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Old 02-13-07, 08:24 PM   #1
Donkey Hodie
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About to order a steel Swift and I had a few questions..

I'm about to pull the trigger on a steel swift made by Human Powered Machines, and I was hoping some people could help me out with a few things. Below is the spec list form HPM for the Steel Swift:


TYPE: Folding bicycle.
WHEELBASE: 41”
BB HEIGHT: 11”
STAND OVER HEIGHT: 25”
WEIGHT: 28 lbs.
FRAME: TIG welded CroMo tubing.
FORK: CroMo Unicrown.
FOLDED DIMENSIONS: 10” X 21.5” X 30”.
WHEELS: Rims- alloy 20” 406mm; spokes- stainless steel.
DRIVETRAIN: Single speed, SRAM Torpedo
7-Speed internal hub or SRAM dual Drive 3X9 27-speed hub.
BRAKES: V-brakes or disk brakes ($140. extra).
OPTIONS: Standard drive train, fenders, racks, bag, suitcase.
PRICE: $850


The weight listed at HPM is 28lbs and the aluminum xootr is listed at 22lbs. Is the weight difference really that much? Should I expect a bike that weighs close to 30lbs with the shimano 8 redline hub and no accessories? I thought I read that the steel swift is only a couple pounds heavier than the aluminum version. Im not a weight weenie. I weigh 230 at 6'2".

I was also wondering about internal geared hub options. If I get the redline it could bump the price up another 80-100 dollars. Is it worth it? I was told it was heavier....is there a big weight difference? What are other good hub options? What is a good 3 speed hub to use? Are there any good three speed hubs that are high quality, but for cheaper than my shimano options?

Are the breaks something that I should upgrade? I think Jan at HPM told me that the price would be about 120-150 more if I upgraded to the shimano redline 8speed hub, and XT V-brakes. Do you think it makes sense to pay the extra money for the XT brakes?

Thanks for any help that is offered!
-j
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Old 02-13-07, 11:16 PM   #2
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Search back in the Swift thread. I built what you might be interested in. I was the first one (AFAIK) that went with the redline and was an early champion of that hub in a folder. I couldn't be happier with my selection. Keep in mind with the steel framed one that the spacing is narrower for the wheels so tire choices may be more difficult.

Since it looks like you are trying to build something very similar to what I have I'd say go for the upgraded bike. Here is an old post of mine. You can also search back through the Swift thread as well.

They said it couldn’t be done! I am redefining the Swift little by little
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Old 02-14-07, 03:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hodie
I was also wondering about internal geared hub options. If I get the redline it could bump the price up another 80-100 dollars. Is it worth it? I was told it was heavier....is there a big weight difference? What are other good hub options? What is a good 3 speed hub to use? Are there any good three speed hubs that are high quality, but for cheaper than my shimano options?
The Shimano Redline (plus the shifter and extras) is ~1590g, compared to ~1480g for a full Shimano XT setup (both figures are minus crank & BB, but include chainring & hub weight).

However, the XT figure includes a front derailleur, shifter & extra chainrings. Subtract that out and the XT weighs in at ~1060g.

An 11-34 cassette provides a 309% gear range.

A Shimano Redline 8-speed = 307%

Shimano's 7-speed Nexus = 244%

SRAM's Spectro 7-speed = 303%

SRAM's new i-Motion 9 = 350% (but not available aftermarket in the US -- yet!)

I am a firm believer in internally geared hubs. I run Rohloff Speedhubs on my & my wife's mountain bikes, have a Nexus on my street bike, and a Spectro on my Wife's cruiser.

I'd love to put an i-Motion 9 or NuVinci on my Swift. In the short time I've owned the bike, I've already dropped it resulting in a bent derailleur hanger leading to a ridiculously complicated ride, and had a couple of dropped chains. My experience with gear hubs, on the other hand, has been superb.
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Old 02-14-07, 08:04 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info guys. I am most likely going to give a deposit to HPM today. I have about a month until it is delivered, and during that time I need to decide what internal hub I should have the wheel built up with.

Out of the hubs that Speedub.Nate recommended, which one would be the best for more of a hilly area like western massachusetts? I am still a newbie when it comes to bicycle mechanics, gear ranges, etc...

Can anyone recommend a good brand new 3 speed hub? Are there significant price savings that I could achieve from going with a different hub(3, 4, 5, 7, 8, or 9 speed) rather than the nexus redline inter 8?

