Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Paul's Travel Tikit

Paul Baker order up a very nice Tikit customized for touring and sent me the following information about it.

"I’ve recently taken delivery of the best bike I’ve ever owned – a silver Travel tikit. Silver is not a colour that Bike Friday currently offer as an option for the tikit but I managed to convince them to produce one as a special order. Well I think it looks fabulous, and looks particularly splendid with lots of black components. And yes, style and aesthetic appeal really does matter to me. I wear a lot of black and grey clothes and so even the rider is colour coordinated!

Why did I purchase a Travel tikit? Firstly I own a two-seater car (silver MGTF 160) and so carrying/transporting a ‘conventional’ bike is nigh on impossible. The tikit folds down and sits with pride of place on the passenger seat ready to be ridden at the chosen destination. Secondly, Because I will use it for touring abroad. On tours I tend to use trains, buses and ferries a lot and so it’s an ideal bike for such multi-method touring. I had intended to tour up the Norwegian coast this late summer but unfortunately my travel plans fell through. My plan is to undertake the tour next spring/early summer when the Norwegian weather starts improving. I’ll ride up the RV17 (www.RV17.no) from just North of Trondheim to Bodo – try it, it’s fabulous! Thirdly because I already own a New World Tourist – yes, it’s silver too. I wanted a newer model and the tikit does everything that the NWT does and more. I can use it to travel to work, to load the panniers at the supermarket etc."

"I decided I wanted to go for a high specification tikit. So my Travel tikit is equipped as follows:
  • mudguards/fenders
  • Schwalbe Stelvio tyres
  • two pannier front rack – yes it works brilliantly and I’m reliably informed will be a stock item from 2009 (great news). And I can fit my Ortlieb Rear Rollers without any difficulty, and without catching toes
  • Bike Friday Touring ‘H’ Bars
  • Avid Single Digit Ultimate brakes and levers
  • titanium bar stem
  • Brooks titanium rail Swift saddle
  • MKS Ezy Fit pedals – with toe clips and straps (yes, I’m a bit old fashioned but so much easier to use any shoes than only those with cleats) (I’m about to purchase MKS M Cube Ezy pedals so will be able to effortlessly swap pedals)
  • FSA Mega Exo Cranks etc
  • SRAM DualDrive with 9 speed SRAM X9 rear mechanism
  • Thompson Elite seat stem
  • rear rack (with cargo net – very, very useful)

Since delivery I’ve fitted:
  • Salsa quick releases on seat and bar stems and front wheel.
  • Cateye Strada Wireless computer
  • Bar bag support for my Ortlieb Ultimate 5 bar bag – it’s a great bag that has holder for my Garmin GPS device"

"So what’s it like to ride? It’s excellent. O.K. It’s not an ultra stiff bike but then I never expected it to be. As with other BR rides it rides like a ‘proper’ bike. I sought lots of opinion before purchase as to which tyres I should fit. I do not regret fitting the Stelvios one bit. My first ride was across Cambridge, (England) away from Ben Hayward Cycles (very friendly and helpful service from Rob Turner and his staff) to my car. I can honestly say It rode well with little indication of being on a folder. Since then I’ve used it most days and it continues to delight."

"The bikes future? Well, hopefully Norway next spring, maybe France (Normandy) at Easter, lots of day rides round the local lanes, commuting to work, trips to North Norfolk and the Peak District etc, etc.

Things to be aware of? I’d really like the BF sales staff to be more proactive in designing the bike. I told them from the outset that I wanted a non-standard spec’d bike and then found that I had to suggest the additional items. I would have liked them to give me more information about possibilities for gearing, upgrade parts etc. If you can do talk to Rob English (he’s very helpful).

Very many thanks to Bike Friday for letting me have a two-pannier front rack – it’s a great addition to the bike and severely extends the tikit’s usefulness.

Would I recommend a purchase – an unequivocal yes."


Dominique & Jonathan said...

Hi Paul,

I'm thinking of gatting a tikit with H bars. Could you post some pictures of your Tikit folded?



ankchank said...

Looks very nice. It makes it all harder to wait till mine arrives in the middle of November.

seth said...

Completely agree about the BF sales staff needing to be more proactive. I love that they aren't pushy, but I also would have liked them to talk more about what my options were when I ordered a Season Tikit a few weeks ago. I would have definitely had them add a cargo net had I known they were available, for instance. Not a big deal since I can track one down locally, it makes me wonder what else I missed out on...

kemal said...

Very nice indeed! It was because of all the folders I saw in Cambridge that I bought a tikit. I had the possibility of moving there. It did not pan out. At least I have the bike.

If you are going to load it down I highly suggest you switch to the Marathons. While the Stelvios are a lot more fun I would expect something to give out on your frame if you tour with them. And by that I mean a vertebrae.

Ride with the wind,


Oldyonfoldy said...

Congrats on a truly impressive Tikit. You may want to improve the gearing for climbing if you tour a lot. I fitted a dual chain ring on mine and it does its job better.

Enjoy yr ride!

Oldyonfoldy said...

Opps, didnt see that yours have a SRAM dual drive fitted. Well done!

kenf said...

Does anyone have a complete list of Tikit accessories? I could find only a few on the BF web site.


Char said...

Hi - I was reading your blog, and I have a Model T Tikit I got earlier in the year. I read that Paul Baker sent you a note about his new Tikit, and that for the front rack, he uses the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic bag. I was looking at the Ortlieb website and saw that bag - I think it's very helpful that it can be worn as a backpack also - because when I've taken my Tikit on Amtrak, I roll the Tikit, and carry my heavy pannier bag - a bit much to handle everything. This is the Ortlieb bag I was looking at:


Is this the one he's referring to? Do you have any of the Ortlieb bags like this or otherwise? I'd appreciate your opinion, if so... Thanks!