Archive for the ‘Tikit’ Category

Fitting the Tikit rear rack

August 4, 2009

There has been some discussion on the Bike Friday Yak list about the best way to fit the Tikit rear rack. I am not sure if this is the best way, but I found that in addition to the issue with the mudguard (fender) stay identified by other Tikit owners,  I had a second barrier to mounting the rack caused by the disc brake mechanism.

Rack mounted with mudguard secured to underside of rack

Rack mounted with mudguard secured to underside of rack


FBC Training Plan

July 5, 2009

An excellent long ride out to Ashbourne last weekend – some 90 miles door to door. This was my first ride with the local CTC District Association and an excellent ride it turned out to be. The Peak District can be a busy and unpleasant place to cycle in mid-summer on main roads, but this was a well thought out route through quiet roads.

The plan now looks like this:

1. A further ride out to Holm Moss next week (60+ miles)
2. A long flat ride in Lincolnshire on the Tikit (50+ miles) – largely to test comfort after long hours in the saddle
3. Phil and Friends on 2 August (100 miles)
4. As many miles to and from work as possible, including a couple of Tikit rides (round trip 34 miles)

Tikit saves the day

June 10, 2009

Sheffield 10/6/09 Pic by Mysticmogg

Was on the train heading for Sheffield when it stopped at Meadowhall. All services suspended to Sheffield due to track flooding. A train full of disconcerted passenders. Save one. Got on the Tikit and took the Trans Pennine Trail back to town. Arrived 20 minutes later. The trail runs alog the river Don which was in full flow. Was pretty wet by the time I got home, and was rather disconcerted when the front axle disappeared beneath the surface of a puddle. But hey, I was home rather sat on a stationary train 6 miles away or fuming in a stationary car.

Two years ago two people died in Sheffield floods which were described as once in a hundred year events. How frequent do these events have to become before we take climate change seriously?

FBC Preparation

May 27, 2009


44 miles on the Tikit this weekend. Julia and I put the Tikits on the train to Stevenage and spent the weekend visiting our parents and exploring rural Hertfordshire. Feeling good about the bikes, but I need to get a rack. Fortunately, Bike Friday have pointed out that a small spacer will enable me to fit the standard rack. The order’s in!

And the picture, well that’s an earlier visit to Knebworth. Waiting for Pink Floyd in 1975 to be precise – thanks for the reminder Ian!

And so to Leicester….

May 16, 2009

Photo by fotorobbie on flickr

Two Tikits folded and on the train to Leicester for a 32 mile round trip to stay with Malcolm in Kimcote. A great ride. Leicester has a good network of cycle routes including the Great Central Way which runs from north to south. an excellent way to get out of the city.

Unfortunately, a nut was shaken loose on Julia’s rear mudguard leaving it rubbing on the rear tyre. Unable to fix it I decided on an alternative course of action. The mudguard was removed and hidden behind a tree, to be collected the next day.

While there we took in Otis Gibbs at the Musician. A great show, albeit a little short as Otis was the support act, and should have been headlining.

On our return, it took a moment to locate the tree, but the mudguard was still there. All in all a successful trip, and few more miles in the saddle for the Folding Bike Challenge.

Alex’s Seasons Speeding Tikit Porteur

April 19, 2009

Alex has put his brazing skills to good use to create a seasons (ie internal hub gear) Tikit. Very envious of the front rack.


Read about it here

FBC Training Ride 3

April 13, 2009

24 miles. Again the longest so far for our Tikits.

Why there is a phonebox full of coloured balls in Elsecar no one knows.


Woke up this morning feeling like I had been suspended from my heels all night – the backs of my calves and upper legs felt like they had wire running through them. The position on my Tikit appears to be very similar to my road bike, but I think the different shoes may make a difference to the effective saddle height.

FBC Training Ride 2

April 5, 2009

The Folding Bike Challenge is 240 miles in four days. This requires some training. Not so much getting the miles in, I am fairly confident that by September I could manage that distance. Rather it is getting the folding miles in. Getting the legs and backside used to sitting in a different position for an extended period.

So today Julia and I set off on the Trans Pennine Trail to build a few miles. We made it to Brinsworth before I felt the need to turn round and get a takeaway coffee from Meadowhell. !7.4 miles. The longest Tikit ride to date. Quite pleased.

The Trans Pennine Trail isn’t exactly a cycle path, its a trail. I am remended of the words of Ronald English.


Adventure Cycling (1959)

‘There is an association of cyclists known as the ‘Rough Stuff Fellowship’. The main object of their members is to take their bicycles over mountains and hills, along rough and little known tracks and almost everywhere that the ordinary person would say a bicycle could not be taken.

You may not wish to join the fellowship; but if you do any exploring you are certain to find plenty of rough stuff.’

True, too true.

104, 105….smile

March 27, 2009


A Mini-review to mark the first 100 miles on my Alfine Tikit.


The initial impressions are certainly confirmed – the disc brakes work like a dream and are completely silent (none of that frightening pedestrians with squealing rubber), the gears shift perfectly and getting the right size Tikit makes a huge difference to the feel on the road; from a cramped position on a Medium Tikit to a suitably stretched position on the large model improves not just the aerodynamics but also the sense of control. The H bars provide a variety of comfortable handholds and the disc brakes are so effective that at low speeds braking can be effected with one finger tip from the ‘bar end’ part of the bar.

I did wonder about the choice of a Shimano 105 chainset. This is well made and gives me the 172.5mm cranks that match my road bike, but the bottom bracket is narrow. The Tikit design puts a lot of gubbins around the bottom bracket with one of the main hinges in the folding mechanism and the various stops and releases associated with the hinge. Initially I thought this was a problem. The bike would work fine on the flat, but when climbing there was a loud metal spring-like noise. In consultation with Bike Friday I looked for the cause. There was a bit of chain rub going on:


As can be seen above the chain was just touching the spur which buttresses the frame tube. A bit of careful work with an adjustable wrench sorted it out but not the noise. Today however silence is restored. The culprit was one of the small washers that are clenched by the jaws in the rear triangle. The left hand washer was damaged:


Loosening the bolt and rotating the washers slightly and click…problem solved. Now I can get into some serious training for Paris….


The Alfine Tikit is slightly heavier than a standard Tikit. This is not an issue, the hub gears are well spaced and it is easier to get up Sheffield’s hills than its predecessor. The concentration of the extra weight in the rear hub does have one unintended effect however. The standard Tikit fold technique – thump the saddle forward and yank the bike upwards – doesn’t work quite as effectively. The rear triangle doesn’t swing round and latch onto the frame. The weight in the hub (combined possibly with the resistance to bending in the rear brake pipe) means it tends to stop halfway and hang down from the hinge. This is not a major issue however as I have developed a technique involving a leftwards nudge with my right foot.

I’ve signed up

March 20, 2009


Yes, in a fit of Friday afternoon web surfing I have signed up for the 2009 Folding Bike Challenge. That’s right, the Alfine Tikit is on its way to Paris. 240 miles in 4 days. Not a tall order on the Campaged-out road bike, but my longest trip in one go on a Tikit is about 7 miles. Time for some training methinks.