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Thread: Bromptons & Other Folding Bicycles

  1. #61
    Registered User Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Walker I think the color of your bike combined with Brook-Saddle and thous Handlebars looks very classy. Thank you for posting this, it caught the interest of my husband. That means two things: the research will be increased as will the fun-part after the research-time. All of you wound believe how long he is eying the Synapse 25 now. Now he has a basket where he collects everything, that will have to go in his future-backpack and when this basket is filled to his liking he will practice-pack my S25 and THAN he will decide which one to order. When I compare that to my process from seeing a Tom Bihn Bag till ordering... but it is a very good think to have two differently tempered persons in one household. He calms me down and I take care that there is some progress. So everything is well balanced out.

    Back to topic: We would need the telescope-sattle-thingy because of our heights but it seems a good investment anyway. But I have to look into the other mentioned companies as well. Bike Friday looks good too, but they overwhelm me with choices.

    Ilkyway

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilkyway View Post
    tCook nice picture, how did you decide on which bike to get?
    I didn't do a ton of research, and bought the one model REI had because I receive and earn good dividends there - I didn't have to pay full price!
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walker View Post
    @Ilkyway, I amy very short, under 5 ft. This is another reason why I bought the Brompton. The seat post goes way down, and I can adjust to to a comfortable height. I have not seen a Bike Friday Tikit, but from looking at the photos, I am guessing that the seat post will be too high for me. At 56 years old, I am not as limber to ride my bike pedals on my toes.

    The only reason I would want a telecoping seat post is Maverick's mention that when he removes his telescoping seat post with the saddle, his bike fits in his Mini Cooper better. I am hoping he will post a photo. No rush, Maverick!

    Right now, my bike with standard seat post is a bit too high, I have to remove the trunk's top cover when I load my bike there. Here is a photo:


    When I was researching Brompton information, most of the interesting posts and photos are by tall people. The man (Peter) who did most of the videos posted by Nyce Wheels is 6'2". I have no connection with them, did not buy my bike from them, but appreciated their videos of the Brompton. I am hoping to sign up for their free Brompton tours, if and when I find myself in New York. I would very much like to try the bike with the sporty handlebar.
    Sorry, I'm away all this week. But I will post a picture when I got back. I am traveling with my Brain Bag this week, which is great - it holds everything! But I do find myself missing my Daylight Backpack...

    I also found the videos from NYCEWheels to be very helpful. I bought mine from a Brompton dealer that is local to me (Bikes@Vienna).

    I also have the Ergon Cork grips - in addition to looking great, they greatly reduce hand fatigue, and I don't have to wear gloves.

    I discovered the Brooks saddle with my road bike, and have one on my Brompton as well. You won't be sore there after a long ride with the Brooks saddle.
    Last edited by maverick; 07-13-2014 at 05:10 AM.
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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilkyway View Post
    the sigh at the and of his folding-experiment is so adorable.
    My favorite part is where he manages to turn on the light. :-)

    Have you ridden a Bromptons?
    Sure, absolutely.

    I presume you're asking about the Brompton vs. Tikit? Though they have the same wheel size and both fold the Brompton and the Tikit are *very* different bikes with very different design goals and constraints. The Brompton was designed originally for mixed-mode commuting on British commuter rail. This means that it must fold into an extremely tight package, and all other considerations are secondary. And it's just about the tightest and most elegant folding bike out there. Additionally, it has really nice commuting baggage options. But to achieve the tight fold, it makes a number of major compromises, the big ones being (1) its handlebars are flat in profile and cannot easily be deviated from without messing up the fold, (2) it has many custom parts, notably the drivetrain, which you cannot tweak with industry standard stuff, and (3) it has a very short reach, so if you're tall, a Brompton will likely impart a pretty upright position.

    The Tikit is an American bike designed by a company which specializes in highly modifiable and tweakable bikes which happen to fold and pack into a suitcase. So its folded volume is perhaps 1.5 that of the Brompton or more. But as you can see from the video the Tikit is believed to be the fastest-to-fold bike in history. More importantly, except for the folding bits, it's all standard components and is very easily customized. So the Tikit occupies a very different part of the bike design space from the Brompton.

    Maverick reported that the Tikit felt more like a "real bike", and that's true. There are two reasons for this. The Tikit's steering (technically its mechanical trail) is stabler than the Brompton's, though it's quite a bit less stable than a traditional road bike. I think that's something you get used to on the Brompton pretty fast, no biggie. Seconc, the Tikit has a customizable reach and standard handlebars. Folding bikes are all exercises in compromise.

    BTW wish me luck guys, I'm taking the Brain Bag to Brazil on Thursday to attend RoboCup. My students are competing in the Kid-size Humanoid Robot Soccer League.
    Last edited by feijai; 07-14-2014 at 05:23 AM.
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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walker View Post
    Here is a photo of the handle bars - forgot the brand. I am sure Maverick and other Bromption afficionados will know.

    And yes, the box next to it is a TB box, of course
    Wow, the raw lacquer version. And that's the one with the six-speed hub? That is one nice bike.

