Bike Friday New World Tourist – Part 2

21 01 2009
The fully assembled bike

The fully assembled bike

Specifications:

Bike Friday NWT frame [~58cm effective TT] in Premium White power coat

  • 20″ [406] Velocity Aeroheat rims 36H with 40mm Schwalbe Marathon tires
  • Rear hub – Nexus 8 Redband 16T with twist shifter on Hubbub adapter
  • Front hub – Shimano Deore
  • 170mm unbranded cranks 53T/39T
  • Pedals – unbranded BMX platforms
  • Shimano Sora front derailleur and Ultegra bar end shifter
  • Shimano Sora rear derailleur used only as a chain tensioner
  • Origin 8 drop bars
  • Tektro v-brake drop bar levers
  • Tektro v-brakes
  • 80mm unbranded stem 105 deg rise
  • square taper 118.5mm x 68mm BB
  • KMC Z-50 8 speed chain
  • Brooks B-17 saddle
  • Bike Friday front & rear racks
  • Bike Friday fenders

Planned Upgrades:

  • NRG Slabalanche low profile BMX pedals [same as on my Pugsley]
  • Salsa stem – once I’ve dialed in my riding position 100%
  • Shimano 105 53T/43T cranks & BB [have a set in my parts bin and they are black so I may try them]
  • Greenspeed Scorchers 40mm 20″ tires [because I love them on my Tikit]
  • JTEK Engineering Nexus 8 bar end shifter
Not so little from this angle!

Not so little from this angle!

Other mods:

I’m sort of keen on simplifying the drivetrain by settling on a single chainring up front then removing the front shifter and derailleur.  I’d replace the Sora rear derailleur with a Surly Singlenator pushing up to tension the chain.  The result would be a very clean bike, but the question is can I tour fully loaded with only 8 gears and the range of a Nexus 8?  I’m not 100%, but I think it may work.


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26 responses

21 01 2009
Nick

If you use a Paul Melvin or the Rolhoff tensioner, you can keep the front derailleur and double chainring.

21 01 2009
thelazyrando

That’s true, but what would be the advantage over just using the Sora as a chain tensioner?

21 01 2009
bikefridaywalter

I think you should exercise some concern about using anything but the derailleur because of the issue with chain wrap posed by the double chainring. This is sort of uncharted waters to some degree because even if you can find another standard bike who has done, say, a single speed or internal geared hub with a double or triple– they’ve never had the issue of a folding bike to deal with. And it certainly is true that because the hinge is behind the bottom bracket, at about 1/3 of the way through the arc, there is tension put ON the chain, before the slack comes. So you have chain wrap, plus this tension to worry about.

21 01 2009
thelazyrando

Hola Walter..point well taken. I realize you setup the NWT that way ’cause it works! If I do any experimentation I realize there is some risk. I’ll certainly fold/unfold the NWT very cautiously the first few times to ensure I don’t break anything.

21 01 2009
Xangosinho

hmm, you may also consider the shimano alfine chain tensioner. i use one on my airnimal joey in conjunction with the nexus hub and everything folds ok… i do not have a double chainring however. I can say that the range of the nexus 8 has been sufficient for me for loaded touring, even in mountainous areas, although I never pack more than about 30kg onto the bike.

21 01 2009
thelazyrando

I can’t see the point in swapping in an Alfine tensioner to replace the Sora. What would be the practical benefit/difference?

I’m glad to hear you say you find the Nexus 8 gear range sufficient for loaded touring. I travel fairly light as well so I’m hopeful it will work…=-)

21 01 2009
hobby

Nice bike!

I swapped out the Marathons for Primo Comets on my Llama, and am very happy with them.

How do the Scorchers compare with the Comets?

21 01 2009
thelazyrando

I’ve never used Comets so I can’t compare them. The GS Scorchers on my Tikit are VERY comfortable [supple tire casing] and quite fast rolling tire. It’s a great combo.

