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  1. #26
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    What about a Montague?

    Read this on their blog the other day: http://www.montagueco.com/blog/2009/...-folding-bike/

    You can pretty much customize them as you see fit. They may not fold the smallest but it's small enough to get onto trains and into hotel rooms. They can take pretty much any tire you want too.

  2. #27
    Senior Member gregstandt's Avatar
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    Bike Friday Pocket Llama. It folds, but to pack it for transport really takes about an hour.




    Relax, it's a bike ride.

  3. #28
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilovebicycling View Post
    I consider the non Tikit BF's as small bikes that separate at certain points in the frame. A folding bike needs to fold/unfold with ease such as with the Dahons, Brompton, Tikit, etc.
    I own a BF Tikit, a BF NWT and a Dahon D7. All of them are folding bikes since they all fold up. The Tikit is the easiest by far, the D7 next and the NWT last.

    The NWT is the one that provides the highest quality ride and would be the one I would tour on.

    Although they are all folding bikes I'd classify the Tikit and D7 as commuter bikes and the NWT as a travel/touring bike.
    safe riding - Vik
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  4. #29
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    What Vik said!

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    fmattheus, Dahon Mu has 103cm wheelbase which is quite long.
    Not so long for a touring bike, though.

    Two examples Trek 520 have a wheel base ranging from 104.1 - 107.4
    and Surly Long Haul Trucker have a wheel base ranging from 103.6 - 108.5

    The Bike Friday, NWT, however has a range of 96 - 106 for their size small to large bikes, and since they also make custom, can go up from there.

    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    You can easily put an ahead stem on the telescoping part of Dahon handlepost (with an 1-1/8" to 1" reducer).
    Excellent, thanks for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    Generally, to mount a dual chainring you'll need to find a front dereilleur to fit the bigger seatpost diameter.
    I'm guessing that's not such a standard part. Something, I like to try to avoid in my touring bike.


    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    Regarding heel strike you have two options. Either use the low rack and pack things on top. Or use a higher touring rack (slightly bigger package when folded) with standard geometry. There are also front racks for side panniers available.
    All of the racks mentioned on http://www.gaerlan.com/dahon/rack.htm are still only for smaller panniers. Are there any racks that will fit a Dahon, which can hold standard rear panniers? Whether the rack fits on the front or the back is irrelevant to me, I tend to carry rear Ortlieb panniers on the front of my NWT.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    ...and my Helios P8 folds in 35 seconds minimum...
    I do fold my Dahon Mu regularly, multiple times a day, a full fold takes me ~7 sec. And can do it while walking (inspired by some Tikit fast folding videos). The Tikit might be even a tad faster.

    All of the racks mentioned on http://www.gaerlan.com/dahon/rack.htm are still only for smaller panniers.
    I think the standard rack, without side panniers but with stuff packed on top and strapped to the seatpost is the better solution.

    The NWT is the one that provides the highest quality ride and would be the one I would tour on.
    You can't compare a D7 to a NWT. It's not in the same price range. Compare it to a Speed TR. Or a Mu P24, or even a Mu EX (with BA tires) or a Jetstream XP.

  7. #32
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    I'm with pibach. I have Dahon Helios singlespeed. No way it takes me 35 seconds to fold it. I'd put it generously at less than 10 seconds to fold. You can even see pics of my fold here: Dahon Helios with short bullhorns

  8. #33
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    I do fold my Dahon Mu regularly, multiple times a day, a full fold takes me ~7 sec. And can do it while walking (inspired by some Tikit fast folding videos). The Tikit might be even a tad faster.
    My biggest issue with the Dahon fold is having to adjust the cockpit every time to get the saddle height/angle right as well as the bar height/angle and rotation. At least this is the case with the D7. It's not so bad with the fold as you don't have to be precise, but when unfolding the bike you either take the time to set it up right or the cockpit is wonky.

    I had a Mu P8 test bike from my LBS and the fold was no better.

    With the Tikit the cockpit is exactly the same each time without any thinking about it.

