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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 04-11-09, 04:26 PM   #1
themanmachine
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experiences with Swift folder

Hi, I have been looking into getting a folding bike for an impending trip I'm taking and hopefully for any future trips. While it seemed kind of silly at first to solve a problem (charges for bringing my full-size bike) with a solution that would cost more than the initial fix, I realize a good folding bike will be a worthwhile investment.

After a lot of research, I have basically decided on a swift. I love everything about them but the stupid brand name (xootr?) and the ugly blue color, but I can always paint it.

I would just like to get some second opinions on the Swift because there is no where near where I could test ride one. I am curious what the Swift owners out there think. How does yours ride? Have you ever taken it on a plane? Would you like to sell it to me? When would you like to sell it to me? etc.
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Old 04-11-09, 10:18 PM   #2
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Swift riders here are almost uniformly enthusiastic. The bike just rides very well.

However it may not be perfect for your purposes, since it requires a fair bit of disassembly to pack into a suitcase. Peter Reich has been working on a modified version that fits more easily into an Oyster suitcase, but though I saw it a couple of years ago, I don't believe it's being sold yet.
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Old 04-11-09, 10:39 PM   #3
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There's a colossal thread on Xootr Swift somewhere in this board.
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Old 04-12-09, 12:15 AM   #4
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Yep. The thread's over 54 pages now, but it's slowing down.
I think it's cause fellow Swifties are too busy having fun riding.

It's extremely stiff, efficient, and blazing fast. Generally, the consensus is that it's great with great roads, and gets worse with worse roads...just like a minivelo.

Since some of the roads here in SF can get bad, I've been thinking of selling mine (yes, I'm scared of a little road vibration on my wrists). However, I sort of don't want to, because it's a ridiculously nice ride.

I haven't taken it on the plane.
The fold is pretty big, but fairly neat.
It fits in my closet easily, next to a dresser..

And no, I won't sell it to you because you dissed the blue...and because it'd be impractical to ship it to you anyways (already have one BF member interested in buying it locally).

-matt

ps. If you really hate the color, just get some 3m retroflective vinyl from the Beacon sign shop. It works surprisingly well, with minimal hassle.

Last edited by mlau; 04-12-09 at 12:21 AM. Reason: to make it more readable
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Old 04-12-09, 01:12 AM   #5
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If I build one, I would like to make it as simple as possible to make packing easy, probably with a coaster brake. I like the idea of having no cables to mess with but am not really interested in a fixed gear.

It does seem though that nobody really has anything bad to say about the swift. From what little I know about it, it seems like the best choice in every category-looks, build, strength, reliability, and durability. Does anyone here have any reasons why I shouldn't get one?
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Old 04-12-09, 01:19 AM   #6
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If I build one, I would like to make it as simple as possible to make packing easy, probably with a coaster brake. I like the idea of having no cables to mess with but am not really interested in a fixed gear.

It does seem though that nobody really has anything bad to say about the swift. From what little I know about it, it seems like the best choice in every category-looks, build, strength, reliability, and durability. Does anyone here have any reasons why I shouldn't get one?
Folded size, if that's a concern to you.
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Old 04-12-09, 08:21 AM   #7
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As is mentioned above, the biggest concerns in my experience are:
a. folded size. Folding or removable pedals help with this since the folded package is quite narrow.
b. the ride-- it's amazing, but the (extremely) rigid frame with small wheels makes it very harsh, and there's not much trail in the steering geometry which makes it feel a bit twitchy. This gets worse on bad road surfaces.
c. the component spec-- If you're looking for a city bike, this may not be what you want component-wise. It's got derailleur gears, a pretty aggressive riding position and no provisions for water bottle cages. Peter Reich does customs and also sells bare framesets that you can build up yourself. The customs can be beautiful: http://www.trophybikes.com/catalog.p...=33&prodid=157

One nice thing that I've found is that running fatter-than-stock tires (I'm looking at you, Schwalbe Big Apple) not only makes the ride cushier, but increases the wheel diameter, which additionally helps smooth things out and, as a bonus, gives the bike more trail. The bike feels a lot more rideable on crappy surfaces with big tires.
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Old 04-12-09, 08:33 AM   #8
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If you check out the Swift page on this forum you will find endless suggestions of how the basic bike can be customised and how good it is to ride. If I could only own one bike it would be the Swift. Its fold is not the smallest (certainly cannot compete with the Brompton) but good enough to stow in car boots and offices.

Oh, the blue is great!!
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Old 04-12-09, 10:37 AM   #9
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It comes in different colors. And, like the man says, there's already a monster Swift thread you can read. I like mine a lot. Can't think of any substantial complaints. I agree about the stoopid "Xootr" name, though. I have no idea how to pronounce it.
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Old 04-12-09, 10:53 AM   #10
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It comes in different colors. And, like the man says, there's already a monster Swift thread you can read. I like mine a lot. Can't think of any substantial complaints. I agree about the stoopid "Xootr" name, though. I have no idea how to pronounce it.
I think its "sooter". I just call 'em sweet..err...Swift bike.
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Old 04-12-09, 10:57 AM   #11
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I think its "sooter". I just call 'em sweet..err...Swift bike.
I thought it was pronounced like Zooter.

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Old 04-12-09, 12:23 PM   #12
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...... and no provisions for water bottle cages.
Hot off the presses, or (slightly) old news. I'm not sure which:

http://www.xootr.com/swift-riser.html
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Old 04-12-09, 02:12 PM   #13
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When they answer the phone at Xootr, they say "Zooter."
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Old 04-12-09, 09:01 PM   #14
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Hot off the presses, or (slightly) old news. I'm not sure which:

http://www.xootr.com/swift-riser.html

The only thing I don't like with that new riser is it's tapered at the top so it doesn't provide the option of adjusting the handlebar height as did the original.
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Old 04-15-09, 12:20 AM   #15
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Yup, what they said.

My only issue with my Swift is the folded package is a bit bulky (but thin) and the ultra-ridgid, ultraefficient frame means that you'll feel it up your a** if you don't have a thudbuster/sprung saddle. Of course, I'm not in optimal riding condition, and I'm not man enough for my Swift.

Of course, if you're man enough for it (not a complete wuss regarding climbing, biking fast, and not caring about random aching butt), you should just go and buy it. If nothing else, the resale's not so bad.
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Old 04-15-09, 12:27 AM   #16
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have you considered an Airnimal or a Bike Friday? a little more expensive I know, but less compromises overall....
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Old 04-15-09, 05:38 AM   #17
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Airnimals look nice, but that's way out of my price range. Bike Friday is a just a little too expensive too. Really the Swift is right on the border of what I can pay, I was thinking of going for a very bottom dollar solution before I saw the Swift-an upgraded Dahon S1, but I figured the swift would be a good investment.
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Old 04-15-09, 08:49 AM   #18
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I made the switch from a Dahon (Mu P8) a couple/few months ago, and am thoroughly enjoying the Swifts fast'n stable ride, plus its easy upgradability.

For a solid ride, and proprietary-free upgrading, I'm siding w/the Swift.

Rgds,
K.
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