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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 10-30-07, 07:38 AM   #1
bf1999
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Bike Friday Tikit built to order

http://www.bikefriday.com/tikit/bto
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Old 10-30-07, 08:11 AM   #2
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I saw this the other day. Essentially, they now do custom sizing/paint and offer a capreo, dual drive, and fixed gear drivetrains.

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Old 10-30-07, 08:25 AM   #3
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They're kidding, right? $1585 for a fixed-gear tikit when they're only using an Eno hub and Comets? That's a $390 difference from the stock configuration; not worth the price difference, imo.
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Old 10-30-07, 06:11 PM   #4
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I think the fixed gear tikit would be sized to fit you (not the S/M/L configurations).
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Old 10-30-07, 07:27 PM   #5
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Ok it sounds like the expense is actually due to an expensive hub solution. More here:
http://www.bikefriday.com/pipermail/...er/010137.html
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Old 10-30-07, 08:11 PM   #6
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I know Eno hubs are not cheap, but I'm having a hard time believing you can't get one made (or self-built) for less than $400.

Yet probably more to the point, I personally would never spring $1600 just for a fixie.
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Old 10-30-07, 08:17 PM   #7
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Sales items are never priced according to what they cost. They are priced according to what the market can bear. The only other fixie folder you could buy AFAIK was the Dahon Hon Solo. So there's zip competition in this niche, so they'll ask whatever they think they can get for it, plus lower volumes might have a say in the matter, but probably not much in this case.
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Old 10-31-07, 06:55 AM   #8
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Wake me when BF decides to do an Alfine or iMotion9 tikit.

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Old 10-31-07, 09:54 AM   #9
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I just did an internal hub Tikit myself:
http://blogs.phred.org/blogs/alex_we...-hub-gear.aspx

I'm using a SRAM S7. Same range as the Alfine, easier to service, nicer drum brake (Alfine doesn't have a drum brake option, SG-8R25 does, but I prefer the SRAM one). I wanted a i9, but they aren't available yet. When they come out I may convert my other Tikit.
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Old 10-31-07, 04:53 PM   #10
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Thanks Alex

...and I'd like to thank Alex for posting all of his Tikit tinkerings with plenty of photos (on his blog).
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Old 10-31-07, 07:52 PM   #11
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Sales items are never priced according to what they cost. They are priced according to what the market can bear. The only other fixie folder you could buy AFAIK was the Dahon Hon Solo....
You can get a Swift fixed pretty easily, since it's got ye olde horizontal dropouts. Either fix up the Xootr or, if you're not in a rush, get a custom from Peter Swift.

I concur that the fixed Tikit is outrageously priced, regardless of the components. I mean, really, a Bianchi Pista is $600; so that's a $900-$1000 premium for tiny wheels, brakes and the ability to fold? Yeesh.

Maybe they're doing it to make the other Tikits seem reasonable in comparison.
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Old 11-01-07, 10:12 AM   #12
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Two things about the pricing on the fixed tikit:

1) It is based on the built to order Tikit price, not the mass production Tikit price. The build to order Tikit costs $1375 base.

2) The stock Tikit uses inexpensive components. The rear hub is a Formula and the rear derailleur is made by Microshift. The fixed gear Tikit has upgraded brake and tires compared to stock. The Eno hub costs quite a bit more than the stock Formula hub and Microshift derailleur combined. So the higher pricing for the fixed Tikit doesn't surprise me. They probably could have made it comparable in price if they used horizontal dropouts, a Formula fixed gear hub, and the same Tektro brakes and levers as the stock Tikit.

Bike Friday is never going to compete price wise with Downtube or Xootr. The frames are being manufactured in Oregon instead of China. The designs are more complicated to manufacture and build. From what I've seen they are also the only game in town for a semi-custom sized 16" wheeled folding bike, and I'm glad that they are around to offer them. I'm not tall (5'11"), but I find most folding bikes way too cramped in the top tube. It's great that Bike Friday offers the Tikit with 56cm and 59cm top tubes (stock).

You may prefer smaller sizing and cheaper manufacturing and be happy with other bikes. I like that Bike Friday uses domestic production, sustainable manufacturing practices, builds bikes that fit me, and thinks about suitcase packing in the design of their bikes. To me this is worth paying more for. I like that there are cheaper options too, I just don't expect Bike Friday to sell them.

