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Old 11-04-10, 11:36 AM   #1
puppypilgrim
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Recommend me a Bike Friday Tikit?

Came across this link. Thinking of getting a Tikit for Xmas )
http://cs.gmu.edu/~sean/stuff/tikit/

5'6", 28.5 inseam and 144 lbs. Reasonably fit and decent cardio. I typically commute 40 km roundtrip for work with some hills (its not flat around here). On the days I go kickboxing, I need to carry 2 saddlebags (panniers). Sometimes I meet my wife after work and I fold the bike and stick it into the trunk of the car. On the odd day, I might fold the bike and take the train.

Which Tikit should I get? Any recommendations?
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Old 11-04-10, 12:02 PM   #2
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I'm the author of that link. Some recommendations:
  • Think twice about getting a 16" (349) bike (Tikit, Brompton, Mezzo) in Canada in general: there are no snow or mud tires available in that size. Though obviously this isn't a major concern for Vancouver.
  • Vik, who follows this board, is Canadian and can give you much better suggestions about buying than myself.
  • You are *probably* going to fit a Size Small Tikit. But BF can give you a better recommendation. I suggest you ask BF if they can give you a size-Large thickness front handlebar stem riser, which will stiffen up the bike considerably.
  • The primary difficulty with the *stock* Tikit is that it's geared low. The gearing on the stock tikit is an 8-speed 11-28 which goes from about 30 to 78 gear inches. Since you're in a hilly area this is not a big deal. But you may want to think about it up front rather than upgrading later on (which you can certainly do). The simplest way to upgrade is to get a Shimano Capreo (9-26). You could also get a larger front gear. Or an IGH or a SRAM SpeedDrive. The SpeedDrive might be a good choice for you. Again, talk to BF.
  • A rear rack of some kind is enormously useful, both for keeping the bike stable when folded and holding boxes and stuff. But the standard rack won't hold panniers, because it's too low. You have two choices: first, you could get a front rack and a rear standard rack and put the panniers on the front rack. Second, you could get the new foldable rear rack from BF, which will take panniers.
  • The decision of whether or not to get a hyperfold is largely coolness factor. The hyperfold is much faster to fold than the twiddly knob (featured on the Model T), but it's $200 more and will result in a somewhat more flexible front stem. I personally love the hyperfold, but I am betting that you don't *really* need it. It's just down to fun.
  • IMHO the best tires for the Tikit are the 349mm Greenspeed Scorcher TR (Kevlar belted), a 40mm wide slick tire. It is very comfortable, grippy, and fast. Comfort matters on small-tired bikes. Also good is the (less comfy I believe) Schwalbe Kojak. The stock Schwalbe Marathons are durable but terrible rides.
  • I gotta revise that site with new stuff.

Last edited by feijai; 11-04-10 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 11-04-10, 12:21 PM   #3
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Thanks a million Feijai.
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Old 11-04-10, 01:54 PM   #4
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Brompton folds smaller , [and has been made a lot longer],
my Brommy : AW3 + a Schlumpf mountain drive crankset, 3 more low ratios.

but anyhow.. I'd say the season Tikit with an Internal gear hub .
has less to get whacked and knocked out of adjustment, than any of the derailleur geared bikes.

Maybe you will be able to get that vapor Shimano 11 speed Alfine by then,
or a 7or8 speed, now.

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Old 11-04-10, 03:00 PM   #5
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I had a Tikit. Got the Hyperfold because of the "coolness". Sold the bike in large part because of the flexiness of the stempost. I would not recommend the extra $200 for the 3 seconds difference. That novelty wears off really quick, and you have to live with flexy stem.

Pay heed to the gearing issue. Stock gearing is inadequate. So price in the gearing upgrade, whether it's Capreo, Schlumpf, IGH or a double chainring. No matter what, it'll significantly add cost to the stock bike.
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Old 11-04-10, 04:27 PM   #6
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For your situation, I wouldn't get the hyperfold. It works best for people that have a multi-modal commute (which is why I originally got my Tikit).

The new folding rack was made specifically for people like you. You can now carry two panniers in the back. There are also options for a front single or double rack. However, you can't fold the bike with two panniers on the front double rack. You can, however, fold the bike just fine with a pannier on the right side.

