Last edited by adamnj; 03-14-10 at 07:40 PM.
I went through about the same realization with a Birdy except you didn't mention 'bouncing.' In my humble opinion, the xootr, birdy, brompton, and most similar DaHon's somehow suffer from weird geometry and basic short wheel base and size dynamics; forgetabout total compensation within gearing. BUT!!! Somehow the BikeFriday overcomes this. I don't have one, nor do I own stock, but if I had to do it all over again never Birdy, i had a DaHon, it's ok for the money, rode a brompton, ok. Bike Friday all the way...
I have a sort of extreme situation (I tow a double child trailer up a very steep hill), so I've done more to my Xootr Swift gearing than you necessarily need to. I've got a SRAM Dual Drive and an 11-32 cassette.
I think the stock cassette is 11-28. If you wanted a little better hill gearing, you might just swap it for an 11-32. The SRAM Dual Drive is probably way overkill for you.
I also don't like the stock handlebar (it's so narrow that I find it very difficult to control on that same hill), and I'm in the middle of figuring out what to replace it with. I have a Dimension Arc coming Thursday.
Hope that's useful. (And the ongoing saga of my Swift is here.)
The "wooble" is due to the smaller moment of inertia around the steering axis. Mainly due to the small wheel. You'll first get used, then addicted to that responsiveness.
My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/
You might look into clarification of whether the Megarange 11-34 cassette will fit the Swift. I was told it wouldn't, but I think the guy who posts here as "xootr swift" may have one on his. If it does work, it'll help even more on hills.
As for technical chops, I'm only just getting to where I can discuss these things halfway intelligently. Not being able to get up a hill will do wonders for your grounding in applied physics.
I'll just add that if your are just starting out riding regularly, hills will be tough at first. Swapping cassettes will certainly make life easier. But, give it a little time. Your legs aren't used to biking up hills, keep it up and they soon will be. When I first started biking, there wasn't a gear low enough for me. A couple of weeks in and things weren't nearly as bad. After a year of riding the same hilly route I barely notice some of the ascents I thought were murder the first time out. The secret is to not avoid them. The only way to get better going up hills is to ride up hills. It will take a little while, but you'll get there.
That's very true. If you can get up them at all, you'll just keep getting better as you keep doing it.
Still, there are times when a little more mechanical advantage can be nice, too. Especially if you won't be riding consistently.
Last edited by noteon; 08-20-08 at 04:48 AM.
One Swift owner has installed Rotor cranks, which he says have made it feel as though he's pedaling at two gear positions easier:The Rotor crankset with a 53t chainring rides up a gear or two (11t spins as easily as 13t did before the Rotor crankset, that is, there is more velocity for less effort) on the same hills or straights before I installed Rotor Cranks.I don't have the SRAM DualDrive but have ridden a Dahon Mu P24 that had one. With the SRAM DD, the gears are more than adequate for climbing steep hills. At sea-level, the Mu and the Xootr Swift are somewhat similar in ride-feel, IMO, though the (stock-equipped) Swift's riding position leans a little further forward.
The downside and the upside, depending on whom you ask, is that the SRAM DD is both fish and fowl: it is a combination of internal gear hub and derailer/cassette. One poster has described it as "the worst of both worlds" but I'm sure some would call it "the best of both worlds". There is additional weight and there are more things that can break, but there is a desirable redundancy to offset this negative: if the hub gear shifter mechanism should break, you could still shift the chain with the derailer, and you are able to switch the internal hub gears when at a standstill, e.g. at a red-light. So a bike with a DD is more versatile, good for commuting in frequent stop/start mode, and good for taking on tour in the Sierra Nevada.
Last edited by timo888; 08-20-08 at 06:27 AM.
Let them add the new chain. If you could post a picture of your bike perhaps we could make some more suggestions on its setup. The stock Swift would be much too upright and cramped for me.
My first impresseion is: Raise your seatpost!
You are WAY too upright and cramped (bar and seat too close together) and your weight is too far back. Here's one website illustrating how you should look on a properly fitted bike. I just picked it from the top of this google list:
A longer handlebar stem and dropped bars, or the Delta Ergo bars i use would help. I'm 6'1", but with a very large upper body. I better check my own cycling profile and see how bad I look!
