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Old 08-14-12, 07:06 AM   #1
Micheal Blue
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Tikit vs Brompton price comparison - is the difference worth it?

I've been researching this, as I'm going to buy either Brompton or Tikit this fall. I'd prefer the Tikit,
but it seems I may have to get the Brommie, because of the price difference:
The planned used: commuting; trekking; touring (also in remote areas)
To compare apples to apples, they have to be equipped to the same functionality.
The price of a six-speed Brompton is very similar to the price of the basic 8-speed derailleur Tikit, but
that's not comparing apples to apples.

Gear train
clean, straight chain-line, with sufficient ground clearance
Brommie - out of the box
Tikit - has to be upgraded to an IGH; that adds about 330 (Nexus 8) to about 700 (Alfine 11) to the base price.
In fact, for the Tikit to have the same gear range as the 6-speed Brommie, the Alfine 11 would have to be used (though Brommie's gears are higher)

Shock absorption
Brommie - out of the box
Tikit - add close to 180 bucks for a Thudbuster

Getting the bike to a remote location and back
Brommie - can be wrapped in a foam sleeping mat and put in a cloth bag (it has a neat, clean, tight fold).
Tikit - the travelcase with the trailer is brilliant, but adds over 500 bucks to the price
(using a cardboard box for the Tikit may work if one is to stay at one place close to the airport or train station, but it would be highly impractical for touring)

Handlebars for multiple hand positions
Brommie - P type has standard butterfly handlebars
Tikit - add the price of suitable handlebars

As can be seen, to equip the Tikit to the same overall capability/functionality as the P-type six-speed Brompton
with reduced gearing and the rear rack, it would cost close to 1000 dollars more. Is it worth it?
Also, would the reliability of Alfine 11 match the reliability of the Brompton's gear train?
It seems the quality of some of the Brompton's parts may not be very high. While the quality of some of the parts used on the basic Tikit may be so-so, as well, the Tikit can be easily upgraded (adding even more to the price).
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Old 08-14-12, 08:09 AM   #2
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Thudbuster STs tend to be quite cheap on ebay (I prefer the ST version).
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Old 08-14-12, 09:58 AM   #3
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Brommie - P type has standard butterfly handlebars
NB, rather different.. P bar is an up/down double height vertical bend,

whereas Trekking/Butterfly bars are a near/far horizontal hand position alternativewith a bar end like side position..M bar on brompton takes Ergon grip-shift length GR3s, with integrated bar ends, to create part of an alternative to straight bars.. still folds down..

GR5 will need bar-end/grip clamp bolt loosening, rotating a bit for the fold.. of course the same grip can be fitted on either 7/8" bars.. of course for Canadians have to import both,

GBP is more than the CDN$ 'loonie'[or the yankee dollar] so the international monetary exchange difference also raises the British, and Euro, CHF, imports..CDN$, and U$D seem on par these days..

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Old 08-14-12, 10:29 AM   #4
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You mentioned touring in remote areas. BF has less proprietary parts and thus may be easier to get back on the road. Also, did you compare the weight?
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Old 08-14-12, 11:01 AM   #5
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You mentioned touring in remote areas. BF has less proprietary parts and thus may be easier to get back on the road. Also, did you compare the weight?
Yes, I know <sigh>. That's the major reason I prefer the Tikit. It's just that equiping it to the point it's suited to my needs is pushing it out of my price range. OTOH, people have been touring with Bromptons and so far I haven't read about any major issues. I didn't compare the weight, and to be honest, I don't care about a kilogram here and kilogram there. Functionality and reliability are the most important to I.
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Old 08-14-12, 11:31 AM   #6
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I feel like the way you want to configure your Tikit is not really comparable to the Brompton. When you have so many options like the Tikit it is easy to quickly get out of hand price wise. Brompton owners pay a lot of money to have their bikes converted to the 8 and 11 speed Shimano hubs. If you are favoring the Tikit because it uses standard components, then I think you would be better off sticking with the normal derailleur drivetrain. None of Shimano's internal gear hubs are rated for touring and you are not going to easily be able to get them repaired on the road. I was quoted an addition of $46 to get H-Bars which in my opinion would be superior to Brompton's P-Bars.

