Saturday, November 29, 2008

This blog is moving....

I'm moving this Bike Friday Tikit Blog to a new location - here. It will be combined with my other bike blogs for a one stop bike blogging experience!

If you just want to read about folding bikes - no worries. When you jump to the new blog you will see at the top right a section of links titled "categories". If you click on folding bikes you only see the folding bike related posts and this is essentially the content from my Tikit Blog just in a new location/format.

Also note that if you only want to read about the Tikit you can do that as well. Just look near the bottom of the right side of the screen on the new blog and you'll see a section of links called "Tags". If you click on "Tikit" you'll only see posts about the Tikit. You can click on "Bike Friday" and only read posts about our favourite folding bike company.

I will be moving all the content from this site over to the new blog - although that process may take some time. This site will remain active until Blogger sees fit to get rid of it so until the transition is complete you can use this site as an archive and the new site to read any new content.

This is officially the last post on this blog. All future posts will be at the new location.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tis the season!

There is snow and ice on the streets again...*sigh*...and so it was time to remove the Greenspeed Scorchers and replace them with the stock Schwalbe Marathons. To say I like the Scorchers is an understatement. They are fast. comfortable and flat free - what more could you ask for? I inspected them closely to see if there was any damage from a whole season of riding Calgary's mean one cut or mark on them. Amazing as I don't baby them and ride right through whatever is litering the streets and alleys of downtown. I'll be happy to put them back on next year, but at the same time I'm looking forward to continuing to ride my Tikit all winter. I probably should get some real studded tires, but I haven't seen any in 349 size and I need to wear out the stock tires in any case.

If you own a Tikit get yourself some Greenspeed Scorcher TRs you won't regret it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Back in the saddle..=-)

I've been in a cast for 6 weeks now and on crutches for most of that time so you'll have to forgive the lack of posting. The good news is that I'm walking on the cast now [which means I can bike on it!...=-)] and I'll start getting ride of the cast this week with some physiotherapy assistance.

I've already been out on one ride so far to pick up a rental car [can't drive my truck as it's standard] - of course I used my Tikit so I could just fold it and throw it in the trunk. My second mission will be to ship a box on my way to the physiotherapist's tonight. I told the physio that my Tikit was my mobility device and the only way I could make it to ensure I could bring it in with me.

I'm not at full speed by any means, but it feels so great to be back on the mean streets riding the Tikit. On benefit to the cast is that drivers seem to give an injured rider wide berth!

Friday, November 14, 2008

An oldie, but a goodie...

This video was a big factor in convincing me to buy a Tikit. Watching this and then folding/unfolding my Dahon left me deeply unsatisfied with the Dahon:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thanks Bike Friday!

I rec'd the spare parts I ordered from Bike Friday alast week and got around to installing them today. It's definitely one of the benefits of buying a bike from a small North American company to be able to call/email and get the small parts you need to keep your bike running nicely.

I used a bit of shoe goo so I wouldn't be as likely to loose the small rubber foot that one end of the Tikit rests on when folded. The metal latch above replaces a plastic piece on the older model Tikits and holds the seatpost of the Tikit in place when folded. The plastic latch has lasted nearly a year of constant folding and although it was looking a bit beat up it was still going strong, but Bike Friday proactively identifed these plastic latches as a weak spot on the bike and came up with a long term solution that was more durable - smart.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bike Friday Partners with Transit System

This video takes about Bike Friday's new partnership program with a local transit service. What is quite smart is this program solves problems for all involved:
  • Bike Friday gets some marketing help and sells bikes.
  • The transit folks get more customers interested in their service who wouldn't have used it before without the help of a folding bike at the beginning and end of their journey.
  • The transit customer learns about and new way to commute that might make their trip easier or might make using transit feasible if it wasn't before. The customer also gets info on where to buy these odd bikes and knows the transit service will allow them on their buses.
The great thing about folding bikes & transit is that they compliment each other well. Transit doesn't always go exactly where you need to go and biking the whole way is often too much for people. By using the transit service to cut down your trip into a manage distance to ride you make biking feasible for a lot more people. Plus the transit start and end points can be a bit further from a potential user's start and end point with the bike rides making up the difference.