If it was me going for a new Tikit, I would go with a Season Tikit... and I would hold out for the Shimano Alfine 11.
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Old 11-04-10, 05:20 PM   #7
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Brompton folds smaller , [and has been made a lot longer],
At least $2000 in the US or Canada in the configuration you suggested, including chamfering . And doesn't ride as well as the Tikit for long commutes -- half the trail, can't fit thicker tires, etc. Did you catch the 40km in hills part?

The B is a great choice for train commuters. But I think the original poster's got the right idea.
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Old 11-04-10, 07:38 PM   #8
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If it was me going for a new Tikit, I would go with a Season Tikit... and I would hold out for the Shimano Alfine 11.
Wouldn't drop out be different?
Mm... was thinking travel tikit... eh...
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Old 11-05-10, 05:32 AM   #9
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At least $2000 in the US or Canada in the configuration you suggested, including chamfering . And doesn't ride as well as the Tikit for long commutes -- half the trail, can't fit thicker tires, etc. Did you catch the 40km in hills part?

The B is a great choice for train commuters. But I think the original poster's got the right idea.
I agree that the OP wants a Tikit and wouldn't talk him out of it. But I do want to attack the myth that the Brompton isn't suitable for "longer" rides or hilly rides. I have a 25mile hilly roundtrip commute that I'll use my Brompton (M6L). I haven't found a hill I can't manage with the B. I might be faster or more aero on a Tikit, but when I'm riding the Brompton speed isn't my priority. Ironically, I've seen a few other BFs, but only in downtown which is much flatter rather than the rolling hills.

To the OP, I am surprised Vik hasn't chimed in. I'd suggest you look at his blog (Google lazy randonneur). I believe he said the Tikit was his favorite winter bike and recommends internal hubs. I'd also make sure the Kickboxing place will be cool w/ you bringing a bike into the dojo (even a folding one). It sounds like the standard Tikit will fit your needs now; but
an internally geared hub w/ dropbars would give you room to grow.
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Old 11-05-10, 08:47 AM   #10
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I agree that the OP wants a Tikit and wouldn't talk him out of it. But I do want to attack the myth that the Brompton isn't suitable for "longer" rides or hilly rides. I have a 25mile hilly roundtrip commute that I'll use my Brompton (M6L). I haven't found a hill I can't manage with the B. I might be faster or more aero on a Tikit, but when I'm riding the Brompton speed isn't my priority. Ironically, I've seen a few other BFs, but only in downtown which is much flatter rather than the rolling hills.
I agree with this assessment. I have a Brompton M6L that I kept over the Tikit for the reasons stated above. Took my Brompton over a 900 ft climb once. It was just fine. Hills are all about gearing, and that's infinitely adjustable to each rider's strength. I also agree that the Tikit is "sportier" than the Brompton, but in city riding, that's less of a consideration for me.
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Old 11-05-10, 08:58 AM   #11
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based on your usage, get a 20" folder (pocket *, swift, dahon *). less ride compromise, and still flexible for carrying in car trunks and hauling onto a train (though not into a crowded city bus). a crowded subway, once a week is doable. more often crowded subway rides than that, and you will get annoyed at having to navigate lots of people with a larger, awkward shaped, heavy object.

i had a brompton for a year, but i didn't ride crowded subways enough to justify its small fold size.
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Old 11-05-10, 10:22 AM   #12
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But I do want to attack the myth that the Brompton isn't suitable for "longer" rides or hilly rides. I have a 25mile hilly roundtrip commute that I'll use my Brompton (M6L).
As SC also wrote, one can certainly get around on a Brompton. That guy that has been touring the world for 30+ years on his bicycle did most of it on a three speed slug. (his first name is Hans?) The big difference between the two is that most people will be able to get a better fit on a tikit than a Brompton as well as a bigger choice of drivetrains.
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Old 11-05-10, 10:24 AM   #13
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I'd also make sure the Kickboxing place will be cool w/ you bringing a bike into the dojo (even a folding one). It sounds like the standard Tikit will fit your needs now; but an internally geared hub w/ dropbars would give you room to grow.
I currently ride my Dahon to the kickboxing place, fold it and take it upstairs I think drop bars on a folder give the ultimate variety with hand positions and are something I am keen to have on my next folder. I dunno about hub gears.
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Old 11-05-10, 10:40 AM   #14
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At least $2000 in the US or Canada in the configuration you suggested, including chamfering . And doesn't ride as well as the Tikit for long commutes -- half the trail, can't fit thicker tires, etc. Did you catch the 40km in hills part?