When I look at comparing the two, to me the most important choice would be whether you need the compact folded size of the Brompton. Russ and Laura of The Path Less Pedaled specifically chose Bromptons because they wanted to easily be able to take trains and busses while traveling. Bromptons luggage system is also very appealing, to me at least.
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Old 08-14-12, 11:45 AM   #7
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Hi Michael, can you define what you mean by cycling in remote areas? The Brommie is a fine for use on normal roads but I would not recommend it at all for rougher surfaces or remote trails. I'm not even talking about off-road here.
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Old 08-14-12, 12:11 PM   #8
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The Brommie is a fine for use on normal roads but I would not recommend it at all for rougher surfaces or remote trails. I'm not even talking about off-road here.
I did at least reasonably flat forest trails, roots, rocks, sand, mud, with bike sinking at some point in the mud over the bottom bracket. All was good - just needed to clip the rear.
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Old 08-14-12, 12:24 PM   #9
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FWIW, I think that the suspension adds little to typical road/path riding for either bike. Anything that would require suspension is probably not suitable for 349 wheels.

To get a wider drivetrain on a tikit, ask for a front derailer mount to be installed. You can add a second chainring and front derailer whenever you like to get a much wider drivetrain pretty cheaply.
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Old 08-14-12, 01:16 PM   #10
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Hi Michael, can you define what you mean by cycling in remote areas? The Brommie is a fine for use on normal roads but I would not recommend it at all for rougher surfaces or remote trails. I'm not even talking about off-road here.
By "remote areas" I mean (for example) remote towns and villages in the Rockies or some roads in Yukon, for example. Paved, but still a good walk from supermarkets and bike shops Dirt roads should be OK, too, as long as they are not too rough or have too much sand/gravel on top.
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Old 08-14-12, 02:01 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Micheal Blue View Post
In fact, for the Tikit to have the same gear range as the 6-speed Brommie, the Alfine 11 would have to be used (though Brommie's gears are higher).
The Brompton's IGH 3-speed (but still requiring a chain tensioner) gearing has an overall low-high ratio of 177%. The Brompton's six speed hybrid IGH/derailleur gearing has an overall ratio of 302%. The Shimano eight speed IGHs have an overall ratio of 307%. The Shimano 11 speed IGH has an overall ratio of 409%.
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Old 08-14-12, 02:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jcmkk3 View Post
None of Shimano's internal gear hubs are rated for touring...
Uh...huh? Could you explain this, perhaps with some cited reference?

FWIW, Vin Cox rode around the world unsupported in 163 days using a Shimano Nexus 8 IGH.

Last edited by tcs; 08-14-12 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 08-14-12, 03:15 PM   #13
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Uh...huh? Could you explain this, perhaps with some cited reference?

FWIW, Vin Cox rode around the world unsupported in 163 days using a Shimano Nexus 8 IGH.
I didn't say that it would not work for loaded touring. I have heard reports of people having issues with their hubs at the high torque loads that touring often implies and when they tried to submit them for warranty were refused because of the purpose that they were using it for.
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Old 08-14-12, 03:33 PM   #14
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By "remote areas" I mean (for example) remote towns and villages in the Rockies or some roads in Yukon, for example. Paved, but still a good walk from supermarkets and bike shops Dirt roads should be OK, too, as long as they are not too rough or have too much sand/gravel on top.
The Brompton will handle roads without stones or potholes fine. Anyting from tarmac to solid gravel.
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Old 08-14-12, 03:50 PM   #15
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I did at least reasonably flat forest trails, roots, rocks, sand, mud, with bike sinking at some point in the mud over the bottom bracket. All was good - just needed to clip the rear.
Sure but it's harder on the Brommie than bikes that naturally handle such surfaces.
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Old 08-14-12, 04:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Micheal Blue View Post
I've been researching this, as I'm going to buy either Brompton or Tikit this fall. I'd prefer the Tikit,
but it seems I may have to get the Brommie, because of the price difference:
The planned used: commuting; trekking; touring (also in remote areas)
To compare apples to apples, they have to be equipped to the same functionality.
The price of a six-speed Brompton is very similar to the price of the basic 8-speed derailleur Tikit, but
that's not comparing apples to apples.
Although the bikes do overlap somewhat in function, they're actually pretty different. If you want to do a lot of touring, especially in remote areas, I would get the tikit. If you really need the small Brompton fold, I would get the Brompton.

