Friday, May 30, 2008


Stephen Avenue pedestrian mall, Calgary, Alberta

I want to be clear - it isn't that I don't read the signs...

...I do,

...I just don't obey them.

My Tikit Trademark....

It's telling that in a number of local businesses I'm known not by my name, my swarthy good looks, my witty jokes or my loyalty program card number. They know me as "...the guy with the folding bike..." I always use my Tikit when I pick up or return a rental car so the folks at Budget recognize my Bike Friday first and then connect the dots to me. I get a laugh every time someone remarks..."...oh yeah you're the guy with the cool bike!" Frequently that's followed up with "...can you turn it into a bike for me??? fold it again!.." I have even been video taped at Blockbuster folding/unfolding my Tikit because other customers wanted proof to back up their story when they got home.

Life with a Bike Friday is never anonymous or boring...=-)

Goofing Off

Dwayne stands guard outside the bank.

It started as a quick trip to the bank, but didn't end for over 2.5hrs as we roamed all over the centre of town bombing around on our bikes. No real mission after the bank other than the fact it seemed silly to go home while the sun was shining and the weather was so nice. We were racing folks on the Bow River bike path getting funny looks as we cranked past riders on performance machines. After a particularly energetic burst of speed I paused to take some photos. One of the riders we had passed stopped by my Tikit and said:

"Is that a Bike Friday?"

"Yes it is I replied" - taking a shot of Dwayne crossing a bridge.

"That thing really moves!" - the rider comments.

"Yeah it does" - I replied, then added - "and this is a commuter bike not one of their really fast models."

"Do they have a website?" - the rider asked.

"" I responded and we were off on our bikes again.

We ended up riding until a thunderstorm was upon us and all the dust it was whipping up made it hard to see. I love riding a bicycle without any other purpose except generating as big a grin as possible.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I've been away for work the last few days. Naturally I packed all the essentials....

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lynette's Multi-Modal OZ Adventure

Lynette Chiang [Bike Friday's Customer Evangelist] spent a few months spreading the good word in Australia and documented her trip for your reading pleasure. As always she traveled with style, grace, humour and a folding bicycle...=-)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tikit Commute

I'm working at home quite a lot these days, but I do need to visit our office outside of town occasionally. Yesterday I had a meeting in the next town over and was then headed for our office located on a rural property outside of Calgary. I grabbed the Tikit on my way out the door and rode 2kms to the train station - folded my bike and traveled 25kms by train to the southern edge of Calgary. With my new Blackberry I was able to deal with a few emails on the train which was nice. Once at the last station I unfolded the Tikit and rode the 25kms to Okotoks where I had a meeting. After the meeting I threw the folded Tikit in a colleague's car and went for lunch on the way back to our office. At the end of the day she gave me a lift to the train which I took back into downtown. Jumping on the Tikit I rode to meet a friend for coffee/dinner and an evening bike ride before finally heading home. I've had the Tikit long enough that I'm taking it a bit for granted, but when I think about it I'm quite amazed how versatile this bike is and how it just seems to fit into my life so well.

A few things I observed today:
  • The Greenspeed Scorchers are amazing on rough pavement and even rumble strips. Riding this same route with my road bike or recumbent involves some tooth rattling moments. Given my Tikit has really small wheels I was amazed that riding across the rumble strips was almost a non-event. I didn't feel the usual buzz from rough pavement at all. I pumped the rear Scorcher up to ~55psi and the front to ~50psi which seemed to work well.
  • My time for the 25km high way ride was 55mins for an average speed of ~27kph. My average speed along the same route [over many trips] on my Cannondale road bike was ~30kph so that is not bad at all. There was no wind on my ride and I suspect the upright position I am in on my Tikit would suffer quite badly against a headwind. Although I could fit drops to the Tikit if I wanted.
  • I've largely given up on bike shorts and bike specific clothing for a lot of my riding. Wearing synthetic performance fabrics I was able to ride reasonably far & hard while arriving cool and dry at my meeting.
  • I was happy that the 8 speed gearing on my Tikit was more than adequate for this route which entails a decent amount of climbing.

Taking care of business...

Leaving yet another meeting...=-( On the bright side I rode my Tikit to get there which was fun. With the magic of performance fabrics you can ride your bike and still stay comfortable while looking somewhat presentable.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sticky Hyper-fold Clamp

Hinge clamp - note the rubber block between the two cable strands.

The clamping system on the Hyper-fold Tikit is a great design that has proven reliable and effective for ultra fast folds. One minor problem that can crop up with this clamping system is the clamp not releasing when the rear triangle is folded under the bike.

The clamp can get sticky and requires periodic lubrication. Just use any light lube [tri-flow, light grease, etc..] and apply it to the portion of the clamp that "grabs" the two sides of the stem hinge. You don't need much so lube sparingly. This takes 10 seconds and should solve your problem. So far in 6 months of use I've lubed my clamp once.

