Bike Friday Tikit £1161

Quick and neat folder

BikeRadar score 4/5

It’s hard to review a product with this monicker without asking whether it’s just the Tikit. Well, it offers a lot. It’s light, folds quickly and small enough for public transport, and has a lot fewer clamps than most of the opposition.

  • Frame & forks: Elegant, minimalist folding frame and forks, but you'll need an Allen key to adjust the seatpost (8/10)
  • Handling: Some flex at the front didn’t stop this offering a convincing ride (8/10)
  • Equipment: Single chainset, eight gears and basic kit – but it all works well (7/10)
  • Fold: Quick and easy to fold and unfold, with a reasonably compact folded package too (9/10)

Like their British rivals Brompton, Bike Friday haven’t ditched manufacturing at home for the Far East, still making their bikes in Oregon, USA.

It’s a clever design too, with a tensioned cable keeping the bike in the riding position. Our main criticism is the need for an Allen key to alter saddle height.

As for the fold, if you want to see just how quick this is, check out the YouTube video below showing why it can be claimed to be ‘the fastest folding bicycle’. In the space of 15 seconds a cyclist goes from riding it to wheeling it fully folded to riding it again – impressive. 

We didn’t acquire quite that speed but it was one of the least flummoxing folds we've attempted. And this also made it a star when it came to climbing stairs and throwing it in the car boot (not literally, of course).

The process is simple, and doesn’t require you to undo anything. You hit the rear of the saddle quite hard, move the seatpost forward, fold the rear wheel underneath and Bob’s your uncle. It also comes with a carrying bag, so that if you’re carrying it you won’t get oil and muck over yourself.

The ride is direct and lively, with a more natural feel than the similar-looking Brompton S6L-X – thanks to a more rigid stem – and a bit more solidity to add to the zing.

We weren’t so keen on the foam grips, which slipped and needed gluing back into place, but we did like the rotary brass bell. And tech head Paul Smith revelled in riding it, putting it through all sorts of manoeuvres to test its handling, and never finding it coming up short.

With the cheapest Tikits costing £999, nearly £400 more than the lowest priced Bromptons, it’s unlikely to challenge the Brompton’s supremacy. But if you’ve test ridden a Brompton and found that its handling wasn’t for you, this may just be the ideal alternative. Just the Tikit, in fact.

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