioning and comfort of our Cannondales... we held them in pretty high esteem.
What brought huge smiles to our faces is the way that the bikes performed. What can I say? They gobbled up all the bumps that we know oh-so-well. They were effortless to shift (with a bit of a learning curve on our parts) and because of the ease of shifting, the gear ratios, the geometry, the frame, and those Continental Grand Prix tires, we zinged along at a mighty fine pace with little effort. Hills were taken both seated and standing, and I'm certain that it was with more ease than on our Cannondales. It felt like we were riding super comfortable racing bikes without the high-strung handling.
How did they compare to our expectations? Well, I expected that they would feel really wierd and would take a good 3-5 hours of riding to adapt to.
Au contraire! It never happened. We were 'one' from the get-go. David did not expect the performance that the bike delivers. Frankly, neither did I. Today's ride proved how perky they are. I look forward to many more miles/km's of riding my Bike Friday New World Tourist... but don't tell my Cannondale that!Submitted by: Anne Mathers February 25, 2001
This bike rides like the big ones, tires that is. It folds fast and has the stability of larger-wheeled bikes. If I knew about this bike before my other bikes, of which I have three, I would have just purchased this one and be done with it.
Love the custom Merlot color, hate the bad decals that came on the bike. With such a custom bike, the name should be hand painted on, or a better decal. I don't mind advertising for you, but make it look good.
Now that the decals are off, people stop me even more with questions and info. So please send more of your referral postcards.Submitted by: James Hickey January 24, 2001
I am a new owner of a New World Tourist. I have to say that I was dubious at first. I thought the cost was a little bit more than I could really afford, but after talking with my consultant/"bike nerd" (Craig), I decided to take the plunge.
Wow, I received the bike three days ahead of time, which was great because I was leaving for a trip to the desert over the holidays and wanted to take my Friday. In addition, the bike was packed in this wonderful travel case, it was beautiful, it was incredibly easy to assemble (including fenders, rack, and other gizmos), and I was pleased with all the extras like a personalized owner's manual and the great attention to detail.
I noticed that one person calls Bike Friday 'the Nordstrom's of the biking business'. Well, you guys go way beyond that kind of service. The contact numbers on the bike, 24-hour hotline service, tools that are really all you need for road repair, extra spokes--labeled! I wish my high-end mountain bike that I bought two years ago for more money came with half the stuff and care my Bike Friday did.
In fact, I ordered my New World Tourist with mountain bike tires and a SoftRide stem. When I was in the Desert I rode it as I would and where I would ride my Mt. bike. Unfortunately, I now need a space to store my Mt. bike because my Bike Friday is the only bike I really need! Wow, what a ride, what quality, what craftsmanship! You guys are the greatest.
Oh, I shouldn't forget the great paint job. Here is a folding bike that I don't have to worry about treating with kid gloves. The paint is hardy and looks great.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
Ralph W. Schardt San Jose, California
P.S. - Did I mention I've been riding for 43 years and this is the best ride yet! I even was able to adjust some slack in the cables while riding the train the other day... much to the amazement of my fellow riders. I'm passing out those reference cards!!!Submitted by: Ralph Schardt November 30, 2000
Just returned from a two week trip to Hawaii with my New World Tourist. Lots of day trips, but also did a four-day trip on the big island. Used my trailer system for the first time and was very impressed with it. Carried about 40 pounds total.
Got stuck for two days in a 30-inch rainfall (over 30 hours). My bike was under a tree and even with all the rain, with a little WD40 and some oil I was on my way.
The bike survived several plane flights with no damage at all (I'm getting better at packing). I was hesitant to take my bike, but glad I did. Oahu has a pretty good map of suggested bike routes and all the busses have bike racks; the big island has some great bike lanes but a crummy public transportation system. Anyone with questions can contact me.Submitted by: Glen Nison November 9, 2000
I have had my New World Tourist for two years now. I have flown to France and Spain with it and have had no hassles from airlines.
