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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 08-30-06, 11:42 PM   #626
jcl
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Hi Stronzoni,
I too am a happy Swift owner, and the Swift threads on this board have been a great resource. Early on, my seatpost slipped down just a little during my rides. Turns out I had too much lube on the seatpost. I wiped it clean with some Simple Green and applied a very, very light coat of TriFlow Grease (not the oil) to the post. That solved the problem. Also, the post stays a lot cleaner with less grease.

Gaerlan sells a roller thingy which I put on my Dahon before I sold it. I've never experienced a chain drop while riding my Swift (knock on wood). But mine is not stock, it was built by Peter Reich and has a DualDrive on it, and the alignment of the drivetrain somehow makes it worry-free.

Here is the link for the Gaerlan roller:
http://www.gaerlan.com/bikeparts/parts/crank/crank.html

I wish you luck and happy cycling!

jcl
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Old 08-31-06, 08:39 AM   #627
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Yangmusa: Did you just mount the rear rack to the top seatpost QR? I can't quite tell from the photos.

Did you have to add anything to do that? I'd "experiment" myself, but my Swift is currently packed into a suitcase...
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Old 08-31-06, 08:40 AM   #628
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Thanks JCL
Mine was built by Peter also, but I only wanted the single chai nring up front...That roller should work for me thanks.

I fixed my problem last night by cleaning out the quick releases, and lubricated them - what a difference! I can get the post much tighter now, and its actually easier to tighten and loosen the quick releases. Guess the NY streets have been too dirty - all this crap was making it into the crevices of my quick releases.

What about touch up paint? Have any experience with touching up scratches on your bike?
Thanks.
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Old 08-31-06, 11:02 AM   #629
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Stronzoni,
I had requested white paint for my Swift, and I just touch up with some enamel gloss paint I colormatched at the local hardware store. My bike is not powdercoated, so the touchup paint blends really well.

If you are in NY, perhaps you can have Peter look at your drivetrain? People have said that these folders with their shorter chainstays are more apt to chaindrop, but I think if the alignment is spot on you reduce a lot of that chaindrop risk. I know that Peter had tested my bike for chaindropping before he shipped it out to me - he took it on a vigorous test ride - and he emailed me to tell me that the drivetrain was rock solid. And that turned out to be absolutely true.

I know Peter is crazy-busy, but he also seems like precisely the kind of person that would help a customer with an annoying mechanical problem such as the one you described.

Best of luck.
jcl
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Old 08-31-06, 12:18 PM   #630
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
Did you just mount the rear rack to the top seatpost QR? I can't quite tell from the photos.
Yes, it is attached to the top seatpost QR. Sorry the pic & text were not clear.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
Did you have to add anything to do that? I'd "experiment" myself, but my Swift is currently packed into a suitcase...
I didn't need to add anything, but I had to use a drill to enlarge the holes on the rack mounting brackets. The holes were too small for the QR.
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Old 08-31-06, 02:27 PM   #631
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JCL,
How would I know if my bike is powdercoated? Is there a discrenable difference in the surface quality?
I am trying to get a hold of Peter re: the chain problem...
Thanks for your help.
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Old 08-31-06, 04:05 PM   #632
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stronzoni
JCL,
How would I know if my bike is powdercoated? Is there a discernable difference in the surface quality?
If there isn't now, there soon will be The paint finish is very susceptible to scratches and will quickly make the bike look 10 years old (which could be an advantage in some cities..) The powder coating is much more resistant to scratches.
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Old 08-31-06, 04:41 PM   #633
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Stronzoni,
Hmm. Well, powdercoating is a much thicker application of dry paint. Usually it has a really hard, durable gloss finish on top. Plain old paint will just scrape right off, but a powdercoat is very, very abrasion resistant. I believe the stock Swift frames in the silver, blue and black are powdercoated. I hope someone will correct if I am mistaken.

My bike does scratch easily, so I try and take good care of it for that reason. But with an aluminum frame, I do not worry as much about the odd scratch.

Hope this helps.

jcl
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Old 08-31-06, 05:38 PM   #634
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcl
Stronzoni,
Hmm. Well, powdercoating is a much thicker application of dry paint. Usually it has a really hard, durable gloss finish on top. Plain old paint will just scrape right off, but a powdercoat is very, very abrasion resistant. I believe the stock Swift frames in the silver, blue and black are powdercoated. I hope someone will correct if I am mistaken.

My bike does scratch easily, so I try and take good care of it for that reason. But with an aluminum frame, I do not worry as much about the odd scratch.

Hope this helps.

jcl
Xootr Swifts are liquid paint. Custom Swifts from Peter or HPM are typically powdercoated.
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Old 09-03-06, 06:08 AM   #635
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookishboy
Speculation seems to be that Peter and Jan are endeavoring to make the Swift a bit more competitive in pack-ability..... how well they stack up to Bike Fridays and Airnimals and being able to fit in standard-sized checked baggage.
THAT sounds really interesting!
I am looking forward to buy a fine steel-swift, but I find it a good idea to wait on the new frames.
Does anyone happen to know when approximately the new bikes will be available ?
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Old 09-03-06, 02:55 PM   #636
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
31"L x22"W x12"D, Samsonite F'Lite.... The thing is, like, almost as big as an Xbox.

