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  1. #1
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Bike Friday Tikit for touring?

    I've got the touring bug and folding bike bug real bad, have always wanted to try folded touring, and this may be my chance to get a bike that'll handle it.

    I need to replace my aging Dahon Curve folding bike - it's spending far too much time out of commission to be reliable, and it's 3-speed drivetrain isn't cutting it ever since my work moved near the Watchung Mountains. (My knees aren't all that happy, either.)

    A Bike Friday Tikit with a decent deraileur drivetrain (I work near the Watching Mountains) fits the bill for a commuter folder (this thread in the Folding Bikes forum convinced me to test-ride one), but will it let me do light touring as well?

    The touring setup would probably be two large panniers on the front rack, handlebar bag, and either a trunk bag or a roll of stuff on the rear rack. Has anyone here toured on a BF Tikit?

    Thanks!
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  2. #2
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    I asked a similar question to the folks at Bike Friday myself, and was essentially told "no". But I think your answer will depend on how you define "light touring". I currently own and love a Bike Friday New World Tourist. I've used it for lots of touring in some pretty rugged terrain. However, a New World Tourist admittedly isn't nearly as good as a Tikit would be as a commuter folder. I would advise you to call up Bike Friday and describe "light touring" to them and see what they say.

  3. #3
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by axolotl View Post
    I asked a similar question to the folks at Bike Friday myself, and was essentially told "no". But I think your answer will depend on how you define "light touring". I currently own and love a Bike Friday New World Tourist. I've used it for lots of touring in some pretty rugged terrain. However, a New World Tourist admittedly isn't nearly as good as a Tikit would be as a commuter folder. I would advise you to call up Bike Friday and describe "light touring" to them and see what they say.
    "Light touring" is, to me, any trip that's <= 3 days long and/or doesn't involve camping. I already called BF, and they feel I'd be fine with a Tikit.

    Of course, I can always pull my cargo trailer if i want... hmm...
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

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    The type of touring I described to them was definitely "heavier" and certainly of longer duration than what you have in mind. Bike Friday doesn't make junk, so I would think that a Tikit would work for your purposes. Still, I can appreciate that you'd like to get some first-hand testimonials from Tikit owners out there.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
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    I own both a Tikit and a New World Tourist. The NWT is touring specific, so does just what you'd want a touring bike to do. The Tikit, well....

    If you are doing light touring, then with some careful gear selection you could fit it all on a Tikit. What would concern me about using a Tikit for touring is the gears; particularly if you are thinking about mountains. The Tikit has only a single chain ring, so there isn't the kind of big gear range that you'd want if you are planning to tour in the mountains. The stock Tikit has a low of about 30 inches, which is a little high, and a gear range of about 250%, which is a little narrow. If you changed the chainring to get a low of, say, 25 inches, the high would be down around 64 inches. That's a very low high gear. If you went to a nine speed drive train you could open that up a bit, but there might be consequences of a longer cage derailleur on such small wheels.

    If you can, try out a Tikit and find yourself a nice big hill to go up. See how your knees feel about it. Think about how your knees will feel with some extra weight on top.

    Good Luck!

    Speedo

  7. #7
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedo View Post
    If you are doing light touring, then with some careful gear selection you could fit it all on a Tikit. What would concern me about using a Tikit for touring is the gears; particularly if you are thinking about mountains. The Tikit has only a single chain ring, so there isn't the kind of big gear range that you'd want if you are planning to tour in the mountains.
    BF tells me that they can build a Tikit with a double chainring. For truly mountainous touring, I'll still use my Randonee.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  8. #8
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    Hi neilfein
    Im always touring on my Bike Friday NWT,you can see my images on my web colmanlerner.zenfolio.com under cycling.the NWT do a great job and
    www.colmanlerner.zenfolio.com
    http://submit.shutterstock.com/?ref=60183
    “No Sueñes Tu Vida, Vive Tus Sueños“
    There is a driving force more powerful than steam, electricity and nuclear power: the will.
    A.Einstein

  9. #9
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    If you haven't ridden a Tikit Trophy Bikes in Philly usually has one in stock for test rides. Call first. Great people there, they'll let you test ride to your heart's content. Well, maybe not that far, but you'll can get a pretty good test ride with these folks. They want happy customers. And, a great touring shop to go with it.
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

  10. #10
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom cotter View Post
    If you haven't ridden a Tikit Trophy Bikes in Philly usually has one in stock for test rides.

