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Thread: swift folders

  1. #3301
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    Quote Originally Posted by waxnomadic View Post
    Can any of you Xootr folks make an educated guess as to whether a front child seat, such as an Ibert, might work on a Swift?
    Apologies for the late reply to this (I'm not a regular reader of this thread) but this is really important. I think this is potentially very dangerous. My steerer tube extension snapped off a few years back just from riding it. And more recently the steerer tube on the folks snapped - again just from riding it (no luggage etc.).

    First, about the steerer tube extension (the piece with the QR at the bottom). There's a slit at the bottom to allow it to be tightened onto the forks - at the top of that slit it widens into a hole. My steerer cracked from that point, horizontally round the tube. If you want to use the seat - I would check the steerer tube regularly for cracks developing (I think it would develop gradually).

    Since then I changed to non-QR steerer extensions but then the folk steerer cracked right off, just below where the extension tube clamps on, just above the top head race of the headtube. The fork steerer tube is much thicker than the QR extension tube and I don't understand how it could crack so perhaps this failure is a lot less likely to happen for you.

    I think they are making the steerer tubes a bit thicker now since I bought mine, but I would still say that it's not designed to handle the weight of a loaded child seat. The fork steerer tube should not have broken. The only thing I would say that might make this less likely for you is that in the couple of years up to my breakages, I was using the swift heavily for standing starts (I do track racing) and these put huge amounts of sideways torque through the bars and steerer, much more than you get in a sprint. So if you have been riding gently up to now you may be OK, but I wouldn't put my kid on the bars.

    Richard.

  2. #3302
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Braithwait View Post
    I fitted my Swift with drop bars some time ago and have been reasonably pleased with the result. It did mean having to relocate the twistgrip shifter as drop bars have a bigger outside diameter than do flat bars. If you trawl back through this forum you will see that I used a 'T' bar which bolted to the stem riser just below the handlebars to house the gear selector. This has worked but it did mean having to move my right hand away from the 'bars to change gear. This was not a big problem but I wanted something simpler.

    A few years ago you could buy 'bar ends that converted flat bars into drops. Sadly the firm that produced them went out of business. However they are back! SJS Cycles in the UK stock them so I took the plunge and bought a pair. Please excuse the photo's as they were taken in my back yard as I was fitting the 'bar ends and there is a bit of a cluttered background.

    I used a pair of flat bars that I had previously fitted to the Swift. One thing to note is that although the flat bars will allow the twistgrip to slide on, the bars do have a bulge in the middle to give them a snug fit into a stem. This bulge gradually tapers towards the centre of the bars so the twistgrip will only slide so far towards the stem.

    I attached the bar ends to the bars and positioned them so that they were the right width and angle for my style of riding. Only then did I cut the bars to length.

    I used a pair of Tektro brake levers - designed to work with 'V' brakes - and positioned them on the bends. Note that the bar ends are the same diameter as the drops so the brake hoods are not a flush fit.

    Once things were in place I attached the cables and 'bar tape.

    I think the assembly looks good and gets rid of excess ironware to house the twistgrip. As I mentioned, the drops are a smaller diameter than standard drop 'bars so the brake hoods do not sit flush with the tape. I will see how things go and may put another layer of tape on to add a bit of padding.

    I haven't had the chance to try the new arrangement out yet but I hope to get out for a ride later this week and shall report back!
    Very interesting.
    What's the advantage over normal drops?
    Folding compactness?
    I generally feel drops or low profile bars with brifters make a folding bike much better for fast commuting and improve handing and braking.
    Personally I find making low profile bars by turning drops upside down and cutting back.
    You might be interested in my threads about fitting drop/ lowprofile bars on a brompton. "Brompton with dahon androes stem", or my upgrading a mezzo threads
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  3. #3303
    Senior Member Paul Braithwait's Avatar
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    Very interesting.
    What's the advantage over normal drops?
    Folding compactness?
    I generally feel drops or low profile bars with brifters make a folding bike much better for fast commuting and improve handing and braking.
    Personally I find making low profile bars by turning drops upside down and cutting back.
    You might be interested in my threads about fitting drop/ lowprofile bars on a brompton. "Brompton with dahon androes stem", or my upgrading a mezzo threads[/QUOTE]

