Carbon Belt Tikit is Ready to Roll…=-)

29 01 2011

Carbon Belt Tikit...

Bike Friday is selling their carbon belt drive IGH Tikit starting Monday.

Here are some specs:

Carbon Drive tikit with Alfine 11.
Polished aluminum mountain bike handlebars, sealed bottom bracket, Tektro V brakes, 118-tooth Gates Carbon Drive belt, Shimano Alfine 11 internal hub, Phil Wood front hub and Schwalbe Marathon tires. Price: $3,292

Gear ratios for the Alfine 11:
60 x 24 = 21″ to 86″
60 x 22 = 23″ to 94″

Carbon Drive tikit with Alfine 8, Nexus Red Stripe 8 or Nexus 8.
Polished aluminum mountain bike handlebars, sealed bottom bracket, Tektro V brakes, 118-tooth Gates Carbon Drive belt, Shimano Alfine 8, Nexus Red Stripe 8 or Nexus 8 internal hub, twist shifter and Phil Wood cog, Phil Wood front hub and Schwalbe Marathon tires. Price: $2,595

Gear ratios for 8-speed hub:
60 x 22 = 23″ to 71″

NOTE: For comparison to chain drive tikits:
Standard 8-speed tikit: 53 x 11-28 = 30″ to 77″
Capreo tikit: 53 x 9-26 = 33″ to 94″

This version of the Tikit looks very sweet for the all weather commuter who wants zero hassle with maintenance.

I’m excited!…=-)   I’ll definitenly be askling for a test ride on my way home for Baja!


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16 responses

29 01 2011
Ty Smith

Looks awesome!

Can’t wait for your report!

29 01 2011
Steve Jones

Been talking to my dealer about this already!!!
REALLY Exciting bike!!! Yep, great commuter but when I get one, I plan to use it for far more adventurous activities! This set up oozes travel potential. I see a lot of Island hopping, boats and planes in my future. Reliability with the Alfine / B~Drive combo should be excellent.

29 01 2011
Andy

Sigh. So sad. I had Walter send me a quote as soon as they were available. But in the end I decided I just couldn’t afford it right now. It’s the Dahon for another year, at least. I did manage to rationalize an Alfine 11 wheel for an existing bike, which I’m anxiously awaiting. :)

31 01 2011
Diane

Hi Vik,

Would you have any idea of the life span of the carbon drive belt? I’m thinking of getting the this version of the tikit since I live in rainy South East Asia. The belt/igh combination seems to be the best commuter solution, but I don’t think replacement belts are easy to find over here.

31 01 2011
thelazyrando

@Diane – I don’t think anyone has a good idea for carbon belts on bicycles, but they have been used on motorcycles for years with good results so one would expect a long maintenance free service life, but I would hate to tell you that’s absolutely certain until they’ve been in use a lot longer on bikes. If you bought such a beast I would probably chat with BF about how long it would take to ship you a replacement. I’m guessing less than a week. If you consider the likelihood of a belt failure low – which would be my assessment than your worst case is a week without your bike. And if the problem was noticeable, but the bike was still rideable you might not have any downtime if you order the spare belt as soon as you notice the problem.

BTW – I believe Rob English at BF has been testing a carbon belt Tikit in rainy Oregon for at least a year if not more and he’s been stoked about it so maybe chat with him about how long he figures a belt should last.

31 01 2011
Jasen Robillard

When do you get back from Baja? Looking forward to your test drive report!

1 02 2011
frank

Here’s what I don’t understand: the difference in price between a version with the alfine 11 vs. the alfine 8 is $700! The retail for an alfine 11 is only ~$400. I’ve never heard of an upgrade like this costing more than the retail for the upgraded component. Seems crazy to me. You?

1 02 2011
thelazyrando

You’d have to ask BF about that Frank. Whenever I’ve chatted with them about stuff they’ve been forth coming about their reasoning and I can assure you nobody there is rolling around in cash from selling bikes.

There may be more differences involved than simply a swap of hubs.

