Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hyper-Fold is it Hype?

Now that there are two models of Tikit available the obvious question is - is the Hyper-fold worth the extra $$$? At the moment the difference in price is about $200 between the two. The Hyper-fold Tikit comes with fenders [worth $50] and the cable actuated stem release. The Model T comes with a manually operated stem QR and no fenders. In my world fenders are essential so the real cost for the Hyper-fold is $150. Is it worth it?

Well let me say first off Bike Friday kept all the important aspects of the Tikit in the less expensive Model T. It rides the same, it comes in 3 sizes, it folds without having to adjust anything and you can roll it easily using the built in handle. The only change is having to reach down and undo a QR hinge manually - something common to just about every folder.

So back to my original question - is the Hyper-fold worth $150. The answer for me is yes - for two reasons:
  • Since I live downtown my typical Tikit trip involves 3 or 4 stops a short distance apart. At each stop I fold up the Tikit and bring it in with me. Quite often as I'm riding around I'll make an extra stop or two I hadn't intended. The effortless fold means I never hesitate to fold the bike. I just do what I need to and the bike adapts without giving it a second thought. By comparison the fold on my Dahon D7 is enough of a hassle I'm always evaluating if the effort to fold/unfold it is worth the hassle. I probably wouldn't stop and fold/unfold the D7 to run into a shop looking for a magazine - too much trouble.
  • My second reason is that I really appreciate a clever industrial design. The Tikit Hyper-fold is a great idea that has been well executed. Using it gives me pleasure the way someone else might enjoy looking at an exquisite painting. You can't really put a price on this type of feeling, but I'll pay $20 to see a good movie that lasts 2hrs so $150 extra for my Tikit isn't out of line given how much use I get from it and its lifespan.
I think Bike Friday made a good choice pricing the Hyper-fold $150 more than the manual folding Tikit. The Hyper-fold is nice and I appreciate it being worth more [to me], but it isn't a revolutionary upgrade to the Model T Tikit.


Christopher Johnson said...

I agree entirely with your analysis. In your situation, I'd have purchased the hyper-fold version. Instead, my Tikit will be used primarily for scooting around on business trips. I'll pack it, unpack it, joy ride during the evenings after the day's business is done, and then pack it up and take it home. Multiple folds in a single day are expected to be rare.

My Model T Tikit just recently arrived and it is everything you described. It rides well, is fun, and I'm looking forward to business travel more than ever. If I guess wrong about my intended use for it, I'll upgrade to hyper-fold.

Vik said...

You hit the nail on the head Chris. If you aren't doing lots of folds the hyper-fold isn't much of an advantage. I sometimes do 5 or 6 folds in an hour!

Enjoy your Tikit....I assume it is black...don't forget to send me some pics and a write up once you've had her out on the road....=-)