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Old 04-16-10, 06:40 PM   #1
SesameCrunch
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Tikit losing fans?

I've been noticing a lot of used Tikits up for sale on Craigslist lately (here in the San Francisco area). Some have been going for pretty low prices.

Anyone else notice this in other areas of the world? Are Tikit users ditching their bikes after the novelty has worn off? Or is this another sign of the economic downturn?
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Old 04-16-10, 06:53 PM   #2
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Wish I could spot such a deal myself. I'm trying to consider Bike Friday, but between their reluctance to answer my emails ("Do you have a phone number so we can discuss this?" plus irrelevant links plus ignoring the thrust of whatever I ask) and the insane difference in pricing between the stock Tikit and a BTO Tikit with merely decent gearing... I'm about to give up.
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Old 04-16-10, 08:26 PM   #3
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Are Tikit users ditching their bikes after the novelty has worn off? Or is this another sign of the economic downturn?
Couldn't increased used sales just be reflective of an increasingly larger base?

Or maybe it's a SF thing. Check it out.. Not a single non-SF entry.

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Wish I could spot such a deal myself.
In the past BF used to have various pre-owned tikits here but it's now pretty rare, even though (to my knowledge) the tikit's something like 60% of BF's sales: I suspect this may indicate that the bike is still hot.

Vik's hawking one for someone else. $1000 is too much tho: it was probably $1200 new.

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Old 04-16-10, 08:29 PM   #4
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Wish I could spot such a deal myself. I'm trying to consider Bike Friday, but between their reluctance to answer my emails ("Do you have a phone number so we can discuss this?" plus irrelevant links plus ignoring the thrust of whatever I ask) and the insane difference in pricing between the stock Tikit and a BTO Tikit with merely decent gearing... I'm about to give up.
Sorry to hear you're having problems getting the info you want. The folks at Bike Friday have been really helpful answering my questions and responding to e-mails.

Regards, Jim
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Old 04-16-10, 08:41 PM   #5
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Wish I could spot such a deal myself. I'm trying to consider Bike Friday, but between their reluctance to answer my emails ("Do you have a phone number so we can discuss this?" plus irrelevant links plus ignoring the thrust of whatever I ask) and the insane difference in pricing between the stock Tikit and a BTO Tikit with merely decent gearing... I'm about to give up.
I'm not sure who you've been talking to, but my emails were returned promptly and were well-written, giving me the information I asked for.

I suggest you do call, though; you won't spend a lot of time on hold, the Green Gear people are very friendly, and it'll speed up the process immeasurably.
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Old 04-16-10, 08:45 PM   #6
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There's been a couple of BFs here in the DC area in craiglist. They're old, mid range BFs and are highly priced. My reaction is: You're asking that much?! They don't sell that quickly b/c the ads have kept running. Either they sell them or just decide not to part with them.
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Old 04-17-10, 05:45 AM   #7
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Maybe some Tikit fans are just over zealous and aggressive ?

In the UK (admittedly Brompton's back yard) Tikit's are pretty rare .... " nah mate, its spelt 'ticket' "
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Old 04-17-10, 10:31 AM   #8
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I'm not sure who you've been talking to, but my emails were returned promptly and were well-written, giving me the information I asked for.

I suggest you do call, though; you won't spend a lot of time on hold, the Green Gear people are very friendly, and it'll speed up the process immeasurably.
I think that the problem is that some folks - maybe most folks - don't like "talking" to a salesman. They don't want to feel like they are being forced to commit - the question: "Are you ready to place your order?" terrifies them.

Folks, it's Eugene, OR, not NYC. They are sales people, but they are very helpful. Our daughter had no problems working with them (since her dealer couldn't answer all her questions) and took delivery of her bike through her dealer earlier this week.

Go for it!

Lou
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Old 04-17-10, 10:40 AM   #9
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I think that the problem is that some folks - maybe most folks - don't like "talking" to a salesman. They don't want to feel like they are being forced to commit - the question: "Are you ready to place your order?" terrifies them.

Folks, it's Eugene, OR, not NYC. They are sales people, but they are very helpful. Our daughter had no problems working with them (since her dealer couldn't answer all her questions) and took delivery of her bike through her dealer earlier this week.

Go for it!

Lou
As a Bike Friday shopper, I am curious what bike your daughter got? Looking at your profile you're obviously pretty darn familiar with Bike Fridays.

