Read what our customers are saying about Bike Friday
It’s all here. Raves and rants, kudos and krankiness from Bike Friday owners everywhere. We want to hear it all. And we share it with anyone who is interested.
The opinions expressed here are from Bike Friday owners who have chosen to share their views. Many are clearly thrilled with their bikes. Some offer us insight on possible improvements.
But everyone is sharing their experience. And we are grateful for the opportunity to learn.
Simply select a Bike Friday model from the list on the right, and you'll get reviews specific to that model. If you want to read it all, just dig in.
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Posted by: Dylan MacDonald
When I bought my tikit a few years ago I was super happy with it. After all, what's not to love? The fold, the handling, US-made, great company. I could go on and on.
Over time, however, I have grown disenchanted with my tikit. Below are the issues I have with it:
1. 16" wheels. Yes, 16" wheels help make the decidedly non-compact tikit be a bit smaller when folded. But the sacrifice in comfort and handling is not worth the trade-off. The tikit's fold is all about speed, not size. 20" wheels would go a long way toward improving the bike.
2. Fork clearance. I was gobsmacked to learn that the fork clearance is so narrow on the Tikit fork that it couldn't accomodate Schwalbe's Big Apple tires. Big Apple's are considered the gold-standard of 16" tires. I have heard that they improve comfort and handling immeasurably. To limit the Tikit to narrower and less capable tires seems easily fixable. Why hasn't Green Gear acted?
3. Weight. Although I think Chromoly is a fine material to use for bike frames (frame flexibility and fixability are just two of the benefits), choice in materials would be awesome. Then again an aluminum tikit would only serve to emphasize the harshness of the tikit ride (see above).
4. Suspension. The Brompton has it. The Birdy has it. Small wheel bikes need suspension, to take the edge off. The Tikit seems perfect for rear suspension as the bike pivots near the bottom bracket anyway. Why not add it? I would take the weight penalty for the added comfort.
5. Component quality. Yes it is a great bike with decent handling and unparalleled versatility. But, let's face, the stock bikes are kitted with bargain bin components. I spent many hundreds of dollars upgrading almost everything I could on my tikit. For a $1300 bike I shouldn't have to. Take a page from Tern who outfits their bikes with great components, stock. How you feel about any bike is at least 50% due to the quality of the components. Don't let another manufacturer (ahem Tektro) subtract from the Bike Friday experience. It's in your control.
6. Price. My slogan for Bike Friday is "Twice the bike for three times the prices." That sounds sarcastic (and I suppose it is) but I do think the convenience and versatility of the tikit is worth paying more for. But to use a tech analogy, the tikit isn't an iPhone. The whole package doesn't have that same level of quality. For all the reasons above it just doesn't warrant the premium.
So here is what my ideal tikit would have: 1. Frame. Steel, redesigned to be lighter. Or aluminum. 2. Wheels. 20" with more fork clearance to accommodate a wider variety of tires. 3. Suspension. Minimal, just enough to take the edge off. But present. Rear, at the pivot. Front, in the headset. (Note: with 20" wheels, suspension may not be necessary. I don't think it can hurt, though.) 4. Components. At least two quality levels up on everything. 5. Weight. A folding bike with small wheels should be 25lbs or under. 6. Brakes. Disc! 7. Price. Although I complained about the pricing of my current tikit, if my next tikit came with all the above, I would pay even more. It's all about the fit, finish and final product.
Posted by: F. Felix
Posted by: ffelix
I love my tikit!
It is unbelievably convenient to throw in the trunk for car trips -- no roof racks, no reduced gas mileage, no wind noise.
SO much easier than a car in the inner city or in National Parks, just park outside and pedal in.
SO much easier than a regular bike on trains, stairs, in hallways, elevators, hotel rooms, etc. I end up riding much, much more in these situations than I used to with a regular bike.
A word of warning: I put a Spongy Wonder saddle on as an experiment and the metal base shredded my small car's headliner...use a normal saddle with a padded rear section to avoid similar problems.
The tikit is really fun for long-distance or credit card touring, too, especially with a Teeco pannier. The small wheels and unconventional frame are not a problem, even on the graded dirt roads of the Costa Brava.
The handlebar riser is a bit flexy on the climbs, but it's not a big deal; you quickly get used to it. But there are a few issues with this bike that make life trying.
One problem is that a folded tikit doesn't *quite* fit into the big lockers at museums and other public spaces that won't check a bike at the coat check. I used to just use the bike cover and call it a baby carriage, but many places won't check those anymore, either. So, I have to go through conniptions to get security to let me into a controlled area to lock it up (Tikits get swiped quickly if you leave them on a bike rack).