Hopefully once you get folks out on a bike - even for short trips - they'll start to enjoy it more and see the obvious benefits of a biking lifestyle...=-)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tikit's rubber foot goes MIA..

I managed to lose the small rubber foot [shown above the chainring in the photo above] on my Tikit. Not really sure how, but it has seen loads of use so I shouldn't be surprised. I emailed Bike Friday and they popped one in the mail to me the next day - thanks! - some more great Bike Friday service...=-)

I'll be cleaning the post the rubber foot mounts to and using some Shoe Goo to help keep it in place.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Folding Bike Revolution...

It's been about a year since I bought my first folding bike. It's hard to remember what life was like without my Tikit. It has become such a part of my day to day life that it really is a shock realizing I've only been "a folder fanatic" a year. I can't over emphasize how profoundly useful the Tikit is and how much it has facilitated my lifestyle.

Because I no longer even ponder bike security or have to figure what I'll do with my bike later in the day when I meet up with friends or if my plans change I naturally reach for the Tikit nearly every time I have to go out and get something done. It gives me the range of a bicycle, but without the logistical hassle of dealing with locking it up/transporting it, etc...

Nivea has seen me riding my Tikit all summer, but hasn't shown much interest in it until recently. That surprised me frankly, but I didn't want to become "the annoying folding bike evangelist". I was working on her bike a few weeks back and gave her the Seasons Tikit to ride in the meantime. She seemed a bit skeptical, but she likes to ride and wheels are wheels! She got her bike back, but didn't return the Seasons Tikit. I suspected she was liking it, but didn't ask. She recently admitted that she only rides her bike to work now [it has panniers and a rear rack to carry her clothes/food] and as soon as she gets home she switches to the Seasons Tikit. She really liked the uber easy/fast fold as well as not having to lock up the bike outside at her destination. Having spent some time riding the Tikit she finally "got it"...=-)

That reminds me of how I was a year ago. I knew about Bike Friday and I was aware of folding bikes in general, but I didn't "get it". I had all the basic facts and I should have been able to work out how useful a folding bike would be, but I somehow didn't connect the dots. Even buying my first folder I was interested in having a bike I could leave at my parents place that wasn't hard to store and wasn't uber expensive, but I didn't foresee how profoundly they would change the way I get around. I eventually had my own " I got it" moment. I could see the potential of a folder and I could appreciate the finer points of folding bike design. That's when I ordered my Tikit.

I wasn't disappointed at all. The easy/fast fold is a revelation. It isn't an incremental improvement on the typical folding process other manufacturers use - it's the next level! That combined with a great ride and the ability to get a Tikit sized correctly for me puts a smile on my face every time I ride it. One thing I wasn't really expecting was the positive reaction I get from people I meet when I am out and about on the Tikit. I'll often get requests to fold/unfold the bike for people or have pedestrians comment on the bike while I'm waiting for the light to change.

So what does the future hold for me and my Tikit? I would like a rear rack that can hold full size panniers [my BF sources suggest an early 2009 release date for a touring Tikit rear rack] and I'm still looking for some metal pedals that are easily removable like the MKS EZY pedals, but that have a flat platform - beyond that my Tikit is setup very nicely. I have thought that drop bars might be a nice addition to my Tikit, but the current flat bar setup folds so nicely that I'm hesitant to mess with a good thing. If I was going to ride longer distances on a regular basis I'd probably try out some drop bars, but at the moment most of my rides are under 10kms so the comfort advantage of drops doesn't come into play that often.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Paul's Travel Tikit

Paul Baker order up a very nice Tikit customized for touring and sent me the following information about it.

"I’ve recently taken delivery of the best bike I’ve ever owned – a silver Travel tikit. Silver is not a colour that Bike Friday currently offer as an option for the tikit but I managed to convince them to produce one as a special order. Well I think it looks fabulous, and looks particularly splendid with lots of black components. And yes, style and aesthetic appeal really does matter to me. I wear a lot of black and grey clothes and so even the rider is colour coordinated!