    It just makes it more convenient to use a twistgrip gear change with drop bars. Normal drops have a greater diameter than straight bars so a twist or gripshift won't slide onto drop bars. Using "brifters" like Campag Ergo or Shimano STI can cause problems with 'V' brakes as they do not pull enough cable through to provide good stopping power. I have some cheap Tektro levers that are designed to work with 'V' brakes and fit drop bars. The conversion should be cheaper than buying new handlebars and gear transmission.

  4. #3304
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    My Swift is just sitting there not being used. Got fed up with trying to find light 406 wheels. Had a couple of people who said they would build a set for me when this years new stock of low spoke hubs became available but nobody got back to me. I can get Velocity rims in London.

  5. #3305
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael432000 View Post
    My Swift is just sitting there not being used. Got fed up with trying to find light 406 wheels. Had a couple of people who said they would build a set for me when this years new stock of low spoke hubs became available but nobody got back to me. I can get Velocity rims in London.
    same here. built one up from scratch with custom wheels / drops / Capreo, but at the end of the day I prefer the feel of full-sized. would list it if I thought anyone was interested, but not many people are hunting for a Swift on CL
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  6. #3306
    Senior Member Paul Braithwait's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael432000 View Post
    My Swift is just sitting there not being used. Got fed up with trying to find light 406 wheels. Had a couple of people who said they would build a set for me when this years new stock of low spoke hubs became available but nobody got back to me. I can get Velocity rims in London.
    Avon Cycles in Bath (where I bought my Swift 7 years ago) built me a nice pair of wheels with Sun rims and Ultegra hubs. I use these in the summer (when the rain is warmer) and keep the original wheels, with heavier tyres, for the dark days of winter.

  7. #3307
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Braithwait View Post
    Avon Cycles in Bath (where I bought my Swift 7 years ago) built me a nice pair of wheels with Sun rims and Ultegra hubs. I use these in the summer (when the rain is warmer) and keep the original wheels, with heavier tyres, for the dark days of winter.
    When the rain is warmer, that made me laugh, we haven’t been short of a bit of rain have we.

    Hi Paul. What spoke count did you use and are they a noticeable improvement on the stock wheels or is it mainly the tyres? I was stuck on 16 front and 24 rear for lightness but maybe it’s not so necessary.

  8. #3308
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    If anyone in UK is after a capreo hub for a wheel build - I got a 24H Capreo rear hub I no longer need. Used for one year, but the cassette I think is virtually new. After buying it I took up track racing, and riding with a very high cadence became useful training and I didn't need a high top gear any more.

  9. #3309
    Senior Member Paul Braithwait's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael432000 View Post
    When the rain is warmer, that made me laugh, we haven’t been short of a bit of rain have we.

    Hi Paul. What spoke count did you use and are they a noticeable improvement on the stock wheels or is it mainly the tyres? I was stuck on 16 front and 24 rear for lightness but maybe it’s not so necessary.
    The rims are Sun CR18 and have 32 spokes front and back - laced from Shimano Ultegra hubs. I have them shod with Schwalbe Marathon Racer tyres, which offer a good balance between low rolling resistance and puncture protection. The original wheels have Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres which are heavier and provide greater protection against flats. The problem with the Marathon Plus tyres on our road surfaces is that they drag a bit. It's almost like trying to rip Velcro apart! The roads around here have stone chippings embedded in the Tarmac which the Marathon Plus tyres grip with force. There's no chance of skidding but not much chance of freewheeling either! The new wheels are lighter than the stock ones (without tyres) and roll very well. They make the bike a bit lighter and (having black rims) look good. If you use slick tyres they would be even lighter.

    Avon Cycles said they could build wheels using any combination of rims, spokes and hubs. I chose Ultegra because Shimano is compatible with the stock SRAM gears on the Swift.

