Thursday, 31 May 2012

Jim Langley rides Pocket Rocket 18 years DAILY

Bike Friday’s amazing Pocket Rocket
Bike Friday Pocket Rocket
In 1990, I set a short-term goal of riding every day and a long-term goal of cycling daily for ten consecutive years. Each ride had to be a real ride, which to me means getting suited up and putting in at least an hour of fitness-pace miles. I’d heard of a runner named Ron Hill who actually ran twice a day for over twenty years, so I knew it was possible. Yet, I figured it would be tougher to bike every day because it requires a place to ride, a proper bicycle and getting prepared to ride; quite a process compared to simply slipping on your shorts and Nikes
None of these hurdles seemed insurmountable, but my job worried me. I had to travel regularly; sometimes even to Europe; and I wasn’t sure how I could continue riding in such unpredictable circumstances. I’d already experienced the hassle of traveling with a bicycle packed in a cardboard box and in a bike case. Because of its size, the airlines charged me $75 or more per flight ($150 for a round trip), which I could not charge to my expense account. Worse, they abused the bike boxes and cases by jamming them in the plane next to other oversize luggage that would bash into the box. Even carefully packed, a lightweight bicycle can get damaged abused like that.
To prevent these problems, I tried shipping my bike via UPS. This is less expensive than the airlines’ fees, but I worried that my bike would be lost or damaged. And, I was never positive it would arrive in time. Of course, I also had to have a safe place to ship it to.
Ed to the rescue
Fortunately, there was an alternative; a new invention. Ed Pavelka, another editor at Bicycling Magazine, had recently purchased a nifty folding bicycle called a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket. He was raving about it. The trick with this bike is that it folds so small that it fits into a traditional suitcase, meaning it travels for free with the other standard-size luggage (no more abuse from crates of auto parts, etc.). But, the other special part is that, a kit is available that turns the suitcase into a trailer allowing you to ride away from the airport towing your gear!
The more I talked to Ed, the more I was convinced that the bike he’d found would be just the ticket for someone about to commit to riding every day. I called up Bike Friday and spoke to the owners and inventors, Hans and Alan Scholtz, and ordered a bike. I knew I was in the right hands because they requested complete body measurements and specifications so that they could build the perfect bike for me. I wanted a lightweight road racer that would perform as well as my traditional bikes. They said I’d have it in two and a half weeks.
Exactly seventeen days later, the bike arrived, packed in its suitcase. It’s so small (22 x 29 x 10 inches), you can’t believe a bike is inside. And, it’s a solid suitcase, built of plastic with wheels on one end and handles on the top and end for easy carrying and pulling. Three latches and a built-in combination lock secure the lid.
It took about thirty minutes to build the bike for the first time. Gloves were included in the tool kit so you can keep your hands clean while building and packing. There are several innovations that allow the bike to fit in such a small suitcase: 20-inch wheels, a frame that folds in half, a swan-like stem and a clever set of drop handlebars that are split in half to neatly tuck into the suitcase (a sleeve in the center reinforces the handlebars for strength where they’re cut). With just a little practice, I was able to pack the bike in 15 minutes and get it road ready in the same amount of time.
The ride
I knew it would ride great because Ed is a first-rate roadie and he wouldn’t tolerate a lousy bike. Also, Ed requires a truly custom frame. He says, “I’m 6 foot 4 (76 inches) but have only a 34-inch inseam.” If Bike Friday could build a frame that Ed could train on, it ought to be easy for them to make one for an average-size guy like me (6 feet tall with a 34-inch inseam). And, sure enough, right out of its case, my fire-engine-red Pocket Rocket was wonderful. The little wheels accelerated beautifully and offered excellent handling. The fit was spot on. And even the gearing felt exactly like my regular road bike.
One of the problems with some bicycles that use small-diameter wheels is a rough ride. Little wheels are more likely to find the bottoms of ruts and holes in the road jarring you on surfaces that would feel smooth on your traditional bike. Alex Moulton solved this problem with front and rear suspension. Hans and Alan’s solution is an ingenious frame design with an unsupported tall seat tube and stem. These flex slightly while you ride, eliminating jolts and keeping the ride as comfortable, if not more comfy, than other thoroughbred machines.
Ed had mentioned that the weirdest phenomenon about the bike was its appearance. If you look down, you expect a strange ride because of the PR’s funny looks. But, as soon as you concentrate on the road, you forget all about the bike’s unique design because it feels exactly like your favorite bikes. Even standing to climb a steep hill, sprinting, descending at top speed and hammering a huge gear — the ride feels spot on.
