I think I might change the name of this “regular” column to iBFFFFF.  You know, “i” as in “infrequent.”  I guess I’m just too busy with work and family to sit down and write about work and family.  Hey, at least I’m not bored.. :D

Anyways, a LONG time ago I said I was going to fix my tikit.  I was thinking we’d be doing stock “just the tikit” models for a long enough time that I could have found some time to do it when I felt like.  Well, I did manage to create the impetus and sold my fixed Pro to math geek Jesse Ratzkin.  I had been riding my Pocket Llama a lot, though, since I found I really couldn’t stand the flat bars on the tikit (a personal problem– even on a mountain bike I find myself longing for Dirt Drops or something), so didn’t find the need to do the switchover.

Well, after there was some concern expressed about the stem hinge on the tikit, Rob and Hanz went back to the drawing board and came up with new beefier stem hinge plates, stem latch, and connecting cable.  I heard we were going to retrofit some of the old ones and see what just switching the cable would be like.  So I volunteered, and excited to test it, I had to get it ready to ride.

By late in the day Friday, I had a retrofitted tikit and a wheel with a White Industries Eric’s Eccentric ENO hub, so while I made some phone calls, I disconnected the cables, shifters, brake levers, rear derailleur, rear wheel and brakes.  I installed the new wheel with a fresh chain and put the bar back on so I could ride it home.  I used Ted’s discarded rear Reelight which he could never get to work consistently, but fit on the tikit no problem and worked perfect.

I rode it home and put on my old Nitto track drops (the narrowness here is perfect for this thin urban folder) and adjusted the position up and out a bit, which needed to be done anyways.  I threw on my High Tail bag for the tools and spare garb and was all set.

It’s a joy to ride, the cable making a significant difference to the stem stiffness.  No problems with the ENO whatsoever with shifting chain tension.  I’m impressed that the rack holds on so good to the bare canti studs.  I need to figure out where to put the lock.  It was a bit annoying attached to the stem riser.  I’ll probably make a clamp to fix that problem.  Folding is unaffected by any of the change, though the width has increased a bit because of the reach on the bars.

This is the ultimate practical bike for commuting– super simple, rugged, extremely portable, sporty, takes your stuff, doesn’t get flats, fends off the rain.  I do miss the “hyperdrive” as I like to call the grip shift bell that only works with flat bars, but a brass bell will work fine since the bar diameter is so narrow.  I’d like a Chris King headset but the stack height is incompatible with the way we’ve designed the bike so it will be a while (if at all) before that problem gets resolved.  Maybe in the meanwhile we can find a good sealed cartridge bearing threadless headset with the right stack height (which is about 25mm) .  The only other thing I think it really needs is one of the new constant front Reelight SL150 lights.  And one of the soon-to-be-introduced Detours panniers with integrated suspended laptop sleeve and super-fast/sturdy attachment system.

So here is the second “just the tikit” converted to a “one way tikit” but of course then you end up with a bunch of parts you don’t want.  The parsimonious and better solution would be to just get a one way and get with it built to order sizing and a choice of saddle, pedals, color and tires.  The tikit line has pretty much caught up with the demand, so we can get them out pretty quick.  Give a call in so we can get some pics of a one way up here! :D

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