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  1. #1
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Commuter Xootr (with trailer!)

    I'm thinking of buying a Xootr Swift to replace my Dahon Matrix. The Matrix keeps breaking at the weld between seat tube and top tube (I'm not a small person), and I've kind of had it.

    Does anyone have experience using the Xootr to haul a heavy trailer? I'd be using it to take my twin boys to preschool. Boys + trailer = ~130 lbs. Mostly flat(ish), one very short but very nasty hill, 28-mile round trip.

    Good idea? Bad idea? Better ideas? Thanks!
    Last edited by noteon; 06-17-08 at 12:31 PM.
    RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
    Learning to wrench better this year—current project: Fixie from build kit

  2. #2
    Menace on Wheels
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    No experience with a Xootr Swift, but I hear good things about it.

    I'm 238lbs and pull my 2 year old in a trailer on my Downtube 9 FS though. The bike's rated to 245 lbs, which is the highest I've seen listed for any folding bike. I haven't seen a weight limit for a Swift published anywhere.

    The weight of the trailer seems to be nearly non-existent on the flats on my bike. I don't even know it's back there, but I'm still only pulling about 60lbs, so a bit less than half what you're pulling.

    So far I've had no issues that would lead me to believe the bike is struggling at all, and we have nothing but hills around here. I read a lot of good things about the Swift though, so not trying to sell you on one over the other. Just adding some options you might not have considered.

  3. #3
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    This is the reason I'm thinking of the Xootr. I'd consider a Brompton or Bike Friday, which I understand are better for air travel, but I really don't think I want to spend 3x the $.
    RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
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  4. #4
    Menace on Wheels
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    Yeah, that's pretty nice. Of course you know, that's not folded like that. It's actually a matter of dismantling the bike, which I understand takes about 15 minutes, and another 15 minutes to put back together once you get where you're going. Still a small price to pay to have your baby with you where ever you go. You can do the same with the Downtubes as well, and they cost about half the price of the Swift.

    http://www.downtube.com/How_To_Pack_...in_a_Suitcase/

  5. #5
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Too many choices... TOO MANY CHOICES!!

    It looks as though the Downtube requires a little more dismantling than the Swift.

    But this looks really, really cool. Expensive... but cool.
    RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
    Learning to wrench better this year—current project: Fixie from build kit

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by noteon View Post
    I'm thinking of buying a Xootr Swift to replace my Dahon Matrix. The Matrix keeps breaking at the weld between seat tube and top tube (I'm not a small person), and I've kind of had it.

    Does anyone have experience using the Xootr to haul a heavy trailer? I'd be using it to take my twin boys to preschool. Boys + trailer = ~130 lbs. Mostly flat(ish), one very short but very nasty hill, 28-mile round trip.

    Good idea? Bad idea? Better ideas? Thanks!
    Best idea IMHO...

    http://www.dutchbikeseattle.com/html.../bakfiets.html

    Not sure why you're looking at folders unless it's for storage. Neither the bike you own or are considering fold all that conveniently or compactly. These things are too large and cumbersome for someone to steal effectively if that's the thinking for a folder. I like this because it allows you to keep an eye on the little ones.

  7. #7
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    Well, if it helps, on Saturday I rode my Xootr Swift 15 Miles r/t pulling a Burley double containing a 35 lb 3.5 year old and a picnic lunch. Less weight than you are talking about, but same idea. I can't see any reason why adding another kid would be a problem if you've got the engine for it.

  8. #8
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by creaturely View Post
    Well, if it helps, on Saturday I rode my Xootr Swift 15 Miles r/t pulling a Burley double containing a 35 lb 3.5 year old and a picnic lunch. Less weight than you are talking about, but same idea. I can't see any reason why adding another kid would be a problem if you've got the engine for it.
    Thanks. You're using the Burley skewer hitch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Smith View Post
    I like this because it allows you to keep an eye on the little ones.
    I wish. I've got serious lust for a TrioBike, but there's no way it would fit in our apartment in the first place, let alone out the front door or into the elevator.

