Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 123 of 138 FirstFirst ... 2373113121122123124125133 ... LastLast
Results 3,051 to 3,075 of 3428

Thread: swift folders

  1. #3051
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    OK, my Swift is 51cm from tip to bar camp centre, 20". The curving stem riser is about 4" extension, so you have an inch to add there, and about 2-3" to add at the saddle, since my seatpost does not have setback plus the Brooks can't be set back much at all. So that gives 24" maximum from saddle tip to bar clamp centre.

    I am 178cm.
    Thanks Jur, appriciate your time.
    Sound like it will work very well for touring around, trails and commutor setup. If I try to reproduce my road bike I am just pushing the limits of what this frame can do for me.
    I have tried setting saddles too far back before - it just boggs the bike down, you start to loose that quick feeling of accelerating with the bike, just grinding from behind all the time.
    I really want this bike to work for me but I will proceed with caution. I need to look around and check out other options I think.

    Wayne

  2. #3052
    jur
    jur is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,294
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The 24 inch will result in a normal-ish saddle setback; mine is unfortunately quite a bit forwards due to the seatpost with no setback plus the Brooks saddle. So yes agreed, you can't get that same stretched-out setting as on your roadie. But with a small compromise here and there you can get quite comfortable. Pity the Swifts aren't made in a large, I would buy one in a heartbeat. Maybe we could ask Peter Reich to arrange such a thing.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  3. #3053
    Junior Member buzz609's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    23
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well i've done it. Purchased a used Xootr Swift. Should be here Friday.

    One question...i will need to add front mech to extend the gearing. I've looked at the adapter from Xootr US but also i noticed that Shimano now do a top pull road mech, the CX70 (in 34.9mm)...

    I assume that with a clamp on cable stop this would work in the same way. Any thoughts ?

    I'm looking to keep the 8 speed Sram for now (to keep cost reasonable) and change the gripshift for X7 triggers..(Not a fan of gripshift..)

    Other option is convert to 9 speed but the costs start to ramp up....

    Also for anybody looking to use standard bottom pull mechs...i found this company who make an adapter for use as top pull...used mainly for the cyclo-cross bikes. http://www.speen.de/speen____SportsE.../products.html
    Last edited by buzz609; 05-01-12 at 06:26 AM. Reason: Link incorrect

  4. #3054
    jur
    jur is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,294
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The Xootr pulley system is a kludge at best, at least mine is.
    1. The pulley does not have a system to allow the pulley to rotate when the fixing bolt is fastened. Basically the pulley needs a shoulder bolt.
    2. The pulley groove does not line up with the cable run. In my case the cable runs in a spiral curve from the built-in cable stop to the pulley and out up to the derailer. so not only is the pulley not able to rotate, the cable wants to jump out of the groove.
    3. The pulley diamtere is just plain too small so the cable does not line up in many ways. Where the cable exits the cable stop hole it rubs aganst the hole side. I noticed this whole mess when my cable broke off there. Hopeless really.

    I ditched the pulley and replaced it with a wide flat profile Delrin cylinder of the proper diameter with a flange to prevent the cable from slipping off. On this flat surface the cable can do its proper spiral path.

    Doing a top pull will also solve this unholy mess. If you get it going nicely, post some details here for the interested parties.

    [edit]Just a word of warning: No standard clamp-on derailer will fit around the seat tube which is 40mm IIRC. You HAVE to use the Xootr clamp with a braze-on derailer.
    Last edited by jur; 05-01-12 at 05:06 AM.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  5. #3055
    Junior Member buzz609's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    23
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks Jur...was wondering what the seat tube diameter was.

    The also do a braze on top swing CX70 also. I have a friend who is going to look at making a mount only for the front mech..but i also now realise the commercial cable stops also will be too small....

    I'll keep you posted....Thanks for the advice...

  6. #3056
    idc
    idc is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Virginia/DC
    My Bikes
    GT road, Kona Jake disc, Wabi Special FG, Swift Folder, beater 26" MTB, Genesis Day 00
    Posts
    1,419
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Fork - Litespeed 650c fork, used with drop bolts to make the brakes reach. Wheels are 451 for the slight higher gearing. Handlebar is a plain bullhorn, but I sawed off the curved rising bit at the tips - I don't like them and the bars look too big/clumsy to me. Gear shifters are Dura Ace barend shifters, and the brakes are Tioga crosstop levers; that combination allows both brakes and barcons to be mounted together. Normal TT style lever plug the bar up so you can't use barcons with those.

