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  1. #1
    Senior Member iamstuffed's Avatar
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    Tikit headset clamp

    Lately, I've had some issues with play in my headset on my Tikit. The first time I tried tightening the headset clamp, the bolt broke and Bike Friday sent me a replacement (M6 30mm long). It ended up being the wrong size bolt, since some of the older Tikit's had an M5, which mine did (M5 20mm long). Luckily Home Depot had the correct size bolt. Now, even after tightening the bolt all the way (the clamp ends are touching), there's still some play. Maybe the shim or whatever under the clamp on mine isn't there, or it broke or was not reinstalled properly whenever the folding stem was upgraded. Has anyone else had or have this issue? Thankfully, Bike Friday is sending me a new headset which I hope fixes my problem.

    Broken bolt:




    My dad's newer Tikit:


    My older Tikit:
    Last edited by iamstuffed; 08-06-08 at 10:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member iamstuffed's Avatar
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    I finally got around to my attempt at "fixing" my Tikit. It took me forever to figure how how to remove the fork, but I did it! One problem that I noticed is the bolt that secures the front fender doesn't actually do anything on mine other than secure the fender. This picture shows what I'm talking about:

    Front fork with bolt tightened:


    The bolt doesn't actually go past the metal of the fork, so what is it supposed to do? There's a Bike Friday video in which they show how to pack a Tikit into a suitcase. They state that this bolt needs to be secured at all times, regardless of whether you have the fender installed or not. This seems to imply it does something. In all likelihood, the bike shop that I purchased this from probably didn't do all the steps required to upgrade the folding stem.

    I have already contacted Bike Friday and I'm sure they'll get back to me, but I thought I'd ask here as well.

    Here are some more pics of my Tikit in surgery!




    Last edited by iamstuffed; 09-03-08 at 07:43 AM. Reason: Fixed links to images

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    20 mg of Vicodin... STAT!!!!

    Some serious surgery you have there. Thanks for showing your progress.

    I'm not sure what the fender bolt could possibly do other than hold the fender. My guess is that they want you keep the bolt in order to keep out water?

    --sam

  4. #4
    Senior Member Silverexpress's Avatar
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    Hello Iamstuffed,

    The fender bolt is used to hold the stem post to the fork post. The hole must be drilled all the way thru and tapped, and you will also need a longer bolt to make this happen.

    I recommend you call or email Tim at Bike Friday and explain to him the situation (he's a real nice guy - doesn't bite and listens very well). The question would be whether you can upgrade the bolt to 6mm, and if so will there be enough material in the fender boss to accomodate a larger hole. Sears.com sells the 6mm Tap and the needed drill bit as a packaged pair for around $6.

    I would not ride the bike without the above setup. Doing so and you run the risk of the front wheel suddenly going out of position or falling off. Currently, all you have is the clamping force of the two 5mm bolts at the rear of the fork.

    Thus, with the correct setup when you tighten the headset clamp you actually tighten against this fender bolt. Without it, the headset will loosen quickly overtime.

    Last but not least, keep in mind, that you must check and triple check the aligment of the handlebars relative to the front wheel (before the fold), and then check the alignment of the front wheel to the rear wheel (after the fold), and in addition check the handlebars resting place relative to the frame (also after the fold)....ad nauseum...BEFORE you drill the hole through the fork post.

    To help confuse you more, when folded the front wheel must be parallel to the rear wheel. However, when sitting on the floor vs when you've got it by the walking handle the angle of the front wheel changes relative to the rear wheel. So the question to Tim...."Do I set the wheels parallel when it's sitting on the floor or when I've got it by handle and am walking with it?". Maybe someone can provide us a pic of both situations.


    Hope this helps. Goodluck.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Silverexpress; 09-03-08 at 08:54 PM.
    Regards,
    Jose

  5. #5
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    I have a related problem, I think. I had much difficulty getting my fold cable (or whatever you call that) upgraded at the LBS. Twice they set up the bike so that the stem hinge was normalized--at 90 degrees. The first time I rode it out, second time I checked first.