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Old 11-01-07, 11:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by awetmore View Post
Two things about the pricing on the fixed tikit....
Well, I'm not saying they're using cheap junk and ripping you off. E.g. BF's are priced reasonably well compared to custom steel, especially custom + couplers.

But $1600 is still damned expensive for a fixed gear that is not track legal, even though it folds. I mean, really, you could get three Pistas or IRO's for the cost of one Tikit. That is one heck of a premium.


Quote:
Originally Posted by awetmore
Bike Friday is never going to compete price wise with Downtube or Xootr.
Just an FYI, I didn't mention Xootr for price comparison -- I suspect a Xootr fixie will run you $1000 or so, which is also Not Cheap. I was pointing out that there is at least one other frame that is designed specifically to accommodate derailleur, internal hub and fixed gear setups.


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From what I've seen they are also the only game in town for a semi-custom sized 16" wheeled folding bike, and I'm glad that they are around to offer them....
I believe you are correct, and have no doubt it rolls better that other 16" bikes. Unfortunately, the fold is XBoxHuge. I figured this bit out awhile ago....

Bike Friday NWT, 20" wheels = 12" x 33" x 34" (13,464 cu in)
Bike Friday Tikit, 16" wheels = 15" x 24" x 35" (12,600 cu in)
Dahon Speed P8, 20" wheels = 13" x 25" x 32" (10,400 cu in)
Downtube NS, 20" wheels = 12" x 23" x 33" (9,108 cu in)
Downtube Mini, 16" wheels = 10" x 20" x 29" (5,800 cu in)
Brompton = 9.8" x 21" x 22" (4,527 cu in)

On that basis alone, I fail to see the appeal of the Tikit. If it folded as small as a Mini, it would've killed. But it didn't, so it doesn't.

Thus as far as I can determine, the Tikit may work well for some people, but as a "multi-mode commuter" that's much more about the marketing than the functionality.


Quote:
Originally Posted by awetmore
You may prefer smaller sizing and cheaper manufacturing and be happy with other bikes. I like that Bike Friday uses domestic production, sustainable manufacturing practices, builds bikes that fit me, and thinks about suitcase packing in the design of their bikes. To me this is worth paying more for. I like that there are cheaper options too, I just don't expect Bike Friday to sell them.
Yeah, well. I don't care where a bike is made, as long as the manufacturer has quality control. I'm not sure how BF is any more "sustainable" than anyone else. The Tikit is made (marketed?) as a "commuter" rather than a travel bike, and packing is definitely on the minds of most folding bike manufacturers.

Fit, I won't argue with you there, since I don't know your size.
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Old 11-01-07, 11:59 AM   #14
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They probably could have made it comparable in price if they used horizontal dropouts, a Formula fixed gear hub, and the same Tektro brakes and levers as the stock Tikit.
Exactly.


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The designs are more complicated to manufacture and build.
You make this sound like a good thing. However, visions of SatRday I's and II's keep popping up in my head: too overcomplicated to be functional while such complication contributes to unnecessary higher prices. If I wanted this combo, I'd already own a Stites Chameleon.


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I like that Bike Friday uses domestic production, sustainable manufacturing practices...
Come on now... is this the case for every bike you've owned?

Many here will probably not disagree about paying for quality. The real question is whether we ARE paying for quality. Will an Eno hub inherently last longer than a Formula hub? Are stock bikes more inferiorly made than custom bikes? (Actually, I would somewhat agree that they are: there is a noticeable difference in the build quality between their stock vs. custom bikes.)

Anyway, this all seems moot since they're supposed to be bikes for commuters; I just think they're priced too highly for commuting. In fact, you said yourself somewhere in another thread that you don't even commute with your tikit: for what you paid and for what you've done to it and for it, that's understandable.
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Old 11-01-07, 02:28 PM   #15
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Thus as far as I can determine, the Tikit may work well for some people, but as a "multi-mode commuter" that's much more about the marketing than the functionality.
I think there are multiple ways to look at the concept of a multi-mode commuter. There is getting the fold small enough (is smaller better once it is small enough?). The Tikit is small enough for my multi-mode commutes, but maybe it isn't for yours. Then there is how quickly does it fold and how easily is it moved around once folded? The Tikit excels in those two areas.