    Like that the bike weighs about 8.5kg. Since that phot was taken I have ditched the Tioga Spyder saddle in favour of a Brooks. Front derailer is Ultegra, RD is XT shadow. That curving stem riser is a Bagetta recumbent stem. I reamed the stem clamp to accept 26mm bars. The bike is now very close to being perfect; I am wondering if I should go drops with brifters but I like the setup as is.
    Thanks for the detailed reply! That does seem quite perfect (I like drop/brifters the best but bullhorns are my 2nd favourite). Nice find on the fork - I'm guessing that's one of the biggest weight savers available? I would love to get mine down to 8.5kg as it would then be lighter than my (full-size) road bike

    Quote Originally Posted by idc View Post
    I think it will *just* reach on 406 rims if you use the "rare earth magnet on your pedal spindle" trick for the cadence sensor part instead of the included magnet on the crank. My new Swift just arrived yesterday and I'm planning to use the same sensor. I have 406 rims too.
    Confirmed. Cadence/speed work fine with Garmin GSC-10 sensor. You can adjust the "reach" of the speed sensor arm (small Phillips head screwdriver) - I tilted mine in a bit to make sure it was closer to the wheel magnet, and this allowed me to tilt the whole unit out a bit to catch the cadence magnet. I don't have any rare earth magnets but I just grabbed a standard wheel magnet off a currently unused bike and unscrewed the plastic part off. The round magnet sits fine behind the pedal spindle in the crank (my pedals use a hex to attach so there's space there for the middle pin of the round magnet).



    I just took my Swift for it's maiden ride today (only a quick mile). This is what I ended up with:
    406 wheels, Capreo cassette/rear hub, 20x1.1 (28-406) Duranos
    9-speed Tiagra RD and right brifter, drop bars. (no FD) This gives a gear range from about 35 to 100 with reasonably sized gaps. Quite a bit lower up top than my 50x11 on my road bike (~120 gear inches), but I enjoy not having a FD/extra shifting.
    Stock 50t chainring/170mm crank with chainguard. Candy pedals and Nashbar R2 saddle (supposedly < 200g) taken from another bike.

    I need to get a shorter stem as I think I measured wrong but otherwise I'm loving it so far and I think it'll be the ideal bike for most of my riding (which is 20mi/day commuting) and a great bike to take with me when traveling. I love climbing so the 406 wheels should be fun for that, and as for descending, I don't go much beyond 40mph on my 700c bike anyway.



    I do have a couple questions for fellow Swifteans. Apologies if they're in the thread elsewhere... a lot of pages to sift through.

    - Do you change how you corner compared to your road bike? It feels a bit different from what little I've ridden so far but I haven't figured out how to adjust my technique.
    - How do you keep the seatpost height correct when folding/unfolding?
    - How does the stem length affect the handling? I think for the right fit I'll need a pretty short stem (<80 mm) which makes me wonder if the handling will be weird.

    I'm ~174cm and 64kg. or 5'9" / 140

  7. #3057
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Westwood MA (just south of Boston)
    My Bikes
    2009 Trek Soho
    Posts
    2,198
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by idc View Post
    I just took my Swift for it's maiden ride today (only a quick mile). This is what I ended up with:
    406 wheels, Capreo cassette/rear hub, 20x1.1 (28-406) Duranos
    9-speed Tiagra RD and right brifter, drop bars. (no FD) This gives a gear range from about 35 to 100 with reasonably sized gaps. Quite a bit lower up top than my 50x11 on my road bike (~120 gear inches), but I enjoy not having a FD/extra shifting.
    Stock 50t chainring/170mm crank with chainguard. Candy pedals and Nashbar R2 saddle (supposedly < 200g) taken from another bike.
    very nice! this sounds almost just like my build - capreo, brifters, 9-speed Tiagra. and my roadie is 50x11...yes, it's not as much range as I get on the road bike, but still enough to get up above 30mph.

    - Do you change how you corner compared to your road bike? It feels a bit different from what little I've ridden so far but I haven't figured out how to adjust my technique.
    - How do you keep the seatpost height correct when folding/unfolding?
    - How does the stem length affect the handling? I think for the right fit I'll need a pretty short stem (<80 mm) which makes me wonder if the handling will be weird.
    I'm ~174cm and 64kg. or 5'9" / 140
    the first few rides feel weird, then it feels normal. my LBS tightened up the headset to make the steering a little less twitchy, which helped a bit. these days I find that whichever bike I've ridden most recently feels "normal" and it takes a few minutes to readjust to the other.

    as for saddlepost height (why do people say seatpost? it's a saddle), you can try to mark it with a sharpie but it'll wear off eventually. I put a piece of electrical tape around the spot; of course, you can't insert the post beyond the tape.

