The Bike Friday emphasizes riding characteristics rather than foldability. It packs into a suitcase and "rides like your best bike" according to Ed Pavelka, former senior editor of Bicycling magazine. The company's co-founders and designers hail from a racing background, rather than a traditional engineering background. The company history says they sought to invent a packable bicycle that rode well over serious distances, loaded or unloaded, to save airline baggage fees.
Friday Traveler tandem
"Pocket Rocket" model
The range includes tandems, triplets, road, mountain and touring models, a recumbent, and a tandem that breaks apart and becomes a single bike. Each fits into one or two towable standard suitcases.
Cyclists owning a Bike Friday include broadcaster Phil Liggett, Race Across America champ Lon Haldeman, and Heinz Stücke. The Folding Society's Buyer's Guide describes it as: "A high performance bike that folds. The sales pitch is that it rides as well as your best bike (aiming it by implication at the existing cycling enthusiast who feels a need for a folder), and this is quite a fair description.... Folding is not as easy as some of the others, and it is rather bulky when folded." Other member reports at the Folding Society seem to concur, both that it "really is a very good high performance bicycle," but that it "isn't the most convenient or easiest folder."
The same company's Tikit bike addresses the market segment more interested in a convenient, easy fold and less interested in high performance.