Posts Tagged ‘Dynamo’

Alfine Tikit: First Impressions

March 1, 2009

Got my new Bike Friday Tikit on the road today. It is a large Seasons Tikit hyperfold frame with disc brake fittings on the back and a special wider set of forks to accommodate the front disc. The Hubs are Shimano Alfine, including a dynamo front hub. The brake levers are Shimano SLX fitted on Bike Friday H bars. Goodridge stainless brake hoses keep the brake oil in, and should be robust enough to stand the folding and unfolding. The chainset is Shimano 105 and there is a Chris King Headset. All other pieces are Bike Friday standard issue.

Have fitted Time ATAC pedals, a Selle Italia saddle, a Cat Eye wireless computer and best of all a B&M Lumotec IQ dynamo front light.

There were three tests I wanted to run to start with:

1. How is the gearing for ascending Sheffield hills?
2. Do the brakes work descending Sheffield hills?
3. What is the light output like at low speed?

There was only one place to go, the unimaginatively named Alpine Road. This residential road is only about 100 metres long but averages about 10% and kicks up nastily at the end.

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Test One

The Alfine hub shifts effortlessly and with a 52×16 combination the lowest gear was able to propel me up the hill at just about three miles an hour. The look is one of concentration rather than effort, at this speed and on this incline pedaling is a mental as well as physical activity. However the pedaling was pretty effortless, considering the gradient – which can be judged from the base of the green telecoms box on the left.

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Test Two

Julia agreed to sit in the road and watch as I descended – I promised to miss her if I couldn’t stop. Actually I wasn’t worried about the ability to stop, more about the ability modulate the brakes to stop the bike with me still on it.

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I needn’t have worried, smooth, silky smooth braking and the pads are not yet worn in.

Test Three

It was too early in the afternoon for a genuine test, but as it got darker I tried another ascent of the the hill. Again I am impressed, the light is clearly strong enough even at 3mph. How much of this is coming from the standlight facility in the IQ unit and how much is coming from the hub dynamo is difficult to tell however.

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So tomorrow the bike gets roped into service for the commute – looking forward to it – am really impressed with this bike. Just need to fit the rear rack and I’m ready

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Is this the future of commuting?

February 13, 2009

I’m excited. After a bit of a wait this little beauty is on its way to me from Eugene, Oregon.

alfine-tikit

With hub-gears and disc brakes it addresses all of my quibbles with the standard Tikit as an everyday commuter in hilly rainy Sheffield. The photo here is from the factory. The final article will have a front mudguard and the saddle and pedals swapped in from the standard Tikit which will be passed on to Julia (Happy Valentines – have a second hand bike!) once it has been well and truly cleaned of salt and grime.

I hadn’t thought of it before but the new Tikit could also run a dynamo front light – reducing the need for batteries – a further green improvement.