Posts tagged ‘folding bikes’

6 Reasons Why Cargo Bikes Are The Next Big Thing

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We already have seen the impact  of Cargo Bikes. Have you?

Check out this post on Grist.org

 

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Wheel Barrow on HD

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JoKogaand with Lucy dog on HD

Grocery shopping load on orange HD bike only

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2 Haula-a-Days with Camper and guitar

 

 

Add comment February 4, 2016

A Weekend Adventure Packed onto One Bike

By Raz

Huge chunks of weathered gray rock jut skyward from the gentle tumbling waters of Fall Creek as I roll over the bridge, about to disappear under a thicker canopy of trees as the scenery changes ever so subtly. Those rocks are more submerged during the wetter months, and show why the creek makes a dramatic turn at this very spot.

Big Fall Creek Road narrows at this point where I could call it a day and roll into Cascara State Park to set up camp along the reservoir that reflects the rather dry winter we endured. We camped there 10 years ago, one of our last stops before driving into Eugene permanently to make it our home. I know there are vacancies, which make it tempting.

The feeling of “Been There, Done That” triumphs over any nostalgia rippling in my head. That was then, this is now.

Instead of our popup camper and the SUV filled with gear and my girls, I’m gliding across the bridge effortlessly on a Bike Friday Haul-a-Day cargo bike loaded down to get me through a night of camping.

Up the road a number of small campgrounds dot the edges of Fall Creek, and my heart is set on the solitude they offer. The softening of the afternoon light reminds me that, this being Friday, camping sites get snatched up in a hurry. This could be a lot of extra pedaling for naught.

Yet I’m in no hurry. The images of Fall Creek that pop in and out of view behind the lush green forest calm me. They also make me wonder why this has taken so long.

The last time I packed up camping gear on a bike and headed out with my buddy Jack, we were just hitting high school back in Wisconsin and didn’t have driver’s licenses to accommodate such desires. We had to load up backpacks with our gear, and wobble our way out to Eagle.

I’m thinking back to that because it is exactly why our cargo bike has been so popular. There are a lot of people out there who want to leave their cars behind. A cargo bike offers that type of freedom.

That type of freedom delivers peace on a number of levels. That’s the overwhelming feel on this day. What, Me Worry?

More than anything, this is my personal quest to know the Haul-a-Day better so I can do my job better. That’s just the reason for this adventure. The satisfaction is an added, pleasant bonus.

I’ve got the Haul-a-Day packed up with about 50 pounds of gear which, if you attempt to pick up the bike, feels like quite a significant load. I’m not the biggest dude on the block, running about 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, so having the Haul-a-Day itself start out at 33 pounds is a true benefit.

Having tested my strapping skills to make sure my cargo stays put and felt the weight of the full-loaded bike, the time had come to see how challenging this effort might be. With a solid push on the pedal, the Haul-a-Day responded quickly with a straight launch. No wobbling left and right to get it under control. It zipped forward, like an arrow.

As I’ve done more than few times in my five years of personally testing Bike Friday gear, I find myself shaking my head thinking, “Can it really be this easy?”

Three hours later, as I leave Cascara behind and continue into the Oregon wilderness, I know the answer is a resounding yes.

Although I tend to spend most of my riding these days on bike paths, trails and protected lanes, this venture brought me back to the reality of riding along a busy road with nary much of a shoulder. The feeling of complete control of the Haul-a-Day eased my mind when a logging truck would zoom past.

The gearing on this Haul-a-Day (it’s the same Haul-a-Day that Adam Newman used for his review in Bicycle Times) has 24 speeds and more than enough on each end for me. The two-mile climb from the dam wasn’t too steep, instead long and steady. I handled it with no problem.

As I roll into Broken Bowl campground and see open spots, I think that I should be more tired than I am. I’m lugging around an extra load, yet I could probably continue on if I had to. I see one spot still available on the creek, and realize I don’t need to go any farther. This will do just fine.

 

2 comments January 27, 2016

You Won’t Believe What This 80-Year-Old Did on Her Bike Friday

Dolores McKeough north of San Francisco, nearing the end of a long adventure.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It has been nearly five years since Dolores McKeough sent us this email, reminding us that it’s never too late to chase your dreams!

Hi, I got home 24 hours ago.

What a fantastic, beautiful summer. The adventure, fun, stress, friends made, country seen, and on and on.

