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  1. #1
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    Xooter - How Small?

    I'm thinking of getting a Xooter for a train commute. It looks like the Xooter just doesn't get too small.

    -Yemag

  2. #2
    jur
    jur is online now
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    I took mine on the train today. Looked at from the side, no it doesn't get very small. But footprint-wise it gets small enough. You lean it against yourself, turn the handlebars through 90 deg and it hardly rates a mention for the floor space it takes. Put any Dahon, Birdy, Tikit etc on that same floor and you'll see they take more.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  3. #3
    ...poet... timo888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yemag View Post
    I'm thinking of getting a Xooter for a train commute. It looks like the Xooter just doesn't get too small.
    Depends on where you live and what the trains are like and time-of-day. In the Philadelphia area, where I live, on many rush-hour/peak-time SEPTA commuter trains passengers must stand because there are no open seats and the conductors checking tickets have to squeeze past them as they stand in the narrow aisle. The cramped three-passenger seats are stuffed with humanity on one side of the aisle and the more comfortable two-passenger seats on the other side of the aisle have no room for a bike either.

    The Xootr Swift is simply not small enough to be taken on a crowded light-rail commuter train during rush-hour in the northeast USA and anywhere like it. Even a Downtube Mini or 16" Dahon would be too large for these conditions. Few folding bikes are small enough for that. As small as it folds, a Brompton on the floor would still earn you evil stares at rush hour on the SEPTA R3, and the conductor might give you an ultimatum: put it on the overhead rack or get off the train. A Mobiky (video), Pacific Carry-Me (video), or Strida (video) would work out; maybe a Gekko (video) or A-Bike (video); these bikes have a smaller footprint (and a longer/narrower shape when folded, not unlike a baby stroller) and could be placed in the overhead rack if there's no room on the floor. I would not put my Swift up there.


    Regards
    T
    Last edited by timo888; 09-19-08 at 12:04 PM.

  4. #4
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    I'm commuting via Caltrain from San Francisco to San Jose. I've read where a few people are making that commute w/ the Xootr Swift so there must be more room on this train than others on the east coast. Thanks for the response.

    -Yemag

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    Plenty of Xootr Swifts on the the SF to SJ Caltrain line. I got mine two years ago because I kept getting "bumped" at 22nd St in the morning, with my full sized bike. On the older Caltrain cars, you can use the luggage racks, on the newer "cafe" cars, you lean it against the bike rack end. I can reccomend Swifts for Caltrain.

    -John

  6. #6
    ...poet... timo888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yemag View Post
    I'm commuting via Caltrain from San Francisco to San Jose. I've read where a few people are making that commute w/ the Xootr Swift so there must be more room on this train than others on the east coast. Thanks for the response.

    -Yemag
    http://www.caltrain.com/caltrain_bikes2.html

  7. #7
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    Spotted on Caltrain Tuesday night northbound at 22nd St. 9: PM: Steel frame Swift Folder in a luxurious Green, sporting dual drive with Marathon Racers(?). The owner said he came from New York, where the steel version is well known. It was the first one I've seen in person and it had a classy look compared to my Xootr. The seat post looks a lot thinner, and the lettering is nicely understated.

    There is often no need to fold the Swift on Caltrain, except on the busiest rush hour trains. On the old style cars, when the bike car is full to capacity and there is no room, I usually fold it up and remove the handlebars, then place the bike horizontally on the metal luggage racks in the luggage car. Some of the luggage cars have a little floor space between the triple tier rack and the first row of seats, and on these cars I can fold the Xootr and leave it upright, wedged between rack and seatback. On the new style "cafe" cars at,which have half the bike capacity of the old bike cars (16 vs. 32), I normally fold and stand it upright next to the bike rack railing, whether the car is fiull or not. In recent months, lots of full size bikes have been allowed by the more lenient conductors, to occupy this area during overflow times.

    With the price of gas, and the overfilling of the bike cars, Caltrain has been seeing a huge influx of all types of folders. While Swift frames might not work well in tightly packed /East Coast type trains lacking a bike car, they are great for the Caltrain.

    -John

  8. #8
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    Thanks! Maybe I'll see you on the train. I'm commuting to a new job in SJ next week. Might take a few weeks to try out the train though!

    -Yemag















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