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Thread: swift folders

  1. #2676
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    Thanks. (I did see that...)

  2. #2677
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    Hi,

    I am new to the forum. I am looking at folding bikes for my commute of 2.5-3miles in NYC. The Xootr Swift looks like a nice option and is in my price range. I have a couple of question that I can't seem to find an answer easily.

    1) How easily is it to carry the Swift up a flight of stairs? Do I need to take off the handlebar and wheels? Does it stay locked? Does anyone have pictures or video of someone carrying the Swift around? The swift fold is not a problem for me at home, however, I have no where to lock the bike at work. So, I am thining of bringing it into our office. I have to walk up a flight of stairs before I can get to the elevator. I will also have a small bag to carry.

    2) I would like to get an internal gear hub, what's the best way to go about this? Should I just buy the frame and customize it? Or is it cheaper to buy the complete bike and upgrade the rear wheel?

    3) When you remove the front wheel, is there a place to attach it to the rest of the folded bike or do I need to get some straps?

    Thanks.

  3. #2678
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    Nexride

    Picked up Karl Ulrich's new Nexride saddle today. Very interesting feel on the initial ride. will test it out more this weekend.

    xootr swift nexride.jpg
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

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    Quote Originally Posted by charleychen View Post
    Hi,

    I am new to the forum. I am looking at folding bikes for my commute of 2.5-3miles in NYC. The Xootr Swift looks like a nice option and is in my price range. I have a couple of question that I can't seem to find an answer easily.

    1) How easily is it to carry the Swift up a flight of stairs? Do I need to take off the handlebar and wheels? Does it stay locked? Does anyone have pictures or video of someone carrying the Swift around? The swift fold is not a problem for me at home, however, I have no where to lock the bike at work. So, I am thining of bringing it into our office. I have to walk up a flight of stairs before I can get to the elevator. I will also have a small bag to carry.

    2) I would like to get an internal gear hub, what's the best way to go about this? Should I just buy the frame and customize it? Or is it cheaper to buy the complete bike and upgrade the rear wheel?

    3) When you remove the front wheel, is there a place to attach it to the rest of the folded bike or do I need to get some straps?

    Thanks.
    You can have it built here with a IGH and the frame steel. http://hpm.catoregon.org/?page_id=214
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  5. #2680
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    Quote Originally Posted by charleychen View Post
    Hi,

    I am new to the forum. I am looking at folding bikes for my commute of 2.5-3miles in NYC. The Xootr Swift looks like a nice option and is in my price range. I have a couple of question that I can't seem to find an answer easily.

    1) How easily is it to carry the Swift up a flight of stairs? Do I need to take off the handlebar and wheels? Does it stay locked? Does anyone have pictures or video of someone carrying the Swift around? The swift fold is not a problem for me at home, however, I have no where to lock the bike at work. So, I am thining of bringing it into our office. I have to walk up a flight of stairs before I can get to the elevator. I will also have a small bag to carry.

    2) I would like to get an internal gear hub, what's the best way to go about this? Should I just buy the frame and customize it? Or is it cheaper to buy the complete bike and upgrade the rear wheel?

    3) When you remove the front wheel, is there a place to attach it to the rest of the folded bike or do I need to get some straps?

    Thanks.
    1. It depends how tall you are. I'm about 6' tall, and have no real problems taking up several flights. It did take a couple of attempts to figure out the best place to grab the bike though.

    2. If you're happy with the rest of the components of the bike, it's probably simpler to get the complete bike, and then just swap the rear wheels. If you are going to change a bunch of other stuff too, get the framset and build it up yourself.

    3. You'd need to get some straps. That said, the only time I've removed the front wheel was to fix a flat. Do you see yourself having to remove the wheel often?

  6. #2681
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynocoaster View Post
    You can have it built here with a IGH and the frame steel. http://hpm.catoregon.org/?page_id=214
    can also have it bulit with discs... if you're into that...
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    Quote Originally Posted by KitN View Post
    You don't need to dress up like a spandex super hero to ride your bike.