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Fit, I won't argue with you there, since I don't know your size.
I'm about as average as you can get. I ride 57-59cm road bikes, wear 32" inseam pants, and like road bikes with a 57cm top tube and a 10cm stem. That last one is were most folding bikes fail me, they are much more upright.
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Old 11-01-07, 02:55 PM   #16
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Come on now... is this the case for every bike you've owned?
Ever? no. But of the new bikes that I've bought in the last 10 years all but three were made in the US. The exceptions were two Kogswell frames (made in Taiwan) and a Japanese made Rivendell Quickbeam. Everything else was purchased used (most of those are old Trek frames that were made in the US).

My current set of bikes: custom (made in the Vancouver, BC...I live in Seattle so it's very close), Burley Tandem (made in Eugene), Tikit (made in Eugene), Kogswell P/R (made in Taiwan), 1994 Bridgestone RB-T (made in Japan), 1983 Trek 630 (made in Wisconsin, I have 3 of these frames).

It isn't a requirement for me, but I do value stuff which is made locally higher than that which is made in China. That is a personal thing and I don't expect everyone to feel similarily.

Quote:
Many here will probably not disagree about paying for quality. The real question is whether we ARE paying for quality.
Almost every review of a Downtube bike has said that the bikes are assembled without grease. Downtube themselves suggest that you take the bike to a bike shop to have it re-assembled and tuned. What is that worth paying for? It really depends on your mechanical skills and how you value that time.

Someone else asked the much better question about complexity. Is high complexity good? Not if it doesn't have value. Ask the software engineers who work with me and you'll learn I value the simplest effective solution.

The Tikit _is_ more complex. Anyone who looks at a Tikit (or a Brompton) and a simpler bike like the Dahon Curve next to each other can see that the Tikit is more complex. There are more components in the frame design, more welds, more tricky bends, etc. Is the complexity warranted? I think some of the innovations are. The push the saddle forward to unlock the rear triangle is a nice solution. I like that they fold the rear triangle of all of their bikes to the side of the main tube (most fold under or have a hinge in the main tube).

Quote:
Anyway, this all seems moot since they're supposed to be bikes for commuters; I just think they're priced too highly for commuting. In fact, you said yourself somewhere in another thread that you don't even commute with your tikit: for what you paid and for what you've done to it and for it, that's understandable.
I commute on bikes which are at parity to far more expensive than my Tikit. Since I park my bike in my secure office it doesn't really matter how expensive my commuter bike is. I do use my Tikit for shopping and utility riding. I personally don't think that commuter bikes should be cheap. I think that basic requirements for commuter bikes are built in headlights, reliable drivetrains, quality fenders, and a system to carry luggage (note that the Tikit doesn't qualify). The cheapest bikes that I've seen meet these requirements without major compromises still cost a minimum of $900 or so.

So far a folding bike isn't beneficial for my commute most of the time, so I don't commute on it.

The Tikit is a useful bike for me because it is the first folder that I've seen do well at folding and ride pretty similarily to a full size bicycle. Historically folders have either folded well and small but were made in one size and didn't ride that well, or they didn't fold that well but rode great. The Brompton and many Dahons are examples of the first. The classic Bike Fridays and Swift Folder are examples of the second. The Tikit is a nice medium and fills a niche for me that others haven't tackled. That is just one reason to have a folding bike, there are other options that work well for others. If I were 3" shorter I expect that I'd be a lot happier with the ride of many smaller bikes.

alex
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Old 11-01-07, 06:23 PM   #17
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I like the Tikit here why.

1. BLING --- I no longer feel that way when a Brompton, Dahon or Swift are on the road. I did feel that way when a Tikit was on the street. I just couldn't help but walk real fast to see it up close. Talk about bling. This bike was all quality all the way around.

2. TRAIN/AIRPLANE commuter --- You wouldn't bring this bike on an bus but that's about all. I wouldn't have any trouble taking this bike on a train (covered) or airplane.

