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Old 08-27-11, 07:44 PM   #2826
pismocycleguy
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Comparison of stability of steering column, goose neck, quill, etc

Monsterpile,
How does the strength of the steerer of the velo nano compare to the strength/stability of the Swift's steerer? If you stand to pedal, or pull on the handlebars when climbing hills of really pedaling hard, does one of the two bike's steerers, i.e.goose neck, seem more stable, and/or less flexy? It seems to me that the velo nano's steerer would be a lot more stable since it doesn't fold. I would like your take on this.
Thanks,
PCG
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Old 08-28-11, 04:37 PM   #2827
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I can't test both bikes to see since the Swift is on its way to its new owner. I never set up the Swift with a road bar for test rides to make things equal, but the Swift steerer doesn't actually fold anyway it clamps onto the steerer of the fork. The Swift seems like it would be pretty solid although its a longer tube, but its pretty wide in diameter.
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Old 08-31-11, 06:20 PM   #2828
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I was just about to give up on my Swift; my multimodal commute turned into a 6 mile r/t, and I found the lack of a downtube to be quite the thief of power transfer/efficiency. I ended up getting a Bianchi San Jose strictly for commuting purposes, which rendered the Swift useless to me. But something in the back of my head always told me to keep it around, just in case. Well, lately I've been having some health issues that compelled me to take another look at my neglected Swift sitting in the corner. I figure I could benefit from the more upright riding position and the 8 gears. Right now I am thinking about getting the CrossRack for my Swift to make it more practical for commuting. I already have a simple Banjo Brothers roll-top pannier that I use with my Bianchi. Does anyone want to talk me out of it? Does anyone have a used set they want to sell to me?
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Old 09-02-11, 01:23 AM   #2829
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Got my Swift tonight! Many thanks to monsterpile for a primo packing job -- it arrived in near perfect condition. Only had time to take it out for a 4-5 mile spin tonight, but I managed to get a good feel for how it rides and handles. Light, fast, responsive and a reasonably smooth ride for aluminum, even with 80psi in the Kwests. Seemed more than stiff and efficient enough in a few out-of-the-saddle sprints and climbs. Also handled curb hops, packed gravel and rough pavement with aplomb. Can't wait to ride it to work tomorrow. Also can't wait to roll it on the train even if all the bike hooks are full.

My only real complaint is that the rear brake is a joke -- so weak it doesn't even come close to locking up the rear tire. At least the front one has decent power to it. This weekend I'll take a closer look at the cabling and adjustment, and consider replacing it with a better brake and pads if I can't improve it.

And if all goes as planned, next weekend I should have time to take it on a 1-2 night tour, probably in the Columbia Gorge.

Last edited by GlowBoy; 09-02-11 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 09-04-11, 03:01 PM   #2830
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Topeak have come up with a nice bag that suits the Swift perfectly. It has several variations and can be found on Topeak's wesite. Called the Mondopack it sits snugly behind the saddle and is useful for day rides. I have the XL version which expands but it is still not that big.



You load it via the left side and it can take a waterproof, innertubes and perhaps some food with your tools held in the right hand pocket.



There is a version which carries a water bottle and the bag has a tab for holding a rear light.



I think it looks good and is fine for day trips where you don't need to carry much stuff.
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Old 09-04-11, 03:14 PM   #2831
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Topeak have come up with a nice bag that suits the Swift perfectly. It has several variations and can be found on Topeak's wesite topeak.com. Called the Mondopack it sits snugly behind the saddle and is useful for day rides. I have the XL version which expands but it is still not that big.



You load it via the left side and it can take a waterproof, innertubes and perhaps some food with your tools held in the right hand pocket.



There is a version which carries a water bottle and the bag has a tab for holding a rear light.



I think it looks good and is fine for day trips where you don't need to carry much stuff.

Not sure how that happened but you now have Topeak's web address!

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Old 09-08-11, 01:34 PM   #2832
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Converted the Swift to drop bars last night. Midge bar, 287-V levers, Jagwire Racer cables, barcon shifter and Deore derailer (no SRAM options for drop bars AFAIK), shorter stem. Still shifts great, brakes better (see below) and way more comfortable for me.