    Ever since then, though the headset appears tight, the ride has been significantly less tight-feeling. Very, very annoying. My confidence that anyone in town can actually fix this is pretty low; I hope to send the bike back to BF or get it there on a visit at some point, so they can give it a proper going-over.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Silverexpress's Avatar
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    I did the cable upgrade myself, and will post a pick of my original stem post that shows the hole drilled thru when I get home.
    Regards,
    Jose

  7. #7
    Senior Member iamstuffed's Avatar
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    Here's a link to the file that Tim Link sent me.
    http://www.iamstuffed.com/tikit/steerer.drill.tap.pdf

    They should provide this on their website; I tried searching on their website all last night and couldn't find anything that would help me. Tonight I'm off to Sears and will attempt to fix everything.

    It irritates me that College Park Bicycles didn't do this seemly important step in the upgrade process. Maybe I'll try calling to see if they'll fix it for free, although I'll have more peace of mind if I fix it myself.

  8. #8
    Senior Member iamstuffed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverexpress View Post
    I did the cable upgrade myself, and will post a pick of my original stem post that shows the hole drilled thru when I get home.
    Thanks!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    Sweet. Glad you got the info you needed. I know it's not a brain surgery, but it certainly looks like quite an operation.

    It never hurts to at least let College Park Bicycles know about the problem. Even if they won't do it for you, they might offer something else as consolation. Also... it will let them know in case someone else comes in with the same request.

    --sam

  10. #10
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    Aaaaah.

    Thanks, I will check this out tonight. I'd bet money they missed this (mandatory, apparently!) step.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Silverexpress's Avatar
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    Here is the pics of the lower stem post with the hole as drilled by Bike Friday. My Tikit is a later variant of the '07 models from what I can tell, and it came with a 6mm fender bolt but with the dual brake cable hyperfold setup.

    The newer Stem post assembly is beefier...larger diameter and slightly thicker wall thickness from what I can visually tell - maybe someone can take an actual caliper to do a comparison. I have a medium size build by the way.

    Anyhow here are the pics....

    Oh and by the way, the instructions state that the corner of the hinge should line up with the center of the tire. This is in accordance with the pictures....the corner of the hinge lines up with the fender bolt hole - since it too lines up with the wheel. You can disregard my concerns with the wheel alignment and just go by this as shown by BF in their pdf instructions above.

    Lastly, it took me close to an hour to carefully drill the hole thru that metal using a battery operated variable drill. Tapping is done by hand using the tap wrench. Just an FYI.

    (Off to do some groceries with the Tikit....... )
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Silverexpress; 09-03-08 at 07:15 PM.
    Regards,
    Jose

  12. #12
    Senior Member Silverexpress's Avatar
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    Just a few more pointers so you can get it right the first time....

    1. Align everything in the unfolded state as stated in BF's instructions. Keep headset clamp, and the 5mm fork clamp bolts loose.
    2. Push down on the handlebar assembly to ensure that the bearings are seated. Check, check, and triple check.
    3. Carefully tighten the two 5mm stem clamp bolts at the rear of the fork.
    4. DO NOT TIGHTEN the headset clamp yet.
    5. Carefully do a fold and lay down the handlebars and set the 'pin' into the 'catch' as it was before, and align.
    6. Unfold and check front end alignments.
    7. Satisfied? If not redo steps 1-6.
    8. Drill Hole
    9. Tap
    10. Attach Fender with 6mm x 30mm screw (!?!?!)
    11. Tighten headset clamp, and check everything else.
    11. Ride. Ride. Ride.

    Also, Iamstuffed, is your headset clamp broken as shown in your pictures above? You'll need to replace it to make sure it functions correctly. It has to squeeze against the angled collar, and by doing this it compress the bearings together. Take your dad's Tikit apart for comparison.
    Regards,
    Jose

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverexpress View Post
    Also, Iamstuffed, is your headset clamp broken as shown in your pictures above? You'll need to replace it to make sure it functions correctly. It has to squeeze against the angled collar, and by doing this it compress the bearings together. Take your dad's Tikit apart for comparison.
    Yikes, if this is true then I hope the OP takes his bike back to the LBS for warranty. On principle, I would have never even tried to repair the missing fender bolt on my own. What's the point of spending so much money on a bike and getting it locally if you're just going to solve these defects yourself?

