A Balleur Bike Friday Built with Paul and Sim Works

In the world of folding bikes, there are many brands which come to mind, starting with Brompton, the high-end manufacturer based in the UK. Here in the US, there are a handful of companies that offer folding bikes, but to my knowledge, the only manufacturer making frames Stateside is Bike Friday. Believe it or not, this came as a surprise to me – due to my lack of knowledge on the subject – and I was very thrilled to find this bit of information out. I guess I just never saw one that sparked intrigue or even a conversation. Then Bill walked into Golden Saddle before NAHBS with this build.

We talked about the practicality of folding bikes and how I wish a manufacturer made one that was a bit shreddier than what we’re all used to seeing. Bill’s a life-long BMX rider, who works in the airline industry and thus, travels a lot. He wanted to build a Bike Friday that fit his riding style and offered him the same comforts as his BMX, albeit not in riding position so much as familiarity. Familiarity formed by a timeless build spec. You’ll note the use of PAUL Motolites, PAUL Hubs, Maxxis Holy Roller tires, and Sim Works Smooth Moove handlebars. While that unicrown fork might not be engineered to hit any dirt jumps, the parts spec on this unique Bike Friday sure gives bill the same familiar feeling of his BMX while on the road.

Posting this bike after our NAHBS documentation just goes to show, you don’t need fancy paint, insane lugwork and carbon components to make a balleur bike.

  • Samuel Jackson

    That first photo is gold

  • AdamBike99

    It goes to eleven!

  • Peter Hedman

    Sweet machine. Funny, I was just thinking about grabbing a “real” folding bike for my all too often travels…

    BF is a pretty neat operation down in Eugene, Oregon. They’ve got an impressive pedigree stretching back to Burley and are now 25+ years old. The best part of their bikes, in my opinion, is that they ride like real bikes and utilize standard parts so you can build them up the way you want. Bromptons and many other folders use a lot of weird/obscure parts and sizes…

    • Yeah, Travis from Paul and I were talking about this. He used to hate working on folders with proprietary components, and actually enjoyed Bike Friday’s builds because they use ‘normal’ components.

  • Peter over at Dear Susan has just put a pinion gearbox into a Bike Friday Pocket Llama. Then again, he’s an absolute lunatic! https://www.instagram.com/p/BfYfbKHFhAm/?taken-by=dear_susan_bicycles

    • Peter Hedman


    • So sick

    • Richard


      • Big Jänet Romance

        i’ve never been more inspired

    • That’s so crazy!

  • Bike Freedom

    Anyone else have a desire to see it folded or nah?

    Sweet bike!

    • recurrecur

      With most other bikes seen here, a driveside shot with the cranks turned to 3 o’clock is the photographer’s duty.
      With a folding bike, a shot of the bike folded is entirely necessary.

      • Yeah, I fucked up…

        • recurrecur

          but in the best possible way. The shots are still your usual level of gorgeous.

  • trololo

    I was wondering why this one piqued my interest and then realized that none of BF’s other frames have a front triangle (at least that I can find). 10/10, would take on the tube.

  • Mr Sun

    indestructible folding bike !!!

  • Peter Chesworth

    More of a seperatable bike than a folder ?

  • Big Jänet Romance

    I am happy

  • Charlie D

    all killer no filler….as they say

  • I’m so glad I walked up front while you were shooting those Breadwinners, we would have missed this bike!

  • SCRcat6

    Any pictures of someone riding it?

    • Nah, it happened serendipitously – right after I shot those brown Breadwinners – the owner was in and out, plus I was preparing to leave for NAHBS, so time was crunched on my end. Next time he’s in the shop, I’ll be sure to snap some photos.

  • Hot damn!!!

  • Darin Wright

    Bill told me about his latest build back in January, I’m stoked to see it on this site. Did you also know Bill is the inventor of the Cliffhanger

    • I had no idea!

    • Jason

      the out-of-focus Tech77s were a nice touch, john. (kind of surprised he didn’t opt for Primo Comets)

      • I was bummed my photo of them didn’t come out how I wanted it to. Those levers make the build in a lot of ways.

  • White Mike

    Really wish this one had one of the huuuuge LD stems like some Bike Fridays. Sweet bike still!

  • Drew Devereux

    Thats a sweet build. The Maxxis 2.2 60 TPI tires are a good choice. The only thing I would suggest is at least one disc brake. Folders do not have the roll-ability of full size bikes, but there are upsides to the smaller wheel. Easier to maneuver around obstacles vs rolling over them, much stronger wheel, frames usually have a lower top tube; you can land on your feet and not your crotch. And when it comes to car, train, or air transport, we leave the big wheel guys in the dust.
    I have been riding my various un-suspended (home-built) folders for about 20 years as all-road bikes. When the going gets too gnarly you just go slow or walk it. Some trails or paths are just better on foot anyways. The low top-tube allows easy on/ off the bike transitions to change from walking to riding. These days I like the superlight tires, similar to the ultra-light Compass tires, like the Box 20×1.95 race tire (110 TPI), or the KHE park 20×2.3. At 30 psi (for my 160 lb weight), they roll fast and are as cushy as marshmallows. Chip seal roads feel nearly like smooth pavement, and coarse gravel is quite rideable, and rock gardens are much more rideable than you may expect for a 20″ wheel bike.