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  1. #1
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    The Tikit vs Brompton debate

    It seems to me that we get a lot of questions and debate about which is the better bike - The Brompton or the Tikit. Both are 16" (349) size wheels, high quality bikes, in the same price range. Each bike evokes great passion and loyalty from their customers, who appear to come from different demographics and cultures.



    Since I own one of each, I thought it would be fun to start a thread to debate this, which can serve as a reference point for future bike purchase decisions.



    Now, let the debate begin! Which is the better bike, and why?
    Last edited by SesameCrunch; 11-11-09 at 11:01 AM. Reason: removed comparison table

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    Why did you choose the m_type instead of s-type?The s- type has 26.5 top tube length.Just saying,not looking for fight this early on/

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    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    OK, I'll start. No need to debate that the Brompton is the gold standard in folded size, and the Tikit has the fastest fold. So much for the easy stuff.

    Ride quality:
    - Both bikes ride very well. The Tikit has a stem, which allows for a longer reach. It has an adjustable handlebar post, which the Brompton does not. So, I can get into more aggressive riding positions on the Tikit for "sportier" rides. The Brompton offers a single, more upright sitting position.
    - The Brompton handling has always felt "twitchy" to me. Therefore, I was surprised, when I measured a slightly larger trail on the Brompton. I guess the difference is caused by the stem on the Tikit, which results in a more moderated feeling when you turn the handlebars.
    - Advantage - Tikit, IMHO.

    Gearing:
    - I think the Tikit wins this category as well. Its 8 speeds (on the standard model) are the typical external derailleur variety - they shift easily with the grip shifter. The Brompton has 6 speeds made up of 3 speeds in the internal hub, and an innovative 2 speed derailleur in the rear. However, due to the gearing, you end up having to engage both the right and left side to shift up or down the gears progressively. Fine if you're commuting, but a pain if you're trying to go fast.
    - Advantage - Tikit, IMHO

    Rollability:
    - The Brompton offers small wheels on the rear triangle that allows you to roll the bike when folded, using the seat to push. However, these wheels are about 6 inches apart and aren't all that stable.
    - The Tikit rolls very nicely on its front wheel when folded. There is a handle built in for you to hold the bike and roll. Very smooth.
    - Advantage - Tikit, IMHO

    Braking:
    - The Tikit has V brakes with 3" pads which offer very nice braking power. The Brompton uses caliper style brakes with 2" pads. They work, but the Tikit's offer better stopping power and confidence.
    - Advantage - Tikit, IMHO

    Commuting:
    - There is no bike in my stable that I would rather take than the Brompton when I have to go on a bus or train. Period. Full Stop. End of discussion. It's small folded size, coupled with a nice, efficient ride make this the King of Commuting.

    Long distance riding:
    I feel very comfortable on the Tikit for long distance rides. Longest I've done is 54 miles with over 3,500 ft of climbing. Especially now that I have my Tikit fitted with the Schlumpf Speed Drive, I feel confident taking it for looooong rides. I'm planning to do a 5 day, 400 mile organized ride next year, and am thinking of taking the Tikit instead of my full size bike. Just want to be different, ya know.

    Despite giving the Tikit more advantage points, I love both bikes and admire their engineering. They're both designed well for their purposes. Which is better? Well, it depends on your intended use of the bike, doesn't it?
    Last edited by SesameCrunch; 11-10-09 at 07:12 PM.

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    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddez View Post
    Why did you choose the m_type instead of s-type?The s- type has 26.5 top tube length.Just saying,not looking for fight this early on/
    Sorry, that's the model I have.

  5. #5
    jur
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    The crank-to-ground clearance, in my bikes that is typically 11-12". I feel sorry for the 2" that your bikes have.

    On the Brommie, that figure will have to be taken while seated as the rear suspension will have an effect. Please post pics of you taking the measurement while seated.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

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    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    The crank-to-ground clearance, in my bikes that is typically 11-12". I feel sorry for the 2" that your bikes have.
    .
    Sorry, fixed the table. They're both 11".

