Bike Friday Tikit 3yr Update

9 11 2010

My Tikit 3yrs ago...

I’ve had my Bike Friday Tikit folding bike nearly 3 years now so I thought I would provide some thoughts looking back on our years together.  The photos in this post are from Dec 2007.

  • my Tikit has become one of my favourite bikes and has seen a lot of use over these years.
  • the hyperfold is a game changer for me that allows me to use a bike for missions I would otherwise drive or take transit.
  • I have a 2010 Tikit that I can compare to this 2007 Tikit.  The newer model has some improvements for sure, but when Bike  Friday asked me if I wanted to trade in my old Tikit on a new one I said..”No way!” It just works so well and we get along too well to split up our partnership…=-)

My Tikit 2 ride...

  • this Tikit has been my winter and rain bike.  I was worried that a complex folder might get messed up by the salt, grit and wet conditions, but so far I haven’t had any rust issues at all and the bike folds as well as it did on day 1.
  • In terms of maintenance I haven’t done anything other than oil the chain occasionally.  I checked the hyperfold cable once. I have lubed the clamp at the stem hinge 2 or 3 times.  This bike has been washed twice.  After 3 years of use I need to replace the chain/cassette/chainring, but it’s still working fine so I keep putting that off, but definitely before next spring that will have to happen.  I swapped in some Greenspeed Scorchers which are looking a bit worn and will need to be replaced by next spring.  Overall not too bad for a folding bike with all sorts of hinges and cables.

Small wheels - big smile...

  • I’ve really come to depend on the mobility and flexibility of this bike.  It allows me to ride when I wouldn’t be able to on a full size bike due to security or logistical issues.  With most of my other bikes if they were stolen I’d probably take the opportunity to try out something different.  With my Tikit I’d order up a new Tikit the next day.
  • I have tried other brands of folders [Brompton, Dahon & Birdy], but nothing comes even close to the ride quality, folding ease and comfortable fit of my Bike Friday Tikit.
  • I have a habit of buying and selling bikes to try out different products so it is rare for a bike to last 3yrs in my fleet and really rare for me to turn down a chance to upgrade to a newer model.  However, one thing I have learned is when you find a bike that is 10 out of 10 awesome hang on to it.  That’s not something to be taken lightly.

More than just a bike...

  • The cool thing about buying a Tikit is that besides an amazing bike you get the support of a company that’s dedicated to customer service and that loves cycling.
  • Anytime I’ve had a question or concern they treated me very well and resolved my issue as fast as possible.
  • I like the fact that my Bike Friday was made by hand in Eugene OR and that I can call up the company and chat with them about my bike.
  • I’ve visited Bike Friday twice and really enjoyed seeing the factory and meeting the folks behind this bike.
  • It is easy to see why Bike Friday customers buy several bikes from this company as their cycling needs change and why they are so passionate about them.
  • I’m sure glad I took the chance and ordered a Tikit 3 years ago…=-)

If you want to check out my thoughts on my Bike Friday Tikit back when I first got it you can check out my Vik’s Tikit Blog and for newer Tikit posts you can check out this section of my current blog.


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14 responses

9 11 2010
Gerco

Hey Vik,

Wondering.. How many folding bikes do you own?? Are they all different? And if so, what are the specific differences? Is there a favorite?

Thanks,
Gerco

10 11 2010
David

Vik,
I appreciate your updates on the Tikit. Sounds like the stem hyperfold option on the Tikit is a good one, as compared to the twiddly knob– c’est ca? I’ve wondered about the durability of that option (and extra cost vs. actual benefit, given that in Edmonton I’m not looking for those few seconds difference to make the leap to the train). Your comments indicate no problem.

I have a BF pocket rocket, but in the same vein as you, looking at a Tikit as something that ups the easy bikeability option for daily trips, family weekends away and such. I’d also like to keep my Tikit simple with a single-speed. I would prefer free-wheel, although fixed gear provides the preferred gear inches (53/13 or 14). Your experience with (your other) Tikit seems to indicate the fixed experience has been fine, even in Victoria, which does have some inclines to deal with. Any other thoughts on this? Thank you.

10 11 2010
thelazyrando

@David – yes the hyperfold has not req’d any maintenance other than lubing the stem clamp a few times. I definitely see it as a worthwhile investment over the knob Tikit. Not having to undo or tighten anything when folding/unfolding your bike is great.

In terms of gearing a SS Tikit would work fine and you could get a flip flop hub so you could ride fixed or SS you desire. I’ve learnt a about FG this year and one thing is that climbing is not that big a deal. I end up at the top of hills faster than if I was riding a geared bike. Of course it can be a bit harder, but it’s also over faster and with a FG bike the pedals rotate through the dead spot in your power stroke on their own so I think a FG bike is easier to climb with than a SS bike with the same gearing.