    I do have a reason for the folding bike. The morning routine is this:

    1. Haul children to preschool in trailer.
    2. Leave children and trailer at preschool.
    3. Ride from preschool to work.
    4. Bikes are only allowed in the building if they fold, and I'm not leaving a bike on the street in New York City. Fold bike and bring it into the building.

    Reverse, repeat.

    I was doing this with the Matrix until the frame broke. I was already thinking about getting a smaller folder for taking with me when I travel, so I figured as long as I'm replacing the Matrix, I could maybe kill two birds with one stone.
    Last edited by noteon; 06-17-08 at 06:52 PM.
    RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by noteon View Post
    Thanks. You're using the Burley skewer hitch?



    I wish. I've got serious lust for a TrioBike, but there's no way it would fit in our apartment in the first place, let alone out the front door or into the elevator.

    I do have a reason for the folding bike. The morning routine is this:

    1. Haul children to preschool in trailer.
    2. Leave children and trailer at preschool.
    3. Ride from preschool to work.
    4. Bikes are only allowed in the building if they fold, and I'm not leaving a bike on the street in New York City. Fold bike and bring it into the building.

    Reverse, repeat.

    I was doing this with the Matrix until the frame broke. I was already thinking about getting a smaller folder for taking with me when I travel, so I figured as long as I'm replacing the Matrix, I could maybe kill two birds with one stone.
    Say no more, I should have looked at where you were located more closely. NYC is about the most practical place to own a folder in the country. Even if it's a tiny bit of a stretch, if you rely on this thing as your main wheels it might be worth it to get a Bike Friday built to your specs. They'll build to a 700 lb gorilla if necessary. I am under the general opinion that cheap bikes often need replacing and nickel and dime you with subpar part replacements making them more expensive long term. A frame break on a bike sounds like you are familiar with the experience. I always use the rationale with my wife that even if I spend $5000 on a bike, that's less than half the price of a car.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jwlunt's Avatar
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    The Xootr Swift is excellent - probably the best mix of quick folding and ride quality. If you want a small folder, don't buy one. I get constant comments about how cool the bike looks and how quick it folds. I went to the Apple Store yesterday and had to stop the staff asking me questions so that I could ask them questions (an iMac 24" is on the horizon).

    If you put on quick release pedals you can fold it "suitcase small" in well under 5 mins with a couple of cable ties to keep it nice & tight.

    J.

  11. #11
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    So now I'm leaning more toward a Bike Friday... except I've got some air travel coming up in two weeks and I sort of wanted to have something before then.

    Hmm.
    RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    Get Both?

    I know it sounds kinda crazy... and yes, I was being a little tongue in cheek when I first thought of it.

    Seriously though... get the Swift today... try it out... take it on your trip. If you find that you don't like it... sell it on eBay or Craigslist. Yes, you'll lose a little money on the deal, but not so much that it will affect your ability to purchase the Bike Friday. If you find the Swift is exactly what you want... then you're done.

    --sam

  13. #13
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Not a terrible idea...

    I wonder if it would fit in the Bike Friday travel case, which has that cool trailer attachment.
    RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
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  14. #14
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Word is, the Xootr is compatible with the Bike Friday case/trailer combo. If I can get one with hill gearing before my trip, I think I'm going to. Thanks!
    RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
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  15. #15
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    NYCE Wheels on York and 84th specializes in folding bikes and they carry the Swift, Dahon, BF and Brompton.
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



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  16. #16
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    noteon, I have a Birdy with a Bike Friday trailer. I doubt that the Swift would fit inside unless you completely took the frame apart. Bike Fridays barely fit inside. I do understand that they are making a model that is more travel friendly.

    The BF trailer will fit *on* any folding bike. It fits great on my Birdy. Whether a bike will fit *in* the suitcase is another matter altogether. Only the Brompton fits better in a suitcase than a Birdy, and even that needs some disassembly for a Samsonite Oyster.