  14. #14
    Senior Member iamstuffed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsajustme View Post
    Yikes, if this is true then I hope the OP takes his bike back to the LBS for warranty. On principle, I would have never even tried to repair the missing bolt on my own. What's the point of spending so much money on a bike and getting it locally if you're just going to solve these problems yourself?
    I like fixing things myself, since I know I'll do everything the best that I can. I only purchased it locally because I was impulsive, it was much cheaper than the list price, and I wanted it that day, not one week in the future, or a month or two for a customized Tikit.

    I don't mind minor issues; I can fix those. I just don't like incompetence. This situation was probably just a slip up, but I'm not going to be shopping from there in the future.

    If I had to do it all over again, I probably would have just purchased a brand new one from Bike Friday and bypassed all the non-sense of the College Park/ Mt. Airy Bicycle shops. I also purchased a brand new one from Mt. Airy, and I had major issues with that store.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Silverexpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsajustme View Post
    Yikes, if this is true then I hope the OP takes his bike back to the LBS for warranty. On principle, I would have never even tried to repair the missing fender bolt on my own. What's the point of spending so much money on a bike and getting it locally if you're just going to solve these defects yourself?
    I would be careful with the use of the word "DEFECT". The use of the fender bolt in this application is NOT a defect in design. I see this as an issue with the LBS being unfamiliar with the technical details of the product, and more than likely it did come with the right bolt, but the summer co-op who did the upgraded found that it didn't fit, and so....... To expect them to know that the fender bolt holds the entire front end together....that's expecting way way to much.
    Last edited by Silverexpress; 09-03-08 at 09:14 PM.
    Regards,
    Jose

  16. #16
    Senior Member iamstuffed's Avatar
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    Success! I couldn't find any metric drill bit sets, so I just used a 13/64" bit and it seemed to work fine. Tapped it with an M6-1.0 and used an M6-1.0 x 25mm bolt. The newer clamp design at first glance seems very similar to the old style, but the newer one has much more room for adjustment (tightening) and the bottom of the shim was extended a bit. I barely had to tighten the clamp to remove what little play I had.

    I'm glad I found this out now rather than later. I have already ridden it 1000 miles or so and didn't have any problems with it until I let my uncle ride it. He wanted to test out my saddle (a Specialized Toupe) and hopped on, ignoring my pleas that he not do so. He weighs 270+ lbs and that easily exceeds the limits of my medium Tikit. I noticed the loose headset almost immediately after his 1 min test ride.

    I'll give it a test ride tomorrow evening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverexpress View Post
    I would be careful with the use of the word "DEFECT". The use of the fender bolt in this application is NOT a defect in design. I see this as an issue with the LBS being unfamiliar with the technical details of the product, and more than likely it did come with the right bolt, but the summer co-op who did the upgraded found that it didn't fit, and so....... To expect them to know that the fender bolt holds the entire front end together....that's expecting way way to much.
    I didn't say it was a defect in the design. It was a defect in the product received by the OP (defect being that it wasn't assembled as designed).

    I don't think it's expecting too much at all to expect the LBS that sold the bike to assemble it properly. That's the problem with most bike shops today. They expect to stay in business without the necessary expertise to perform the services they advertise and coast along on the good feelings of customers having fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by iamstuffed View Post
    Success! I couldn't find any metric drill bit sets, so I just used a 13/64" bit and it seemed to work fine. Tapped it with an M6-1.0 and used an M6-1.0 x 25mm bolt. The newer clamp design at first glance seems very similar to the old style, but the newer one has much more room for adjustment (tightening) and the bottom of the shim was extended a bit. I barely had to tighten the clamp to remove what little play I had.

    I'm glad I found this out now rather than later. I have already ridden it 1000 miles or so and didn't have any problems with it until I let my uncle ride it. He wanted to test out my saddle (a Specialized Toupe) and hopped on, ignoring my pleas that he not do so. He weighs 270+ lbs and that easily exceeds the limits of my medium Tikit. I noticed the loose headset almost immediately after his 1 min test ride.

