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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 12-06-10, 11:45 PM   #2501
robsta
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After years of thinking about which folder to buy. Spending many enjoyable hours looking through various websites and blogs I bought a Swift (Aloha Bike Factory, Honolulu).
The price was okay, the fold was okay for me and now I`ve put a few Ks under the wheels I feel it was the right choice. No disrespect to Bike Friday, Brompton and the like but I am very satisfied with my choice.

I`d never ridden a bike with small wheels before. Apart from the bigger potholes around Diamond Head it is not an issue. My usual transport has been a mountain bike with off road tyres so the stock Kendas feel very efficient.

If I had to identify what persuaded me over the other makes I would say,
various levels of fold (from simple quick fold to suitcase packing)
use of standard parts
much cheaper than Bike Friday ( although I was so close to buying a NWT)
feels very stable even when out of the saddle
decent amount of useful accessories.

Rob
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Old 12-06-10, 11:52 PM   #2502
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Welcome! But watch out, the BikeFriday mafia will come after you...
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Old 12-07-10, 03:52 PM   #2503
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I'm another new member of the Swift club. I purchased a used one recently, the frame was somewhat battered, but fully functional, and it came with a lot of new parts. 451 size Velocity wheels, Schwalbe Durano tires, a Thudbuster seatpost, front and rear derailleurs, drop handlebars, bar end shifters. I think it's a pretty nice set up, now that I've rebuilt everything, though the gearing seems kind of low. Reading this forum has been very informative.
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Old 12-07-10, 11:42 PM   #2504
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Please post pics of your build. This thread has waaay too much tech advice and not enough Swift porn
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Old 12-10-10, 08:43 PM   #2505
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hey, i live around hartford part of the year and new hampshire the rest. feel free to drop me a line sometime if you want to compare swifts around hartford sometime
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Old 12-11-10, 06:44 AM   #2506
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I'll post some pics when I get the handlebar tape and new seat I ordered installed.

nish2575: I'm about an hour NW of Hartford. Thanks for the offer, maybe in the Spring, if it ever gets warm around here again.
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Old 12-11-10, 04:36 PM   #2507
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what a lot of information! I have a quick question. Will the BikeFriday trailer setup work with the Swift?
thanks-

train safe-
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Old 12-12-10, 12:34 PM   #2508
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I'll post some pics when I get the handlebar tape and new seat I ordered installed.

nish2575: I'm about an hour NW of Hartford. Thanks for the offer, maybe in the Spring, if it ever gets warm around here again.
i love kent and washington. as soon as mid-summer hits, i always drive out there. a friend i contract work for sometimes lives in new hartford. this summer, i biked the last 8 miles to his house 2-3 times a week for work, brutally hilly out there, i felt like i was vertical at one point.

we used to do lunch rides from his house to winsted on our folders - my swift, his dahon vitesse (which i bought him). his daughter refuses to ride it because its awkward looking (:

near end of december, i'm heading into nyc to have b-fold do a full tune-up and some special request for on my swift. i bought it through him, because nobody in connecticut seems to have a clue about folders. there are a few dahon dealers though

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Old 12-12-10, 12:45 PM   #2509
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what a lot of information! I have a quick question. Will the BikeFriday trailer setup work with the Swift?
thanks-

train safe-
not sure what you are asking. but i take an amtrak train 2 times per week now for a short hop. they don't even look twice when i bring my folded swifted on board. but it doesn't fit in any official luggage areas except the clothing hanging closet near some doors. i usually place in the big space in front of the handicapped seats, which they advise me to do. the dahon's do fit inside the oversize luggage racks at end of train compartments. my old brompton used to fit in the overhead luggage!

recently, the late night train guys have said i don't even need to fold before i get on, if i don't want to.