Why did I purchase a Travel tikit? Firstly I own a two-seater car (silver MGTF 160) and so carrying/transporting a ‘conventional’ bike is nigh on impossible. The tikit folds down and sits with pride of place on the passenger seat ready to be ridden at the chosen destination. Secondly, Because I will use it for touring abroad. On tours I tend to use trains, buses and ferries a lot and so it’s an ideal bike for such multi-method touring. I had intended to tour up the Norwegian coast this late summer but unfortunately my travel plans fell through. My plan is to undertake the tour next spring/early summer when the Norwegian weather starts improving. I’ll ride up the RV17 ( from just North of Trondheim to Bodo – try it, it’s fabulous! Thirdly because I already own a New World Tourist – yes, it’s silver too. I wanted a newer model and the tikit does everything that the NWT does and more. I can use it to travel to work, to load the panniers at the supermarket etc."

"I decided I wanted to go for a high specification tikit. So my Travel tikit is equipped as follows:
  • mudguards/fenders
  • Schwalbe Stelvio tyres
  • two pannier front rack – yes it works brilliantly and I’m reliably informed will be a stock item from 2009 (great news). And I can fit my Ortlieb Rear Rollers without any difficulty, and without catching toes
  • Bike Friday Touring ‘H’ Bars
  • Avid Single Digit Ultimate brakes and levers
  • titanium bar stem
  • Brooks titanium rail Swift saddle
  • MKS Ezy Fit pedals – with toe clips and straps (yes, I’m a bit old fashioned but so much easier to use any shoes than only those with cleats) (I’m about to purchase MKS M Cube Ezy pedals so will be able to effortlessly swap pedals)
  • FSA Mega Exo Cranks etc
  • SRAM DualDrive with 9 speed SRAM X9 rear mechanism
  • Thompson Elite seat stem
  • rear rack (with cargo net – very, very useful)

Since delivery I’ve fitted:
  • Salsa quick releases on seat and bar stems and front wheel.
  • Cateye Strada Wireless computer
  • Bar bag support for my Ortlieb Ultimate 5 bar bag – it’s a great bag that has holder for my Garmin GPS device"

"So what’s it like to ride? It’s excellent. O.K. It’s not an ultra stiff bike but then I never expected it to be. As with other BR rides it rides like a ‘proper’ bike. I sought lots of opinion before purchase as to which tyres I should fit. I do not regret fitting the Stelvios one bit. My first ride was across Cambridge, (England) away from Ben Hayward Cycles (very friendly and helpful service from Rob Turner and his staff) to my car. I can honestly say It rode well with little indication of being on a folder. Since then I’ve used it most days and it continues to delight."

"The bikes future? Well, hopefully Norway next spring, maybe France (Normandy) at Easter, lots of day rides round the local lanes, commuting to work, trips to North Norfolk and the Peak District etc, etc.

Things to be aware of? I’d really like the BF sales staff to be more proactive in designing the bike. I told them from the outset that I wanted a non-standard spec’d bike and then found that I had to suggest the additional items. I would have liked them to give me more information about possibilities for gearing, upgrade parts etc. If you can do talk to Rob English (he’s very helpful).

Very many thanks to Bike Friday for letting me have a two-pannier front rack – it’s a great addition to the bike and severely extends the tikit’s usefulness.

Would I recommend a purchase – an unequivocal yes."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Shimano Nexus 8 Service Manual

Thanks to Sheldon Brown and Harris Cyclery you can find the complete Shimano Nexus 8 Service Manual online here. I'm not planning on tearing down the Seasons Tikit's IGH, but it's nice to know I have the information how to do that if I absolutely needed to.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Un-folder Battles...=-)

Definitely not a fair fight....

Monday, September 29, 2008

Folder Battles!

The Tikit reigns supreme!...=-)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Don't panic - steel is real...