The B is a great choice for train commuters. But I think the original poster's got the right idea.
Brompton also requires an idler (despite being IGH). Tikit w/ IGH would be a much more robust drivetrain IMO.

Personally I don't like how either the tikit or the Brompton rides: tikit too flexible in the front end and Brompton too flexible in the back end. And I think ISO349 wheels is a poor design choice: only 2" smaller than ISO406 (with an even smaller influence on actual folded size of the bike) with tons of compromises in tire/rim/spoke/fork availability.

It's just not worth it when there are better, cheaper bikes to choose from in the 20" size that fold just as small to anyone who doesn't have a tape measure handy (Londoners excepted...I understand the Brompton is practically custom moulded for the train compartments there).

For the OP's described usage I'd go with a Swift, Downtube, or Dahon (something with horizontal dropouts). Won't make a damn difference fitting it in the car trunk and, trust me, fellow train riders won't comment on how "huge" the extra 6" of length is compared to a Brompton (if they even notice)...especially for an occasional passenger.

Quote:
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I currently ride my Dahon to the kickboxing place, fold it and take it upstairs I think drop bars on a folder give the ultimate variety with hand positions and are something I am keen to have on my next folder. I dunno about hub gears.
So what problems are you having with your Dahon that the tikit will solve? Need an excuse to spend money?

Last edited by chucky; 11-05-10 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 11-05-10, 10:41 AM   #15
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I have drop bars on my NWT. They're great for riding, but make the folded bike bulky and more difficult to carry. It's also a challenge to fit it in the bag.
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Old 11-05-10, 10:49 AM   #16
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chucky,

Despite my best effort in lubing everything on the bike including the seatpost shim, my Dahon squeaks or creaks <sigh>. Are there any "silent" folding bikes out there?
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Old 11-05-10, 11:06 AM   #17
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Came across this link. Thinking of getting a Tikit for Xmas )
http://cs.gmu.edu/~sean/stuff/tikit/

5'6", 28.5 inseam and 144 lbs. Reasonably fit and decent cardio. I typically commute 40 km roundtrip for work with some hills (its not flat around here). On the days I go kickboxing, I need to carry 2 saddlebags (panniers). Sometimes I meet my wife after work and I fold the bike and stick it into the trunk of the car. On the odd day, I might fold the bike and take the train.

Which Tikit should I get? Any recommendations?
First off I have two Tikits and a NWT that you are welcome to check out/test ride in Victoria.

I'm happy to chat about Bike Fridays at length so feel free to ask me anything you like. I'll just throw out a few Tikit related points here:

- the new [2010] hyperfold Tikit is a lot stiffer than my older [2007] hyperfold Tikit
- the hyperfold is a game changer and I wouldn't buy a Tikit without it
- the Season Tikit is better as a wet weather commuter due to the IGH, but costs more
- the stock hyperfold Tikit has been my wet weather./winter bike for several years and hasn't had any issues
- the fixed gear One Way Tikit is super fun to ride and can accept an IGH if you decide you want gears
- if $$$ is no object you could try a Season Tikit with carbon belt drive
- 16" wheels with slick tires are no problem in the rain
- I rode the stock 16" Marathons through 2 winters with no major problems. You can make studded tires if you feel the need. Obviously deep snow becomes a problem with small wheels at some point.
- I would get GS Scorchers on any Tikit you buy as well as fenders and shower cap cover
- the folding touring rack will take full size panniers in the rear...the standard rear rack will work with some smaller panniers
- I don't like the single sided front rack, but the 2 sided front rack works well and will take standard panniers
- best to chat with BF about sizing as they have done it successfully many times
- I own a Dahon, have ridden Bromptons many times and test rode a Birdy...the Tikit is still by far my preferred folder.

Here is my old Tikit Blog and the Bike Friday posts on my new blog.

If you are open to other options:

- the BF 20" travel bikes can be had with folding seat mast and folding stem which makes them suitable for quickly throwing into a car or taking on transit.
- the travel bikes would ride more like a full size bike and carry more cargo weight with ease
- travel bikes don't fold or carry/roll as well a Tikit so if you did frequent multi-modal commutes you are better off with a Tikit. For commutes that are longer with the occasional multi-modal aspect the travel bikes are fine.
- I would get GS Scorchers for any BF travel bike I bought
- the standard BF front and rear racks for their travel bikes take full size panniers

Assuming you want to save $$$ have a look at the stock offerings from Bike Friday. If you are happy with one of those setups you can save a bunch over a custom build.
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Old 11-05-10, 11:38 AM   #18
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any way heres my 6 'speeds' with mountain drive + AW3. on 349 wheels
54/15t

77.1
57.9
43.4
30.0
22.5
16.9

hills are not an issue, except that sometimes I'd rather walk
than put my heart rate up there..

the 2nd largest river in the US , headwaters in Canada, has no delta,

Because of the hills at its Western end .