    I'll give it a test ride tomorrow evening.
    I'm glad your happy.

  18. #18
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    ive got a tikit on order at College park bikes. Is there anything i need to be worried about or need to check over before taking it out of there? im a bike newb, but I dont want a defective tikit on my first run!

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    I'm considering a tikit, but I'm torn between the Impulse fold with the knob and the Hyper fold with the cable. I'm looking for simplicity, and the Hyper fold is simpler on day to day usage, but this thread makes me think that the Impulse fold would be less worry maintaining.

    Any tikit owners with recommendations?

  20. #20
    Senior Member Silverexpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneticFlea View Post
    ive got a tikit on order at College park bikes. Is there anything i need to be worried about or need to check over before taking it out of there? im a bike newb, but I dont want a defective tikit on my first run!
    If it is a custom build coming from Bike Friday and you are just picking it up at College Park, then there is really nothing to check but to make sure that it's adjusted to fit.

    If it is something they are pulling from their storage/backroom and unpackaging for the first time, then you need to check the following....

    1. If it is a hyperfold model, check to make sure it has a single thick Hyperfold cable.
    2. The seat post and stem post catches are metal not plastic. These are mounted on the main frame.
    3. Run your fingers through the spokes and make sure that none are loose
    4. Lift the bike up and freely rotate the wheels to ensure that the hubs are adjusted correctly. The wheels should rotate smoothly. If it feels rough, like it was riding on tiny ridges then the axle nuts are set to tight (loosening the quick release will not fix this).
    5. Apply brakes and make sure they return to a state wherein they don't rub.
    6. Inspect frame, and sub frames for dings, dents, repaints, touchups, and bends.
    7. Take it for a test ride
    8. Fold and Unfold to ensure nothing binds or rubs where its not suppose to.

    Goodluck, and hope you enjoy it!
    Last edited by Silverexpress; 09-05-08 at 04:43 PM.
    Regards,
    Jose

  21. #21
    Senior Member iamstuffed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by castlerevolving View Post
    I'm considering a tikit, but I'm torn between the Impulse fold with the knob and the Hyper fold with the cable. I'm looking for simplicity, and the Hyper fold is simpler on day to day usage, but this thread makes me think that the Impulse fold would be less worry maintaining.

    Any tikit owners with recommendations?
    I have the Hyperfold version. If I had to do it all over, I would just get the cheaper Model T with the Impulse fold. I purchased two Bromptons afterwards (one for me, one for my girlfriend) and actually like the twiddly knobs they have. If the Tikit version is similar to the Brompton knobs, then it'll be idiot proof and I'm sure, less of a hassle to adjust in the future.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by castlerevolving View Post
    I'm considering a tikit, but I'm torn between the Impulse fold with the knob and the Hyper fold with the cable. I'm looking for simplicity, and the Hyper fold is simpler on day to day usage, but this thread makes me think that the Impulse fold would be less worry maintaining.

    Any tikit owners with recommendations?
    I haven't tried the Model-T with the knob, but my hyper-fold Tikit is 9 months old with many folds and is the bike I ride most often. I haven't had to adjust the hyper-fold cable once so far since I got that bike home from Bike Friday. I really like the effortless fold and I'd buy the hyper-fold again if I got another Tikit.

    Owning another folding bike that takes several QRs and adjustments to fold/unfold and a Tikit I appreciate the hyper-fold every time I use it. Last time I checked the hyper-fold cost $150 more than a Model [when you deducted $50 for fenders] at that price I'd go for the hyper-fold every time. It's well worth it.

    If you ever do have to adjust the hyper-fold all you need to do is tighten or loosen a nut putting tension on the cable - very simple. I've inspected my hyper-fold cable several times and even after loads of use it looks brand new.
    safe riding - Vik
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by castlerevolving View Post
    I'm considering a tikit, but I'm torn between the Impulse fold with the knob and the Hyper fold with the cable. I'm looking for simplicity, and the Hyper fold is simpler on day to day usage, but this thread makes me think that the Impulse fold would be less worry maintaining.

