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Thread: swift folders

  1. #2851
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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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!
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  2. #2852
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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

  3. #2853
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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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)
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  4. #2854
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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

  5. #2855
    GN BIKN
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    I would never consider welding disc tabs onto a fork that wasn't designed for discs unless it were really, REALLY overbuilt.
    I like bike lanes. I also practice VC when I'm not in them.

  6. #2856
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    Tell that to Bike Friday, they weld on disk brake mount on their front forks and look at how small the tubing is on it. The bottom of most fork ( down where it is welded on ) is alot thicker than the spot the V-brake bosses are brazes or welded on. I have welded on 20 to 5-30 disk brake bosses and have never had one come back. I have not put one a Xooter fork but it looks like it is strong enough. Mac

  7. #2857
    Erudite white trash lexm's Avatar
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    I should have something interesting to share in this thread in the next week or so.
    Last edited by lexm; 10-25-11 at 08:05 PM. Reason: iPad replaced 'share' with 'shrapnel' (!)
    @AlexeiM on Twitter

  8. #2858
    NY / New Haven biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    the Boston Globe didn't mention the Swift by name, but there's a picture of me+bike in this article: http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/gree...from_westwood/
    Great story! Everyone I know who starts commuting by bike doesn't stop. It's strange then that it remains a tiny percentage of overall commuting.

    -Ari

  9. #2859
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    BF also screwed up quite well with a disc mount..

    Quote Originally Posted by Macmmclain View Post
    Tell that to Bike Friday, they weld on disk brake mount on their front forks and look at how
    You know BF got burned really nicely on a tikit (I think) 1-2 years ago that had the fork fold in half because of not calculating this well. Weak thin or small tubing is very easy to improperly bond. Post is here in BF folding bikes. The OP was hurt, nothing life threatening but he was lucky.

    Can you post what you've welded to (are you talking TIG?) - specific ODs and wall thicknesses? How exactly does your gut_feel just tell you that the swift fork would be ok for this? And using what joining method? This sounds a bit wreckless.. are you a framebulder? Can you post some more work to qualify yourself ?

  10. #2860
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    Seat post with measured hash marks?

    Hi all, I've had an aluminum Swift for several years -- but one detail that still bugs me a bit is having to find the right height/position when I re-set the seat post.

    I've been using pencil marks, but those rub off.

    And I'm reluctant to use a Sharpie because I've noticed that my preferred height seems to change -- perhaps because I have a Brooks saddle, which presumably continues to settle in.

    Can somebody suggest a good seat post that has hash marks, and would be a good match for the Swift -- or is there some other simple solution?

    Thanks!

  11. #2861
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    I too found that pen or pencil was temporary at best. So I took a piece of electrical tape and wrapped it around the seatpost, such that I insert the seatpost until I can still see the entire piece of tape (with maybe a couple of millimeters of aluminum showing).

    It feels like a hack, and I agree that this is a deficiency of the Swift design, but it has worked for me so far.
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  12. #2862
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    I too found that pen or pencil was temporary at best. So I took a piece of electrical tape and wrapped it around the seatpost, such that I insert the seatpost until I can still see the entire piece of tape (with maybe a couple of millimeters of aluminum showing).

    It feels like a hack, and I agree that this is a deficiency of the Swift design, but it has worked for me so far.
    But can you slide the seatpost down (ie, until it rests on the rear tire) when you fold it?

  13. #2863
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    ah, fair question. i so rarely fold it that I don't recall whether the tape got in the way.
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  14. #2864
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    A thin camera strap attached from the rail of the saddle to the upper QR post works a treat.

  15. #2865
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    Smoothing out the Swift

    As much as I love my Swifts (I have two), I'll confess that when possible I opt for my CF road bike just because of the smoother ride. I commute into Boston, which means lots of potholes, cracked pavement, and the occasional curb jump.

    I find that I feel the bumps more on the Swift. Part of this is probably due to the frame, but I can't help but think the small wheels are part of it. The Xootr website used to admit as much, but they now claim it's a "small" effect and suggest lowering tire pressure. But I'm running my road bike tires at full (125psi) inflation as a big guy who wants to avoid pinch flats, and it's just not as jarring.

    Things I could try:
    * lower inflation in the front tire while leaving the back one full. I already keep it down 10psi or so but I suppose I could try even lower
    * wider tire in front (or both, but I already have a 1 3/8" and could use that instead of the 1 1/4)
    * thudbuster, though that is pricey and mostly the bumps bother my hands

    other thoughts?
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  16. #2866
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    Quote Originally Posted by bendembroski View Post
    A thin camera strap attached from the rail of the saddle to the upper QR post works a treat.
    This is for re-setting the seat post to the correct length? If so, can you post a pic?