Your help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-14-07, 09:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hodie
Out of the hubs that Speedub.Nate recommended, which one would be the best for more of a hilly area like western massachusetts? I am still a newbie when it comes to bicycle mechanics, gear ranges, etc...
That would depend on your fitness level and/or pain threshold. There are lots of guys that tackle hilly terrain on a singlespeed or fixie, and others who can't cope with a conventional 27 speed drivetrain.

A 300% gear range is fairly generous. I think the average cyclist will still have to work a little on the steeper hills, and may find they spin out on flat terrain.
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Old 02-14-07, 10:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hodie
Thanks for the info guys. I am most likely going to give a deposit to HPM today. I have about a month until it is delivered, and during that time I need to decide what internal hub I should have the wheel built up with.

Out of the hubs that Speedub.Nate recommended, which one would be the best for more of a hilly area like western massachusetts? I am still a newbie when it comes to bicycle mechanics, gear ranges, etc...

Can anyone recommend a good brand new 3 speed hub? Are there significant price savings that I could achieve from going with a different hub(3, 4, 5, 7, 8, or 9 speed) rather than the nexus redline inter 8?

Your help is greatly appreciated.
Just to make things a little more complicated, if you are looking for a really wide gear range, then you might consider the SRAM Dual Drive.

Just do a few web searches and compare the prices of the different hubs. You can save some money with a 3-speed instead of an 8-speed: it appears that you can save roughly about a $100-150. But I think you are better off making sure that you get a bike that serves your needs first and then worry about the price.

Regarding the hills ...

You should consider what you ride at the moment to tackle those same hills.

If you are using the swiftfolder as a commuter or some other purpose where you will be carrying a greater load, then you might want to factor that in as well.

You might want to play with Sheldon Brown's gear calculator (sheldonbrown.com/gears) and make comparisons to your present ride.

Personally, as a consequence of a knee injury, I am a fan of low and wide gearing (I spin a lot ... RPMs 80-90 or more).
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Old 02-14-07, 11:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
An 11-34 cassette provides a 309% gear range, a Shimano Redline 8-speed = 307%, Shimano's 7-speed Nexus = 244%, SRAM's Spectro 7-speed = 303%, SRAM's new i-Motion 9 = 350% (but not available aftermarket in the US -- yet!)
How would you convert these figures into Gear Inches, by the way?

Thx
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Old 02-14-07, 12:18 PM   #8
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"...Can anyone recommend a good brand new 3 speed hub? Are there significant price savings that I could achieve from going with a different hub(3, 4, 5, 7, 8, or 9 speed) rather than the nexus redline inter 8?" -Donkey Hodie

I myself have 4 (yes 4) Sturmey-Archer AW Three Speed Hubs from different years and countries on all my bikes. I first bought an old Phillips three speed Ladies Frame bike just to use around the area and found it to be quite adequete for me for the varied hilly terrain around my area (and parts of Southern California) that I ride in. I found that it is not the terrain so much as if the chainring(s) and rear cog is the size for wherever I chose to ride. I use the mid-forties (44t-46t) for my chainrings on all bikes and 13t-14t on my rear cogs. I try to balance flat terrain riding speed with hill climbling ability on each bike. I am pleased with the results and do not regret not having extra gears offered with the 5,7,8 and beyond internal hub gears whether from Sturmey-Archer, Shimano, Sram, or some other company.

The beauty of steel frame bikes is that you are not stuck with any hub whether front or rear. You can change it to a different size because of steel's ability to be "Cold Pressed." Since that probably is expensive, you should try to deterime what you need first by using the suggestions above. Then you will be assured of a good match. Or better yet, borrow or rent internal hub geared bikes and note what chainring/cog combo that worked for you (I did).

Please let us know what you selected for your new bike and enjoy it to the max! And please feel free to visit my three speed beauties on-line on my Flickr web site (see below).
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Old 02-14-07, 06:44 PM   #9
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Right now I ride an 80's steel Schwinn super le tour converted to single speed with my gearing at 16t-42t.
Basically this is pretty ruff on some of the hills around here, and I ride unloaded. MY bike also kills my lower back because of the lower handlebar stem and homemade bullhorns I'm using.

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Is it possible to get something like a new sturmey-archer AW three speed hub and just use it as a three speed with the option to add the SRAM Dual drive at a later date?

The swift I am ordering comes standard with shimano deore V-brakes. Deore LX is the next upgrade at $36 x 2 or $72 more than stock price. The other option with the redline is a Roller Brake rear. To up grade the swift folder to a shimano nexus 8 speed SG-8R25(the Red line, which is lighter and has better gearing than the SG-8R20) is $96.

I wonder if the coaster brake option is something to consider? I also do not know about the performance of deore brakes. Would upgrading to even more expensive XT V-brakes be something I should consider?