3. FAST ---- This bike is probably one of the fastest 16' inch wheel folders on the market.

4. BIKE FRIDAY ---- You know you're always going to get support for this bike even years down the road. Enough said.
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Old 11-01-07, 08:33 PM   #18
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For the record, I think the tikit is a neat bike and am not questioning its overall quality. My main beef was with the cost of a fixed gear version. In Alex's post above, he detailed how BF could do a "cheaper" one without sacrificing quality and/or adding much cost. If fixies will only be made in custom sizes, that is a different issue altogether.
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Old 11-02-07, 08:03 AM   #19
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Alex, I like the Tikit review on your blog. A couple of questions: how does the bike handle when you are out of the saddle and how much flex is there in the stem/handlepost - I am asking because it seems awfully long...
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Old 11-02-07, 10:12 AM   #20
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I like the Tikit here why.
This bike has yet to prove itself long term. Give it more time.
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Old 11-02-07, 01:50 PM   #21
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Alex, I like the Tikit review on your blog. A couple of questions: how does the bike handle when you are out of the saddle and how much flex is there in the stem/handlepost - I am asking because it seems awfully long...
Right now there is more flex than I'd like. I think that Bike Friday is working on this and plan on reporting on my blog if they have a solution.

It is worse with drop bars (which have a greater reach from the riser and thus a longer lever arm) than with flat bars. With the stock bars and a good hinge it is pretty good. With drop bars and a bad hinge there is too much flex.

In August I had the bike with me on a trip to the Catskill mountains in NY. One morning I decided to climb and picked a random dirt road and just headed up (hoping to get to good views, never did find those). I climbed about 1300' (based on maps that I looked at when I got home) and the steepest parts of the climb were around 20% grade (based on experience with steep climbs elsewhere). I can't ride that stuff in a 30" gear while sitting, so I was out of the saddle and working hard and the Tikit did fine.

That is the long answer. The short answer is there is flex, but the bike still climbs out of the saddle. I'd just like to see less flex.

There are two approachs to reduce the flex:
1) Differently designed stem hinge that is stiffer.
2) Using steel instead of aluminum for the stem riser. That is 1 1/8" OD tubing, so steel would be stiffer (but heavier).

alex
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Old 11-09-07, 12:15 AM   #22
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This is one of the most useful charts I've seen on Bforum!

I didn't know the Brompton was that much smaller.
It's smaller, but not that much smaller. That chart shows what size box the folded bicycle would fit into. The Brompton uses most of it's box (because it folds into a neat little rectangle). The Tikit wouldn't, the Tikit folds more into a wedge.

If you built the optimal 6 sided polygon to surround the two bikes then I think the volume would be closer. The Brompton is still smaller, but the Tikit isn't as huge as it looks in this comparison.

alex
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Old 11-09-07, 01:27 AM   #23
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Bottom line is:

When it is time to travel, with a Brompton you fold the bike and go. 15 seconds or less

With anything else, you remove wheels, do this, do that, blah blah blah...15 minutes or more.


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Old 11-09-07, 08:00 AM   #24
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I like the Tikit here why.

1. BLING --- I no longer feel that way when a Brompton, Dahon or Swift are on the road. I did feel that way when a Tikit was on the street. I just couldn't help but walk real fast to see it up close. Talk about bling. This bike was all quality all the way around.

2. TRAIN/AIRPLANE commuter --- You wouldn't bring this bike on an bus but that's about all. I wouldn't have any trouble taking this bike on a train (covered) or airplane.
I wonder about the bus thing. I took my 20" Downtube on a very crowded bus the other day and I found that the biggest problem was that I had to sit in order to keep hold of it. That meant that the bike had to go directly in front of me (blocking the path) and I couldn't move it out of the way. Of course, a Brompton may have fit under the seat, but promptly retrieving a large package from under the seat when trying to exit a crowded bus is a real hassle.

I wonder if the Tikit is well balanced enough that I could have stood with it in hand instead; Maneuvering out of the way when necessary, but without having to continuously hold 20+ pounds.

The way I use my folding bikes (ie not for packing into a box, trunk, or cubicle) the more I realize that footprint is by far the most important quality for me. Bikes like the Tikit, the Strida, and the Carryme have vastly smaller footprints than square shaped bikes. However, only the Carryme retains that small footprint when you set it down. This is a tremendous advantage; I can use two hands to put my money in the bus's farebox with my bike next to me and there is still enough room for the other passengers to go around me; I can go shopping and inspect the store shelves with two free hands without having to worry about my folder blocking the isle like a felled tree. It's the difference between holding a portion of the bike's weight 100% of the time (as you complained about the Strida, for example) and 20% of the time (which, in terms of muscle fatigue from rolling/carrying, is probably just as good as a factor of 5 weight reduction).