  7. #2682
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdmitch View Post
    can also have it bulit with discs... if you're into that...
    I asked Peter Reich, designer of the Swift, about disc brakes and he said
    1) there won't be a huge advantage in stopping power over the v-brakes with such small wheels
    2) discs might compromise the foldability of the bike

    so I didn't. I've been very, very happy with the v-brakes.
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  8. #2683
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    Here's some pics of my Xootr in it's current guise with 520 wheels. I say 'current' as I'm about to switch back to 406 wheels for a while. The wheels are a Velocity Uriel wheelset from Airnimal.

    P1020555a.jpg

    Years back Peter sent me a photo of a track-legal fixie swift with similar sized wheels that a couple of guys were racing on at velodromes, and since then I've always thought the swift looked better with bigger wheels.

    The second pic shows the front-end, which is quite neat with Airnimal carbon forks, a standard road caliper. The forks give a nice ride - a definite improvement over the standard forks, plus of course they are lighter. With a bracket (simple to make) the forks will take 406 or 451 wheels, as can be seen in the recent photo posted of me riding in the Smithfield folding bike race.

    P1020558a.jpg

    The next photo shows the new bottom bracket shell I had welded under and behind the original. The larger wheels raise the bottom bracket so it's quite hard for me to touch the floor at traffic lights. But that's not the main reason I did this -it's because the swift's top tube is about 2 inches too short for me to get the stretch I need with a normal length stem. Also the seatpost angle on a swift is a 72 deg - to get my ideal position I need a 73 with zero layback post and to get that position with the standard BB I had to firstly switch to a i-beam post/saddle which allow more forward position, and set it at the most forward possible position. While my correct position was possible, I ended up breaking the rail on the i-beam saddle due to the leverage.

    P1020561a.jpg

    The picture above also shows how the rear wheel is very close to the frame (and the rear axle has to go quite far back in the track ends to get the wheel in, but the brake point is fine and a standard road caliper works). Also with cranks spinning so much further back they can hit the chainstays under power and you can see in the photo how I've had to file a wedge off the end of the crank by the driveside pedal to fix this. The wires to the BB are because it's an Ergomo power meter.

    Finally, the bars and where I've chosen to put the drinks bottle. I have dried a behind-the-saddle position but the bottles kept jumping out over bumps. Dura-ace STI levers have been excellent (but note when using my lower BB shell I can't run a front mech as chainring is in the wrong place).

    P1020559a.jpg

    With the larger wheels you don't need such long stem riser to get the same position, but as you can see I still need lots of aheadset spacers here under the non-QR stem riser.

    In the next week or so I'm converting back to 406 wheels and plan to run a front mech for the first time.

    Oops - just forgot that I should have photographed the bike folded. As you can imagine it's not a compact package, but it makes no difference to my own commute, which is on trains with plenty of room. I'll post a photo later in the week.

    The inspiration to run 520 wheels came when I broke my swift forks, and had to borrow a folding bike off a friend. That bike was an Airnimal and I liked the ride a lot and for me it was faster and smoother than the swift. I didn't like the faff of folding the airnimal twice a day for my commute and wanted to get my swift back on the road. I was happy to find out that the 520 rear wheel would fit the swift without any mods and that the crown to axle length on the airnimal forks was exactly the same as on the swift. I needed new forks anyway.

  9. #2684
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    Picked up Karl Ulrich's new Nexride saddle today. Very interesting feel on the initial ride. will test it out more this weekend.

    xootr swift nexride.jpg
    spiderflex, spongy wonder are the leaders in that category of saddles. i've used spongy wonder for 2 years. i like it.

  10. #2685
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    Quote Originally Posted by charleychen View Post
    Hi,

    I am new to the forum. I am looking at folding bikes for my commute of 2.5-3miles in NYC. The Xootr Swift looks like a nice option and is in my price range. I have a couple of question that I can't seem to find an answer easily.

    1) How easily is it to carry the Swift up a flight of stairs? Do I need to take off the handlebar and wheels? Does it stay locked? Does anyone have pictures or video of someone carrying the Swift around? The swift fold is not a problem for me at home, however, I have no where to lock the bike at work. So, I am thining of bringing it into our office. I have to walk up a flight of stairs before I can get to the elevator. I will also have a small bag to carry.

    2) I would like to get an internal gear hub, what's the best way to go about this? Should I just buy the frame and customize it? Or is it cheaper to buy the complete bike and upgrade the rear wheel?