But there are also ways of getting a cheaper tikit.
[quote]


Gear train
clean, straight chain-line, with sufficient ground clearance
Brommie - out of the box
Tikit - has to be upgraded to an IGH; that adds about 330 (Nexus 8) to about 700 (Alfine 11) to the base price.
In fact, for the Tikit to have the same gear range as the 6-speed Brommie, the Alfine 11 would have to be used (though Brommie's gears are higher)

Why not use the stock derailleur or get a double chainring up front and have an even greater range? The Brommie six-speed hybrid gearing setup was designed that way because of the fold...but it's not an optimal touring set up, and there's not really a point in trying to imitate it on a touring bike. Most people who tour do so with a traditional derailleur set up.
Quote:

Shock absorption
Brommie - out of the box
Tikit - add close to 180 bucks for a Thudbuster
You don't need a suspension.
Quote:

Getting the bike to a remote location and back
Brommie - can be wrapped in a foam sleeping mat and put in a cloth bag (it has a neat, clean, tight fold).
Tikit - the travelcase with the trailer is brilliant, but adds over 500 bucks to the price
(using a cardboard box for the Tikit may work if one is to stay at one place close to the airport or train station, but it would be highly impractical for touring)
Get the nylon travel bag for the tikit and pad it with foam; the bag costs $70.
Quote:


Handlebars for multiple hand positions
Brommie - P type has standard butterfly handlebars
Tikit - add the price of suitable handlebars
As mentioned above, these aren't standard butterfly handlebars - they are vertical.
Quote:

As can be seen, to equip the Tikit to the same overall capability/functionality as the P-type six-speed Brompton
with reduced gearing and the rear rack, it would cost close to 1000 dollars more. Is it worth it?
Also, would the reliability of Alfine 11 match the reliability of the Brompton's gear train?
It seems the quality of some of the Brompton's parts may not be very high. While the quality of some of the parts used on the basic Tikit may be so-so, as well, the Tikit can be easily upgraded (adding even more to the price).
There are other advantages to the Tikit - for one, you can buy their folding rear rack and carry normal panniers on the rear of the tikit - this allows you to carry much more weight on the tikit; for another, the tikit comes with "V" brakes, which are better than the standard brompton brakes. (Also, the T-Bag is kind of pricy at $160).

But what to get really depends on what your primary use case will be. If you want a touring bike that you can also commute on, you should probably get the tikit (with single or double derailleur). (Assuming you've ruled out a 20" folder like the NWT). If you primarily want a commuting bike and the smallest possible fold is important, you should go for the brompton.
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Old 08-14-12, 04:45 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Micheal Blue View Post
By "remote areas" I mean (for example) remote towns and villages in the Rockies or some roads in Yukon, for example. Paved, but still a good walk from supermarkets and bike shops Dirt roads should be OK, too, as long as they are not too rough or have too much sand/gravel on top.
It will be very rough even for a 20" Bike Friday NWT equipped with a long travel suspension seatpost (you NEED IT). I tried it about a decade ago. My Dahon Mu SL with Big Apple tires, a Pantour front suspension hub and a Thudbuster would be I consider comfortable enough but a bit short of my Masi CX with fat 700c tires bike in these Yukon or any FSR (Forest Service Roads). Otherwise and unless you're really young and can take a significant amount of abuse on your shoulders and legs by standing and riding at the same time, you will be significantly slowed down (smaller wheels have to negotiate rocks the size of boulders compared to bigger tires). The best bike for the comfort in terms of touring with it and is folding is either the Bike Friday Air Llama or the Dahon Jetstream or any full suspension. Running bikes off-road require both wide and fat tires to give you good traction and pneumatic suspension (comfort) and enough flotation so your tires don't sink too much into the mud/dirt, unless you prefer to do a lot of walking and standing and pedaling. It's also hard on your arms as well.