Although the Tikit, unfortunately, doesn't offer the ability to completely balance on it's own, it may balance well enough when jockeying for space on a bumpy bus ride (where everyone is shuffling and even my own body needs to be braced from falling over, not to mention the Carryme). Sure, squeezing something like a Brompton under the seat might make the actual bus ride more pleasant, but boarding and exiting are sure to be more of a hassle than with a well balanced, easy to maneuver bike like the Tikit with which you can stand close to the exit (I sure prefer standing with my Carryme to wrestling it out from under the seat).

Of course, I don't have experience with either the Tikit or the Brompton, but that's why I'm posting...to get feedback from those that do have experience (since I can't raid oldiesonfoldies' bike closet myself). As much as I like my Downtube, the fold just sucks. It's too cumbersome to take down the small isles of urban stores (and quicker to lock up), so the only time I fold at all is to put it in my closet and take commuter rail in suburbia. I don't go to suburbia much anymore, the closet, like most spaces, is more vertical than horizontal, and I can never justify the hassle of folding more than just the frame in half and turning the handlebars sideways. Although it is convenient to have the option of folding my Downtube, I basically use my Carryme for all my folding needs and the tasks given to my Downtube would probably be better served by a nonfolder. However, I can definitely see the potential for a folder in my life other than the Carryme. Something with more gears than the Carryme, more resistance to potholes than the Carryme, more luggage carrying capacity than the Carryme, but a quicker fold than the Downtube, more maneuverable than the Downtube, and more capable of the small isles of urban stores than the Downtube. The Brompton would definitely be more capable of the small isles of urban stores, but the quickness of fold and maneuverability of it might not exceed the Downtube (which actually rolls very well). The Tikit would definitely be have a quicker fold and more maneuverability than the Downtube, but it might become like a felled tree blocking store isles when I need two hands (to take money from my wallet, for example). Of course, I'm not absolutely sure I'm going to buy anything, but I'm toying with the idea of getting a lightweight Brompton or Tikit without internal hub or fenders and keeping the Downtube for rainy days (or, gasp, airline travel in a soft bag). The Carryme will, of course, remain the bike of choice for trips that involve more time with the bike folded than in the saddle.

Alex, you make all those nifty racks. Any ideas for making the Tikit stand upright on it's own?

Quote:
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Bottom line is:

When it is time to travel, with a Brompton you fold the bike and go. 15 seconds or less

With anything else, you remove wheels, do this, do that, blah blah blah...15 minutes or more.


14R
...on a plane. The Tikit is marketed as a "Commuter" because it's primary intention is for modes of travel more often used on a daily basis (bus, train, car, etc).

Maybe I don't get it because I don't fly to go bike touring, but I don't really see the value in being able to unpack your bike from an airline suitcase in 15 seconds or less. You probably spend hours packing your other belongings, 30 min or more traveling to the airport, hours going through security, etc, etc. What's 15 minutes more? If you unpack your bike at your hotel then what's the rush? Take a little more time so you can have a better bike. If you plan on using those wheels to haul the rest of your luggage away from the airport then you have even more reason to have a better bike and if you can manage to gate check your bike then you'll have plenty of time to put it together while you're waiting for your other bags. For that matter, if you're spending all the money for the airline ticket, burning all the fuel of the jet engine, and want to have the most pleasurable cycling experience then why not just take a cab to the hotel and have a better bike for the rest of your trip?

Don't get me wrong. If you fly a lot then a bike optimized for airline requirements is clearly best, but most leisure flyers can count the number of trips they take in a year on their free digits and I doubt most people traveling for business via air would be interested in taking the time to cycle (heck, most people traveling for business via land aren't interested in taking the time to cycle). Of course, I'm sure there are exceptions.

Last edited by makeinu; 11-09-07 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 11-09-07, 10:39 AM   #25
spambait11
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A Brompton is not a great bus bike, but it is easier to have on a bus than most bikes. Even a Xootr scooter feels big on a bus. The B is a great train bike though.
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