Curious about the trailer kit, I assembled the cross pieces into a T shape, poked the three built-in bolts through the holes in the bottom of the suitcase, slipped on the two 10-inch pneumatic wheels and clicked the hitch onto the chainstay (it’s a spring-loaded connector from an air-compressor hose!). Riding with the trailer was impressive, too. It’s easy to pull, quiet and there’s no slack between the bike, hitch and trailer. One caveat is that the trailer kit does not completely fit into the suitcase with the bike; one wheel must be carried in your luggage, but that’s no big deal.
Take it everywhere
To date, I’ve thoroughly tested my Pocket Rocket. It’s been to Europe several times, many places stateside and it goes with me on every vacation.
It made it possible to ride from Schiphol Airport to my hotel and all around Amsterdam (the top of the suitcase is perfect for spreading out a map when you’re lost). It allowed me to join group training rides in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.
It was my commuting machine (much cheaper than a rental car) in South Bend, Indiana, while attending a week-long clinic. And, it makes it possible to squeeze in rides during family vacations by biking to attractions while the family drives and then folding the Pocket Rocket and stuffing it in the trunk of the rental car.
Perhaps the bike’s most amazing trick is that there’s room in the suitcase (as long as you’re not carrying the trailer kit) to pack an indoor trainer (I use an older model called the Quickstand, that’s smaller than most), which means that if you’re traveling to a snowy destination, you can set the bike on a trainer and ride in your hotel room.
This also works if you’re in a traffic-choked city, where it’s too dangerous or smoggy to ride. Obviously, this feature is a big hit with a guy trying to ride his bicycle every single day.
Cycling’s greatest invention
For all these reasons, I feel that the Bike Friday is one of the greatest cycling innovations I’ve seen. And this is coming from a guy who’s been testing products professionally since 1983, and who, during an 8-year stint as Bicycling Magazine’s New Products Editor, evaluated a hundred or so bicycles and over 1,700 products.
I rode the first clipless pedals; tested one of the earliest prototype aero handlebars; reviewed aero cables and Shimano’s debut index shifters. I tested Biopace chainrings and automatic transmissions and twisting brake levers and STI and Ergopower shifting. I’ve ridden dozens of electric bicycles and flat-proof tires. I built three recumbents; rode a fully-faired Moulton, the fastest upright bike in the world, to 40 mph on a racetrack. And, of course, I witnessed the mountain-bike and suspension phenomenon firsthand. Yet, in my opinion, due to its ability to change your life by making quality cycling possible wherever you are, in my opinion the invention that stands head and shoulders above the rest is the Bike Friday.
In fact, after I bought my Bike Friday, every editor at Bicycling Magazine followed suit and we would never go anywhere without our amazing companions (Bike Friday is named after Robinson Crusoe’s sidekick, Friday). At the Interbike bicycle show each year, we would lead the morning rides, all seven of us on our mini-wheelers. And we introduced the bikes to many other riders and proved to them that these wonder bikes do everything regular racers can.
Fit for racing, too
That’s the hardest thing for some riders to believe. They see this weird machine and they can’t accept that it really works. You have to show them. I joined a group training ride once and the guys, unfamiliar with Bike Fridays, tried to drop me. Not a smart move. The bike’s miniature wheels allow drafting more closely than traditional ones, so I’m able to tuck in tight for great shelter.
The harder they pulled at the front to drop me, the more rest I got. When we reached the hills, I was breathing easy and had no trouble winning the climb. I’m a slow sprinter, but being able to draft so nicely, and feeling so strong from resting so much, I was able to contest the town-line finish. Afterwards, the guys couldn’t stop asking questions about the bike.
Ed and others have achieved more impressive results on their Pocket Rockets. Race Across America veteran Rob Templin placed in the grueling Mount Evans Hillclimb on his. And Ed says, “I have a long ride of 190 miles on my Pocket Rocket, a long week of 707 miles, and I once rode the 112-mile El Tour de Tucson on it in 5:05 (no drafting!). Nice bike.”
But, for me, the best thing is that my Pocket Rocket has helped me close in on my major goal of riding every day for ten years. Due to an accident in 1993, I had to start over again, so I’ve still got a ways to go. But, I’m getting closer every day and I could never have done it without my Pocket Rocket. Thank you Bike Friday! (Update: I am now working on year 18.)