    GOOD LUCK and welcome to the fold
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  8. #3058
    idc
    idc is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Virginia/DC
    My Bikes
    GT road, Kona Jake disc, Wabi Special FG, Swift Folder, beater 26" MTB, Genesis Day 00
    Posts
    1,419
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    very nice! this sounds almost just like my build - capreo, brifters, 9-speed Tiagra. and my roadie is 50x11...yes, it's not as much range as I get on the road bike, but still enough to get up above 30mph.
    yep I don't use 50x11 much anyway, and 100 gear inches is still plenty. if I really want more upper range I could always get a 52, 56T chainring etc

    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    the first few rides feel weird, then it feels normal. my LBS tightened up the headset to make the steering a little less twitchy, which helped a bit. these days I find that whichever bike I've ridden most recently feels "normal" and it takes a few minutes to readjust to the other.

    as for saddlepost height (why do people say seatpost? it's a saddle), you can try to mark it with a sharpie but it'll wear off eventually. I put a piece of electrical tape around the spot; of course, you can't insert the post beyond the tape.

    GOOD LUCK and welcome to the fold
    i imagine it'll take some time to get used to. i decided to leave it at home for this morning's commute as it was raining.

    yeah it would be nice if there were some sort of markings built into the seatpost (I'm going to say it's a seatpost because the saddle is seated on it ). i'll try sharpie to begin with i think, although i doubt i'll be folding the bike much. it fits as is in the back seat of my car!

    thanks

  9. #3059
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Lewes, UK
    My Bikes
    Xootr Swift, Yeti AS-R, Cotic Soda
    Posts
    106
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by idc View Post
    it would be nice if there were some sort of markings built into the seatpost
    Markings help but it's still a faff to set it at just the right height. Much better to do this mod I've done: stick a piece of tubing down the lower part of the seattube (so it rests on the BB shell at the bottom of the seattube) so when you unfold the bike and push the seatpost down, the new tubing acts as a stopper for the seatpost. You cut this new tubing to just the right length so that the seatpost stops at just the right height.

    There are some details to work out with this method:
    1) You need a way to remove the stopper tube. To achieve point 2 below you need a snug fit so that it can't move around. my tube has a split pin spanning the inside diameter of the stopper tube and to remove I under a wire with a hook at the end and fish the tube out by hooking over the split pin.
    2) the stopper/seatpost interfaces has to be sound and guarantee the same saddle height every time - not one that will compress over time (my Mk1 version of this mod used a wooden dowel that failed on this point). The the stopper tube has to provide a solid top that mates with the seatpost. One way is to get a solid bung on the end of the seatpost to give it a flat and plastic end. Another way is to use a snug fitting stopper tube only slightly narrower than the seatpost (or maybe an old seatpost - but there are lighter weight options)
    3) Ideally you need a way to adjust the effective length of the stopper tube. I have a bar-end-type bung on the bottom, and I add/remove objects of varying thicknesses (nuts, washers) taped on the end to acheive the perfect height.

    My stopper tube is actually cut down from the original QR stem riser of the swift - it already had the split pin inside. I've taped a section of zip-tie around the circumference of the tube at the top to provide a snug fit inside the seattube and keep it aligned in the centre of the seattube so it mates cleanly with the bottom of the seatpost.

    With this mod I can unfold the bike in about 2-3 seconds!

  10. #3060
    idc
    idc is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Virginia/DC
    My Bikes
    GT road, Kona Jake disc, Wabi Special FG, Swift Folder, beater 26" MTB, Genesis Day 00
    Posts
    1,419
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That's an excellent mod! I did't quite understand everything you mentioned but definitely get the gist of it - you basically never have to fiddle with getting the seatpost at the right height since the stopper will guarantee it, but you can still fold the bike the same as usual.

  11. #3061
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Lewes, UK
    My Bikes
    Xootr Swift, Yeti AS-R, Cotic Soda
    Posts
    106
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by virtualvision View Post
    How tall are you Rickybails?
    What is your handle bar to seat tip length if you don't mind.
    I'm 6' and the saddle tip to handlebar/stem clamp is 53cm with drop bars. Different drop bars have different forward reaches so to measure reach, and also compare drop bar positions to handlebar position, the measurement I always use is tip of seat to where the centre of the palms when riding. That dimension is 66cm when riding with hands on the brake hoods and also 66 when in the drops ('cos my saddle is much higher than the handlebars).

    However, there is one bit of wisdom I'd like to pass on from the many bike fits I've had over the years and experiments I've done with different positions and a power meter....
    The most crucial part of the fit is the position of the saddle relative to the bottom bracket - this is more important than the reach. This means you should not be moving the saddle back to achieve the right reach - the saddle should always be a set distance behind the BB for your ideal fit. By ideal fit I mean where the work your glutes do vs the work your hamstrings to is balanced and the leg extension at the bottom of the stroke is as long as it can be without overextending at the knee. So you are stuck with the saddle/BB relationship for your ideal fit and the ideal reach has to be achieve through the combination of the effective top tube, stem length, and handlebar shape.