Nothing wrong with the Bromptons, though its steel frame will not save you from the jolts you'll get from the dirt roads. Bigger circumference tires will give you more comfort in off-road situation irregardless of suspension; hence a 29er mountain bike rides nicer than a 26" bike.
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Old 08-14-12, 04:50 PM   #18
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It will be very rough even for a 20" Bike Friday NWT equipped with a long travel suspension seatpost (you NEED IT). I tried it about a decade ago. My Dahon Mu SL with Big Apple tires, a Pantour front suspension hub and a Thudbuster would be I consider comfortable enough but a bit short of my Masi CX with fat 700c tires bike in these Yukon or any FSR (Forest Service Roads). Otherwise and unless you're really young and can take a significant amount of abuse on your shoulders and legs by standing and riding at the same time, you will be significantly slowed down (smaller wheels have to negotiate rocks the size of boulders compared to bigger tires). The best bike for the comfort in terms of touring with it and is folding is either the Bike Friday Air Llama or the Dahon Jetstream or any full suspension. Running bikes off-road require both wide and fat tires to give you good traction and pneumatic suspension (comfort) and enough flotation so your tires don't sink too much into the mud/dirt, unless you prefer to do a lot of walking and standing and pedaling. It's also hard on your arms as well.

Nothing wrong with the Bromptons, though its steel frame will not save you from the jolts you'll get from the dirt roads. Bigger circumference tires will give you more comfort in off-road situation irregardless of suspension; hence a 29er mountain bike rides nicer than a 26" bike.
This is very good advice and well balanced. +1
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Old 08-14-12, 04:55 PM   #19
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It will be very rough even for a 20" Bike Friday NWT equipped with a long travel suspension seatpost (you NEED IT). I tried it about a decade ago. My Dahon Mu SL with Big Apple tires, a Pantour front suspension hub and a Thudbuster would be I consider comfortable enough but a bit short of my Masi CX with fat 700c tires bike in these Yukon or any FSR (Forest Service Roads). Otherwise and unless you're really young and can take a significant amount of abuse on your shoulders and legs by standing and riding at the same time, you will be significantly slowed down (smaller wheels have to negotiate rocks the size of boulders compared to bigger tires). The best bike for the comfort in terms of touring with it and is folding is either the Bike Friday Air Llama or the Dahon Jetstream or any full suspension. Running bikes off-road require both wide and fat tires to give you good traction and pneumatic suspension (comfort) and enough flotation so your tires don't sink too much into the mud/dirt, unless you prefer to do a lot of walking and standing and pedaling. It's also hard on your arms as well.

Nothing wrong with the Bromptons, though its steel frame will not save you from the jolts you'll get from the dirt roads. Bigger circumference tires will give you more comfort in off-road situation irregardless of suspension; hence a 29er mountain bike rides nicer than a 26" bike.
Do you have any more info on this mod? Didn't know the non-suspension Dahons could be modded in that way. Thanks.
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Old 08-14-12, 07:37 PM   #20
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Do you have any more info on this mod? Didn't know the non-suspension Dahons could be modded in that way. Thanks.
As long as your 406 rims accept Big Apple 2.0 tires and you have enough clearance on the front fork and rear, I don't see why you can't install these. They are a lot bigger than the normal tires that come mostly stock on most Dahons except some models that do come with BA. On some Dahons with short arm V-brakes, you may need to replace them with longer arms like my Mu SL to prevent rubbing on the tire thread while breaking. They do improve ride comfort to a certain point by dampening high frequency vibrations (road and trail imperfections). To smooth out big bumps, you need mechanical suspension (Pantour, front/rear shock and a Thudbuster).

