Bike Friday Test Ride

On Sunday I took a trip down to Seattle and stopped by Montlake Bike Shop to test ride a Bike Friday because it’s the top running candidate for my world hitchbiking tour on a folding bike. Not only did they have Bike Fridays, but is also a BromptonDahon and Tern dealer for those of you that want to shop around.

First impressions of the Bike Friday Future Select Tikit

  • Stiffer ride because it does not have a split stem
  • Handlebar stem feels weak when you’re grinding up the hill
  • Carbon belt drive is silent
  • Shimano Nexus Inter-8 hub provides a decent range
  • At 5’4″ (162 cm) tall, I was at a tough spot between a medium and a small size Tikit and my boyfriend at 6′ (182 cm) tall was between a medium and a large.

I will have to review my initial stance as whether to take a Bike Friday Tikit around the world.  I may end up using my Brompton after all… subject to my boyfriend’s final opinion (since I need to convince him more than I need to convince myself to go on this trip).

My requirements for a world touring folder are:

  • ability to take panniers – carrying capacity of approximately 50-60L
  • be able to roll when folded
  • durability, low maintenance
  • easy to fold in a minute
  • travels well on a plane and/or a small tiny bus of a third world country

I bought my Brompton on the same day as my test ride back in 2009 on a summer day in Toronto from Curbside Cycles.  It was a staggering price of $2000 with all the options I added on top of it.  It was love on first sight.  I admit that I am now hesitant on buying a Bike Friday after the test ride.  It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get it.  You could say it’s a difference between a Mac and a PC.  One is well engineered but doesn’t leave much room for those who like to tinker.  The other has heaps of standardize parts and would love your personal touches on it.

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