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Thread: swift folders

  1. #51
    All ur bike r belong Enki james_swift's Avatar
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    Hey, I got my picture (of my bike, that is) on the Xootr website!

  2. #52
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    Hey Karl,

    That comparison chart is most interesting and informative. I am missing "downtube" folders though. They could be a real contender since they cost almost half of the Swift and boast full suspension. Of course they are different beasts (both have distinct and different advantages and disadvantages) but it would be nice if they were featured in the chart as pretty much all other realistic options seem to be in it.

    V.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by guydickinson
    close shots of the... dropouts
    what are the bolts in the dropouts for?

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy_is_me
    what are the bolts in the dropouts for?
    "* If you look carefully at the rear dropout you will notice two M5 button-head screws. These are the "braze ons" for fenders/racks, etc. The rearmost screw also prevents the (extremely unlikely) possibility of the rear wheel inadvertently sliding out of the dropouts in the aft direction by interfering with the quick-release head."

    maybe i should read the whole thread before asking questions...

  5. #55
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    Hey There,

    I just got this reply on one of my other threads (about seat posts).. what do you guys think.. If it the info is correct that would suggest that Alu Swifts will not last particularly long... I guess there is always a trade off, being able to ride a light Alu frame for say a decade might be worthwhile. For others lugging around some extra kilos but having your frame last for up to 30 or more years may be the ticket. I am not exactly sure in which category i myself fall.

    "Just a more general word about alloy vs. steel frames: Aluminum and steel have very different fatigue characteristics. When talking in terms of flex cycles, aluminum fatigues many times sooner that steel. Even minor flexing can contribute to metal fatigue which will over time lead to the failure of aluminum components. It is for this reason that airplanes are "retired" after a given number of hours in the air. The odds of a structural failure grow and grow. So, with regards to alloy frames and seat posts, it should be considered that they have a finite lifespan. If ridden long enough, even without abuse, they will fail. Steel has a lifespan too, of course, but it is probably longer than the lifespan of the rider."

  6. #56
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    Well, my aluminium Swift frame comes with a lifetime guarantee...so if it does ever fail due to 'aluminium failure', then I get a new frame. I'm not at all worried about it.

  7. #57
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    Hmm, that is comforting to know indeed, providing that Xootr stays in bizz for a lifetime. I for one heartily hope so! :-)

    I guess i am back in, i f ever i buy a different frame it will quite likely be a Swift.

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    Yes, and I wonder if xootr would honour the frames if Peter at Swift decides to retire etc? I'm not sure, but I think Xootr handles frame manufacturing through Taiwanese partners.

    But this alu vs. steel debate seems to be a well worn one - see this bikeforums thread quote:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-24598-p-1


    ...AL has downsides, too. Its tensile (breaking) strength, yield (bending) strength and elongation (the % of its length it can stretched before itís unable to return to its original shape) are far less than those of high strength steel and TI alloys. AL is more vulnerable in a crash. AL has no fatigue limit, a property that steel possesses, often expressed as a % of its tensile strength. Below this limit, the material can be cycled indefinitely without breaking. This means that AL can be less predictable than steel as to when it will fail after long use.

    Back to our beer can: compare a can of beer to a can of olives and itís apparent that the AL container has much less stiffness than a steel can of similar thickness and diameter. Yet many AL bikes feel stiff. Why? Itís because ALís density is so low; tubes can be made large and thick for stiffness and light weight...
    That'll explain the elongated top bar and 'fat' frame elements and chunky dropouts etc.

    Plus, Peter really impressed me when I met him - an understated guy, but with an air of quiet, reliable expertise and obviously a solid experience of frame manufacturing. He was very positive about the alu frames and i have every confidence in his choice of manufacturing partner. Those xootr guys seem to know their onions too :-)

  9. #59
    All ur bike r belong Enki james_swift's Avatar
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    Swift on the train...



    Swift tucked under the desk @ work...


  10. #60
    All ur bike r belong Enki james_swift's Avatar
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    Just want to say thanks to Karl and the Xootr Team for the T-shirt and cap that arrived to my surprise yesterday. That was very cool of you guys.

    Thanks again, and best wishes and much success with the Swift (it's a big success with me).
    Last edited by james_swift; 09-15-05 at 06:48 AM.

  11. #61
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    As a result of this thread, I ordered a Roma kick scooter for short distance riding fun. Hope this completes my multi-transport needs.

  12. #62
    Kitten Purr's Avatar
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    ...and speaking as the owner of a Xootr Street, welcome to the joys of riding a different kind of two-wheeler!

  13. #63
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    I met Peter Reich today and now I'm saving my money to buy a Swift from him. We even spoke a bit about Guy Dickinson who bought a folder from him around May and who posts on BF. Anyone have a Nexus 7? Any positives/negatives besides the extra weight? How's the hill climbing w/ one of those?
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    Hey jyossarian - I've got a Nexus 7 in my Swift folder from Peter Reich. I just had to go to Edinburgh, Scotland for a few days and took my swift (kept it in hotel rooms, took it into offices and bars, cafes without a problem :-).