The trip started innocently enough with friend Cathy in Tampa on April 3. It ended yesterday after I biked from Malibu where I was camping with three companions, whom I met in Big Sur, to Santa Monica where I folded my Bike Friday into it’s suitcase (after I took the wheels off since it had been serving as my trailer).

So many good things happened on this extravaganza trip including the folding experience in Santa Monica. I didn’t want to disassemble the bike on the beach, although it was a beautiful day, there was too much sand.

So, I went to the REI store where Robbie, the bike repair manager, suggested I use part of his work space. What a generous offer. I took him up on it and had the trailer wheels and attachment off in no time. I then folded the bike (taking the accessories off is the most time consuming part of the process) and put it in the suitcase (the former trailer).

The suitcase with the bike weighed in at 52 pounds at the airport (even though it was two pounds over the allowance Suncountry let it go). My duffle bag with camping stuff, clothes etc weighed in at 28 pounds. And, I had two carry-ons.

So I figure the bike plus all my stuff was about 85 pounds. That’s a lot of weight to ride across the country and partly up and down two coasts. But, I did it and feel great.

I just added it up! I think I rode about 1,000+ miles from Mt. Dora, Florida, to Williamsburg, Virginia; then 4,500 TransAm miles from Richmond, Virginia, to Florence, Oregon; then 1,100 miles from Florence to Santa Monica California.

That’s 6,600 miles on my Bike Friday with 85 pounds, from April 3  til August 29. That impresses even me.

As you know it is not simply the miles that count but the terrain, the road surface, the elevation, the weather …

It was wonderful. The picture was taken North of San Francisco. Note the long sleeves; the weather did not warm up til Santa Barbara.

Dolores

4 comments January 20, 2016

What’s Your Dream Trip ’16

Dream Trip ’16 Giveaway

What’s your Dream Trip for 2016?

Tell us how your Bike Friday will make your dream trip possible for a chance to win a new set of tires and tubes to use on your trip! It’s easy to enter! Here’s how it works:

  • Post your idea of a dream trip on our Bike Friday Facebook page.
  • Encourage your friends and family to like your post.
  • Whichever post has the most likes on January 31st wins!
  • We’ll announce the winner and contact them directly on Facebook.

And here are some pro tips to help you out:

  • Try including a photo or video from a previous trip with your Bike Friday.
  • Don’t include any sensitive specifics like dates that you’ll be away.

Like our Facebook page to stay up to date with the latest cycling tips, awesome stories, gear review and more!

NOTE: Bike Friday acknowledges that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. By participating in this contest you agree to a complete release of Facebook of any or all liabilities.

Add comment January 15, 2016

How a Custom Bike is Built: A Photo Essay

To celebrate Bike Friday’s 20th Anniversary in 2012, we commissioned a limited-edition 20th Anniversary New World Tourist that we custom built with as many top shelf MADE IN USA elements as we could. Although we don’t offer that particular model now, this photo essay shows the care and skill it takes to handbuild a custom Bike Friday in our Factory in Eugene, Oregon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 comment January 13, 2016

7 Steps to Buying a Bike on a Budget

Bike Friday owners at VeloCult

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Before opening Bike Friday in 1992, Co-Founder Alan Scholz owned and operated a few bike shops, and spent time as a national level racer.  Here are his expert tips on how to spend your money wisely when buying a bike.]

By Alan Scholz

Here are the basics I learned long ago about buying a bike on a budget, in order of importance.

1. Make sure you get a good frame in the right size. Get help making sure the frame fits your body by someone who is knowledgeable about fitting. Look for the best frame you can afford for the right type of riding you plan to do. Nothing else matters as much if you are on a budget. Everything else can be upgraded later if you are short on funds. Good designers, cyclists, and shop employees know this. It’s a good test of their basic knowledge.

2. Ride the saddle if it came with the bike just long enough to see if you can put up with it. If the bike does not come with saddle and pedals, thank the designer. That means they invested that money into the frame and wheels for you! Get a saddle that works for you — it is worth the individual focus. Price and weight are not good criteria to use to choose a saddle. You need to test ride a number of saddles and buy one  that is acceptable.

After you have been riding a while, you will be ready to trade up to a better saddle. When your butt is new to cycling, an acceptable saddle is as good as it gets. When you can ride 15-25 miles a day regularly get a nice saddle if you feel you need a different shape. Don’t believe anyone who says “this is a men’s saddle, or this is a women’s saddle.” Get one that fits and feels good. Ignore the rest.

3. If you can afford it, get a good set of wheels. After getting a frame that fits, wheels that are relatively light will give you by far the most bang for your buck.

