Bike Friday small business FedEx

It’s Your Bike Friday

Hanz Scholz was determined to build a better-performing portable bike. Now the whole world is enjoying the ride.

Bike Friday small business FedEx

In 1985, Hanz Scholz purchased a folding bicycle, packed it in his suitcase and headed to Europe. He returned home a few weeks later with a sore butt — and an inspiration for a business.

The idea: Build a travel-friendly folding bicycle that rides like a full-size bike. Hanz and his brother, Alan, began experimenting with folding travel bike designs, refusing to compromise on portability and performance.

The Scholz brothers’ passion for cycling and touring was born during their teenage years. They started their own bike club and became known as two of the best competitive cyclists in their home state of North Dakota. Their thirst for adventure eventually took them beyond the Great Plains to other parts of the country, and even the world.

Seven years after his trip to Europe, Hanz traveled to Australia with his own custom-made diamond frame, called New World Tourist. He and a friend, Janet Mendel-Hartvig, cycled across Australia’s desert regions, including Uluru, The Olgas, Darwin, Broome, Perth, Catherine and Alice Springs. Temperatures reached 130 degrees.

“We went through four gallons of water [every day],” Hanz says. “I had to ride 18 miles in the pitch dark with my little Maglite, then nearly ran into a wild horse. All the light showed was some fur.”

As for the bike he and Alan had built, it not only rode like a full-size bike, but it could fold and fit in a suitcase. This was particularly convenient when transporting the bike from one region to the next.

“Every time Janet got on a bus, they wanted to charge her $10 for her mountain bike. They said to me, yours can go free but she has to pay for hers.”

Taking it global

And so began Bike Friday, named after Man Friday from Robinson Crusoe. Like Man Friday, Alan and Hanz consider their product a loyal and resourceful companion to adventure seekers.

Based in Eugene, Ore., Bike Friday bicycles are custom-designed for each individual to ensure the perfect fit, a manufacturing practice that runs counter to the industry standard.

“Typically there is a single size that adjusts to all people, but it’s only targeted to a few in terms of how it fits and the way it rides,” explains Jordan Bishko, Bike Friday operations manager.

Bike Friday begins its process by taking the customer’s measurements. In many instances, they use FedEx Express to ship an adjustable handlebar stem to the customer, which they can attach to the frame and ride for as long as they need to determine the exact spot where they would like the handlebars. Bike Friday then ships a custom-fit handlebar stem back to the customer.

“We believe so strongly in matching a person to their very personal machine — their bike — that our whole organization runs backward from most manufacturing,” Alan says. “Our design process starts at the customer instead of ending with the customer simply buying the results.”

Bike Friday has an international customer reach, spanning from Eugene to Jakarta. As a small business, Alan says, the company does not have a huge budget to spend on advertising.

“We can only succeed if customers love their Bike Friday and tell anyone willing to listen. We have grown by referral.”

Bike Friday offers a lifetime warranty for defects in materials and craftsmanship. They typically repair and return bicycles within two weeks. However, if a customer is traveling and needs an immediate replacement part, Bike Friday uses FedEx Express® shipping to meet turnaround times of 2–3 days.

“We help them get parts to their customer quicker,” says John Casebeer, senior account executive with FedEx Services. “We provide international solutions as well that are speedy and reliable, which helped them expand their market.”

From forming a bicycle club as kids to becoming expert bicycle mechanics through many years of practice, the Scholz brothers built one of the most respected brands in the cycling industry.

Comments

  1. Great post.

    todomariovargasllosacomes December 21, 2013
  2. I am a Fedex employee and would enjoy seeing your selection of bikes.

    Sheena Walls December 21, 2013
  3. Nice looking bike and custom fit to the rider is great. Can’t help but thinking that it’s a good thing they stopped the bike where they did…a few more feet and it looks like a steep ride into the beautiful blue water below.

    David Nelson December 31, 2013
  4. Until now apparently, folding bicycles have been just about the fact that they can fit into a small space when not being used, and the comfort of use was not an issue. I’m glad a designer figured out how to make it work both ways.