I also find it very useful for getting on to trains in the UK and France where traveling with a bike can be a major hassle. It rides just like my full-sized touring bike.
The 3x7 gearing took a few rides to get used to but now I don't think about it.
I can think of no bad sides of the bike! It's fab.Submitted by: Bob Seago July 18, 2000
I find my NWT to be very close to the ideal touring bike. It is very responsive yet stable. Every ride for me is an adventure. If you are thinking about getting one, all I can say is go for it. By the way, I have three other high-end bikes in my stable.Submitted by: Richard Clarke April 30, 2000
Since I received my New World Tourist, I have traveled to Sedona, Ariz., Vail, Colorado, Martha's Vineyard, numerous rides in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky and Hilton Head, SC. I also rode my bike form Miami to Key West the first week of December.
The Key West ride was an Everglades Bike Club event. The first day was tough, I was dead last, arriving at the overnight about 45 minutes later than everyone else. The next day I left an hour early and beat everyone to Key West. My only comment about the bike is that it is somewhat slower that my Trek roady, and it is hell getting it in that suitcase. I sweat and cuss and all but I finally get it crammed in, I feel so sorry for my little bike being mashed in so tight, it must be awful, I let it out as soon as I get where ever I'm going. I love it though and have rode it everywhere, keep up the good work, I am thinking of buying a used road bike - Pocket Rocket, etc.
Thanks for writing to me.
Tim StoverSubmitted by: Trenton Stover January 21, 2000
Last June I bought your New World Tourist with trailer (took 150-mile trip using the trailer--towed it--worked great). From day one, I said it's a very safe bike--I fee very secure riding it. In fact I fee safer on the Friday than my carbon fiber 18-spoke wheels road bike.
Went out other day for a ride. The wind was blowing quite hard. "Something" told me to take my Friday instead of the road bike (which I often do)--the Friday is more stable in the wind.
A few miles into the ride a car came out of nowhere, making a left turn in front of me. My hands were on the "bar-ends"--didn't have time to brake--so I clipped out, bent my elbows and rolled with the bike. I hit the car. I picked my self off the ground unhurt--bike had the handlebars twisted about 25 degrees off-center. Thought for sure the front wheel was toast. After straightening the handlebars--I checked the front wheel. To my surprise, nothing was wrong--wheel was as true as ever. "Nothing" was bent, broken or trashed.
The chain was off the front chainring. After putting it on, it rode as good as new, believe it or not!
I knew that if I was riding my road bike, I would of been hurt and the bike would have been trashed. This proves to me that my Friday is not only bulletproof, but a very, very safe bike to ride.
A few weeks ago four of us drove our cards (I folded my Friday and put it in the back seat) to Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains for a ride around the lake. Nice paved road. One rider in his 30's on a mountain bike, two on road bikes, one in his 50's, other in his 60's. My self seventy-four on my Friday. Nice 17-mile hilly ride.
I had to stop and wait for them on all of the hills. After the ride they thought quite well of the Friday--they couldn't believe that they couldn't keep up with the Friday!
I love your Foldable Flyer newsletter. Make one feel like family. I talk up the Friday every chance I get.Submitted by: Mel Granttham December 21, 1999
Bought the New World Tourist on the basis of a great time with the Tandem Two'sDay. After 500 miles, it is my favorite for touring. It has been on one plane trip and in the back of a rental car for a long weekend and around the area a whole lot. I like the light weight and good speed on the road, the quick handling in the city, and the ability to ride on unpaved roads in the mountains (especially with the low gearing I special ordered). In the far west of Virginia it ground up long mountain roads and soared back down just as steady as you could want. And it sure is a conversation starter at a small country store.Submitted by: John Fleckner December 7, 1999
Sandy and I had both ridden a lot as easy-going recreation riders before we got our New World Tourists five years ago. However, once we started riding on these quick, responsive, and great-looking bikes, we found our desire to ride was even greater. As such, our NWTs are our preferred bikes (currently, we both have 3 bikes) for training and distance rides, commuting to/from work, and cruising the neighborhood (maybe its the custom fit that makes the ride so nice). And because our NWTs pack so easily, we have taken them on most of our personal trips as well as on some business trips.