Now I should be ready for this weekend's planned tour: hoping to do 100-140 miles total, camping both Friday and Saturday nights. Lightly loaded, with sleeping gear but not cooking gear since there lots of towns where I can grab food along the way. Might have to spring for an 11-34 cassette before I go. Trying to decide which to do:
  • Columbia Gorge. Normally this would be a slam dunk, but we're in the middle of the year's biggest (OK, only) heat wave, with temps forecasted to be in the mid to upper 90s. Plan would be to take Amtrak to Bingen or Wishram and work my way back to Portland on the bike. Winds should be light and probably favorable (often not the case in America's Wind Tunnel), but that's not necessarily comforting at 96 degrees.
  • Olympia to Portland. My wife (who's driving to the Seattle area for the weekend) could drop me in Olympia Friday afternoon and I could work my way back home along (more or less) the route of the massive Seattle-To-Portland ride. Temps would be more like upper 80s, maybe low 90s for the final stretch. That's very manageable for me, and I'd be guaranteed a light to moderate tailwind most of the way.
  • Portland to Eugene, taking the train back on Sunday. Also supposed to be mid 90s like the Gorge, pretty much guaranteed tailwind. Lots of good riding in the Willamette Valley, but it's no Gorge and I'd just as soon do the Olympia-Portland route with a bit less heat.
Whichever I decide, I'll report back and post some touring-Swift pr0n next week.

Also as part of last night's upgrade, swapped out the rear brake for an Avid SD7 w/blue Ritchey pads. Now the rear brake works great! Not sure what was wrong with the original Tektro -- same brake as the front, and works fine there. I tested the Avid with the Swift's original cable/bar setup and it worked great before the cable swap too, so the problem was definitely in the brake and not the cabling or lever. Strange.

.. and as for the stiffness issue mentioned earlier on this page, I find my Swift to be very stiff and responsive, comparable to my other non-folding bikes. I'm a stand-and-mash kind of guy when it comes to hills, and to me the Swift doesn't feel flexy at all under that kind of use. This weekend we'll see how it behaves with a load.

The other day I also added a rear rack to my Swift -- Burley Moose Rack, required to pull their Piccolo tagalong. Increases the folded size by a few inches, but being able to drop my child off / pick up at school is a requirement. I can still get on a train where all the bike slots are full, which was my main goal here. I can't squeeze it into some of the smaller spots where I could stuff a Brompton, but I can now go anywhere with room for me to stand with the bike. I still won't be able to get on trains packed with passengers, but I can still get on less-crowded trains with all the bike hooks taken (the more usual problem). And it still fits in a car trunk -- which I have ALREADY taken advantage of several times.

Last edited by GlowBoy; 09-08-11 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 09-09-11, 07:32 AM   #2833
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Sounds a great machine, GlowBoy but we need pics!
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Old 09-09-11, 12:16 PM   #2834
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You'll get them next week, after this weekend's trip. I'm doing Olympia-to-Portland, leaving tonight.

Other last-minute changes: wider (BMX) tires for a smoother ride and better gravel capability -- not that I'll need them this weekend, but I hope to do some future touring in less developed areas. Also an 11-34 cassette, though I suspect I may ultimately need to add a smaller chainring as well.
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Old 09-12-11, 01:41 PM   #2835
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Pics coming ... meanwhile, the Swift held up better than I did! I made it from Olympia to Kelso (100 miles of riding), but saddle sores got the better of me. I thought I was on top of everything that could do me in, except I forgot to apply chamois butt'r before I felt chafing. By the time I realized what was happening (about 75 miles into Saturday's ride) it was too late.

But it was still fun. Rather than the Friday afternoon start I had planned, I started Saturday (which added 20 miles to my ride for that day, and may have helped do me in). Had a GREAT ride almost the whole way, with temps no higher than 90F, and managed to figure out a route that is IMO much better than the STP Classic route, at least from Centralia to Castle Rock, with wider shoulders and MUCH less traffic. On many occasions I went 5 minutes between cars passing me, and I often had 5' wide shoulders. I'll be happy to provide details to anyone who's interested.

On Sunday I put in another 20-ish miles to get to Kelso. I went straight to the Amtrak station, figuring my butt had no more than 20 miles left in it -- and I was 60 miles from home. Too bad, because the rest of me was raring to go: not sunburned or dehydrated, plenty of energy, muscles weren't too sore, neck and back weren't stiff, no pain in the hands or feet. Oh well ... $20 later and I was racing home at 75mph on a Cascades train (cushier than Amtrak's long-distance routes) with a drink in my hand.

