Tikit 2 Pannier Front Rack First Impressions

17 12 2008

Originally posted on my Tikit Blog – April 2008

Tikit gone shopping

Tikit gone shopping

Installation of the prototype front rack was easy. It attaches to the brake posts and to a braze-on on the bottom of each fork leg. The whole process took less than 3 mins. The rack itself is nicely welded and blends into the rest of the bike when not being used.

My first test of the 2 pannier Tikit front rack was a mission of necessity. I was all out of food and needed to resupply. I put some Ortlieb front panniers on my trusty stead and headed to the grocery store. Throwing caution to the wind I decided to restock my supply of canned goods. I’m not sure how much weight I had in each pannier, but it was in the 12-15lbs range. Riding home the Tikit’s handling was predictably slower than normal. For a touring bike that’s a good thing and it changed the feel of the Tikit considerably. A couple time I was going into a corner and had to readjust my line at the last minute when the Tikit didn’t dive into the turn as quickly as usual. It didn’t take long to get used to the new more sedate Tikit and I think I’ll really appreciate the slower more stable handling on tour. I’ll be interested to see how the bike handles with some weight in back to balance things out. The rack proved stiff enough that I could wiggle the bars without inducing any pannier sway.

The ability to carry two panniers up front when needed and still fold the Tikit [note – you can leave the right side pannier on when folding the bike] without having to remove the rack is really useful. I’m glad I went through the trouble of getting this rack made and really appreciate Bike Friday taking the project on. I’ll keep putting the rack through its paces and report back during the summer.

I should note that Bike Friday built this rack for me as a custom order and it isn’t a production item at this point. Bike Friday wants to make sure they’ve got the design dialed before deciding to add it to their line up of Tikit accessories. All my comments refer to the rack mounted on a large size frame. The smaller frames have less clearance between the front and rear wheels when folded so there may be some issues that I am unaware of.


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7 responses

17 12 2008
Derrick

Hey Vik, I just wanted to say thanks for combining your blogs. I’ve read your Big Dummy and touring stuff for a while. But bringing it all together has really opened my eyes to different stuff, specifically folding bikes… and now the Pugsley. I think that’s what you were trying to accomplish. And you’ve done it. It’s great stuff. Thanks a ton for broadening my horizons.

17 12 2008
thelazyrando

That’s great Derrick. I was hoping to expose people to a wider variety of content as well as make my life easier! Plus you know have one spot you can search for whatever content you might be interested in.

17 12 2008
Adam

From the wording it sounds like you’re planning on taking this bike on tour. Is that true?

17 12 2008
bikefridaywalter

BTW I’ve tested it myself on a medium and I’m totally happy with it. Now I’m recommending it to everyone.

18 12 2008
Protorio

I just bought a Model T and a production double-sided rack! I’m stoked. Thanks for paving the way. I can’t wait to get it. I was deciding (not very effectively) between the Tikit and a Pocket bike, and concluded that the Tikit would be better for the riding I’m doing now, whereas the Pocket would be good for riding I’d *like* to do when I have more time (I have a 3 year old daughter).

31 12 2008
Charmaine

Hi Vik – I have a Tikit also, with front and rear fenders. Bought the rear rack. However, I could not seem to get the rear fender assembled together with the rear rack! The metal “arm” that connects it to the bike frame wasn’t long enough all of a sudden. I tried using a longer bolt, but that didn’t work either. So I just ride without the rear fender. :/ Did you have any trouble in putting your rear fender back on with the rear rack? Just curious. I’d like to have the rear fender on there, if I can… :/ Charmaine

15 01 2009
thelazyrando

Hey Charmaine,

I had no issue with the rear rack and rear fender. Can you send me a picture illustrating the problem? If so I can give you some ideas how to sort things out.

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