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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 07-13-08, 04:08 PM   #1
Old Dirt Hill
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My first folding bike...

Well I finally have some extra cash set aside for my first folding bike. I'm just wondering if you folks can help me a little bit more before I pull the trigger. Many thanks are already due for the scads of threads that I've read and learned so much from already.

So anyway, I'm looking for a folding bike to ride around town, occasionally commute on, and leave in the trunk of my wife's car for the occasional time that we're 20/30/xx miles away from home for whatever reason and I'd like to ride home rather than drive back with her. I'm a year-round commuter already but don't plan on using the folding bike as my main transportation. Really, it comes down to the fact that I love cycling and I figure that adding a folding bike to my stable will increase the overall amount of riding that I can accomplish. Well, that and I just have to find out what the big deal is about these folding bikes.

I've been looking at the Downtube 8H. Seems like a great all-around ride. I was pretty sure that was what I was going to go with until I found a Xootr Swift on my local craigslist for a few pennies under $400. It is a 2007 model and has around 300 miles on it. Drivetrain is stock but it doesn't have pedals (seller is keeping the Crank Brothers Candy SIs). It also has mustache bars and the associated levers. He purchased it this way from a shop that set it up to order.

I'll admit, I'd much rather have a brand new bike (who wouldn't), but I'm intrigued by the possibility of owning a Swift for what seems like a pretty nice discount. I'm 6'0" and around 185lbs. I would like to stay under $500 just for the simple fact that I don't really know what I'm going to use a folding bike for...I'm just sure that once I have one I'll wonder what I did without it (or so I get the impression from you guys).

Your assistance would be much appreciated.
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Old 07-13-08, 04:15 PM   #2
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Congrats and that is a great deal on a Swift. I own an 8HN but I would have sprung for the Swift also. A modern folder rides very nice and I really dont notice much of a difference versus a full size. It will be a little lighter and easier to get around. But the fun factor is what it is all about.
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Old 07-13-08, 05:01 PM   #3
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Just to clarify, I haven't bought anything yet. I'm just looking for advice one way or the other as to if I should go with the new Downtube or the used Swift.

My gut tells me that I'll be happier with the Swift (what a great deal!) and if I get plenty of use out of it I may end up with a Downtube Mini or FS to round out the folding bike fleet.
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Old 07-13-08, 05:04 PM   #4
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Jump on the Swift before it is gone. For $400 you can sell it anytime on Ebay if you dont like it. The Mini may be my next one.
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Old 07-13-08, 05:08 PM   #5
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Have you test-ridden a Downtube? If so, I'd say go see if you like riding the Swift better (bring pedals!) and if you like it, grab it.
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Old 07-13-08, 07:48 PM   #6
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I've never ridden a folding bike. The Swift for sale is about 50 miles away, so barring something wrong with it that wasn't noted in the advertisement, if I actually drive down to look at it - I'll probably buy it.

For the price the seller is asking, I think it is probably worth the gamble. I could always unload it if things don't work out.

Sounds like I already have made my mind up, I think I just like to hear someone else agree.
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Old 07-14-08, 05:12 PM   #7
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I think you'd be hard-put to find a bad word about the Swift on this forum - they're pretty much universally praised by those that have them.
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Old 07-16-08, 09:41 PM   #8
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Well, I met the seller and bought the Swift tonight. I'm thrilled with my purchase so far.

I got the bike home and rode it around the block once with a huge grin on my face. I brought it back to the garage and just stared at the silly little thing for 10 minutes.

I think I'm hooked already. I'll try to get pictures up by this weekend - although maybe I'll just post them in the massive Swift thread. Thanks to everyone again for all the advice that has got me this far.
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Old 07-16-08, 10:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Dirt Hill View Post
I got the bike home and rode it around the block once with a huge grin on my face. I brought it back to the garage and just stared at the silly little thing for 10 minutes.
Heh heh, I suspect more than a few of us are starers! I for one have spent many hours staring away.
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Old 07-16-08, 10:20 PM   #10
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Congrats, Bet you are glad you did it.
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Old 07-17-08, 01:40 AM   #11
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Congratulations, Old Dirt Hill! (And yes, the little demons *are* mesmerizing, aren't they? I'm after my second folder already, after little more than a month with my first ever. I completely understand now why many people here have four or five of them...)
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Old 07-17-08, 02:10 AM   #12
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Congrats to your bike.
You are lucky, the swift is such a beautiful thing, clean and simple. Me, also getting more addicted to folders I wish I could test ride one.
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Old 07-17-08, 09:29 AM   #13
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Just curious if that was the swift that was for sale on Minneapolis craigslist? If so I was surprised at how long it took to sell, seemed like a good deal to me, and if I hadn't recently bought a Bike Friday I would have grabbed it. If you are in Minneapolis, we should organize a folding bike ride sometime.
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Old 07-17-08, 02:51 PM   #14
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Yes, it was the Minneapolis Swift for sale. I think I remember seeing it on there a couple/few months ago for nearly $600.

Once I got the approval to invest in a folding bike, I remembered seeing the Swift several weeks before on craigslist. A quick search showed it was still available and around $200 cheaper. I ended up getting the bike and the pedals for $425, which seems reasonable to me.

I asked the seller if it had been difficult to sell and he let me know that he had many inquiries from out of town/state/country folks wanting him to ship it (which he didn't want to do).

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Old 07-18-08, 01:59 PM   #15
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Great, that looked like a good deal for a nice folding bike. I took a ride on one at Calhoun Cycle after seeing the posting and decided that it rode as well as my Bike Friday tikit, had I seen it before I bought my BF I probably would have bought it. Folding bikes don't seem to be terribly popular around our area, I think it is because of how spread out everything is, also we seem to be going through a huge fixed gear/single speed / bullhorn trend right now. I am slowly seeing it tip more towards cargo/utility/touring bikes though. Enjoy your new ride.
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