I have no doubt it's easier than packing a 700c or an S&S, but it's harder than my Dahon. The Swift needs to be in exactly the right spot or else the case won't close. Everything else is fine, it's just fitting the thing so precisely that's a drag.
I bought a Flite awhile back to pack my steel Swift, but have not tried packing it yet. Do you have the alum or steel frame? The steel tubing is a bit smaller. Sounds like I need a practice packing trial run soon.
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Old 09-08-06, 11:19 AM   #637
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Pictures

Just thought I would post three pictures of my Xootr Swift to show how I have customised it. The 'bar stem is a 100mm Kore which gives me a little more reach. The bar ends are Ergon R2 Race Series and provide comfort for the hands. A Topeak 'bar bag (which converts into a bum bag) is attached to a 'T' bar at the base of the stem riser and also provides a home for my mini-pump. The saddle is a Fizik and the pedals are lightweight platform units complete with toe clips, straps and reflectors.

Behind the seat is a Carradice Tour bag which I have now removed as I thought it was too big and did nothing for the Swift's appearance. I now use a Rixen-Kaul system which is neater but large enough for my needs. I am not sure about the bottle holder. It has a Q/R fitting so I can remove it to fold the bike but it is bulky and stands proud of the seat tube. It holds the bottle fine but I'm not keen on how it looks.

Overall I love the bike and it has relegated my racing machines to the sidelines - infact I plan to sell most of my stable of bikes and just use the Swift. The only "fault" I can find is the quality of the paintwork as I seem to discover another small scratch every time I ride it! The Swift has made me rediscover the pure joy of riding a bike and I plan to spend many hours and miles with my new "best friend".
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Old 09-08-06, 09:00 PM   #638
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steering with a weighted front rack

Magnus,

Thanks for experimenting with all the front rack options. How is steering affected by putting 10lbs or so on the Nashbar front rack?

Sincerely,
Ari
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Old 09-09-06, 06:38 AM   #639
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More Variations

One of the advantages of having a shed full of bike bits is that I can experiment to find the optimum use for my Swift. My current (and final) solution is shown in the photo's. The arrangement will not be convenient for everyone but I am very happy with it.

My Swift spends most of its life set up and ready to roll. I only need to fold it on the odd ocassions when I put it in the car to drive to distant riding points. Using the seat post to keep the folded bike together is not necessary. It is just as easy to remove the seat post and lie it in the back of the car next to the bike as it would be to slide it down the seat tube. Because of this I do not need to keep the seat tube clear of "furniture". My use of the Swift is purely for pleasure - day or afternoon rides in the country - so I do not need to carry much luggage. With all that in mind I have arrived at the following arrangement.

I have bolted a Rixen Kaul extender bracket to the seat post. Rixen Kaul supply steel bands big enough to fit the 34mm seat tube. Onto this gadget I can attach many useful bags which employ the R/K Klickfix system. 'Bar bags, baskets and even a rucksac simply click onto the bracket in seconds which allows many variations of carrying capacity. Another Klickfix adaptor on the front of the bike gives even more options. Several manufacurers have adopted the R/K Klickfix system so there are plenty of items available at cheaper prices than those of the German manufacturer.

Obviously, if you need to fold your Swift on a regular basis, using the seat post to hold it all together, this arrangement will not be convenient for you. It does, however, fit my requirements very well. The bracket prevents the seat post slipping down while I am riding, ensures that when I unfold the bike the seat is always at the correct height and I don't end up with a greasy seat post!
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Old 09-10-06, 12:50 PM   #640
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Quote:
Originally Posted by procon
How is steering affected by putting 10lbs or so on the Nashbar front rack?
My typical loads are 10 - 20 lbs. At the lower end, I don't really notice. With more weight on you can definitely tell, because the steering gets a heavier feel. I think it's most noticable at low speed, once I'm up to cruising speed I hardly notice. On smooth tarmac it's really great, but on San Francisco's potholed streets I feel I need to carefully watch the road - hitting a pothole with eggs and milk on the front it no fun

You should probably check your headset if you put a front rack on. The first week with mine, I suddenly noticed the headset was loose. I tightened it up and it's been fine ever since, so the lockring may just not have been properly snugged up when new.
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Old 09-11-06, 08:11 AM   #641
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stargazer48
I bought a Flite awhile back to pack my steel Swift, but have not tried packing it yet. Do you have the alum or steel frame? The steel tubing is a bit smaller. Sounds like I need a practice packing trial run soon.
It's the stock aluminum Xootr Swift. Repacking after the tour went much smoother for some reason -- I think I just got lucky, put the frame into a good spot, and immediately gaffer-taped it into position and finished packing....
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Old 09-14-06, 09:27 AM   #642
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Rough Road / Off-Road Touring

Just out of curiosity, has anyone used their Swift for touring on rougher roads? I'm thinking about doing a few tours that I assume will have minimal pavement and rough road conditions (specifically Thailand and SE Asia, and possible Northern India at a later date).