    I have had 3 bike fits, by 3 different people, on 3 types of bikes over a 7 years span (first on a MTB, then 5 years later on the swift with drop bars, then 2 years later on a track bike used only for racing) and with each fit, the saddle/BB relationship came out exactly the same - and I mean to the nearest millimetre. When I went for the track fitting and told him my MTB and Road fit were identical, he told me the track position would end up with the saddle much further forward. I didn't tell him what my MTB/road fit was but he came to the exact same conclusion on my track bike. I've had a power meter on my swift for the past 3 years and I've experimented with slight adjustments to the position, and sometimes kept them there for months in case it was an adaptation thing, but I could never get the same power out.

    Digression 1: When comparing position between bikes with different crank lengths, you need to take account of the crank lengths too. So for me, with 170mm cranks my saddle tip must always be 73mm behind the BB as well as a particular height above it. On 175mm cranks the saddle would be 5mm further forward and 5mm lower.
    Digression 2: Moving the cleat position forwards/backward would require moving the saddle backwards/forwards the same amount

  12. #3062
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Lewes, UK
    My Bikes
    Xootr Swift, Yeti AS-R, Cotic Soda
    Posts
    106
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ;About my seatpost height mod - here's a challenge for the group To make the mod even better, when the seat post hits the stopper there would be something to alighn the seatpost so that the saddle is perfectly forward. You could do something like on the stock stem riser (a split pin engaging in a groove) to engage the seatpost with the stopper, but then you also need a way to stop the stopper rotating, perhaps by shaping the bottom of it to fit with the BB shell. A requirement of the mod is that the height must still be adjustable (not quickly adustable) for when you change cranks/saddle/rider/shoes etc.

    Can anyone come up with a simpler solution than this that's a bit more DIY-friendly (doesn't envolve so much precision metal cutting)?

  13. #3063
    GN BIKN
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Portland OR
    My Bikes
    1990ish MTB converted to 'cross, custom Vulture 29"er, Swift 2-speed Automatix folder, Madsen cargo bike
    Posts
    255
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Good point rickybails about the saddle-BB relationship. I agree it's the most fundamental dimension of fit, and one that's often ignored. A good reminder to me that I should get myself a pro fit to nail it down. I do know that I like my saddle further aft than most folks do (one reason the Swift's slack seat tube angle appeals to me, also one reason I despise Brooks saddles) and that I can put out more power that way, and thus I've realized that the standard KOPS method is BS for me -- but I don't know the exact measurement that's ideal. Really should spend some money to get that figured out.
    I like bike lanes. I also practice VC when I'm not in them.

  14. #3064
    jur
    jur is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,294
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by rickybails View Post
    However, there is one bit of wisdom I'd like to pass on ...
    Hey thanks for taking the time to write this up.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  15. #3065
    idc
    idc is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Virginia/DC
    My Bikes
    GT road, Kona Jake disc, Wabi Special FG, Swift Folder, beater 26" MTB, Genesis Day 00
    Posts
    1,419
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Did my first real miles on my new Swift today (9 miles into work, 31 miles back). Really does feel like a full size bike, other than on the sharper turns where I'm still getting used to it, and the sprints/out of saddle climbs (smaller wheels => less lateral movement needed?). It's actually more comfortable than my road bike (aluminum w/ carbon fork + 700x23c tires).

    My only slight issue is fit. I have a shortish (70mm) stem and I feel a little stretched out on it still. I normally have a 54cm effective top tube. I would consider an even shorter stem but worry about the effect on handling being too responsive. I'm 174cm/5'9". Any tips/suggestions?

    I do wish it was <9kg instead of 11kg but it's not a serious issue obviously. Definitely not something to worry about for a while yet.


    Quote Originally Posted by rickybails View Post
    ;About my seatpost height mod - here's a challenge for the group To make the mod even better, when the seat post hits the stopper there would be something to alighn the seatpost so that the saddle is perfectly forward.
    Thought about this when I was reading your earlier post. I'm not as mechanically savvy as everyone here though. Ideally the Swift designers could come up with something that could be retrofitted to existing Swifts!

  16. #3066
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Lewes, UK
    My Bikes
    Xootr Swift, Yeti AS-R, Cotic Soda
    Posts
    106
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by idc View Post
    My only slight issue is fit. I have a shortish (70mm) stem and I feel a little stretched out on it still. I normally have a 54cm effective top tube.
    The swift's top tube is only 1.5 cm longer than your ideal. Could the extra stretch be because the saddle is further back on the swift due to the 72-degree angle (where most road bikes are 73-degree). I need to use an inline seatpost on my swift to compensate for the slacker seatpost angle to get the saddle in the right place.

    Quote Originally Posted by idc View Post
    I do wish it was <9kg instead of 11kg but it's not a serious issue obviously. Definitely not something to worry about for a while yet.
    You definately can get the swift down to 9kg, and there is a seperate thread on how to lighten your swift. The most dramatic change I made was to change wheels to the lightest dahon wheels (the ones on the Mu EX) - they weigh less than 1 kg for the pair wherease the standard wheels are over 3kg I think.