We have used the travel trailer set-up for our annual vacations, both stateside and in Europe. This versatility has allowed us to unpack at the airport and ride away, and to quick fold back into the case for a train ride with no extra charge for the bikes. With the wider touring tires, we have ridden on all types of roads, including some old dirt logging roads in the Alsace of France. Our NWTs have proven themselves to be the best all-around bike ever!
As to maintenance, its like caring for any other bike except you have to remember to include the hinges so they don't squeak. And if you have a problem or question, the GREAT folks at Green Gear are always ready to help you out, something that is not always easy to do with a bike maker, or in some instances, a local bike shop.
Thanks, Green Gear, for making such a terrific bike.Submitted by: Sandy & Hough Larkin December 6, 1999
I am lucky enough to have three Fridays now: A New World Tourist (my first), an AirFriday (my favourite), and a tandem (my childrens' favourite). I have been to the USA, France three times, Denmark and Spain, as well as all over England. My Fridays are easy to take with me and always make friends with curious on-lookers. I am a Friday nut. They are just so easy to use and fun to ride. I am off to the South of France in May with my AirFriday all things being well. I would like to have more Friday users in the UK. We are but a small group which meets up every now and then. The Bike Friday Homecoming was a great opportunity to meet other Friday people and I hope I can make another.
The AirFriday is fast and smart and always gets admiring looks from others.Submitted by: Richard Baker December 2, 1999
Stan bought a New World Tourist in December '95. It makes him feel like a little boy again. He'd thought his mountain bike would do that, but the Friday is definitely more fun.
He bought me a NWT for my 43rd birthday in '96. Its first serious test ride was a 9-day camping tour in the Wallowa and Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon. At least one 7-mile climb every day. I was skeptical about the internal 3-speed hub, but as I almost scampered up those hills without worrying about throwing the chain as I downshifted to granny, I forgot about it. I've done 9-day camping tours with it every summer since. I take my '91 Specialized triple ring "big" bike on day rides in the summer, sometimes. The NWT is my club bike, my century bike, my tourist, my pal.Submitted by: Marilyn Smith December 1, 1999
I have really been surprised at my own ability to fix things which go wrong, mostly due to banged up suitcases. For instance, on the internal hub gear, the pin can easily come out as the result of being inadvertently unscrewed. It is important to know that this can be screwed back in and it will function just fine. I don't think this is mentioned in the "manual" that comes with the bike. And when it happened to me in NEW ZEALAND, I was frightened. But I just sat there, and looked at it, and figured it out. But, since it can become unscrewed, it is important to check it to be sure it is screwed in with some regularity. Well, no one told me this; but I am telling everyone I can. I have biked on by New World Tourist through the south island of NZ, France and Italy and will probably go back to Italy this spring - got great pictures of all.Submitted by: Juli Tenney December 1, 1999
I have traveled for business and pleasure with my Bike Friday NWT, including a "package tour" of Hawaii.
The 406-sized wheels with 1.5" tires are a great choice for the often-uncertain road surfaces I have encountered. The bike rides "soft:" I have often used it to commute 12 miles each way to work because it is comfortable yet efficient.
The 3x7 hub is a great choice for such conditions. The bike has impressed a lot of cyclists... starting with me!Submitted by: Ron Russell December 1, 1999
In September, 1999, we rode with Scenic Cycling Adventures from San Francisco to Santa Monica. The 8-day trip was excellent due to scenery, weather (except one day of rain) and the superb hosting of Pat and Kathy.
Our World Tourists preformed well, but we have experienced some difficulty in two areas. First, after re-assembly of the bikes, there is more adjusting of the shifting than we would like. Have others experienced this situation? Second, we had considerable difficulty with the three-speed hub after the rain. Cleaning and lubrication helped a bit, but the shifting was erratic. Do you have any suggestions?