If you are an observant Tikit owner you'll notice that there are a few spots on your frame where the powder coat is rubbing off. The latch that holds the Tikit closed, the back of the seat post where the rear triangle "cups" the bike in the closed position and under the bottom bracket where the hyper-fold cable runs are the areas I'm aware of.

There is no reason to panic about this or worry that your frame will be damaged in any significant way. The powder coat has been worn away by the metal on metal contact in these areas. The same action will keep rust at bay, but will not wear through the parts in question. My Tikit was my main winter bike last year - dealing with salty/gritty roads typical of Canada. A careful examination of these exposed steel areas on my Tikit shows no rust at all.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tikit Commando Shopping

I introduced Nivea to the joys of commando style grocery shopping with a Tikit. What's "commando style" shopping you ask? That's when you are at home hungry and realize you have nothing in the fridge to eat and it's 6pm. So you jump on your Tikit ride quickly over to the store, fold the Tikit, roll it inside, grab the essentials for a Thai chicken curry meal, hit the self-check out, roll out, unfold and ride home. You are in and out so fast the staff at the Safeway don't know what hit them!..=-) This procedure is most effective when wearing all black and talking on some FRS radios to coordinate your mission. With two Tikit commandos you can complete the job in half the time.

You better try this soon - it's so convenient and fun somebody is bound to pass a law prohibiting it!....=-)~

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Eddy's Pocket Rocket at Sunset

Eddy crossing the Bow River, Calgary, Alberta

Wed Night Folder Assault Ride

We had three folders [2 Bike Fridays & 1 Dahon] out for the weekly Wednesday ride. Chris was out for his first ride with us on a nice blue Dahon Mu. Andrew is refurbishing a couple old school R 20s so our folding bike gang is growing. If we can get everyone out on the same ride we'd be up to 10 - which in Calgary is a vertble swarm of folders.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Anna's Birthday

Kurt and I met up to ride over to Princess Island for Anna's birthday brunch. We stopped on the way to grab some flowers for the birthday girl.

Being overly keen we had some time to kill before our reservation so we goofed off in the park next to the restaurant.

The River Cafe is fine dining and didn't get too excited about bikes inside. Rather than argue we locked the Tikits next to the patio where we could see them. You can argue with restaurant staff, but they can do nasty things to your soup to get even so think twice about that! If they hadn't seen the bikes we could have probably smuggled them in under their "shower cap" covers, but we blew that option by riding right up to the hostess on our Bike Fridays.

After a delicious brunch with Anna and the gang we tried to catch Tropic Thunder at the Eau Claire movie theater with no luck. I'm still recovering from a slight dance floor related foot injury so I decided to pull the plug on our Tikit caper and go home for some cold beer therapy...=-)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Shimano's Nexus 8 Spew

Seasons Tikit Gearing

The Seasons Tikit utilizes the Shimano Nexus 8 [Premium] hub and with a 53T chain ring and a 16T cog provides a gear range of approximately 88" to 29" with the stock 37-349 Schwalbe Marathon tires.

Here is a breakdown of each gear:
1st = 28.8" [0.527]
2nd = 35.2" [0.644]
3rd = 40.9" [0.748]
4th = 46.5" [0.851]
5th = 54.7" [1.00]
6th = 66.9" [1.223]
7th = 77.6" [1.419]
8th = 88.3" [1.615]

You can get cogs in the following sizes for this hub to change the gear range as desired: 16T, 18T, 19T, 20T, 21T, 22T and 23T.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Seasons Tikit Dropout

By request here is a close up of the Seasons Tikit's adjustable dropout.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Will fold for food...

Sarah dropped by for a bite to eat and we decided to grab some Vietnamese food. It was a bit too far to walk in the time we had so we jumped on the Tikits. The low frame makes riding in a long dress possible and of course we just folded them up and brought them in with us. The staff was a little perplexed by two folding bikes, but once they actually figured out what they were the response was all positive.

I love riding bikes and not having to carry a lock or worry about what's happening to my bike when I leave it outside.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What kind of bike is that?