    Those dahon wheels are expensive and not as strong (They are stiff enough, but fragile). I've broken a spoke once on these, but I did go over a pothole. I've never broken a spoke on the standard wheels. And those light wheels have so few spokes that a single spoke break puts a significant wobble into the wheel, though it will get you home.

    It goes without saying that if you are much more than a kg over your ideal weight then don't waste time and money making your bikes lighter!

  17. #3067
    idc
    idc is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Virginia/DC
    My Bikes
    GT road, Kona Jake disc, Wabi Special FG, Swift Folder, beater 26" MTB, Genesis Day 00
    Posts
    1,419
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by rickybails View Post
    The swift's top tube is only 1.5 cm longer than your ideal. Could the extra stretch be because the saddle is further back on the swift due to the 72-degree angle (where most road bikes are 73-degree). I need to use an inline seatpost on my swift to compensate for the slacker seatpost angle to get the saddle in the right place.
    Thanks, I think you're right. The saddle is most likely further back due to the seattube angle. Is there an inline seatpost that can replace the swift's easily? In terms of both length and diameter... and ideally lighter too

    Quote Originally Posted by rickybails View Post
    You definately can get the swift down to 9kg, and there is a seperate thread on how to lighten your swift. The most dramatic change I made was to change wheels to the lightest dahon wheels (the ones on the Mu EX) - they weigh less than 1 kg for the pair wherease the standard wheels are over 3kg I think.

    Those dahon wheels are expensive and not as strong (They are stiff enough, but fragile). I've broken a spoke once on these, but I did go over a pothole. I've never broken a spoke on the standard wheels. And those light wheels have so few spokes that a single spoke break puts a significant wobble into the wheel, though it will get you home.

    It goes without saying that if you are much more than a kg over your ideal weight then don't waste time and money making your bikes lighter!
    Hmmm, don't know if I want wheels that are so fragile. Wouldn't be worth the weight savings in that case. I'm about 64kgs/140lbs so not too heavy. Also, I have already invested in Capreo so I don't think I'll want to change anything other than the front wheel.

    Thanks for the mention of the other thread. Found it, I think.
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...Swift-lighter/
    Last edited by idc; 05-04-12 at 08:11 AM.

  18. #3068
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    100
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ok guys,

    So I built my Swift! I'm riding it for about 1 week.

    Short version: I'm happy.

    1- The fold
    I thought the Swift didn't had a great fold. Now, I think quite the contrary! The point is that you can fold it several ways and that allows you to comply to a great number of situations...

    If you just rotate the handlebars 90%, you can easily walk pushing the bike by the stem through the smallest corridors. And you can lean it against a wall, unfolded, greatly saving space and presenting a way neater format thanks to the handlebars being in line and facing the wall. People wont get caught in the handlebars walking close to the bike. In one of the places I work, I could put it in a place where a normal bike would have been annoying. But with the bars inline, the overall smaller length of the bike (actually, quite smaller than a full size bike even unfolded despite the long wheelbase) and the clean lines of the bicycles (having the bike look neat, clean and small helps a lot xD) allow me to leave it unfolded.

    If length becomes an issue, well, you just slide the rear triangle. Then it is smaller! And if you want a small fold, you just pop off the stem and here you have a compact package.

    While it is wide, it is tall, but flat. It is actually quite convenient! I tried transporting it in the underground and bus and the flat package allows you to lean it against the unused door/wall, or keep it by your side (it is the right height, you don't have to lean to keep an hand on it)... In these places, height doesn't matters much but the fact that it takes not much floor space is super nice , IMO, more adequate than the Dahon fold when the train gets crowded. But I don't take the bus, I only ride it Paris. I just wanted to see how it would perform.

    I was very worried about the width of the folded package, having to store it on a balcony, and that was one of the main elements in my choice of a folder. As you can see in the above photos, it could hardly be better suited for such place! I can store it under the planter, where no-one would have walked anyway. I couldn't have hoped better. The non-folding pedals sticks out a bit, but not problematic (though, it is a bit small, so I'll replace it with a wider but detachable pedal).



    The flat package is very easy to store in a lot of places. Putting the front wheel 90° makes it quite a bit shorter and perfect to be stored in a corner! On the other hand, you won't be able to hide it behind your desk. And it is not very convenient to carry, unlike a Brompton. Though, by holding it under your arm, your hand on the folded down seat tube, it is not that bad.

