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New World Tourist - 87
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Date: May 20, 2015
Posted by: BicycleTouringPro.com
Date: May 20, 2015
Posted by: BicycleTouringPro.com
The Ultimate Bike Friday New World Tourist Review

To read Darren Alf's review of the New World Tourist on Bicycletouringpro.com CLICK HERE

Overall Experience Rating:
Date: April 18, 2014
Posted by: Eric Moore
Posted by: mooreeri
Forget About It

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.

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