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Old 04-17-10, 11:02 AM   #10
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I am curious what bike your daughter got? Looking at your profile you're obviously pretty darn familiar with Bike Fridays.

Jim
I forgot to mention that. She ended up with a NWT after initially considering a Pocket Rocket. She need a bike that fits her and her needs (has RA - under control - in her hands) and wants to be able to keep up (more like chase) with 12 yr old son (an experienced track racer) on their twice weekly rides on bike paths in Seattle area. Then in 4 yrs or so, figures she will want a more general purpose bike. Hence the NWT. She was also on a budget, so it took some work. It has folding seat post (ease of transport) and triple chain ring.

She has only had a very limited chance to ride it to date, but is very happy so far.

We did not exert undo pressure for this solution, she just didn't find women's versions of full-sized bikes to be comfortable.

Lou
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Old 04-17-10, 11:17 AM   #11
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I think that the problem is that some folks - maybe most folks - don't like "talking" to a salesman. They don't want to feel like they are being forced to commit - the question: "Are you ready to place your order?" terrifies them.

Folks, it's Eugene, OR, not NYC. They are sales people, but they are very helpful. Our daughter had no problems working with them (since her dealer couldn't answer all her questions) and took delivery of her bike through her dealer earlier this week.

Go for it!

Lou

I didn't want to hijack this thread with my complaints, but your post is rather insulting. I am not "terrified" of talking to a salesman. Certainly though, Bike Friday's process, in my experience thus far, is designed to envelop you in salesmanship.

"Eugene, Oregon" means nothing to me, nor is there any reason why it should. I do realize that the imagined charm of such an operations base is another aspect of the Bike Friday image and brand loyalty, of course.

It's really as simple as this: Their contact form asks whether or not you want to be contacted via email or telephone. This is the year 2010, by the way, and we're talking about a company with a large (and horribly, horribly disorganized) website, so they would more sensibly dispense with the latter option than the former, were they going to dispense with either. I--in my paralyzing fear of salesmen--chose the former option.

In the first response I received, there was no answer whatsoever to my simple question: which Tikit configurations have the highest gearing? (I realize many of you could easily figure this out for yourselves. I can't yet.) I soon receive, instead, a screen's worth of irrelevant marketing links, a request for a telephone number so that my needs can be discussed, and many sentences of pre-written robot-speak ("Thanks for writing. We are here to help you improve your cycling experiences, and I am certain I can help with your upcoming exciting commuting adventures.")

That is an indisputably stupid response, in my opinion. But I persevered with them. (As for my preference for email, I should think the reasons would be obvious even to a Bike Friday apostle: I want to be able to save and study any information I've requested, and I want to be able to look up any terms which are unfamiliar to me as I come across them. The mellifluous tones of salesman, beckoning me to "upcoming exciting commuting adventures," are not something I care to waste one second of my life listening to. Sorry if this shocks anyone.) I replied to this email with a lengthy one of my own in which I tried to anticipate every possible question the salesman might have for me. I gave my height, my inseam, a description of my last road bike, a description of my pedaling cadence, a description of my desired gearing, a specification of which gears on my last road bike were most often used, and descriptions of my impressions of the different folders I'd thus far ridden, which didn't at that time include a Tikit. I did not however include my telephone number.

This email, sent about two weeks ago, has never received any response. After two or three days had passed without its being answered (my first communication to them had been answered very quickly--not that I would judge them for typically replying within two or three days, but the difference led me to sense an aberration), I filled out their contact form again. I asked: which BTO Tikit configurations have the highest high gears? I added that I had asked this question once before, and received no relevant response, but rather the demand for a telephone number and the screen's worth of irrelevant links to the Bike Friday website and to YouTube videos. I was not rude, but yes, I did mention that. My idea was that a different rep might simply answer my question.

I immediately received a defensive reply from the salesman who had contacted me before. He provided more sales-speak about why he needed a telephone number, and he mentioned that the Travel Tikit would have the highest gearing. This once again failed to answer my simple question, as I had clearly asked for multiple options within the BTO Tikit lineup.

I replied that Bike Friday should remove the email option from their contact form if they were so adamant about not emailing. No response to that has been received, unsurprisingly, though in the salesman's place, I would personally have replied that discussion via email would be fine, and I might have apologized for giving any other impression. I take his silence as confirmation to the contrary.

