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!....=-)