CARBON DRIVE tikit ARRIVES!
RELEASE January 31, 2011
The wait is over!
Bike Friday will take orders for the Carbon Drive tikit beginning immediately.
Our designers found the final pieces to the puzzle to make this belt drive tikit available for delivery this spring.
After searching the globe for solutions, Bike Friday engineer Rob English discovered the answer with American made Phil Wood hubs and cogs.
"The availability of the Phil Wood hubs and cogs makes it possible for us to build it," English said.
"The Phil Wood cogs allow us to offer the belt drive with the Alfine 8 or Nexus 8, and give customers a big enough gear range to suit most people."
The Phil Wood hub allows Bike Friday to offer matching rims with the Alfine 11. Being able to offer the 8-speed versions and the 11-speed version gives customers price options.
Dirty little secret
While the Gates Carbon belt offers a number of advantages over a standard chain, one rises to the top for most commuters: Cleaniness. Can you imagine not having to clean up after yourself?
So, does it perform?
"After one year of use -- that's 3,000 miles of riding -- I didn't clean the belt once," English said. "I did no work whatsoever on the drive train. And that's riding through an Oregon winter. The bike is awesome."
No more searching The Yak archives for Dry Cleaners who can remove grease stains.
"The challenge is we have to adapt something new to make it work for us, on our terms," Bike Friday Co-Founder Alan Scholz said. "We have to interpret the benefit for our bikes and our customers.
"This is all about convenience for the folding bike. You don't have to mess with the chain -- you don't have to mess with the chain!
"That in itself is a very big deal for people who fold their bikes all the time. It's also light. And, it's just not dirty."
It requires little maintenance, and delivers a sweet ride.
"The first time you ride it, you're thinking, 'I'm on a belt drive,'" English said. "Then you look down. It's very smooth. Very quiet. Then you don't think about it again."
It has been a long wait for customers who got first wind of Gates Belt Drive technology and quickly understood the possibilities for the tikit.
"Customers have been calling us since Gates came out with its belt drive, but it's been a matter of us getting everything in line," English said. "Now we have all the parts available. It's now here."
Unfortunately, the belt drive can't be retro-fitted to old tikit frames. Only a new frame will work.
"Some stuff is just new. And some stuff offers a new solution," Scholz said. "This is a great solution."
Carbon Drive tikit with Alfine 11.
Polished aluminum mountain bike handlebars, sealed bottom bracket, Tektro V brakes, 118-tooth Gates Carbon Drive belt, Shimano Alfine 11 internal hub, Phil Wood front hub and Schwalbe Marathon tires. Price: $3,292
Gear ratios for the Alfine 11:
60 x 24 = 21" to 86"
60 x 22 = 23" to 94"
Carbon Drive tikit with Alfine 8, Nexus Red Stripe 8 or Nexus 8.
Polished aluminum mountain bike handlebars, sealed bottom bracket, Tektro V brakes, 118-tooth Gates Carbon Drive belt, Shimano Alfine 8, Nexus Red Stripe 8 or Nexus 8 internal hub, twist shifter and Phil Wood cog, Phil Wood front hub and Schwalbe Marathon tires. Price: $2,595
Gear ratios for 8-speed hub:
60 x 22 = 23" to 71"
NOTE: For comparison to chain drive tikits:
Standard 8-speed tikit: 53 x 11-28 = 30" to 77"
Capreo tikit: 53 x 9-26 = 33" to 94