One of the hazards of owning a Bike Friday Tikit is the loads of questions you get asked on every ride. This isn't a problem when you are just goofing off on a Sunday afternoon with nothing particular on your agenda, but when you need to get things done it can be tough to answer everyone's questions. Since I don't want to discourage interest in folding bikes I've made up some business cards with this blog's URL as well as my email so folks can get the info they want and I can keep moving.

Stolen Tikit - Toronto

Note: stolen Tikit was white with black lettering.

My 12 year old son was just robbed by a man who confronted him one block from our house (Indian Road Cres and Abbott), who told him he'd be hurt if he didn't get off the bike. The bike was a Bike Friday Tikit that we'd bought just two hours before. It's also distinctive: white paint with black markings, unlike most which are black with white markings.

Of course I realize that many many bikes are stolen, but relatively few are robberies, and the idea of a 12 year old being threatened to get a bike really is awful - my kid or any other. And so I'm appealing to the cycling community in Toronto to help. If you see a white Bike Friday Tikit going by, the thief was about 6 feet, medium build, medium brown skin, wearing just grey shorts and a sweatshirt over his shoulders, let me know: 647 502 3398. Any suggestions as to where to post greatly appreciated. The theft has been reported to Toronto Police.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Old Bike Friday

I went to a friend's BBQ tonight and one of the guests showed up on this old Bike Friday. He said it was one of the first 150 ever made. I wonder if that's true? Regardless it was a cool bike. Funny thing is as we were admiring it the rear tire spontaneously exploded so he had a flat to deal with before he went home.

Seasons Tikit about town...

Luckily black goes with everything.

The smart businessman avoids downtown traffic on a Tikit.

Stylish and mobile.

Photos by Mark Preston
Editing by Vik

Friday, July 11, 2008

Seasons Tikit Porn

Seasons Tikit First Impressions


Pulling the Season's Tikit out of the box my first impression was this didn't look like much of a prototype. The only detail that was not polished looking was the hand written "Seasons" added to the Tikit decal on the frame. The rest of the bike looked just like my Tikit except with a Nexus 8 speed hub. The ride is the same great Tikit experience just a slightly different flavour.


The Seasons Tikit is a medium frame which is about 1.5" shorter in the main tube than my large Tikit. I adjusted the saddle and bars to match my larger Tikit with the help of a longer stem. I didn't expect the medium frame to feel so different, but I am definitely more at home on a large Tikit. I can ride the medium, but I don't feel as natural on it or as comfortable. This isn't really a problem as Bike Friday will ensure you get the right size bike when you order a Tikit. My only advice would be if you are between frame sizes order the larger frame. I think the longer wheelbase will only be a good thing.

The Seasons Tikit shares the same frame as previous Tikit models which in my mind is a good thing. The only difference I noted between my older Tikit and this new model was a slightly different locking mechanism to hold the Tikit together when folded. This does away with the over latch bolt, but from a functional perspective there is no difference between how either of my Tikits fold. The hyper-fold cable operated latch system is still super easy to use and very fast.


The controls on the Seasons Tikit look the same as my Tikit with the exception that the Microshifter has been replaced with the Nexus shifter. The Tektro brake levers are functional and comfortable to use. The Seasons Tikit comes with a great bell. I love the sound and the design is low profile so it doesn't catch on anything when folded. My only real complaints with the controls on the Seasons Tikit are the area for your hands is not very big and the foam grips are too soft. My hands just barely fit and I don't think they are particularly large for a man. The stock grips are simply too soft - they compress when you grab them and end up putting a lot of pressure on the contact areas of your hands. I had the same issues with my Tikit and solved them by moving the controls inboard about 2cms when I installed some Egron grips.

I generally replace stock saddles right off the bat when I get a new bike. However, on my Tikit I left the stock saddle and have been pleased with it for rides up to 25kms. I might invest in something else if I was riding further, but a 25km range is pretty much as far as I go on the Tikit. The Seasons Tikit comes with the same saddle. I recommend you give it a try before you swap it out.

