My friend Amy wanted to start cycle touring and had no idea what sort of bike to get. Since I’ve got 5 touring bikes in my apartment she came over and we discussed the pros and cons of each one. Eventually she decided a Bike Friday would suit her best as she intends to travel extensively in the next few years and would like a bike along to tour with and as general transportation.
Looking at the Bike Friday line up and chatting with Walter @ Bike Friday she settled on the Pocket Sport in a small frame. Unlike Bike Friday’s custom bikes their stock bikes [like this one] come in one colour, one specification package and 3 sizes. This simplifies matters greatly and cuts down on the cost. If a stock bike fits and you like the specification it’s a great way to get a handmade Bike Friday while saving $$$.
Since Amy is new to bikes she asked me to build up her Pocket Sport and help her dial in the fit. Not one to turn down the offer of playing with a new bike I soon had a Bike Friday box sitting in my living room. I took my time unpacking her bike partially to make sure I didn’t damage anything and partially to savour the new Bike Friday experience as much as possible…=-)
Eventually I had to stop stalling and get the bike unpacked. The stock red paint is lovely and as everyone knows makes for the fastest bikes!
If I have a criticism of Bike Fridays it’s that they go from box to a pile of parts to a complete bike way too fast. You hardly break a sweat before you are riding them. That’s ideal when you arrive at Tokyo International at 2am, but not so great when you want to spend the whole day wrenching on a new bike. Amy’s Pocket Sport was no exception..from the time I started until I was finished was about 15mins.
As luck would have it Dwayne left me a set of red BMX platforms so I threw them on Amy’s bike to complete the red theme.
A bike isn’t a bike in my world until it gets some racks and fenders. The Bike Friday components went on very easily and sooner than you’d expect I had a touring bike ready to roll.
I won’t bore you with a specification list. The build is utilitarian, but completely functional. This makes sense on a bike designed to hit a value price point. There is no bling on this bike to make a bike geek drool on the other hand I’d tour across Canada on this bike without changing anything other than the saddle – gotta have a Brooks! My philosophy is buy a kick ass frame and them add the best parts your budget will allow. Parts wear out, but the frame is for life! In this case getting a Bike Friday frame handmade with love in Eugene, OR is a score.
Okay the geek in me can’t help, but list a few details:
- 3 x 8 drivetrain
- drop bars with bar end shifters
- 32h – 406 wheels with Primo Comets
So the plan as it stands now is to go on a short overnight shake down tour next week. This will get Amy used to the bike, learn how to shift and brake, dial in the fit and get a taste of bike camping without trying anything overly hardcore.
My mission between now and then is to put together a basic tool kit so she can fix a flat and tighten a bolt. I’m on it!…=-)