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Read what our customers SAY about Bike Friday
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. Simply select a Bike Friday model from the list on the right, and you'll get reviews specific to that model.
Posted by: Phil Keys
Tikit with NuVinci Hub
For this review I will share briefly my background as a customer, my initial experience, the purpose of my search, my concerns, limitations and advantages a couple of tips, and my now experience.
It is important for the reader to know that I write this review as a 56-year-old male returning to cycling after 40 years. The last time I did some serious cycling was when I collided into the side of a car coming out of a service/gas station. I went flying over the front bonnet. I came off OK but my bike was finished. So I make no claim to expert or professional knowledge.
Well 40 years later I took delivery of my tikit 2 Infinity NuVinci CVT 360 hyperfold bike. My first ride was the most incredible smooth cycling experience I have ever encountered. There was just an effortless transition of gears. The only issues or concern was the conditioning of my legs for the uphill run.
The bike is so different in all points and exceptionally well made down to the last detail. It felt comfortable to ride.
I started this bike journey looking for a bike with an easy to use gear system and I found a Bike Friday and an incredible transmission. Prior to taking delivery I test rode a number of bikes at every bike shop I could find, read every bike review and technical paper.
My aim was to have a bike that I didn’t have to relearn how to change 27 gears but still able to climb the hills. I wanted a bike that I could just enjoy riding and commuting to work and use for a Saturday ride.
I researched and came across the NuVinci hub from Fallbrook Technologies Inc. I contacted them and they provided me a list of bike manufacturers that were using the NuVinci but there were no bikes coming to Australia. I also learned that the Nuvinci hub could be installed on existing bikes. I asked many bike shops and they weren’t interested. No one had the time or interest to custom-build a bike.
That is when I found Bike Friday a bike company that makes a bike for you.
I have been riding the bike for two months and it is still great to ride. The only concern has been with the stem. Within the first two weeks there was considerable movement and squeaking in the stem. I contacted the service team at Bike Friday and discussed a few possible causes. After carefully observing the mechanics of the bike I realized that the cable on the hyperfold needed to be tightened. I found that the cable could be adjusted by rotating the nut at the end of the cable. I first marked the original position of the nut with a permanent marker then turned the nut about 5 mm – tested it and found that it made a difference. I then turned another 5 mm and it worked-no more movement and squeaks.
Weight, gear range and wheel size. Don’t expect to keep up with the Lycra crowd. Overall the bike is heavier than non-folding bikes. The NuVinci’s hub adds an extra kilogram. It is one kilogram heavier than other internal hub systems.
The gear range is good but as shown on the Fallbrook web site it has a range of about 10 gears. The smaller wheels are good for a quick start and to move away from or around the traffic but not good on soft or uneven road surfaces. You feel the bumps and are more careful climbing the curbs. As a commuter in the city it is perfect.
The longest ride for me so far has been about 50km around Sydney and averaged about 20km per hour. That would likely be the furthest distances I would travel on this bike. I like it as a good form of exercise, recreational ride and commuter for work.
I can take it anywhere. The hyperfold option on the tikit makes it so easy to fold and really defines the bike. I highly recommend the hyperfold.
1. Choose carefully the chain ring and sprocket size. It will make a big difference on the gear range. I live in a hilly location so I went for a large chain ring.
2. Chain or Carbon Belt – I chose chain. Peter the BF bike consultant told me that the bike would lose about 30% efficiency in the gear range. This is because of the limited chain ring sizes available for the carbon belt drive. I needed that 30% for the hills.
3. Bike Saddle - If you are going to spend this sort of money on a bike buy a decent good quality leather saddle. It’s worth it. I bought a Sella Italia.
4. Handle bar grips – The bike came with soft spongy grips. If I had known I would have requested firmer grips. When these get a bit old I will change them.
I am mapping out all the interesting bike rides in Sydney. I am re-discovering Sydney and the joy of riding. And yes, I am more careful to look out for cars coming out of service/gas stations. I highly recommend Bike Friday. They have excellent ongoing customer support, which is critical in buying a bike.
Posted by: Richard Ray
I have a beautiful steel touring bike and a Breezer Uptown 8. I love them both. The Breezer has served me well getting around Denver and commuting to work...until recently. Half of my commute is on light rail. I ride to the gym early in the morning and then catch the train about 15 miles to work. At the end of the day I ride the bicycle home. It's been working perfectly for several years, but lately the train is getting crowded with bikes. I'm happy to see more people riding but there are only six slots open for bikes and I didn't want to start missing trains. Enter the tikit. I was worried that it would be redundant with the bicycles I already own. It's not. It allows me to ride the train worry free every time. The train guards told me that folded up, it's no bigger than a bag of golf clubs and they will never bother me in areas that a regular bike is not allowed to travel. Besides the basics, I've also been delighted at how much fun the tikit is to ride. Thanks Bike Friday. I love it!
Posted by: Harold Solomon
Written May, 24, 2008 Hi, I received my tikit in April, 2008 and have ridden it weekly. The only problem with this well designed bike is that it's an 8 speed with no need for a front derallieur. So there is a chain guard to prevent chain hop to the outside of the bike when chain slack in the smaller rear gears allows the jump to move while relaxed — not pedaling. However, the chain skips to the inside on every ride at least once. And, only when coasting. I hit a mild bump and the chain hops off. Most cross bikes with a single front chainring have inner and outer guards. This bike needs the same treatment. Also, the chain has climbed up to the guard and allowed me to spin on it several times. I suspect the guard needs another 32nd in diameter to keep the chain on the front ring. I've had two mechanics look at this problem and both have said the tension on the chain is perfect. They gave me the idea about the inner and out guard. I'm eager to hear back from the good people at BF. They've been a true pleasure.
Regards Harold Solomon Atlanta, GA
We are now installing larger chain protector rings on the tikits - Rob English, Engineer.