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  1. #1
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    handlebar stem flex and drops...that's the tikit?

    Is handlebar stem flex worse with drops than straight bars/bullhorns?

    I'm considering an "express tikit" for fast rides in nice weather (my Downtube VIIIH is a nice bike, but it's anything but fast...neither in ride nor fold). Something to use like my Carryme to zip in/out of stores, but for longer distances where concerns of gearing and terrain are magnified relative to folding size. In poor weather speed is limited by visibility, wind, etc and I have less of a desire to travel. So a fast fair-weather-derailleur-friendly fold seems like it would be a nice compliment to a fast ride. The question is, "Can the Tikit be made a fast ride?"

    I hear that the tikit has a lot of stem flex. Are drops going to make the flex even more pronounced? Is that going to slow me down?
    Last edited by makeinu; 11-16-07 at 09:42 AM.

  2. #2
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    I find the flex a bit more noticable with drop bars. This makes sense, your hand position is farther forward than on a bike with flat bars. A lot stem with flat bars will also make the flex more noticable.

    Bike Friday was showing a refined version of the stem hinge at the Oregon BCA show last weekend. This one looks like it should solve the flex issues of the early Tikits. They've also replaced the twin tension cables with one thicker airline cable (previously they were using brake cables).

    Having complained about the amount of flex I'll also say that it isn't that big of a deal. I have no problem riding fast or moderate distances on a Tikit. The flex is not noticably worse than a Bike Friday NWT, and most people don't complain about flex on those bikes.

    alex

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by awetmore View Post
    The flex is not noticably worse than a Bike Friday NWT, and most people don't complain about flex on those bikes.
    Really? This poster described the tikit stem has having flex, but the NWT stem as being very stiff.

    In any case I don't really need another bike and I'm not in any rush to burn money, so I guess I'll wait for the mark 2 tikits to hit the streets before going for a test ride. Maybe I'll even wait for the the Swivelhead 20" Reach bikes from Pacific Cycles to compare.

  4. #4
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    Really? This poster described the tikit stem has having flex, but the NWT stem as being very stiff.

    In any case I don't really need another bike and I'm not in any rush to burn money, so I guess I'll wait for the mark 2 tikits to hit the streets before going for a test ride. Maybe I'll even wait for the the Swivelhead 20" Reach bikes from Pacific Cycles to compare.
    But how would the tikit get delivered to that dark basement?

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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    But how would the tikit get delivered to that dark basement?
    Of course, I'd have to finally escape.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    Really? This poster described the tikit stem has having flex, but the NWT stem as being very stiff.

    In any case I don't really need another bike and I'm not in any rush to burn money, so I guess I'll wait for the mark 2 tikits to hit the streets before going for a test ride. Maybe I'll even wait for the the Swivelhead 20" Reach bikes from Pacific Cycles to compare.
    That review is for a pre-production Tikit and many things are different. His biggest complaint is that the bike doesn't latch together when folded, when it in fact does.

    A friend who owns a Tandem Two'sday took my Tikit for a test ride last weekend and noted that the handlebar flex wasn't bad and felt like his Two'sday. I always felt that it was pretty similar to my NWT, but never rode them back to back.

    I wouldn't call it a Mark 2 Tikit, they just made a couple of minor tweaks. The stem hinge is the same basic design, just beefed up a little bit. The latches for the handlebars and seat mast are also stainless steel instead of plastic so that they don't break. Bike Friday doesn't really do "model years", they make ongoing changes to bikes as they come up with better ideas and designs.

    If you ordered a bike today I'd guess that it would come with the new stem hinge and latches.

    alex

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by awetmore View Post
    That review is for a pre-production Tikit and many things are different. His biggest complaint is that the bike doesn't latch together when folded, when it in fact does.

    A friend who owns a Tandem Two'sday took my Tikit for a test ride last weekend and noted that the handlebar flex wasn't bad and felt like his Two'sday. I always felt that it was pretty similar to my NWT, but never rode them back to back.

    I wouldn't call it a Mark 2 Tikit, they just made a couple of minor tweaks. The stem hinge is the same basic design, just beefed up a little bit. The latches for the handlebars and seat mast are also stainless steel instead of plastic so that they don't break. Bike Friday doesn't really do "model years", they make ongoing changes to bikes as they come up with better ideas and designs.

    If you ordered a bike today I'd guess that it would come with the new stem hinge and latches.

    alex
    Ok.

