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Old 09-02-10, 07:03 AM   #1
clearcastle04
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higher gearing options on a Xootr Swift

Hi all,
I just got a Swift. I had been wishing for a folding bike for like a year alongside my other bikes and finally just decided to do it. I'm very happy with it so far.

The only thing... Is there anyway to upgrade either cassette or chainring (along w/ shifters and derailleurs) to achieve higher gears (higher enough to be worth teh expense). I would like to be able to go faster on flats and down-hills. Lower gears are not an issue as I rarely will ever use even the top three lowest gears on the 8-speed on the bike now, even on really steep hills.

Wouldn't a front derailleur only give you lower gears?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 09-02-10, 08:46 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by clearcastle04 View Post
Hi all,
I just got a Swift. I had been wishing for a folding bike for like a year alongside my other bikes and finally just decided to do it. I'm very happy with it so far.

The only thing... Is there anyway to upgrade either cassette or chainring (along w/ shifters and derailleurs) to achieve higher gears (higher enough to be worth teh expense). I would like to be able to go faster on flats and down-hills. Lower gears are not an issue as I rarely will ever use even the top three lowest gears on the 8-speed on the bike now, even on really steep hills.

Wouldn't a front derailleur only give you lower gears?

Thanks for any help.
Cheapest way to higher gear inches would be to fit a larger chainring.. I ran a 58t on mine .. going up the money scale, a dual drive rear wheel will give you plenty of range.. if on a budget, hunt for Sachs 3x7 stuff.. usually under $100 used... next would be Shimano Capreo rear hub, usually 9/26 9spd cluster.. next up would be a Schlumpf SpeedDrive 2spd crank ( I like these and have one used one left to offer for sale - PM if interested)
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Old 09-02-10, 08:53 AM   #3
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I don't have the mechanical expertise of many posters on this forum, but to raise the gearing on your Swift, you would need to get a larger chainring and/or a cassette with smaller sprockets. You can play around with Sheldon Brown's gear calculator to figure out your optimal set-up. For chainrings, you may want to look at Jay Gaerlan's site. For cassettes, your options are limited to the Shimano Capreo (which has a 9T rear sprocket) but it's a system that also requires a Capreo freehub, so it would likely be an expensive and labor-intensive solution. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-02-10, 09:13 AM   #4
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Hey Bruce, I have a similar question in the opposite direction--that is, I'd like to keep the high gears on my Swift as is, but lower my lowest gear (as I have a nasty hill to climb on my commute). The stock cassette is 11-28T--what would you recommend? Can I change it for an 11-30T, 11-32T or even a megarange 11-34T? Would making this change just require the cassette and a new chain?
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Old 09-02-10, 09:37 AM   #5
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Hey Bruce, I have a similar question in the opposite direction--that is, I'd like to keep the high gears on my Swift as is, but lower my lowest gear (as I have a nasty hill to climb on my commute). The stock cassette is 11-28T--what would you recommend? Can I change it for an 11-30T, 11-32T or even a megarange 11-34T? Would making this change just require the cassette and a new chain?
When I was playing with the Swift, I ran Rolf paired spoke wheels, Pantour front hub, Stelvios, a 9spd 11-32 with paddle shifters, carbon seatpost and bar, and a 58t chain ring, .. I thought that setup was the cat's behind until the Pantour hub started acting up.. back and forth to Pantour, would work fine for a few hundred miles and then get sloppy.. the I transformed it to Big Apples, Nexus Red Band 8psd hub and rode it like that until someone had to have my bike.... you'll need to fit the cassette first to see if you need a longer chain, you might get away with the stock one, put probably not if it is sized correctly for what you have now.
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Old 09-02-10, 10:05 AM   #6
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Hey Bruce, I'm not too worried about springing for a new chain. The larger concern is if putting in a new 8-speed cassette (such as a megarange) would require other equipment changes besides the chain, such as a different rear derailleur. I suspect (hope) not, but I'm no mechanical expert.
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Old 09-02-10, 10:13 AM   #7
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Hey Bruce, I'm not too worried about springing for a new chain. The larger concern is if putting in a new 8-speed cassette (such as a megarange) would require other equipment changes besides the chain, such as a different rear derailleur. I suspect (hope) not, but I'm no mechanical expert.
Your stock derailleur will work fine..
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Old 09-02-10, 10:33 AM   #8
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Bigger front chainring will turn the rear wheel more often for each crank revolution. that is the nature of a higher gear ratio.

really big gear without a bigger chainring The Swiss Made internal planetary gear Overdrive. By Florian Schlumpf.
but if you are thinking a new chain is too much of an expense , Never-mind..
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Old 09-02-10, 10:57 AM   #9
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Hey Bruce, a follow-up question. I have a Dahon Speed P8 I'm no longer using and looking to sell. Could I just cadge the 11-32T cassette and Neos 2.0 derailleur off the Dahon, and replace them with the stock cassette and derailleur from my Swift? (I'll have my LBS do the work.)
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Old 09-02-10, 11:18 AM   #10
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Thanks all. So I'm leaning on getting the larger chainring. Thanks Urbanis to the link to the gear chart. So I plugged in some numbers and to get the highest gear on the Xootr comparable with my 18 speed cross bike I would need to go with the 60t chainring.