The Pantour suspension hub came stock with my Dahon. 2007 I believe was the last year that they were included with the Mu SL and it provides about 1/2" mechanical travel. You can still buy this hub in 74mm OLD and have it built into a front wheel, but the company seemed to be running on its last leg or something. Half of the website isn't working right. The front suspension does help in conjunction with the BA, but don't expect super plush like a Rock Shox or a Fox. The rear is a Thudbuster and this thing really helps save my butt a few times in conjunction with a rear BA.

The beauty of this setup is that, the Mu SL rides a lot nicer than any stock Dahon or Tern bikes, but the frame is stiff enough for me to attack hills with a big chain ring and feel no flex. Best of both worlds! It rides even better than my Dahon Speed Duo (a steel frame) with 1.75" tires.
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Old 08-14-12, 10:59 PM   #21
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A 3 speed, BSR [AW3],brompton , the chain tensioner is sole purpose ,

with the 6 speed there is the chain shover of pulley sideways thing an added function,

but still the chain does not have to pass so close to the dirt of the road as a derailleur ..
on the same wheel..

But spring for the IGH option and no chain tensioner is needed,

the whole tikit rear end includes the BB shell, in 1 section..

whereas Brompton and the 20" wheel travel bikes have a fold-hinge
between the BB and the rear hub so always need a chain-tensioner of some sort.

[with R'off P Llama its a really short cage.. so not down low like a wide range RD setup.]
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Old 08-15-12, 12:37 AM   #22
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[QUOTE=alhedges;14606268]Although the bikes do overlap somewhat in function, they're actually pretty different. If you want to do a lot of touring, especially in remote areas, I would get the tikit. If you really need the small Brompton fold, I would get the Brompton.

But there are also ways of getting a cheaper tikit.
Quote:


Gear train
clean, straight chain-line, with sufficient ground clearance
Brommie - out of the box
Tikit - has to be upgraded to an IGH; that adds about 330 (Nexus 8) to about 700 (Alfine 11) to the base price.
In fact, for the Tikit to have the same gear range as the 6-speed Brommie, the Alfine 11 would have to be used (though Brommie's gears are higher)

Why not use the stock derailleur or get a double chainring up front and have an even greater range? The Brommie six-speed hybrid gearing setup was designed that way because of the fold...but it's not an optimal touring set up, and there's not really a point in trying to imitate it on a touring bike. Most people who tour do so with a traditional derailleur set up.
You don't need a suspension.

Get the nylon travel bag for the tikit and pad it with foam; the bag costs $70.

There are other advantages to the Tikit - for one, you can buy their folding rear rack and carry normal panniers on the rear of the tikit - this allows you to carry much more weight on the tikit; for another, the tikit comes with "V" brakes, which are better than the standard brompton brakes. (Also, the T-Bag is kind of pricy at $160).

But what to get really depends on what your primary use case will be. If you want a touring bike that you can also commute on, you should probably get the tikit (with single or double derailleur). (Assuming you've ruled out a 20" folder like the NWT). If you primarily want a commuting bike and the smallest possible fold is important, you should go for the brompton.
+1

Get what you need for every day. there are far more "every days" than holydays.

You do not need a lot of stuff to start touring. Sounds like you`ll end up with several bikes anyways.

Remember you can get a sprung seat, no need for thudbuster to get suspension.

A 20" bike is far better suited for touring than a 16" but almost anything can work.