    3) When you remove the front wheel, is there a place to attach it to the rest of the folded bike or do I need to get some straps?

    Thanks.
    1. - pretty easy. done it daily in my apartment for a year now. i usually don't fold it. i have changed some accessories of the bike to make it easier to lift. switching from marathon plus to marathon racer tires, plus using a carradice sqr mount instead of the crossrack mount. the igh can make it a little heavier but well worth it

    2. - peter reich's (swiftfolder.com) sells a pretty cheap one with an igh. if you pay more you can get it through bfold in nyc (if you live locally) and the guys there are awesome at service, follow up. i meant to get a 3 speed instead of the 8 speed, got talked out of it. if you get 3 speed, might fit your shorter distance needs along with saving you more weight when lifting up stairs

    3. - no, need straps. i wouldn't wan to have to remove the front wheel on a regular basis, if the folded dimensions are too big for you (w/handlebar removed), then maybe this isn't the right folding bike for you. consider dahon vitesse igh model, or one of bike friday's pocket or new world tourist models. swift is good for quick fold, longer / skinny shape. other bikes have more compact, rectangular box shape when folded, take a little longer to fold, often their pieces are all together in one package, swift is kind of a few loose pieces that can be strapped together.

    go back through some of the pages on this thread, plenty of photos of carrying, folded, etc..

  11. #2686
    All ur bike r belong Enki james_swift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickybails View Post
    Here's some pics of my Xootr in it's current guise with 520 wheels. I say 'current' as I'm about to switch back to 406 wheels for a while. The wheels are a Velocity Uriel wheelset from Airnimal.

    P1020555a.jpg

    Years back Peter sent me a photo of a track-legal fixie swift with similar sized wheels that a couple of guys were racing on at velodromes, and since then I've always thought the swift looked better with bigger wheels.

    The second pic shows the front-end, which is quite neat with Airnimal carbon forks, a standard road caliper. The forks give a nice ride - a definite improvement over the standard forks, plus of course they are lighter. With a bracket (simple to make) the forks will take 406 or 451 wheels, as can be seen in the recent photo posted of me riding in the Smithfield folding bike race.

    P1020558a.jpg

    The next photo shows the new bottom bracket shell I had welded under and behind the original. The larger wheels raise the bottom bracket so it's quite hard for me to touch the floor at traffic lights. But that's not the main reason I did this -it's because the swift's top tube is about 2 inches too short for me to get the stretch I need with a normal length stem. Also the seatpost angle on a swift is a 72 deg - to get my ideal position I need a 73 with zero layback post and to get that position with the standard BB I had to firstly switch to a i-beam post/saddle which allow more forward position, and set it at the most forward possible position. While my correct position was possible, I ended up breaking the rail on the i-beam saddle due to the leverage.

    P1020561a.jpg

    The picture above also shows how the rear wheel is very close to the frame (and the rear axle has to go quite far back in the track ends to get the wheel in, but the brake point is fine and a standard road caliper works). Also with cranks spinning so much further back they can hit the chainstays under power and you can see in the photo how I've had to file a wedge off the end of the crank by the driveside pedal to fix this. The wires to the BB are because it's an Ergomo power meter.

    Finally, the bars and where I've chosen to put the drinks bottle. I have dried a behind-the-saddle position but the bottles kept jumping out over bumps. Dura-ace STI levers have been excellent (but note when using my lower BB shell I can't run a front mech as chainring is in the wrong place).

    P1020559a.jpg

    With the larger wheels you don't need such long stem riser to get the same position, but as you can see I still need lots of aheadset spacers here under the non-QR stem riser.

    In the next week or so I'm converting back to 406 wheels and plan to run a front mech for the first time.

    Oops - just forgot that I should have photographed the bike folded. As you can imagine it's not a compact package, but it makes no difference to my own commute, which is on trains with plenty of room. I'll post a photo later in the week.

    The inspiration to run 520 wheels came when I broke my swift forks, and had to borrow a folding bike off a friend. That bike was an Airnimal and I liked the ride a lot and for me it was faster and smoother than the swift. I didn't like the faff of folding the airnimal twice a day for my commute and wanted to get my swift back on the road. I was happy to find out that the 520 rear wheel would fit the swift without any mods and that the crown to axle length on the airnimal forks was exactly the same as on the swift. I needed new forks anyway.
    I vote winner of the Most Extreme Swift Mod award.

