Bike Friday One Way Tikit

11 07 2010

Love getting a box from Bike Friday...

I love it when the UPS Store calls me and lets me know that I have a box to pick up.  Usually if it’s a big box they want it picked up right away as they don’t have a lot of room.  You don’t have to twist my arm!  I rode right over and grabbed a box from Bike Friday.  As per usual the box was expertly packed and the bike in perfect condition.  Unpacking a Bike Friday takes a lot more time than a typical bike, but the benefit is you have some time to appreciate all the fine details of your new bike as you remove each individual piece of packing material.  Funny thing is I keep all this stuff and when I sent my Tikit back to Bike Friday a couple years ago I tried to repack it like they do and totally failed!  I bet you when the shipping dept folks opened that box they were horrified!

She's a looker in orange...

One Way Tikit Specification:

  • large Tikit frame [~58cm TT]
  • steel frame hand made in Eugene, OR
  • heavy rider option [stiffer frame]
  • hyperfold quick fold mechanism
  • Dutch World Cup Orange powder coat
  • Gearing 54T x 14T [fixed] = ~ 65″
  • 349 wheels [unbranded]
  • Greenspeed Scorcher tires
  • Tektro V-brakes & levers [front and back]
  • 165mm cranks
  • chain ring guard
  • 3/32″ 8 spd chain KMC
  • MKS EZ Promenade QR pedals
  • Carrying Handle
  • 80mm stem
  • flat MTB bar
  • saddle currently Selle Anatomica…eventually Brooks B-17
  • fenders
  • front rack [not yet installed]
  • rear rack [from my old Tikit]

One cog, no derailluer, no coasting...

Why fixed gear?

First off I gotta blame Kent Peterson for planting the seed many years ago.  As I read about his fixed gear rando adventures I had to admit that clearly a bike with one gear and no coasting was capable of some great things.  That didn’t make me run out and get a fixed gear, but it did take away some of the disbelief that riders actually gave up their gears willingly.  The next nail in my gear coffin was Tarik’s blog…I remember reading a post of his about a fixed gear folding bike and why that was a good idea. The final fixed gear role model I had was Walter from Bike Friday…he showed me his One Way Tikit when I visited Bike Friday HQ.  Walter is a guy who knows his bikes…so I pay attention to what he rides!

This spring I built up my first fixed gear bike, a Surly 1×1, and confirmed that I really enjoyed the simplicity of a fixed gear.  I also confirmed there was little to no performance difference for my general city riding. I climb as well as my geared bikes…actually faster since I can’t shift down. I am fast riding in stop and go traffic.  My knees don’t mind the fact I’m often riding a higher gear than I might on my geared bikes.

Modular Tikit drop outs...no chain tensioner needed here...

For a folder in particular there are a lot of good reasons to go fixed:

  • no shifter req’d
  • no rear brake req’d
  • no rear derailleur
  • no cables running to rear
  • no delicate parts to damage in transit or while shipping
  • lighter bike

I don’t ride my Tikit as much for pleasure as I do for errands, commuting and work.  These are all uses that favour simplicity and reliability…..which makes fixed gear a logical choice.

I should also note that there is something really fun about riding fixed.  There is not much to think about as far as your bike goes so you spend more mental energy experiencing the ride itself.

Love that orange chain ring guard...

The Ride

Keep in mind my old Tikit is a 2007 model so I wasn’t sure what tweaks Bike Friday may have made over the years to their 16″ wheeled commuter bike.  They’ve got a culture of continuous improvement and upgrading so even bikes made  in the same year may be slightly different.  Climbing aboard the One Way Tikit I felt right at home.  One of the major reasons I ride Bike Friday folding bikes is I can get a bike built to fit me [~58cm TT] rather than try and fit myself on a one size fits some product. Let’s face it if that worked we’d all be wearing the same size shoes, pants, etc…   The handling of this new bike feels very similar to my older Tikit – which is to say nimble, but stable.  If you have never ridden a small wheel bike and are test riding a Tikit give yourself 5 mins to adapt. I find that if I am away from my Tikit for a few months and climb back on it takes me to the end of the block until I feel at home…after that I can ride with one hand or no hands and bomb around town with total confidence.  In particular I think the Tikit’s handling shines in busy city riding conditions.  When you are dodging obstacles and continually stopping/starting the nimbleness of the Tikit puts a smile on your face.

