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Thread: Tikit vs Birdy

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    Tikit vs Birdy

    Forgive me if I missed it somewhere (I tried a search).

    Have anyone directly compared a Tikit to a Birdy? I love my Tikit, but I can't help but wondering about the birdy.

    Thanks

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    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by intheways View Post
    Forgive me if I missed it somewhere (I tried a search).

    Have anyone directly compared a Tikit to a Birdy? I love my Tikit, but I can't help but wondering about the birdy.

    Thanks
    I'm in the same boat...going so far as to research the Birdy quite a lot one rainy weekend last winter. I'd really love to see a Birdy in person and ride one, but I haven't been able to yet. It seems like an intriguing bike, but I'm not sure how much I'd like/use one since I have a Tikit to ride as well as a NWT. I wish they were a bit more common so I could at least satisfy my curiosity.
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    Birdies are very popular in Japan. It's viewed as a weekend bike. I rode one awhile back and the suspension is very nice and ride quality very stable. The folding part takes longer to do compared to my Brompton, but it isn't that bad. I prefer the old style birdy compared to the new one.
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    There was a Birdy on Seattle CL yesterday.
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    Had a Birdy and thought the fold was excellent but was not to keen on it's handling, a bit skittish.
    My Bike Friday Is the original diamond design and a joy to ride, very stable. I believe the the Tikit shares the same handling characteristics

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    I have never owned a Tikit but have tried one. I thought it was a great bike with a very nice fold but didn't feel it handled as well as my Birdy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arste View Post
    Had a Birdy and thought the fold was excellent but was not to keen on it's handling, a bit skittish.
    My Bike Friday Is the original diamond design and a joy to ride, very stable. I believe the the Tikit shares the same handling characteristics
    I have never owned a Tikit but have tried one. I thought it was a great bike with a very nice fold but didn't feel it handled as well as my Birdy.
    Those are the sort of personal opinions, I'm trying to sort out.

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    Have some vague recall that the Burly CoOp, now dissolved, Imported Birdys ,
    from Germany where they are made ..

    Info links via http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/

    In addition you got international banking brokerage in Importing the German Birdys.
    so currency exchange rates have additional costs ... Buying Euros. many with more dollars.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-28-11 at 12:46 PM.

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    First of all personal opinions tend to be just that. I have only test ridden a Tikit so it limits my ability to compare. However the Birdy folds smaller (not particually elegantly but small enough to fit in my BMW's trunk with the roof down which the Tikit will not.) The Birdy suspension (my opinion) makes it ride more like a larger bike athough with a quick feel. I suspect the Tikit has other qualities in which it excels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by intheways View Post
    Those are the sort of personal opinions, I'm trying to sort out.
    Without test riding them yourself I think that will be hard. I think the Tikit handles really well, but I've never had an opportunity to try a Birdy.

    Even if you get a test ride it's tough because often the test bike may not be setup for you correctly or you have only a short time to try it so you end up comparing a bike you've dialed in and you ride a lot to a bike that's not dialed in and you only get 10 mins to spin around the block.

    So for me it came down to did I want to gamble with several thousand $$$ and just buy a Birdy to ride and test at my leisure?
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    jur
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    I haven't ridden a tikit so I'm not qualified to answer... so here is my opinion anyway. I suspect the tikit may very well have a better ride, feel-wise. The Birdy does have suspension which does a great deal to remove the edges off those bumps but the ride is not all that stable. It is very hard to quantify. It isn't twitchy, but it's not self-stabilising, meaning you can't take your hands off the bars. This lack of stability does make itself felt but I do admit to getting used to it within a few minutes and then it is out of the picture. So it's hard to say whether this should be a consideration or not.

    It is reasonably stiff, while the tikit has copped some criticism about flexiness; but I sometimes wonder how important this parameter is in typical folding bike riding - you're not sprinting for the line, so hardly all that important. It is generally accepted the Birdy is quite a compact fold; but what is not widely known, is the front wheel sticks out a bit sideways when folded so it isn't all that flat. I haven't checked but a Dahon-type fold may be flatter.

    There is no doubt the Birdy is a superb bike. I have no hesitation in recommending it.
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    Thanks for the comments. How wide do you think the bike is when folded?

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    jur
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    I'll check on my colleague's Birdy lunchtime today. (I commuted with My Moulton today.)
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    jur
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    OK, so here are some pics:


    So far so good. Now from the top:


    The front wheel sticks out somewhere near 12". Mine is better because being greatly bothered my small things, I make it fit better. My workmate has a small light bracket which fouls on the rear axle/ clickbox, so it does not go as far as it can. But that make only 1-2" diffs at most.
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    I saw a Birdy once at a shop. Fold was small but, yeah, like jur said it wasn't all that flat and the large diameter aluminum tubing was hard to grip. I wish I had taken a test ride, but I didn't because I was busy test riding other bikes.

    The tikit is a flexy bike. Sorry, but I don't like it. Give me a Downtube or a Dahon instead.

    But if I were personally trying to decide between the two I'd focus on suspension vs nonsuspension. Over the years I've become less and less tolerant of maintenance and the Birdy suspension is just one more thing that needs to be maintained/checked/fixed. I ride too many miles to be bothered with maintaining anything that doesn't absolutely REQUIRE my attention.