Shimano megarange freewheel (I assume swift has a freewheel) might be the easiest solution, assuming the derailer does not hang up on the large cog. You could also change the chain ring to a smaller one. You may also have to a add or remove chain links.
2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
1996 Birdy, Recommend.
Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.
adamnj, did your bike come with the 100mm stem that Xootr swaps in for tall riders? You could get a 150mm stem, and try out different angles. You might ask your LBS if they have an adjustable 150mm stem so you can try out different rise angles.
Last edited by timo888; 08-25-08 at 07:39 PM.
It is a good idea to be balanced on the saddle: If you raise yourself just the smallest amount off the saddle with cranks horizontal, you musn't have a tendency to fall forwards or backwards - you must be balanced.
My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/
Just a comment on riding posture... in the recent Tour de France I looked at this especially... some riders have close to horizontal backs even when riding on the hoods, but others were close to 45deg arms and body. The first link in that google search shows just one possibility, OK for racing, but too low really for more casual riding.
Last edited by jur; 08-25-08 at 08:17 PM.
My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/
You definitely need a longer stem. I had a 130mm on mine and was happy. (6' 3") Also, if you're desperate for lower gearing, you can do what I didand put on a 53/39 chainring. I would kick it down with my heel , then manually place the chain back on the big ring. I got tired of that, though, hence my move to the Bike Friday with front dérailleur.
Also, did u request the XL seatpost? Really makes a difference.
Last edited by kb5ql; 08-26-08 at 01:20 AM.
I have just seen your pics and i have to admit, the bike looks to small for you... i know you are 6'2 but i have seen taller people ride on Dahon with no mod and it was a nicer look.....
Anyhow, i really don't know how much you paid for the bike but if you can return during the 30 day trial period i would go for it and get a Mu P8 for $600 shipped or Mu SL for 1150 shipped, the SL is a super light bike and very comfy if you are on the go.... just find a lbs that sells Dahon and take one of these puppies for a spin before you return your bike.... i have nothing against it, i just honestly think that for your size you better buy a more main streamish machine.
The distance from seatpost to handlebar on the Mu is a maximum of 65 centimeters (according to the Dahon website), whereas on the Swift, if it's outfitted with a 130mm or 150mm stem, that distance can be extended to 70~72 centimeters (based on actual measurements at a fairly short seat height--it would be considerably greater when the seat is raised, though that yields a torso position with greater forward lean unless offset to some degree by stem rise ... or arm-length).
P.S. Also, bar-ends on the Swift would provide yet further choice in terms of riding position, and wouldn't interfere with the fold, inasmuch as the Swift's stem-riser is not part of the fold.
Last edited by timo888; 08-26-08 at 08:22 AM.
adamnj... honestly, your riding position looks fine. Maybe a little cramped, but you'd have to decide on that as you compare it to riding other bikes. There's of course basics as far as angle goes, but frankly, and this is coming from someone who does a lot of "alignment" of the yoga variety and all that, the conventional "racing" or road riding position (45 degrees with a curvy back) just isn't great either. It all depends on how much riding you'll do. It's not like some guy riding in the position suggested on the first google hit isn't going to feel it too at some point. To me, it looks like you're doing some basic towny riding? Boardwalks? Summer Streets. Maybe get an extended stem and maybe raise the seat, but other than that, just feel it out. All this switch to this change that order this ditch that sell this exchange that just gets confusing...
The bottom line is that no matter how you ride (within a flexible reason) you're going to feel it until you build up strength and can sink into the position that works for you. Take it easy and experiment.
PS- Will you be at the NY Century ride? Big Up to all the folders in the ride. I'll be Xootring with ya!
Last edited by babadas; 08-26-08 at 08:27 AM. Reason: added stuff
I was told that there's no way to increase the seatpost setback. Does anyone know differently?
I'm really just educating myself and looking for options. Thanks for the ongoing info.
I also just started experimenting with different handlebar shapes, and anything that curves toward the rider would require a more rearward position for the saddle (or a longer stem, as you suggest).