Greenspeed Scorchers...

The gearing at ~65″ is right around what Sheldon Brown recommends for general purpose fixed gear riding and that’s about what I have on my Surly 1×1.  So far it’s working well for me on both bikes.  I would describe the feeling as never wishing I had a bigger gear or a smaller gear…I sort of forget about my drivetrain and just spin the pedals.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Sheldon nailed it once again.

I ordered this bike with the heavy rider upgrade [good to 260lbs] simply because I like the feel of a stiff folder and weight is not my primary concern.  To be honest the bike feels really light when I pick it up which surprised me, but I haven’t added the racks yet…I’ll try and track down a scale and weigh it, but it definitely feels lighter than my old Tikit.  As expected the frame feels stiff and solid when I get out of the saddle to hammer – as one must do with a fixie since there is no low gear.  The bike feels tighter than my old Tikit…that may be the heavy rider upgrade or just the fact it’s brand new.

Made in the USA...

All my folding bikes are running on Greenspeed Scorcher tires.  They rock.  Seriously…I was happy to see Bike Friday started carrying them…that saves me immediately taking off the stock tires and putting Scorchers on my new bike.  Without a doubt good rubber is the fastest, easiest and cheapest way to improve the performance and comfort of your bike.  The best thing is with a larger volume supple tire like the Scorcher you get both – the supple casing acts like suspension, which your body appreciates, and it makes your bike roll faster which everyone likes.

Folded and ready to roll...

Folding

The hyperfold works a lot like my old Tikit which is to say super fast and easy….effortless.  This is another reason why I ride a Tikit vs. another model of folding bike.  Nobody makes a folder that comes close to the lack of hassle of the Tikit.  See the video below…that video got me well and truly hooked on owning a Tikit.  The One Way Tikit features a new version of the rolling handle that is easier to use and provides stronger support for the long seatmast above it.  My only quibble with this handle is that the bare metal is slippery and not as comfortable as I’d like. I’ll be tracking down some black bar tape and wrapping this handle shortly.

The folded bike stands on its wheels and a small rubber “foot” when you put it down.  It can be knocked over though.  Once a rear rack is installed the folded bike becomes uber stable.

Miscellaneous Observations

  • the One Way Tikit ships with front and rear Tektro brakes which are totally functional, but won’t make anyone swoon with component envy.
  • welds are clean and look excellent to the naked eye.
  • powdercoat is bright and well done.
  • the MTB bars are really wide and I’ll have to cut them down a bit.
  • the rubber grips are better than the old style foam grips, but they won’t last more than a few days on this bike.
  • MKS pedals are nice and grippy, but if you don’t install the safety clips they have a tendency to eject at an inopportune moment – on a fixed gear that spells OUCH!
  • GS Scorchers just barely fit the front fork with no extra room.

Grip, brake lever and bar...

Choices

One really cool thing about getting a Tikit with modular dropouts is that you can buy it one configuration and then swap it over to another fairly easily.  For example this One Way Tikit can be changed into a Season Tikit by swapping in an IGH or into a derailleur Tikit with the addition of a cassette rear wheel.    That gives you a lot of flexibility.  You might enjoy riding a fixed gear for your around town commute, but want gears to tour.  It’s to know you have choices and a great reason to get a Tikit with modular dropouts.

Love that headbadge...

Upgrades

I’ve got some upgrades in mind for this bike to dial it in for my needs:

  • remove rear brake [no cables running to back end and it's not needed on a fixed gear]
  • cover naked rear brake studs
  • shorten front brake cable
  • install racks front and rear
  • cut bars by 2cm each side
  • install Ergon grips
  • install bar ends
  • install Power Grips on pedals
  • swap in a Brooks B-17 saddle
  • install Planet Bike Superflash to rear
  • install bell
  • add Dinotte 200L-AA headlight when night riding
  • install seatbag with tools and spare tube

Other side of folded Tikit...

