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Chain comes off - maybe you need a tikit®


The chain comes off my Pocket Bike when I fold and unfold it.


Tim Link discusses the philosophy behind the Bike Friday Pocket Bike fold below.


Unfortunately, within the design limits of the standard Pocket bikes this is an elusive goal, short of adding weight and resorting to proprietary components in the drive train to manage the chain.

The overall philosophy of our mainstay folding bikes has remained the same: high performance, packability, and the ability to be folded fairly quickly, while using standard, off-the-shelf bicycle components. Performance and versatility in parts specifications has always been emphasized ahead of ease of quick folding with these bikes.

We switched to the left fold to try to address some issues that were happening with the older right fold design.

One big issue was that the rear derailer was sticking out exposed; and would often get bent. With the new design the derailer is tucked safely under the main frame when the bike is folded. I have seen very few bent derailer tabs since we switched.

Another issue was that larger chainrings would get jammed into the chainstays on the old design. Another request we had from many customers was that the chain be tucked to the inside when the bike folded instead of out exposed where it would get things dirty.

The basic Pocket Bike design has a single characteristic that remains the same: The chainline is disturbed when the bike is folded. This compromise was made to allow the bike to pack easily into a standard sized suitcase.

It's not as good for day to day folding, since it has always produced a situation where the chain is likely to come off. For various reasons the problem seems more prevalent on certain component and frame size combinations than others.

Overall I haven't seen any difference in the ease of use with the new left fold vs. the old right fold, just less of the more serious  problems.

There are some techniques that make it easier to keep the chain on, or rather, put the chain back on hands free on this folding and packing article.

The tikit is definitely our answer for maximum ease of folding for day to day use.

Tim Link

Bike Friday Customer Service