Dear all, We have new Bike Friday Tikits for immediate purchase. Attractive colours.
Below is an extract from a Bike Friday Tiket Review http://www.cs.gmu.edu/~sean/stuff/tikit/#summary
For those with attention deficit disorder, here’s a quick comparison of the Tikit with my Helios. Basically: the Tikit is a more fun bike to ride and show off, and it’s one I can ride for long distances because of its geometry and fit. It’s much more cleverly conceived. But it’s almost twice the price. Are you getting what you pay for? I think so. But if Bike Friday wants to move into the mainstream folding market and change the world with this bike (their stated mission), they’ll need to reduce the price.
|Pros (versus a Dahon Helios, Mu, or Speed (P8))
Folding the Tikit
The Tikit’s fold is what makes it famous.
When Bike Friday set out to design the Tikit, no doubt they were faced with a problem. Dahon has some 65% of the folding market, and has the value-oriented end of the market sewn up. The budget end is crowded with competitors. Brompton takes most of the top end of the market: its selling feature is the size of its fold: into a tiny, elegant package good for boarding British commuter trains. Bike Friday chose a different parameter to distinguish the Tikit, perhaps more apropos to U.S. folding bike use: the speed and ease of folding.
Folding speed should not be dismissed lightly. The whole point of a compact folder in the U.S. is that you can take it into the office or shops or on subways: you don’t need to leave it out to be stolen. But after repeatedly folding and unfolding my Dahons, I quickly grow tired of having to do it to enter this place or that. The Tikit folds far more rapidly, and more importantly, it folds effortlessly. How effortlessly? This effortlessly.
What makes the Tikit fold so rapidly is that it doesn’t have any latches. A quick slap on the saddle disengages the seatmast from the frame, enabling the seatmast to fold down and the frame to fold in half vertically. In so doing, the frame slackens a cable which releases a clamp, enabling you to fold the handlebar stem. Watch the previous video to see it in action. Or any of several other YouTube videos. While you’re at it, a video of Alan Scholz, Bike Friday’s co-founder, shows him more methodically manipulating the bike while explaining Bike Friday’s Tikit philosophy.
A less expensive version of the Tikit (the “Model-T”) replaces the cable clampwith a single latch on the handlebar stem: it’s still very fast to fold, though not lightning fast any more. Below is a side-by-side of folding the Tikit and the Dahon Helios P8 (typical of many Dahons, like the Mu P8 and Speed P8). Other major competitors (Brompton, DownTube, etc.) are in the same ballpark, time-wise, as Dahon.
|Folding the TikitFolding the HeliosTakes me 5–7 Seconds (over 10 on Model-T)
Takes me over 30 Seconds
The 180-degrees bit allows the Helios to be picked up by the seat.
The difference is more pronounced when unfolding, because on the Dahon you need to adjust, and readjust, the handlebar stem, seatmast, and handlebars back to your desired position. On the Tikit, everything stays exactly as you had set it. You just shake open the bike, so to speak, and start riding.
As is shown on the video, the Tikit also can be wheeled about on its front wheel while folded: in fact, it includes a built-in handle to do exactly that. Few other folding bikes can do this in any realistic way. Strida can, and Brompton and Birdy when fitted with optional small rollers. The Tikit’s a bit heavy when wheeled folded, and it doesn’t balance all that well on one tire: but it can really do it in a useful manner, and that’s more than can be said for my Helios.
Last, the Tikit can be easily packed into a suitcase without removing its rear wheel or rear rack and in fact can tow the suitcase as well. I can just barely fit my Helios in an oversize suitcase with a lot of work.
Is the Tikit the easiest and fastest folder out there? In the category of usable compact-folder, I believe definitely so. If you broaden the field, other bikes are eligible. The Strida is certainly a contender. But the Strida isn’t a normal bike by any metric: its riding position is quite poor, it is slow, it has only a single gear, and it’s dangerous. Dahon also makes some full-sized bikes, like the Jack, which just fold in half and that’s it. The Jack won the 2008 Fast Fold Showdown (the Tikit won in 2007). But the Jack’s simplistic fold is hardly compact. A similar argument may be made of the Swift (which folds fairly fast but not as fast as the Tikit).