    @Ilkyway, I amy very short, under 5 ft. This is another reason why I bought the Brompton. The seat post goes way down, and I can adjust to to a comfortable height. I have not seen a Bike Friday Tikit, but from looking at the photos, I am guessing that the seat post will be too high for me. At 56 years old, I am not as limber to ride my bike pedals on my toes.
    Actually it's the other way around. Whereas nearly all folding bikes are one-size-only, the Tikit (and all of Bike Friday's bikes) comes in three sizes and Bike Friday does custom sized and configured bikes. As in really custom. Anyway the size-small Tikit is almost the exact same dimensions as the Brompton, and modifying the seatpost further is simple. The one in the video is two sizes larger.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ilkyway View Post
    Back to topic: We would need the telescope-sattle-thingy because of our heights but it seems a good investment anyway. But I have to look into the other mentioned companies as well. Bike Friday looks good too, but they overwhelm me with choices.
    Yep, too many choices. I'd call them up, that's the easiest way (you can talk to the actual people who will build your bike. They are in a great many ways the Tom Bihn of the folding bike world).

    With the telescoping seat, even quite tall riders can ride the Brompton. But the issue with the Brompton for tall riders isn't the seat height but rather the reach (the distance from the seat to the handlebars). You'll be riding very upright, city bike style (or angled *very* low with the model S). If you like this riding position, it'll be fine.

    The other two choices mentioned here were Dahon and Swift. Swifts are interesting bikes and are very rigid, and have mostly standard components. But they don't have a strong dealer or repair network. I have two Dahons in Italy. Dahon controls about 70% of the worldwide folding bike market, and is based out of Shenzhen. Their bikes fold in half like a "traditional" folding bike; though Dahon generally is pretty good quality, they have some issues with obtaining replacement parts as they age. Bike Friday and Brompton are at the top end of the market; they're the BMW and Mercedes of folding bike companies. Dahon has a huge range of quality: it's the Toyota (or Trek) of the market.

    Okay, that's it for me.
    Last edited by feijai; 07-14-2014 at 05:22 AM.
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  6. #66
    Registered User Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    BTW wish me luck guys, I'm taking the Brain Bag to Brazil on Thursday to attend RoboCup. My students are competing in the Kid-size Humanoid Robot Soccer League.
    GOOD LUCK!!! (Seems we Germans are good in wishing luck these days so this one should count ;-) )

    But now I have to say: Thank you so much for taking the time and writing so informative and detailed posts. You helped a lot with these and I will now have very specific questions and testings when I reach the point where I speak to the Bike-Manufacturers. This helped A LOT. The next step for me will be to look into the availability of Bike Friday in Europe. Tom Bihn can testify that I am more than willing to order extraordinary quality from over sees but if I have the possibility to look and test before buying that helps a lot. And in ways buying a bike is different than buying a bag.

    When your time allows, might you want to say something about your choice of the Tikit from all the models Bike Friday offers?

    Ilkyway

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilkyway View Post
    When your time allows, might you want to say something about your choice of the Tikit from all the models Bike Friday offers?
    The Tikit is Bike Friday's commuter bike and is different from the others they make. It has small 349 wheels (Brompton-sized) and is meant to fold every day. Their other bikes are much higher performance bikes: they ride more like real bikes but fold much less impressively; rather, they are meant to fold primarily so you can pack them into a suitcase (see Bike Friday's headbadge).

    The Tikit is also a fairly bleeding-edge bike. It requires some care, and is particularly attractive to nerds and engineers (which I am).
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    BTW, if you're in Germany, you should take a look at the Birdy by Riese und Müller. A well regarded folding bike, generally rides better than a Brompton, doesn't fold quite as small.
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    Wow, the raw lacquer version. And that's the one with the six-speed hub? That is one nice bike.

    Actually it's the other way around. Whereas nearly all folding bikes are one-size-only, the Tikit (and all of Bike Friday's bikes) comes in three sizes and Bike Friday does custom sized and configured bikes. As in really custom. Anyway the size-small Tikit is almost the exact same dimensions as the Brompton, and modifying the seatpost further is simple. The one in the video is two sizes larger.
    I am glad it took me 2+ years to make up my mind about the Brompton. Raw lacquer just became available when I got ready. Bike is 3-speed.

    When I was researching folding bikes, I found rave reviews about the Tikit, but apparently taken off production at the time. So I focused on the Brompton. Later on, I wanted the compact fold, better suited for my purpose.

    Those Tikits are tempting. But can only keep 1 bike.

    Keep the tips coming, much appreciated.
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  10. #70
    Registered User Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    BTW, if you're in Germany, you should take a look at the Birdy by Riese und Müller. A well regarded folding bike, generally rides better than a Brompton, doesn't fold quite as small.
    Thank you for the tip, but I have to say, I never could warm up to Aluminium Bikes. I know they are not that "dangerous" anymore (Aluminium just braking without warning opposed to bending) but I just can not bring myself to find this thick frames and choppy joints attractive. (I hope I am not stepping on any toe here, I red good thinks about Birdy).

    Ilkyway

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