Bike Friday for Little People

What about a custom made high-end folding bike for your child?  Well, Bike Friday makes bikes for little people.  Bantam Bike Friday for Little people

JMB biggest bike shop in Langkawi

So I met Cien, operator of the modern, air-con, part of the JMB cycleshop.

Picked up some half-price sunglasses and a mountain bike with disk brakes for a friend.

Ed Foo test rides 5NWT InfinityTour Nuvinci

Mr. Ed Foo, the distributor for Outlieb Pannier Bags dropped by MyFamily Cycles @ Proshop located here at The Club@Bandar Utama, to try the Bike Friday bikes.  He loved the smoothness and quietness of the Nuvinci hub.

Here is Raz's bike friday's blog "getFitFast" latest article on the NWT Nuvinci:
Seattle's Best: Finding the Sweet Spot (Raz--GetFitFast)

Sam Cheong test-rides Pocket Llama Select

Sam Cheong finally came to test-ride the Bike Friday Llama. He said the set-up was perfect except for some minor tweaks.  Here is his assessment:

Sam's review of the Pocket Llama

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Yeoh Chee Weng prefers Bike Friday Pocket Llama Select 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012, I met Mr. yeoh Chee Weng for the first time. This youngish 63-years-old Bike Friday early-adopter has owned a pocket companion since July 2011, and has ridden his bike Friday 5,000 km in 10 months. He loves his touring bike and wanted to try the four select models.

 In summary, he loves the bike friday selects. He requested for a quote for the Llama with upgraded drive gear.

Sumei Toh Rides BF NWT, Llama, Tikit and Pocket Rocket

Sumei Toh was the first client to test-ride all four Bike Friday select models on Tuesday, May 22, 2012. Since I assembled them, no one had ever ridden the bikes until Sumei. So she was riding each bike for the first time. So here is the riding order and general reaction: 

1. She rode the 5 NWT InfinityTour Nuvinci first and said the shifting of the Nuvinci CVT hub was smooth.

 Then adding the trailer with Samsonite flight case, she found that the drag was very small, although noticeable. The New World Tourist model is what Sumei prefers. Although the 5.4 lb nuvinci made it a little too heavy for her.

 2. Pocket Llama select: we assembled it out of the second Samsonite flight case and had to change the Thudbuster suspension seatpost as it was too high for her.

 3. Pocket Rocket Select: being use to drop bars, Sumei really liked the ride and lightness of this bike but the Tiagra Shifters were an upgrade to her old school drop bar twisters.

 4. Future Tikit with delta C-drive belt. She liked the silence of the belt and the fold was as usual quite fascinating.

 Sumei wants to do more research on the nuvinci and belt drive. Hopefully she will be ordering a NWT soon. P

Saturday, 12 May 2012

New bike friday Carbon Tikit Gates Nuvinci

The drivetrain is the Gates Carbon Drive CenterTrack, that offers clean, quiet and smooth shifting that takes the messiness out of commuting. It is combined with the sealed, weather-resistant NuVinci N360 Continuous Variable Transmission hub.

The cutting-edge new design from Gates Carbon Drive CenterTrack offers 20 percent more tensile strength, a slimmer profile and the most advanced debris shedding ever. CenterTrack consists of an alloy front sprocket and stainless steel rear sprocket as well as a 12-millimeter-wide belt embedded with carbon fiber cords.

Carbon Drive requires no greasy lube. That means no more grease stains on clothing and hands. Cleanliness is a huge benefit for cyclists who store their bikes indoors, in an airplane, on a sailboat or inside an RV.

Gates Carbon Drive weighs approximately 240 grams -- half the weight of a chain drive. Lighter weight means higher performance. For urban commuters, it means getting to the office faster with less effort.

Cyclists comment on how powerful Gates Carbon Drive feels underfoot. The strength derives from the carbon fiber cords embedded the belt, which resist stretching.

When it comes to cutting edge technology, the NuVinci N360 Continuous Variable Transmission gives you complete control and the ability to always find the sweet spot, that gear to match your perfect cadence.

The NuVinci N360 hub is Fallbrook Technologies' latest alternative to the limitations and complications of traditional indexed-geared systems.

It offers a simple and seamlessly smooth way of shifting throughout a wide ratio range without power transfer interruptions, or missed shifts.

"As the fixie riders will tell you, there is a special elegance and charm that you get from a simple fixed gear that a derailleur cannot match -- or any gear changer, for that matter," Bike Friday co-Founder Alan Scholz says. "But it seems that derailleurs have won out to date, as most modern 'real bikes' have them."

Derailleurs present maintenance challenges for a lot of cyclists.

"Hub gears solve some of the maintenance and mechanical challenge issues for the cyclist who is not also a top mechanic, nor wants to be one," Scholz says.

"But none of the hub gears to date have had that breakthrough that also gave them a better feel. That feeling of simplicity, elegance, and smoothness that fixed gear bikes promise but cannot deliver on the hills, down winds, and gear pulling challenges of real everyday anywhere cycling."

That's why NuVinci is a game-changer.

"The NuVinci hub is a different solution totally," Scholz says. "Not a new departure but a new way of mating a person to the bike. Doesn't look like it, but when I rode it I was struck by the feel that it was completely smooth and I couldn't tell what gear I was in. There are no gears!"

It didn't take long for Scholz to be convinced.

"Yes, my next personal Bike Friday is going to have a NuVinci combined with Gates Carbon Drive,," Scholz says.

Comment from Yeoh Chee Weng

Hi Andy Ng, I have been using a Bike Friday Pocket Companion for a year now and I love it. I have already use it for more than 5,000km for workouts and leisurely touring. I'm glad that you are now a dealer of BFs. If I want to upgrade my BF I now know whom to contact. Good luck in your business and I hope you do very well.
Via facebook

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

New Bike Friday Models Coming!