21 01 2009
Doug

Vik, someday I’m going to end up getting a folding bike….I think it will largely be because of what you’ve written about your experiences with folding bikes.

21 01 2009
thelazyrando

Awesome Doug….it will be great to have another folder fanatic friend…=-)

The best thing about folders is they let you ride a bike when it would otherwise not be practical – like on a road trip to visit your in-laws. A folder will fit nicely tucked away when your SO might veto carrying a Surly LHT.

21 01 2009
Lou

Vik,

Looks like you have a “Pocket Llama” fork on your NWT. My 2007, as well as the 2008 models on the BF website, are all bikes with straight, rather than rounded, forks.

Part of your BTO spec?

Lou

21 01 2009
thelazyrando

Good catch Lou – I hadn’t noticed that. I didn’t specifically ask for a different fork. Although I like the curved fork better than the straight one so I’m cool with a hybrid NWT…=-)

21 01 2009
Lou

Alfine looks better and is 100g less, with at least 16t capacity and still cheap. Consider to dump front derailler and shifter, but not the small chainwheel. You won’t shift that often, but it gives peace of mind. Can’t get rid of the tensioner, anyway.

How you cope with the smaller tires, comfort and off road?

21 01 2009
Lou

Oh, I am a second Lou!

21 01 2009
Lou #1

You had me wondering about who had co-opted my handle…lol

21 01 2009
thelazyrando

Lou said: “…How you cope with the smaller tires, comfort and off road?…”

Well first off I doubt the NWT will see much unpaved action. I haven’t done enough riding to say how the small wheels will affect the ride touring, but I find the Tikit’s smaller 16″ [349] wheels quite comfortable when shod with a set of Greenspeed Scorchers which are 40mm tires. I expect the larger wheels of the NWT will be even more comfortable running the same type and width of tire.

22 01 2009
Loutoo

Lou, please go back to your orginal name, without suffix.

22 01 2009
Doug

Vik, I’ve been trying to fabricate a reason for getting one. I think you’re onto something. Trips to in-laws and relatives might work. My wives car has a Thule roof rack. On the 13 hour drive to my parents home in Michigan, a bike on the roof rack gets a thick, slimy coating of bug guts as we drive through the forests of the Upper Pennisula. The in-laws are in Chicago. We tend to go there in the winter a lot. A bike on the roof rack during the winter turns white from the salty road spray. Only a folder would fit inside the car. I think it’s the perfect solution. But alas, it won’t happen until 2010. The Ellis frame I’m bulding up will take all my disposable income this year.

22 01 2009
Darren Alff

I just wanted to say that I love the color of that bike. The white and black is awesome. I wish my New World Tourist were white like that (mine is red). That’s so cool!

22 01 2009
thelazyrando

Thanks Darren…I wasn’t 100% on how it would look as I hadn’t seen a white BF travel bike in my size, but the colour and proportions look very sweet…I love it when a plan comes together…=-)

22 01 2009
bikefridaywalter

New NWTs have the curved fork. Relatively recent change.

22 01 2009
thelazyrando

….*sigh*…and for a moment I thought I was special…lol

22 01 2009
Parcoju

I have a particular weakness for white bikes.

My 1989 Specialized Sirrus is white/teal
My TWO 1971 Raleigh Twenties (yes,two!) are white
My 2005 KHS Flite 300 is white/black/red

Looking at your bike simply makes me ecstatic, not to mention a tad bit jealous!

xD

23 01 2009
Randy

Hey Vik
Looks like the rear fender is a little skimpy. I bought my PL two years ago and the BF fender that came with it is almost 180 degrees of coverage.

Enjoy your BF. My wife has since bought one for herself and loves it.

Randy
Vancouver

27 02 2012
jim

What v brake (brand/model) and pads (brand & low/reg profile) did you end up with on your NWT?

27 02 2012
thelazyrando

@Jim – Shimano Deore v-brakes [$25/pair] and Koolstop salmon coloured brake pads…don’t recall the model name, but they are the low profile v-brake pads which are easy to find.

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