First real ride on the Tikit
My wife and I finally took our Tikits out for a ride today, here's what we thought...
This was a perfect Tikit ride because it involved a bit of a commute, some errand running, and then some tooling around town just to put in some miles. I took my normal commute to work to put in a couple of hours. I pushed hard getting there.
One definite plus for the Tikit is that it comes in three different sizes. I'm 6'3" with a 36" inseam, so a lot of one size fits all folders are too small for me. I can get a very comfortable riding position on the large Tikit without pushing any adjustment to the limits. I have the handle bars set to the same height as the saddle.
The gears on the Tikit cover a good range. There's an annoying hill that I have to go up on the way in. Short and steep. I usually just put the bike in the lowest possible gear and spin up. The low on the Tikit is a little higher than the low on my commuter, so I went up faster, but was a bit winded at the top. On gradual down hills I was in the top gear and moving pretty fast.
The Tikit, like the Pocket Rocket and the New World Tourist, has a stalky seat post and handle bar post. When you push hard, and fast you feel a little bit of front to back bounce. This feels more pronounced on the Tikit than on the NWT. If you are careful, you can control it, but it's limiting on the Tikit when you try to go fast.
There's a short cut that I take that involves leaving the pavement and heading across some rolling grass. I decided to try it out on the Tikit, and rode it without difficulty. The Tikit handles fairly well. With both hands on the handle bars it feels solid, but if I take one hand off the handlebars it feels a little squirrelly.
After putting in some time at work it was time to meet up with my wife and do an around-town ride. We agreed to meet at a local drug store where we had to pick up a prescription for the cat. When I got to the drug store, I just folded up the bike and walked inside. A little girl by the entrance turned to her mother and said "See Mommy, everybody has bicycles today." Ah! I knew my wife was already there. We got some strange looks in the store, but no complaints from any of the staff. We were out and on the road in a few minutes.
Our plan for the rest of the ride was to just ride through quiet neighborhoods and get a feel for the bikes. When just casually riding you don't get the bounciness that you feel when pushing hard. Our ride through town was relaxing and uneventful, with the bikes feeling quite comfortable.
It is pothole season here now. We had to be very careful to avoid the many yawning potholes that have opened over the winter. There were quite a few that would have swallowed the 16 inch wheels whole. We avoided the worst streets.
pros: Ability to get a good fit, good but not great handling, quick fold, reasonable gear range (if you aren't a sissy like me.) comfortable for casual riding.
cons: bounce when spinning fast and hard.
I'm planning to ride a century in May. I was tinkering with the idea of riding the Tikit. Why? Well, just because. I'm shying away from that now. Pushing to get done in a reasonable time would not be that comfortable, and riding at a speed that it would be comfortable might take forever.