New 2012 Select Models from Bike Friday Coming to Malaysia:

1. Pocket Llama Select
2. Future Tikit Select
3. Pocket Rocket Select
4. 5NWT InfinityTour Nuvinci. This has the latest CVT, continuois variable transmission, 360 hubgear from Nuvinci.

New World Tourist with Nuvinci CVT

The New World Tourist can tackle any challenge you throw its way, from multiday touring to daily commuting to simple Sunday afternoon riding.

One of the ways to build a Custom New World Tourist is to add the NuVinci 360 continuously variable transmission (CVT), so you will always find the perfect gear for any situation.

The NuVinci will give you a gear range from 26.5 to 95.5 inches with a 20-tooth cog and 53-tooth ring. 

The NuVinci N360 hub is Fallbrook Technologies' latest alternative to the limitations and complications of traditional indexed-geared systems.

It offers a simple and seamlessly smooth way of shifting throughout a wide ratio range without power transfer interruptions, or missed shifts.

It is now available on our New World Tourist, Pocket Llama, Pocket Crusoe and tikit Customized bikes.

"As the fixie riders will tell you, there is a special elegance and charm that you get from a simple fixed gear that a derailleur cannot match -- or any gear changer, for that matter," Bike Friday co-Founder Alan Scholz says. "But it seems that derailleurs have won out to date, as most modern 'real bikes' have them."

Derailleurs present maintenance challenges for a lot of cyclists.

"Hub gears solve some of the maintenance and mechanical challenge issues for the cyclist who is not also a top mechanic, nor wants to be one," Scholz says.

"But none of the hub gears to date have had that breakthrough that also gave them a better feel. That feeling of simplicity, elegance, and smoothness that fixed gear bikes promise but cannot deliver on the hills, down winds, and gear pulling challenges of real everyday anywhere cycling."

That's why NuVinci is a game-changer.

"The NuVinci hub is a different solution totally," Scholz says. "Not a new departure but a new way of mating a person to the bike. Doesn't look like it, but when I rode it I was struck by the feel that it was completely smooth and I couldn't tell what gear I was in. There are no gears!"

It didn't take long for Scholz to be convinced.

"Yes, my next personal Bike Friday is going to have a NuVinci," Scholz says.

Bike friday review

Overall Experience Rating:

What more could you ask for?
I needed a new bike with lower gearing to cross the Rockies and Appalachians, traveling the 4,200 miles from the US coast to coast.

Knowing that the bike would have to come back and that I would like to do some international bike touring, as well as the fact that my city lacks bike racks on some buses drove me to consider a folder.

I have met several people with folders, including Dahons, but for touring people always raved about their BF. On a coastal driving trip, I stopped into Eugene to try one out. Wow. Pretty nice.

It took me awhile to commit to the price, but in comparison to a Surley Long Haul, it was comparable. In retrospect, the 4,200 miles were delightfully uncomplicated bicycle wise. The one suggestion for someone putting that many miles on a NWT would be to get the Chris King headset, for the stock headset required tightening every 1,000 miles.

Other cons are the lack of a top tube to support a fully loaded bike while straddling the bike and the increased difficulty (very tight) of changing a tire due the small circumference.

The complaints are few. The pros include the ability to fold the bike and step on a train, plane and bus (without extra cost or restriction) as well as its ability to start from a start quickly (important on a hill) and fast handling to avoid obstacles. Fully folding the bike to put into the suitcase takes me 30-45 minutes and putting it back together takes me about 15 min.

Submitted by: Leslie Duggleby April 23, 2012

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Bike Friday vs. Swift Folder

Not many people have owned both of these bikes, but many people ask me to compare them. For bicycle geeks they are both very interesting... Bike Friday is very well known for making high performance folders and the Swift Folder is one of the few folders that you can buy as a frameset and build it up as you like (or have the company build it up custom). There are many differences though.

Both of these bicycles are mid-sized folders. They fold small enough to go into a suitcase (with some work) or into the trunk of a car or a large duffle bag (with little work). Neither will fold to fit under your desk at work -- for something that small you really need a Brompton or other very small folder. They ride great though and can perform as well as most full sized bicycles, something that most folding bikes can't say.


Bike Friday

The New World Tourist was designed to fit into a Sampsonite 29" suitcase. It has a main frame tube which is sloping. The rear triangle is hinged behid the bottom bracket. The hinge is angled so that the rear wheel comes up alongside the primary tube when folded instead of under it. When unfolded the rear triangle is held in place by a quick release behind the seat mast. The same quick release holds the seat mast in place. By turning the fork sideways and folding the rear triangle and seat mast down the frame fits perfectly into a 29" suitcase with the rear wheel inserted.