Another issue is the suitcase trailer. It works great, especially the compressor-fitting connector. But it is not effortless to fit the bike into the suitcase for travel -- it's not nearly the quick and dirty exercise that folding the bike is. It's just a bit tight, so things have to be lined up perfectly.
You definitely have to take the rack off to get the bike to fit. And I have yet to have an airline trip where the baggage monkeys didn't manage to mangle my chainring, even with two crush protectors.
The ring is an odd size, so it's hard to find a replacement and expensive if/when you do (no prayer in Italy). Bike Friday should really carry them in their store. I just give in and take the ring off when flying now. More hassle. The drive train is the only part of the bike that I think is not well designed (depending on your configuration, I suppose).
I have to be very careful not to bounce too much coming off bumps & curbs, or the chain drops off the front chainring WAY too easily. Also, the chain guard is too small and the chain sometimes rides up onto it, despite me shortening it a few links. I can avoid problems by being attentive, but I don't think I should have to do this.
The chain-angle is severe. The derailleur works great...as long as it is VERY precisely tuned to prevent skipping gears (another thing the baggage monkeys are good at messing up). Also, folding and unfolding the bike can shift the cable runs, screwing with this delicate balance. I now cable-tie my cables tightly in place under the bottom bracket to prevent this maddening problem. Derailleurs just seem to be a really dubious idea on this bike. The internal hub works magic, however. No mess, no fuss! And the new configuration with a Nuvinci hub and carbon belt drive should solve most/all of my drive train issues. The new tikit frames seem stiffer, too, which is nice.
Posted by: Ty Smith
I looked at a lot of folding bikes over the last year. Bike Friday, Brompton, Dahon etc. My wife Tanya, an avid researcher, spent a lot of time as well. She asked me, "What is important to you? Do you really need the compact fold of the Brompton, or do you want a folding bike that rides like a real bike?" That really got me thinking.
Well, I test rode a Season tikit at Warm Planet Bikes in San Francisco, and also tried a friend's Brompton. I also tried a Strida and a Dahon. My wife kept researching. I kept looking at bikes.
I kept coming back to Bike Friday.
Last month, I finally bought my Season tikit a month ago after about a year agonzing over my decision. It is in Green Gear Green and I have named it Kermit! (You know, "It's not easy being green.") It has been fantastic! I knew I would like it, but I can't believe the difference it has made in my commute.
It has made in a huge difference in two areas primariy. One is getting on and off the train. The other is getting in and out of my building at work. I live in San Mateo, CA and commute to San Francisco, CA via Caltrain.
With our local Caltrain, there has been a problem for years in bike capacity. At least once every couple of weeks, I was bumped from the train and had to take the next one.
Now that I have the tikit, I get on the train with no problems. In the first two weeks alone, I was able to get on at least four trains that I would ordinarily been bumped off. The folding bike is always allowed!
My other issue has been my workplace. Frankly, it is NOT bike friendly. Before my tikit, I had to take my bike through the loading dock, down a one-floor freight elevator to the basement, and then try to sneak my bike onto another freight elevator up to the 10th floor where my office is. I say sneak, as the building has a "NO BIKE" policy. They want me to put my bike in room designated for that purpose in the basement. Just getting my bike in and out of the office took 10-15 minutes extra, time crucial if you are trying to make the train home.
Well now I pull up to the front of the building, fold my Season tikit, and walk right in and take the main elevator. The security people smile at me and nod as I go by. No hassles! I also can stick my tikit right under my desk, so that I can easily leave in a moment's notice. I honestly think that with the increased time I get at work, the tikit will be paid for in no time at all!
Oh, and here's the other thing: It is a joy to ride! The other day, a group of my fellow commuter's asked about it. They genuinely liked it, including one freind who has Brompton with a three gear internal hub (He was jealous, in a good-natured way, about my eight year nexus hub), but one of them made a bit of a derisive comment and said his folding bike, a citizen, only cost him a few hundred dollars, and insinuated that I was stupid for spending what I did for my Season tikit.
I noticed he had a regular commuter bike, and not a folder with him, asked him why he wasn't riding it at the time. He said that the ride was somewhat clunky and the fold was cumbersome, but he liked it just fine. I smugly thought to myself that he just made the point of the tikit for me. Why have a folding bike that, frankly, sucks? Why not pay for quality, and have a bike that you can actually enjoy?
Anyway, I could go on about all the other things I like about my tikit, but I think that would require a few more pages... long story short, I am an extremely satisified customer!