Express tikit

I got an Express tikit built by Bike Friday in Eugene, Oregon, in the fall of 2007. It’s the 5-second hyperfold version. I intended to use it primarily for commuting to work and running errands, but I’ve also taken it overseas on tours. My 9-speed Capreo Express tikit with 16″ wheels performed very well exploring 500 miles in southern France and a combined 1,000 miles on the last two Japan cycle tours I led–including a climb halfway up Mt. Fuji.

Express tikit in Akan National Park, Hokkaido
Express tikit in Akan National Park, Hokkaido

Before the last trip I replaced the H-bars with drop handlebars so I’d have more hand positions and a more aero position in headwinds. With narrow, high-pressure Schwalbe Stelvio tires, it rides pretty much like a road bike. To make sure I could get over mountain passes I put a smaller 48T chainring on it. I made it up all but a 13% grade… Another person on my Japan tour rode his Travel tikit and was also happy with its performance.

The big advantage I found with the tikit over the 20″ BF models is when using public transportation. The quick fold, transit cover, and rollability were a huge plus hopping on and off the TGV in France and shinkansen (bullet train) in Japan. Compared to carrying  my  Pocket Rocket Pro (and before that, SatRDay recumbent) in a bag on my shoulder up and down steps and through train stations, the tikit is a breeze.  Now if only Bike Friday would develop a 20″ model with a folding stem and a wheel for rolling…

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