Then I rode a Tikit, and mostly liked it. This was just a few days ago. I had two new questions. Sent them separately, late Wednesday, I believe. Have I received any response? Nope. That would be normal, I would think, with anyone else. But Bike Friday have demonstrated that they reply much more quickly when they feel like it. I do honestly believe that they're now giving me the silent treatment.

I'll give my $1500 or so to Birdy, most likely, when I'm finally ready to buy.

So yeah, long story short, I think they're jerks. Sorry!

And are people from Oregon really thought to be so terribly nice? Never been there, but I've always thought the stereotype was that they were rather self-righteous, actually.
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Old 04-17-10, 12:08 PM   #12
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I didn't want to hijack this thread with my complaints, but your post is rather insulting.

And are people from Oregon really thought to be so terribly nice? Never been there, but I've always thought the stereotype was that they were rather self-righteous, actually.
Now I guess it's my turn to be insulted in my "self-righteous" Oregonian way.

Jim

PS: I don't know if this will help or not:

"Just the Tikit" low 32 high 81
"Speeding Tikit" low 23 high 110
"Travel Tikit" low 23 high 81
"Season Tikit" low 28 high 86

A while back I e-mailed Sandy Earl at Bike Friday for this info and had a response back in a couple of hours. I even got a follow up phone call the next day to make sure I received it and see if I had any further questions.

Last edited by JimT; 04-17-10 at 12:50 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 04-17-10, 12:18 PM   #13
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So yeah, long story short, I think they're jerks.

Your experience is very different from mine - and I never ended up buying a BF (yet). They even gave me a tour of the factory when I visited Eugene.

It sounds to me like the lengthy email that you wrote them went awry (spam filter? overcrowded in-box?). Anyway, any of my emails to them have always been answered courteously, completely and quickly.


BTW, most of the self-righteous Oregonians migrate north, and live in Seattle, where we spend a lot of time looking down on Oregon. Only nice people left in Oregon, as far as I know.

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Old 04-17-10, 12:56 PM   #14
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BTW, most of the self-righteous Oregonians migrate north, and live in Seattle, where we spend a lot of time looking down on Oregon. Only nice people left in Oregon, as far as I know.
Uh Oh! I see a trend here.....................I better be careful. I was born in Eugene (yes, that one.....the home of Bike Friday) and have gradually moved north during my lifetime. I'm presently living along the Columbia River, just 4 miles from Washington.

Jim
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Old 04-17-10, 01:19 PM   #15
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PS: I don't know if this will help or not:

"Just the Tikit" low 32 high 81
"Speeding Tikit" low 23 high 110
"Travel Tikit" low 23 high 81
"Season Tikit" low 28 high 86
That is exactly what I wanted. Thank you.

...But then why on earth was I told that the Travel Tikit has the highest gearing?
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Old 04-17-10, 01:37 PM   #16
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That is exactly what I wanted. Thank you.

...But then why on earth was I told that the Travel Tikit has the highest gearing?
Because it does. I had my notes screwed up..........oops! Sorry about that. The Travel Tikit does have the highest gearing with the dual drive. The speeding Tikit (by my calculations goes from 24 to 92. Have I got you totally confused yet?
I've been looking hard at the "Just the Tikit" but it only goes from 32 to 81 which may not be enough on either end.

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Old 04-17-10, 01:37 PM   #17
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WOW! The fireworks I started - need to watch my comments.

Better give you folks some background, too. I am a retired SALESMAN - 25 yrs selling first FAX machines (70's) and Telephone Systems ('82-'00). Worked for small and large companies, including my last five years with AT&T/Lucent Technologies. I sold in L.A., Santa Barbara and Portland, OR markets - all for a considerable time. We were also home owners in Eugene, OR while our daughter and husband attended the Univ Of Oregon.

Believe me, some folks don't want to talk to a salesman - "just mail me the info". Obviously, the poster isn't one of them, however, salesmen have to make choices many times on who they spend their time assisting (pretty much all salespeople have quotas). Sometimes, those leads or inquiries seeming to have the most promise get handled first, and some others may fall through the cracks - You just don't have the time to respond in a timely manner. It shouldn't happen, but it does.

There is also the matter of "match-ups" with regard to sales people and customers. As a sales manager you sometimes re-assign accounts or assign a competent assistant to insure a sale...and sometimes customers need to ask for or seek out a different sales person who they match-up with better personality-wise.