    Yep, they're nice people. That's where I first test-rode any folding bikes at all - a Dahon and a Brompton. I'm gonna go to a place in DC his weekend if we have time that stocks BFs.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  11. #11
    LCI #1853
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    The touring setup would probably be two large panniers on the front rack, handlebar bag, and either a trunk bag or a roll of stuff on the rear rack. Has anyone here toured on a BF Tikit?

    Thanks!
    "Light" is the key word here... The front rack for the Tikit will hold a small to medium-sized pannier, and the rear rack is set pretty low (16" wheels don't give you a lot of height to work with), so again, you're looking at a medium-sized pannier. I've got a set of Jandds that will work, but my Axiom touring panniers will nearly drag the ground.

    I use my Tikit mostly as a travel bike and light utility riding around town, with a racktrunk on the rear rack and maybe one of the Jandd's on the front. Those I've seen do more touring style work with it will get the suitcase/trailer, and use that to haul their gear in.

  12. #12
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    Bike Friday sells a modified rear rack with extra-long stays for their 20" wheel bikes, so I'm guessing they have something similar for their 16" wheel bikes. I use regular Ortlieb Bikepacker Plus rear panniers on my 20" wheel New World Tourist with no problems at all.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post


    The touring setup would probably be two large panniers on the front rack, handlebar bag, and either a trunk bag or a roll of stuff on the rear rack. Has anyone here toured on a BF Tikit?

    Thanks!
    that load doesn't describe "light" touring. Why a Tikit and not a NWT or LLama? You can strap a small duffle vertically on the steerer tube and a rack bag on the rear. I did a short tour with a NWT with that set-up. A 2.0 x 20" Big Apple front tire makes for very comfy riding through crappy stuff without any sacrifice in cruising speed.

  14. #14
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    that load doesn't describe "light" touring.
    Anything less than four reasonably full panniers and a camping roll is light to me. I've met people who do "ultra-light touring", essentially a seatpost rack and maybe a handlebar bag. Shades of grey...

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    Why a Tikit and not a NWT or LLama?
    The bike will be primarily a commuter bike, and a tourer secondarily. The NWT is an awesome-looking bike (it was my original first choice among the bike friday models), but it takes too long to fold to be useful in a bike/train commute. The Llama is more of an offroad bike, from what Bike Friday tells me.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    You can strap a small duffle vertically on the steerer tube
    That sounds pretty cool. Did you secure the end of the bag to the handlebars to keep it from sliding downwards?
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

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    does anybody have a nwt and has also toured with a surly lht? how besides the obvious fact that you can fold it, how would the ride compare for fully loaded touring? i like the idea of a folding bicycle much more than s&s couplers. except hpm's swift folder. i toured with that for a few days and it was horrible. but i think the swift folder is just crappy in general, and i already know i like the ride of bike friday bikes.

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    Tikit Touring?

    Yep. I'm planning to buy a Tikit for commuting and touring too. I already have a dahon folder which I7ve used for touring and it's very good. Someone asked why a Tikit and not a New World Tourist? The answer is that the Tikit ROLLS when folded. That means you don't have to carry the weight of it when you have to do long walks through airports and underground railway stations. This is a great advantage especially when you have a heavy rucsac or luggage to deal with.
    No reason why you can't tour on a tikit as long as you keep your packing light. " panniers plus one other bag and small bar bag should work fine. Gearing? You'll walk up really steep hills anyway to avoid sweating and resonable hills can be dealt with by a modest gear range. My Dahon is only 8 speed but it gets up the hill well, low center of gravity and carries a load better than my mountain bike!
    The best thing would be to fit an Alfine 11 speed hub gear on the back. That should do it. No derailleur hanging down or ground clearance problems. You are ALWAYS limited by small wheels. No getting around that and the NWT'S 20 inchers will give an advantage.
    You might be able to fit 20 inch wheels on the front of a TIKIT with a different fork.
    Lama fork? Don't know about the folding though but I'll bet Bike Friday can work something out for you.
    The Tikit will be a great tourer/ commuter if you set it up right. You could also get the heavy rider upgrade for strength.

    Good luck.

