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  1. #1
    My legs hurt
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    Triple chainring on a Swift ?

    I figured I would post this under a separate thread in case somebody else searches later. "The" swift thread is impressive, but hard to find specific info in.

    Anyway, In the pursuit of making my Swift my do - it - all solution, I'm wondering how feasible fitting triple rings up front would be. I'd be using the Xootr front derailluer mount. Ideally, I'd just use the crankset that came with my Giant SCR, but would invest in new parts if they would work better.

    Thanks again for all the helpful advice. I'll be sure to post pics when the conversion is complete.

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    Just thought I would quickly update the thread.

    I've decided that I can probably get away with a double upfront after all. I should be able to pull the kid in the trailer with a 39 tooth ring coupled to a 32 tooth sprocket in the back. That will give me something in the 'hood of 20 gear inches which should be low enough... I hope.

  3. #3
    Green Party Member gp.org xootr swift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bendembroski View Post
    ... 20 gear inches which should be low enough... I hope.
    I've gone up dry single-track Swiss mountain hiking trails that felt like almost vertical on my Swift. With a 22 gear inch low (Sram Dual Drive 22-127 gear inch w/53t chainring and 11-34t cassette and Greenspeed Kevlar Scorcher slicks) no problem. I also pulled my niece around when she was four (not much help motor energy wise – i.e. dead weight) with one of those one wheel kid "tandem" bikes attached on my Swift seatpost, and I did fine even up the steep hill coming back from the movies. I’m sure that the 20gi should work fine for your trailer-kid pulls.

    http://www.myspace.com/xootrswift

  4. #4
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    In order to get my Swift down to something like 20.5 gear inches in order to pull my twins up a 25% grade, I got a Sram Dual Drive internal gear hub.

    Twins + trailer + kid supplies + Swift + me + my commuting pannier = 400 pounds or so.

    Here's the whole saga:

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    Learning to wrench better this year—current project: Fixie from build kit

  5. #5
    My legs hurt
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    Thanks for posting the links. I remembered both from a while ago, but didn't come up with anything on recent searches. Maybe I'm just distracted by my demanding 16 month old...

  6. #6
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    For touring, I usually go with something in LOW 20s. I keep a 26t chainring for the triple if things really get hairy and I need something like 18.7 gear inches. If you go with a double and a standard cassette ... say a 11-32 ... your gearing on top will be somewhat limited. I think mid 90s.

    I don't see why one could not put a triple on the Swift. All the derailer mount does is change top pull to a bottom pull.

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    For some reason, I was more concerned about the chain line. Which doesn't really make sense now that I think about it...

    As for top end, 90's are fine. I'm not in that big of a hurry , and my knees don't like the big gears either.

    Truth be told, economics will probably dictate what I go for in the end. I've got a Giant SCR I'm looking to either sell complete, or cannibilse for the bit's I need for the Swift then sell what's left. If I sell the SCR complete, then I'm shopping for front derailleurs, chainrings, etc. I can do what I want. If I decide to part out the SCR, then I'll just used the triple I've already got.

    So I suppose the real question is do you make more money selling a bunch of used parts, or a complete bike ? That, of course, is for another forum.

  8. #8
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    I think you'd be best off with either an internal hub (e.g. 8 speed Nexus) or the SRAM DualDrive. I set up my Swift as a double (no derailleur) and didn't find that it worked all that great.

    Separately, I don't know what your stable is like, but as a frequent rider I like to keep 2 bikes around. That way, if one goes in the shop / needs repairs, the other one is right there. Used bikes don't necessarily hold their value, as a quick look on Craigslist will likely indicate, so you might be better off hanging onto the SCR.

  9. #9
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    I appreciate the comments.

    I wouldn't go with an internal hub or a dual drive for a bunch of reasons. Mostly, I'd be running 2 sets of wheels / tires. The original set that came with the bike (for just mucking about on canal paths / taking the kid to the park / crappy weather / etc.), and another set of nice rims laced up to my Hope hubs and Schwalbe Kojaks. I'd use the second set for when I'm out riding "for real".
    Dual Drive / Internal Hub just won't work for that situation. Beyond that, I already have almost everything I need kit-wise to get the setup I think I want, shifters, handlebars, brake levers, blah blah blah. I'll need is to extend the gear range a bit for the trailer and longer hillier rides, and I'll be all set!

    I'd love to hear what you found lacking in your double setup.

    I know the SCR isn't going to be worth anywhere what I've paid for it. However, storage space is gone, and the Giant is the least used bike, and will remain so for at least the next year or two. I've also got a bit of a beater Ridgeback that my can also use. So, to make a long story short, something has got to go, and that something is the Giant. It served me well, and part of me will miss it.

    So, now the objective is to get the Swift as "roadie" as possible while still retaining it's ability to handle less glamourous duties of kid pulling, grocery getting, and errand running. Seems to me 2 wheelsets is probably the easiest and most economical way to do this.

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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    I dunno man, I'm not fond of getting rid of a bike that fits and works well. A good 2-bike vertical storage rack should be sufficient to resolve space issues, unless your living space is so tight that you can only keep one folded bike.

    At any rate, I'd get tired of swapping out the wheels all the time. An easier option is to use two seatposts, the stock one for road usage and one with a Thudbuster for the other stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bendembroski View Post
    Beyond that, I already have almost everything I need kit-wise to get the setup I think I want, shifters, handlebars, brake levers, blah blah blah. I'll need is to extend the gear range a bit for the trailer and longer hillier rides, and I'll be all set!
    I'm not sure if that means you already have, or need to get new shifters.

