[Yak] Tikit or NWT?
cycling at axelrod.plus.com
Sat Apr 11 12:36:27 CDT 2009
Here's my experiences Brian.
I bought my NWT around the year 2000. In my work I am lucky
enough to travel extensively - sometimes there is not a week
goes by that I am not abroad somewhere - sometimes its for
a day or two, sometimes a week or more. Often what I do
is make life tolerable by taking a bike with me and having
a few days leave for me wherever I am. I also use my bike
for daily transport wherever I am. I would not want to be
in a foreign city without a bike. But I also love touring
and try to find time to do that too. Shame we have to work
really - I could happily just tour for a few years ;-) :-).
The reason I bought the NWT was because it became obvious
that if I continued taking my full sized bike on planes
it wouldn't be long until it was damaged. There was also
the thing about being able to take it easily on buses, trains
and taxis and to eat with my colleagues when they go to restaurants
(one wants to travel with them not independently all the time - for
social reasons). And then I discovered how incredibly useful
it is in many ways in life. Friday is definitely the right name,
its so versatile.
After quite a few years of using the NWT all over the world
and on all sorts of transport - planes, trains, buses, ships
and also at home, and with often massive touring loads, more weight
than I could ever carry, with panniers and trailer the
few limitations began to be felt. There are two limitations
of the NWT for me:
1. When its folded its a b.gg.r to carry.
2. Its time-consuming and a dirty job to pack and unpack it.
If I'm touring those things don't matter. If I'm working
and short of time they do.
When I say its time-consuming to pack and unpack - some on
here would disagree. When I was in Eugene (I visited BF)
one of the BF guys was on the same Greyhound coach that I was
with *his* NWT and when we got off I watched him assemble
his in maybe 10 minutes or less. I'm always very careful
packing - I do it very slowly and thoughtfully and
take great care that its packed in a way that it won't
get damaged because the bike is so important to my way of life
so I really worry about it being damaged. It takes me about
an hour to pack it and an hour to unpack it.
Now if I'm going away for a week or more this is worth doing
but if I'm going for say 2 days for meetings somewhere
its a bit long - that's four hours to pack and unpack
(one does both twice) - I can't afford such an overhead
for a 2 day meeting and certainly I can't for a single
day - so I wanted something I could more easily pack and
carry. When thinking about carrying by the way its not
just the bike to be considered - imagine running down a
railway platform to get to one's carriage with a folded
NWT in one hand (bikes not allowed there you see! - common
in some places - e.g. fast trains in Spain) and loaded
panniers and top bags in the other - and who carries
the case ????? This is one problem I never solved
- there are not always luggage carts available
and not always time to get properly organised and
packed between trains.
So I now have a tikit as well. It makes life more complicated
because I have TWO boxes of packing oddments and paraphernalia
in the garage, one set for each bike - lights have to fit on
both, cycle computers (remember - miles AND km) proliferate,
yet another set of cycle bags (my touring bags don't really
work on the tikit so I have a huge seatpost bag and a rack top
for the tikit that work really well but don't work on my
other two bikes). When I'm going somewhere I choose which
is the best bike to take.
Packing the tikit is really fast - I *do* take it for
short meetings. Its also MUCH easier to carry and to
get in "NO BIKES IN HERE" buildings. It rides fine,
not quite as good as NWT but by far the best folder
I ever rode. Its no way as light (titanium tikit??)
as I would like when folded - its very tiring on the
arm to carry - but then one wheels it usually - even
that is tiring on the arms if you walk a long way talking with
colleagues while wheeling it folded - but only the Bromton
scores higher there and that isn't as nice to ride in my view.
One *can* tour on it. I have a CarryFreedom trailer I can
use with NWT or Tikit - which means I can do the bi-monthly
food shop with either bike. It feels great to have a backup
bike in case one is off the road (which happened to me once).
How do I choose which to take ? If I'm touring and expect
to have a good luggage load and going for more than a few
days I take the NWT as its nicer to ride in those conditions
- its more of a touring bike. If I'm going for short meetings
or just going to a city and travelling light I take the Tikit.
I just spent three weeks in New Zealand, most of which
was at meetings. I was going to take the NWT but after
the winter here the bike was really filthy and I left
my packing a bit late - and they are VERY fussy about
things like that on entry to NZ - they ask you if your
boots are clean, if the tyres on your bike are clean and
so on. So at the last minute I decided I hadn't time
to clean it to NZ standards so I took the Tikit instead.
As I was at meetings I really didn't get time to
ride anywhere far outside of the city I was in (Wellington)
anyway - and it was the right choice - it worked great
for that trip even tho I was away so long. The critical
point is that it was mostly in a city and not touring.
There is one more reason I sometimes take the tikit
instead of the NWT - when I think there is a great risk
of damage. At the moment my case is slightly damaged
(there is a split - probably caused by Heathrow baggage
handlers). So I'm a little warier than usual. I *think*
it will be fine - but I'm choosing until its fixed
to take the tikit with me. In any case - the travel
I have the next few weeks allows very little packing
time (Portugal, London twice, Barcelona, Bonn, Berlin
- all in about 20 days).
I love both bikes - they are very different but both are great
fun in their different ways.
I hope that helps.
> Hi all! I'm planning to take the measurements of my touring bike today
> (Surly LHT) and to give Bike Friday a call next week to place an
> order. What I don't yet know is whether I'll order a Tikit or a New
> World Tourist. I'm hoping I can get some advice from the list. I've
> looked at the thread that Steve Lange started on the subject from
> February, which was helpful, but I'm trying to get a handle on a few
> particular issues:
> 1. This summer I'll be flying to Europe and taking trains, planes, and
> coaches to several destinations. I'll have to pack my bike at least
> five times in the travel case, in addition to the two transatlantic
> 2. I'd like to be able to sneak my bike on public transit that
> officially doesn't allow bicycles, like the Paris Métro (though I
> wouldn't dream of doing it during rush hour).
> 3. I plan to do rides of between 10 and 75 miles, possibly a century,
> and at least one two- or three-day credit-card tour along the
> Norwegian coast.
> #1 and #2 suggest I should get the Tikit, which would be easier to
> pack in the travel case and easier to maneuver, folded, on public
> transit. #3 suggests I should get the NWT.
> If you have a Tikit, would you consider riding a century on it? If you
> have a NWT, how long does it take you to pack it in its travel case?
> If you have both, which would you prefer if you were in my shoes?
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