Eugene, OR: A very laid back, still "1967" oriented place. You won't find shirts and ties at Green Gear or even the more modern Polo Shirt & Khakis, mostly T-shirts on the sales force. We like the place.

Back to the original subject of the thread: I check Craigslist for most of the West Coast about once a week. Don't see that many tikits for sale. Many of the Pocket BF's seem to be little used and likely are being sold as a source of CASH. Lots of folks seem to have multiple bikes (like us) and could use the freed up space and the extra money.

IMO, the tikit is a great multi-modal commuter, but would not be a good full-time bike for someone tall like myself - my Pocket BF's are solid, the tikits I have tried have seemed a bit flexly in the stem riser.

Lou

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Old 04-17-10, 03:55 PM   #18
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I didn't want to hijack this thread with my complaints, but your post is rather insulting. I am not "terrified" of talking to a salesman. Certainly though, Bike Friday's process, in my experience thus far, is designed to envelop you in salesmanship.

"Eugene, Oregon" means nothing to me, nor is there any reason why it should. I do realize that the imagined charm of such an operations base is another aspect of the Bike Friday image and brand loyalty, of course.

It's really as simple as this: Their contact form asks whether or not you want to be contacted via email or telephone. This is the year 2010, by the way, and we're talking about a company with a large (and horribly, horribly disorganized) website, so they would more sensibly dispense with the latter option than the former, were they going to dispense with either. I--in my paralyzing fear of salesmen--chose the former option.

In the first response I received, there was no answer whatsoever to my simple question: which Tikit configurations have the highest gearing? (I realize many of you could easily figure this out for yourselves. I can't yet.) I soon receive, instead, a screen's worth of irrelevant marketing links, a request for a telephone number so that my needs can be discussed, and many sentences of pre-written robot-speak ("Thanks for writing. We are here to help you improve your cycling experiences, and I am certain I can help with your upcoming exciting commuting adventures.")

That is an indisputably stupid response, in my opinion. But I persevered with them. (As for my preference for email, I should think the reasons would be obvious even to a Bike Friday apostle: I want to be able to save and study any information I've requested, and I want to be able to look up any terms which are unfamiliar to me as I come across them. The mellifluous tones of salesman, beckoning me to "upcoming exciting commuting adventures," are not something I care to waste one second of my life listening to. Sorry if this shocks anyone.) I replied to this email with a lengthy one of my own in which I tried to anticipate every possible question the salesman might have for me. I gave my height, my inseam, a description of my last road bike, a description of my pedaling cadence, a description of my desired gearing, a specification of which gears on my last road bike were most often used, and descriptions of my impressions of the different folders I'd thus far ridden, which didn't at that time include a Tikit. I did not however include my telephone number.

This email, sent about two weeks ago, has never received any response. After two or three days had passed without its being answered (my first communication to them had been answered very quickly--not that I would judge them for typically replying within two or three days, but the difference led me to sense an aberration), I filled out their contact form again. I asked: which BTO Tikit configurations have the highest high gears? I added that I had asked this question once before, and received no relevant response, but rather the demand for a telephone number and the screen's worth of irrelevant links to the Bike Friday website and to YouTube videos. I was not rude, but yes, I did mention that. My idea was that a different rep might simply answer my question.

I immediately received a defensive reply from the salesman who had contacted me before. He provided more sales-speak about why he needed a telephone number, and he mentioned that the Travel Tikit would have the highest gearing. This once again failed to answer my simple question, as I had clearly asked for multiple options within the BTO Tikit lineup.

I replied that Bike Friday should remove the email option from their contact form if they were so adamant about not emailing. No response to that has been received, unsurprisingly, though in the salesman's place, I would personally have replied that discussion via email would be fine, and I might have apologized for giving any other impression. I take his silence as confirmation to the contrary.

Then I rode a Tikit, and mostly liked it. This was just a few days ago. I had two new questions. Sent them separately, late Wednesday, I believe. Have I received any response? Nope. That would be normal, I would think, with anyone else. But Bike Friday have demonstrated that they reply much more quickly when they feel like it. I do honestly believe that they're now giving me the silent treatment.

I'll give my $1500 or so to Birdy, most likely, when I'm finally ready to buy.

So yeah, long story short, I think they're jerks. Sorry!

