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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 02-14-06, 09:50 AM   #1
stargazer48
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I put down a deposit towards a Swift folder. I am pretty excited as this my 1st bike purchase in 30 years and a folder at that.
As you know, Peter currently only offers alu frames but over a week ago, I dropped by the LBS that he partners with, for a 2nd time, to ride the Swift that was there but it was gone and in its place was a "used" black steel Swift. I contacted Peter through email and asked if he would be willing to upgrade the existing components. It won't be any where near as beautiful as Wav's folder but it is still a beautiful Swift that will be very functional and less likely to be stolen. I hope to get it within 3 weeks.

I remained somewhat traditional, so besides the steel frame, I went with the external 8 (11-32) speed cassette and 54/39 chain ring setup. This will give me a range of 98.2 to 24.4.

The components include,
105 headset
Shimano UN-72 bottom bracket
I think the crank is a Shimano with Sugino 54/Rocket 39
9.0 Sram derailleur and 8 spd. shifter
Shimano XT brakes and Deore levers
wheels build with Tiagra hubs and Sun CR-18 rims
Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires

The seat has some padding but is still pretty hard, so I will first try using a Nashbar Gel Saddle Pad that I already have before looking at further improvements. I have one on my PX10 with a cheap non-padded seat and for regular non-touring riding, it provides a fairly comfortable ride.
I'll purchase the planet bike fenders and a seatpost rack.
I am thinking getting a 2nd cassette with much closer gearing that I could use for non-touring day to day local riding with limited hills. Could I get an 8 speed (11 12 13 14 15 17 19 21) or (11 12 13 14 15 17 20 24).

Unlike many of you, I am a total novice when it comes to buying modern bikes let alone folders. As I have mentioned earlier, the last 2 bikes I purchased was 30 years ago (which I still own) and bike components have come a long way.

Any comments to improve the folder would be appreciated.

Finally, I want to thanks everyone on this forum, especially Wav for the information that helped me in the purchase of this folder. I hope to share my experiences and adventures in the future.

weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Lost my head for a second.

SG

Last edited by stargazer48; 02-14-06 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 02-14-06, 11:16 AM   #2
Wavshrdr
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All I can say is congrats! Sounds like you will have a sweet ride. I hope you will enjoy it is much as I do mine! I personally couldn't be happier with my Swift. I am running out of things to tinker with though. Peter is a great guy to work with but not quick in answering emails but at least the replies are thorough.

Once you spend some time on the bike you'll see if you need or want to change anything. Fundamentally I couldn't be happier. You might want to look at tire choices if ride quality (or performance) becomes an issue. After squeezing my Big Apples on the rims I definitely like the improvement but it wasn't a surprise as I ran them on my Dahons. They have to be one of the ultimate tires for a folder that needs to do everything but race.

Anyway enjoy the bike! Any sort of time frame until you get it back? I think you will like the SRAM stuff too. I have SRAM X.0 on my MTB and that stuff is sweet. I don't miss the derailleur though on my Swift. I have truly grown to love the hub and its clean apperance. You can always change later but wait until I find what works best for a chain tensioner. That is a work in progress. You will like the rims you ordered too. They are very beefy and I am a big guy and no issues yet (nor do I anticipate any).

You have a great Valentine's Day present! Too bad you can't enjoy it now.
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Old 02-14-06, 02:22 PM   #3
stargazer48
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Thanks Wav. I hope to get it within 3 weeks.

Regarding the tires, I had suggested to Peter that it was recommended that I get the Apple tires. He assured me that they would not fit so I didn't argue with him. I don't know if the steel frame and fork have less clearance than the alu one. I would guess that the alu frame would have less clearance because of the larger tube diameter.

Any thoughts about getting an extra 8 speed cassette with these possible gears (11 12 13 14 15 17 19 21) or (11 12 13 14 15 17 20 24). Based on my road bike current gear patterns, if I rode the folder in NY, I would be using mostly 54 chain ring and 11,12,13,14,15 cassette.

SG

Last edited by stargazer48; 02-14-06 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 02-14-06, 03:11 PM   #4
Wavshrdr
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Supposedly the Big Apples wouldn't fit the aluminum one too.

As for gearing I'd go with the (11 12 13 14 15 17 20 24) as I always like to have a bail out gear. I personally prefer to spin rather than stand on the pedals as it is much easier on the folder's frame. I spent a lot of years racing motocross on motorcycles and I have killed my knees over the years more than most people. Still I'd rather spin up the hill as much as possible just to reduce the stress on the bike. The Swift is MUCH more tolerant than others though of this type of riding. It feels very rigid compared to most of my other folders when doing this.

Regardless I'd still go with that 24T top gear just so that I wouldn't have to drop down on the front chainring anyway. I don't think you will notice it in a negative way. Your top five gears are still tight. You will have 2 better gears for hills with about 20% gaps between them. If you are down to them anyway you probably need them.

Good luck and 3 weeks isn't too long to wait. Gives you time to buy accessories.
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Old 02-14-06, 05:06 PM   #5
stargazer48
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I went back to biking with vengeance in 2001. Over the next 3 years, I forgot that my strong leg and thigh muscles (from weighlifting), were connected by fragile knees so I did some minor damage as well. Over the last 4 year I have clocked over 22k of non-touring miles with my old but still reliable PX10.

I also prefer spinning and try to average 70 to 100 rpm. This cassette would be used only if I settled in a foreign locale for a long period of time, where the terrain was not too hilly.
In mainly flat NYC, my normal road bike gear ratio is from 93.6 to 63.9. Except for a couple of monster hills, I never use my lowest gear of 57.9.
On the folder, a 54 / 11-21 combination would give me 98.2 to 51.4 . In an emergency, I could drop to the 39 chainring, giving me 70.9 to 37.1 .
I am assuming my Excel gear calculator is correct.

I will be able to better determine my needs when I get my folder.

SG

Last edited by stargazer48; 02-27-06 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 02-14-06, 06:12 PM   #6
juan162
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Stargazer, I'm jealous. Sounds like you will have one sweet ride. Please post pics when you get your new Swift. juan162
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Old 02-14-06, 07:09 PM   #7
CHenry
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Brooks springer.
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Old 02-27-06, 05:24 PM   #8
knjc68
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Amen to the Brooks B-68 (or newer single-rail B-67) sprung leather saddle. Except maybe when you carry your bike, you won't even notice the extra ounces.... but you will notice the huge improvement in comfort (once it's broke in)!
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Old 02-27-06, 07:02 PM   #9
v1nce
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Brooks, Brooks, Brooks, Brooks... B17 B67 (depending on you build) or perhaps best of all the Brooks Champion Flyer. Anything else is a seat, not a 'saddle' IMO.
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