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Read what our customers SAY about Bike Friday
The opinions expressed here are from Bike Friday owners who have chosen to share their views. Many are clearly thrilled with their bikes. Some offer us insight on possible improvements. Simply select a Bike Friday model from the list on the right, and you'll get reviews specific to that model.
Posted by: Tom Diaz
I've owned my Llama since early 2005 and it has enriched my travel experiences throughout the world. It's been to Alaska, New Mexico, Minnesota, Japan, California and currently in Afghanistan. I love the ride and it has never let me down. It came with the Cane Creek Thudbuster seatpost from the Pocket Gnu and the 27 speed drivetrain with SRAM shifters. I've added road, mountain, touring and studded tires, fenders, seat post rack & pannier trunk, lights, handlebar bag and a GPS/heart rate monitor with exercise logging. I usually use a Brooks Conquest saddle on a basic alloy post, but the conditions here in Afghanistan (rain, heat, dust) convinced me to use the Thudbuster with a WTB saddle. My future plans include turning its Samsonite suitcase into a trailer.
Posted by: Audrey Crawford
I just finished a 10 day bicycle tour by myself the first two weeks in mid-coastal Maine.
This was my first bicycle tour on my BF Pocket Llama and I used the suitcase trailer system for the first time. I brought a milk crate as a carryon for the airplane, fashioning a shoulder strap with my bike cable lock. I could carry the trailer wheels in it and lighten the load in my luggage. It also made a great stool to sit on while assembling and disassembling the bike. I have toured using panniers in the past with other bikes so the trailer was new for me. I LOVED IT! the bike handled better, no fish tailing or sluggishness particularly when I got out of the saddle to ride. Was very nice and easy to detach for those days I stayed in one place and took day trips.
My milk crate made for a great basket on the rear rack, securing it with Zip ties. By the way, keep lots of extra heavy duty zip ties with you - saved me. Some of the rutted roads rattled some of the screws out of my rear rack and the zip ties came in handy (my extra screws are itting on my dining room table at home...) and worked well.
I got a flat on one of my trailer wheels within the first 6 miles - big shard of glass. Took some time to figure out how to get the acutely angled tube nozzle out - one must twist and turn the tube perpendicular to the rim for it to get out. But glad I had an extra wtih me. I felt the trailer sucked up rough roads pretty well considering no suspension so that was not an issue at all. I only felt tugging with heavier load and usually only on climbs or dips, but certainly nothing to stress about - ended up mailing all my camping gear home as the campsites were mostly closed this time of year; those that were not were quite far from biycle friendly roads, grocery stores and restaurants. Made a huge difference!
I took a leg strap that was all yellow reflecting tape and velcro-d it to the rear of the suitcase/trailer across which I am sure saved me one nite I ended up riding in the dark for an hour after finding camping areas closed along the way. I did have a rear red flashing lite on the back of the milk crate as well.
I had no squeaks, or creeky sounds come from my bike on the trip. The trailer system made for ease of putting the bike and suitcase onto a train fully assembled (people were unbelievalby friendly in Maine - I had a bike shop give me a free t-shirt asking me to wear it for advertising) - to bypass 40 miles I had already done, so I could tour elsewhere. I was also glad I had the very lite weight fenders.
My BF has also become my bike of choice for commuting. If ever I get caught somewhere later than planned, it is easier to cram into a friend's car if need be. I look forward to more adventures on my Pocket Llama. A very comfortable ride!
Posted by: Rick Gould
I have had my Pocket Llama for 21 months now. I bought it mainly because the people I work for decided to close our local, Lancaster office (5 minutes walk) and move us to another one near Preston, about 30 miles away by freeway, or 35+ miles by quieter roads. However, there is an array of cycle-routes between Preston station (15 minutes by train from Lancaster)and the new office, so as a duathlete with an aversion to the pollution caused by driving, I thought that I'd combine commuting with training, instead of driving all the time. Travelling with full-size bikes on trains in the UK can be a hassle or impossible, whereas folders are accepted as luggage. So I wanted a proper-sized, high performance folder - Bike Friday obviously met that need. Mt commuting/training goes like this - I'll get the train, cycle in one day, often extending the ride to 10 miles. Then I run back to Preston station in the evening, to run back to work next time. Depending on the weather and other things (eg time), I either then do a short ride (eg up to 10 miles) or go all the way home, which can be anything from 35 to 50 miles. On some days I'll get the train, do a short ride to the office and then cycle home - having the Llama gives me a lot of options and when folded, it sits happily at the office overnight. I have a couple of road bikes and a shared MTB at home as well. In terms of performance, I'd agree with the view that an aerodynamic position, tyres and overall weight make the biggest difference to performance, and not the latest components. My Llama, with fast tyres, is not significantly slower than riding even my best, carbon-clad road bike, when riding in a similar position. I have used my Llama for training rides with racing cyclists too, and they all express surprise that I can keep up with the Llama. So when we travel as a family, I take my Llama rather than any other bike. Also a quick switch from slicks to MTB tyres means I can play on the dirt and on the tracks with the children and their MTBs. I have made a couple of significant upgrades in the past 21 months. First, if you fold and lug the bike several times a day, I have to say that front mechs and folding don't always mix. So I switched to a SRAM DualDrive and put double chainguards on the triple spider - Pete Berra at BF made these metal chain guards for me, by removing the teeth from a larger chainring, and the new set-up is great. The DualDrive has its own merits and it could have been made for folding bikes alone. Secondly, high pressure slicks can make your arms buzz after a while - I found this on my racing bike as well, so I'd disagree that it is a small-wheeled issue. So I had a Pantour Prolite suspension hub put on the front wheel, which gives you the cushioning of a fat tire with low inflation, but without any loss in speed. Pantour hubs spoil you, though - I had a 700c wheel made with one as well. Meanwhile, the original, excellent BF sealed hubs are now part of a full size MTB's wheels. Overall, it is the most versatile bike I have owned. And I haven't even toured on it yet.