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  1. #1
    Upper West Side NYC
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    Swift Folder/Xootr by Peter Reich

    Hi all,
    I currently own a Brompton, but decided to do a full on search for another bike so my wife could take over my Brompton. I narrowed it down to 1) another Brompton; 2) Bike Friday; and 3) a Xootr which was converted by Peter Reich to an 8 speed internal hub. I ruled out the Brompton because while I ride it everyday to work, it still did not have that big bike, smooth feel of a full size bike. I ruled out the Bike Friday (although I was very tempted by the tikit) because of the price, the not very good fold, and the fact that I couldn't find a good place to test ride it. I am sure it is a great bike, but couldn't find a place to test ride it.

    I did test ride the xootr folder on the upper east side - although not the internal hub version, and immediately loved the ride. Firm and smooth. Still I wasn't crazy about having a big derailler system - having loved the simplicity of the Brompton 3 speed internal hub.

    I read a lot about Peter Reich and his willingness to take the stock Xootr folder and modify it with the Shimano 8 speed internal hub. After e-mailing and discussing with Peter, I decided to go with it. It took him about a month to source the parts and to put it all together. I picked it up at Recycle a bicycle in Brooklyn and rode it home over the Brooklyn bridge to the upper west side.

    It's now been about a year since I've had the bike and I just love it. Trust me, there is nobody that can say that it doesn't ride better than the Brompton. It rides a great deal smoother and is much more solid than the Brompton. There is no comparison. However, it does not fold nearly as nicely as the Brompton, so I continue to ride the Brompton to work for short rides.

    But for taking a nice medium to long ride, I love the Xootr. The internal hub works like a charm and is simple as pie to use. I know that some say that it is heavy. I don't know if that is true, but it doesn't matter much to me. Peter did a great job putting it together and he is a joy to work with.

    Now, the Xootr folds very simply, but not into the small package like the Brompton. So, if you plan to ride it to work, you will need a place to store it (rather than under your desk, like the Brompton), but if you have a space for it, the Xootr is a superior bike.

    Since I never had the chance to demo the Tikit, I really can't say much about it. I was very close to getting one, and probably would have if I had gotten the various e-mails about discounts I now get. I am sure it is a great bike, and maybe it will be my next one. But, I'm so happy with the Peter Reich modified Xootr.

    It's been a year since I got if and this review is well over due, but hope you appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Hello uws88 and welcome to Bike Forums.

    Thanks for the introduction. I'm sure the review will be appreciated in the Folding Bikes forum, so I'll move it there (from Introductions).

    --Juha, a Forum Mod
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    What kind of grips and tires are you using on the Brompton? I ride in NYC and love my Brompton, but that was only after I put aftermarket grips (Ergon Kork grips) because my hand use to go numb. With the new grip, the bike felt 100 times more stable and more like a regular bike. The stock grips were horrible. I use the marathon tires and they also help with bumps as long as you keep them inflated properly.
    Why buy 10 cheap bikes when one nice one will last longer!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    uws88, welcome! Hopefully you've already discovered the enormous Swift thread here.

  5. #5
    Upper West Side NYC
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    Thanks for the suggestion on the Grips. I will definately try t find them.

  6. #6
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Folder4life View Post
    What kind of grips and tires are you using on the Brompton? I ride in NYC and love my Brompton, but that was only after I put aftermarket grips (Ergon Kork grips) because my hand use to go numb. With the new grip, the bike felt 100 times more stable and more like a regular bike. The stock grips were horrible. I use the marathon tires and they also help with bumps as long as you keep them inflated properly.
    Totally agree I had the same mod done and added a Shimano 8 speed Alfine hub to my Brompton. In addition Koolstop break pads with Shimano Deore brake levers worked wonders.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Folder4life View Post
    What kind of grips and tires are you using on the Brompton? I ride in NYC and love my Brompton, but that was only after I put aftermarket grips (Ergon Kork grips) because my hand use to go numb. With the new grip, the bike felt 100 times more stable and more like a regular bike. The stock grips were horrible. I use the marathon tires and they also help with bumps as long as you keep them inflated properly.
    did you cut the grips down to size to fit on the narrow handlebar?
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    seacoast nh / suburban hartford
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    Quote Originally Posted by uws88 View Post
    Hi all,
    Now, the Xootr folds very simply, but not into the small package like the Brompton. So, if you plan to ride it to work, you will need a place to store it (rather than under your desk, like the Brompton), but if you have a space for it, the Xootr is a superior bike.

    Since I never had the chance to demo the Tikit, I really can't say much about it. I was very close to getting one, and probably would have if I had gotten the various e-mails about discounts I now get. I am sure it is a great bike, and maybe it will be my next one. But, I'm so happy with the Peter Reich modified Xootr.
    welcome! post often, always interested to hear about experiences.

    swift alfine 8, customized by peter, bought from bfold here. (and a convert from brompton as well!) only 7 months, not a year yet. shocked you couldn't get a test ride of a bike friday at bfold at the time

    i hear you on tikit temptations. you've got folderitis. its a tough disease.

    on the folded dimensions of the xootr, i'm constnatly trying to come up with new ideas for how make it (quick) fold a litle smaller, possibly by detaching a part and putting in my backpack. i always have at least one separate bag along with the bike, mine as well use it to carry a part when folded. i think the parts that stick, cause the volume to be more awkward:
    -front tire
    -20 " vs 16 " tires
    -seat

    i've tried carry seatpost in my backpack. it was okay. but i think *very* fast removal of the front tire and easy attachment of it to a bag might help the folded shape best.

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