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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.

View Poll Results: Which is the best handlebar option?
Convert to drop bars (with a bar-end shifter) 7 63.64%
Convert to bullhorns (bar-end shifter) 1 9.09%
Convert to a bullhorn / aero bar setup 0 0%
Leave it alone and spend the cash on b33r 3 27.27%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-22-07, 05:53 PM   #1
Bacciagalupe
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Musings about Swift Handlebar Changes

My Swift is mostly on the sidelines these days, as I'm spending most of my time on my road bike. However, I'm keeping it around mostly for touring (1-2 weeks a year), as a backup bike and shorter rides.

One of the consequences of using the road bike is that I am no longer a big fan of flat bars; on a related note I find the handlebars on the aluminum Swift to transmit a fair amount of the bumps.

As I will be keeping the gears, any thoughts on which (if any) upgrade will work out best for my uses?

And has anyone stuck aero bars onto a 20" wheeled bike?
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Old 07-22-07, 08:24 PM   #2
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Littlepixel has. And James had them on his Swift for a while.

[edit] sorry confused aero bars with bullhorns
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Old 07-22-07, 08:53 PM   #3
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spinaci

Spinaci "Spinach" bars clip on/off, are light (220g), and not expensive. Knock-offs also available, but it's nice to have some Cinelli stuff on your bike.

http://www.cinelli.it/scripts/access...g=EN&IdAcc=108

http://www.cinelli.it/EN/spinaci.html
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Old 07-22-07, 09:18 PM   #4
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Leave it alone esp. if it's going to be a back-up bike.

Changing to drops or bullhorns will also probably mean changing break levers, investing in grip tape, and getting new cables and cable housing if they don't fit the new setup, not to mention the cost of bar-end shifters and the bars themselves - unless you happen to have all that stuff lying around.

Like you, I'm also back on a road bike nowadays, starting with an Xtracycle and now a 700c fixed gear. I had forgotten how much fun big wheeled bikes are to ride!

Last edited by spambait11; 07-22-07 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 07-23-07, 05:41 PM   #5
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Spambait11: Wait, you actually expect me to approach this rationally?!?

I'm ok with swapping out lots of parts, as long as I can bring it in under $200. It'd be much cheaper & more efficient to swap out the bars than, say, sell the Swift and get a BF or custom. I'll do another couple of long touring-type rides with the current setup first though.

I guess the main thing I'm wondering is if aerobars, with the padded armrests, will actually work on 20" wheeled bikes and/or for touring.
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Old 07-23-07, 06:04 PM   #6
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I've fitted a set of "Butterfly" bars to my Swift and find them really good for long distances; no numb hands or pains in the neck. They are a bit unusual to look at and may not be pleasing on the eye to everyone but they give a variety of hand positions and you can retain the stock brake levers.
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Old 07-23-07, 06:45 PM   #7
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I've been considering a similar conversion to bullhorns. The cheapest option is to place a pair of bar ends right where your hands grab the brake levers on your road bike.

At Nashbar, you can pick up a pair of bars, brake levers, and travel agents for under $80. (The travel agents are under brake accessories and allow you to use existing V brakes with road levers.) If you try to fit road brakes to 20" wheels, you'll likely end up on the roof of someone's car.
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Old 07-23-07, 08:33 PM   #8
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I'd say the best thing to do would be to mimic as closely as possible the setup you have on your roady - so Drops probably, with a stem that fits to or can be adjusted (ie with Syntace eco bar adjusters) to the correct height and cockpit length. Then you'll hardly notice the transition and use it more often.



Jur is right - I do have Bullhorns on my Twenty and they look pretty rad but aren't that amazing for longer rides. I'm thinking about swapping them for something else sometime - perhaps moustache bars - or at least swapping out the aero lever I have to a bmx lever on the main part of the bar - as it's a bit out of the way for braking at the moment and it's not often I'm down in the drops.







Another thought might be to get some Ergon grips for your straight bars as they are nicer for the hands and have mini ergonomic bar ends integrated in the design. I've got some for my Merc/Brompton that I'm working on and they're really really comfy and nice. They also bolt onto the bars so are easy to adjust / remove, which is more than can be said for the usual grips or bar-tape.

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Old 07-23-07, 09:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
Spambait11: Wait, you actually expect me to approach this rationally?!?
Ohhhhhh..... I get it.

