Bike Friday's is a well established company with an excellent reputation. They are the leading manufacturer of custom made folding bicycles. Custom frames are nice for customers with fit issues such as if you are tall, have long legs, are heavier than most, etc. It seems to me that Bike Friday is able accommodate any special need. Their Tikit (now discontinued) was one of the world’s fastest folding bikes. They have introduced a Pakit which takes much longer to fold, but on the positive side, it is lighter than the Tikit was. Unfortunately, their prices are pretty high. Their bikes start at $1200; however, most of their custom frames will cost you over $2,000. If you need a custom fit bike Bike Friday is a great choice as long as you can afford it.
By comparison our bikes are more comfortable because of our added suspension; they are not as heavy as Bike Friday because we use an aluminum frame; and the cost of a Downtube bike is well below half the price of a comparable Bike Friday bike because we sell directly to our customers, thus avoiding the extra cost of selling retail.
The table below will let you easily see what you get for your money from both Bike Friday and Downtube. Happy Cycling!
|Bike Friday New World Tourist .8 ($1200+)||Downtube 9 ($549)||Downtube Nova ($299)||Downtube FS ($549)|
|Drivetrain||8sp cassette||9sp cassette||7sp freewheel||9sp cassette|
|Suspension||none steel fork||Zoom fork||none steel fork||Zoom fork and rear shock|
|Cranks||replaceable chainring||replaceable chainring||replaceable chainring||replaceable chainring|
|Stem||fixed angle||fixed angle||fixed angle||fixed angle|
|Pedals||Aluminium folding||Aluminium folding||Plastic folding||Aluminium folding|
|Fold time||1+ minutes||15 sec||15 sec||15 sec|
|Replaceable rear derailleur hanger||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Water Bottle braze-on||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Frame protector (bar from below to protect frame)||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Use Standard Bike parts||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|