1 02 2011
thelazyrando

@Jasen – I’ll be through BF HQ 3rd week of Feb…no idea if they’ll have a carbon belt Tikit can try at that time…if they do I’ll throw a leg over for sure, but they might not…hard to say.

3 02 2011
Chandra

Damn — you just gave me an idea, which could get me in a lot of trouble LOL!
Peace :)

5 02 2011
Dave

I have a dahon and have been eyeing better folders. This seems awesome except I was wondering how t folds when -10F. My dahon’s brake cables would always snap and I switched to a coaster brake. Have you had any problems with cold folds?

5 02 2011
thelazyrando

@Dave – check out the post below – it was at least -30 deg c that day and the Tikit fold was fast the same as always.

http://thelazyrando.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/my-real-winter-bike/

16 02 2011
Steve Jones

Well, after my initial burst of enthusiasm for the belt drive Tikit ( see original post above ) and visiting the BF dealer in Japan. I’m not so convinced about the belt drive system FOR MY PURPOSES. I found several in depth reports on the internet and it does seem that while the carbon drive system works well there are some negatives. The cogs apparently wear before the belt does.Some users reported 8 months! When you need to replace the parts the tolerances and adjustments are extremely fine and the belt is under a lot of tension with little flex. Great if you want a nice stiff ride but not if you want to spend all day in the saddle,For commuting purposes only, maybe. Parts are pretty expensive. You can carry spares ( you need to protect the belt from damage when doing so and even be careful when folding and unfolding it), see the Gates video online.
As I understand it, it isn’t so easy to retrofit a chain system if you choose belt drive and then later decide you don’t get along with it.
And finally…the price of the belt drive tikit compared to the price of,say a one way tikit with an Alfine and a chain drive,
Like, huge difference! I also don’t get why the Alfine is so expensive in the U.S. I was shocked when Bike Friday told me the price. O.K. I live in Japan so I expect it to be a little cheaper here, but heck, it’s half the U.S. price nearly. The other problem is that Bike Friday have told me that the Alfine Hubs in 36H are not yet available in the U.S. and they can’t currently build a chain drive version until they become available. Right now, am trying to get my dealer to buy the hubs here and send them to BF in Oregon. Not simply to save costs,but just to get my bike built! Not sure if this will work out yet.
I’d be a lot more convinced about the durability and worthiness of the belt drive option if Rob English would give us some in depth info! After all, think about it, the components he tested could not have included the Alfine hub as it simply hasn’t been available for testing from one year ago and that is the build option that they are offering.
We’ll know more Vik after your factory visit!

16 02 2011
thelazyrando

@Steve – I think going from belt to chain shouldn’t be a big deal as these bikes and hubs run on chains in their stock config, but having said that assuming you spend the $$ for the belt you want to feel confident you’ll be happy with it. Looking at the BF photo of the carbon belt Tikit it looks to me like it’s a Nexus 8 they tested or an Alfine 8.

I’ll ask about it and ride one if I can tomorrow when I pass through BF HQ.

16 02 2011
steve Jones

Thanks Vik,
That would be great! Yes, that would make sense that they tested an Alfine 8 or Nexus. Different internals on the 11 but similar fittings on the outside. Definitely want to order one ASAP .My friend here too, so as soon as we get the details sorted we’ll be placing orders.
Reason i’ve been cautious is I’m sure I’ll be using the Tikit far from home so reliability or ability to service it away from a bike shop is important, and (I’ll be honest), my mechanical skills are pretty basic!
Also wondering about colors. Your orange Tikit ( Dutch World Cup? ) looks different to the Enno Orange I saw at the dealers. I wonder if that’s just
because it’s on my computer screen or if that’s a special color. I’m kind of interested in the electric purple color but no idea if BF still offers that as an option. I did ask but no reply yet. No dealbreaker, I’m sure the Tikit rides great in any color!

Steve

17 02 2011
vik

@Steve – I’m here at BF and they don’t have a carbon belt Tikit unfortunately [out for review/photog with a magazine].

The orange looks like my photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vikapproved/sets/72157624318339059/

…it looks much darker on the BF site.

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