And are people from Oregon really thought to be so terribly nice? Never been there, but I've always thought the stereotype was that they were rather self-righteous, actually.
Well.....I am not surprised at the other folding bike (and even regular bike) manufacturer's reluctance to deal directly with customers after all the similar experiences I either heard about or even felt myself. I see even Bike Friday might adapt it's policy to use retail level dealers & even distributors as a "go between" to buffer itself against miscommunication-or anything else equally unpleasant-between all parties as the former small town company turns into a giant corporation too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
I've been noticing a lot of used Tikits up for sale on Craigslist lately (here in the San Francisco area). Some have been going for pretty low prices.

Anyone else notice this in other areas of the world? Are Tikit users ditching their bikes after the novelty has worn off? Or is this another sign of the economic downturn?
The only true barrier I see for now is the price of both new and used tikits-or any high end bike be it folding or not. People now cannot afford to "play with it and dump it" or flipping high priced merchandise like a couple of years ago. I remember a former forum member posting real excited about "supporting his folding bike fix" or something like that by buying and quickly dumping-flipping-his latest "folding bike of the week." He has not posted in a long time (why am I not surprised). On Craigslist or E-bay and the like, you probably won't get your money back (think housing bubble). When I buy something now, it is for the long haul.

Last edited by folder fanatic; 04-17-10 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 04-17-10, 04:22 PM   #19
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Tikits up for sale in Anacortes. I posted them on the Craigslist thread.
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Old 04-17-10, 06:16 PM   #20
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Wish I could spot such a deal myself. I'm trying to consider Bike Friday, but between their reluctance to answer my emails ("Do you have a phone number so we can discuss this?" plus irrelevant links plus ignoring the thrust of whatever I ask) and the insane difference in pricing between the stock Tikit and a BTO Tikit with merely decent gearing... I'm about to give up.
Do they have a phone number? You're kidding ... right?

http://www.bikefriday.com/contact
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Old 04-17-10, 07:18 PM   #21
lucille
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I feel like I need to chime in. I'm sorry you had a bad experience, Alec. From what you're describing, it certainly doesn't sound too encouraging.

We just ordered two custom bikes from Bike Friday and the experience has been very good. I hate to be pushed into the purchase as well, but never got that feeling. Of course, they want to sell the bike, that's the business, but I did feel like the sales person took time to figure out what we need and keep things within(or close to) the set budget.
We talked on the phone twice (for about an hour each time on their dime) and exchanged numerous emails (usually answered within few hours, or the next day), some even quite late in the evening.
If you decide you want to give them another try, we were dealing with Ruthy.
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Old 04-17-10, 08:35 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Alec E View Post
That is exactly what I wanted. Thank you.

...But then why on earth was I told that the Travel Tikit has the highest gearing?
JimT has erred. Sheldon tells us that the travel tikit is about 23 to 107.
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Old 04-17-10, 09:44 PM   #23
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Do they have a phone number? You're kidding ... right?

http://www.bikefriday.com/contact
You misunderstood. They wanted mine. And refused to answer my questions until they had it. Obnoxious, in my opinion. But I'll live.
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Old 04-17-10, 09:58 PM   #24
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JimT has erred. Sheldon tells us that the travel tikit is about 23 to 107.
I sure did err! Check my post #16. Sandy Earl at Bike Friday told me that the Travel Tikit went from 23 to 110 and the Speeding Tikit went from 24 to 92. Somehow in scribling my notes I got the 2 reversed. So much for my credibility.

Jim
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Old 04-18-10, 10:17 AM   #25
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You misunderstood. They wanted mine. And refused to answer my questions until they had it. Obnoxious, in my opinion. But I'll live.
I'm going to take a wild guess here. They wanted your numbers for two reasons... 1) to flesh out their data on a potential customer. 2) to have a way of contacting you in case the line was disconnected by accident.

Alec, I've yet to have a problem with Bike Friday's customer service. I can't speak to your experience with them, but everyone else that has posted here has been positive on their experiences. Maybe you're jumping a bit ahead of yourself by calling them jerks?

Ultimately, it's your money... and you can do business with whomever you choose. If you decide BF isn't for you, you can always ask questions about the other brands here on this forum. Depending on your needs, the Tikit may not even be the right bike for you. Who knows until you actually ride a few different bikes. :-)
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