I like IGH bikes but the "clean drivetrain" thing is not the most important. A IGH wheel (w no dish) is much stronger than a der geared bike w 8 or 9 drivetrain.
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Old 08-15-12, 05:14 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Micheal Blue View Post
Gear train
clean, straight chain-line, with sufficient ground clearance
Brommie - out of the box
Tikit - has to be upgraded to an IGH; that adds about 330 (Nexus 8) to about 700 (Alfine 11) to the base price.
In fact, for the Tikit to have the same gear range as the 6-speed Brommie, the Alfine 11 would have to be used (though Brommie's gears are higher)
It's trivial to get the Tikit with a large range: just put chainrings up front. The problem is getting a Tikit with enough top end. The default setup goes to about 79 gear inches. In contrast, the 6-speed Brompton goes to 99 gear inches. With a big 60-inch up front on the Tikit you can push it to about 90 gear inches, which is not horrible. Beyond that you're probably looking at IGH. But for really wide range, my suggestion is a SRAM DualDrive. Of course clearance is still lower than on an IGH: but the Tikit can handle a short-throw derailleur (I use a medium throw). Get rid of the standard derailleur and put on an SRAM X.7 or higher. At any rate, yes, you're looking at money.


Quote:
Shock absorption
Brommie - out of the box
Tikit - add close to 180 bucks for a Thudbuster
No value at all. The Brommie's shock absorption is inconsequential. Get better tires, like Scorcher TRs.


Quote:
Getting the bike to a remote location and back
Brommie - can be wrapped in a foam sleeping mat and put in a cloth bag (it has a neat, clean, tight fold).
Tikit - the travelcase with the trailer is brilliant, but adds over 500 bucks to the price
(using a cardboard box for the Tikit may work if one is to stay at one place close to the airport or train station, but it would be highly impractical for touring)
Foam is almost entirely cosmetic. If I were serious about going remote, I'd get a suitcase.


Quote:
Handlebars for multiple hand positions
Brommie - P type has standard butterfly handlebars
Tikit - add the price of suitable handlebars
Actually here you have a problem: not only are the Brompton P bars totally different from butterfly bars, the Brompton's handlebars are so awful in general (totally flat, 0-degree profile) I think they're unusable for any real distance traveling. In contrast, the Tikit can be outfitted with pretty much anything, cheap or expensive. And this makes a huge difference.

I think in general the problem here is that you want to go cheap but cannot. The tikit is a better longer-distance bike than the Brompton: it's more easily repaired, it's quite a bit stabler, it can be fit to you, it's much easier to put standard parts on (like handlebars, gears, brakes, etc.), it's got a better rear rack by far. But it's more expensive to outfit like you need.

Even so, if you're looking at longer distance, I'd look instead at a bike with larger wheels, at least 20". Less bumpy (and no, the Brompton's suspension doesn't really help).

Last edited by feijai; 08-15-12 at 05:25 AM.
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Old 08-15-12, 05:36 AM   #24
chagzuki
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I disagree on the suspension, I find it works very well and actually takes some of the harshness out of the front end as well as the rear by reducing the sort of seesaw whiplash effect of potholes taken at speed.
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Old 08-15-12, 06:25 AM   #25
Micheal Blue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcs View Post
The Brompton's IGH 3-speed (but still requiring a chain tensioner) gearing has an overall low-high ratio of 177%. The Brompton's six speed hybrid IGH/derailleur gearing has an overall ratio of 302%. The Shimano eight speed IGHs have an overall ratio of 307%. The Shimano 11 speed IGH has an overall ratio of 409%.
From Brompton's website about the 6-speed gear train: 33 - 100 gear-inches (non-reduced gearing) = 67 gear-inches spread
From BF website:
Alfine 11 Tikit: 21 - 86 gear-inches = 65 gear-inches spread
Nexus 8 Tikit : 23 - 71 gear-inches = 48 gear-inches spread
Standard 8-speed derailleur Tikit: 30 - 77 gear-inches = 47 gear-inches spread
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