    Any tikit owners with recommendations?
    I personally favor the hyperfold. It's more elegant, and of course faster. It's what makes the tikit famous. Without it, we're approaching a Brompton that's not so compact.

    The question mark on the hyperfold is its long-term reliability: we just don't have data on that, though Vik's further out than many. The only issue I've found maintenance-wise is that as the cable stretches initially (like all bike cables) you'll need to tighten it occasionally. For me, occasionally has meant twice in three months I've needed to turn a nut a few half-turns. And the only unfolding gotcha compared to the model-T is that you must remember to straighten the stem fully before extending the bike all the way. Hardly inconvenient.

    Price *is* an issue of course. I think that's what it's really going to come down to.

    To add to silverexpress, here are some things I'd look for:

    1. It's a new model. A few tikits have had cracks on the flat part of the frame near the seatpost. BF has a lifetime warranty on their frames and are very good (and fast) about this; but you should double-check that.

    2. When you unfold the bike, the "paddle" which disengages the lock will pass very close to the chainring. The tolerances are very tight. Verify that it does not rub against the chain.

    3. While you're at the store, purchase: (1) a small tube of bicycle grease. You will need this to occasionally grease the inside of the C-clamp so that it doesn't stick. (2) A 10mm wrench and either a 5.5 mm wrench (better) or a pair of needle-nose pliers (worse) to do the rare cable-tightening. You can get these at Sears if nowhere else. (3) replacement grips. (4) The standard stuff: a lightweight hex-key set, tire irons, and patch kit.

    4. If you buy a hand pump and intend to put it on the water-bottle braze-ons (as opposed to the "cloth handle" braze-ons up front), verify that it will attach to the braze-ons in such a way that it does not interfere with the handle of the bike when folded.

    5. Verify that the seatpost stays tightly in the latch even when you pick the bike up by the seatpost and shake it.
    Last edited by feijai; 09-04-08 at 09:59 PM.

  24. #24
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    Ok So i Got my new bike today and after a day of riding heres what i noticed:

    - are you sure its supposed to have one large cable and not two smaller? I ordered a brand new stock tikit from Bike friday and College park bikes assembled it and it has the two smaller cables.

    - It didnt do this the first few times i folded it, but now when i pop the seat out and fold under the back wheel, the front stem does not loosen, and the headset clamp stays tightly on. IF i reach down and pull it a bit it loosens, but it doesnt do it automatically

    - My seat doesnt stay securely in. It stays in and clicks, but if i pick it up and shake it or even pick it up fast the seat releases.

    -When i pull alot on the stem it creaks or clicks a bit. Mainly happens when im starting up hill and trying to build up momentum. is this natural or is this something to do with the smaller cables or something not adjusted right?

    -is it possible i got a 2007 tikit instead of an 08? I only ordered it 3 weeks ago, but they shipped it from bike friday, so i assumed it would be the latest model. Any other way to tell?

    Im guessing i should just take this bike back up to the shop and let them play with these things, but im afriad theyll take it away from me and I wont be able to enjoy my precioussssss...err i mean my new tikit



    despite the above it handles great and chews up the few hills i have to deal with. the gears may be a little low for me, but ill give it a few weeks to decide if i really want to go through with the hassle of upgrading to higher gearing.
    Last edited by GeneticFlea; 09-09-08 at 12:13 PM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member iamstuffed's Avatar
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    The bike should have a cable that looks like the one in this picture:


    The handlebar is also a (separable?) black one, which was not the case with the older one I have (it was silver). My dad's new Tikit's handlebar is pictured below:


    It's a single cable. If you have any doubts, look for the serial number on the bike if you can find it, and call Bike Friday. I know the store in College Park had at least one more blue Tikit that was an older model. Make sure they didn't "accidentally" sell you that one instead. You can also check if you have a slot versus a hole in the latch that locks the bike when folded. It's the black piece that extends from the bottom bracket shell. The newer style has just a hole, the older style had a slot.

    Just post a pic of the cables and people can tell from the pic.

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