Bike Friday Tikit Stem Mast Solution…

13 10 2012

Click image to jump to stem replacement form…

I’m reposting an email from Bike Friday which provides the info you need to get your Tikit rolling again.

“Dear Bike Friday tikit owners:

We know you are anxious to get back on your tikit. We have finalized the first steps of the replacement process.

We will build replacement stems for the 3,800 tikits spread around the world, and will work with each of you to see that your stem is replaced and you are back on your tikit as quickly as we can.

We will send the replacement stem directly to you or your Bike Friday dealer, your choice. We will reimburse tikit owners with a stipend for the labor cost of installing the replacement stem. tikit owners in the USA will be asked to send their defective stems back to us for disposal.

We can’t express how deep our gratitude is for the continuing support and patience of all tikit owners. We were humbled by the response to our call for financing ideas to enable us to move faster with our process than we would be able to do otherwise. We are working on that while we continue to move ahead at best speed. Already several people have come forward so that our confidence is much improved.

We are making progress in lining up material and the additional manpower necessary to build replacement tikit stems.

One of the biggest challenges in the next phase will be deciding what order to replace the stems. Thank you to those who already have offered to wait while those in urgent need are taken care of first.

This form is somewhat extensive and detailed, as we do need all this information to implement each stem replacement. We also give you the opportunity to rate your level of urgency so we can make sure those who rely on their tikits everyday can be serviced as soon as possible.

Please fill out the STEM REPLACEMENT FORM that you need to have to get a new stem as quick as possible. This is IN ADDITION to the registration for updates form and inspection survey we have previously asked you to fill out. Sorry for so many forms.

You can find all information pertaining to the stem issue at this link to our website.

If you know of any other tikit owners who may not be reading their e-mail please pass this message on to them. We want to find everyone!

Thank you again for your patience.

Alan Scholz, Co-Founder, Bike Friday

Bike Friday tikit owners hot line phone number: 541-683-0175, International +1 541-683-0175

Bike Friday tikit owners email tikitowners@bikefriday.com”





Bike Friday Tikit Stem Safety Inspection…

3 10 2012

Click to jump to the Tikit inspection protocol…

Bike Friday is advising owners that they should check their Tikit’s stem mast for cracks. You can click on the image above to jump to the web page with instructions for the required inspection protocol. You can register your Tikit at this link to ensure you receive info from Bike Friday about this issue.

Bike Friday is telling Tikit owners not to ride their bikes until the problem is fully investigated. That’s definitely the most cautious route and it makes sense for them given the potential liability costs of even one accident.

My understanding is that this problem has affected 5 bikes out of 4000 that have been made so far. Clearly a stem mast failure is serious, but it’s not common problem.

Personally I inspected my Tikit and I have no cracks so I’ll continue to ride my bike, but I’ll check the stem mast every week to ensure that no cracks start. To be clear that’s a personal risk assessment. I’m not recommending Tikit owners ride their bikes or suggesting it’s safe. If you choose to ride your Tikit you do so at your own risk.

I appreciate the head’s up from Bike Friday about this. I’m sure they’ll figure out what’s going on and resolve the issue fully for their customers. Sharon’s keen on getting a Tikit at some point and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another bike from Bike Friday.

I’ve been doing stupid stuff like this on my Tikit since 2007…

I have been unofficially torture testing my Tikit by riding down stairs and jumping off curbs since 2007. My stem mast hinge is in perfect shape. Again not a recommendation that you try the same stuff with your bike, but I just wanted to put things in perspective.