    Having ridden with quite a few Dahon owners now I have never seen a Dahon folded/unfolded in half the time it takes for my Tikit.

    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    You can't compare a D7 to a NWT. It's not in the same price range. Compare it to a Speed TR. Or a Mu P24, or even a Mu EX (with BA tires) or a Jetstream XP.
    Of course I can compare them since these are the bikes I own. I never suggested they were equivalent or that there were no other options.

    I test rode a Speed TR and it's the only Dahon I've tried that fit me reasonably well. I don't suit the one size fits all Dahon cockpit particularly well which is a major reason I got a Tikit and a NWT for the size range. The Speed TR seemed like a nice bike in general, but I didn't love some of the component choices and given the cost think a Bike Friday is a better touring option. Particularly now with their lower cost stock bikes providing a cheaper option to a custom Bike Friday, but still offering some sizing options.

    Where I think Dahon has the advantage is at the lower end of the price spectrum. Three of my friends ride Dahon D7's simply because they can be had for under $500 - a lot cheaper than a Tikit. Frankly that's why I got a D7 and it showed me how great folding bikes were leading to my ownership of a Tikit and a NWT.

    However, this thread was about folding touring bikes so I assume we are talking bikes in the $1K+ range.
    Last edited by vik; 05-12-09 at 05:16 PM.
    safe riding - Vik
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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post
    My biggest issue with the Dahon fold is having to adjust the cockpit every time to get the saddle height/angle right as well as the bar height/angle and rotation.
    Yes. But you don't need to do that. There is the "over-the-axle" fold. No need for any adjustments. Works with telescoping handlepost as long as you do not have a rack (with rack you need to position the brake levers precisely). Another option is to get a right folded handlepost (on Speed TR, Mu Sl, Jetstream). Advisable if you want stuff on your bar, e.g., mirrors or computer. This also does not need any adjustments. It is also stiffer. Fold is a bit wider though. But Suitcase fold (taking wheels off) is very neat (fork rotates inside rear). I think a Mu SL has the most compact fold of any 20" folder, smaller than a BF or a Birdy.

    If you don't like the geometry there are many options to change that. E.g., put an ahead stem. A 5 cm stem doesn't comprise the fold. And makes the post&bar stiffer. Gives 68cm bar to seatpost distance, fits me perfectly (I am 6,2" tall). If you need more, you can attach a bullhorn bar, still without compromising the fold.

    Having ridden with quite a few Dahon owners now I have never seen a Dahon folded/unfolded in half the time it takes for my Tikit.
    Half the time or half the speed??
    Actually a Tikit does not fold much faster than a Mu Sl, if any. If I do not detach the pedals I can fold it in 3 sec (if pressed for time). Unfolding takes 4 sec (1 extra sec for adjusting seatpost). But in most cases the quick fold (just fold in half) is good enough, takes ~1 sec.

    Where I think Dahon has the advantage is at the lower end of the price spectrum. Three of my friends ride Dahon D7's simply because they can be had for under $500 - a lot cheaper than a Tikit.
    Check out some of the higher end Dahons. I recommend Mu Sl. Put BA tires on it. Its a perfect all purpose bike. Firstly, I also was skeptical with the folds-in-half approach, but it is fairly robust and provides a lot of advantages. BTW, it is easily wheelable too.

    I never test rode Bike Fridays. But a lot of other folders. The Dahon Mu SL is surely among the best around. Also Mu XL Sport is a very good choice.
    Last edited by pibach; 05-12-09 at 06:15 PM.

  10. #35
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    I never test rode Bike Fridays. But a lot of other folders. The Dahon Mu SL is surely among the best around. Also Mu XL Sport is a very good choice.
    Ultimately I had no idea what I was missing until I actually got my hands on a Tikit and then a NWT. Both exceeded my expectations by a long shot.