In the unlikely event that lubing the clamp doesn't sort out your problem there is one other possible cause. In the back of the clamp you should have a small black rubber block. This block is compressed when the clamp is closed. When the cable tension releases the compressed block springs back to its uncompressed shape and opens the clamp so you can Hyper-fold your Tikit. It's possible for the rubber block go go MIA which would result in the clamp not opening automatically. You can visually confirm that the block is in place.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Greenspeed Scorcher TR - Initial Impressions

I've been riding my Tikit with Greenspeed Scorcher TR tires on it for a couple weeks now and wanted to share my thoughts so far:
  • These tires are more comfortable @ ~60 psi than the Schwalbe Marathons I swapped out which I was running @ ~70-80 psi. The extra volume [40mm vs 35mm width] of the Scorchers lets you run them at lower pressure without risking pinch flats. I will probably try lowering the pressure to 50 psi and see how I like them.
  • The Scorchers feel faster than the stock tires, but honestly that is just a guess and the difference is not huge. Since I don't use a bike computer on the Tikit and I tend to just ramble around town it's hard to provide any quantitative measure of speed.
  • My riding has taken me through quite a lot of flat causing debris such as broken glass and construction waste. So far the Scorchers are holding up fine and I haven't had any flats. I guess getting the TR = thorn resistant kevlar belted version was a good choice.
  • They look nice with the black bike - not vital, but having a cool looking ride isn't a bad thing....=-)
  • Overall I'm pleased with the Scorchers and feel they are a worthy upgrade. However, come next winter I'll throw the treaded Marathons on again.
  • I should note the Scorchers were a tight fit with the Tikit single pannier front rack. They have loads of clearance with the 2 pannier front rack I have installed now.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Restore Your Freedom - Ride a Tikit!

Mary Gersema A.K.A. MG writes...

"You are going to love your birthday present," Mr. Felkerino said to me, and kept saying for two straight weeks until the day of my birthday in late March, when out of nowhere rolled a fine blue Bike Friday steed. What is up w/ this guy, I thought. Doesn't he know that just yesterday I was looking around my place thinking one bicycle, two bicycles, three bicycles, what can I do? The bikes are taking over! Mr. Felkerino must have known more than I gave him credit for in that moment, though, because the instant I started riding my Tikit, my affection toward it quickly grew.

Immediately after receiving my Tikit it was entered into the LBS surgery wing because the head tube was crooked. Whoops. Bike Friday quickly responded, sending the required part, and a few days later I Metro'd over to pick up the little guy. I hopped on the steed and pedaled back to the Metro. Normally, I have to find the elevator to get my bike and me onto the subway platform, but not with my new Tikit! I quickly popped the saddle up, unscrewed the head tube/handlebars, flipped the wheel underneath, and smartly walked my little Tikit onto the escalator.

"Now that's cool!" I received an immediate validation of my Tikit from a fellow Metro passenger. Yes! I enjoyed a seamless hybrid Metro/Tikit ride back to the office. Voila! Thank you, little Tikit!

Because Bike Friday has created a Tikit-specific rack, I am able to put a Super "C" Carradice trunk rack (which can also be used as a large shoulder bag, very slick) for my commute to and from the office. As Bike Friday added a little bell on the handlebar, I am able to warn any tourists, pedestrians, small animals, and even coworkers (ha ha!) of my presence.

I experience a sense of freedom when I am out riding bike, but the Tikit has taken it to a new level. When I go up to my office, my Tikit comes along, curled up under my desk while I do my work. No worries about leaving it locked to a bike rack, where it could spend the day unattended, or get gradually dinged up. No concerns that security will apprehend me for trying to illicitly sneak a bike into my office. No frustrations that I cannot get my bike on the Metro during rush hour (although I do try to avoid that experience-that's why I have a bike in the first place!). My Tikit is a constant companion. When I leave, the Tikit wakes up, accompanies me down the elevator, and in a couple of clicks is ready to roll on home or wherever my next ride takes me.

The gearing on the Tikit allows me to easily handle the little rollers that take me in and out of the District. If you want to race around town in an imaginary competition with your fellow commuters, though, a Tikit is probably not for you. It is not a particularly fast bike, it's more like the little engine that could.

And the overcrowding issue in my apartment? Forget it. As we speak, my Tikit is nestled in the corner by my desk, not taking up any more room than a regular chair would. You were right... I do love my birthday present, Mr. Felkerino!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Tikit & Big Brother

...sometimes your relatives are Big Dummies...=)

Tikit Urban Assault

Karen says...

..."...I love Fridays...=)"

Saturday, May 3, 2008

MG & Her Tikit

The Daily Randonneur Blog had a post about the lovely MG and her Tikit. I exchanged a couple emails with her and it was great to hear such enthusiasm for her folder. As a randonneuse I'm pretty sure she has a few uber sweet bikes to choose from, but the Tikit's fun and speedy fold make it stand out just like it does in my fleet.

I'm hoping to get a guest post from MG in the not too distant future talking about her Tikit. Stay tuned. In the meantime you can enjoy these Flickr photos.