4. If you are pushing your budget, buy cheap heavy tires. You will be replacing tires eventually, and then you can get some good tires. Wearing out tires will happen sooner than you think. That’s when you can buy better tires. You will be best served to really enjoy your bike, although frame and wheels will do the most toward that goal.

5. Next change your steel stuff out for entry level alloy if you must limit funds. Steel chainrings, brakes, seatposts, and derailleurs are a dead give away that they are sub-standard for someone who wants to be a real rider and can afford more than the minimum frame and wheels. They may work fine but they were put there to save money and they are heavy. Your motor cannot be changed. Weight matters. Used parts are often a good choice, but you need to really know parts design. Brand is not always a clear indicator. Ask a knowledgeable friend or expert consultant.

6. If your ship has come in, you can be picky but not arrogant about parts and prices. People who ”buy” into the sport usually do not become good nor happy cyclists. The most pricey and light gear will not perform for you out of the box if you have not already gained top level skills to utilize and appreciate them. From the experience in my shop days starting hundreds of folks to cycling, it takes as a minimum, three progressively better bikes as an adult to get to the top level, best for you. It doesn’t matter how much money you have.

7. Full Custom is usually not available or understandable to you until the third level of bike and thousands of miles. Small custom builders must charge 2-5 times as much as off the shelf mass produced bikes. If you do not know that they still mostly make less than minimum wages doing so, you will not appreciate their output anyway. Your best choice then is to buy an off the shelf imported bike and think you got a good deal. All small manufacturing concerns, one person to 60 people are squeezed by this math. Imports are cheaper because the factories are larger and they have the economies of scale. But they often also practice a lack of respect for good design that a small custom builder will have. Inexpensive or dear, a bike can serve you well if you take the time to choose. Take a ride with the local bike club and you will find there are far more important skills than a full wallet to keep up.

6 comments January 6, 2016

How to Ride Your Bike Every Day

Jim Langley on Cadillac Mountain in Maine.

Jim Langley on Cadillac Mountain in Maine.

By Raz

Jim Langley has ridden his bike every day for the past 22 years. That’s an amazing streak. His numbers are staggering:

  • 22 years
  • Nearly 8,000 days
  • More than 120,000 miles

Since December 30th, 1993, the former technical editor of Bicycling magazine has ridden every day. It’s a mind-boggling streak that begs the question: How did he do it? Perseverance and determination are certainly key factors, but Langley also has another element to credit: His Bike Friday Pocket Rocket.

“I could never have kept the streak alive without my Bike Fridays,” Langley said. “Some of my all-time favorite rides were made possible only because I had my Pocket Rocket along with me, like riding up and down the Haleakala volcano in Maui. If you’ve never done that you need to.”

Do you have a streak? If so, Like us on Facebook and share your streak and story with the world.

If you don’t have a streak, what better way to begin one than on a new Bike Friday Pocket Rocket or Pocket Rocket Pro?

It all starts with having a bike that fits your body and is equipped to do what you need it to do. Bike Fridays can fold and travel with you. Our cargo bike the Haul-a-Day can do the work of your SUV while you get exercise.

What’s stopping you from your streak?

Also, read Jim Langley’s Weekly Tech Column.

1 comment December 30, 2015

Give to BTA, win a Haul-a-Day

Bike Friday Haul-a-Day Cargo Bike among the cactusEach year the Willamette Week Give Guide helps raise money for nonprofits in the Portland area.

This year, in an effort to help the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, you can win a Bike Friday Haul-a-Day for donating to their cause.

The BTA works to make bicycling safe, convenient and accessible throughout Oregon via a range of advocacy projects and community education projects such as Vision Zero, a national traffic safety program that works to eliminate road fatalities.

The BTA was the leader in beginning school educational programs from which the Safe Routes to School programs emerged.

Visit the BTA Give Guide page to donate and learn more.

Add comment December 1, 2015

Confessions of a BionX Convert

Alan Scholz commutes with his Haul-a-Day equipped with BionX electric pedal assist.

A confession from Bike Friday Co-Founder Alan Scholz:

Over the past 10 years I have had several folks from the Bike Friday community tell me that we should offer Bike Fridays with electric assist. They wanted it for themselves, and several had even done it themselves and brought them to me to show how happy they were with them.

Well, I apologize. I did not get it.

I had been looking at electric assist for more than 15 years and the ones I had seen were what I thought of as “not real bikes.” They were heavy, made funny noises, or for other reasons were an embarrassment to ride. Especially if I wanted to ride the bike without the assist.