Cable routing is secondary to the folded size, so the cable routing on Bike Fridays is pretty bad. The cables run along the bottom of the main tube and then make a right angle turn to go down along the seat tube. Under the bottom bracket they make another right angle turn to head to the derailleurs and rear brake. These turns add a lot of cable friction. On my own Bike Friday I used Travel Agents (the pulleys in the picture to the left) to reduce this friction. Some members of the Bike Friday yak list have had problems with water getting into the cable housing loops that go under the bottom bracket. This increases friction and can result in the cable housing rusting.

The bottom bracket to rear dropout distance changes on the Bike Friday as you fold the bike. This makes it impossible to use for a fixed gear and less than ideal to use for a single speed or hub gear bike.

The Bike Friday is typically sold with a rear derailleur and SRAM DualDrive or 3x7 hub. This allows for 21-27 gears and wide range gearing.

The Bike Friday has brazeons for 3 water bottles (top and bottom of the main tube and behind the seat tube) and front and rear racks.

The Bike Friday uses standard components except for the headset (a rare 1 1/4" threaded headset) and stem. The rear hub spacing is 135mm. The seatpost on my Bike Friday is 28.6mm and standard MTB length.

Swift Folder

The Swift Folder was designed to be simple, inexpensive, and to fold quickly. The frame consists of a level main tube that is located about 22" above the ground. Folding consists of removing the seatpost and swinging the rear triangle under the main frame. You insert the seatpost again to lock the wheel in place.

The Swift Folder routes the cables along the main tube and then down the rear triangle to the hub. The cable routing is very similar to a top tube routed mountain bike and has no severe bends to introduce friction. Cables are held in place with zip ties so they can freely move during the folding process. Even when the bike is folded the cables keep pretty gentle curves.

The bottom bracket is part of the folding rear triangle and so the bottom bracket to dropout distance never changes. The frame uses track/BMX dropouts and works great with fixed gear, single speed, or hub gear applications.

Swift Folders only come in flat black. I think that this is great for urban and folding applications...they don't look flashy and you don't have to worry about the paint when packing the bike.

The Swift Folder is typically sold as a hub gear or single speed bicycle, although rear derailleurs are an option.

The Swift folder fork has brazeons for fenders. There are no other brazeons on the bike. The rear dropouts have plenty of extra metal to drill out and tap for a rear rack or rear fenders. Peter at Swift Folder will do this for you if you don't want to do it yourself. I always wear a Camelbak on long rides with my Swift Folder.

The Swift Folder uses standard bicycle components except for the seatpost and stem riser (but both are included with the frame and easy to manufacture). The headset is a standard 1" threadless headset and the rear hub spacing is 130mm. The seatpost is 28.6mm but much much longer than a normal seatpost. The seatpost that came with my bike was made by sticking a normal 25.4mm seatpost into a long piece of 1" ID, 1 1/8" OD nickel plated steel. The inner seatpost is held in position with a pin. The stem riser is simply 1" ID, 1 1/8" OD nickel plated steel tubing with a slot and seatpost clamp on the bottom make it clamp over the steerer tube. A 1 1/8" threadless stem is clamped onto this tube. Swift Folder offers titanium seatposts and stem risers to trim some weight from the bicycle.

Riding and Sizing

I find that both bikes ride very well. I ride a wide variety of bikes though and don't consider myself to be very picky about handling. I've done long rides on both bicycles with no fit issues.

I believe that Swift Folders only come in one size. The stem and seatpost heights are very adjustable though, so that one size can fit most people. The Bike Friday NWT comes in more sizes and is custom fit.

My Swift Folder and Bike Friday weigh to within a pound of each other when setup with fenders and no racks. The Swift Folder has a Sachs Super 7 hub and the Bike Friday has front and rear derailleurs. The Bike Friday has the added weight of a generator hub. I expect that the Swift Folder frame weighs about a pound more than my Bike Friday frame. Both bikes are about 3-4lbs heavier than my old Trek lugged road bike which is equipped with similar components to the Bike Friday. Bike Friday makes lighter models than the NWT for people who don't plan to do fully loaded touring with it.

Quick Folding

Swift Folder Swift Folder cables Bike Friday Bike Friday cables The Swift Folder is easier and faster to quick fold than the Bike Friday. On the Bike Friday I often need to check to make sure that the cables routed under the bottom bracket don't snag on anything and stay routed properly. On the Swift Folder I never have cable problems when folding or unfolding. The Swift Folder keeps it's folded position better. The Bike Friday does quick fold a little bit smaller, but both will easily fit into a car trunk when quick folded. Racks increase the quick folded size on both bicycles so I recommend using a large seatpost bag such as a Carradice Camper.

I use a Dahon DoublePlay duffle bag with both of these bikes. It is handy for putting the bike onto a train or bus for travel.