I think I am leaning towards the shimano redline set up, but I am not sure if it will be necessary. I like the idea of a cheaper, built-like-a-tank 3 speed hub as well.
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Old 02-14-07, 08:08 PM   #10
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Does anybody know the make of the handlebar bag on this Swift?

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Old 02-14-07, 09:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
How would you convert these figures into Gear Inches, by the way?

Thx
The range, specified in percentages, is unitless. So if the gear range is 300% and the lowest gear is 20 gear inches, then the top gear is 60 gear inches.
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Old 02-14-07, 09:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hodie
Is it possible to get something like a new sturmey-archer AW three speed hub and just use it as a three speed with the option to add the SRAM Dual drive at a later date?
I believe that answer is no since a single sprocket is not compatible with a hub designed to fit a cassette.
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Old 02-14-07, 09:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hodie
The swift I am ordering comes standard with shimano deore V-brakes. Deore LX is the next upgrade at $36 x 2 or $72 more than stock price. The other option with the redline is a Roller Brake rear. To up grade the swift folder to a shimano nexus 8 speed SG-8R25(the Red line, which is lighter and has better gearing than the SG-8R20) is $96.

I wonder if the coaster brake option is something to consider? I also do not know about the performance of deore brakes. Would upgrading to even more expensive XT V-brakes be something I should consider?


I think I am leaning towards the shimano redline set up, but I am not sure if it will be necessary. I like the idea of a cheaper, built-like-a-tank 3 speed hub as well.
Hmmm, I would focus on getting the best hubs (from an efficiency standpoint ... so if I could afford 105s then I would get 105s instead of Tiagra) and bottom bracket that I could afford. Deore v-brakes are perfectly functional.

If you can get away with the three-speed then great! But the greater number of gears, in my opinion, makes the bike more useful over a wider range of rides.
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Old 02-14-07, 10:48 PM   #14
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I wanted the SRAM before but it weighs a ton and it doesn't give me that much more gear range. The Nexus 8 redline is a GREAT internal hub. No other hub I've owned is as smooth or downshifts as nicely under load. My Rohloff took a long time to break-in and is still pretty noisy. The 5th gear is the 1:1 ratio so gear it to be in this gear for most of your riding for maximum efficiency.

I am not a big fan of the Dual Drive for a folder. Too easy to break some of the bits on it. It has both the best and worst of both a derailleur and internal hub.

I have learned to like the Sturmey 8 speed a lot as well. Not quite as smoot as the Nexus 8, a little more finicky to get dialed in but I LOVE the closer spaced middle 6 gears.
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Old 02-14-07, 11:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
I have learned to like the Sturmey 8 speed a lot as well. Not quite as smoot as the Nexus 8, a little more finicky to get dialed in but I LOVE the closer spaced middle 6 gears.
I like it as well. I like the fact that all the bits are protected and well out of the way.

Finicky +1. Especially downshifting; if I do this a little too quickly in 6th, it tends to get engaged on the edge of neutral because I didn't give it time to settle properly. Then a while later suddenly it loses engagement before clunking in properly.

I find the closely spaced gears a little too close, I sometimes wonder if the shift occurred. Often I shift 2 at once. But for cruising you can select the proper gear, for that it is great.
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Old 02-15-07, 06:53 AM   #16
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I think I am going to buckle down and go with the shimano redline 8speed hub based on all the good things that I have read about it. General consensus is that the redline is the top of the line hub under the rohloff. Does anybody have an opinion as to which three speed hub is top of the line? New ones that is.

I also need to figure out if I should go with the coaster brake hub or not. ANy opinions on weather or not to go with the coaster hub for my rear brake?
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Old 02-15-07, 10:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
I wanted the SRAM before but it weighs a ton and it doesn't give me that much more gear range. The Nexus 8 redline is a GREAT internal hub. No other hub I've owned is as smooth or downshifts as nicely under load. My Rohloff took a long time to break-in and is still pretty noisy. The 5th gear is the 1:1 ratio so gear it to be in this gear for most of your riding for maximum efficiency.

I am not a big fan of the Dual Drive for a folder. Too easy to break some of the bits on it. It has both the best and worst of both a derailleur and internal hub.

I have learned to like the Sturmey 8 speed a lot as well. Not quite as smoot as the Nexus 8, a little more finicky to get dialed in but I LOVE the closer spaced middle 6 gears.
By SRAM, do you mean the new but still unseen (as far as I know) 9 speed internal hub? Because the SRAM Dual Drive is lighter than the Nexus 8.