    Another consideration is that the suitcase rolls horizontally on the ground. Even my bright orange suitcase makes me very nervous riding in NYC traffic. In fact, I'm going to put it up for auction soon.

  17. #17
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Thanks, jyossarian. (And I only just clicked on what your name is from.)

    pm124, that's a little discouraging. Just to be sure, we're both talking about this, right?
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  18. #18
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    The Swift folder thread has instructions on how to pack the bike in a bag and what size/type bag to use. I don't think they took it apart completely or if just a few pieces had to be removed (like pedals).
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



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  19. #19
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    Another recommendation for the Swift in NYC

    I have a Swift in NY and really like it. Also, keep us posted on how the trailer works, because I imagine one could be in my future-- not anytime soon mind you, but eventually.

    So again, in NYC I think the Swift is perfect. The fold isn't the smallest, but you're not taking it on the bus and for everywhere else it has been good enough for me. (I haven't tried fitting it in a suitcase yet though.) It also folds so quickly, which is perfect for getting in and out of elevators. Also, when the seatpost is out the bike looks almost derelict, making me more comfortable leaving it on the street for a couple of hours.

    I have two recommendations: I strongly recommend buying from B-Fold in the East Village. The guy who owns it offers great service and is really dedicated to folding bicycles. (He also offers a discount if you're a Zipcar member.)

    The other is to consider getting a hub gear, which makes urban riding a lot smoother. It sounds like you need the bike soon, so you could buy the stock Swift now and consider getting the hub wheel built up later. Peter Reich, the creator of the Swift, teaches kids how to build wheels at Recycle-A-Bicycle, a non-profit vocational program and retail shop, and you could probably get it built up for a reasonable price there.

  20. #20
    Senior Member jwlunt's Avatar
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    there's no point in taking off the rear frame: it would make the volume larger. Simply take off the pedals, bars and front wheel... sorted.

  21. #21
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Got it!

    I'll be getting a hub gear in a week or so. For now, I just had him (I did buy from B-Fold) switch out the 28 cassette for a 32.

    Silver, high-pressure road slicks, 11-32 cassette, folding pedals, and I'll be putting a B17 on it. I also got the hard Samsonite case from him (pre-drilled to make it easier when I eventually get the trailer), and had him pack the bike in it so I could get it all home.

    Tomorrow I'm flying to San Antonio, and I'm taking my bike.

    I was ready to go the extra money for the Tikit, but I didn't like it when I test-rode it. The steering tube was flexing by a full inch when I bore down, and I didn't feel confident. The Swift has much beefier tubing, on top of which the seat post is clamped by TWO quick-releases, not just one. They're maybe five inches apart, and that makes me much more confident about being a big guy on a folder--especially since I keep breaking Dahon frames at that very spot.

    I'm totally psyched to take this with me on the plane. I'll let you all know how it goes.

    B-Fold is highly recommended. When he realized I had some knowledge and specific concerns, he spent all the time I needed figuring things out. A+. Go shop there.
    RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
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  22. #22
    Rebel Thousandaire Ya Tu Sabes's Avatar
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    You're gonna love it. I have a Xootr Swift and it really rides like a dream. I was just off the bike for a week and a half (wife went out of town, leaving me with the two youngsters, and their school is next door to her work, twenty-two miles away, so I had to drive them every day), and man, it is so fun to ride.

  23. #23
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    I really can't wait to get to Texas and put it back together. Hopefully I won't forget anything...
    RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
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  24. #24
    jur
    jur is online now
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    What suitcase? Be interesting to see how the LBS owner packed it... perhaps you could shoot a few pics as you unpack it.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  25. #25
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    It's a Samsonite F'lite 31 upright.

    There are a couple of extraneous things in here (notably the inner tubes), but here it is, sans wheels, which lay on top.

    The main trick is to let the headset sit higher (that is, farther from the floor) than the rest, taking up space in the lid.

    That's styrofoam packing stuff around the frame.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by noteon; 06-26-08 at 07:58 PM.
    RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
    Learning to wrench better this year—current project: Fixie from build kit

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