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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 09-12-07, 01:17 PM   #1
IWantToGoFaster
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Ordered a Swift - suggestions for immediate modifications

I am taking the plunge and going for the Swift, partly as my partner has decided that to get a Curve SL, which is a real bonus.

What I'd like to try and achieve is as smooth a ride as a Birdy without compromising on speed and without spending Birdy money

Here's a quick summary of requirements.
  • Mudguards (fenders) - proper ones rather than Flinger-style
  • A good system for carrying a bag or briefcase. Something like the Brompton S-bag would be great.
  • Tyres - Schwalbe Marathon have been suggested instead of Big Apples - any comments?
  • Ergon Grips come highly recommended
  • Carbon handle bars to give a smoother ride?
  • Unfortunately the ThudBuster is difficult to source by UK dealers so may unfortunately have to ignore that option (thanks to Jur for the idea)
I've discounted an upgrade to a 8-speed hub as it adds 50% to the overall coast. However, if it is an uber upgrade I would consider it.

Thank you.

Last edited by IWantToGoFaster; 09-12-07 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 09-12-07, 01:27 PM   #2
Bacciagalupe
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Bar ends.

Lights.

Kick stand?

Just use a regular rack. Attach it to the dropouts and the top QR's for the seatpost.

Try the stock tires first. They really aren't that bad. Schwalbe Marathons suck for 20" bikes, they're slow and heavy.

Otherwise, use it for a few days, get the 1st tune-up, you'll figure out what you need.
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Old 09-12-07, 01:29 PM   #3
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Marathons only suck if you're trying to go fast. Otherwise they have great puncture protection.
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Old 09-12-07, 02:22 PM   #4
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If you fix a rack to the top QRs for the seatpost the bike may not fold.
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Old 09-12-07, 02:39 PM   #5
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Thanks but I'd prefer to avoid a rack as it will bulk out the fold too much, plus it spoils the flowing lines. A beam is possible. Something along the lines of the S-bag or a R&K handlebar-mounted is the preferred option.
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Old 09-12-07, 02:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IWantToGoFaster View Post
What I'd like to try and achieve is as smooth a ride as a Birdy without compromising on speed and without spending Birdy money.
Swift is a nice bike but not as smooth as a Birdy based on my test ride.

Schwalbe Big Apples are an option to improve ride. Rolling resistance is supposed to be surprisingly low.

If you want fast, Schwalbe Marathon Racers would be better than Schwalbe Marathon.

David
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Old 09-13-07, 12:36 AM   #7
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If the wheels are 406, I think they are... i really like the Continental Contact tires.
I think by riding the bike you will discover what needs to be changed or up graded.
Clip-less pedals are a hoot on a folder if that is your kind of thing.
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Old 09-13-07, 02:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IWantToGoFaster View Post
Thanks but I'd prefer to avoid a rack as it will bulk out the fold too much, plus it spoils the flowing lines. A beam is possible. Something along the lines of the S-bag or a R&K handlebar-mounted is the preferred option.
It depends how much stuff you wish to carry around. I have tried several options and currently use a Carradice SQR tour seat bag. The seat clamp for this does not interfere with the fold at all (if you site it just under the saddle). Carradice also do a smaller bag that simply straps to the saddle rails. Getting a beam rack to fit the large diameter seat post is not easy. I got one from Germany but it is not that quick to fix or remove. Rixen/Kaul do a handy little bracket, shaped like a swan neck, which will attach to the seat post and let you fix a 'bar bag behind the seat. You will need a large diameter clamp and the R/K bracket that comes with the bag. Again if you site it high on the seat post it will not affect the folding.

You could always use an "old fashioned" saddle bag which, again will not affect the folding but you may not like the look of it.
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Old 09-14-07, 01:32 AM   #9
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Ideally what I am after is something that would carry an equivalent volume to that of the average briefcase and weight-wise, a small laptop. I'd rather not wear a rucksac. My preference would be something in front of me, like the Brompton bags.

Does anyone know if those brackets could be modified to fit the Swift? That would solve my problem.
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Old 09-14-07, 10:16 AM   #10
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Rixen/Kaul produce several rucksacs that will clip into their KlickFix brackets. You could carry one on the front or rear of the Swift quite easily.
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Old 09-14-07, 11:03 AM   #11
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I would modify the curve and ride that. I remember when I was first looking at folders, my LBS wouldn't even sell me a Swift when I told them I was using it for train commuting and getting in the office. In fact, the bike doesn't really fold. It just turns from a mostly horizontal bike to a mostly vertical bike.