The Swift was great though:
  • Seemed as fast as my 700c bike with cyclocross semislicks. Overall my pace ended up slower than I'd have liked, but I think that was mostly due to the air drag of the pannier and sleeping bag, not the bike. Hills that would normally gotten me up near 40mph had me topping out in the lower 30s, so I'm sure my load cost me a mph or two on the flats.
  • Smooth ride (at least with 1.95 tires at 100psi). Again, no harsher than my steel 'crosser. Even chip seal wasn't too palpable.
  • Stiff. Even with a rack-attached load, in hard hammer climbs out of the saddle the Swift seemed plenty efficient. I won't dispute the experience of tFUnk or anyone else who's found it a bit flexy, but personally I couldn't feel that pea under the mattress.
  • Quick to pack up and reassemble. Although the folded size isn't exactly tiny, Amtrak staff didn't blink an eye. For the short (50 minute) trip back to Portland they didn't even bother checking it into the baggage car -- they just had me set it inside the train car next to the doorway. I timed myself on the reassembly: even having removed the front wheel and pedals, I was able to ride off on my assembled and loaded Swift in a mere 7 minutes after walking out the door of the station.

One upgrade I need to make to my Swift is a new, longer chain. My new 34t low gear stretches it to the absolute limit, and incurs an enormous amount of drivetrain drag. Fortunately this route was relatively flat and I didn't use it much. I'm just hoping a longer chain doesn't end up dropping off the ring more readily in the tall gears.

Also, I find it a significant annoyance to have to substantially deflate the front tire (I'm running a fat-ish BMX tire) in order to get it past the brake. Sure do like a disc brake in front. Hey bendembowski, how much hassle is it to remove and reinstall a front drum-brake wheel?

Last edited by GlowBoy; 09-12-11 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 09-13-11, 09:49 PM   #2836
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Its great that Swift is seeing so much riding. Now I am more glad I bought it so it could make it's way to its new owner. Its funny it traveled from Minneapolis to Lincoln NE, then to Portland to find someone that would actually ride it.
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Old 09-14-11, 01:34 AM   #2837
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlowBoy View Post
Also, I find it a significant annoyance to have to substantially deflate the front tire (I'm running a fat-ish BMX tire) in order to get it past the brake. Sure do like a disc brake in front. Hey bendembowski, how much hassle is it to remove and reinstall a front drum-brake wheel?
I can't compare it to a disc, but here's the process:

1. Disconnect brake cable at drum (5 secs.)
2. Loosen jubilee clamp that holds reaction arm to fork (20-30 secs)
3. Loosen axle nuts & remove wheel

The only thing that's a pain is when it comes time to put the wheel back on, the reaction arm flops around a bit while lining the axle into the front dropouts. A technique is quickly developed, but I'd recommend practising a few times when you're not in a hurry. (My first time was in the rain, with two whiny kids in the trailer yelling for me to hurry up!).

So, just a bit more hassle than the v-brakes.
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Old 09-15-11, 08:35 AM   #2838
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Photo thread up: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...n-my-new-Swift
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Old 09-19-11, 01:31 PM   #2839
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monsterpile View Post
Its great that Swift is seeing so much riding. Now I am more glad I bought it so it could make it's way to its new owner. Its funny it traveled from Minneapolis to Lincoln NE, then to Portland to find someone that would actually ride it.
Funny thing is, I'm from Minneapolis originally, and travel there once or twice a year. So this bike has definitely NOT been there for the last time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bendembroski View Post
I can't compare it to a disc, but here's the process:

1. Disconnect brake cable at drum (5 secs.)
2. Loosen jubilee clamp that holds reaction arm to fork (20-30 secs)
3. Loosen axle nuts & remove wheel

The only thing that's a pain is when it comes time to put the wheel back on, the reaction arm flops around a bit while lining the axle into the front dropouts. A technique is quickly developed, but I'd recommend practising a few times when you're not in a hurry. (My first time was in the rain, with two whiny kids in the trailer yelling for me to hurry up!).

So, just a bit more hassle than the v-brakes.
That actually sounds like less hassle than V-brakes with a big, high-pressure tire (Big Apple or the BMX tires I'm using), where the procedure is:
1. Disconnect brake QR.
2. Deflate tire to 30-40 psi so it can fit between the brake pads.
3. Loosen QR and remove wheel, working it back and forth a few times to get it past the pads.

Disc brakes are the ideal, of course:
1. Loosen QR and remove wheel.