Actually, I have to disagree with you regarding the gear range comparison between the Dual Drive and Nexus 8. Roughly, I calculate something like a 564% gear range for the Dual Drive with an 11-34 cassette. That is almost double the Nexus 8.

EDIT: I understand that the new version of the Dual Drive no longer has that "click box" on the outside of the internal hub. If so, then the system becomes a lot of more robust. Remember that you can get away with a much short derailer than the typical setup since there is only a single chainring up front.

Last edited by invisiblehand; 02-15-07 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 02-15-07, 12:14 PM   #18
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"Is it possible to get something like a new sturmey-archer AW three speed hub and just use it as a three speed with the option to add the SRAM Dual drive at a later date?" -Donkey Hodie


To be honest with you, I have never even considered upgrading to a dual drive system without taking off the older rear hub-and I am not sure if it is even possible. I think you are on the right track about buying a Nexus 8 redline rear hub. I chose the AWs because of it's long, dependable history-even though they are now made in the far east. But I won't totally reject placing on a 7 or 8 speed internal hub if I was upgrading or customizing another bike in the future. And I prefer freewheels (no coaster brake). I like the more simple appouch to maintaning brakes by keeping them both separate.
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Old 02-15-07, 03:44 PM   #19
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Im going to go with the nexus inter 8 redline. Now to decide on which color for powder coating. Jan told me that they could match any color I could find for only a few bucks more. I've been trying to find the "right" green for a bike for a while now. I like the greens in the old 70's ten speeds, like the raleighs. I'm looking for a green that is kind shiny or metallic but not too drastic like candy orange. I'm also looking for a darker green but not a unter green, and not a john deer green. Any ideas?
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Old 02-15-07, 04:00 PM   #20
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The color of speedub.Nate's mountain bike is almost exactly what I am looking for. I hope you don't mind me posting a pic of your bike to show as an example of the kind of greens I want. Also, Do you know where or how I can find out exactly what this color is?

If I can get an example or sample to the guys at HPM they can probably match it dead-on.


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Old 02-15-07, 08:56 PM   #21
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I just put a deposit down on a Swift from Human Powered Machines! w00t!
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Old 02-15-07, 11:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invisiblehand
By SRAM, do you mean the new but still unseen (as far as I know) 9 speed internal hub? Because the SRAM Dual Drive is lighter than the Nexus 8.

Actually, I have to disagree with you regarding the gear range comparison between the Dual Drive and Nexus 8. Roughly, I calculate something like a 564% gear range for the Dual Drive with an 11-34 cassette. That is almost double the Nexus 8.

EDIT: I understand that the new version of the Dual Drive no longer has that "click box" on the outside of the internal hub. If so, then the system becomes a lot of more robust. Remember that you can get away with a much short derailer than the typical setup since there is only a single chainring up front.
I am talking about the SRAM internal hub, tie iMotion 9speed. Personally after having the DD, I don't know that I'd buy it again. Like I've said before, it has both the good and the bad of both derailleurs and internal hubs. It reminds me of a saying on Wall Street; "Be a Bull or a Bear as pigs get slaughtered!"

One of the best parts for me about internal hubs is being able to shift at a stop. Since most of the time I am using it in town, this is a very big plus. I have also found that under a load, I've never found a better gearset that will downshift nice than the Nexus redline (either hub or der.).

The clikbox was a royal PITA for me on my Dahon. The 300% range of the Nexus covers 95% of the riding I need to do with no hassles. It is quiet and does its job pretty efficiently from what I can tell.
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Old 02-16-07, 12:29 AM   #23
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I'm going with the redline. Wavshrdr was definitely a big influence in my hub decision. Thanks for all the useful information!

Now I'm wondering which V-brakes I should go with. Any suggestions?

Are there noticeable improvements going from deore>LX>Xt?

Can disc brakes work on the swift?
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Old 02-16-07, 01:04 AM   #24
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I went with the XT. They have been great. I wasn't that interested in discs on the Swift as it is just something easier to get bent in the bag. On a folder I don't think they are a great idea. I would suggest going with the Sun CR-18 wheels and good spokes. I had these wheels on a 20" tandem and they are quite strong.
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Old 02-16-07, 10:39 AM   #25
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Now I'm wondering which V-brakes I should go with. Any suggestions?

Are there noticeable improvements going from deore>LX>Xt?
I suggest either LX, or Avid SD-5 or -7 V brakes. The XTs are unnecessarily complicated by Shimano's Parallel Push mechanism, which in my experience adds nothing to the performance of the brakes, but results in extra parts & pivot points which need to be cleaned, lubed, and eventually result in slop.
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