Bruce, so you have a 58t on your Xootr. Would I need to also get a longer chain If I put on a new chainring. Also, would the stock chainguard on the xootr fit the 60t chainring? Or does the chainguard and chainring inseparable and comes as a set? Any disadvantages with going with a chainring so large?
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Old 09-02-10, 03:06 PM   #11
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My Swift has a SRAM internal gear hub, an 8-speed cassette, and the stock chainwheel. Gearing range is about 20–120 gear inches. Low enough for nasty uphills, high enough for supersonic descents.
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Old 10-13-10, 06:11 PM   #12
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next up would be a Schlumpf SpeedDrive 2spd crank ( I like these and have one used one left to offer for sale - PM if interested)
Hi Bruce, do you still have the Schlumpf SpeedDrive for sale? I am new, I cannot PM you...
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Old 10-13-10, 07:05 PM   #13
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Hi Bruce, do you still have the Schlumpf SpeedDrive for sale? I am new, I cannot PM you...
Hi, Yes I have one, you can get me at brucemetras at yahoo dot com
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Old 10-13-10, 08:12 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by clearcastle04 View Post
Thanks all. So I'm leaning on getting the larger chainring. Thanks Urbanis to the link to the gear chart. So I plugged in some numbers and to get the highest gear on the Xootr comparable with my 18 speed cross bike I would need to go with the 60t chainring.
A 60t chainring is indeed possible. I found this post by Jur in the "swift folder" thread:

I run 60T with an 11-32T cassette. Before I had an 11-34T cassette, and that required a 116 link chain. I get away with 114 links now.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...0T#post7813140 (post #1753)
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Old 10-13-10, 10:10 PM   #15
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+! on #3 Shimano Capreo hub and cassette,? .. high gear is a 9 tooth..
but they wear faster the smaller they are..
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Old 10-14-10, 08:47 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by clearcastle04 View Post
Hi all,
I just got a Swift. I had been wishing for a folding bike for like a year alongside my other bikes and finally just decided to do it. I'm very happy with it so far.

The only thing... Is there anyway to upgrade either cassette or chainring (along w/ shifters and derailleurs) to achieve higher gears (higher enough to be worth teh expense). I would like to be able to go faster on flats and down-hills. Lower gears are not an issue as I rarely will ever use even the top three lowest gears on the 8-speed on the bike now, even on really steep hills.

Wouldn't a front derailleur only give you lower gears?

Thanks for any help.
The cheapest solution is a bigger chainring.

Add the front derailer to keep the lower gears if you put on a monster chainring; i.e. a 58/42 combination.

The best performing solution would be a double with Capreo hub/cassette in the rear.

Schlumpf, IMO, is the most elegant. But I recently saw a Schlumpf crank. It looked awfully wide.
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Old 10-14-10, 03:51 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Urbanis View Post
Hey Bruce, I have a similar question in the opposite direction--that is, I'd like to keep the high gears on my Swift as is, but lower my lowest gear (as I have a nasty hill to climb on my commute). The stock cassette is 11-28T--what would you recommend? Can I change it for an 11-30T, 11-32T or even a megarange 11-34T? Would making this change just require the cassette and a new chain?

You can simply swap the stock cassette for the 11-32T without any other changes being required. I have done this but am still going to replace the 52 tooth chainring for a 48 tooth to lower the gearing further. I have the oposite problem to the original poster in that I have never used the top two cogs in 4 years - we have hills around here and my 60 year old knees can't cope with them!
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Old 10-15-10, 06:09 AM   #18
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A Sturmey-Archer XRF8(W) hub and a 25T cog combined with the existing 52T chainwheel would transform the OP's existing gears [8 spds, 37-95 g.i.] to [8 spds, 42-136 g.i.] A SRAM S7 and a 14T cog with the 52T chainwheel would give [7 spds, 42-130 g.i.]
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Old 10-18-10, 10:12 AM   #19
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Here's an update: I finally receieved the 60t chainring in the mail. I installed it on the inner position of the crank spider same as where the stock one was positioned. It works great and gives me the higher gearing that I wanted.

I also had to buy a new chain as well to go with the bigger chainring. I got the chainring online at hostelshoppe.com. It cost me about $43.00 including shipping. The chain cost me $10.00.

One thing, if you get the chainring the stock chainguard will be rendered useless because it will be too small. You may have to keep it on though, because I don't think the chainring bolts will tighten enough without a chainguard on the inner position of the spider (unless you buy new bolts). I got a custom chainguard. You can see more on that on my other post about finding a chainguard for the 60t ring where i've also posted pictures.
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