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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: Eric Moore
I've had my Silk about a week now. Mine is Ink Black and has an Alfine 11 IGH, CenterTrack using an FSA Energy crank, Avid BB7 disc brakes, 451 wheels with Alex r390 rims, an American Classic front hub (didn't think I would use the Alfine generator hub), Duranos, narrow almost straight bars with what I would call a rapidfire shifter and a custom ultralight stem.
I added an FSA carbon seatpost, a Flite titanium saddle and Tioga Spyder pedals. Soon I think I will be getting Silk fenders from the BF parts store.
I also have an Air Friday, an old Pocket Rocket Pro, and a Pocket Rocket fixie, so the ultralight stem and the size of the frame was built to match the spec on the other bikes.
My ultralight stem is very short and low. With the narrow straight bars, it makes this bike look and feel kinda like the formula one bikes in the 80s, but I have other full sized stems that I could easily swap in to make this bike a full-fledged touring machine.
In its current setup with the low stem it is used for daily commuting about 6 miles each way.
I only have good things to say about the bike and Bike Friday. Obviously I am not only a loyal customer, I'm also in love with the idea that these very kind and service-oriented folks really are my personal custom bike factory -- and they build them for what I think are very reasonable prices.
Walter is my bike pusher of choice. On to the specifics:
Brakes - I've had disc brakes on a couple other bikes. Love the performance, hate the tweaking. BF did a great job installing and truing the rotors on my bike -- the brakes are noise free, rub free, and stop faster than I can even think about.
Shifting - there is a little bit of training needed for the Alfine 11. You don't want to shift to an easier gear under load, it doesn't always work, but you can shift two steps with the rapid fire shifter, and you can shift while at a stop. Shifting to a harder gear is never a problem, with or without load. The shifts are very quiet and confident. Some folks have commented about the inefficiency of IGH's. I don't really notice it, maybe because the other bikes I'm riding are single speeds and fixies. The Alfine does add quite a bit of weight to the wheel, but the range of the gears is so great, and the operation so quiet that it is well worth it.
Handling - my short stems make for very quick handling. Takes a while for some folks to get used to it. For me it's like driving a Miata compared to a pickup truck.
The Silk inspires even more confidence than my other BFs. I'm not sure why. Someone said the wheelbase is shorter, but I don't know if that is true. It just reacts well to my every move. I even took it on a trail for a bit (I don't do many trails) and found it very stable and predictable.
Finish/Aesthetics - I got a basic black bike because I have a kid in college,so I felt like I shouldn't spend the extra bucks on paint. I asked Walter to make the bike as black as he could. I even told them to make the decals black, which ended up looking silly (my own fault), but the rest of it is wonderful - black seat collar, black crank, black bars and brake handles, black hubs, even black spokes. They came through bigtime on making it black, and it looks pretty damn cool. Now I just gotta figure out what to put on the main tube. The quality of the paint and the build is outstanding. I couldn't be more pleased.
Performance - This bike makes no noise. You hit a bump -- silence. You squeeze the brakes -- no screech. You coast -- nothing. I do a lot of yelling to warn folks I'm behind them. It feels like the bike is solid as a rock. It is not the fastest bike in the world, but who cares. I'm not riding it to win races. But it cuts through corners like a knife and is one of the most fun bikes I have ever ridden. Even if you are not going fast, you feel like you are.
Convenience - I'm a commuter. I now get a better job evaluation because people don't see me in bike ready dress anymore. Not worrying about a greasy chain has made the trip up the stairs carefree. The belt is definitely an improvement and a non-issue. We'll see how I feel after the first flat. Can't comment on the fold yet, but not having to worry about the chain should be a big improvement there too. The combination of great design and great service makes me one very happy customer.
Posted by: Poul Anderson
Posted by: Poul
I'd like to post a huge thank you to Bike Friday for their impeccable sales support.
I'd also like to thank them for recommending Avon Valley Cyclery in Bath, UK who did a fine job as dealership. In particular Walter at Bike Friday did a fantastic job,
I asked a general question about the new Silk and soon found myself with a completely custom specification for a Silk-Alfine-11.
Having little experience with higher end cycles and having read a lot online I had a million questions and was also glad for all the suggestions.
Each question was answered with enthusiasm and the spec. revised accordingly. Ben at Avon Valley Cyclery talked me through the bike, answered yet more questions and provided a test-ride bike and ensured everything went smoothly (as Silk) with the order on our side of the channel.
My criteria was a road bike that could take on rougher terrain yet fold away to be suitable for compact urban-living in London and provide a very zippy urban commute. I look forward to posting about the bike some weeks from now; pedals, saddle, lights etc are already waiting for the bike :-)
Posted by: Robert Comer
Posted by: "Silk" bike order
I just ordered a "Silk" and I was impressed with the customer service that was provided by Peter Berra. He took my measurements and made suggestions about fitting the bike for my type of riding. If you do order a bike just ask for Peter.