10 11 2010
DM

Hi,
I found your blog when I was looking for info on folding bikes. I notice that you’ve tried the Brompton. I’d like to know how you compare with BF Tikit.
Obviously you seems to prefer the BF to the Brompton but I’d like to know why. Actually, I’m in the market for a folding bike kind and I tried the Bromptom, which I think is not too bad except for these exclusive parts. There are no LBS selling BF in the area, so I can’t compare. If you could let me know your thoughts on these two bikes, this would be much appreciated
Regards
Denis

10 11 2010
thelazyrando

The Brompton has a very small fold, an interesting partially folded rolling/standing mode and some cool luggage. I didn’t like how it fit me [6′] and it didn’t seem to be a great bike for getting anywhere quickly. For a short hop on either side of a very crowded train or bus I can see the appeal.

The Tikit can be ordered and sized to fit anyone perfectly, uses mostly standard bike parts, folds in seconds, more importantly unfolds in seconds with no adjustment to cockpit dimension, handles great and I can really hammer with one and ride fast with ease. It rolls nicely when folded and has a cool shower cap to hide the bike for entry into strict buildings. It doesn’t fold as small as the Brompton.

My friends were Brompton dealers and they offered me a Brompton at cost. I declined and bought a Tikit at retail cost. I’m glad I did. I occasionally ride my friends’ Bromptons and after 15mins I am happy to be off them. There is no comparison to a Tikit.

10 11 2010
DM

Thanks for your input. Once folded, are they at the same size or almost? I will have to take the subway with the bike, on rush hours. The Brompton is very compact, that might help. But I prefer having regular parts on the bike. If the BF is bigger, is it still easy to walk the bike?

10 11 2010
thelazyrando

@DM – The Brompton is smaller folded for sure. I don’t have dimensions for each bike when folded, but I am sure you can find them with Google. Personally I can’t see how you’d get a Brompton on a crowded subway and wouldn’t get the Tikit on, but without knowing your situation myself I can’t say for sure. What I can say is I find the Tikit is superior in every other aspect so I would see if a Tikit would work first.

The Tikit is much easier to move when folded because you can roll the bike. I assume you’ve seen this video:

11 11 2010
DM

Thank you again,
Yes, I saw that video. I think I’ll send an e-mail at BF. And thanks for your blog, always interesting.

Denis

17 11 2010
Daus

Vik,

I too considered the Brompton and Tikit, test driving them both. There is no comparison for ride quality, the tikit is a pure joy to ride. Even though the Brompton had a smaller fold, the tikit can fold faster and be rolled around. This alone was what seperates the tikit from any other folding bike out there. Over 1 year of ownership so far and it is my main bike for everything, even for travel by airline.

Daus

27 01 2011
After 3 years, tikit still tops for Lazy Randonneur | 16incheswestofpeoria

[…] After 3 years, tikit still tops for Lazy Randonneur Posted on January 27, 2011 by 16incheswestofpeoria When I was thinking about buying a Bike Friday tikit, I was hungry for other people’s thoughts on it. And one of the websites I looked at a lot was The Lazy Randonneur. From November 2010, here’s his extended-use review. […]

7 02 2011
Alvin Lee

Hi Vik

Interesting to read that many at Ecovelo seem to think that the Brompton rides just as well as the Tikit. I find the rigidity of the Brompton not as good as the Tikit. Go check out the lively discussion.

http://www.ecovelo.info/2011/01/30/a-tale-of-two-folders-a-photo-essay/#comments

Al :)

8 02 2011
vik

@AL – I don’t want to get into more Tikit vs. Brompton debates than I already have…LOL…I think the key thing with any bike is that it fits correctly which is easiest on a bike that comes in several frame sizes and uses standard bike parts.

Beyond that it depends what kind of riding you do. Some people have short easy rides and ride very casually. Others have longer more challenging rides and/or ride more aggressively. The bike each person prefers could be quite different.

Personally I’ve never enjoyed riding a Brompton.

8 02 2011
thelazyrando

BTW – I would also note that some reviewers are hesitant to fault a bike that their readers might be loyal to or that their site sponsors sell.

9 02 2011
Alvin Lee

I find it puzzling how some Brompton riders claim their ride is better (more rigid) than the Tikit. I have ridden both for a few years now and we KNOW the Tikit is tops here. You are right about blind and unobjective owners on both camps.

The Tikit does have some flex in the handlebar mast but its no big deal in my books. Thanks for your wisdom Vik!

Are you planning for the belt drive Alfine Tikit? I’m drooling.

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