S and S Machine
Bicycle Torque Couplings (BTCs)
Your Travel Bike........Your Only Bike!

Owner's Comments
 Page 4 of 4

 "After a bike tour in England's Cotswold Hills a few years ago, and having to carry my dismantled Bob Jackson in one hand around airports plus luggage in the other, I decided that an S and S coupled bike that would fit into a suitcase with wheels would make such travel much easier. I visited Jim Cunningham at CyclArt, and he had this very nice early 1980s Nishiki touring frame on hand, made of Tange tubing, so I asked him to put S and S couplers on it. Jim predicted that I would like the way this bike handles, and he was correct. It is a pleasure to ride, and it certainly is nice to wheel the suitcase around instead of carrying a bike at the airport. Preston Grant" on a Nishiki Touring bike retrofit by CycleArt

 "Steve, I've thanked you before but I'm just writing to you to thank you again for developing these couplers. I first had a steel frame retrofitted with these way back in 1997. Since then, over the years I have had four frames fitted with them and they have proved invaluable for me, a tall rider with large bike frames. They're actually rather boring! They work perfectly, never go wrong, just a check for tightness every couple of weeks. The bikes feel absolutely the same with them fitted regardless of whether I pootle along or honk out of the saddle; whether I ride unladen or with heavy loads; whether I go for a relaxing afternoon jaunt, or a longer trip like my recent 5 month odyssey across Europe. And they just keep on working. I just wish that more bicycle stuff that is advertised out there worked as flawlessly, reliably, and as claimed, just like these quality components do.
Thanks again, and I will probably be thanking you agin in another five years I am sure! What a fantastic product! Tony B. (Perth, Western Australia) " 

 "(received in 2006, posted in 2010) Steve, Your website (and company?) is SUCH a great resource!! I've been going to your site and directing others to it for almost a year now. The person who first directed me to it was one of the guys at Jack & Adam's Bicycles in Austin, Texas. I got a custom Guru titanium triathlon bike made with the S+S couplings, and I think it's the first Guru had ever done. I got the bike on October 1, 2005 and have just loved it! In fact, on its first just-for-fun trip (versus flying it to a race), my (now) husband and I biked with some friends outside Washington, DC. He borrowed one of their bikes and I rode my own. My bike fit perfectly and felt great; his didn't. "Don't you wish you could be riding YOUR OWN bike??" I talked him into getting a new bike with S+S. He ended up buying the same model Guru a few months later. We even took our bikes to Hawaii on our honeymoon just because we could! It has been fantastic, and people are always so curious about the technology. Julia Weatherby."   See her web page to see her Guru packed
 6-2010  I love my S+S bike! Julia Weatherby 

 "Dear folks at S&S, I'm writing to let you know I just had my Holdsworth touring rig hacked by Curtis Inglis in napa, CA- and installed with your wonderful S&S couplers. We're going on a two year bike ride around the world and boy am I impressed with he couplers!!! They're gorgeous and so amazingly functional. Thanks for making such a rad product, I've been thinking of doing this since i first started going on long bike trips and am so happy now. Two wheels, Lucie Ocenas"
 "the bike trip was super by the way: 18 countries in 11 months, camping most all the way when possible (morocco and parts of turkey for example, it wasn't so kosher for the ladies to camp). my sister and I are awesome travel partners, so despite the low-budget-shoe-string-duct tape-budget arrangement (think: powdered soups and pasta every night for 11 months) we had an awesome time. or maybe in was because of it... our silly lil' blog has photos: Two Sisters on an 18 Country Bike Trip"

 "I recently spent 5 weeks training and competing in Italy on my Serotta. The bike road beautifully as always and I put it through some very hard time trials in the Dolomite mountains that included a lot of wrenching on the frame. The couplings didn't need any tightening afterwards. And, in the course of those time trials I set 3 records, Monte Cesen, Passo Rolle and Monte Grappa. Thanks Chris Villani"

 "These S&S units are just excellent and I think they are worth every penny spent on them."  (after a 2500 km tour through the outback of N. Australia) on an Arvon "expedition grade"  touring bike with S and S Couplings. I now own an S and S Coupled Greenspeed GTO trike Ken Pisichko

The following  four comments were sent to Stephen Bilenky or Bina at Bilenky Cycle Works