    Since Dahons are available in my area I'll keep testing them out for the sake of interest. I'd be happy to have a Dahon rock my world. I'm all for options.
    safe riding - Vik
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  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post
    Ultimately I had no idea what I was missing until I actually got my hands on a Tikit and then a NWT. Both exceeded my expectations by a long shot.
    And I would like to learn more about the BF bikes. Clear advantage seems to be the no hinge in main tube. This should be stiffer. Then I like the titanium detachable handlepost, should give a stiff and light front. Then the rear construction seems to provide certain give, on the Tikit it might be an inch of travel (?). This might be the reason for the more comfortable ride?

    But:
    * No URT design available with 20" wheels, i.e., no clean chainline option.
    * not intended for commuting (probably some little wheel such as on the Bromptons would help?)
    * no option for wide tires, specifically Big Apples, bummer.
    * Hyperfold Tikit frame seems to be quite heavy, probably 1 kg more than a Dahon Mu. Would like to know exact numbers
    * awkward fold of the handlepost on the Tikit, should be improved.
    * overall, the folded size is too big
    * no lightweight an stiff handlepost option here

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post
    Ultimately I had no idea what I was missing until I actually got my hands on a Tikit and then a NWT. Both exceeded my expectations by a long shot.

    Since Dahons are available in my area I'll keep testing them out for the sake of interest. I'd be happy to have a Dahon rock my world. I'm all for options.
    I've ridden, but not owned, all of them and IMHO all Dahon's are not created equal and, as the top of the line model, the Mu SL is underrated and, if it fits, a far better bike than the tikit. On the other hand, even the Mu SL seems to have an achilles heel with maintaining handlepost hinge, but this could be due to ignorance of the users and shops.

    All in all, I'm inclined to trust what Peter says about the Mu because he seems to have more experience with this model than anyone. Thanks for posting, Peter! However, that doesn't necessarily mean it's the absolute best bike for the job either.

    Now I will close my mouth because I don't tour!
    Last edited by itsajustme; 05-12-09 at 09:44 PM.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by puppypilgrim View Post
    I'm with pibach. I have Dahon Helios singlespeed. No way it takes me 35 seconds to fold it. I'd put it generously at less than 10 seconds to fold. You can even see pics of my fold here: Dahon Helios with short bullhorns
    (sigh)

    I think it is disingenuous to resort to such folds in order to make this claim. I also notice the magnets are missing. I have owned three Helios P8s. I presently still own two. I think I have a fair degree of experience folding them. I have friends with other P8 models. And I also think people who claim fast fold times for the bikes are not being honest. Here's the fold I do, and in fact the fold that everyone I personally know who has a P8 does:

    Adjust pedals into position. Open handlebar quick-release. Rotate handlebars so the brake levers point up. Close handlebar quick-release. Open handlebar stem adjustment quick-release. Change stem height to be compatible with wheel axle magnets when folded. Close handlebar stem adjustment quick-release. Release handlebar stem safety. Open handlebar stem latch. Fold handlebar stem. Rotate seatmast reflector 180 degrees. Release seatmast quick-release. Rotate seatmast 180 degrees. Push seatmast down. Close seatmast quick-release. Release body latch safety. Open body latch. Fold bike in half. Clear wires out of the way of magnets. Engage wheel axle magnets. Fold both pedals.

    Well over 30 seconds easy. And I'm considered "fast". My friends generally fold theirs rather slower than this. Some notes:

    1. At my height, the handlebar stem must be adjusted so the handlebars clear the magnets. Actually, all of my friends have the same issue. Handlebar adjustment takes the longest time.

    2. On all *three* of my Helii, the cables have to be cleared out of the way of the magnets every time.

    3. To pick up the Helios easily by the seat (IMHO by far the most convenient way to carry it), realistically, it needs to be rotated 180 in place, and likewise the reflector (because of the cage). This is hardly the slow part of the fold tho.

    4. Unfolding is somewhat slower than folding, because you have to adjust things to get them back right again.

    Contrast this to my tikit hyperfold:

    Adjust pedals into position. Slap the seat. Swing back half of bike under front half. Fold down seatmast. Fold down handlebar stem. Fold left pedal.