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    jur
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    Actually I was musing about Birdy maintenance at the time when I took the pics. My workmate isn't known for maintaining his bikes. The only thing he has done on the Birdy is replace rear tyres. He has now done somewhere short of 9,000km on it, and I have about 11,000km on mine which include that onerous fully loaded tour on bad dirt roads on Kangaroo Island. In that time, I have replaced a broken spoke and cleaned the rear shifter cable. Oh yes and replaced the rear tyre. The suspension hasn't had any issues. (I also put on a Schlumpf and a 9-speed drive train but that is just upgraditis - the other stuff wasn't worn or giving trouble.)

    I think it's fair to call that low maintenance.
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    The Birdy does have suspension which does a great deal to remove the edges off those bumps but the ride is not all that stable. It is very hard to quantify. It isn't twitchy, but it's not self-stabilising, meaning you can't take your hands off the bars. This lack of stability does make itself felt but I do admit to getting used to it within a few minutes and then it is out of the picture. So it's hard to say whether this should be a consideration or not.
    When I test rode the Birdy I found exactly this and didn't like it at all. I found the steering quite stiff and unresponsive
    I thought there was something wrong with the folding mechanism on the steering stem. It was impossible to ride no-handed. test-rides are momentary experiences. so I'd still love to test-ride a Birdy again some time. It took me half a day to fully appreciate the Brompton's ride.

    I've also test-ridden a Tikit and it is a very good ride. I liked it straight off. I do not feel the tiny amount of flex is an issue for the environment it is aimed at. It is the greatest challenger to the Brompton as a compact folder in a very long time. I like to use the concept 'ride to fold ratio' and based on brief test-rides, I'd take the Tikit. However I'd love to make that judgement by having each bike for a day.

    In the meantime, I have dastardly plans to have the best of all folding worlds. I'm dropping by San Francisco to snaffle Sesame's blue & gold steed and then hop up to BC to relieve someone of their white stallion (Bike Friday NWT) and no-one can stop me. Soon I will conquer the folding world mwhohahahahahahaha

    In the meantime the Birdy Versus Tikit debate continues.............

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    I see the O.P. is in Washington state. I thought Pacific had withdrawn the Birdy from the N.A. market? I'd be delighted to be wrong.
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    OK, so here are some pics:


    So far so good. Now from the top:


    The front wheel sticks out somewhere near 12". Mine is better because being greatly bothered my small things, I make it fit better. My workmate has a small light bracket which fouls on the rear axle/ clickbox, so it does not go as far as it can. But that make only 1-2" diffs at most.
    Thanks for the picks. Not quite as small as I thought, but still looks pretty good

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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    That's a bit of a worst case fold .. Here's mine folded .. the bike fits in the trunk of my Alfa without disassembly just as my narrow Dahon Helios does .. vertical clearance in my trunk is less than 13"








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    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    It is reasonably stiff, while the tikit has copped some criticism about flexiness; but I sometimes wonder how important this parameter is in typical folding bike riding - you're not sprinting for the line, so hardly all that important.
    To put it into perspective my hyperfold Tikit from 2007 is stiffer than the previous version with the twin brake cables/smaller clamp. My 2010 fixed gear Tikit is a lot stiffer than my 2007 Tikit. Although I agree with you that I've never had an issue with riding my 2007 Tikit due to the flex it is something BF is addressing incrementally in each design update.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    flexiness; but I sometimes wonder how important this parameter is in typical folding bike riding - you're not sprinting for the line
    On the contrary. Folding bikes are most often used and most appropriate for riding in congested areas, typically with mass transit access or limited storage space or short distances between destinations. In those sort of conditions I'm almost always sprinting whether it be to get the train before it pulls away, go from one traffic light to the next, or merging with automobiles after taking a shortcut.

    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Actually I was musing about Birdy maintenance at the time when I took the pics. My workmate isn't known for maintaining his bikes. The only thing he has done on the Birdy is replace rear tyres. He has now done somewhere short of 9,000km on it, and I have about 11,000km on mine which include that onerous fully loaded tour on bad dirt roads on Kangaroo Island. In that time, I have replaced a broken spoke and cleaned the rear shifter cable. Oh yes and replaced the rear tyre. The suspension hasn't had any issues. (I also put on a Schlumpf and a 9-speed drive train but that is just upgraditis - the other stuff wasn't worn or giving trouble.)

    I think it's fair to call that low maintenance.
    Yeah, but it has to break or need adjustment eventually and when it does you'll be stuck fixing it while I'll be arriving at my girlfriend's to eat dinner.

    IMO the low weight penalty of fat tires on small wheels makes that the suspension of choice for small wheeled bikes...especially badly broken road with wheel snagging cracks and grates.

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    On the other hand (I also have a Birdy) we may arrive at our destination relaxed and invigorated from our luxury suspended ride.

    On a serious note - I don"t ride far or fast but my 2 year old Birdy has had no suspension problems. It did have a very noisy front brake but that has been replaced and silence reigns supreme. In my research on Birdy's I heard little to no issues raised about suspension problems.

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    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
    That's a bit of a worst case fold .. Here's mine folded .. the bike fits in the trunk of my Alfa without disassembly just as my narrow Dahon Helios does .. vertical clearance in my trunk is less than 13"

    Yeah, that's what mine folds down to as well. The limitation is the derailer interfering with the front axle. I can just get it past so the derailer sits against the front wheel spokes. I think a low profile deraile would be better again but I suppose it's not going to make a big difference on top of that.
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    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Yeah, that's what mine folds down to as well. The limitation is the derailer interfering with the front axle. I can just get it past so the derailer sits against the front wheel spokes. I think a low profile deraile would be better again but I suppose it's not going to make a big difference on top of that.
    How about an internal hub? Some Birdys come stock with them, no? How do they fold?

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