  10. #3310
    Senior Member Paul Braithwait's Avatar
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    Drop the bars part 3!

    I managed to track down some flat handlebars that have a short length of bulge in their middle. They are Thorn AL7075 Narrow Flat MKII 'bars from SJS Cycles in Bridgewater UK. Thorn is the 'house brand' for SJS Cycles. The bars are made to accommodate Gripshift gear changers, brake levers,'bar grips and 'bar ends without making things too cramped. It is possible to slide the Gripshift almost to the 'bar stem - there is just enough space left to squeeze in a light bracket.

    As you can see from the photo there is plenty of room for my right hand to fit comfortably on the bars without touching the gear selector. The whole 'bar assembly is covered with two layers of tape with gel pads (under the tape) encasing the top flat section. The extra padding not only gives a comfortable hand hold it also offers good insulation from road vibration. I think the arrangement is a nice, clean solution to fitting drop 'bars whilst retaining a twist grip.

    To make up for the rather industrial photo of the new 'bars,(the cable you can see is from the gripshift) I hope you like a rare picture of the Swift (taken today) on a British summer day - a rare thing indeed!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #3311
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    I have decided to sell my Swift. Its a great bike but thinning the herd I have decided to keep my Bromptons and my Dahon Uno.

    Really enjoyed adding e assistance and tinkering.




    Will probably take the motor and electrics off and put the bike back to its stock config and then list it on ebay.

    Jerry
    Brompton M2L (SRAM A2), Brompton M2L(X), Dahon Uno (SRAM A2), Both Swift Xootr & Moulton TSR2 now gone

  12. #3312
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Just scored a used one for cheap!



    Haven't ridden it yet, but ideas for mods is already swirling in my mind.

  13. #3313
    Senior Member Paul Braithwait's Avatar
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    I've just adapted a bottle cage bracket to be a Q/R rear light fitting for my Swift.

    SKS make a Q/R fitting for bottle cages. They can be snapped onto most bike frames in seconds and can also be quickly removed - handy for a folder. I use one on the front of my Swift to hold a bottle cage but have used another one to hold a rear light around the seat post. The light holder is a Cateye belt type clip through which I drilled a 5mm hole (easily done as the clip is plastic(ish). A bolt with nut at the back attaches the clip to the Q/R bracket and the light just clips into it. The bracket can be angled to ensure the light is at the right elevation. Easy to remove for folding and secure when attached. Hope this helps you find a home for a rear light.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #3314
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    Xootr Swift

    Where did you find a used Xootr? I don't see any on Craigslist.

  15. #3315
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    Awesome.

    SP_A0146.jpg

    Apologise poor quality photo.

  16. #3316
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    Nice looking unit. Really like the drop bars. You must really be bent over while riding. Just looking at the difference of height between the bars and saddle. How tall are you? Any other up-grades or modifications?

  17. #3317
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    That's the kind of folder I like with the drops.

    Thpught about using brifters with travel agents for the V brakes. That's what I would go for.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  18. #3318
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    Quote Originally Posted by pismocycleguy View Post
    Nice looking unit. Really like the drop bars. You must really be bent over while riding. Just looking at the difference of height between the bars and saddle. How tall are you? Any other up-grades or modifications?
    Hi pismocycleguy.

    I love these handlebars (3T Ergosum pro); they have a very shallow drop and look smaller than normal drops, which really suit the Swift in my opinion.

    SP_A0152 - Copy.jpg

    SP_A0153 - Copy.jpg

    I am 1.72m, lean and wiry and I find this set-up extremely comfortable. I donít find the supposedly harsh set-up with narrow high-pressure tyres and I-Beam seatpost and saddle to be a problem at all; in fact I love it. Of course a large person riding to the shops in trainers would probably disagree.

    Some nice black cranks to go with the 57T TA chainring would be nice. And a custom-made quality steel fork would be nice too but hard to justify the cost.

    Kind regards

    Michael.

