Bike Friday Tikit Redux

16 09 2011

Back and better than ever...

One of my favourite bikes got some love this year – my 4yr old Bike Friday Tikit had its worn out bits replaced and a new powdercoat. I was lucky enough to get a custom PR front rack from Lane at CETMA as well.

  • new powdercoat
  • new Greenspeed Scorchers
  • new chain
  • new cassette
  • new cables & housing
  • new one piece stem/riser
  • custom PR front rack

The rack doesn't mess with the awesome fold...=-)

Bike Friday did all the work for me less the front rack. The drivetrain and tires were in need of replacing, but the paint was fine. I was just in the mood for something other than stealth black. It was fair chunk of change to upgrade my old bike. I considered just getting a new 2011 Tikit. Having ridden a 2010 Tikit extensively there have been some definite improvements over the years, but at the same time my old bike is one of the original Tikits made and it rides just fine so I decided to keep it and show it how much I loved it…=-) If you have an older Friday and want to hit the refresh button give the nice folks in Eugene a call and see what they can do for you. Best to get the work done in the winter when things are less crazy at HQ and you could probably work out a better deal than in July.

Custom CETMA PR rack...

The front rack was a one off from CETMA. I don’t know if Lane would be willing to make another as the whole folding bike thing was a hassle for him to deal with and he has a ton of standard production racks and cargo bikes to build. Bike Friday is considering adding a front platform rack to their product line, but they aren’t sure about demand so if you want one drop Walter at BF an email. If he gets enough you’ll get your rack. The other option is going full custom which is no problem, but expensive.

Side view of the fold...

Naturally the front rack doesn’t mess up the sweet Bike Friday Tikit hyperfold. I haven’t tried it, but I assume the showercap won’t go over the bigger rack, but it might work partially as a protective shield from rain/dirt rather than totally camouflaging the bike underneath. I haven’t used the new rack much yet so I’ll save a discussion of how it’s working for another post. It will certainly make carrying bulky items easier an I’ll probably keep a light sturdy cardboard box handy so I can use it for smaller loose items as well.

The Ortlieb O-bag...

My hope was that this Ortlieb bag would mount to the new front rack via a bolt on QR block. That didn’t happen, but I think if I am happy with the rack I will find a welder locally to help me mount it as a PR rack plus a QR waterproof office bag is in my mind the knock out punch for Tikit’s usefulness and versatility. I’m stoked to be partway there.



18 responses

16 09 2011

Very cool. Love the white.

16 09 2011
Ty Smith

Looks great Vik!

I noticed you upgraded to the new seatmast as well. I did the same with my “Green Lantern” Tikit a few months back.

Agree, the good folks at Bike Friday do a great job when they do a “rehab” project. I could not be more pleased with what they did for me, and I can sure see they did a great job for you too!


16 09 2011

The seatmast was a year previous, but it was upgraded as well. This bike is a keeper and deserves all the love it can get…=-) Maybe next time I’ll do the superhero upgrade like yours…=-)

16 09 2011
Brian Ogilvie

Hi Vik,

Looks nice! Do you find that the new one-piece stem riser makes the Tikit more stable than with the separate stem and riser? That’s been my main problem with using the Tikit on long rides and tours (and why Green Gear got even more of my money when I ordered my New World Tourist!).


16 09 2011

@B – I’ve never had stability issues with my Tikit and the new one piece stem/riser, puts my bars exactly the same place as the old setup so there is no difference at all.

16 09 2011

@B – a front load really slows down the Tikit steering so if you want a more docile ride that would be a good place to start.

16 09 2011

Very nice. I like the looks of the one-piece stem. Is that why you went with it? The looks? Or did it also reduce the weight? Did you also pick up a splitable handlebar?

16 09 2011

@16″WoP: Just for looks. BF installed some new bars….Perhaps they are split-able…I’ve never pulled them to check.

16 09 2011
Steve Jones

Ha ha! You’re slowly turning the bike into a Brompton without realizing it. They already have the front luggage system worked out beautifully, snap on the bag and you’re set to go.Wish I could get that on the Tikit. With a rack you still have the problem of how to secure your luggage. I think it’s just great that you have decided to keep your original Tikit and give it a new coat of paint.We should all love our bikes more instead of trading for the latest thing. I dread to think how much you paid for it though. The most painful part of getting my Season Tikit was the cost of the paint! More than the price of expensive parts like my Phil Wood hub upgrade!!! I still haven’t figured out how they cost that out when you consider the quantity of paint on a small frame like the Tikit.. SPRAYED in Oregon? They did do a good job though and it looks pretty. I might get it a new dress one day if they ever bring back purple. I noticed they were experimenting with new colors during my recent stopover at the factory.

16 09 2011

@Steve – The last thing I would want is to turn my Tikit into a Brompton. The only thing Brompton-esque I aspire to is the clip on luggage, but I wouldn’t want it as Brompton implements it with simply a bracket to clip the bag on. I like the PR rack as it’s far more versatile. Securing your luggage is simple with a cargo net or adjustable cargo strap.

17 09 2011

Hi Vik:
Love the PR rack and the new paint and stem look GREAT. Will you be putting on Ergon grips and a putting on a Brooks saddle?