    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Please post pics of you taking the measurement while seated.
    Yeah, you show me how you do this first!
    Last edited by SesameCrunch; 11-10-09 at 09:00 PM.

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    Please add the size of your tikit. Likewise, do you have an extended/normal seatpost on the Brompton?

    I am surprised to see the Tikit weight 28#. Their website states 21.5# (w/out pedals/saddles) + Brooks 1.5# + additional 1.5# for pedals + the bottlecage? What else do you have on the bike?

    Would you also mention speed of the ride? When you need to be somewhere in 15 minutes not 20 or when you're feeling a little tired and want a little easier ride to the pub, which bike do you take out?
    I assume the Tikit would win although if the Brompton is a little lighter, and you had S-Bars, perhaps...

    Also Air Travel; if you're going away for a week's vacation, which bike do you take?

    Errands; if you have to drop in and buy some eggs/butter, do you have any preference?

    Bad weather (rainy/cold etc)

    Bad roads any preference?

    Yes, I'm nitpicking, but since you've got both bikes, let's hear it!

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    SC - thanks for sharing your comparison. There is just one area that I would take issue with. I notice your Brompton does not have a rear rack. With the rear rack and eazy wheels I find my Brompton to be superb in the Rollability category - to me a very important category. I have found that I can even roll it with just the seat post up, using the seat as a very convenient handle (I rotate the seat so it faces backwards making it especially handy, although it's not necessary), even though by keeping the seat post up the bike is technically not "locked" (The only time it ever started unfolding on me was when I lifted it down a step rather carelessly - generally if I was carrying the bike up a flight of stairs I'd have it either fully folded or fully unfolded.). In addition, the Brompton's bag can remain attached when rolling it and is very well centered on the bike (I myself don't have a Brompton bag, I have a backpack that attaches to the seat post. It also works beautifully when rolling). I looked into buying a Tikit because of the Brompton's limited gearing which I find to be a major drawback (I have the max. 6 gears - not enough!), but one of the things that immediately turned me off the Tikit was the awkwardness of rolling it. I found it terribly taxing on my wrist to keep the Tikit balanced while rolling it just a short distance and I couldn't imagine having to roll it much further. Even without the rack and eazy wheels, which is how I originally purchased my Brompton, I don't remember it being anywhere near as unwieldy as the Tikit felt to me.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    Jerry,
    I felt a bit the same when I first got my Tikit, but after a week or two of regular commuting, that feeling went away. You do eventually figure out how to balance it without taxing your wrists.

    I even got to the point where I could do my grocery shopping with it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    SC.. any chance you can give us the actual size of each folded bike? We all know the Brommie is the smallest, but it would be good to see the actual numbers included in the comparison.

    Personally, I think both bikes are great. I certainly wouldn't throw a Brommie out of the stable for eating soda crackers.

  11. #11
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    See for yourselves. Sometimes one needs a visual aid guide for the proper feedback. The question that is the most critical one is....what are you going to use it for or your prefered riding style as there is no one "perfect" bike for every situation. I have found the "perfect" bike for me. It just happens to fold so compactly. I have been happy with it for almost 4 years now.

    I don't necessary agree with the chart. I have found my little Brompton to fit me the best as well as ride just as well on paved roads as other "regular" bikes I had owned in the past (Generally road & older English 3 speeds). I ride it as far as the other ones-beside being able to transport it to places where I never able to take my other bikes like to the beach which is 20-30 miles from my residence.
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 11-11-09 at 12:18 AM.

  12. #12
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    As a long-time Brompton rider I was so struck by this video showing the Tikit being packed to go in a suitcase.

    For me, this illustrates an important difference, so sorry Folder Fanatic, I'm going to disagree on the ease of getting the Bike Friday into a suitcase.

    As has been previously mentioned the rolling ability of the Brompton is enhanced when it has the rack & wheels fitted (this also pushes up the weight... obviously)

    Thank you for starting this thread SC, we've needed to put some numbers to this for a while. Another good criteria to compare the 2 brands would be on costs initial/ongoing & support from dealers/distributors.