    The folding process is neat and fast. Open the two quick releases (requires a bit of force I'll admit... but plenty doable, even several times a day), pull the seatpost, swing the rear triangle under (you don't need to lift any part, just push the bike toward the rear with your foot behind the wheel and voilà), pull down the seat tube and lock it: it won't move anymore. Pop off the stem, put it on the top tube (you just have to pay at least a little attention to how you lay the cables) and you're done. A few seconds, almost zero effort. Unfolding is also nice: pull the seatpost, the rear triangle will swing, push back the seatpost to correct height (I have a KCNC Folding Seatpost which helps being graded and the machined surface helps: once the right height it won't tend to fall, you just have to put it in line, and lock it. I think this seatpost really helps.). Put back the stem on the bike and lock it. Everything stayed adjusted. You are ready to ride in a few seconds, without having to reset every length and angle. And despite having to remove the handlebar/stem assembly, you bang your components a lot less than by folding the stem in the middle of the bike. The cables are not subject to half as much stress as they are on a Dahon, too.

    IMO, the fold is brilliant: super fast, super simple, and fits a variety of places. It just won't be a good if you want to store it in a car or under your desk. If I were to travel with (I will, by bus or train, not plane though where it would not sound any easy) I'd just remove the front wheel and put the whole thing in a custom bag. It should go nicely in a bus's luggage compartment and wouldn't probably be any problematic on most trains either.

    2- The ride

    You probably have heard people telling how good their Swift rides. That it rides as well as a top tier full size bike. Well, to be honest, I'll have to... fully agree!

    Many things I thought were related to small wheels just were not. This bike is not any squirelly, it is super stable, even at the lowest speeds! Having had a Dahon, then ridden a 26" for 2 month while I assembled the bike (and bought the parts...), I felt immediately at home, it absolutely felt like a full size bike. It is more stable than many 26". It might be behaving slightly differently than a typical 26", but that's more of a subtle feeling than a really different behavior, and that little difference is not any detrimental. If you never rode a 20", you might feel the difference a bit more, but I could barely feel it.

    It doesn't have any hint of flex, no matter how hard you mash. It gives you very quick acceleration. Fun!

    The very impressive thing is how good the road behavior of this bike is. The one thing I'd say about this bike's ride is: control. You always feel in control of the bike. Totally predictable, and reliable, on any surface, at any speed. It is quite hard to describe. If you ride slowly, the bike is not squirelly, you can easily control it. If you ride average speed on the road, it rides very confidently. If you ride fast going downhill, the bikes stays as reliable. It probably is helped by the lack of stem flex. If you tell the bike to ride straight, it will ride straight, no matter how slow or how fast. On cobblestones, the bike is going to shake your bones... But will stay in perfect control, and you will still feel confident and secure.

    Is it fast? I got used to a sync between traffic lights riding public bikes. I needed 35 minutes to complete my ex-commute trip (crossing Paris, more or less). On the Dahon, at least 10-15 minutes more (yep, Montmartre: big uphill, big downhill...). On the swift, the better speed allowed me to pass all traffic lights like I was a car, not being regularly stopped, on a couple big axis. Result: completed in 22 minutes. Some more sweat of course (faster=more energy in), it is not magic. But now I know that if I want to do it fast, I can.

    The bad: I don't enjoy coasting downhill as much as on the other bikes, the bike feeling so confident, I eat the hill really faster... These descents don't feel like big ones anymore. :'(

    I need to talk about the "harshness" of the Swift. I think it is real. I ride 50mm Big Apples front and back, inflated to 4 bars (2-5 bars range). On cobblestones, it is going to seriously shake your bones, especially through the handlebars and feets. More than a bigger bike with Marathon or MTB tires, more than the Dahon. But it will stay in control. You don't fear cobblestones for the potential danger, but for the lack of comfort. At 2 bars the Big Apples are more cushy but drag too much and I was able to bottom them out on a small pothole. The wheel stayed true, cool!




    3 - Equipment

    The Swift I ride is... custom. Some parts were sold to me with the frame, I wouldn't have gone that overkill by myself. I have had it powdercoated as the original black paint was dented. I'd like to thank again Peter Reich for sending me a free replacement hinge bolt (original one was rusted and required a percussion wrench to extract) as well as a couple of brake bosses that were painted by the painting shop...

