I’ve been testing a prototype full size pannier rack for the Tikit for a few months and wanted to share my thoughts. I should offer the standard prototype disclaimer…the rack in these photos is a prototype so the production models may be slightly different. I know Bike Friday was keenly working to make the rack better and better so any changes will be good things!
I was really excited to be able to carry a standard touring pannier on the rear of my Tikit. The front racks already offered by Bike Friday allow for full sized panniers on the front of the bike so it’s nice to get that functionality on the back end of this bike. Of course the big question is will the new rack hinder the famously fast and effortless Tikit fold?
The short answer is no – you’ll be able to fold the bike just as fast if you don’t have panniers on the rear and if you do it only takes a second to push the rack down into its folded position. The Touring Rack uses a clever hinged design to allow it to pop up and fold down without tools. In the folded position the rack has about the same profile as the standard Tikit rear rack.
I’ve used this rack with my Ortlieb panniers and an Arkel shopping pannier. Both fit and worked great. Other than folding the rack works just like a standard rear touring rack.
I didn’t weigh the rack before I installed it…sorry I got carried away!…=-) Obviously it will weigh more than the standard Tikit rear rack, but I certainly haven’t noticed the difference when riding, rolling or carrying my Tikit. I also think the versatility of being able to carry a full sized pannier and fold my Tikit makes it well worth adding a few ounces to my bike.
I have size 11.5US men’s feet and didn’t experience any heel strike on my large Tikit.
With the height of the extended rack you get sufficient ground clearance for large panniers. I don’t have a maximum weight capacity for this rack. I carried all sort of loads up to about 30lbs without difficulty. I tend to carry my bulkier lighter items in the rear and the more compact heavier items in front. I’m sure I could carry more weight if needed.
Things I didn’t like:
- the folded touring rack looks a bit busy compared to the simple standard Tikit rear rack.
- the silver arms vibrate against the rest of the rack frame. I’m going add a bit of electrical tape to pad the rack and solve this issue.
- the top of the rack gets abraded against the ground when the folded bike is put down. I need to add some padding in key spots.
Note issues 2 & 3 may well have been resolved on the production rack. I’m using a prototype.
Overall I’m really pleased to have this rack on my Tikit. I don’t always need to carry 4 panniers, but I like being able to when the need does arise. If the Tikit is your only bike and/or you tour on your Tikit this rack is a no-brainer. It really transforms the bike into a hauling machine with very little downside.
This rack should be available from Bike Friday shortly and will sell for ~$189.00.
I’ll keep hauling with this rack and report back when I’ve had it in service for 12 months or so.