  17. #17
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    You can definitely tour with a Bike Friday Tikit. Make sure you get adequate gearing for your needs. Buy the 2 pannier front rack and touring rear rack or talk to BF about one of their suitcase trailers.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/vikappr...th/2429835791/

    http://thelazyrando.wordpress.com/tag/tikit/



    The Bike Friday NWT is the better choice for touring and now is available with a quick fold stem. Depending on your commute the NWT could be a great commuter bike.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/vikappr...th/5165929330/

    http://thelazyrando.wordpress.com/tag/nwt/
    safe riding - Vik
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    Some folks tour on unicycles, as long as it moves with less effort than walking, it meets someone's definition. Sounds like you need a Tikit for your commute, so what is the downside, so long as the accessories prove their worth. It seems it's more a question of whether the certain options like the double up front and the racks are worth it.

  19. #19
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    i wouldn't want to ride a tikit for very long distances. they are great for small jaunts of 10-20 miles, but the idea of say 50-60 miles on one makes me cringe...

    for a commuter bike, though, its great.

    Just too twitchy for long days in the saddle where I would want something more forgiving of me being tired... I think that is the issue, more than the cargo capacity.

  20. #20
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Wow, old thread ressurected! I ended up getting the Tikit, and it's a great bike. I've only used it for touring once, but the Tikit is a good bike for a short tour without camping gear. Here's the tour journal: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/ridinsohigh


    And here it is with bags:

    IMG_2476.JPG by neilfein, on Flickr
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    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  21. #21
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Bike Friday has some conflicts because their 20" wheel bikes are what they made for a lot longer.
    for touring, so touring , is likely to have them suggesting one of the knock down bikes , with 406 wheels.

    one advantage 406 tires are second behind 559 MTB tires in world wide availability.

    Though people have taken their Bromptons, the 349 wheel common with the Tikit,
    Around the world in some pretty remote places, where the fold to get on a rural Bus with the locals
    or hire a dinghy to get you across a river is much easier to cope with , on a folding bike than a big wheel MTB.

  22. #22
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    Wondering how this relates now that Tikit has folding rear rack that can handle larger panniers...?

  23. #23
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bored117 View Post
    Wondering how this relates now that Tikit has folding rear rack that can handle larger panniers...?
    I decided not to get the new rack; it's expensive and (IMO) not as nice-looking as the regular rack, possibly heavier. But mostly... expensive.
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    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  24. #24
    But wait... I AM the man. NoGaBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vegenaise View Post
    does anybody have a nwt and has also toured with a surly lht? how besides the obvious fact that you can fold it, how would the ride compare for fully loaded touring? i like the idea of a folding bicycle much more than s&s couplers. except hpm's swift folder. i toured with that for a few days and it was horrible. but i think the swift folder is just crappy in general, and i already know i like the ride of bike friday bikes.
    Well, the OP of this quote probably no longer cares, since it was a year ago, but I have both. The BF is fine, but it's no LHT. I'm ALWAYS torn... deal with the difficulty and expense of UPS shipping the LHT both ways, or deal with the compromise of riding 300 miles or more knowing I have a better touring bike gathering dust in my garage.

    For me, the NWT is perfectly adequate. It handles well enough, I have a good gearing setup (9sp Ultegra rear, with 54 single chainring and 3-speed SRAM dual-drive hub), and the racks will hold the same setup of stuff I have on my LHT. In fact, the Ultegra STIs on the NWT are better than the Tiagra 9 STIs on the LHT. Seats are the same, pedals the same. In other words, I've set up the NWT to try and capture the feel of the LHT as much as possible. Seat-to-bars measurement, pedal-to-seat are the same on both bikes. Bar height relative to seat is the same on both.

    But in the end, the Surly is much more stable, loaded or unloaded. It is my preference for sure all else being equal. But I love throwing that Samsonite suitcase in the cargo hold of an airplane and having it all with me when I arrive. I've had bad experiences with the LHT being damaged, and also I can't afford Delta's unreal bike charges anymore. I haven't flown with a full-size bike since 2006. I either ship the LHT or carry the NWT. I'm taking the NWT to Arizona this Saturday for a short trip.
    Stick it to the man.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoGaBiker View Post
    But I love throwing that Samsonite suitcase in the cargo hold of an airplane and having it all with me when I arrive. I've had bad experiences with the LHT being damaged, and also I can't afford Delta's unreal bike charges anymore. I haven't flown with a full-size bike since 2006.
    Might be time to think about having some S&S couplers retrofitted onto the LHT. . .

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