I doubt I'll be upgrading to a front disc though, but not for lack of research and interest. My understanding is that the Swift's stock fork uses a 1 1/8" threaded headset, with a steerer diameter of 1" above the headset to allow for a 1" I.D. riser. So the ideal replacement fork would also have a 1 1/8" steerer, probably threadless (headset upgrade) and require a new 1 1/8" riser like the Airnimal or Rans ones mentioned earlier in this thread. There only steel 20" forks out there with disc mounts and 1 1/8" steerers that I can find are mod trials forks with 365-370mm A-C. Wayyy too long. The only ones I can find with the right A-C length and offset are aluminum with 1" steerers. I suppose I could make this work with a reduction headset like the Chris King Devolution, but I'm wary of the use of aluminum in a fork and I'm guessing I'd give up a LOT in terms of ride quality. One other option would be a custom fork, but that's nearly $300 plus a new headset.

So basically, if I decide I can't live with a front V-brake the path of least resistance is overwhelmingly the drum route. Should be less than $200 to have a drum wheel built up.
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Old 09-19-11, 03:25 PM   #2840
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The Center for Appropriate Transport claims to offer their steel Swift with a disc brake option (http://hpm.catoregon.org/?page_id=214). If it uses the same headset size (which I don't know), I would think you could order a disc fork from them and use it on an aluminum Swift.
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Old 09-20-11, 01:04 PM   #2841
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Oh, good point. If they do use the same headset/steerer configuration that's probably the way to go.
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Old 09-21-11, 05:46 AM   #2842
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A couple of other things to consider:

When the front (drum) wheel is off the the bike, there's cables and clips flopping about.

With a disc, there is always a danger of the rotor being damaged as the bike is moved about (this happens more often in the life of a folder)
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Old 09-23-11, 12:38 PM   #2843
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Boeshield in the UK?

Hello,

I'm interested in trying the much-lauded Boeshield T-9 on my seatpost to try helping with grip/QR tightness. The post seems to spin in place more easily, and I'd rather not risk over-tightening the QR's.

The only place 've found on the internet selling it is here: http://www.rutlands.co.uk/cgi-bin/psProdDet.cgi/DK7130. But with shipping it'll be 20 for a can. Any recommendation on where to order, or shops in London that stock it?

Was also wondering if anyone's tried ACF-50 or equivalent on any parts to control rust? The bit of the fork that the stem riser goes onto is developing some rust, as arethe pegs on my Wellgo QR pedals.

Thanks,

Michael
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Old 09-23-11, 01:16 PM   #2844
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Is the Boeshield supposed to go on the seatpost or on the QR cams?! I've always kept my seatpost and seat tube "dry" (other than the occasional cleaning -- not lubricating -- with WD-40), and occasionally lubricated the plastic QR cams when I used the stock QR levers. I thought the problem was to make the force you put into the QR levers translate directly into clamping force against the seatpost, rather than into overcoming internal friction in the QR. I suppose there might be some friction between the seat tube and the post to overcome too, but for that it seems like it'd be adequate to grease only a small part of the inside of the seat tube in the vicinity of the stress cutouts.

For the past year-ish I've switched to enclosed-cam skewers from Kalloy, available from any place that uses the QBP catalog: http://harriscyclery.net/product/kal...t5208-qc49.htm. I have three, two for the seatpost clamps and one for the steering riser. Get the 60mm long version for the bottom seatpost clamp if you try to fit rack stays in there too.

They're a bit heavy, but c'mon. Bike Friday has some too, but they might be the same and it seems doubtful that they'd be any lighter: https://www.bikefriday.com/thestore/...roducts_id=710

Anyway, they're a vast improvement. I've always been able to open them with only my fingers and a minimum of grimacing/swearing, they close fairly easily (I set them to start to engage about 1/4 of the way through their 180-degree arc, if that makes sense), and that's with no maintenance or lubrication. The stock ones were practically unusable after about a year.

It's possible that better-quality open-cam QRs might work fairly well too, if the cams are made of harder stuff and don't turn into a chewed-up mess in a matter of months, and if you keep them clean of grit.
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Old 09-23-11, 01:24 PM   #2845
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metamichael View Post
Hello,

I'm interested in trying the much-lauded Boeshield T-9 on my seatpost to try helping with grip/QR tightness. The post seems to spin in place more easily, and I'd rather not risk over-tightening the QR's.

The only place 've found on the internet selling it is here: http://www.rutlands.co.uk/cgi-bin/psProdDet.cgi/DK7130. But with shipping it'll be 20 for a can. Any recommendation on where to order, or shops in London that stock it?

Was also wondering if anyone's tried ACF-50 or equivalent on any parts to control rust? The bit of the fork that the stem riser goes onto is developing some rust, as arethe pegs on my Wellgo QR pedals.