  19. #3319
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Carbon crank and black chainring would look great imo.
    Can you get much range of seatposts for a friday? Like you can get a thudbuster and a sdp beam for dahon.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  20. #3320
    GN BIKN
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    Long time no post, but I thought I should mention that I've gotten my Swift back up and running. Last fall I finally came to the realization that I didn't really enjoy doing my 12-14 mile evening commute on it (morning commute is train-assisted and shorter). I prefer riding on semislicks to deal with occasional gravel, and I haven't found a suitable 406 tire that performs even close to what I get with my Ritchey Speedmaxes in 700c; and I've also found that gravel, potholes and the long steep descent near the end of my commute are just a whole lot less sketchy on the big wheels, especially in the winter.

    So I switched back to my cyclocross-ish bike for my daily commute, and rebuilt the Swift's fantastic Sturmey-Archer X-RDC drum brake/cassette freehub into 700c, leaving the Swift without a rear wheel and gathering dust for a few months. But while I'm not really keen on the Swift for longer rides, I do like the idea of having it around for shorter trips up to 3-5 miles. That's still good for most of my local non-commute trips, and for getting me to and from the train if I don't feel like doing the full ride home in the evening. And I still want to keep it around as a travel bike.

    So my new vision for restoring the Swift to life was to make it as simple as possible to ride (along the lines of GP's "just ride" mentality, I suppose), and simpler to fold and pack up for travel. I can't quite go singlespeed with the amount of riding I have to do in Portland's hills, so some sort of gear hub seemed the way to go. After a lot of research it seemed that the SRAM Automatix 2-speed hub gets mostly stellar reviews (in stark contrast to the Sturmey 2-speed kickback hub, BTW). I love the idea of NO cables going to the back of the bike, so I went for the coaster brake version. Well, as it turns out I agree with the reviews: it's brilliant. Shifts are as silent, instant and feel-nothing-but-the-change-in-ratio as any gear hub, and it's just a no-brainer to ride. Downside of this hub is that the shift comes in early, at about 8.5mph with a 1.95 rear tire. So in order to avoid knee strain climbing in the 9-11mph range (where I spend a LOT of my time) I've ended up gearing it lower than might seem optimal: just 39x17 currently, which yields gears of about 44 and 60 inches (on this hub, the "low" gear is direct drive and the "high" gear is overdrive). That's lower than I originally expected for a mostly-road bike, but actually is pretty good for the short trips that I'm mostly going to use it for.

    I still have the Sturmey drum brake/dynamo hub in front, which is in keeping with the "just ride" simplicity I want for this bike: the headlight and taillight come on automatically when you start rolling and turn off when you stop. No fussing with light switches. I've also swapped the drop bar back out in favor of a short flat bar with stubby bar ends, for a more compact fold, and at my local bike co-op I found an old flat-bar canti lever with a 2-wire cable coming out of it. Sure enough, the circuit closes when you squeeze the lever! So I now I've hooked up a second taillight with power routed through this cable and now I have a totally automatic, functioning brake light!

    I'm very much looking forward to using the Swift a lot this winter on the occasional dreary nights when I just don't feel like riding 14 miles in pouring rain just to get home from work, and I really don't feel like being a "cyclist". With the Swift as I've set it up, things are about as fuss-free as you can get. The train is generally too crowded in the evening to get on with my big-wheel bike, but a folding bike still allows me that option.
    Last edited by GlowBoy; 09-24-13 at 04:53 PM. Reason: gearing clarification
    I like bike lanes. I also practice VC when I'm not in them.

  21. #3321
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlowBoy View Post
    Long time no post, but I thought I should mention that I've gotten my Swift back up and running.
    pics or it didn't happen, dude.

  22. #3322
    GN BIKN
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    OK fine, here's a low-quality quick pic to start. Dude.