It did ride well though, and has a great price point. So, you will probably be happy with a Curve and a Swift. Also, I believe the Curve has a Brompton-like attachment. So there you go. What is your partner using the Curve for? Can you steal it for train transport?

The stock tires that come with the bike are requisite for a comfy ride. Those, or Big Apples.
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Old 09-14-07, 11:47 AM   #12
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Marathons only suck if you're trying to go fast. Otherwise they have great puncture protection.
I distinctly recall going 45 km/h on a long flat stretch with my Marathon Plus tires...
(and no there wasn't a hill at the start)

That's pretty fast to me anyway.
And downhill you would run out of gearing before the tires limited you.

Perhaps by 'fast' you were referring to acceleration?
Unfortunately I have no good means of measuring that between my Marathon Plus vs. my Stelvio or Marathon Slick's. Subjectively there may be some truth there.... just consider that it makes you stronger.

Oh and the fact that you never get punctures... that makes you fast.
Sitting by the side of the road with a tire lever... sloooow.
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Old 09-14-07, 01:35 PM   #13
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I recently received my order of a (xootr) swift. Came in about two weeks ago. From the xootr folks the only extra stuff I ordered was one of the bottle cage adapters and the fender kit.

For now I have taken the fenders off. You know how when you fold the bike you shove the seat in all the way and the bottom of the seat post presses against the rear tire and keeps the entire thing folded?

Well, with the fenders installed the bottom of the seat post presses right against the rear fender, and the fenders are not super strong. And so if you don't slide the seat post quite all the way down the thing will tend to unfold a bit if you are not careful and you will still end up with the seat post pressed against the rear fender.

Not a big problem, but I figured that for now I will do w/o fenders. The bike rides great for a folder. My wife clocked me going 27 m/h on the way to work a couple of mornings ago (she was following in the truck).


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Old 09-14-07, 01:56 PM   #14
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I distinctly recall going 45 km/h on a long flat stretch with my Marathon Plus tires...
(and no there wasn't a hill at the start)

That's pretty fast to me anyway.
That is fast!


Quote:
Originally Posted by 4cmd3 View Post
Perhaps by 'fast' you were referring to acceleration?
No, I was referring to a sustained effort over relatively flat terrain.

I like Marathons, don't get me wrong; but for 20" wheels, I prefer the ride of Kenda Kwests (the high pressure version) and IRC Metros. The worst tires I ever bought were the Conti Grand Prixs. Never tried Stelvios.
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Old 09-14-07, 03:31 PM   #15
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Thank you all.

pm124: My partner will use the Curve SL as a daily bike and like me, for the occasional train journey. And the Curve was chosen for all-round ability and aethetics. I woudn't like to bet I could borrow it too often!
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Old 09-14-07, 04:47 PM   #16
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IWantToGoFaster or Paul must switch avatars ...

Looks like you went with get a 20" and 16" strategy to me ...
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Old 09-14-07, 05:01 PM   #17
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There is a how-to section one one of the swift sites that show how to use mudguards with the fold. Pretty simple.
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Old 09-14-07, 06:34 PM   #18
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There is a how-to section one one of the swift sites that show how to use mudguards with the fold. Pretty simple.
Jur if you happen to run across the URL please post it... I've been "googling" and unable to find that site ('course I've been known to be google-challenged!)

Thanks!

--g
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Old 09-14-07, 07:26 PM   #19
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Just had a look at the main Swift web sites but it's not there. I did find this
Fenders on a Swift folder

The idea of the thing I saw was to attach the rear fender in such a way that the seat post can push ut against the rear tyre when folded. It involved a placement of the stays that allowed that, IIRC.
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Old 09-15-07, 07:31 AM   #20
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Do you mean this page?
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Old 09-15-07, 07:53 AM   #21
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No, that wasn't it.
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Old 09-21-07, 09:28 PM   #22
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I recently added Origin 8 road ends to my Swift, pretty happy with the result. Got these for $20 on ebay, the Origin 8 site is all flash: origin-8.com. Click on Bars --> Road.

Also, the Nashbar front rack recommended at yangmusa.blogspot.com is great. Dead simple install, doesn't interfere with the fold, and you can hook a backpack over the handlebars, let it rest on the rack and tie up any loose straps.

Next on my list are Ortlieb front panniers.
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