Thanks,

Michael
I got some from World Wide Yacht Support in London but it was not cheap. They stocked spray cans and small "drip" bottles.
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Old 09-29-11, 02:33 PM   #2846
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just checking in... swift saw a ton of miles this summer (including some longer day tours) and will continue to do so of course. i haven't changed anythign recently, though i am starting to ride more forward a bit, outgrowing my upright civia aldrich bars a bit.

probably switching to a faster tire soon from marathon racers. comet or kojak or one the marathon skinnier race tires.

i am really liking the quick fold with larger size. i don't even hesitate about how long it might take to fold at any moment. for example, last 2 weeks, the bus front rack has been full twice, and i just folded as the full bus approached and was ready to walk on by the time the bus had stopped!

i stopped being curious about how to carry the swift in two peices (front wheel as one half, and rest as other piece), as carrying it folded for extended distances just hadn't come up in a while.

i'm starting to find the frequency of replacing brake pads and cables annoying. i rarely even need them. might get rid of rear ones.

had some quick release issues, as it wasn't getting tight enough and the seatpost was slipping. managed to fiddle with it and get it tighter and greased it per recommendations. seems fine now.

my ixon light is awesome, but it can't really handle lots of heavy rain. considering what i am going to replace it with in a few months.

and i like my backpack in front, large saddlebag in back setup, but its often overkill now that i work from home more. going to getting a smaller saddlebag for most days (carradice pendle or barley, with super c style clasps). i'll use large saddlebag when leaving town for the weekend.

i swing between carfree and carlite every few months. been doing car free phase again for about 3 months now.

Last edited by nish2575; 09-29-11 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 10-15-11, 10:15 PM   #2847
mtalinm
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meet the "twins"!

My first Swift was a 2006 I picked up on ebay. The seller had souped it up with drop bars and some fancy gearing, but I just wanted the stock build so he reverted it and kept his upgrade parts. I started riding it to work and fell in love, but really missed drop bars on those windy days & hated spinning out on the downhills. So I bought his upgrade kit and had essentially a folding road bike and a Crossrack for carrying stuff.

Life was good. But then my kid wanted to take the folding bike on a weekend trip, and he doesn't do drop bars. He begged me to revert the bike to stock for him, which I did. But it took hours, and I didn't want to go through with that again. Plus, I can't find studded 451 tires (and prefer the v-brakes anyway in the rain), so I wanted to have both. I suppose I could have tried to use Travel Agents with the drops and v-brakes, but my kid is taller than me and needs a longer stem plus this way we can both ride our swifts together.

So I bought a second frame and put the upgrade kit on that. Now I have twin Swifts: "Original" and "Crispy":



Original (blue) is a stock build with just a few mods: front derailleur kit, bar ends, fenders, a thinner saddle, and Ergon grips. i ride Schwalbe Marathons and have a pair of Marathon Winters for when it gets icy.

Crispy (silver) I built from the frame up.
* 451 rims with Primo Comet tires (1 1/8 rear, 1 3/8 front)
* Tiagra 9-speed brifters
* Tektro sidepull brakes (to fit the 451 rims)
* Shimano Capreo hub & cassette
* Shimano Hollowtech crankset
* Brooks B17 Imperial saddle
* Arundel Gecko Grip bar tape
* Shimano M324 "campus" pedals (clips on one side, platform on the other)


A few funny things happened on the way to the forum.
1) the holes drilled to mount the fenders was just a little too small to fit the brackets for the sidepull brakes. so I had to take a power drill to it (Xootr said I could w/o invalidating the warranty)
2) when swapping components I managed to strip the crank-puller threads on the drive side. the replacement crank was slightly larger than the original, so I had to file down the large chainring for a half hour to get it to fit.
3) somehow the right-hander brifter became damaged. not wanting to spend full retail, I bought a used one on ebay from a guy who happens to live 10 miles away. but it was broken too! so I paid for a brand new set. oooh, sweet having new shifters.

I love my twins!
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Old 10-17-11, 08:35 PM   #2848
Macmmclain
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Just take your fork in and have a disk brake mount welded/ Brazes on. The Xootr fork is steel and this could be done easly. HPM would be able to do it for $45 to $65. Mac
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Old 10-17-11, 09:14 PM   #2849
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not a bad idea for the blue one - that gets ridden in rain and snow (mounts studded tires, unlike the silver one). thanks. but who is "HPM" (those happen to be my wife's initials)
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Old 10-18-11, 01:03 PM   #2850
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HPM Human Powered Machines in Eugene OR, Builds the steel SF. But their are other bike builders that will do it too. Mac
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