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.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Goose Poo Slalom

Our local Canada Geese are sure getting a lot to eat based on the amount of poo they are leaving all over the place!

One wrong move and you'll be uber stinky!

Tikit Stairs

Torture testing my little buddy...

Hey Vik, here is some data for your torture testing.

"All of our tikits can be built with riders up to 260#. Above the 260# limit, we need to review the design and frame materials. We would need to know your weight in order to properly design the frame. Costs are $50 for the heavy rider upgrade to 260#, most likely an additional $50-100 above this weight limit."

From Hugh at greenspeed.

A pause in the deluge...

It stopped raining for a bit today. Naturally I was off like a rocket on my Tikit enjoying the [mostly] dry roads. Not to worry our generally moist weather hasn't changed it was just a break before things got really wet again! No matter. I'll take what I can get...=-)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mechanical Engineering Tikit Article

The Mechanical Engineering Journal has an article about the Tikit you can read here. It's nice to see the Tikit's clever design get noticed outside the usual folding bike circles...=-)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Rob English's Speeding Tikit

Rob English - Photo:Bike Friday

Click here to read more about Rob English's 18lbs race ready Tikit. I have to say he's got me thinking about the possibility of putting together a High Speed Tikit of my own. It would be quite funny to see the faces on other road cyclists as I bomb past them at light speed on my "little bike"....=-)


Martin has a very nicely modified Tikit [love the red!] and has started a blog to capture his upgrades and adventures.

Seonghun & Mirye

I received an email this weekend from Seonghun [A.K.A. Eddy]. Seonghun & Mirye [his GF] are Bike Friday riders from Korea that are in Calgary at the moment learning English and working.

We haven't met up yet, but I've invited them to our weekly Wednesday Night Coffee Ride. It will be nice to meet some new people and share tales from our two distant countries.

Seonghun sent me a link to a Bike Friday Club in Korea for anyone interested.

Wet Weekend

We've had a lot of rain lately. Normally Calgary is an extremely dry place, but occasionally we get a couple weeks of heavy rains that transforms our city. I live on the 11th floor of a downtown apartment building so flooding hasn't been a problem for me and puddle splashing is loads of fun.

The vegetation loves it and takes full advantage of all the moisture. The Tikit looks right at home. I'm guessing Eugene, OR [home of Bike Friday] is probably a wetter place than Calgary.

I've been riding my Tikit exclusively the last few days. I haven't needed to pick up anything large with my Big Dummy and as I posted earlier the Tikit is a great rain bike. Luckily it's too large for all my friends to ride or I think I wouldn't get to see it much! I suppose that's one advantage of riding a large frame....=-)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Dream Team

Early morning mission to get breakfast supplies.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Wet, but comfortable...

I rode home this morning in a light, but persistant rain. I didn't have any rain gear with me, but the fenders on my Tikit kept me clean and through the magic of performance fabrics I stayed dry at skin level even though my outer layers were a bit damp.

Rainy Commute

The Tikit is my favourite rainy day commuter bike. The small wheels and fenders keep me dry and clean far better than my full size bikes that have fenders. I'll have to look at the geometry of the wheels/frame to see why that is, but ultimately it means when the forecast is gloomy I grab my Bike Friday. On the plus side if the rain turns totally heinous I can jump on public transport or take shelter in a coffee shop with my folder.