Suitcase Packing

Packing the Swift Folder

The Bike Friday is easier and faster to pack for suitcase travel. To fit the Swift Folder into a 29" Sampsonite suitcase (my preference for airplane travel because they are inexpensive and widely available) you need to disassemble the frame at the hinge and remove the fork. I use a cartridge bearing threadless headset to make fork removal easier and no-mess. The longest parts of packing either frame for me are juggling with accessories (fenders and racks) and getting everything to fit properly into the suitcase.

It takes me about 30 minutes to pack the Bike Friday and 45 to pack the Swift Folder. I have only packed each one a handful of times so both times would probably increase with practice.


The Swift Folder can be a very inexpensive bicycle. The frame is sold as a frameset and there are dealers which sell it with used components. Either method will allow you to get a bike for not much more than $500. I believe that completely new bicycles with new components and a hub gear run about $700. There is no stock configuration, so you can spec everything.

The Bike Friday New World Tourist is only sold as a complete bicycle. You can custom order parts or go with one of their stock configurations. Prices start at about $1000 for a complete bicycle. There have been many more Bike Fridays sold than Swift Folders so it isn't too hard to find a Bike Friday for sale used. The used prices are pretty high too though.


Here is the hard part -- which would I buy? I've bought both and can think of different applications where I would choose each one.

Here are applications where I would pick the Swift Folder:

Urban Riding - Internal gear hubs are great for urban riding because of their simplicity and reliability. The Swift Folder draws little attention and can be folded quickly to fit into the corner or a resturant or your living room. Fixed Gear/Single Speed use - The integrated rear triangle works great for these applications. Fixed gear bikes are nice for travel... only one cable to worry about and simplified packing. Tinkerers - The Swift Folder is a great deal as a frameset and can easily be built to meet your needs.

Here are applications where I would pick the Bike Friday:

Loaded Touring - The Bike Friday works better with derailleur setups and packs more easily for airplane travel. Bike Friday makes a variety of racks, trailers, and accessories to make the Bike Friday a great loaded touring bike. Airline Travel - It is quicker to pack the Bike Friday. Fast Club Rides - The Bike Friday works better with derailleurs and is a little bit lighter. I mostly use a folding bike for airline travel so the Bike Friday gets more use from me.

Other options

PBW Bicycles

PBW Bicycles makes very nice looking folding bikes that have many of the best aspects of both Bike Fridays and Swift Folders. They have a unified rear triangle which makes them work with a wider variety of drivetrains than the Bike Friday. They are custom built for the rider and appear to quickfold well too. If I were buying a high end folding bicycle new I'd start by looking at PBW.

S&S Couplers

S&S Machine makes couplers that can be built into most steel or Ti frame designs and retrofit into many of them. Retrofit costs start at about $400 and the suitcases cost about $200-$300. S&S bikes ride exactly like a bike without the couplers except that the couplers add about 8oz of weight. They take longer to pack than a Bike Friday and don't quickfold at all. The packed bicycle is almost always small enough to fly without any oversize charges though.

I have a S&S Coupled Bridgestone XO-1 and have flown with it a few times. It is a great bike and I love the couplers. I don't often travel with it though. The bike has a fancy paint job and I worry about chipping it. It takes me longer to pack. The XO-1 cost much more than either of my folding bikes and that makes me nervous when flying.


The Airnimal is a go-fast folding bicycle. It uses 520mm (24") wheels which ride more like the larger wheels that cyclists are used to but don't have the tire selection of the 406mm wheels used by the Bike Friday, Swift Folder, or PBW bikes. The bike has rear suspension and is designed to be packable more than foldable. It looks like interested competition for S&S couplers.


Reaction: 1. Well-written review with balance of pros and cons for each of the folders. 2. Confirms the bike friday advantage of the best travel bike. 3. Did not include the Tikit. 4. I am glad to be the Malaysian Bike Friday dealer.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Heinz Stucke’s Bike Friday Pocket Llama