    5 seconds without thinking, and unlike the Dahons, it unfolds faster than it folds.

    Here's two of my Helii as proof of ownership. They're in front of a shop in Lucca, Italy. I think they're perfect bikes for my purposes. But fast folders they're not.

    bikes.jpg

    BTW This video shows a tikit vs. Mu P8 vs brompton in unfolding. The P8's being undone without adjusting the stem (lucky guy), sizing the seat height, doing the pedals, or rotating the seat. Basically a quick and dirty example. And it still takes a good 12 seconds at least. The Tikit's unfolded poorly and it's 5 secs.
    Last edited by feijai; 05-13-09 at 12:03 AM.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    Then the rear construction seems to provide certain give, on the Tikit it might be an inch of travel (?).
    Nope.

    * no option for wide tires, specifically Big Apples, bummer.
    I can't think of any reason why various 20" BFs can't be fitted with Big Apples, except maybe the Pocket Rocket? The Tikit's widest tires are about 40mm (Comet, Scorcher), which is still pretty wide, but no Big Apple there, even if they were made in 349.

    * Hyperfold Tikit frame seems to be quite heavy, probably 1 kg more than a Dahon Mu. Would like to know exact numbers
    Here's the outer limit: a size-Large Tikit (the biggest and heaviest) decked out with a front and rear rack, transit cover, fenders, kickstand, is 26.5 pounds with saddle and pedals. A size-Small Tikit is about 24 pounds. A Helios is 23.5 pounds. A Mu P8 is 24.5 pounds. A Mu SL is 19.5 pounds. (Some Tikits are 17 pounds, their lower limit.)

    * awkward fold of the handlepost on the Tikit, should be improved.
    Doesn't seem that awkward to me.

    * no lightweight an stiff handlepost option here
    On the Tikit, sure. On (say) the Pocket Rocket the stem is very stiff and lightweight.
    Last edited by feijai; 05-13-09 at 12:12 AM.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    Nope.
    Looking at the Tikit's rear construction there must be some suspension effect. Might not be a full inch but certainly some mm (seat comes closer to rear axle under pressure). Give it a thorough test.

    I can't think of any reason why various 20" BFs can't be fitted with Big Apples, except maybe the Pocket Rocket? The Tikit's widest tires are about 40mm (Comet, Scorcher).
    BA 2.0" is 1,8" (=45mm) wide (narrower than its specification, yes) but still too much for BFs, even the Pocket Llama (according to their spec). I suppose it is because of the asymmetric rear under fold, sideways to the main tube. A wider tire might conflict then with the main tube.

    Here's the outer limit: a size-Large Tikit (the biggest and heaviest) decked out with a front and rear rack, transit cover, fenders, kickstand, is 26.5 pounds with saddle and pedals. A size-Small Tikit is about 24 pounds. A Helios is 23.5 pounds. A Mu P8 is 24.5 pounds. A Mu SL is 19.5 pounds. (Some Tikits are 17 pounds, their lower limit.)
    It is difficult to calculate the frame weight backwards from these numbers. What I am looking for is a superlight fixed gear folder, below 8kg. Considered the Tikit, but it seems much too heavy. Probably the URT design takes its toll, as all force go into the hinge which has to be built rather strong? Or is it the hyperfold? Or the fork & handlepost?

    Anyway, for loaded touring the frame weight doesn't matter much.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    Open handlebar quick-release. Rotate handlebars so the brake levers point up. Close handlebar quick-release. Open handlebar stem adjustment quick-release. Change stem height to be compatible with wheel axle magnets when folded. Close handlebar stem adjustment quick-release. Release handlebar stem safety. Rotate seatmast reflector 180 degrees. Rotate seatmast 180 degrees. Clear wires out of the way of magnets.
    I don't do any of these, as explained. Not needed.