I’ll be posting all my One Way Tikit photos on Flickr here.


Actions

Information

14 responses

12 07 2010
Reed Kennedy

Vik, does Bike Friday really carry the Scorchers now? I can’t find them anywhere on their site. I’m hoping they do, you’ve convinced me I need a pair.

I wonder if it’s too late to switch to Scorchers on my NWT? It ships in 2 weeks, my first Friday after 6 years of yearning!

BTW, and comments on the kevlar vs non-kevlar Scorchers?

12 07 2010
thelazyrando

@Reed….yes I heard that from someone else and got it confirm by Walter at BF…my Tikit came with them and so there should be no issue putting them on your new bike…if they are in stock…if not you would either have to wait a bit or buy them yourself.

They are awesome tires well worth getting either way…I’ve only ever used the TR version so I can’t speak to that model of Scorcher.

14 07 2010
Reed Kennedy

Right indeed, Vik! I called Bike Friday up today, and they have the kevlar reinforced Greenspeed Scorchers in stock in 406 as well. They were even kind enough to switch my bike from kevlar Primo Comets to the Scorchers at no extra cost!

They aren’t on the BF web store yet, though, so you do have to call and ask.

Thanks for letting me know! You just saved me $100 and some tire wrangling.

My NWT should be here in two weeks! I just can’t wait. Thanks also for your review, it was what finally convinced me to pull the trigger after years of almost-buying.

14 07 2010
thelazyrando

Congrats Reed….you’ll love the NWT and the Scorchers make it so sweet to ride….=-) See me pics and/or your first impressions….I’ll post to the blog.

19 07 2010
tarik saleh

Vik,

Very sweet ride! I am torn between selling my fixie NWT and getting one of these or just buying a tikit like this and keeping them both. The biggest problem with the fixie NWT (out the back dropouts) is that it does not quick fold wthout loosening the bolts on the rear of the bike. This bike solves everything, i think

20 07 2010
thelazyrando

@Tarik…the NWT and Tikit are totally different animals…my NWT has an IGH so I can’t fold mine without taking the chain off so I sympathize with your situation.

My thoughts:
– if I could keep only 1 I’d keep the Tikit because the hyperfold is a game changer.
– Although the NWT is a better heavy hauler you can tour with a Tikit or haul groceries
– I ride both bikes regularly so another idea is getting a fixed Tikit because it folds so well with the URT rear end…and keeping the NWT…possible gearing it to provide a different option that will restore it’s original fold.

4 03 2011
Doug S.

Hey Vik,
(It won’t bother me if you don’t want to post this, I didn’t see right off how to send you a personal message, and didn’t want to go to the trouble of figuring how.)
I’m Doug Shambarger in Little Rock, Arkansas, and I’m commenting late on this post to let you know that I’m the proud new owner of your orange tikit.
I saw it early last month on Friday’s “Pre-loved” page, and the heavy-rider option they did for you was an immediate draw as I’m solidly in the heavy-rider range. The copy on the BF website said the bike had been featured on a blog, so I looked around and found your site and got to read up on it and get a great idea of what I was getting into. It’s been only in the past few months that I’ve started following blogs regularly, but your writing felt familiar, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out it was your early comments on the tikit that first exposed me to it and started me wanting one, and now I’m checking you regularly to see what you have to say about my current favorite subject.
Now it’s a Season’s tikit with an Alfine hub (they even changed the sticker when they built the wheel), and I am having a ball. My commute is less than 3km, and it’s great for that but I also took it for a two hour ride last weekend and enjoyed every bit of it. Well, every bit but the VO saddle I picked that’s not quite broken in yet. Hardly the bike’s fault, and gives me a reason to get to ride more. The only thing about the bike that bothers me is the folded size. Adjusted for my height, the handlebars fold 7cm beyond the wheels and contact points and prevent the bike from standing on its own at all. I have an idea about that, and when the parts get here I’ll file a post on bike forums about it. Surely I’m not the first tall rider to run into this.
One unforseen issue with the bike is the color. Orange is a favorite, & this bike really looks good. It almost glows in low light. But I have a lot of orange shirts, and shoes (some are work clothes, but not all), and I find I’m self-conscious about color matching with the tikit. Leaving aside the circus-tent music that my sweetie starts humming every time I get on one of my folding bikes, I don’t want to think that other folks think that I’m funny-looking. Nothing to be done about it, I suppose, but get more green shirts.
This is my second Friday. I bought my NWT used in March of 1996 from a man who’d retired here from owning a bike shop in Vancouver, WA. It has been to my benefit now for 15 years that he was culling his collection, and that bike is still cruising along. It’s in the back room with the tikit right now, looking sternly over at the new competition, but it just got a new rear wheel with its own internal hub, so its not feeling too unloved. I expect I’ll have the same enjoyment from getting to ride this one, and I want to thank you for your part in it. I hope you’re still interested in folders when the next Friday comes along, Vik, and I hope you still want to write about it.