    If the latter, I'd suggest you convert to 9 or 10 speed and use a wide range cassette in conjunction with a double instead of a triple up front. The chain stay is already so short that even a 1x8 set up puts significant lateral forces on the drive train. You would probably only have 15 usable gears in a 3x8 set up that won't sound like someone threw a bucket of sand in your cassette.

    When I first bought my Swift, I had planned to change the drive train to run 58 x 11-34. After having ridden it for a while, pulling 80+ pounds of trailer over San Francisco hills, I've come to a peaceful co-existance with the stock gearing. It's really not that bad. I only miss the top end when going flat out, and that doesn't happen too often in the city. If I encounter a hill that I need a lower gear for, then I can get off and push and be over the hill just as quickly.

  12. #12
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by sqynt View Post
    The chain stay is already so short that even a 1x8 set up puts significant lateral forces on the drive train.
    The chain stay on a Swift is not shorter than a typical medium size roadie at all. It is the same.

  13. #13
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    Yes, I meant that I've already have shfiters, brake levers, etc. All I really need to add at this point is stuff at the crankset end.

    What you are saying about the short chainstays is reinforcing my concerns about chainlines and whatnot.

    It so happens that the crankset on my SCR is also 110 BCD, so I'll just add the middle ring to the Swift and see what I think. Then, it's just a matter of scouring ebay for a couple of parts...

    I also agree that a triple is probably unnecessary gearing wise. Like you said at a certain point, you can just get off and push.

    Bacciagalupe:

    I agree with what you are saying about not wanting to get rid of a perfectly good bike. In this case it's better that it goes. It's not being used, and I'm having to store it out on the terrace. I've already pulled all the expensive bits off the frame, but I don't want it staying out there for long. The Ridgeback is out there too, covered. There is room for the Swift in the flat, nice warm and dry.

    When or if I get access to appropriate bike storage, then I can build up my collection a bit more. But for now, it's just 2.

    I was using two set of wheels with the Giant as well. The swapping never really bothered me. That bit, I know I would be fine with.

    In any event, it's good to hear a different perspective on things. It helps me confirm that I'm making sound decsions for me, in my situation.

  14. #14
    My legs hurt
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    The chain stay on a Swift is not shorter than a typical medium size roadie at all. It is the same.
    Now, I need to get out my tape measure. I looks like the chain angles are more extreme on the Swift, but it could very well be my eyes playing tricks on me. Maybe the angles are exaggerated by the funny little wheels...

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    OK.

    I've moved the stock 52 tooth chain ring to where the chaingaurd was, and popped the middle ring on the inside (where the chain ring used to be).

    When the chain is on the big ring up front and the small sprocket in the back. The chain is really very close to the seat stay (pic attached)

    Any suggestions ?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Well, I hope things work out for you.

    As to using the existing crankset: yes, it's very close. I'd imagine you would have to use a different bottom bracket / spindle in order to move the crank further out from the frame. You may also need to remove a link from the chain when you start using the smaller chainring.

    FYI, I also found I couldn't use several of the higher cassette gears when in the little ring; they'll rub against the outer ring. (This will also happen if you use a smaller ring and keep the chainguard).

    Moving the crank further out might resolve both of these issues.

  17. #17
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    I took the new setup out for a quick test ride with the kid in the trailer this afternoon with the chain on the small sprocket.

    All seemed well, I managed a couple of hills so the gearing seems workable.

    At this point, I'm going to go ahead and build up a rear wheel with my hope road hub, and see where the chain clearance issues are then.

    In the meantime, it's time order the front derailleur mount.

    I'll be sure to report back as I make progress.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    The chain stay on a Swift is not shorter than a typical medium size roadie at all. It is the same.
    !!

    I don't have my tape measure, or my bikes, at the moment. But I'll be happy to make a beer bet on this one. A bike with a smaller rear wheel will naturally have a shorter chain stay unless it's elongated for some other reason. I've always noticed the extreme angle that the chain runs in when in the highest or lowest gear.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sqynt View Post
    !!

    I don't have my tape measure, or my bikes, at the moment. But I'll be happy to make a beer bet on this one. A bike with a smaller rear wheel will naturally have a shorter chain stay unless it's elongated for some other reason. I've always noticed the extreme angle that the chain runs in when in the highest or lowest gear.
    I just did a rough tape measure check.

    Swift: 41 cm
    SCR frame (medium): 42 cm

    This from the center(ish) of the bottom bracket to the center(ish) of the rear dropout.

    I'm guessing that the reason angles look more extreme on the swift is because the rear triangle is smaller.

    Can't argue with Mr. Stanley in matters such as these.
    Last edited by bendembroski; 04-22-09 at 12:57 PM.

  20. #20
    jur
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    Yeah, I have looked at the Swift geometry and compared it to a few standard roadies out there, such as Giant OCR and Trek. It's when you go to touring bikes that the chain stays become longer.

    Plus the Swift has a track end, allowing you to put the wheel further back (for some unknown reason )

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    I broke out the tape measure, and I measured 40.6 cm, +/- 0.2 cm.

    Compare that to listings in the Frame Geometry Project, which contains 437 entries, and the Swift comes out in the shortest 3%, with only 13 entries having shorter chain stays. So I think that qualifies the Swift in the "short chain stay" category.

    Beer me!

  22. #22
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sqynt View Post
    I broke out the tape measure, and I measured 40.6 cm, +/- 0.2 cm.

    Compare that to listings in the Frame Geometry Project, which contains 437 entries, and the Swift comes out in the shortest 3%, with only 13 entries having shorter chain stays. So I think that qualifies the Swift in the "short chain stay" category.

    Beer me!

    Although I suspect that the results change if you say, limit the entries to 2000+.

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