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    First the non-controversial stuff
    Whoa, whoa, looks like some seriously controversial stuff. :-)

    • What size Tikit do you have?
    • The weight seems odd: maybe because of your Schlumpf? Another data point: decked out with fenders, rear rack, lights, Greenspeed Scorchers, a kickstand, a standard saddle, and a cover bag, my tikit comes to a bit over 28 pounds. It's a size Medium with certain size Large elements, so it's about 25 pounds without the crap.
    • The trail for a *typical* bike is about 2 to 2.5 inches. The Brompton's trail is, according to CyclingPlus, 24mm (0.945 inches). On Yak, measurements of the Tikit have come to about 35mm (1.378 inches).
    • I don't know what the official procedure is for measure effective top tube lengths. Claims about the S-type, for example, having a longer effective top tube than other Bromptons seem to me to be based, in part, on the diagonal measurement due to the low stance of the handlebars, which may not be an appropriate comparison. At any rate, even the S-type felt stunted to me compared to a medium Tikit. My experience suggested that most Bromptons were about the same size as a size-small Tikit. As the Tikit can have its stem modified to any length you want, and comes in different effective top tube sizes, this is gonna be a hard comparison to nail down perfectly.


    What is your opinion on?

    • The Tikit's standard part usage vs. the Brompton's proprietary ones.
    • The Tikit's crummy fenders compared to the Brompton's pretty ones. Can the Tikit take the Brompton's fenders?
    • The Tikit's customization options compared to the Brompton.
    • The Brompton's easier packability.
    • Covers.
    • Can the Brompton take the 40mm Greenspeed Scorchers?


    My extended stay here in Rome has reminded me -- hoo boy -- of how nice it is to have standard parts on a folding bike. The cobblestones cause all sorts of normal bike things to wear at a faster rate, and I've done various cheap repairs and replacements on the bike. Certain of these parts were custom on the Brompton; I don't know what I'd do if I were in that situation. I commute every day on the bike. No one in Rome sells Bike Fridays or Bromptons, and in fact I believe I'm the only person in Rome with a Tikit. I'm on my own.

    BTW: several dealers sell Dahon but, get this, if a Dahon custom part breaks, the Dealers aren't permitted to repair it; in fact they can't even get parts from the company. Instead they are required to ship the bike back to Dahon. I have a Dahon in Italy with a missing piece, and will get one from Thor when I go back to the US in a few months. Bring it with me next time I return to Italy.
    Last edited by feijai; 11-11-09 at 08:34 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ATXrds View Post
    I am surprised to see the Tikit weight 28#. Their website states 21.5# (w/out pedals/saddles) + Brooks 1.5# + additional 1.5# for pedals + the bottlecage? What else do you have on the bike?
    Showercap, easily a good pound or more. Also, a freakin' Schlumpf SpeedDrive, about 1.5 pounds.

    A standard Tikit is 24.5 pounds for Small and Medium, 25.5 pounds for Large (with pedals and saddle)
    Last edited by feijai; 11-11-09 at 02:42 AM.

  15. #15
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    Whoa, whoa, looks like some seriously controversial stuff. :-)

    [LIST][*]What size Tikit do you have?[*]The weight seems odd: maybe because of your Schlumpf? Another data point: decked out with fenders, rear rack, lights, Greenspeed Scorchers, a kickstand, a standard saddle, and a cover bag, my tikit comes to a bit over 28 pounds. It's a size Medium with certain size Large elements, so it's about 25 pounds without the crap.[*]The trail for a *typical* bike is about 2 to 2.5 inches. The Brompton's trail is, according to CyclingPlus, 24mm (0.945 inches). On Yak, measurements of the Tikit have come to about 35mm (1.378 inches).
    - Medium size Tikit.
    - Schlumpf. Yeah, guilty. Perhaps someone can measure a non-contaminated Medium Tikit and let me know the weight. I'll update the chart.
    - On the trail. Hmmmmm. There is some "eyeballing" that comes with projecting the angle of the front axis. Perhaps someone else can take measurement and let me know the results for comparison.

    You're right, even the objective measurements are controversial. I may be sorry I started this discussion.

    I'll compare the Tikit's fenders vs the Brompton's. Will let you know.

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    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Since nobody mentioned it...
    Judging from the pictures above, in the folded state, the Brompton is more aesthetic (the Tikit fold seems kind of messy) and in the riding state (which is more important for me), the Tikit is more aesthetic (straight lines and more aggressive frame/stem/handlebar look).

    kam

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    Quote Originally Posted by kamtsa View Post
    Judging from the pictures above, in the folded state, the Brompton is more aesthetic (the Tikit fold seems kind of messy) and in the riding state (which is more important for me), the Tikit is more aesthetic (straight lines and more aggressive frame/stem/handlebar look).
    Dunno. I love the tikit, but side-by-side with the Brompton, even when unfolded, I think the tikit's more engineered than designed. (Lee Lloyd did a wonderful analysis of this).
    Last edited by feijai; 11-11-09 at 08:40 AM.

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    SC: some comments:

    - I think a warranty row needs to be added : 5 years brompton, lifetime tikit
    - time to get into normal (ailine free) suitcase for two: < 30 seconds Brompton, some 5 minutes for tikit (from youtube video)
    - row for availability of replacement parts : Brompton (widespread) : Tikit - from Oregon USA
    - row for product availability in marketplace : Brompton 15 years? Tikit : 3 (implying tested-ness of design)
    - row for maximum seatpost extended area : both are good here, with L size tikit very good also, just to show that they both can accomodate large riders - this is NOT true for many other folding bikes; maybe minimum size leg extension too

    The photo you took is misleading - it should be taken directly from above the two to show the difference of the depth from the angle you've taken. The diagonal perspective makes the two appear similar, and this is the largest different in the folded dimensions.

    Gearing : this is again a poor choice from Brompton to not have had an alternative use of the 8 speed for those wanting the "vast inefficiency" in trade for the gearing upgrade. Tikit as you mention wins.

    ps - I think if these rows are well defined, this could be a great place to put many more columsn with other bikes to help others make good decisions, if entries are well entered, then sorting could allow for numerical comparisons too.
    Last edited by JimBeans83; 11-11-09 at 10:08 AM.

  19. #19
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimBeans83 View Post
    SC: some comments:

    - I think a warranty row needs to be added : 5 years brompton, lifetime tikit
    - time to get into normal (ailine free) suitcase for two: < 30 seconds Brompton, some 5 minutes for tikit (from youtube video)
    - row for availability of replacement parts : Brompton (widespread) : Tikit - from Oregon USA
    - row for product availability in marketplace : Brompton 15 years? Tikit : 3 (implying tested-ness of design)
    - row for maximum seatpost extended area : both are good here, with L size tikit very good also, just to show that they both can accomodate large riders - this is NOT true for many other folding bikes; maybe minimum size leg extension too

    The photo you took is misleading - it should be taken directly from above the two to show the difference of the depth from the angle you've taken. The diagonal perspective makes the two appear similar, and this is the largest different in the folded dimensions.

    Gearing : this is again a poor choice from Brompton to not have had an alternative use of the 8 speed for those wanting the "vast inefficiency" in trade for the gearing upgrade. Tikit as you mention wins.
    Good points. I'll update the graph.

  20. #20
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimBeans83 View Post
    - row for availability of replacement parts : Brompton (widespread) : Tikit - from Oregon USA
    The replacement parts is a tricky assessment. For instance, if we are talking brakes then one would say ...

    Brompton: from a Brompton online/local dealer
    tikit: from any online/local shop that offers a v-brake

    If you are talking about something specific about the folding mechanism then the tikit would be more isolated.

    Although I should add that Brompton parts/dealers are not so widespread here in the US. Brompton part availability can certainly be different elsewhere in the world.