    My last burning question is: Is there any way to make the tikit stand upright on it's own? I know the rear wheel has that resting brace, but it's for laying the bike down. I was thinking that perhaps a brace like that, but longer (perhaps ~26" long instead of ~16"...I have a few of these meant to support baskets over 26" wheels) and sticking towards the back of the rear wheel instead of towards the top (so that the brace sticks towards the ground when the folded bike is stood up) might do the trick.

    The biggest problem I have with the folded size of my Downtube is that it can't be stood up and, as a result, it takes up twice as much closet space. When wheeling the tikit down store aisles, I'd also like to avoid the necessity of finding somewhere to lay it down before using both hands to rummage around the shelves. If it's small enough to roll down the aisle then it should be small enough to be left standing there for a few seconds, but the layed down bike may not be.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    As the writer of that Feb 2007 report on the tikit test ride, I guess I should comment on my current feelings.

    I now own a NWT and the wife has a Crusoe. (Sold the old D7s to some of our RV friends.) Frankly, I never even think about the stiffness of the stem - not a factor.

    As Alex pointed out, I rode an early model tikit - it may have had a latch, but it didn't appear to work very well at that point. It's nice to see they are constantly refining their designs. We were at the OR Handmade Bike show last weekend - packed house with like 27 exhibitors - very impressive all the way around. Bike Friday had a large display with both Hans and Rob English manning it, among others. The blog noted below has some pics and info - only one mention of folders, though - there was also a Swift being shown (steel version made in Eugene, OR).

    http://bikeportland.org/2007/11/12/b...-bicycle-show/

    www.flickr.com/photos/79122810@N00/sets/72157603173073935/

    If we get to the point where bikes & rapid transit are more practical than cars, easy folding would become very important. I would not hesitate to get my wife a tikit to go along with my Dahon S1. Might even consider one for me too.......lol
    Last edited by Foldable Two; 11-27-07 at 09:37 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    My last burning question is: Is there any way to make the tikit stand upright on it's own? I know the rear wheel has that resting brace, but it's for laying the bike down.
    The bike stands up on it's own when folded:


    It balances on the rear fender, a small post behind the crank, and the front wheel.

    alex

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by awetmore View Post
    The bike stands up on it's own when folded:


    It balances on the rear fender, a small post behind the crank, and the front wheel.

    alex
    Thanks for the reply Alex. However, when I said "stand up" I meant completely upright...with the longest dimension vertically oriented as if you were pushing it by the handle.

    For my uses, footprint is everything with a folding bike. Laying the bike down like that requires twice as much floor space, making it extremely inconvenient to let go of the bike (for example, to hold merchandise and retrieve wallet at a crowded cash register).

    If it were acceptable to take up that much floor space then Dahon-style bike should fit almost as well, roll almost as well, and fold almost as quickly with its handlebars rotated sideways and it's frame folded in half (seat and handlebars remaining upright).
    Last edited by makeinu; 11-27-07 at 08:01 PM.

  11. #11
    Brompton M3L, Strida 5.0
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    Alex,
    Just thanks again for adding all that you know about the tikit. The additional comments on the flex, and your noting the small detail about the latch now being metal (I had wondered about that, seeing your picture from the Oregon gathering) makes me more interested.

    For me, the ability to roll while folded is killer, combined with a (in my subjective opinion) better ride than the Brompton and the more custom sizing. I'm saving up and will probably pull the trigger on a tikit later this winter. The company's satisfaction policy doesn't hurt...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by awetmore View Post
    The bike stands up on it's own when folded:


    It balances on the rear fender, a small post behind the crank, and the front wheel.

    alex
    Is there any way to make it stand like the follow picture without jamming it between bus seats?

  13. #13
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    Not with the stock bike. My bike will probably stand that way on it's front rack, but I've never tried.

  14. #14
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    I put the replacement stem hinge on my blue Tikit yesterday. The new hinge made a big difference and I really like how the new tension cable works too.

    Here are the changes that I observed:
    * The plate for the stem hinge is thicker. This prevents it from warping when welded.
    * The plate is wider
    * The clamp (pac-man) is much larger
    * The tension cable that holds the stem in place is now a large (~4mm) aircraft cable instead of using two brake cables. It is tensioned using a pair of nuts instead of a barrel adjuster. Overall this is really an improved setup.

    I think the wider and thicker plate makes the biggest difference.

    alex

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