Will a Thudbuster LT and an appropriate tire be good enough for that kind of road condition? I also use a racing-type saddle, so will I need a different saddle as well?
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Old 09-14-06, 12:27 PM   #643
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Bac, fatter tires, a plusher seat, and a Thudbuster will help your butt, for sure. A suspension fork will help your hands and your butt, and may let you keep using a racing saddle. Hostelshoppe has a 1" MEKS threadless suspension fork for 20" wheels ... $280 and problems. For some reason, MEKS 1" steerer tubes have a slightly smaller diameter than nominal 1", so you may need to use a compression ring in the headset, in addition to notching the steerer tube to match the cross-strut in the handlepost. A suspension shock would also change the handing, but if you a a good wrench, I would try it. I'm very happy with the MEKS sus fork I put on my DT (pictures soon, a threadless headset DT FS. Got rid of the HEAVY steel fork, quill, and hinge.).
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Old 09-16-06, 08:02 AM   #644
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Well, I've stretched-through yet another chain...this time in less than 4 months (cheap Nashbar/KMC chain). I think my gearing is a tad bit too high (72 gear inches). I've ordered a 50T Sugino chainring to replace the thrashed stock 52T (see pic below), which will lower my gearing down to a 69".

What I'm really pumped about is this new BMX chain I'm running now. It's called th KMC "Drop-buster". It's really beefy...thick side plates...chrome-plated. Looks shnazzy-industrial. Best of all, it's a true 3/32" SS chain...designed to go in a straight line. Because of this, you need to have your chainline dead-on, otherwise it will make some serious clatter.

The chain glides smooth and silent between the cog and chainring, whether I'm spinning like a man possessed on the flats, or wailing away at the pedals up a hill.

Oh, and it also comes with a connector link, albeit the old-fashioned circlip type. Who cares. (It actually disassmembles just as fast as the SRAM connector I had on my expensive PC-68 chain.) All this for the unbelievably dirt-cheap price of $13!

I think this one will definitely be more durable than the 8sp and 7sp chains I ate. Makes a great replacement chain for those of you running internal gear hubs. Check it out here.
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Old 09-16-06, 02:10 PM   #645
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Fitting a rack

This is the last change I will make to my Swift - until the next one! Fitting a rear rack turned out to be easier than I thought. I had an old mountain bike rack lying in the shed and it looked as though it would fit my Swift without affecting the folding system. It is not a special rack for small wheeled bikes and I think any commercially available rack will fit the bill. I used the fittings from another touring rack, which featured flat and fairly flexible "arms", to attach the rack to the rear wheel stays. The upper arms bend quite easily and can be bolted to the Swift using plastic covered 'P' clips. The graceful curve in the arms add some stiffness and solidity to the rack and it does not interfere with the folding much at all. The width between the bent "arms" may prevent the seat pillar sliding all the way down but it should still slide far enough to contact the rear wheel to keep the bike together. Each rack may be different in that respect. If you want to fit a rack then I think any mountain bike or touring rack which uses flat "arms" will do the job. My completed rack feels very secure and is the perfect home for my AGU rack top bag. This bag has small panniers which fold out from its side but still keep clear of my heels (size 10 shoes - UK size). I would not like to try heavy camping gear on it, but for general use it works well.
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Old 09-17-06, 01:49 PM   #646
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My Swift is having an identity crisis.

I found the original riser bar that came on my Dahon VD5 and thought to myself, "these would look cool on my Swift..." I lopped-off an inch on both ends of the bar and threw them on along with a nice set of Oury grips (mounted in reverse for that BMX-ish look).
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Old 09-17-06, 02:02 PM   #647
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james, have you thought about an adjustable stem mounted at the top of the stempost, angled down? I worry about exposed vertical tubing.
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Old 09-17-06, 03:47 PM   #648
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maunakea
james, have you thought about an adjustable stem mounted at the top of the stempost, angled down? I worry about exposed vertical tubing.
Funny, I'd worry more about an adjustable stem than exposed tubing... It does seem like if that's going to be a regular thing, though, a different stem is in order.
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Old 09-17-06, 04:35 PM   #649
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Bac, the NB adj. stem has deep splines around the pivot bolt, so the stem pivot bolt has to be loosened about 5 mm before it will allow the stem to rotate on the pivot. If for some reason the stem pivot bolt worked loose even a little, you know that the stem pivot bolt must be tightened way before it will allow the stem to rotate.
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Old 09-17-06, 05:11 PM   #650
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Birdy rocks

The Birdy is a great folder. It provides the best performance to size ratio out there and rides more like a big bike than most (a mountain bike, actually). The price is high, but the bike is stellar. And it folds quickly. I don't own one simply because I'm not rich and wanted something more along the lines of a road bike. But boy did I love taking it for a spin or three.
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