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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 03-25-06, 05:30 PM   #1
yangmusa
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Utility use (can I have my cake and eat it too?)

I'm having a severe case of "last minute indecision"

I thought I had made my mind up about getting a Swift with hub gears. I like the looks, I like the spec, I like all the positive testimonies about it's great ride and handling.

But then I started thinking.. It has no rack, and I want to be able to go shopping & run all my errands. I could get a large Carradice saddlebag, but I already have some excellent Ortlieb panniers that I want to keep using. It'll take a rack, but it makes the (already really bad) fold bigger. I see ThorUSA carries a Pletcher rack that pops on in seconds, but am not convinced it's convenient for everyday use with repeated folding. Oh yeah, messenger bags and rucksacks are in my opinion not good for anything but extremely short distances due to discomfort and sweaty back. Yes, I have tried..

At this stage I'm reconsidering the Brompton, with its amazing luggage system and small luggage size.. But I don't know that I can live with the ride and those dreadful brakes. At the end of the day though, the "utility" side of me may win over the "sporty" side of me. I do want my bike to be everyday practical.

What do y'all who already have Swifts do?

cheers, Magnus
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Old 03-25-06, 05:59 PM   #2
Wavshrdr
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Add a rack if you want. How often will you actually need it? I just spin my seat around and the rack ends up over the handlebars. The 8spd Nexus is SOOOOOOO much better than the Brompton's drive train it isn't even a fair comparison. If you are really concerned by the carrier block from the Brompton and figure out how to mount it on the Swift. Then use the luggage from the Brompton. I use my rack and a front QR bag system and I can carry a ton of stuff. Don't forget if you need to a trailer works quite well on the Swift. My BOB goes behind it great when needed.

You probably already know my position on the Brompton brakes. The rear rack isn't much use and you can't load anything very low. SO... you MUST use the front bag which adds a min. $100 to the price by the time you buy the cheapest bag and the carrier block (if you didn't buy the version with the mount or bag already). I still end up sometimes using a rear QR rack on my Brommie just so it will be higher and run some decent panniers. It happens to be the same exact rack I use on my Swift.

Of the 2 the Swift is definitely the better bicycle and more versatile but ultimately not as compact. I bought both so it isn't an issue but my Swift is still my favorite. Slap the rack on the rear and a bag or pannier setup for the front if you really need some carrying capacity. If that doesn't do it then use a BOB trailer too.
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Old 03-25-06, 07:10 PM   #3
yangmusa
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Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
Add a rack if you want. How often will you actually need it? I just spin my seat around and the rack ends up over the handlebars.
After my post I started thinking that your bike had a Topeak rack on in some of the pictures. Didn't occur to me to turn it (doh!) and I guess that hardly affects the fold at all. Which rack to you have, the MTX with the side bars, or the RX?

cheers, Magnus
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Old 03-25-06, 07:40 PM   #4
Wavshrdr
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Mine has the bars.
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