    - Nuvinci N360 CVP IGH in a Sun CR18 rim, a front wheel borrowed from the bike I was riding when I was 10 (temporary), Big Apples 50-406.
    - 54T Specialites TA Alize chainring, 170mm Ofmega road crankset, Xpédo XCF03 cnc pedals, and a Miche bottom bracket
    - KCNC Lite Wing "Folding" seatpost, Italia Flite Gel Flow saddle.
    - Shimano STX headset, On-one fleegle pro handlebars, Ergon GC-2 grips
    - Avid SD7 with their Avid Speed Dial levers
    - Soma Crane brass bell xD

    Rather lovely, i'll admit. Way (!!!) more money spent than I wanted, too... The fleegle pro handlebars are 65cm which is too much, they also feel a bit too much curved, I'll have to find some 55cm and a bit flatter (but not all flat). The position I have on the swift doesn't allow me to make any real use of the GC-2 grips: the "bars extenders" don't end up vertical enough for them to be useful given the angle I put the grip, the Swift giving me a true "hybrid" riding position, less upright than other folders. Oh BTW, the ergonomics are excellent, and the cockpit is really wider. I truly appreciate!!! I don't feel cramped on my bike anymore. The elevated BB needs some getting used to, and the angles leading to a bit less upright call for more supple knees, but I got used to it quickly and find it quite efficient. The Avid SD7 brakes are excellent: they are very progressive, yet very powerful if you squeeze the levers.

    It still needs a proper front wheel with a dynohub and lights. And it also still needs fenders (a bit tinkering will be needed, but that's not much) and racks...

    About racks, I really feel the Swift lacks what is needed to easily mount them. I have not tried yet but am looking at how to do it and it already looks like a nightmare. Some people dit it, so it is possible, but it is not any easy. The Bike friday racks that would (by Peter Reich's advice) be the most easy to adapt cost a ridiculous price. I'll have to use some imagination, but I really think the bike is lacking in this department.

    With Big Apples, there is not much room left. The rear stays are not very wide. The fenders will need some work. You must not pull the wheel fully in the horizontal dropouts with Big Apples, or they will rub against the frame. You can't pull too much either before you're out of the range of the brakes.

    Speaking of brakes... Like any folder, there is at least some tension on the brake cables when removing/folding the stem etc. There is no problem with the rear v-brake, except it comes quite close to the shoes... But the front one lives a harder life. I really think disc brakes would be at an advantage on a folding bike and, on a tinkerer's bike like the Swift, I really regret there are no disc brake bosses.

    Now the Nuvinci N360... Its adequation with the Swift is not stellar, thanks to its 49mm chainline and bigger sprockets (the ratio going down to 0,5). With the 17T rear sprocket and 54T frond chainring, I have a 30-107 gear inches gearing. A bit fast... I don't outspin the 107 in the city. The 30 might be a bit high for loaded touring. I have some spare cogs I bought... But I can't fit them or the chain would rub against the seatstay! So I'll need to go with a smaller chainring instead... It will also give more clearance. Too bad, that 54T Specialites TA chainring was so beautiful. Also, the crankset is a 2-speed one, but to respect a straight chainline, I can't use the inner ring... So I can't put a chainring guard. Very sad.

    I sent an email to Peter Reich: if he ever makes a newer version of his frame, making wider rear and seat stays, disc brake bosses, and provision to more easily mount racks, his bike will climb one more level in excellence.

    The Nuvinci N360 in itself is half a disapointment. The variation is continuous, yes. But it shifts badly under load. In fact, unless you force it, it will only shift on the lightest part of the stroke. You turn the shifter, it will change when the pressure is at its lowest, there is nothing special you have to do but wait for it to shift. It then is less continuous... And higher torque equals really bad shifting. Under no load at all, it shifts easily and is very precise, but in use, it gives more resolution than an 8-speed hub, yeah, but continuous... The Alfine will shift more easily under load.

    The Nuvinci shifts very quickly, but I don't think it is quicker (it might be the contrary) than a Nexus 8. New. Used, I think the Nuvinci will age better. Old IGH tend to behave like old derailers, lagging and missing cogs... Something a Nuvinci just can't. Having only half the range when stopped is not a real problem, you don't need a full 360% when stopped to start again... The Nuvinci is very keen with your knees thanks to no slippage or missed gears. There is a bit of a "squishy" feeling, that replaces the light grinding one might feel on other transmission, on higher gearings - nothing problematic, it is just a very light and silent feeling, and it doesn't slips. It has some drag while coasting, but it's not really problematic. It is a clunker. The control attachment that goes on the hub is a small plastic planetary gear in itself that is very fragile - and if you tighten your hub's axle bolts too much, you will lock the control! The cable attachment is very well thought-out.

    The sprocket attachment system is an excellent idea: you don't need any special tool to change it! No chainwhip, no cassette tool... But... It relies on a circlip and a washer to hold it flat, but there is no real pressure to have the cog flat. Result: it wiggles, it messes with the chainline... Not enough to derail it, enough to make a bad noise. I need a new washer that might be thicker and flatter but I'm not convinced. And resetting the hub is a bit special.

    It is not a bad IGH, in fact it is quite good, but it also is very far from perfect. The mechanics seem very rugged, but the shifting is average. It needs some more work.

    All in all, I am very happy with the Swift. It is not perfect but quite close and the most important is there. It might need a couple workarounds to make exactly what you want out of it, but you can do it. For sure, ride quality is more than stellar, the fold is very fast and imho very convenient. It is an excellent bike, not just an excellent folding bike. I don't regret the 1600$ already blown into it.

