Kent, Mark and I met at the top of the I90 bridge this morning for some socializing and bike geeking. The toys of the day were my Bike Friday Tikit and Kent’s Dahon Curve. Mark brought along Jan Heine’s Alex Singer — normally one of the most interesting bikes of the bunch, but today it didn’t get much attention.
Kent’s Dahon is really nice. For $400 you get a bike which folds up to a tiny package (not as small as a Brompton, but smaller than the Tikit) and which rides nicely. Contrasting the Dahon and Tikit was fun. The Dahon is very simple in comparison. The fold isn’t as slick, but it is fast enough (Kent says it takes about a minute). The Dahon folds into a small package partially because it is a small bike to begin with — both Mark and I felt that it was undersized than us. Kent said that if you think about it as the fast alternative to walking then you’ll have the right mindset. I was impressed with the parts spec on the Dahon. For $400 it includes some nice features like Schwable Big Apple tires and a simple and effective Sturmey 3sp drivetrain.
Kent and Mark were impressed with the fast folding of the Tikit and Mark liked the riding position (which is pretty similar to my other bikes). The Tikit has some handlebar flex that I’m still working out, but once you get used to it the ride is pretty nice. The Tikit is closer to a normal bicycle in ride and fit, but it also has a much more complicated design and is much more expensive.
The ride also gave me a chance to try out my newest rack. I built a second rack for the Tikit that fits into the folded bike more nicely than my original design. There is clearance for the saddle to fit into the rack and it doesn’t get in the way of the rear tire when the bike is folded. I think that I came up with a solution that is asthetically pleasing and functional.