The stock folding pedals on the Seasons Tikit work well when it's dry. I do find they are slippery when wet. If you do a lot of riding in the rain/snow I'd consider something more grippy with a metal platform. I haven't found the ideal pedal yet for my Tikit so I use the stock pedals in the summer and switch to some metal pedals in the winter when my shoes are likely to be wet most of the time.


The Seasons Tikit rolls on two 24h unbranded rims matched with a narrow unbranded front hub and the Nexus 8 speed IGH on the rear. This is similar to my Tikit and having 16" wheels with 24 spokes makes for a very tough wheel. I have had to do zero wheel maintenance on my Tkit even though it gets ridden quite hard. With the large diameter of the Nexus IGH the rear wheel of the Seasons Tikit has short spokes and should be very strong.

The stock Schwalbe Marathon 35-349 tires work well and are quite tough making them a good choice for trouble free commuting. Compared to the Greenspeed Scorcher TRs on my Tikit the ride is not as plush. I do like the reflective stripe on the side wall of the Marathons. A detail the Scorchers do not have.


Due to a lack of time [this is the last task I have before I hit the road to the arctic!] I'm not going to be able to go into a huge amount of detail about the Nexus 8 hub. So what I'll do is provide you my feelings riding the 8 speed geared Tikit and the Seasons Tikit. I'll also include some links you can follow to learn more about this hub.

Let me first say I had no complaints about the 8 speed geared drivetrain on my Tikit. It works well and hasn't need a ton of maintenance. Even when I jumped aboard the Seasons Tikit I still thought no big deal the Nexus 8 hub works very well, but my older Tikit also performs nicely. Well to my surprise after using the Nexus 8 for several days I jumped back on my Tikit because I needed to use a bike with a rear rack and the shifting is nowhere near as crisp/quick or nice to use as the Nexus 8. I was a bit shocked frankly. I haven't checked the numbers, but the gear range on the Season's Tikit seems comparable to my Tikit and has been suitable for all my riding around town.

So what's better about the Nexus 8?
  • light positive action on the shifter
  • fast shifts through as much of the gear range as you want in one motion
  • shifts at a stop
  • less maintenance [great for rain/winter riding]
  • less possibility of damage when folding and transporting
  • more compact chain line keeping you and stuff around you cleaner
How much better is the Nexus 8 than my stock Tikit's drivetrain? Well not so great that I'd sell my older Tikit. It does indeed work quite well. However, the Nexus 8 is good enough that if I was starting from scratch I wouldn't consider any other option for gearing. The geared hub and the Tikit are a perfect combo.

Nexus 8 Links:

The Seasons Tikit uses the same Tektro V-brakes and levers as my older Tikit. I find they perform quite well and are easy to maintain & setup. I'm still running the stock pads on both Tikits, but I'll switch to the excellent Koolstop salmon coloured pads when it comes time to replace them. My biggest pet peeve with brakes is squealing and these brakes operate silently so they get a two thumbs up in my books.


The Seasons Tikit came equipped with fenders and the shower cap cover. I find the fenders indispensible for riding in the rain and wouldn't own a Tikit without them. The combination of the small wheels and these fenders keeps me totally clean and dry when I'm bombing around town on wet streets. Due to this I usually grab my Tikit as I'm heading out the door into the rain. I haven't used the shower cap very often simply because I don't get onto crowded trains/buses much or have to smuggle my Tikit into office buildings. However, the few times I've used it I was really gad to have the cover attached to the bike and ready for action.

One accessory I really miss with the Seasons Tikit is the lack of the rear rack I have on my older Tikit. The rear rack stablizes the folded bike very well and proves useful for carrying all manner of cargo. When I told my friend Kurt I'd loan him the Seasons Tikit to commute with while I'm away touring in the arctic his first question was does it come with the rear rack. When I said no his next question was if he could could steal the rack off my Tikit while I was gone.