Hey Bilenksters! Just a note to comment on our S&S coupled bikes. They are B-A-D-*-*-*!! Excuse the language, but sometimes appropriate language just doesn’t cut it. These are the exception to the rule of exceptional biking modifications. We are 5,000km and 6 months into a 2-year ride through South America and our bikes are absolutely the bomb. I am in love with my bike and plan to be riding it well into old age. No doubt it will be I who fails before my bike or either coupler does.
As a bonus, I found that I can fit a 7 piece fly rod within the top and down tube, thanks to the couplers, split up between the two and just imagine the looks I get when I pull up to a river, crack a cold beer, split my bike in two and proceed to catch us some dinner! Needless to say, the jaws drop.
As for strength and durability, we have been on some of the gnarliest roads (some have barely qualified as roads) that the Peruvian Andes have to offer and not once have the couplers come loose or proven to be anything but an integral part of the frame design. I have 100% confidence in them.
My favorite moment so far was when we flew to Quito, Ecuador and brought our bikes to the counter at the airport in Halifax, NS. She asked us what was in the boxes and when we told her bikes, she explained that we would have to pay $200 extra, per box!...ah,ah...I donīt think so, I said, “can you please get out your measuring tape?” The resignation on her face when she realized we sailed in under the oversize charge radar was worth the cost of installation alone. Thanks again to you folks for your meticulous attention to detail and your enthusiasm for and dedication to the bikers of the world. Happy Cycling! Seth

Stephen and Bina, I am finally back in the USA and picked up my S & S coupling retrofitted Litespeed Toccoa yesterday. First, when I went into the bike shop, the owner whom I made the arrangement to keep the bike there went on vacation, so when I asked his partner if my bike was there, he didn't think so. I kind of panicked so I went up into the loft where they store their overstock and there it was! They were not expecting a bike to be in such a small package. I opened the travel case...Boy Howdy! It’s a real 007 bike! Awesome! Assembly was straightforward and easy and I was impressed with the beauty of the frame. I went for a ride yesterday on some technical trails in an open space park. This bike might knock my Merlin out of its #1 spot. The bike cleaned every switchback, hopped over every rock ledge, and just kept going when I thought it'd spin out. It is a very precise handling bike, so obviously the S & S couplings have not impaired the handing characteristics. As one friend said this morning..."That's one hellava travel bike!" Anyway...Thanks again! Best regards, Barin

Stephen/Bina: Hi...as you may remember, I am an international schoolteacher living and working in Venezuela with my Venezuelan wife. Well I had fun with my Litespeed in New Mexico and Arizona, while on vacation. The big test was yesterday...I flew back to Venezuela. In El Paso, I gave them the case (weight 49 lbs) and the woman at the counter never even asked what it was. No extra charge! Great! Today on my Venezuela domestic leg from Caracas to Barcelona/Puerto la Cruz, the guy at the counter wanted to know what was in the case. I said "a bicycle" (in Spanish). He looked at me funny and asked me again what was in the case. I said, "a bicycle" now using my hands and arms to help me explain. He still didn't get it. Finally he said, "open it". I cracked it open so he could see the wheels, etc. He said, "Oh...a bicycle". He kind of shrugged his shoulders and filled out a separate form for insurance on the bike. No charge. The bike is sitting in my small apartment still in the case. My wife still doesn't know what is inside. Anyway, the S & S coupling are a great invention for sure! Here is a picture of the S & S coupled Litespeed Toccoa on the summit of Gomez Peak north of Silver City, NM. I like this bike! It handles like a dream. Later, Barin

Bilenky -- Thank you for sending the teflon bearing grease! But thank you especially for doing such a fine job of retrofitting the S and S couplers to my bike. Your packing and assembly of the bike enabled me to take it out of the box, put it together, and go riding with a minimum of effort -- in fact, it was easy! Your work was really masterful -- the titanium couplers on the titanium frame look like they have always been part of the bike. The workmanship is simply elegant, flawless and functional. It has to be seen to be believed, so I will send photos to you eventually, though they would never do justice to the perfect level of operation and performance. The firm, tight feel of the locking fit is reassuring as the bike goes back to its normal configuration. On the road I don’t have to think about the couplers at all. Just as satisfying are your professional service, communication and handling of all the details of this custom work. I am so glad that you explained your experience on the Web, and extremely glad that you did everything just as promised, but ended up actually exceeding my expectations. Gratefully, Sam

Stephen, we were on a Pennywise Tandem Tour trip to Burgundy and found that you had "cut up" Ron and Judy Pitts' bike and ours at about the same time this past March.  Both bikes did well in France.  Wayne Goode

Hi Bina, It's gone on 2 trips to California; one to Monterey and one to Berkeley.  Both trips involved quite a bit of climbing steep short hills.  I was a bit worried that the Bilenky would be a bit heavy, but it handled great.  On climbs, steady and responsive, and importantly, on descents very stable.  A friend I was riding with had brought a Richey Break Away frame that shook and wobbled terribly on the descents.  As you can imagine he did not have much fun with all the up and down rollercoaster hills we rode. Neal

Rodriguez customers regarding their S and S Coupled travel bicycle.  Links provided by Rodriguez Cycles

Ron Podraza (UTB)
Mike McClurkan (Custom S&S Travel Bike)
Kat Mariner (8-Ball, UTB)
Bruce and Karen (pair of UTB's)
Joseph Dillard (UTB)
Ron Podraza Again! (UTB) 
The Finkels ride STP (Custom S&S Touring Bike)
Rodriguez a pair or road tandems in Beaufort NC
Rodriguez UTBs touing bikes in Europe
Rodriguez 8-Ball convertible single, tandem
Rodriguez custom tandem quint convertible
Rodriguez Ultimate Touring Bike, UTB
Rodriguez UTB World Traveller touring bike
Rodriguez UTB
Rodriguez custom convertible triple tandem bicycle
Rodriguez Adventure Travel bike
Rodriguez UTB touring bike in Alaska
Rodriguez pair of W2 Adventure UTB bicycles in Russia
Rodriguez a pair of UTBs in Cartagena, Colombia
Rodriguez a pair of tandems
Rodriguez triplet bicylce
Rodriguez traveling triplet tandem bicycle in France
Rodriguez 8-Ball single tandem convertible
Rodriguez 8-Ball convertible single/tandem
Rodriguez travel tandem
Rodriguez travel tandem
Rodriguez travel tandem in Italy
Rodriguez travel tandem, Seattle to Portland
Rodriguez touring bike in touring Burgundy and Alsace
Rodriguez UTB
Rodriguez custom  Travel Toucan" tandem in Switzerland

 "Hi Steve,  Steve Rex built this rig for me many years ago and has been on over 50 planes and ridden all over the globe. I am getting ready to hit 10 countries in Europe on one trip this rig still in tow. Thanks for your design thought and precision in design. Your couplings  have made 50 mile hour descents with a travel bike from the Dolomites’ to the Grimsel pass possible along with Steve Rex’s  design and craftsmanship. Thanks Ian"

 "Let me add my unqualified praise and thanks to you for conceiving and engineering such a magnificent product.  I have used my new/old Raleigh many times now for bike events all over the US, and it always generates a great deal of interest and positive comments.  As my friend Brent said the first time he saw the Raleigh all packed up, "that is the most awesome thing I've ever seen."  Couldn't have said it better myself. Kind regards, Paul" (retrofit by Courtney Custom Cycles)

 "Steve, An email from one happy owner of a Serotta Coupler Ti (or Unicasi Ti as they're now calling it). Did 1500k in France last summer and the couplings were great. Used the backpack and took all my stuff in the one bag. Brilliant. Was delayed at customs both ways not because they had a problem but they all wanted to take a look at the technology. John Amiry"

 "Bought a Jamis and Steve Rex retrofitted it, then with a week to practice taking apart and rebuilding it was off to Hawaii where I did a metric century and double metric on Oahu and climbed Haleakala (10,000') Though at first seemed like an endless operation--after a few times very easy to put together/ pull apart and pack bike (and apart from tires I never did anything on a bike before)--and couplings worked great. Thanks. With the case I had to resist packing as much stuff as possible as easily went over 50 lb limit if I put tools in with half a dozen stuff bags of clothes. Put "lizard skins" (with rubber underneath) over couplings to keep them dry and grime out". Best Jay K, Gruppo Pumpkincycle

  "I had your couplers installed on my bike (Colnago CT-1 Ti/Carbon) a few years ago by Bilenky Cycle Works in Philadelphia. They worked like a charm. Sadly, I was involved in a run-in with a Saturn and, although I am doing well, the bike did not pull through. I thought you guys might like a picture of the bike after the accident. I know that there are questions about the strength of the couplers & how well they would fare in an accident. The couplers are fine, thank you very much." Sam Bishop


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