    20130923swiftR.jpg
    More about the lighting system: the rear lights are Pirahna LED side marker lights by Peterson Mfg. The taillight is amber and the brake light is red. They're designed for 12V (DC) vehicle systems, but since they're polarity-protected that means they work just fine on the AC put out by my dynohub. The front light is an MR16 LED "spotlight" with 4 focused LEDs in it, mounted in the famed Optronics holder popularized on this forum's massive Total Geekiness thread. It doesn't put out enough concentrated light for higher speed riding (probably 150-200 actual lumens with a fairly broad beam, so the throw is pretty lousy), but is adequate for the shorter urban trips I'll be doing on this bike. When I get around to it I have some better homebrew lights I plan to experiment with, but this works for now. Being designed for domestic 12V (AC) use it also works fine with my dynamo's output. Both the headlight and tail/brake lights start coming on (very flickery) at 3-5mph with the 20" front wheel, get fairly steady above 5mph and approach full brightness at 7-8mph. I'm sure the hub puts out over 12V at very high speeds, but so far I haven't burned anything out on a couple of 35mph descents. Overall I'm pretty happy to have cobbled together a very functional dynamo lighting system for less than $30 worth of parts (excluding the hub, of course).

    Just to head off the more obvious Internitpicks visible in the photo:
    - Yes, I know that contrary to what I said above, it actually does have a cable going to the rear. An electrical one, to power the rear lights, just no mechanical ones. One to-do item is to obtain a couple of 3-conductor connectors and splice them in so I can easily split the cable when I break the bike down for travel. BTW, I used cat 5 communication cable because that's the only thing I had around with more than 2 conductors and smaller than 14 gauge wire.
    - Yes, I know the front fender is incomplete in the photo. The rest of the homemade fender has been installed since then.
    - Yes, I know the wiring is messy at the moment. But it works, and being the lazy function-over-form person that I am I may not clean it up for a while.
    - Yes, I know I'm missing an end plug on the left side of my handlebar. A mirror will be going in there soon.
    - Yes, I know I have weeds on my driveway. No, I don't "need" to clean it up.
    - Yes, the bike has two chainrings. The inner ring is the 39t used to drive the bike. The outer is a 42t functioning only as a bash/chain guard.

    On a completely different note, I've finally settled upon a good way to keep the bike folded when I get on and off the train with it, but which doesn't involve fussing with straps that I have to carry separately. The other day I just figured out that if I lock the front and wheel together with a mini U-lock (which I carry anyway), the bike stays nicely together in the folded position for easy carrying. BTW a slightly longer U-lock would allow the front wheel to be secured to the left chainstay, which would then keep the bike folded but allow it to be rolled in that position.
    Last edited by GlowBoy; 09-24-13 at 04:55 PM.
    I like bike lanes. I also practice VC when I'm not in them.

  23. #3323
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    Its easy (relatively) to adjust the spring inside the SRAM A2 to change at a higher speed. I have done it on a few now

    Details of how to do it with photos are shown at the bottom of the web page in the link below.

    http://mccraw.co.uk/sram-automatix-review/

    Take your time and note how the spring sits before you remove it.

    I love the A2 and the idea of no cables but I found I could not cope with a coaster brake for city riding so now ride with a free wheel A2 and use standard brakes. Its great to just forget about gears.

    Jerry
    Last edited by jerrysimon; 09-27-13 at 10:09 AM.
    Brompton M2L (SRAM A2), Brompton M2L(X), Dahon Uno (SRAM A2), Both Swift Xootr & Moulton TSR2 now gone

  24. #3324
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    I may eventually get around to doing the spring mod you've described. I can live with the shift point where it is, but higher would be nicer. Agreed about the coaster brake - I'm not a huge fan of not being able to spin the cranks backward at a stoplight, but another thing I'm willing to put up with since this is not my primary bike and is mostly for shorter trips.
    I like bike lanes. I also practice VC when I'm not in them.

  25. #3325
    Junior Member rishio's Avatar
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    Hey Guys,

    I couldn't make a post in the "for sale" thread so I thought I'd post it here. I'm leaving the country for a year so I put my beloved Xootr Swift up for sale. If anyone lives in Northern California and is looking for one, here's mine:

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bik/4116413181.html

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