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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: V S
I own a Tandem XLQ. I bought it because of the Q feature since I feel that I'm buying two for the price of one. I have used it for about 1000 miles in the 5 months that I've owned it. It's a fun bike to have but there are numerous problems that I've encountered. One is that the bike does not feel like my favorite touring bike - the measurements of which I gave to Bike Friday. It fits differently - I gave my measurements and they got it right but the feel is different. It must be the head/seat tube angles and the fork rake. Climbing and accelerating feels sluggish and dead compared to the other tandem bikes I've tried. Maybe it's the frame, maybe the small tires. Like what other reviewers of Bike Friday has mentioned, it is very twitchy. I need to grip tight when I drink. Forget about standing, it's too twitchy. The quick release bolt that holds the handlebar is not centered. This is annoying since everytime I look down I see the quick release angled to the left. I got my bike equipped with Ultegra and Sram. For the most part they work great but I need to adjust it every 3-4 rides. This is a hassle since I always need to stop to adjust it every so often. Nevertheless, I think this gearing is the way to go with tandem bikes. The brake is lousy (Avid Canti). No matter what adjustment I make, it still makes a loud screeching sound. I don't know why Bike Friday uses these. I bought Shimano Canti's and the problem with screeching is gone -on day 1. Internet reviews of the Avid brake echo my problem. My wife is happy with the fit. The welds are not clean (rough in some areas)but look strong and the paint job has some markings (thumbprint?). Overall it is a fun bike to have. A lot of people compliment it. The customer service is great. I wish I lived close to Bike Friday's headquarters since I think they can fix the minor problems that I have it.
While switching between single and tandem mode on the Q requires "set-up," you should not require continual adjustments. Please feel free to contact our technical service department and we can problem solve with you to eliminate the constant adjustment. - Jordan, Customer Service Manager
Posted by: Lee and Nancy Leer
Shortly before Xmas, Nancy and I received our "Q" Sport Traveler, neatly packaged in two suitcases. A couple of months earlier, we had received the instructional video, and had dutifully watched it to learn details of putting the bike together. The video is poorly made and is not specific to the "Q," but was moderately helpful. There is no definitive owner' manual, except another generic and poorly executed manual that's not terribly helpful. Nonetheless, with the "help" of the video, I was able to get the bike together for the first time after only 3 frustrating hours. By way of background, I am fairly mechanically facile, but have never constructed a bicycle before, and have done very little bicycle repair work. Once constructed, the "Q" ran like a charm. I'm accustomed to 30 - 50 mile rides on my Trek 5200, and Nancy is accustomed to watching me take off and arrive home a few hours later. In spite of this difference in experience levels, our first ride out was 20 miles of absolute joy. Our second ride was 30 miles, and our third 35. Nancy has never complained - except about some of the unnerving downhill speeds we've attained. For me, the fit is essentially identical to my fit on the Trek - not surprising given my pre-construction measurements were taken from the Trek. The ride is comfortable, and the bike feels sturdy and stable. There's really no different feel to the small wheels - except they're a bit noisier than standard wheels. After the 3rd or 4th ride, I figured I should take the bike apart, and convert it to a single - just for practice. 90 minutes later, I had accomplised the conversion - and had ruined the rear chain in the process. My fault, not Bike Friday's. In attempting to manipulate the rear wheel/frame into its single setting, I twisted the chain so much that I decided to just take it apart and straighten it. After a long sordid story not pertinent to a PG-13 Rated bike review, I now own a new chain and everything is fine. The "Q" works as admirably as a single as it does a tandem. The SRAM drive is interesting. The coupler's plastic housing is a bit cheaply made (two parts, which come apart easily, and one of which I know will be lost one of these days), but it works remarkably well. It's great to be able to downshift while coasting! We have noticed that the shifting functhion in general varies with exactly how one puts the bike together - especially critical is the tightness of the timing chain. Adjusting this is tricky, and - in my hands anyway - it does not work with any of the suggested techniques in either the video or the accompanying literature. However, once I got my own technique down, adjustment has become, if not easy, at least predictable. One detail about small wheels that is critical - they do not ride over small sharp inclines in the same way that large wheels do. Our only spill on the bike occured when I attempted to parallel-traverse a 3 inch incline of new blacktop on a recently re-paved road. Whereas the larger tire of my Trek would have grabbed the top of the new road surface and pulled me up, the smaller tire couldn't do this, and slid back down to the old surface. Otherwise I think the small wheels are in fact a plus - handling is better than on a standard tandem. The bike absorbs road vibrations nicely without beeing too "squishy," and does not have an undue amount of lateral play. Braking is overall excellent, although in hindsight I would appreciate having a 3rd drag brake for long downhill rides. All in all, we are extremely satisfied with the bike. We're looking forward to taking it to Hawaii with us in April, Rhode Island in August, and all around Northern California in the meantime. Nancy, whose long-distance bicyling experience is summarized above, is already talking about a 3 day bike tour from our home in Arcata, CA, to Mendocino. Thank you, Bike Friday.
Posted by: Lee and Nancy Leer
We've been very happily married for 15 years, and I believe we are closer than most of our married friends. However, athletically, we've grown apart a bit. I run and mostly bike. Nancy walks. With our Q Sport, all that has changed. My poor Trek bikes sit quietly on their hangers in the garage while we happily roll together all over Humboldt County. Though Nancy really hasn't bicycled much at all, we went 25 miles on our maiden voyage, followed by 27 the next day, and 34 yesterday. The bike is an absolute gem and has given us no trouble (though I do hope to become somewhat quicker at dis- and re-assembly). We have added an aspect to our relationship that we've never shared before. When we used to run together, I always went slower than I wanted, and Nancy faster than she wished. On the Q, we can each work as hard as we want and both get an excellent workout. We're already talking about doing some bike touring. Whole new vistas have opened up for us. Bike Friday Rocks!