I literally thought that it was about a cheap low-speed motorcycle so people did not need to pedal. I had not a clue what a really good modern assist was like. Worse, I had used myself as the judge of their potential value. As a designer of things for other people’s lives, that is a big no-no.

Since I was a fairly strong rider I always had been fit enough to do most things under my own power, and I transferred that sense to overall value. Until I started riding a BionX equipped Haul-a-Day this winter I just didn’t get it.

Perhaps worse, I have been married for 20 years and knew my wife sometimes felt bad not being able to keep up. That didn’t happen to me very often so I somehow didn’t realize how much a little boost would enhance her cycling. As Homer Simpson would say, “Doh!”

I have been a bike commuter for more than 45 years. I am now riding a Haul-a-Day equipped with a basic BionX electric assist every day to the shop and back and on city business. I can’t believe how much better it is than me pulling a trailer all those years.

It is not just for small moms with a big load of kids who need to ride over a hill to get them home. I still ride my light road bike on the weekend ride. But I can tell you, having electric assist for day-to-day transportation has not replaced my cycling.

I get just as much exercise as I ever did, maybe more. It is an unbelievable enhancement in expanding my self-propelled capabilities.

I found it has very little down side. As long as you add it to a real bike that fits to begin with, I am convinced these will be very popular and seen as very good value for the cost.

Here is what makes it work for me:

  1. No noise.
  2. Bike rides fine even when system is off or battery is depleted.
  3. It has regenerative braking. Might not sound like a big deal but on steep down hills it is superior to any other kind of braking.
  4. You can leave the battery at home for a lighter bike. You can carry an extra battery for a much longer ride.
  5. I commute all week on one charge. About 50-60 miles. A long ride would be 100 miles at speed and with a load.
  6. The motor wheel has a standard cassette type 8-10 speed freehub. That means two things: Your regular drive train works just fine with no changes with the motor wheel in. And when you want that good old light touring bike stripped down you just put back in the original wheel.
  7. Depending who you are riding with or how tired you are at the end of the day, you can always add a little boost the even things out.

As you can see, I’m sold. The BionX electric assist is a well designed system that will enhance cycling for a lot of individuals. You might be one!

Add comment November 30, 2015

Testimonial from a Hardcore Roadie

Jeff Linder on his Bike Friday Haul-a-Day Cargo Bike with BionX electric pedal assist

Jeff Linder on his Bike Friday Haul-a-Day Cargo Bike with BionX electric pedal assist

By Jeff Linder
Bike Friday Angel Investor

I really don’t know where to begin …

The new Bike Friday Haul-a-Day has so captured my imagination, making it difficult to prioritize the long list of things I truly like about this bike.

The global view is that this bike has the potential of freeing the up the younger families from dependence on the second car. At least that’s the way it presents itself to me.

A car can be, and most frequently is an essential tool in today’s family experience but just as commonly the use case for the second car is not quite so compelling and if you can be offered an alternative that can help you do those collateral essentials then hey, fantastic. AND if you can make it fun too — holy Toledo, Batman, what a score.

I’ve been riding the Haul-a-Day now for a few months and have had just the best time. It’s so versatile and delightful and it brings a smile to my face every time.


My Haul-a-Day has the BionX electric assist installed and I’m nothing short of a convert. Full disclosure — I’m the kind of guy who likes to ride with the assist at full tilt-boogie, allowing me to cruise at 20-plus mph in virtually all conditions that include some pretty significant hills.

I really enjoy loading up with the Costco goods or packages from local retail outlets to the bewilderment of many onlookers. I’m quite certain that I’m often pushing 75-100 pounds worth of bike and cargo, and have passed my local litmus test of getting up my 22-degree driveway, which is borderline insanity.

This is easily one of the best things to ever come out of the skunk works at Bike Friday and I’m pleased and honored to have one of the first production bikes to test and enjoy. Here are a couple of pictures of yours truly and the Haul-a-Day in action.

A Bike Friday Haul-a-Day Cargo Bike with BionX Electric Assist loaded with supplies from Costco.

A Bike Friday Haul-a-Day Cargo Bike with BionX Electric Assist loaded with supplies from Costco.

A Bike Friday Haul-a-Day Cargo Bike loaded down with Propane tanks.

A Bike Friday Haul-a-Day Cargo Bike loaded down with Propane tanks.

Add comment November 30, 2015

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