Tikit PR Racks Options…

7 06 2012

My Tikit porteur rack…

I rec’d some mail about getting a Tikit PR made and wanted to just throw out a few options and non-options for those Tikit riders who are interested:

  • I have spoken with Bike Friday about getting a production Tikit PR rack made and they can/will do it if they feel there is a market for them. So the more people that request such a rack the more likely they’ll build one.
  • I was asked if Lane at CETMA really wouldn’t build another PR rack for these bikes even at a premium price. That’s my understanding, but you can always ask politely.
  • Alex Wetmore doesn’t want to build any of these racks for $$$. I asked him!
  • You can buy a Tikit 2 pannier rack and attach a platform to it for a DIY PR rack. I haven’t tried this so there may be a problem, but it looks like an easy way to get a PR solution on your Tikit.
  • Anyone who fabricates with thin wall steel can build you one of these racks if given the bike and some photos to work from.
  • Keep in mind a custom rack can be expensive. I asked a local bike rack builder for a quote and he wanted $450+ to tackle the project.
  • If you or a buddy can weld this isn’t a hard project. It will just take some time to test fit and get everything dialed.




Bike Friday Tikit Porteur Rack…

5 06 2012

My Tikit porteur loaded up…

I’ve 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 move…

I got my inspiration from Alex Wetmore’s blog posts about the custom PR rack he built for his own Tikit.

The box almost hides the bike!

Having tried all the available racks for the Bike Friday Tikit I think the PR style rack offers the most capability for a variety of loads as long as you are okay with a slightly wider fold.

At the UPS Store…

You certainly can’t beat the ease of placing a box or bag on the PR rack and securing it with one strap.

Worm’s eye view…

The low forward position of the cargo minimizes the impact on handling and it’s right in front of you so you know the status of any precious cargo.

A wider folded profile with the PR rack…

The Tikit rolls and folds normally with the PR rack in place, but the overall width is larger which may not suit folks who take their Bike Friday on busy public transport. I don’t ride the bus with my bike so this isn’t an issue for me.

Rear of the bike is empty…

I rarely need more cargo hauling capacity than the front PR rack provides, but the whole rear of the Tikit is empty for carrying another box or a couple full-size panniers on a folding touring rack.

The PR rack off the Tikit…

If you are keen on one of these racks for your Bike Friday there is sadly no production source at this time. However, there are a number of custom fabrication options in most towns that can replicate this rack if they have your bike and some photos to work from.

BTW – if you are wondering why they are called “porteur”racks or PR racks it’s because in French “porteur”means Pretty Rad = “PR”….;





Bike Friday Tikit Love…

29 05 2012

Tikit mobility powered shopping…

My Bike Friday Tikit isn’t getting as much press these days on this blog as it used to. That’s really unfair as it continues to be one of my favourite and most useful bikes. The problem is I feel like I’ve covered all the angles about this amazing bike and don’t want to get repetitive. That’s a failure on my part to be creative.

My Tikit enjoying the view…

The freedom to ride anywhere in town without a bike lock or having to think about bike theft is amazingly liberating. I can carry nearly as much on my Tikit as I can on my Surly LHT touring bike and I can fold the Tikit then jump on the bus or toss it into a car’s trunk.

Fixed gear Tikit…

I had the opportunity to swap my 2007 Tikit for a newer 2010 model, but I kept the older bike and invested some $$ in new drivetrain and paint. She works as well today as she did new out of the box and we’ve had a lot of great adventures together. It’s great to know a folding bike with such an amazing fold also is durable enough to keep riding for the long run. I expect I’ll be on the same Tikit in 2017 – although the colour may change again….=-)

If you don’t know what a Bike Friday Tikit is watch the video above. The convenience of the fold is what sold me on the Tikit in the first place and the great ride + the reliability has kept me smiling.

Stuff I Love About the Tikit:

  • fits me [available in multiple sizes]
  • easy uber fast fold [so I can fold it 10 times in 1 trip without noticing]
  • rolls easily when folded so I can keep it with me
  • great customer service from Bike Friday
  • folding mechanism has held up to thousands of folds and thousands of KMs with minimal maintenance
  • lots of options available [fixed/SS, IGH, belt drive, 2 kinds of folds, different racks, ect…]
  • rides efficiently [25km ride? …no problem]
  • fun handling
  • very maneuverable in town
  • takes normal bike parts

Tough love…

The only real downside to this bike is you end up talking to a lot of people that you wouldn’t otherwise speak to and you’ll do lots of extra folding/unfolding of the bike to satisfy peoples’ curiosity. I can live with that…=-)





Happy 20th Anniversary Bike Friday!