Tikit Tactics

Photo: stolen from Love the Fold! Blog

I had a good chuckle when I saw this picture and had to re-post it here. Hopefully the Tikit doesn't become the escape vehicle of choice for criminals....although that might be a smart choice I wouldn't want to be branded an outlaw just because of my cool bike...=-)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tikit Cargo

My Big Dummy is a superlative cargo hauling machine, but I can't take it into the post office when I get there like I can with my Tikit. I've been riding the Seasons Tikit almost exclusively recently to get a good feel for it, but it doesn't have a rack on it so I had to give my trusty old hyper-fold Tikit the nod. The Standard Tikit Rear Rack kind of blends in with the bike when you don't use it, but when you do need to haul something it's a super useful accessory.

Tikit Stolen - Ottawa, Ontario

I'm posting this for the owner Ian Clysdale [ian at clysdale dot ca]:

Large black Hyper-Fold Tikit stolen in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
- has front & rear fenders
- serial # 1071

If anyone hears of something similar for sale in the area please let Ian know at the email above or the Ottawa Police [quote case 08-187576]

Hopefully we can help get his Tikit back.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Seasons Tikit

Readers of this blog will know that I love my stock 8 speed hyper-fold Tikit. It gets the nod for more trips than all my other bikes combined. I have few complaints and I have only made a few upgrades [unusual for me!]. The 8 speed drivetrain has a decent gear range and has been trouble free over the last 6 months. So what could Bike Friday do to make me excited about a new Tikit? Well I have been coveting Alex W's internal gear hub Tikit. Not enough to make the mod myself, but enough to be super excited when I heard there was a IGH Tikit prototype in the works. Naturally I was more stoked when Bike Friday let me have it to test pilot around town in advance of the model being released for sale.

The bike is the same great Tikit with new adjustable horizontal dropouts and a Nexus [redband] 8 speed hub [SG-8R25]. I'll post specs on the drivetrain and more on how she rides tomorrow, but I'll say this - the Nexus is a very smooth IGH that makes my Rohloff seem clunky and rough. The shifting has been flawless and the hub has taken all the hammering and abuse I've thrown at it so far. This Tikit will really shine when the long dark winter comes again...arggghhhh!...=-(...and shifting is immune to all the snow/ice and gritty badness that gets all over the drivetrain.

Keep in mind as you read my reports that this bike is a prototype and the production model may be different.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Tikit goes prime time...

Mike Bennett from Bike Friday writes:

"By the way the author of "How To Live Well Without Owning A Car" Chris Balish, has invited me (BF) to join him at NBC Studios to show the tikit on the Today Show Monday the 14th in NYC. How exciting is that?

Kind Regards,


Very cool....I don't own a TV, but if anyone knows how I could watch that segment online please drop me a note.

I really do love Fridays...=-)

So I've got a new Bike Friday in my stable. I love the ladies down at the UPS Store, where my boxes arrive, they see the bike logo on the box and can't believe there is a bicycle in such a small box. I promised them I'd swing by with it and show them my newest little ride.

So what is it? Well that's a surprise that will have to wait until Monday. Another Tikit would be sweet, but I've been really keen on trying out Bike Friday's other offerings. Maybe a NWT or an Air Glide?

Stay tuned!....=-)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sean's Tikit Review

Sean Luke posted a comprehensive review of the Tikit online here.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Eddy & Mirye

I finally had the opportunity to meet up with Eddy & Mirye - two English language students from Korea who just happen to ride a couple of nicely setup Bike Fridays. They joined us for our weekly Wed Night Coffee Ride this week. I was impressed with their lovely bikes. I don't get too see many Bike Fridays in Calgary and their rides are particularly nice!