18 09 2011
Steve Jones

Vik, did you know that the original Brompton design had a folding mech. using cables similar to the hyperfold on the Tikit? It was dropped at the production stage in favor of the clamp system. Also check the similarity of the stem clamp on the Tikit and the Brompton. Fairly similar in design and implementation.I know you favor the Bike Friday product but the Tikit is more Brompton-esque than you think! Also I rode a Brompton most of the way down the Oregon coast this summer and was amazed at how much gear the bike could handle and the rigidity of the frame. Much better than i could have imagined. It passed my touring test no problem.
Well, I bought a Tikit anyway as I expected it would be a faster ride and therefore better suited to long trips with gear. Time will tell. My criteria in a folding bike is that it must be able to roll when folded. Carrying heavy bikes on trains and through subways? No thanks, been there done that.
Now I’m putting my new Season Tikit through it’s paces. Hill climbs today, it did pretty well but then I wasn’t carrying a heavy load. I did notice a fair amount of vibration ( road buzz) coming through the bars and I wonder what is causing it? It tends to make my wrists ache after long rides. I’m using the Ergon cork grips and I wonder if the cork transmits this more. I have rubber type Ergons on my other bikes with no problems.
I might experiment by changing the stem for the curved Speeding Tikit kind as you have, and see if that cures the problem.
Donna, I’m using the Brooks Colt. It’s great, really nice to move around on when you need to change position in the saddle and not as bulky as a B17 on a small bike.

18 09 2011

@Steve – the Brompton comparison is a stretch IMO. I’ve had extensive use of my friend’s two Bromptons and the experience was beyond underwhelming. Most importantly for me my Tikit [with 59cm TT] actually fits me – something no other one-size-fits-some folders does. Secondly the hyperfold is a game changer. I’m already inside a business getting stuff done or halfway to my next destination while folks on clamp style folders are dealing with their bikes.

If you are having issues with vibration from the road my first move would be some supple wide tires inflated properly such as Greenspeed Scorchers.

Not only are such tires comfortable, but you give up nothing in speed.

18 09 2011

@Donna – my Tikit has Ergon grips I put on years ago. I love them! I don’t need a Brooks saddle on this bike as I find the stock Bike Friday one comfortable for the length of rides I do around town. As a bonus the stock one is waterproof and very light.

18 09 2011
Steve Jones

Vic, thanks, I will give the Scorchers a try, my local dealer here can get them apparently.
Can’t agree with you I’m afraid about the Brompton being underwhelming.
I did feel that way when I first tried one but changed my mind after touring with it. And for sure, it was easier to get on and off buses and trains than the Tikit. MUCH smaller package.
However I’m not tall and have no issues with the fit as you do.
See… Eco Velo, Path Less Pedaled and Clever Cycles ( Lost Coast article ) for others who think likewise.
The Hyperfold is neat. But a game changer? How many seconds difference in folding the hyperfold version and Impulse version. even if you are doing it three times in half an hour? Not much ( takes me just a second or two to secure the stem), plus the cables add weight, cause paint wear and need more servicing. This is why some owners have ‘downgraded’ to the impulse fold. Anyway, It’s nice to have the choice. I like different aspects of both the Tikit and the Brompton. For now, I’ll reserve judgement, and enjoy both until I’ve got serious mileage on both machines. Don’t own a Brompton (yet)
Tikit advantages are the customization( and that’s a biggie! ) plus it’s a faster and more sporty ride than the Brommie.
I’m enjoying the Tikit so far except for one thing….
I sure am getting a bruised hand from hitting the back of the saddle every time I want to fold it. Guess I have to work on my karate technique or toughen up my palms!!

19 09 2011

@Steve – we don’t have to agree on the Brompton vs. Tikit argument. Everyone has different needs/wants and priorities. I looked closely at a Brompton when I was looking for a nicer folder. My friends were Brompton dealers and offered me any model at wholesale cost. After doing my research and test rides I bought a Tikit at retail cost. I’m glad there are options though.

I will say about the hyperfold that in 4yrs of use the only servicing I’ve done is lube the C clamp 3 or 4 times in thousands of folds. The hyperfold Tikit is a game changer compared to the typical folding bike mechanisms where you have to adjust various things [saddle height, saddle rotation, bar height, bar rotation and steering tube rotation]. My friends with “normal” folders would leave them locked outside a coffee shop because it was less hassle tyo carry a lock and lock them up than to deal with the fold. Of course I took my Tikit in every time and didn’t ride with a lock. Compared to a impulse fold it isn’t as big a difference, but I can’t see the point in the impulse fold personally as the hyperfold has been nearly maintenance free and I fold my Tikit so many times per ride that the difference is significant for me.

20 09 2011
Steve Jones

Yeah, different needs/ wants and priorities sums it up. For example I like to cruise with my bars above my saddle height, more of an upright position that takes the weight off my hands.With this set up I find ( sadly) that I DO have to adjust the bars otherwise they scrape the ground on the medium frame when folded but if you like a more sporty position, bars level with or below the saddle, everything you said rings true. And at least there’s a lot of adjustment and options. No options at all with the Brompton in that respect. One thing we can definitely agree on, the Tikit is a great bike! My shoulders are happy not to have to carry the bike. Love the rolling. i decided to try the new version of the MKS pedals ( Esprit ) for the first time and am liking them a lot so far. Thanks a lot by the way for all the great Tikit info you posted on this site over the past few years. Really helped me ( and I’m sure, many others ) to put the bike together.

5 06 2012
Bike Friday Tikit Porteur Rack… « The Lazy Rando Blog…

[…] been meaning to share some photos of my Bike Friday Tikit loaded up with cargo on the custom porteur rack I had built. Locked, loaded and on the […]

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