So the word from Bike Friday is that “the stem can work loose over years of use” on their Tikit and is a safety concern. This would explain why perhaps on my first impressions on my first test ride of the Tikit, I felt the stem was weak. It did notice the 2012 TIkit had a smaller diameter for the stemtube and headtube compared to my Brompton.
It appears that it is about a 0.125% chance a customer would have this problem (about 5 of 4000 bikes). To put that into perspective – your chances of being in an automobile accident once in your life is 1 in 100 given 65 years. (Based on stats calculated from US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.)
So this is not a common problem, but serious enough for Bike Friday to take care of it and their customer (unlike Ford with its Pinto’s Fuel Tank Controversy). Rare in this world is a company that takes ownership of their problem – small or large, because they actually care about their customers. If you do decide to buy a bike from them, I feel that they would take care of you in the long run and would try to ensure your satisfaction with their product – not just to make a quick buck.
The next 2013 version of a Tikit will be an overhaul of the front end design of the bike to address this issue.
Super kudo to Eric of Bike Friday for letting me know. I’ve been in contact with as I mull over a purchase of a Tikit for the world trip – or just to go with my existing 2009 Brompton. Impressions after this pre-sales service chalks one up in their camp to likely mean that Bike Friday would do their best to see that I have a good journey around the world when I depart. I know they will already mail you a requested part in 3-days, were you to need one on the road.