  12. #2687
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    Quote Originally Posted by james_swift View Post
    I vote winner of the Most Extreme Swift Mod award.
    +1 !

  13. #2688
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    Quote Originally Posted by charleychen View Post
    1) How easily is it to carry the Swift up a flight of stairs?
    3) When you remove the front wheel, is there a place to attach it to the rest of the folded bike or do I need to get some straps?
    1) Really easy IMO. Before you fold, get the non-drive crank roughly in line with the chainstay, flip the front wheel 180 to the left before you fold. After you've folded the rear under, rotate that crank backwards so it's pointing straight down and it will hold the front wheel in place. Then you can carry the bike with one hand by holding the top tube - it's a slim enough fold so you can hold it so it won't touch your clothes, without too much effort.

    3) I've never found a need to remove the front wheel - try without removing before worrying about straps. You need both wheels on when folded so it stands up

  14. #2689
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    Quote Originally Posted by james_swift View Post
    I vote winner of the Most Extreme Swift Mod award.
    That was me restraining myself - I had previously found someone who could build custom carbon frames and was considering having the whole frame re-made in carbon - but with a longer top tube. That would have just been silly - glad I didn't go there.

  15. #2690
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    At one point, I was considering having a Ti rear triangle and fork fabricated (a-la Brompton). I'm about to offer up my Swift for sale, but if I ever get another (and I'm sure I will) it will be a steel frame, & I might just consider investigating a Ti option further.

    But that is at least a couple of years down the road...

  16. #2691
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    Quote Originally Posted by nish2575 View Post
    spiderflex, spongy wonder are the leaders in that category of saddles. i've used spongy wonder for 2 years. i like it.
    Nish,

    A couple questions to get a feel for these saddles.

    What would be the longer distances that you ride with them? Is your setup aggressive? i.e. where are your handlebars height wise compared to your saddle? Do you find any wrist pain using the Spongy Wonder? Do you still use it?

  17. #2692
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    Picked up Karl Ulrich's new Nexride saddle today. Very interesting feel on the initial ride. will test it out more this weekend.

    xootr swift nexride.jpg
    How was the saddle Mtalinm? How do your wrists feel after a weekend with it?

  18. #2693
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    83 miles this past friday! no wrist pain, but yes, i believe there is a trade off between perineum pressure and wrist pressure.

    daily about 7 miles. used to do 20 miles on weekends, rarely 40, 50 mile trips

    i've had varying handlebar heights, from mild aggressive before, to more upright the last 6 months. handlebars (when was more aggressive about same height, now a little higher than saddle - though each time i unfold, i slightly vary the seat height for fun). you can see some latest pictures on ecovelo if you search for my name kanishka

  19. #2694
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    Thanks Kanishka.

  20. #2695
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    I have a technical question. What have others done about the problem of the chain rubbing on the seatstays when in the smallest sprocket, and you're running a front deraileur and 2 chainrings?

    I converted my swift from 520 back to 406 wheels (so I can race in the London Nocturne folding bike race this Saturday), and for the first time am running a front mech and 2 chainrings. Previously I've only ever run a single chainring and put it in the inner ring position where I can get the chain to clear the seatstays with other mods. But with an outer chainring, the chain rubs on the seatstays in top gear.

    One way of giving the chain more space is to have a 130mm (road) rear hub instead of 135 (mtb, capreo), and put a ~2mm washer between the hub and the dropouts to push the seatstays out. But I'm doing that already and it's not enough.

    By adjusting the left-right position of my BB, I have pushed the chainrings as far left/in as they can go without them rubbing on the chainstay, but still the big ring is too far right/out to stop the chain rubbing the seatstays. Ideally I would use my 57T chainring to get the top gear I need with the 11T small sprocket. I have been able to acheive the same top gear by running a 61T chainring with the 12T. The 61/49 chainrings have been no problem with shifting so far.

    The only other think I can thing of is having a 130mm rear hub with 5mm spacers all on the drive side and increasing the dishing on the spokes to move the rim 2.5mm to the right so with the spacers it's back in the middle. Seems a bit extreme though.