  17. #2867
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    Big Apples? Not as much rolling resistance as you'd think. In fact, on the roads around here, my Swift was actually faster with BA's than with the Kojaks.

    Like butta.

  18. #2868
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bendembroski View Post
    Big Apples? Not as much rolling resistance as you'd think. In fact, on the roads around here, my Swift was actually faster with BA's than with the Kojaks.

    Like butta.
    these are 451 rims, so selection is a bit limited. both of my tires are primo comets. maybe I'll try the 1-3/8"s again and leave them a bit underinflated.

    thank you
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  19. #2869
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    these are 451 rims, so selection is a bit limited. both of my tires are primo comets. maybe I'll try the 1-3/8"s again and leave them a bit underinflated.
    Sorry for a n00bish question...

    I've long considered switching to Big Apples -- but I have Primo Comets (came with the bike) -- does that mean I can't swap the Primo Comets for Big Apples? ie, do I necessarily have 451 rims, and I would need some other rims if I want Big Apples?

  20. #2870
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnstyle View Post
    or is there some other simple solution?
    I just use dirt.
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    Learning to wrench better this year—current project: Fixie from build kit

  21. #2871
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    Hi all, I'm thinking about replacing my QR levers -- after some hunting, do you think any of these would be a good choice?

    http://harriscyclery.net/product-lis...1-m25260-qc49/

    I read (http://sheldonbrown.com/skewers.html) that "enclosed cam" QRs like these might be better than the "exposed cam" that came with the bike, because "enclosed cam" QRs don't get all gritty.

    If these are a good choice, can somebody help me understand whether I need 6x50mm, 8x50mm, or 6x60mm?

    Or is there some other good choice?

    Thanks!

  22. #2872
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnstyle View Post
    Hi all, I'm thinking about replacing my QR levers -- after some hunting, do you think any of these would be a good choice?

    http://harriscyclery.net/product-lis...1-m25260-qc49/

    I read (http://sheldonbrown.com/skewers.html) that "enclosed cam" QRs like these might be better than the "exposed cam" that came with the bike, because "enclosed cam" QRs don't get all gritty.

    If these are a good choice, can somebody help me understand whether I need 6x50mm, 8x50mm, or 6x60mm?

    Or is there some other good choice?

    Thanks!
    Your questions were answered in Epicyclist's post on the previous page of this thread.
    I'm in the UK. I found it hard to source Kalloy, enclosed cam, quick releases. I bought three of these Kalloy ones via Amazon Marketplace from Bikester in Germany.
    They make it much easier to clamp the saddle stem tightly than the OEM QRs.
    Last edited by Pallas; 11-07-11 at 07:00 PM.

  23. #2873
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnstyle View Post
    Sorry for a n00bish question...

    I've long considered switching to Big Apples -- but I have Primo Comets (came with the bike) -- does that mean I can't swap the Primo Comets for Big Apples? ie, do I necessarily have 451 rims, and I would need some other rims if I want Big Apples?
    Mtalinm has two Swifts, one has the standard build, Swift 406 rims and the other custom 451 rims. The Big Apple tyres will fit 406 rims. See the Big Apple page on Xootr's web site for more info.
    If you search back through this thread too, then you'll also find info about the Big Apple tyres.
    My single speed converted, Xootr Swift has Big Apple tyres. They're brilliant! A comfortable ride but still quick. I find that a pressure of around 30 to 35 PSI front and rear works best for me. I weight around 147 pounds.

  24. #2874
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnstyle View Post
    This is for re-setting the seat post to the correct length? If so, can you post a pic?
    Sorry, I don't have the bike anymore, so can't post the pic. Basically, the idea is that once the strap is tight, the post is at the correct length. Old brake cables work too, but can rub paint when slack.

  25. #2875
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pallas View Post
    Your questions were answered in Epicyclist's post on the previous page of this thread.
    I'm in the UK. I found it hard to source Kalloy, enclosed cam, quick releases. I bought three of these Kalloy ones via Amazon Marketplace from Bikester in Germany.
    They make it much easier to clamp the saddle stem tightly than the OEM QRs.
    I did actually read that! In particular: "Get the 60mm long version for the bottom seatpost clamp if you try to fit rack stays in there too."

    I gather that means the 50mm clamps are fine, unless I also want to clamp in additional hardware (in which case I'd need the longer 60mm)?

    But what about 6mm vs. 8mm? The rubberized one, which I also think I'd prefer, is 8mm whereas the other is 6mm -- does this make a difference?

    (The ones you got via Amazon Marketplace appear to be 6mm, but the rubberized ones via Harris http://harriscyclery.net/product/kal...t5210-qc49.htm are 8mm, and I'm not sure they'll fit.)

    Thanks!
    Last edited by turnstyle; 11-08-11 at 05:12 AM.

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