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Old 11-05-10, 02:23 PM   #19
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Adding to Vik's post about the stock models. BF also has a used/trade-in bike section that you can look through. You can find some pretty good deals there too.
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Old 11-06-10, 08:37 AM   #20
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The big difference between the two is that most people will be able to get a better fit on a tikit than a Brompton as well as a bigger choice of drivetrains.
It won't be custom fitted, but to be honest, he'll probably fit the B reasonably well given his stature. That's my #1 difficulty with the B in honesty: way too short a reach for the average male (and me). But I didn't list that one because I figured it'd be much less of a concern for him.

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Old 11-06-10, 09:41 AM   #21
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That's my #1 difficulty with the B in honesty: way too short a reach for the average male (and me). .
Wow, I'm surprised at this observation. I'm 6' tall, 34" inseam and my M6L reach feels just fine for the type of casual riding that the Brompton is designed for. I know the cockpit on the T series from 10 years ago were shorter, but the current series were lengthened by 2 or 3 inches, as I recall.

Is your observation based on riding an older Brompton?
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Old 11-06-10, 09:58 AM   #22
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It won't be custom fitted, but to be honest, he'll probably fit the B reasonably well given his stature. That's my #1 difficulty with the B in honesty: way too short a reach for the average male (and me). But I didn't list that one because I figured it'd be much less of a concern for him.
In addition to the fit options I didn't enjoy how the two models of Brompton I've been riding handled/pedalled or braked....plus the folding process was cumbersome. My GF who comes to folders with no interest in any brands came to the same conclusion - fine for short rides or if you had to have the smallest folded package, but not something we ever ask to borrow for fun. BTW - she's British and was initially quite pumped to be riding a bike from her home when I first suggested it. I really wanted to like a Brompton and have ridden them several times over the years. When I was in the market for a new folder my friend's were Brompton dealers and offered to order me anything I liked at their cost....I ended up paying full price for a Tikit.
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Old 11-06-10, 10:24 AM   #23
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Is your observation based on riding an older Brompton?
2009, model S and M. I'm about 5'11", unknown inseam, but nothing special.

The M imparted a very upright position on me, so I brought along some measuring tape to verify my hunch. It appears that the M has the reach of a size-Small tikit. The only folding bike I have ridden that is shorter is the Strida. To put this is in context, my two Dahon P8s are shy of a size-Medium tikit in reach. I also tried an S, which allows you to cant downwards, thus getting a little bit more reach. It gets me at about the same as a P8, but the combination of angle and wheel trail instability felt very unsafe indeed. I was happy to get off the bike in that configuration.

My comfortable fit is dead center between a size-Medium and size-Large tikit. I ride a size-Medium tikit with a size-Large stem and stem riser, and with the seat pushed back. That kind of customizability was a big plus for me.

I wonder if the introduction of the model S was in acknowledgment of the reach problem. But it's not an adequate solution for me.
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Old 11-08-10, 02:49 PM   #24
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Some updates:

- I moved my saddle rearwards for a better position for climbing hills & to engage more of the quadriceps
- seat height was lowered to prevent rocking the hips
- ordered a new cassette to achieve closer gear spacing to maintain optimum cadence for road riding

In doing so, the Dahon Helios P8 instantly became a joy to ride again. I think the bike will feel very different after the new cassette is installed. So at this point, I am giving the Tikit some reprieve....
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Old 11-09-10, 08:09 PM   #25
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Some updates:

- I moved my saddle rearwards for a better position for climbing hills & to engage more of the quadriceps
- seat height was lowered to prevent rocking the hips
- ordered a new cassette to achieve closer gear spacing to maintain optimum cadence for road riding

In doing so, the Dahon Helios P8 instantly became a joy to ride again. I think the bike will feel very different after the new cassette is installed. So at this point, I am giving the Tikit some reprieve....
I'm glad you were able to resolve your issues with such minor changes to your existing bike...
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