Hmm... this is a worrysome thread to hear. I just ordered the Tikit. I am going to pick one up in a NYC bikestore next week when I go there on vacation. I hope their hype lives up to the fold! I have been leaning towards a Brompton for a long time, but I figured that I would be the only one in France commuting with a Bike Friday and what the heck, I'm an ex-pat, I have to pull for the team once in a while.
I did take a Brompton 2 speed titanium lightweight out for a ride immediately after the Birdy Speed so I was able to do a back to back comparison.
The Brompton was much better than I was expecting but the Birdy is in a different league, being much more comfortable (for me), stiffer frame, far more stable and fast. I also particularly dislike the Sturmey Archer gear levers… last time I rode a bike with those was 1979 and it was my Grandfathers old Rudge.
I bought my existing 20” wheeled folder last November and it has 6 gears with twist grip change. At first I would struggle in 2nd or 3rd gear up the hill to work, whereas now my fitness level has improved so I’m now going up in 5th or 6th gear. On the flat I’m constantly finding that I want more gears. Going down hill from work to the railway station I’m peddling furiously in 6th just to keep ahead of city traffic.
On the test ride with the Birdy I was able to try all the 9 gear ratios and get a feel of the bikes stability (which was good) coming back down the hill at speed…… I just would not feel as safe doing that on a Brompton.