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    The reason the s-type has longer top tube distance is. The stem is taller than other models which allows for way more bend, which it has in said stem, to stretch things out.I measured my s-type from center of bars to center of seat post at highest extension.If i drop saddle to handle bar height its still over 26"
    Anyhow one cant really make accurate comparisons really,as they each have so many different options.For instance Sesame is using m-type because thats what he has.My bike(s-type) is way lighter(9.2 or 20.5lbs) than the weight he shows as mine has no options or gears.(s/s).Also his tiket is medium,theres 3 sizes in those bikes as well,so it doesnt work out well for comparisons except maybe roughly.
    So lets realize very clearly he is comparing "what he owns",which is fair if we keep that in mind.Otherwise this is going to be a flame war as usual.
    Last edited by ddez; 11-11-09 at 10:42 AM.

  22. #22
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddez View Post
    The reason the s-type has longer top tube distance is. The stem is taller than other models which allows for way more bend, which it has in said stem, to stretch things out.I measured my s-type from center of bars to center of seat post at highest extension.If i drop saddle to handle bar height its still over 26"
    Anyhow one cant really make accurate comparisons really,as they each have so many different options.For instance Sesame is using m-type because thats what he has.My bike(s-type) is way lighter(9.2 or 20.5lbs) than the weight he shows as mine has no options or gears.(s/s).Also his tiket is medium,theres 3 sizes in those bikes as well,so it doesnt work out well for comparisons except maybe roughly.
    So lets realize very clearly he is comparing "what he owns",which is fair if we keep that in mind.Otherwise this is going to be a flame war as usual.
    Yeah, I'm thinking that posting the numbers is a mistake. I may remove it based on the input here.

    Update: Removed the table. Value exceeded by vagaries.

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    I also have a Brompton and a Tikit..I have an old 3 speed M model on to which I have fitted flat mountain bike bars with bar ends..and a 42 teeth front chainwheel..My Tikit is the basic model T..
    I find all the comparisons rather pointless in many ways.Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...If I want to go far and fast I use the Tikit..If I want to go shopping and take my bike in the shops..on the bus..or in the library I take the Brompton..
    Fixing punctures on a Tikit is easy ...a puncture on the rear wheel of a Brompton is a nightmare..
    They are both wonderful bikes..In fact I would go so far to say that if the Brompton had 8 speed derailleur gears it would be perfect..I even think my Tikit is a better bike to ride than my New World Tourist..but..come on..let people decide for themselves..or better still..buy both..

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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    Yeah, I'm thinking that posting the numbers is a mistake. I may remove it based on the input here.

    Update: Removed the table. Value exceeded by vagaries.
    I see what you were trying to do,which would have some value to perhaps new people.But there are way to many variables,and folks get too defensive,then all your trying to do gets forgotten. I like the idea that you can get different sizes in Tikit for instance,i like the idea of different handle bars like Brompton.S-type which arent only lower but further ahead.As far as gears go i would want s/s in either so im biased that way.Actually car manufacturers are good at producing so many models one cant really compare without confusion.I guess there just trying to fit different bums to different seats so to speak lol.And if confusion in comparing, as a side to it happens, im sure there happy with that too.Cheers.

  25. #25
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tudorowen1 View Post
    I also have a Brompton and a Tikit..I have an old 3 speed M model on to which I have fitted flat mountain bike bars with bar ends..and a 42 teeth front chainwheel..My Tikit is the basic model T..
    I find all the comparisons rather pointless in many ways.Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...If I want to go far and fast I use the Tikit..If I want to go shopping and take my bike in the shops..on the bus..or in the library I take the Brompton..
    Fixing punctures on a Tikit is easy ...a puncture on the rear wheel of a Brompton is a nightmare..
    They are both wonderful bikes..In fact I would go so far to say that if the Brompton had 8 speed derailleur gears it would be perfect..I even think my Tikit is a better bike to ride than my New World Tourist..but..come on..let people decide for themselves..or better still..buy both..
    That is the point of this thread - for Brompton and Tikit owners to voice their likes and dislikes so that others contemplating a purchase decision in the future can have a reference point. It's not to dictate choice.

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