Then how about getting some Da Vinci cable couplers so that you can quickly attach and detach your brake and derailleur cables? Then you can swap different handlebar setups in and out.

Last edited by spambait11; 07-23-07 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 01-27-08, 09:02 PM   #10
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I'm in the same position now, trying to decide what to replace the existing bullhorns on my new Swift with. In the past I've mostly used drops, but I'm not on the drops much any more. Thinking about the butterfly, especially after reading Paul above. Will the Dia Compe 287V brake levers work with the Tektro Mini-V brakes?
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Old 01-28-08, 09:00 PM   #11
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I say let it be. But only because I have other rigs I serially modify and I force myself to leave the Swift alone. It works and fits well in stock form. Not a week goes by though that I don’t look at it and think: drop bars…
The DaVinci splitters do make handlebar swaps easier on those other bikes.
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Old 01-28-08, 09:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
My Swift is mostly on the sidelines these days, as I'm spending most of my time on my road bike. However, I'm keeping it around mostly for touring (1-2 weeks a year), as a backup bike and shorter rides.

One of the consequences of using the road bike is that I am no longer a big fan of flat bars; on a related note I find the handlebars on the aluminum Swift to transmit a fair amount of the bumps.

As I will be keeping the gears, any thoughts on which (if any) upgrade will work out best for my uses?

And has anyone stuck aero bars onto a 20" wheeled bike?
Definitely DO IT. I love my drop Swift conversion.

You will need:
1. bar-end shifters
2. drop bar
3. travel-agents to allow use of existing v-brakes
4. Cane Creek or other drop brakes.

You can combine 3&4 w/ the Dia-Compe solution to avoid the TravelAgent mess. It will prob. end up costing around the same.

You should def. be able to do that under 200 assuming all else stays the same.

Note: in my setup, I have a capreo rear hub and using Alex r390 451 wheels w/ regular road brakes (tektro extra-long reach).

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Old 01-28-08, 09:53 PM   #13
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Woah, blast from the past.

I used the Swift with flat bars (already had Ergon grips and bar-ends btw) on a 1 week tour. In the end, it was OK but I did not find the aluminum Swift to be an optimal bike for my touring uses.

I've pretty much decided to ditch the Swift, and will be selling it in the spring. I'm now using a cross/all-rounder bike (700c, non-folding) for touring and recreational rides. And yes, it has drop bars.
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Old 01-29-08, 03:26 PM   #14
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Like most people who contribute to this part of the forum, I am always "tinkering" with my Xootr Swift to fine tune it into my ultimate bike. Earlier in this thread I mentioned the "Butterfly" bars I tried. I have since removed them as they were very wide and made the swift bulkier that it needed to be. Currently I am trying another flat handlebar that is slightly wider than the stock Swift model and has a small rise in it which provides a more upright riding position. I am also switching between Cane Creek grips and bar ends and the Ergons to see which are more comfortable.

We should remember that the Swift is what it is; a small wheeled folding bike that will solve many storage and transport problems while providing a good riding experience. You can tour on them but it is not fair to expect them to cope with the luggage that a steel framed, large wheel bike is designed for. I have drop bars on my touring bike and my racing machine but I cannot remember the last time I actually rode on the drops (I don't race) so I'm sticking with the straight bars on my Swift. I use the Xootr for day rides with little luggage, often transporting it in my car to ride more distant roads. Some of the conversions shown on the Swift thread are amazing but I think we should remember that that no one bike will fulfill all your riding requirements. If you ride off road (mountain bike), road race (carbon road frame), tour (long wheelbase, steel frame, racks and multiple gears), infact whatever your preference there will be a bike to suit but one bike will not fully perform all of the duties. Appreciate the Swift for what it is - a very good bike that happens to fold.
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Old 01-29-08, 04:05 PM   #15
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I saw a nice bar in the REI today. It's a bullhorn with the ends bent in. That gives a nice relaxed position for the hands to rest on. I always thought taht the 45 degree turned in position, similar the handlebar grip position on the old Releigh 3-speeds, or, I guess, most old upright handlebars, was the most natural and relaxed position for the hands, and wondered why more handlebars didn't actually offer this position. This bar does, but for some reason it is made very narrow, too narrow for my bar end brake levers. It's called "Ergo Bars". I think it's a good idea. Wonder if anyone else makes something like that, perhaps with a normal thickness bar.

http://www.rei.com/product/738808
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