    Here's two of my Helii as proof of ownership. They're in front of a shop in Lucca, Italy. I think they're perfect bikes for my purposes. But fast folders they're not.
    Might be because you have the handlepost at axle hight? Do it an inch lower (or higher), and you'll get the benefit of the over-the-axle fold (under-the-axle works even better but is just too high then). Plus shorten the wires and in case use a cable strap to get them out of the way. BTW, I have my post at downmost position (as Dahon's geometry is rather upright). This provides best stiffness and control. And also works best for the 1 sec quick '180-backwards-fold-in-half' (see pic attached).

    And here is a video of folding the Mu SL (~6 sec in this case).

    You can also go for a custom adjustable ahead. See this video.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by pibach; 05-13-09 at 03:05 AM.

  17. #42
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    Might be because you have the handlepost at axle hight? Do it an inch lower (or higher), and you'll get the benefit of the over-the-axle fold (under-the-axle works even better but is just too high then).
    Sure it is. The handlepost takes about half the time. But I am already compromised by the short top tube of most Dahons. You're asking that I and others make the bike fit us even less just to fold it faster? [The Tikit has no such requirements.]

    BTW, it's a lot more than an inch: the P8s must rotate their handlebars and the break levers have to clear as well: my wife is much shorter than me and also doesn't clear the magnets.


    And here is a video of folding the Mu SL (~6 sec in this case).
    Well: 8 at least, without pedals or post-unfolding seat adjustment. Still though, the SL is, of course, different from the P8.

    BA 2.0" is 1,8" (=45mm) wide (narrower than its specification, yes) but still too much for BFs, even the Pocket Llama (according to their spec).
    The Llama is designed to accept 54mm *knobbies*. It can handle little Big Apples for sure. The NWT is specced up to 1.75 inches, which I'm guessing is probably fine for BAs. BF also customizes frames.

    It is difficult to calculate the frame weight backwards from these numbers. What I am looking for is a superlight fixed gear folder, below 8kg.
    The tikit can get to 8kg (17.63 pounds) but it ain't cheap. A basic fixed pocket rocket starts at 20 pounds so you can much more easily get to 8k from there.

    Probably the URT design takes its toll, as all force go into the hinge which has to be built rather strong? Or is it the hyperfold? Or the fork & handlepost?
    I'm guessing it's the steel and the folding assembly in general. The hyperfold cable isn't much. The rear triangle is actually mechanically coupled to the rest of the bike at four locations, so it doesn't need to be as beefy as you think.

    Looking at the Tikit's rear construction there must be some suspension effect.
    Oh sure, there's flex in the seatpost under stress of course, given its length, like most folders. But the triangle proper is pretty solid.
    Last edited by feijai; 05-13-09 at 08:12 AM.

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    with modifications, a cheap dahon vitesse or speed can be a touring or even a road bike..i use my heavily modified 08 dahon vitesse for long rides in malaysia..rough and hilly terrians..and also for road rides with full size road bikes..

    dahon offers comfortable riding position, not aero dynamic though..i've tried other folding bikes and dahon turn out to be a good choice..

    a pic of my bike:

  19. #44
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    feijai,

    Regardless of your ownership of Helii (demonstrates good taste by the ), I think you are being pedantic in emphasizing the Helios' tardiness in folding.

    Point being is that your experience may not be the same experience as everyone else's. Our bikes are not setup the same. Users are entitled to know that other Helios owners have shorter fold times. I even posted pics so people could see exactly the fold performed. Disingenuous? I hardly think so.

    Instead of contributing to the shared knowledge of the forum by allowing a range of reported opinions on a subject, why do you feel a need to evangelize your opinion above others? I notice this pattern of yours is repeated in other threads other than this.