  21. #2696
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    I run a double ring, 60T+42T, and 11-28 in the back, no rubbing. I do have a 1.6mm spacer each side as the hub is 130mm while the dropout is 135mm. The balance I just force.There must be subtle frame differences. I vaguely remember other mentioning rubbing, not sure.
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  22. #2697
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    I had a rubbing issue with a 52t in front and a 12 in the back. I managed with a more narrow bottom bracket and and 11 in the rear. This was with a 130mm hub and no spacers. The chainline went a bit funny though. In the end, I decided to change things completely and go with IGH.

    Probably not he best solution for you.

  23. #2698
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    I have another question relating to the front mech bracket (I presume there is only one type available):

    Has anyone found that with the front mech bracket, that when the front mech is moved inwards to it's maximum extent (i.e. the 'low' screw adjuster all the way out) that the cage does not move in enough to stop the chain rubbing on the cage when in bottom gear. I am running 9sp and I've checked it's a 9sp mech (tiagra), so the cage should be wide enough. I could move the BB more to the driveside but as it's already as far over as it can go, going further would require using a facing tool to grind away from the non-drive-side of the BB shell (and I'm not sure what the implications would be for a narrower shell). Also, moving the BB and hence the chainrings further to the right would only make my top-gear chain-rubbing-on-seatstay problem harder to solve.

    Oh, the problems we face in the pursuit of folding bike perfection.

    Apart from these little niggles, this current configuration of Xootr is the best yet (and I've gone through a few). I'm sure that the combination of kinetix 406 wheels (less than 1kg the pair - amazing acceleration) and Kojaks is slighly faster than the 520 Uriels/Durano. It's certainly a lot more comfy, grippy, lighter and smaller-folding.

  24. #2699
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakub.ner View Post
    How was the saddle Mtalinm? How do your wrists feel after a weekend with it?
    my wrists hurt a lot, though I am probably prearthritic and more sensitive than the average bear. also, the corners dug into my (chubby) thighs. I think a thinner person would enjoy it more.

    I tried swapping in a 100m stem so I could raise the seat a bit more (lowering it helps with the wrist pressure, but at some point you can't pedal well), but it didn't do the trick.
    I should add that Karl Ulrich, the designer, was remarkably in providing customer support (answered my emails himself)
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  25. #2700
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    I am suffering through this right now. my setup is 2 chainrings and a capreo setup in back (9 speed with small 9-tooth cog). but the problems are not limited to chain rubbing - I can't get it to downshift onto the smallest cog b/c one of the jockey wheels catches on the dropout. well, there is a slight hack where I go to the smaller front chainring or hit a bump, but then I get the chain rubbing you describe.

    It has become so annoying that I have considered going back to a stock config...but I would really, really miss the drop bars.

    Quote Originally Posted by rickybails View Post
    I have a technical question. What have others done about the problem of the chain rubbing on the seatstays when in the smallest sprocket, and you're running a front deraileur and 2 chainrings?

    I converted my swift from 520 back to 406 wheels (so I can race in the London Nocturne folding bike race this Saturday), and for the first time am running a front mech and 2 chainrings. Previously I've only ever run a single chainring and put it in the inner ring position where I can get the chain to clear the seatstays with other mods. But with an outer chainring, the chain rubs on the seatstays in top gear.

    One way of giving the chain more space is to have a 130mm (road) rear hub instead of 135 (mtb, capreo), and put a ~2mm washer between the hub and the dropouts to push the seatstays out. But I'm doing that already and it's not enough.

    By adjusting the left-right position of my BB, I have pushed the chainrings as far left/in as they can go without them rubbing on the chainstay, but still the big ring is too far right/out to stop the chain rubbing the seatstays. Ideally I would use my 57T chainring to get the top gear I need with the 11T small sprocket. I have been able to acheive the same top gear by running a 61T chainring with the 12T. The 61/49 chainrings have been no problem with shifting so far.

    The only other think I can thing of is having a 130mm rear hub with 5mm spacers all on the drive side and increasing the dishing on the spokes to move the rim 2.5mm to the right so with the spacers it's back in the middle. Seems a bit extreme though.
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

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