    Eric Kaufman December 31, 2013
  5. Where can we purchase this kind of Bike? Thanks

    Joel Fernando December 31, 2013
    1. Joel, you can order direct through us by calling 1-800-777-0258, or visiting our site and putting together a design using our online bike builder: http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/search . We also have several dealers worldwide: http://www.bikefriday.com/dealers/bike_friday_dealers If you have any questions, feel free to email me directly at robbied@bikefriday.com.

      Robbie at Bike Friday January 7, 2014
  6. I would be greatly interested in receiving more infomation regarding the selections and cost of a Bike Friday .

    Nettie Jones December 31, 2013
    1. Nettie, our bikes are typically built to order, which means we can build pretty much whatever you’re looking for. We build bikes for road riding, touring, off road, commuting, tandems, singles. We help you pick the componets that fit your needs and budget, and the we build the bike to your specifications. Our bikes start at about $799 and can go up to $8,000 or more. Feel free to call us at 1-800-777-0258, or email me directly at robbied@bikefriday.com for more information.

      Robbie at Bike Friday January 7, 2014
  7. Sounds like an awesome bike. I’ll get one.

    Brett Chaffins December 31, 2013
  8. I think this is great I am interested in pruchasing one now. 🙂

    Molly Comeau December 31, 2013
    1. Purchasing*

      Molly Comeau December 31, 2013
  9. Sheena, a great place to start is with our online bike builder (http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/search). And if you have any questions, feel free to call at 1-800-777-0258 or email me directly at robbied@bikefriday.com.

    Robbie at Bike Friday January 1, 2014
  10. Thanks for providing such a great inspiration article. I am intersted to have a Folding bicycle. What is the procudure & cost for the same.

    Thanking You & wishing you Happy New Year 2014.

    Regards

    S K Mohapatra

    Saroj Kumar Mohapatra January 1, 2014
    1. S K, we typically have a short conversation with you and get a sense of what you’re looking to do with a Bike Friday, and then we put together a design that fits your needs and budget. Because we build our bikes to order, it can take 6-8 weeks or more to build a bike for you. Our bikes start at about $799 and can go up to $8,000 or more. You can call us at 1-800-777-0258, or email me directly at robbied@bikefriday.com for more information.

      Robbie at Bike Friday January 7, 2014
  11. Really cool bike I;d like to see selection of bikes too.

    Cindy Walls January 2, 2014
    1. Cindy, a good place to start is with our online bike builder: http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/search, or our start page: http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/start_here. If you have any questions, please give us a call at 1-800-777-0258 or you can email me directly at robbied@bikefriday.com.

      Robbie at Bike Friday January 7, 2014
  12. I’m a FedEx employee and I’ve owned 3 Bike Fridays over the years. I had the pleasure of visiting Bike Friday in Eugene, OR in 2005 to pickup my bike. They are great people who offer a great product and they offer outstanding customer service.

    Dave Hickey January 2, 2014
  13. G Twain January 2, 2014
  14. Is there an employee purchase price?

    Sumi Gross January 4, 2014
  15. I say awesome. I am a Fedex employee and I would enjoy seeing the section of bikes.:)

    Twania Dottson January 11, 2014
  16. Hi, I am a Bike Consultant with Bike Friday and I would be happy to answer any questions each of you have. My email is: jeffsr@bikefriday.com

    A great way to get to know our bikes is through the online Bike Builder. You can search our models in a variety of ways, find a design you like, then customize and save that design. Here is a link to this great new tool:
    http://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/search

    Have a great day!

    Respectfully,

    Jeff Strehl-Roberts
    Bike Consultant
    Bike Friday
    1-800-777-0258 Ext.102
    M-F 8am-4:30 pm
    Sat 9am-4pm

    http://www.bikefriday.com

    Jeff Strehl-Roberts February 13, 2014
  17. Thats a Awesome looking bike! I need to try one out. Have you thought about building any mountain or Road bike in the future?

    Dan July 4, 2014

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