Yeoh Chee Weng's Review of Bike Friday Pocket Companion

Overall Experience Rating: Review of Pocket Companion Review of Bike Friday Standard Pocket Companion, medium frame (56cm. top-tube), Black color, USD1173 bought from OneBikes shop, authorised dealer, in Jakarta. Upgrades & accessories: USD586 2) STI Sora 9 speed shifters 3) Cassete 9 speed 4) Chain 9-speed 5) Travel agent (adjuster to use STI Sora brake levers with V-brakes) 6) Bar tape 7) Front rack 8) Removable pedals Specifications: Bars Flat Bars - Kalloy MTB, polished aluminum 22" 5 degree (dealer did not accept trade-in, so I have them too). Upgraded to drop-bar. Stem Bike Friday Ahead style on adjustable riser Cranks Vuelta Alloy Triple, square taper 170mm Bottom bracket 113mm BF Sealed Cartridge Bearing Tires 20 x 1.75 Kenda Kontact 20 (406) 40-65psi blk. hybrid Brake levers Tektro V-brake levers, upgraded to STI Sora brake levers Brakes Tektro "V" Brake Shifters SRAM MRX grip shift, 8x3 speed, upgraded to Shimano STI Sora 9x3-speed shifters Rear derailleur Shimano Deore SGS Front derailleur Shimano Ultegra Chainrings: 30-42-52 (Shimano Ultegra Triple crankset 6503 comes with three matched rings; 52 - 42 - 30 teeth) Cogs: SRAM 9 speed 11,12,13,14,16,18,21,24,28 Front hub External sealed - BF Select 32o 100mm Rear hub External sealed - BF Select 32o 130mm Rims Alex X-DM18 (406) 32o 20x1.5" silver and black Headset 1 1/4: OS Alloy Chain 8 speed, upgraded to 9 speed Seatpost Alloy micro adjust Saddle Velo Plush gel padded Pedals Removable pedals Weight: less than 12kg. complete bike with upgraded parts Foldability: The claimed folded size - 34 x 33 x 12 in. After changing to drop-bars my rough measurement was 37 x 27.5 x 14 in. The seat-post and stem riser with the drop-bar had to be removed by turning the levers to release and then pulled out before they could be put into a soft travelling bag. A more expensive customisation would be fitted with the seat-post and stem that could be folded without removing from the bike. (See picture: BF folded with detached seat-post and stem riser) Packing: With seat-post, stem riser & wheels removed the bike with all its parts could be packed into a regular-size luggage measuring 31 x 22 x 11 in. without additional charge for oversize luggage imposed by airlines. (See picture: Luggage Bag with BF 1 & 2) What I like about my Pocket Companion: Excellent construction (all BFs are hand-made) of its chromoly carbon steel frame (warranty for life) which is stronger, lighter and more rust-resistant than ordinary steel. I also like its simple design with most components (handle-bar, front & rear derailleurs, shifters, brake, seat-post, stem) that can be upgraded with third-party brands like Shimano & Sram) The monocoque frame is very sturdy and there is no perceptible flexing when ridden. The ride is comparable to that of a regular MTB or road bike (without suspensions). I chose not to have additional joints that allowed the stem riser and seat-post to be folded because each joint added more weight and was more susceptible to vibration giving a "wobbly" ride and the bike tended to shimmy when descending fast down-hill. I have so far ridden the bike for about 120km. and tested it on the Genting-Sempah road in Kuala Lumpur (a long gradual uphill ascend of 25km). I had ridden this road before on my Raleigh Elite MTB and could say that the BF performed just as well without much difference in effort thanks to the 27-speed (the same as that in my MTB). However, the max. speed of descend, without applying brakes, was definitely slower (48km. vs 68km) due to the smaller wheels. The 20in. wheels could climb hills as well as 26in. but again, slower, when pedalling at the same cadence and using both bikes on the lowest gears. What I dislike about it: 1. The Shimano STI Sora shifters was below my expectation. There was a peculiar shifting from the big to the middle chainring when I had to click twice. All the other gear shifting required only one click. The rear derailleur shifting was smooth and easy but not the front derailleur which required me to press harder on the shifter. Perhaps the STI Sora shifter was not completely compatible with the front Shimano Ultegra derailleur. 2. When folding one had to be careful to shift the chain to the smallest chainring and the smallest cog otherwise the tension cable would pull too taut. However, when the chain was in this position (smallest chainring & smallest cog) the chain tended to drop off when the bike was folded. I saw a video which demonstrated how to avoid this but I was not able to keep the chain on which required me to manually reattach the chain after unfolding the bike. 3. Accessories from Bike Friday are very expensive. Furthermore, the authorised oversea dealers do not keep stock. I had to pay a 50% deposit to order a rear folding rack (USD139) and a soft travelling bag (USD79) from the Singapore dealer and was told that delivery would take 2-3 weeks. Conclusion: So far I have enjoyed riding the bike, in spite of its smaller wheels. I shall be using my BF for touring and commuting. The stiff shifting of the front derailleur is something that I can get used to until the Sora shifters wear out and I can upgrade to a better shifter. The foldability is not as easy nor as quick as that of other folding bikes but this wasn't my priority when I decided to buy a folding bike as long as I can pack it into a regular-size luggage bag for overseas travel. Performance, sturdiness, less vibration and less shimmy was what I preferred. In these respects the Pocket Companion passed the test. Pictures at Submitted by: Yeoh Chee Weng July 7, 2011

Friday, 30 March 2012

What is my favourite commuting folder?

My regular commute to work is about 2 km. one way.  If I go by car, with the traffic, it would take 20 minutes plus finding a parking place, by motorbike it takes 8 minutes, and by bicycle it only takes 10 minutes; so my preferred bike is a folding bike as I will not have to lock it outside but can bring it into the studio with me.  But which is the best folding bike for me?