Doug

4 03 2011
thelazyrando

@Doug – I am glad that my bike went to a good home. I only got rid of it to make room for another Bike Friday that I wanted to try. I’m sorry the fold isn’t idea with the tall bars. I had have to see the bike unfolded and folded in some photos to offer any advice on that. I hope you have many great adventures with your new Tikit. Send me an update in a few months…=-)

8 08 2012
Will

I’m currently in the market for a folding bike.
However, at 6’3″ and around 200-210lbs (194cm, 98KG / 15 Stone) I’m finding it difficult to find a frame that is robust enough to handle me and doesn’t handle like a wet fish. It isn’t that I’m overweight, it’s just that there is a lot of me!

How do you find the Tikit as a Fixed gear bike? Obviously you love it, but I’d be interested in how you think it would handle my frame. I’d also be interested in a report back on the Hyperfold’s flex for fixed gear riding. I would have thought that getting out of the saddle and going for it would have put too much stress on the mechanism and given worrying amounts of flex.

8 08 2012
thelazyrando

@Will – I’m ~175lbs. The One Way Tikit was built with the heavy rider upgrade for riders in the 200lbs+ range. It’s noticeably stiffer than my older geared Tikit. The rear wheel and BB are both on the single piece rear triangle so when you hammer on the pedals there is no flex in the drivetrain. Bike Friday has lots of experience with heavier riders so it’s worth talking to them about your concerns. They will build you a custom bike that fits and that can handle your weight/power no problem.

BTW – I’m still riding my original Tikit which is 4yrs old and the hyperfold mechanism is going strong with next to no maintenance.

8 08 2012
Will

Concerning the hyper fold:
Still going strong, but what is the actual flex like while you are pumping away out of the saddle?

BTW – Great blog and thanks for the quick feedback!

8 08 2012
thelazyrando

@Will – the One Way fixed gear Tikit was a newer version than my original Tikit and it was noticeably stiffer. I don’t have a good way to measure that for you and explain it. Let’s put it this way. I thought the frame was stiff for a folding bike and hammering out of the saddle was done regularly. Frame flex was never on my mind as I rode.

I ended up keeping the original Tikit and giving the fixed gear back to Bike Friday. That was driven purely from practical/economic reasons. As I was deciding which one to keep frame stiffness was one of the issues I thought about. The older bike I kept was not a stiff as the newer bike yet I ended up keeping it because it was more than stiff enough for my riding – even though I often hammer out of the saddle rather than change gears.

If you want a really really really stiff folding bike consider a Bike Friday NWT with the quick fold upgrades. Not as quick to fold, but it would be even stiffer than the stiffest Tikit.

8 08 2012
Will

Excellent. It wasn’t so much the frame as the hyper fold stem that I was a little suspect about. Thanks for the feedback. Once again, great blog!

8 08 2012
thelazyrando

@Will – when I say frame I mean the long steerer/frame tube/seatmast/rear triangle.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: