Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tikit Rear Rack Affects Folded Stability

I love my Bike Friday Tikit, but I had noticed that it wasn't very stable when folded. It would tend to lean to the side the front wheel was on, and the only thing keeping it from falling over was the handle bars acting like a tripod leg. This of course wore on the handlebar. It was fine sitting on flat ground, but if it was on a train or a bus, a turn would cause the bike to fall over.

I was a tad dissapointed at this, especially since everything I'd seen online had said that the rear rack made the tikit extremely stable when folded. I chalked it up to the fact that I also had a double-front-rack, which perhaps was making the front wheel side heavier, causing it to lean.

Luckily, the good people at Bike Friday called recently, out of the blue, just to see how I was liking my bike. Yes, seriously. I had heard tales of the great customer support at this smallish Oregon company, but I still wasn't expecting such attention. I mentioned the problem, and the customer service rep called the guy who oversees Tikit production (Tim) over from the other room. I described the problem to him, and took some photos and e-mailed them to him. He told me what he expected was the problem, and later confirmed it when he received my photos: My rear rack had posts that were too tall. This meant that, when folded, the rear wheel was being held too high off the ground, causing the bike to lean to the other side. This is evident in the photos I sent him (also in this post) by looking at how high the rear fender is held by the too-tall rear rack. Tim put another rack with shorter posts in the mail.

I swapped out the rear rack, and now the Tikit is rock-solid-stable when folded!  I sent them back the too-tall rear rack in the same box, as they said they could modify it for future use.

See the comparison photos below:

Before. . .                                                                       . . . and After!

Before. . . . (Note how high the rear rack is over the wheel)

. . . and After!

Note the difference between the two racks (shorter one is the good one;  taller one makes the Tikit less stable when folded).

It's so nice to have a company that provides this kind of support.  I had been willing to live with the annoyance of the leaning rack, but the company called to check on me just because, and now my bike works even better.  So glad I went with this bike, and this company!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, that bike rack was way *way* wrong. Quality control anyone?