Before I became a Bike Friday dealer, I had just bought a single-speed "British Racing Green" Brompton with Brooks saddle in London and brought it back to Malaysia on Air Asia for RM75, but AA has cancelled that route as, they said that it was unprofitable!  Well that is another post.
 Whenever I rode the B to work or back, that iconic bike for commuting brought out lovely "oohs" and "aahs" from admiring bystanders. However riding even 2 km. on that bike would give me low back pain attacks.

I read about the Bike Friday's superb performance and so I became a dealer for Bike Fridays.  When the bike Friday Tikit came, I had been using the Brompton for about two weeks after riding the Tikit for another two weeks I can compare both.

Brompton Pros:  tight, neat, compact fold; light 9 kg weight; Easy to adjust seat height for different riders.
Cons:  only one speed, ( 2, 3, and 6-speed models available); back pain causing frame geometry (titanium seat posts could make a difference but would costs extra £500. The ride was mushy and seemed like steering was wobbly.

Bike Friday Tikit Pros: Fastest fold, almost instant folding and unfolding, Great steering, handling was much more like a full-sized bike.  The welds and finishing on the bike was superb.  The bike seems to glide for a longtime, from high-pressure tires, low rolling resistance; quick, but smooth steering, comgortable rife, responsive brakes.
Cons:  only 8 speeds, could upgrade to 16 speeds or better belt drive.

Conclusion: I like the Brompton; but I love the Tikit

Doc Andy -- Bikes That Fly
Contact : 012-8903927 or office : 03-77335537

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

What is your favorite colors for Bike Friday?

Dear Friends,

We are ordering more  Bike Fridays and would appreciate your input on the most preferred colors for frame, decal and cables. Here are the planned models: 1. New World Tourist Select 2. Pocket Llama Select 3. Pocket Rocket Select 4. Future Tikit Select Please respond with the model, colors for frame, decals and cables as well as preferred sizing. Here are the 18 colors available for frame:
Here is the link :

 Thanks for your comments.

Doc Andy

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Riding with Bike Friday Family Tandem & Tikit

Putrajaya Bicycle Fun Ride  & Hot Air Balloon Event on March 17, 2012, Sunday

 6:20am : On the way via LDP to Putrajaya Precinct 2.

 7:00 am : All set to go after registration.

Trying out the Bike Friday Family Tandem with a potential customer who owns 8 mountain bikes ! They called it a "couple" bike !!

Hot air balloons in action with the cyclists after the 7km escorted ride at Precinct 2.

Awesome !

Andy holding up the folded 5 seconds Bike Friday red hot TIKIT with another bike enthusiast!

 The red hot TIKIT.

Our other foldie : the Brompton.

TIKIT show time demo "-)

One for the road before the Bike Fridays are folded & into the car boot they go!

Lunch back home @ Binjai's.

About Myfamily Cycles Services, Malaysia

 Fresh from our Europe tour, instead of packing in new clothes, souvenirs & chocolates, we lugged 2 boxes of foldable bike and trike home. That was in February 2012. Gleefully taking out from the box, Andy assembled the trike in the kitchen and did his first test drive in the public park at 12 midnight with Kaydee & Sachiko ( our two doggies). I rode the bike and boy! what an unforgettable "wheeee whoosh !"  That early day and days ahead, were the beginning of sleepness nights over these incredible 2  (or 3) wheel machines. 

Share good things in life. We can't stop talking. Friends and family test-drove the bikes.  Words cannot describe the bonds fostered. We were encouraged.
Devouring articles, write-ups, news, events, etc, every available time was spent going around looking for bicycle shops and meeting real bicycle people. They are intoxicated - for the love of bicycles. Tops for passion. The domino effect is unstoppable. In March,2012, was born.

TALK TO US about Bike Friday ! Available in Tandem, Commute, Touring, Mountain & Road models.  Visit us at our showroom for a guided tour. See, touch & ride the bicycles that fly !

Office : +603-7335537   Cell : +012 890 3927   Email:   
 Website : (under construction)  


Bike Friday Tandem

Dear Customers, 

We are now taking orders for the Bike Friday Tandem.

This is a special folding bike catered for the adventurous couple or partners.

Test-rides are available on appointment, do drop us a line for the necessary arrangements.

For pricing info, please contact:

Bike Friday Tikit Preview

Hey folks!

The BF Tikit is now available as a pre-order item.

Check out the preview: Sam Cheong's preview of the Bike Friday Tikit 

We are now accepting orders for the Hyperfold Tikit. Please take note that these bikes are hand-built and we need to take some particulars in order to proceed with the order.

For orders, please contact Dr Andy - or call - 012 - 890 3927

Welcome to My Family Cycles Services

Dear valued customers,

Welcome to My Family Cycle Services. We offer Bike Friday folding bicycles to you direct from the USA and are the authorized distributor for the brand in Malaysia.

 For more information, contact us at: or call - 012 - 890 2937 (Dr Andy Ng).