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.

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