We were able to show them some local hospitality when Mirye flatted in the middle of a totally mosquito infested section of the bike path. Luckily Joel was around with his Big Dummy so Mirye jumped on the back for a high speed evacuation run to less dangerous ground where we could fix her tube with only 1/10th the amount of bites [still a crazy amount]. I've never fixed a flat quite so quickly!...=-)

Since they have never been to the Canadian Rockies before we are going to take them bike touring in the mountains two weekends from now. That should be a lot of fun as they'll have 3-4 locals to take turns playing tour guide.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Posted by old school dave on Bike Forums...=-)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Standard Tikit Rear Rack 2 Month Review

The most telling thing I can say about the standard Tikit rear rack is that I can't imagine owning a Tikit without it. The rack looks like a natural extension of the bike and is light enough that when you don't use it it is hardly noticeable. I've carried all manner of items strapped to the rack, but I haven't gotten around to fitting any panniers to it. My Ortlieb panniers are too large and I don't feel like investing in any new panniers specifically for my Tikit. Regardless with two panniers up front and anything else attached to the rear rack I can carry quite a load with the Tikit.

Surprisingly the most useful aspect of the standard rear rack isn't what it can carry, but rather the supreme stability it gives the folded Tikit. With the addition of this rack the Tikit went from slightly wobbly when folded to rock solid. I wouldn't own a Tikit that didn't have this rack & fenders installed.

So far the largest package I've carried was a boxed Radical Designs Trailer I was taking to the Post Office. The most demanding has been attaching a tow rope to the rack so I can haul my friend Kurt around on his longboard - I can just imagine the folks at Bike Friday cringing as they read that!

If you are keen on putting rear panniers on your Tikit the FUCAWE Blog has a pic of the Detours TEECO panniers mounted to the standard Tikit rear rack. The same post reports that Bike Friday won't be releasing the Tikit touring rack [that will accept full size rear panniers] until 2009. That's unfortunate as I was looking forward to trying out my Ortliebs with the Tikit, but given the size of the BF staff and the work they have done on the Tikit so far I can't really be too unhappy. At least I know what I'll get myself for my birthday in 2009 and then I can try out touring on the Tikit.

As far as negatives go with this rack there aren't too many. I don't love the blue PVC tubing used to protect the rack when the Tikit is folded, but it hasn't bothered me enough for me to do anything about it yet. I will eventually sit down with some black electrical tape and a beer to make my Tikit stealthy again. The production racks come with clear tubing which looks a lot nicer. The tubing is taking some wear and tear so it will eventually have to be replaced. I would estimate I'll get at least the rest of 2008 & 2009 out of it before I have to think about that.

Greenspeed Scorcher TR - 2 Month Review

Read my Initial Impressions of these tires here.

I've been using Greenspeed Scorcher TR 40-349 tires on my Tikit for about 2 months now. They installed on the bike without problems and did not require any adjustment to the fenders. I've been running them at 45-55psi which has resulted in a fast comfortable ride. I can't quantify the speed very well as I don't have a bike computer installed, but on a 25km highway ride [no wind] my total time was within 90% of the avg speed I've achieved on a 700c road bike - not bad at all. Better still rough roads and surface irregularities are damped quite effectively by the larger volume and lower pressure in these tires. Not only does this make for a comfortable ride, but I think it contributes to the decent speeds I've been able to achieve. Definitely a win-win.

I've used these tires all over town in both very wet and dry conditions as well as off road a bit. The only place where I have had traction issues is in damp dirt/muddy areas which is a lot to ask of a slick tire! Again I think the higher volume and lower pressure of these tires really adds to the traction you can get - making them very reliable in just about every situation.

So far I haven't had any flats with the Scorchers despite running through lots of debris, but I do think I have a very slow leak on the rear. It hasn't been bad enough to bother fixing, but I'm losing enough air in a week to be noticeable. Since I tend to pump up my tires every couple days this isn't a problem for me. I should note that I am running the TR [Thorn Resistant] version of the Scorchers which may account for my lack of flats. The standard version is probably lighter and a bit faster, but not as flat proof.

The only downsides to using these tires over the stock Schwalbe Marathons is they lack the reflective strip around the sidewall that the Marathons have. Also they were a tight fit with the single sided Tikit front rack. They worked, but if I was going to use the single sided front rack and Scorchers I'd file down the small tab that holds the shower cap cover to give the tire enough clearance so it didn't rub.

I bought my Scorchers from the ever helpful Dana at Bent Up Cycles.