    More photos here: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjzc95i9

  19. #3069
    jur
    jur is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,294
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That is a great result. I was confident you would not be disappointed with the Swift. You have discovered for yourself that while the fold looks big from the side, it occupies very little floor space, and in some ways the fold beats many other cases. Nice color too.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  20. #3070
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    100
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yep, thank you again Jur for convincing me to opt for a Swift!
    And thank you for the comment on the color .

  21. #3071
    Junior Member buzz609's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    23
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well. My Swift arrived. I've done 2 rides so far. 1 lunchtime 10 miler and 25 miles this Sunday. Excellent ride. Everything i wanted. I suppose you get used to the questions from other cyclists!!

    I'm sure it feels better climbing, more positive. Maybe the smaller wheels ?

    The FD mount arrived yesterday, so the weekend will be playing with gearing. I swapped a longer stem and bar ends but am considering drops and STI (brifters??).

    Any suggestions with seat post height? I've seen the forum posts on the saddle height mod (with a tube permanently in the bottom of the seat tube). I have tape on mine as it's mainly stored without the post in the car boot. I noticed there are the KCNC seat post's (and used by people on the forum) but they are listed as 33.9 mm...Are they ok to use?

    All in all...a good find.

  22. #3072
    jur
    jur is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,294
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by buzz609 View Post
    Well. My Swift arrived. I've done 2 rides so far. 1 lunchtime 10 miler and 25 miles this Sunday. Excellent ride. Everything i wanted. I suppose you get used to the questions from other cyclists!!

    I'm sure it feels better climbing, more positive. Maybe the smaller wheels ?

    The FD mount arrived yesterday, so the weekend will be playing with gearing. I swapped a longer stem and bar ends but am considering drops and STI (brifters??).

    Any suggestions with seat post height? I've seen the forum posts on the saddle height mod (with a tube permanently in the bottom of the seat tube). I have tape on mine as it's mainly stored without the post in the car boot. I noticed there are the KCNC seat post's (and used by people on the forum) but they are listed as 33.9 mm...Are they ok to use?

    All in all...a good find.
    Always gratifying to hear that another Swift owner is happy! There have been very few known cases who got rid of theirs.

    Whether you get used to questions depends on whether you are an extrovert or not... certainly, if they ask, is it harder to ride? then say YES. Secret weapon.

    I also think it is an excellent climbing bike. Smaller wheels, yes, but also the stiff frame.

    I almost never fold mine. In my case it is my road bike, which happens to fold and has funny wheels. I use a 33.9mm Pazzazz carbon seatpost which I got from Singapore's Speedmatrix Depot. Not sure they still sell it. Bit under $100 it was.

    Just a very important point: The seatpost is a central part of the frame - the bike will fall apart and break its tubes if the seatpost is poorly tightened. This has happened before to a few owners. So, here are some tips: Clean the quick release cam surfaces, and put a drop of Boeshield T9 on them to make it operate smoothly. That will make a huge difference in the ease of operation. Also, don't super-over-tighten it either, as one owner had the welds on the seat tube quick release bosses crack. Thridly, BOTH QRs need to be done up firmly. There should be the slightest chance for the seatpost rotating when they are done up. This is what gives the frame its stiffness. As such I can't recommend a carbon post, even if I myself use one. I use Ritchey anti-slip grease for carbon posts.

    [edit] Yep they still have it
    http://www.speedmatrixdepot.com/cata...roducts_id=198
    Last edited by jur; 05-09-12 at 04:19 AM.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  23. #3073
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    100
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I didn't got rid of mine...
    I was very happy with my bike.

    That is, until a Mercedes truck rear-ended me. Went to the bike shop: dead frame, dead wheel, dead Nuvinci hub, dead rear brakes. In a word: dead bike.

    It did last one week. :'(

    The guy "hadn't seen the red light".

  24. #3074
    GN BIKN
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Portland OR
    My Bikes
    1990ish MTB converted to 'cross, custom Vulture 29"er, Swift 2-speed Automatix folder, Madsen cargo bike
    Posts
    255
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ugh ... that's heartbreaking! Hopefully the truck driver's insurance will pay for most of the damage?

    But more importantly, are YOU okay?
    I like bike lanes. I also practice VC when I'm not in them.

  25. #3075
    jur
    jur is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,294
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by NeoY2k View Post
    I didn't got rid of mine...
    I was very happy with my bike.

    That is, until a Mercedes truck rear-ended me. Went to the bike shop: dead frame, dead wheel, dead Nuvinci hub, dead rear brakes. In a word: dead bike.

    It did last one week. :'(

    The guy "hadn't seen the red light".
    That shocked me!!!

    Are you injured?
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •