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  1. #1
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    New Bike Friday folder

    The details are still fuzzy and apparently not much is set in stone. But Bike Friday is working on a small fast folder with 16" wheels. It is referred to as the "tikit".

    In this picture, you can see a picture of the folder (Hanz, the owner is riding it).

    There has been a short chat on the topic on the Bike Friday YAK group. But again, not much else has been written on it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Seņor Mambo
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    Old news.
    Don't know why BF is thinking about this now. They should have had them last year.

  3. #3
    Member, Schmember DaFriMon's Avatar
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    As the OP said, there has been some discussion of this on the BF mailing list, the "Yak". One BF sales rep posted a couple of messages, saying that the new bike has been re-designed quite a bit since then. He won't commit to any definite statement about it, but says he's about "90%" sure it will have 16 inch wheels.

    Looking closely at that photo, it seems to have a fold-down stem, like Dahons or Downtubes, compared to the normal BF "yank it off and stick it between the wheels and the frame" kind. Who knows if that feature will stay.

    Since it's a new BF model, my only predictions are that it will be excellent quality, and quite expensive.
    You're right, I do have more bikes than I need.

  4. #4
    Seņor Mambo
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    If it's really been "re-designed quite a bit," then it shouldn't look much like the picture, right?

    Don't know why BF blows so much smoke. They probably are just realizing that $3000+ folding recumbents are not exactly what's in demand.

    At their original projection of $800, they had a real chance to put a dent in Brompton's American market, but at this rate, the cost will definitely be higher and I bet the fold won't be as nice even on the new version. I'm sure most people would be willing to put up with a more ungainly fold, but when you price yourself too close to a Brompton with an unproven design, there's no comparison.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by spambait11
    I'm sure most people would be willing to put up with a more ungainly fold, but when you price yourself too close to a Brompton with an unproven design, there's no comparison.
    Unproven design? BF has been around a while and gives lifetime warranties on their frames. They'd make it right if something doesn't work knowing they're paying the price if releasing something that won't work well. They use standard components, which is not what Brompton does.

  6. #6
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spambait11
    If it's really been "re-designed quite a bit," then it shouldn't look much like the picture, right?
    True. Regardless, it is still neat to see the prototype. And what one person thinks is "quite a bit" may not be meaningful to another person. From the language used by Walter @BF, however, I would not be surprised if the final version was quite different.

    I never read the older post. Sorry for re-postinig old information.

    I first heard about it in the Fall 2006 version of Foldable Flyer. Then recently, there was a series of posts on the YAK group.

    Quote Originally Posted by spambait11
    Don't know why BF blows so much smoke. They probably are just realizing that $3000+ folding recumbents are not exactly what's in demand.

    At their original projection of $800, they had a real chance to put a dent in Brompton's American market, but at this rate, the cost will definitely be higher and I bet the fold won't be as nice even on the new version. I'm sure most people would be willing to put up with a more ungainly fold, but when you price yourself too close to a Brompton with an unproven design, there's no comparison.
    How big is Brompton's American Market? (Seriously, I have no idea.)

    I did not read anything about price. Allowing for inflation since their original projection, if Bike Friday can release a bike with a comparable fold that is more customizable than a Brompton--say with 132.5mm spacing for the rear hub--I think that they will have a market. Their reputation should help them convince people to take a chance on a new design. Looking at BromptonTalk and some of the threads here on the forum, it looks like there are people looking for a high performance compact folder (I am one of them).

  7. #7
    Senior Member Fear&Trembling's Avatar
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    it looks like there are people looking for a high performance compact folder (I am one of them).
    You are certainly not alone. A high performance compact folder would be great - the problem is with mating the "high performance" with the "compact fold"...

    The BF has the potential, but I somehow don't think it will fill the gap. I hope I am proved wrong.

  8. #8
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    One thing to factor in is BF's fanatical customer base. If it's almost as good as a Brompton, and only $500 more, they'd buy it. If it's as good or better, which is entirely possible, they'll all want one.

  9. #9
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MnHPVA Guy
    One thing to factor in is BF's fanatical customer base. If it's almost as good as a Brompton, and only $500 more, they'd buy it. If it's as good or better, which is entirely possible, they'll all want one.
    Hah! I never thought about it this way, but I think that your analysis is on the money.

  10. #10
    Seņor Mambo
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    The unproven design part, on the original prototype at least, is that they incorporated a hinge [edit: OK what looks like a hinge; if not, all the better] on the frame (à la Brompton) - this would be new to BF's lineup, though not necessarily to their R&D. However, real customer usage to test durability is more telling, IMO. They've also designed a folding stem - no one knows how durable that will be either.

    I never read the older post. Sorry for re-postinig old information.
    Re-posting is not the problem. BF's promise then delay of this bike is the problem. In terms of this project, I think catering to commuters with this bike would have been better than catering to the niche folding recumbent traveller market first.

    In terms of robustness, the seat stays were skinny like the Crusoe and Pocket Tourist (to be light, I suppose) so I won't speculate about how much weight it can hold. One benefit is that it should be more standardized in terms of sizing and off-the-shelf parts; one disadvantage is that it will make the bike wider when folded and potentially unwieldy - here I'm thinking what a Downtube looks like when folded. In terms of real world usage, I think Brompton's non-standard sized hub is the biggest pain of the bike in terms of upgrades. All of its other eccentricities are pretty solvable. But yeah, acquiring specific spare bits can be a pain.

    As far as B.'s U.S. marketshare, the distributors and sellers would have a better idea. But with no viable competitor to the Brompton, I'm one of those who chose a B. because BF was dragging their feet getting the tikit out the door. And while there is a huge BF fan base, I'm not one who would pay and extra $500 when the rear, on the prototype at least, still folded like a standard BF with the rear chainstays hitting the ground first. This *might* be acceptable for travel and for those of you who stick your bikes in suitcases, but for us commuters, that's a poor design which I hope they rectify.

    Edit: Fall 2005 newsletter (edited out of the online version)
    Last edited by spambait11; 12-25-06 at 07:25 PM.

  11. #11
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    I'm kinda disappointed Bike Friday went to a smaller wheel when they should really start thinking of making a true folding mountain bike with 26 inch wheels. This folder is actually ment for those multimode commuting with the bus for their 20 inch wheel bikes would have no trouble on trains or lightrail.

    However, if you take a close look at the woman entering the bus, it's still a fairly large package even when folded and not much smaller than their 20' inch wheelers. That same woman would probably have to cover the bike in many cases making the package even larger! I could see her having problems entering with that bike during rush hour.

    The Strida would still be the best bike for multimode commuting with the the bus.

  12. #12
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    SPAMBAIT11 -- If it makes you feel any better, I asked my wife what she thought of the issue. She said that it would be more than irritating to be promised a delivery that was subsequently unfulfilled without explanation. I concur with her opinion.

    While I would rather they not release the bike if it failed to meet Bike Friday standards, I would have appreciated some short note on the topic.

    Just a thought, perhaps Brompton threatened BF with copyright infringement of their design. This is a long story, but I do mean copyright and not patent infringement. If one looks at the Merc/Brompton threads, there is a long discussion there of the topic.

  13. #13
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    I think that people will vote with their pocketbooks and would either go for some other brand (Brompton, Dahon or Downtube) that already has models available to buy anywhere and are proven to work well for the commuter and/or fans of the micro-wheeled bikes. That is my guess why Bike Friday is so slow in offering this type of bike.

  14. #14
    To fold or not to fold?
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    If you want a hardtail folder with great handling, a small fold (albeit more Birdy than Brompton in size) and 16" wheels, the Mezzo already exists. Rather than wait for the BF or spend money on a bike with suboptimal folding for multimodal commuting, try to get hold of the Mezzo D9.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Fear&Trembling's Avatar
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    If you want a hardtail folder with great handling, a small fold (albeit more Birdy than Brompton in size) and 16" wheels, the Mezzo already exists.
    Yes, but it is not a "high-performance" machine...

    If BF can meld a Go-Bike with a Brompton and give it a twist of their own, they will be onto a winner.

  16. #16
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt52
    If you want a hardtail folder with great handling, a small fold (albeit more Birdy than Brompton in size) and 16" wheels, the Mezzo already exists. Rather than wait for the BF or spend money on a bike with suboptimal folding for multimodal commuting, try to get hold of the Mezzo D9.
    Following up on Fear&Trembling, Bike Friday also has a very good support network.

    Also, we can't determine whether the tikit will be a suboptimal multimodal commuter. Although I am unsure what the reference point is for the "suboptimal" adjective.

  17. #17
    All ur bike r belong Enki james_swift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spambait11
    Edit: Fall 2005 newsletter (edited out of the online version)
    That derailleur hangs precariously low to the ground.

  18. #18
    Seņor Mambo
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand
    SPAMBAIT11 -- If it makes you feel any better, I asked my wife what she thought of the issue. She said that it would be more than irritating to be promised a delivery that was subsequently unfulfilled without explanation. I concur with her opinion.


    I know BF is a small company and I'm not trying to get down on them, their priorities, or their business model (I know, I know - too late). They really do make fantastic bikes, and I hope the new tikit is designed extremely well and that they sell a ton. I'm curious to see what Hanz and Rob English come up with, though I won't be *needing* one nowadays.


    Just a thought, perhaps Brompton threatened BF with copyright infringement of their design.
    This initially crossed my mind as well. I know BF has gone to many folding competitions in Europe in the past, and I'm sure they have the low down on all the copyright and patent stuff. I just don't understand why they'd create a marketable version, put out the marketing, and then pull it. My other guess is that they found some kind of flaw they couldn't address right away so the project got tabled. Or maybe there was no demand? At close to $900, I remember I waffled back and forth between it, the Brompton, and a Swift before making a choice.


    That derailleur hangs precariously low to the ground.
    That's just an illusion.

  19. #19
    All ur bike r belong Enki james_swift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spambait11

    That's just an illusion.
    Ah, I see why now...it's because the back tire is underinflated.

  20. #20
    Seņor Mambo
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    2007 tikit:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  21. #21
    Senior Member Fear&Trembling's Avatar
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    Good find! Any specs? Looks like 16" 349s wheels. The folded size is pretty good, but more comparable with a Dahon, than a super compact Brompton.
    Last edited by Fear&Trembling; 01-24-07 at 06:25 AM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Fear&Trembling's Avatar
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    Follow up: here are 2 videos of the new Tikit being folded and unfolded (same footage as Spambait's in the video thread, but from a different site). It can also be wheeled - I am impressed...

    http://d.hatena.ne.jp/kuyu/20070124

    According to a German site there will be 3 different sizes...
    Last edited by Fear&Trembling; 01-24-07 at 06:26 AM.

  23. #23
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    He does not mention it in this post, but the bike in the video has
    ERTO 349 wheels.

    -G

    =-=-=-=-=-=- =

    Here is a post from Walter@BF

    So we're pretty much "done" with the design of the tikit but we're
    releasing it to select people in key transportation areas to help
    give us further feedback. We're not going into full production right
    away and the first ones that we will do will be stock 8 speed with
    fenders, saddle, pedals, and bell included for $1195. Feel free to
    ask about options, but we won't be sure for a while.

    The idea with this bike is small, easy, quick fold with the same Bike
    Friday ride. There will be different sizes and other options
    available later, but they will all have this same basic idea. You
    push the seatmast forward, which allows everything to fold.
    Everything clicks into place. Seatpost, stem, front wheel are all
    that needs to come off to get it in the case.

    Lots of cool features will be available later like a folding rear
    rack and a front rack that is designed to hold a single right bag.
    Not only does it allow you to fold the bike without taking your bag
    off, but it serves as a catch to hold the "showercap" type cover that
    we will offer. This will be a small water bottle-sized bag mounted
    on the main tube just behind the headset. The cover will pull out
    with the end of it still attached to the main tube. When fully taken
    out of the bag, it will reveal a carry handle. There's a hole in the
    back for the handle that allows you to PUSH THE BIKE IN ITS FOLDED
    STATE!!!!! The handle also allows it to hang on a hook in a garage.

    Folding this thing, as you can see by the videos (there's two of them
    here: http://video. google.com/ videosearch? q=tikit), is an absolute
    breeze. The usual Bike Friday fold is a hassle compared to this. It
    rocks.

    Best of all, it rides nice. No noticable flex anywhere, no wobbly
    feel. I could ride this no problem no hands. I could push it to
    perform when I wanted to. I mean, this is no race bike, but I could
    easily see it as a bike that could be used for out-of-town club rides
    or for some light touring.

    It's best employed as a city bike though. Stick it in the shopping
    cart instead of locking it. No room on the racks on the bus? Stick
    it under the seat. Wheel it through crowded streets. Carry it like
    a briefcase in the elevator.

    It's time to get excited, folks!

    Watch http://www.tikit2ri de.com which will soon temporarily point to
    http://bikefriday. com/tikit for more info and feel free to ask
    questions. If you want one, talk to me.

    Walter

    24-hour phone +1-541-556-6830
    bikefriday.com/ walter
    bikefriday.com/ walterblog

  24. #24
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Here is a better link to the video

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...645414&q=tikit

  25. #25
    Life in Mono
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    This looks cool ! I am a big fan of bikes that are easy to handle when folded and like the way this can be wheeled along.

    The folding video doesn't seem very realistic - the quick releases have not been fastened .... who would ride like that ?? (Slightly untruthful ?). The price is pretty high too at $1100 usd Plus....with weak dollar its still tempting.

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