    Respect others and you will be respected as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    <<
    I never test rode Bike Fridays.
    >>
    But:
    * No URT design available with 20" wheels, i.e., no clean chainline option.
    * not intended for commuting (probably some little wheel such as on the Bromptons would help?)
    * no option for wide tires, specifically Big Apples, bummer.
    * Hyperfold Tikit frame seems to be quite heavy, probably 1 kg more than a Dahon Mu. Would like to know exact numbers
    * awkward fold of the handlepost on the Tikit, should be improved.
    * overall, the folded size is too big
    * no lightweight an stiff handlepost option here
    pibach, I think it's fine to list the reasons why a bike is less than perfect, but when you say you've never ridden one, I think you're missing the most important factor of all for making a judgement about a bike: that's the ride quality and fun factor.
    Be careful about test riding a BF tho. They're like a drug, once you spend a few hours riding one, there's no turning back. Your interest in lower end folding bikes will probably be in jeopardy.
    Like Vik I don't have anything against Dahon. On the contrary, I think they provide a valuable role in the folding bike market. I'd much rather see someone riding a Dahon than driving a car.

  21. #46
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    Green Gear Cycling - the makers of Bike Fridays - has some very interesting guiding principles: http://bikefriday.com/guidingprinciples

    They are the kind of company worth supporting.

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    People seem to have discounted the Swift quickly, but I'd like to shamelessly plug it a bit here:

    Bike Friday will arguably make better-outfitted bikes, but the Swift folder does just about everything a NWT or similar does for a lot less money-- Xootr sells the mass-produced aluminum model for $700. Peter Reich, the co-inventor, sells the same aluminum frame for around $450 and also does custom builds

    Unlike Dahon and other similar folders, the Swift has no proprietary parts beyond the frame, and seatpost. Standard hubs, headset, fork, handlebars, stem, etc. The folding mechanism is centered around the seatpost and in my (subjective) opinion looks far less likely to fail than the latches used on dahons and others. The swift has clearance for 2" Big Apples, and takes front and rear racks and fenders.

    If you want a steel one, the Center for Appropriate Transport in Eugene, Oregon sells steel swifts that they hand-build. Complete bikes start around $900.

    As I've said, the swift is sort of a "poor man's Bike Friday." Designed for durability and simplicity, rides like a normal bike, easily repairable, lots of provisions for touring. It's just missing some of the finer touches that a hand-build Friday offers.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    But I am already compromised by the short top tube of most Dahons.
    Are you very tall? Above 6,3 ft? Then Dahons do not fit well, that's true.

    Still though, the SL is, of course, different from the P8.
    here it is only the handlepost which you can exchange if you like.

    The Llama is designed to accept 54mm *knobbies*. It can handle little Big Apples for sure.
    Oh, thx, good to know.

    The tikit can get to 8kg (17.63 pounds) but it ain't cheap. A basic fixed pocket rocket starts at 20 pounds so you can much more easily get to 8k from there.
    yes, I would like to know why the Tikit frame is so much heavier that the Pocket Rocket. But only the Tikit has URT and track ends to suit for singlespeed.

    Oh sure, there's flex in the seatpost under stress of course, given its length, like most folders. But the triangle proper is pretty solid.
    Actually I am expecting some extra flex in the lower part of the seatpost when the rear is pressing it and then travels upwards some mm. I think this is why BF has constructed it that way instead of connecting the rear directly to the main tube (as on their other models).

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    Are you very tall?
    5'11"

    I would like to know why the Tikit frame is so much heavier that the Pocket Rocket
    The tikit's frame is elaborate to enable its fast fold; and the stem folds rather than comes out.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by alpacalypse View Post
    the Swift folder does just about everything a NWT or similar does for a lot less money

    -- Xootr sells the mass-produced aluminum model for $700.

    If you want a steel one, the Center for Appropriate Transport in Eugene, Oregon sells steel swifts that they hand-build. Complete bikes start around $900.

    It's just missing some of the finer touches that a hand-build Friday offers.
    Bike Friday Pocket Companion costs $895 and comes in three sizes. The Swift comes in one size fits some.

    So for a steel bike, the Bike Friday costs $5 less.

    The aluminum version is $200 less (a 22% savings), but you're settling for a mass produced aluminum bike which comes in only one size. In my opinion, those extra $200 are well spent.

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