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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 10-28-07, 01:20 PM   #1
Spudmeister
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Which Folder Best for Fixed Gear?

Which folder would be best for a fixed gear? Steel Swift, aluminum Swift, Bike Friday, something else? I have a Dahon Mu, but it's too flexable.
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Old 10-28-07, 01:29 PM   #2
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Fixed is not my thing, but here's one rider's perspective:

http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/Mike/fixed_airnimal.html
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Old 10-28-07, 02:11 PM   #3
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Swift has been done fixed-gear a lot. Bike Friday is set up as a geared bike and I'm sure could be done fixed, but it seems to be an expensive way to get such a simple bike.

What gear combination would you be choosing?
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Old 10-28-07, 03:02 PM   #4
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Bike Friday does now offer single speed models.

This is the Pocket Rocket Pro, but there is also a NWT model for a bit less:

http://www.bikefriday.com/node/4994

Of course you can customize both to your hearts (and wallets) content.
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Old 10-28-07, 03:32 PM   #5
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Share experience please

I've seen what's available on the web - I'm hoping to get opinions from owners about their bikes.
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Old 10-28-07, 05:19 PM   #6
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From what I have read on here over the past couple of yrs, the Swift apparently has the stiffest frame. However, it's doesn't fold as small as the majority of folders. Trade-offs.

I have a 2005 Boardwalk S1 (single-speed, not fixed) - it's great for going to the store, and it gets used daily for that purpose.

How you want or need to use it should help determine what features are most important to you.
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Old 10-28-07, 06:07 PM   #7
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A knackered old Raleigh Twenty makes for a sturdy and easy to build fixie if you fancy the retro route; it takes a track hub with no trouble at all; the main thing to consider being upgrading the bottom bracket to ensure a reasonable gear ratio and chainline. Mine is fixed and is excellently fast, fun to ride and low on maintenence. The R20 frame is not the lightest but you never feel any flex due to it's bombproof construction.
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Old 10-28-07, 06:12 PM   #8
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Ditto on the Twenty being bombproof... I recently rebuilt one to use as an all rounder and am looking to build another as a fixed gear.
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Old 10-29-07, 12:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foldable Two View Post
From what I have read on here over the past couple of yrs, the Swift apparently has the stiffest frame.


Which Swift - Steel or Aluminum? I'd suspect the steel would be, but how's the aluminum?
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Old 10-29-07, 12:36 AM   #10
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I think the 2 are about equal. I have the aluminium and it is stiffer than any bike I have tried, even including a workmate's Trek hybrid, believe it or not! I have mine set up as a fast flatbar roadie (see sig) and for practical purposes it flexes none at all.
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Old 10-29-07, 01:14 AM   #11
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I have both a steel and aluminum Swift. I originaly set the aluminum frame up as a geared bike but now run it as a fixed gear. When I bought the steel framed bike (from HRM) it was my intention to convert it to a fixed gear. The only reason I bought a complete steel bike is because the cost of a steel frameset was only about $100 less than a complete bike. I posted some weights on the "Making a Swift lighter" thread so, if you're interested you can look there for the weight differences.

I can't feel any difference in the way the bikes ride and handle. I have different tires and saddles on them so, no comparison of ride quality would be fair anyway. One thing that is different is the steerer tube set up.

The aluminum framed one is 1 1/8" OD clamped on to a welded adapter in the fork. It also has a roll pin that will catch a notch in the fork so that if the quick release failed you could still steer the bike as long as you didn't pull straight up on the bars.

The steel framed steerer tube is two piece with a 1 1/8" OD tube telescoped on a 1" OD tube clamped to an adapter in the fork. You can adjust the handlebar height by sliding the outer tube up or down. The adapter in the fork is aluminum and while I have not had it apart to confirm this, it appears to be a quill stem that's been modified to accept the 1" steerer tube. There is no safety device like the roll pin on the aluminum framed bike. If the pinch bolt fails (no quick release) you won't be able to steer.

The steerer tube on the aluminum framed bike is slightly stiffer. The aluminum frameset is available for a reasonable price. Other than this slight difference in steerer tube stiffness they feel the same to me.
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Old 10-29-07, 01:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spudmeister View Post
Which folder would be best for a fixed gear? Steel Swift, aluminum Swift, Bike Friday, something else? I have a Dahon Mu, but it's too flexable.
Look for james_swift in the swift threads. He rides his fixie in San Francisco. It has track mount and is a cheap frame (relatively) for a folder.

Currently running mine with standard derailleur setup, but looking to convert as well...
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Old 10-29-07, 09:05 AM   #13
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I setup a fixed gear Swift Folder in 2000 and that bike is still being used (although not by me). It works great, but the Swift doesn't fold all that small.