but, some annoyances, if you are getting off on a small stop, sometimes they only open one door, and its not the same door you came in on. that means you will have to walk down a narrow passage between passengers for 1 or 2 trains with the heavy, awkward bike with one arm in front of you. from that experience, i've learned, just a minimal piece of velcro strap aroudn joining the two tire rims will stop the front wheel from flapping freely. and take off your crossrack to make the shape a little more manageable.
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Old 12-13-10, 09:20 AM   #2510
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I'm a couple of miles from the NY and MA borders. The roads and scenery are spectacular, but the terrain is very hilly. It gets easier if I ride 2-3 times a week--low gears help a lot. Did you get the Super C/SQR bag yet? I'm curious as to how well that set up works on the Swift, with folding, etc.
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Old 12-13-10, 12:08 PM   #2511
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got the bag, waiting for sqr, due to arrive today! just tried the bag today without sqr, its amazing. post photos after i get a few more changes done
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Old 12-13-10, 09:44 PM   #2512
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What made you go with the SQR over the Bagman support?
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Old 12-14-10, 04:56 PM   #2513
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i think it detaches quicker. mostly because i use a funky seat (spongy wonder), and it doesn't have bag loops and can't be made compatible with them. paul on here also has some carradice stuff. a lot of the brompton people swear by sqr mounted bags for quick release with fold
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Old 12-14-10, 07:59 PM   #2514
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I wouldn't post this run-of-the-mill Swift picture except to note that it is now sporting nish2575's Crossrack
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Old 12-15-10, 10:32 AM   #2515
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nish2575 View Post
i think it detaches quicker. mostly because i use a funky seat (spongy wonder), and it doesn't have bag loops and can't be made compatible with them. paul on here also has some carradice stuff. a lot of the brompton people swear by sqr mounted bags for quick release with fold
How do you get on with the Spongy Wonder seat? I tried one but could not get along with it as I kept slipping off it!
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Old 12-15-10, 02:46 PM   #2516
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How do you get on with the Spongy Wonder seat? I tried one but could not get along with it as I kept slipping off it!
(: . never been a problem for me, the only long term drawback might be a little more pressure on wrists without a nose to put weight on
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Old 12-17-10, 01:21 PM   #2517
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Haven't seen this mentioned before but I can not release the front brake to allow me to remove the front wheel.

The approved method it to use one hand to hold the brakes against the rim (not using the brake lever) and slip the noodle/ curly bit from the brake housing allowing the pads to be opened wide enough to allow the wheel out.

When I squeeze the pads the noodle can't be removed. I released air from the tyre and was able to remove the wheel. Once the wheel is out I can remove the noodle (but then again there is little point as I can not replace the noodle with the wheel in the correct position).

Any quick fixes?
Thanks
Rob
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Old 12-17-10, 03:21 PM   #2518
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^ Sounds like the cable needs to be slightly relaxed to enable the noodle to be unhooked. Loosed the cable pinch bolt on the brake arm and slide the cable a few mm out and firmly re-tighten pinch bolt.
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Old 12-17-10, 04:17 PM   #2519
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anybody taken a Swift on Amtrak? was planning to bring mine along, but the ticket agent said it had to be the size of a Brompton when folded...
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Old 12-18-10, 09:26 AM   #2520
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Thanks Jur
Sorted.
Rob
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Old 12-22-10, 11:05 PM   #2521
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photos soon. sqr installed. marathon racers. upgraded quick releases. excited

oh and sometime end of january, i'll probably sell my klickfix rear mount (which i happen to use in front) in order to buy a different mount. (see here and glance at klickfix.de website for more details of compatible bags)
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Old 01-09-11, 03:25 PM   #2522
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My contribution.



Royce hub in the rear (fixed) and old dura ace in front. Despite having read the reviews I am surprised and really impressed by the ride.
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Old 01-09-11, 09:18 PM   #2523
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Despite reading reviews you were surprised? You mean that it looks good on paper but is even better when trying out for yourself?

I am always so impressed with mine, have had it for years now but it never fails to impress me. Just a week ago I had a go on a friend's Cervelo S2, and would you know, I can't honestly say it rides any better than my Swift!! (It isn't worse either.) I could not really detect any improvement. Perhaps the difference comes out when you press the machine to its limits. It is lighter by a few kgs though.
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Old 01-10-11, 12:49 AM   #2524
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Well, yes, having used a Dahon (speed-pro) for the last 3 years I simply couldn't believe that a folder could be that stiff and have such a nice ride but I cannot feel any difference compared to my full-sized bikes (set-up similarly).
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Old 01-24-11, 11:24 AM   #2525
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It seems like a lifetime since I was able to ride my Swift! Here we are on 24th January and it was early November of last year when I was able to spin the pedals. Over the past three months I have been working 6 days a week, battling deep snow and ice and fighting off the flu, so my Swift has been neglected. Actually that is not quite true as I did manage to fit a new chainset. I was lucky to find an on-line dealer with a half price FSA chainset among its deals. FSA are a British firm (Full Speed Ahead) but the chainset came in a bag with "Taiwan" printed all over it! Close inspection revealed a quality product made up of a 46 tooth chainwheel and 170mm cranks. It was designed to fit a square taper bottom bracket and slips onto the standard Shimano BB without problem. Chainline looks fine although my short 10 mile ride today was fairly flat so I could not try the top and bottom cogs. One thing is clear; after being sidelined for three months I am totally out of condition. It will take several more rides before I am in any position to tackle gradients and try out the gear changing for real. I just hope the weather and my health continues to improve.
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