The tubing has been bent, cut and connected. The steel heart of the bicycle has been painted. Decals have been applied. This is the frame of the Bike Friday tikit at rest, in pieces.
To underline the obvious, this is not the visual experience you would have with a traditional diamond frame at this stage of production.
If you were looking at that frame, you would see a fully defined creation, every tube firmly locked in relationship to every other tube and brazed fitting.
If you were an experienced rider, you would sense at a glance how the chainstay length would eventually affect the angle of the chain as it ran from chainring to cassette and back again. You would recognize the approximate seat tube angle and know whether you would have to push the saddle forward or backward on its rails for a proper fit. You would see the head tube length and know, pretty much, how long the fork steerer and how high the handlebar stem would need to be.
But this, this is madness. Chaos. The geometry of a brush pile. You see things that look familiar, connected to things that look like abstract sculpture.
Then you look beyond the steel and people smile back at you. They seem to know what they’re doing. They seem to be indicating that everything is going to be ok. That this is just another day in Eugene, Oregon.
So there you go, the best evidence yet that what you see here is not a traditional bicycle. Instead, it’s a folder. And more than that, it’s a Bike Friday tikit. A red one.