So you want many gears on your bike but you still want low-maintenance. Or you are just one of those that dislike the zing-zing sound that hubs make when the wheels roll. You get a Shimano Alfine hub! Or better still, Bike Friday has gone further and paired a Shimana Alfine hub with a Gates carbon belt drive!
We are talking about BIKE FRIDAY’S SILK, from their touring series. The bikes in the touring series are designed to be strong, sturdy and at the same time comfortable to give you that reliability to cover long distances.
There is no mistaking the charm of a steel bike – the classic feel and toughness of steel that promises to absorb every road shock that comes your way. Bike Friday has remained steadfast to using steel as a medium for their bike frames, and continues to insist on making every frame by hand. This commitment and experience is evident in the SILK we have for our test ride. It has the rigid, balanced frame that marks the Bike Friday brand, and although at 12.0kg it feels like it weighs lesser, due to the low and even weight distribution. The SILK frame can fit both 406 and 451 wheel sizes, and this writer would recommend you go for the 451-sized wheels for a true “big bike feel” that Bike Friday gives you, which is what we got for on test bike for this article.
The SILK stands out like what its name suggests, to be a silky smooth touring bike. And it achieves that on 2 points – low sound and low maintenance.
And by “low sound”, it might as well be virtually no sound. Because the very big impression that will be left on you when you start riding the SILK is the astoundingly silent ride – the carbon belt drive, internal hub, and mechanical disc brakes all combine together from push off to stopping. There is only the sound of the tyres when they grind on the tarmac, the click of the Alfine hub as you switch
gears, and the “pffftt” sound when you apply the disc brakes to stop. The ride felt almost surreal!
Now that is actually a huge plus point when you are touring, especially in quiet neighbourhoods when you don’t need the whole world to know you are riding in. But the same plus point could also be a “downside” at times – people don’t hear you coming from behind! It was quite fun initially to see people jump when they don’t realise a bike has crept up behind them, but really, you need a bell with this bike!
The SILK is relatively maintenance-free – the Alfine hub requires no maintenance, the use of disc brakes mean you get reliable braking power regardless the cleanliness of your wheels, and the carbon belt drive means there is no bicycle chain to lubricate. This makes bike ownership smooth as silk too!
The Silk is designed as part of Bike Friday’s touring lineup, but it is no slouch in times of ride performance. The rider position would be upright but this bike comes with a telescopic handlepost, so you have the option to lower the handlebar position to lean further and get into an aerodynamic position to really push the bike. And the result is this writer cleared the 30km/h mark without breaking much into a sweat. Impressive!
The SILK would be excellent for city living as a commuter bike as well. It folds quickly and neatly within 20 seconds so you can easily store it in a closet or under the table. The low-maintenance nature of the bike makes it great for daily use, and carbon belt drive means no chain drop nor greasy bicycle chain that would stain your pants or skirt!
If you like a foldable bike with a clean and neat design, that rides smoothly and silently, and is low-maintenance to boot; whether you are a casual rider or go for long distances – this is a bike you should check out!
The BIKE FRIDAY SILK is available exclusively at our outlets and prices start from SGD $3,200. Speak to our BIKE FRIDAY specialist staff today!