6 04 2012

20th Anniversary email from Bike Friday...

April 2012 marks Bike Friday’s 20th anniversary of making cool folding bikes. I’m only in my 5th year of being a Bike Friday customer, but it’s been a great ride so far.

Bike Friday HQ...

I stop in whenever my travels take me along the west coast past Eugene, OR during business hours.

Belt drive Tikit...

I managed a quick 30min visit on my way home from Sedona to check out the new showroom bling.

20th Anniversary Bike Friday - click image for more details...

The 20th Anniversary Bike Friday looks pretty sweet [it’s missing a wooden front fender].

That's a lovely disco paint job...=-)

I particularly like the sparkly metallic paint job.

A colourful flock of Tikits...

I always leave Bike Friday HQ scheming about a new bike!

Want to tour and need some gear?

The showroom is sporting a great selection of accessories for the bike commuter and cyclotourist.

Red bikes are faster right?...=-)

I had a hard time passing by the red New World Tourist with matching red Selle Anatomica saddle! If it had red rims and some red fenders I’d probably have a new Bike Friday…=-)

A herd of Bike Friday tandems...

I love all the Bike Friday tandems they had to check out. Although I must say we chose well. Our Raspberry Rocket is a primo tandem and still the nicest Bike Friday tandem I’ve seen.

Purple belt drive Tikit...

This belt drive Tikit has a lower cost belt drivetrain that makes it a lot more affordable than the upscale carbon belt.

Back end view...

Sorry I don’t have all the details. If you are interested give Bike Friday a call/email. I’m sure they’d be happy to give you the 411.

Crank end view...

A lower entry cost is certainly pretty key if belt drives are going to penetrate the mainstream of cycling.

The fancy bling carbon Gates belt drive...

All in all it was fun to see the folks I know at Bike Friday and to check out some of the new upgrades to their product line.

20th Anniversary Customer Appreciation Offer...





The Kent Peterson Effect…

30 03 2012

My Bike Friday Tikit at MEC...

I was  on my way to a business dinner/seminar thing downtown when I had a flat front tire on my Tikit. Bummer! I pulled out a CO2 canister from my seatpack and got the tire firm again so I could keep rolling and made it to MEC [Mountain Equipment Co-op] which is Canada’s REI. They let me use a repair stand, a floor pump, sold me a patch kit and lent me some pliers to pull out a super tough thorn. They also offered help at least 3 times and when all was said and done let me use their washroom to clean up so I could go to my meeting looking decent. Thanks MEC – you guys rock!

I got to my meeting with time to spare thanks to Kent Peterson. I read Kent’s blog regularly. He got me interested in randonneuring and bikepacking with his tales of LD riding and ultralight touring. However, Kent’s main contribution to my bike lifestyle is simply the no nonsense way he gets on with riding his bike for transportation.

One Kent Meme I have learned from his blog is to factor a flat into every commuter bike ride. That way you always have time to fix the flat and still get to your destination on time. I do this a lot and often plan a quick non-essential stop along my route or near my destination so that I can get some extra things done on the same ride and if a flat happens I just skip the non-essential stop.

In this case I planned to stop at MEC and grab a few items I’ve been needing for a while. So when I got the flat I just re-inflated the tire for the ride to MEC where I could repair it in comfort. I ran into a couple snags with a pathetic tube of glue and a lame patch that didn’t want to stick as well as a thorn that was really really really eager to stay in my tire. By the time I was done I was dirty so I washed up and figured I had to rush to my meeting, but I was pleasantly surprised that I still had time to roll over there at a normal pace which made for a pleasant evening.

That’s the Kent Peterson Effect…=-)