We were glad we installed Tuffy liners in our wheels. We were probably the only ones without flats. Also, the wider touring tires do make a difference on rougher roads. One other comment about the coastal area - people living there do not know the definition of "flat" as in flat roads. Come to Northern Illinois and we will show you what flat roads look like.Submitted by: Phil and Barb Bransky December 1, 1999
A couple of months ago, I moved to the Washington D.C. area to start work for a company out in Rockville. I live about 10 miles away from my place of work. Traffic here is really bad and so driving to work is painful. On the other hand, 10 miles is too far to cycle every day.
The solution: It's about a 10-minute cycle to the nearest Metro stop (Grosvenor) and a 12-minute Metro ride to the stop nearest to work (Shady Grove). From there, I cycle about 8 minutes to work. The whole commute takes about 30-35 minutes and I get to read the paper on the train!
Taking the bike on the Metro is easy. It takes seconds to fold up and put in the bag and seconds to unpack at the other end. I've being doing this daily for about 2-1/2 months now without any problems.
So, if you want to beat traffic, get a bit of exercise and read a paper before work, I can highly recommend the NWT!
Originally I feared that I might need two bikes: a Bike Friday to commute and a "real" bike for touring etc. Not so! The NWT is as real is it gets and I'm very happy with it.Submitted by: Daniel Huson December 1, 1999
The NWT has been my commuting bike for the past four years. Each commute involves two folds and unfolds plus 10-15 miles (rain or shine). Despite the heavy use the bike still performs very well.
If you plan to get a NWT keep in mind that it may require more maintenance compared to a regular bike. Also, get the best headset you can afford. The rest of the components matter less and are easy to upgrade later on.Submitted by: Yoel Guttmann November 30, 1999
You can read details about my experience with the New World Tourist on my Web page, www.cs.unc.edu/~barman/bikeFriday.html. I was first drawn to the bike as being a high quality bicycle that I (5'3") could fit on, and when I read strong reviews in both "Bicycling" and "Adventure Cyclist," I started working with Green Gear to put together a custom bike for me.
My recommendation is to get the NWT with the thin tires that come with the Pocket Rocket. It is amazing how you can pack the bike in a suitcase and yet how the bicycle gives a great ride. I really applaud Green Gear for being customer-centric - they're great in helping answer any questions or with making upgrades. Great customer service, high quality product! Bravo!Submitted by: Dilip Barman November 30, 1999
Very satisfied with this bike. It is so practical to fold in my trunk and to take with you. Those tiny wheels look weird though. I do not look and I can not tell I am not on a regular transport unworthy vehicle.Submitted by: November 29, 1999
Bfa TravelBag, Standard 34"x 29"x 9" (Black)
Part No. 35
Bfa TravelBag, Compact 27"x 27"x 9" (Black)
Part No. 7013
Incredibell XL, black
Part No. 105
Incredibell Grip Bell, Brass
Part No. 14533
Family Tandem Bell Pyramid Mini Bell
Part No. 3822
Incredibell Bar End, chrome
Part No. 104
Low Mount for bar height over 37 inches
Part No. 8170
CatEye Strada Wireless CC-RD310W Cyclometer
Part No. 11913
Bfa Fender Set, NWT, Ll, old FT, CRU tires to 1.5"" wide
Part No. 489
Direct mount, black, alloy kickstand (NWT,PT,FT, Cr)
Part No. 6519
zLights-Planet Bike Blinky 1200x battery light Set
Part No. 8195
Mirrycle Mirror - Mountain
Part No. 619
Crank Brothers Pump 115psi (176mm, silver)
Part No. 6787
Topeak Mini Dual DX w/guage(120psi/presta & schrader)
Part No. 705
Mini Clips Large/Xlarge
Part No. 8294
Mini Clips Small/Med
Part No. 7394
BFTravTrailer Alu-Frame,Whls w/CS hitch, fits Travelcase
Part No. 972
BF Flite TravelCase Black + BF packing system (Pocket Bikes)
Part No. 10968
BF Flite TravelCase Red + BF packing syst
Part No. 11812