Bike Friday offers fixed gear bikes in their normal fold and in the Tikit. I expect that the Tikit would be a lot easier to fold since it has an integrated rear triangle. The NWT/normal fold changes virtual chainstay length during the fold.

Many folders were designed for internal gear hubs and have horizontal or track style dropouts making a fixed gear conversion easy.
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Old 10-30-07, 02:31 PM   #14
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Look for james_swift in the swift threads. He rides his fixie in San Francisco.
No problems with my aluminum fixed Swift. Not only is the Swift frame plenty stiff for fixed-gear use, but it's also the easiest to convert with it's track-style rear fork ends.

San Francisco, with it's terrible pavement and notorious hills, is the worst place to ride a 20"-wheeled bike, let alone one that is fixed-gear (anyone who has ridden Geary street end-to-end knows what I'm talking about). In spite of the repeated punishment I continually inflict on my Swift on a daily basis, the frame has held-up extremely well. I'm really happy with my bike.
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Old 10-30-07, 02:43 PM   #15
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The aluminum Swift is way more stiff than a Dahon. It's as stiff as any road bike I've used, in fact a bit too much for my tastes; the ride is rather harsh IMO.

One item of note about the Bike Friday that Foldabe Two linked to earlier... it uses 451's, and the Swift uses 406.

I may be wrong, but I think the 451's are "track legal" and 406 is not. I recall seeing how someone used a custom fork on a Swift to get 451's or some other track legal wheels on it, but that was a long time ago....
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Old 12-14-09, 02:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHenry View Post
Swift has been done fixed-gear a lot. Bike Friday is set up as a geared bike and I'm sure could be done fixed, but it seems to be an expensive way to get such a simple bike.

What gear combination would you be choosing?
the reduced fly weight of a small wheeled bike makes them ideal for a fix, they are easier to accelerate and stop. they climb w/ less work. you can run big tires w/ less fly weight than narrow 700c. thats why people will spend more money to achieve such a simple bike. and a small wheeled/ folder takes up less space, if space is a problem.
I have heard that it's easier to use a rear brake on a swift than on a friday, i don't know why, but i've seen both done in fixed and i've heard that you can still get a steel swift in eugene, oregon.
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Old 12-14-09, 08:43 PM   #17
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Apropos fixed gear, this is the best fixed gear video I have seen so far. Make sure to turn your sound on.

http://vimeo.com/5862934

Kam
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Old 12-15-09, 06:22 AM   #18
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Apropos fixed gear, this is the best fixed gear video I have seen so far. Make sure to turn your sound on.

http://vimeo.com/5862934

Kam
The guy in the video's lucky he wasn't hurt running the stopsign.
It's dumb-sses like him that aggravate other drivers and give cyclists a bad rep.
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Old 12-15-09, 06:29 AM   #19
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Apropos fixed gear, this is the best fixed gear video I have seen so far. Make sure to turn your sound on.

http://vimeo.com/5862934

Kam
It's not a fixed gear! If it was a fixed gear the rider would not be able to coast while doing those stupid maneuvers.
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Old 12-15-09, 08:11 AM   #20
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It's not a fixed gear! If it was a fixed gear the rider would not be able to coast while doing those stupid maneuvers.
Are you sure? Seems to me that he just locked the rear wheel.

Kam
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Old 12-15-09, 09:10 AM   #21
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Are you sure? Seems to me that he just locked the rear wheel.

Kam
Yup. He's skidding, not coasting.
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Old 12-15-09, 11:48 AM   #22
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Yea you right! My bad.
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Old 12-16-09, 02:10 AM   #23
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I love my Swift.

It is stiff. I highly recommend the thudbuster with it (unless you're as well-conditioned as Jur).
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Old 12-16-09, 09:15 AM   #24
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I'm thinking about converting my Mu Uno to fixed someday. Am I right in thinking that a low flanged hub is a better choice than high-flange with the smaller diameter rims? And if so, who makes one (other than Phil)?



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I love my Swift.

It is stiff. I highly recommend the thudbuster with it (unless you're as well-conditioned as Jur).
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Old 12-16-09, 01:50 PM   #25
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I don't think it makes a difference in performance, but it will ease the wheelbuilding process. I have seen some IRO fixed hubs with low-flanges.

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Originally Posted by kesroberts View Post
I'm thinking about converting my Mu Uno to fixed someday. Am I right in thinking that a low flanged hub is a better choice than high-flange with the smaller diameter rims? And if so, who makes one (other than Phil)?
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