Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My Bike Friday Pocket Rocket story

Famous flying suitcase Bike Friday logo
Famous brand.. and does it really cut it? Yes!
The allure of the Bike Friday brand is very strong. I was initially intrigued most by the BF hyperfold. Being a product designer, it was really very amazing to see how fast the bike "transform". This is the youtube video that did it...

Bro Al with his first BF Tikit
It didn't help when I have strong BF advocates friend like Bro Al from Love the fold. He owns a Tikit, Expedition and also a pocket sport. I have had the pleasure of trying his tikit and Expedition on a few encounters. It rides really well and feels like a full sized bike!
Bike Friday is a small custom folding bicycle company that clearly have pride in what they do. Their designs might not look snazzy nor have the more flashy paint job... but the bike geometry and materials used are tried and tested. The magic is really in the ride.
George Lim aka Encik. He is the "VMax" BF Pocket Rocket Pro rider 
Encik George is another amazing guy who regularly pulls away from other riding souped up foldies with his fixed single Tikit. And he has a pocket rocket pro.... and he is really really fast.
Also Uncle KC, another Legend who can ride like the wind. He is an gold standard that age does not matter... Check his bling Lama "tai tai"
The one and only Sir Uncle K.C !
So the short of it.. I also "Tio-poisoned" and this is my "stealth" Bike Friday Pocket Rocket which I have had since last April. It was a Demo model which many didn't care for and Kian Lim gave me a good discount for the frame.... and that was it
Black Stealth Pocket Rocket
It took me sometime to get used to road geometry and the stiffness of the bike. Not stiff stiff as in an aluminum frame stiff. But more feedback on the road condition and more direct transfer to the wheel when I stomp on the pedal.
Most of my bikes are made like a B52. They can cruise long hours, slowly. They are heavy but comfortable. Case in point the Moulton TSR and Tokyo bike. So the plan would be that the pocket rocket would be the bike if George wants to do an "easy" (it is actually very tiring and shagg) ride.
It is the fastest of the stable, components are Shimano Ulterega, Tyrel AM9 rim(roll very well),  Durano tyres and Brooks Swift(bloody hard but now better). If you ask me again, I would strongly suggest to get a Brook Swallow(supposely no need to break in)
handle bars are split to make it easier to pack. I don't know yet.. as I have never done it before
11-25 rear cassette and yes I like my bike clean
nice and strong crank by Shimano
Speedy Tyrel 458 wheelset... its zippy!
Ultergra Shifters work well
The brakes stop relatively well with good feel.
In a layman terms, I would see at least about 20% speed increase. It likes to be ridden hard and fast. Egging you on... but my "engine dept" is week. The bike handling feels quick, almost twitchy compared to my Alex Moulton TSR. I have to be alert and attentive to the road conditions.  In way it is really comparing apples and orange. The pocket rocket like to roll quicker, while the TSR is more rambling and rolling around for hours and hours.
My Gentle hero charm and pig talisman to keep me safe. Thats also a bright rear light
Some reading this would wonder.."oei.. want to go fast, why don't you just buy a road bike? " Well, again it is the Bike friday brand promise of a travelling dream. One that would see me able to fold it and pack into a suitcase/box and ride around different places around the world. All without the hassle of a bike box.
Mr Pocket pocket also complaining that I seldom take him out. Perhaps it is time for a taiwan trip with him...  gulp... :) Can I make it up the Taiwan mountains and slopes..... finger crossed...
Now enjoy more photos of my Steath pocket rocket.
Front...fierce hor.. 
Rear

LCSG logo!
Goose neck for stiffness. Luckily it can be adjusted for height, so if too tired I can raise it higher
Its a zippy ride!

6 comments:

  1. A work of art indeed! Humbled to get a mention on your excellent blog Bro TW. Looks like a black cheetah your BF - all ready to sprint or tour. Come join me Jan 14. Thailand, Laos n Cambodia. She deserves a good trip la! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sir Al, you are one of the first BF person I know and kind enough to let me try your bicycle. Your blog entries on foldies and touring planted seeds of imagination that just grows on me. Thank you for the "posion" haha..

      Wahh.. u have started planning for Jan 2014.... thats amazing! Keep u posted on this... sounds tempting!

      Delete
  2. Hi TW, u guys really inspire me to get a Bike Friday. Especially on the thought of being able to travel with it. Hope all turns out well when the BFs arrive next Friday for my fiancé and myself. Ride strong, ride safe, and keep 'em pictures coming!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats on ur Bike Friday! Pls do join us for lovecyclingsg ride and see u there!

      Delete
  3. beautiful bike. i hope you get many chances to ride.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Happy to report that the Tikit went to Betong from Kuala Kangsar in Jan 15 and despite being 16" wheeled, it toured beautifully. Rock steady at high speeds. Rolls very well. Climbs like a mountain goat.Most importantly, it can take Ortelieb panniers. Uncle KC used his Flamingo, also a 16"'. We needed compactness in order to ride the trains and buses. I really love the Tikit, even after 5-6 years of ownership. BF rocks la!

    Lazy R wrote a great review here if you are ever keen on a Tikit Bro Taiwoon :) https://thelazyrando.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/bike-friday-tikit-love/

    ReplyDelete