Seasons Speeding Tikit Porteur

I’ve finished my most recent round of hacking on my Bike Friday Tikit.

Side view with lots of visual clutter, making it hard to see the bike.

I callit the Seasons SpeedingTikit Porteur. Seasons because that is what Bike Friday calls the Tikit with an internal hub. Speeding because that is what they call it when you put on drop bars. Porteur because it has a (mini) porteur rack up front.

i9 hub, new dropouts

The new rear hub is a SRAM i-Motion 9 (or i9). The i9 conversion benefited from some brazing of the bike’s rear triangle. I switched the dropouts to the pivoting dropouts that Bike Friday makes. I also had to move the rear canti studs a bit. I made a photo essay of swapping out the dropouts. The i9 seems to work well and has a nice gear range. I had originally planned on building a custom bar-end shifter, but gave up on that project. The rear triangle will get fresh powdercoat soon.

The drop bars make the quick fold a bit wide, but remove the stem and it gets narrower than a stock tikit. I don’t need a compact quick fold very often, so this is a good compromise for me. I can ride on drop bars all day long, but flat bars hurt my hands after 20 miles or so. I really love the Tikit fold, it is very fast and all of the dirty bits on the bike get folded to the inside.

I made the mini-porteur rack a long time ago and it continues to function well. It looks really dressed up with the black powder coat.

The Tektro V-brake drop-bar levers are a lot more comfortable than the Diacompe 287-V option. They seem to work pretty well on the front, but the rear is a bit spongy from the long cable run. The levers work better if your V-brakes have shoes at the top of the slot than at the bottom.

I hacked up my favorite MKS Grip King pedals to have a quick release MKS EZ axle. This lets them pop off of the bike in an instant to make the fold smaller. Taking axles out of $60 pedals and putting them into $50 pedals is an expensive solution, I wish MKS just offered these with the quick release axle as stock.

I’m taking the bike on a train ride with me soon and looking forward to giving it a real test.


  1. Chad Parrish says:

    Nice build, you have reminded me that I really need to put the mustache bars back on after running flat bars all winter

  2. Mike Jenkins says:

    Nice, Alex.

  3. Antoine says:

    Looks wonderful (and fast) with the drops. A shame you can”t get some sort of quick-release stem-face so the drops could just swivel around when the bike is folded.

  4. dr2chase says:

    I”m a little curious to know how the i9 works out. Another winter, another shurikenized set of derailer jockey pulleys, another stretched chain, I”ve started to think I might have an internally geared hub in my future.

  5. Gareth says:

    Fabulous Tikit set up

    dr2chase – go for the internal hub – I have an alfine tikit and love it.

  6. vince hansen says:

    Sounds like you like to make
    and customize things.

    I have a project that you might be
    interested in,
    thank you,

  7. Brett says:

    Quick comment on the i9. I”ve had one on my kid hauler/rain/cargo bike (modified and souped-up Swobo Dixon) and it’’s a fabulous except for the fact that after several very rainy rides water got into the freewheel mechanism when the black plastic seal came lose and the freewheel bearings lost their grease.

    The result was pitting in the freewheel and a replacement hub from SRAM (it was still under warranty) that is supposed to have an improved seal. No idea how to tell which version one may have, but something to lookout for.

  8. AlexWetmore says:

    Brett — Thanks for the comment on the i9. I”ll try to find someone at SRAM who can tell me how to identify the versions with the faulty seal. A friend had an i9 failure and it sounds like it was similar to yours. He”ll be warrantying the hub soon.

  9. Vik says:

    Hi Alex,

    I used an image from this post on my blog and plan to get a similar rack made for my Tikit. When we last spoke about this you didn”t want to build racks for sale and didn”t mind folks copying your fine creation. I assume that’’s still the case? If you are interested in building a rack for sale let me know and if you have any issues with my use of your photo or what I posted let me know and I”ll take care of your concerns.


  10. admin says:

    That is still the case Vik, but thanks for asking. Please send me a photo when you”ve received it from the builder.

    You might look at this photo set to see how I”d make the detachable stays now:

    The method that I used on my Tikit rack works, but it isn”t as rigid. The other change that I”d recommend would be putting a cross stay on the Tikit rack just above the tire. The rack is pretty open there and I”ve had soft bags droop and drag on the tire.

    If you or your builder have any questions feel free to email me.

  11. [...] of the most interesting pages I came across belonged to Alex Wetmore, the man who cut off his tikit’s dropouts. He did it, of course, so he could attach dropouts that would let him tension the drive chain [...]

  12. MacB says:

    Alex, I was wondering if you”d stuck with the I-9 on the tikit and how it had faired? I was considering ordering a hyperfold single speed tikit with 135mm rear spacing. I have an I-9 hub kicking around and was musing on having that built into a wheel to allow for SS or hub geared tikit use.

    Getting info from the BF website is rather challenging but I”m guessing that the new hub/fixed/SS bikes come with the adjustable dropouts. However looking at your pictures in this article I do have some concerns around cable routing and space for the gear cable connector. Was also wondering if there were any problems with meeting the 49mm chainline of the I-9? My plan would be to leave the shifter permanently on the bike and just switch between SS and hub gear rear wheel. If the adjustable dropouts also accomodate a disc brake I”ll go with that as well.

  13. Alex Wetmore says:

    My I-9 failed at a very young age (about 500 miles), so I replaced it with a Shimano Nexus 8sp hub. The I-9 had a nicer gear range and even steps between gears, but the Nexus 8 shifts more nicely and there is much wider support for it, so this was a good exchange.

    The Tikit is working great and the adjustable dropouts are very nice.

  14. MacB says:

    Interesting, my I-9 seized in deep snow after about 3.5k miles of heavy commuting use(under a year so was warrantied), went back to Germany and has been fine since for about another 2k miles. But maybe I won”t bother spending money getting it moved to a little wheel and just put the money towards an 8 speed Tikit.

    thanks for the superfast answer and keep up all the amazing work….Al

  15. MacB says:

    Alex, following my usual glacial pace I”m finally up and running with my SS Tikit and looking at gears. I have two spare rear wheels one with the I-9 and one with an Alfine 8, figured I”d use the I-9 until it died and then swap. I”m just puzzling a little over cable routing in/around/under the BB area, do you have any images of the routing you used? The A8 won”t be a problem but I want to avoid dismantling the I-9 shift cable, is it ok to just cable tie it to the cable loops on the tikit?