    Edinburgh has a *lot* of (to me) aggressive hills. The hub gear worked fine; I think 1st+2nd worked really well for my legs on the uphill, and 6/7th fine for long downhills. Mind you, if you're in a very hilly area I read that the Nexus 8 has a larger range?

    I recently bought some Ergon MR1 grips http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Grip/product_125006.shtml - they really helped on the climbs - also got rid of some discomfort I was getting from normal grips. They cut easily, so I took an inch or so off the right grip to give space for the Nexus twist changer.

    I did have some problems with the gears 'slipping' into place occasionally, but it was because the tension was out on the shifter - a quick twist of the cable holder to line up 2 red dots on the gear and all was well.

    I personally don't see the extra weight as a huge problem...you can cut weight from other parts of the bike...the seatpost and saddle grip seems pretty heavy - I wonder whether Peter does 'special' seatposts?

    For me, the ability to change gears whilst stationary, the simplicity, lack of maintenance and messy mechanism sticking out of the side of my bike more than compensates for the extra 2 lb.

    I personally don't like the twist gear change - I find it a little uncomfortable at times. It may be just a 'getting used to it' thing. Anyone know if you can retrofit a normal shifter to a hub gear. I suspect no. It's not a major negative for me, but is the only negative I can think of about the Nexus.

    Only thing I am going to change on my swift is the length of the handlebar stem, for me personally (I'm 5'11), its a little short and I find myself sitting past the back of the saddle...but that's a $20 fix and a 5 minute unbolting exercise.

    Btw, has anyone seen any bike couriers in NY riding a swift? I would have thought they would be the ideal courier bike, as they're fast, sturdy and can snap in half in seconds to get in a lift etc?

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    Hello - thought I'd make a quick post/photos of the mudguard (you crazy americans call them fenders, right? :-) that works a treat on my swift folder...I wanted a mudguard that would quickly remove, but also allowed me to fold the swift with minimum hassle.

    I bought an SKS X-tra dry that has a really simple strap that functions as a quick release...Most mudguards I looked at seemed to either be fixed, not accommodate the folding mechanism or were completely unsuitable for 20" wheels...

    When I fold my bike, I just twist it around and lift - it's perfect! There's a few photos on flickr if you're interested:

    Not sure about the best front fender that could also rapidly be removed (although speed less of an issue)...anyone using any decent front fenders on their swift?
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/guy/sets/1012115/

  16. #66
    All ur bike r belong Enki james_swift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guydickinson
    Only thing I am going to change on my swift is the length of the handlebar stem, for me personally (I'm 5'11), its a little short and I find myself sitting past the back of the saddle...but that's a $20 fix and a 5 minute unbolting exercise.
    Same with me...I went with as long a stem as I could find (130mm) and cut-down the stem post 3 inches. Getting more weight over the front wheel (and more of myself stretched over the top tube) has made a huge difference in handling. The bike now carves corners at speed with confidence. Gone is the out-of-the-box squirrely feel.


    Quote Originally Posted by guydickinson
    Btw, has anyone seen any bike couriers in NY riding a swift? I would have thought they would be the ideal courier bike, as they're fast, sturdy and can snap in half in seconds to get in a lift etc?
    Taken from the NYCEWheels product description:

    "The Swift folder is tough. It's from Brooklyn, what else would expect? The Swift has gone through many years of trial by fire riding on the streets of New York City, and the end result is a bike that can take a beating and keep on riding. ... This bike has been an underground legend among NYC riders for years, but the difficulty was getting your hands on one."
    When I was in Manhattan last year, I remember seeing a few of these "Swifts" in single-speed/fixed configurations used by messengers. At the time, I thought they were modified Fridays (which is what almost prompted me to purchase a Friday, until I got word of the Swift).
    Last edited by james_swift; 09-25-05 at 10:26 AM.

  17. #67
    www.getafolder.com wpflem's Avatar
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    I just want to make note that we love the Xootr Swift at Santa Fe Bikes.

    I might add I did my first test ride on one immediately after dismounting from an incredible Moulton several fold more expensive.
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  18. #68
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guydickinson
    Hey jyossarian - I've got a Nexus 7 in my Swift folder from Peter Reich. I just had to go to Edinburgh, Scotland for a few days and took my swift (kept it in hotel rooms, took it into offices and bars, cafes without a problem :-).

    Edinburgh has a *lot* of (to me) aggressive hills. The hub gear worked fine; I think 1st+2nd worked really well for my legs on the uphill, and 6/7th fine for long downhills. Mind you, if you're in a very hilly area I read that the Nexus 8 has a larger range?
    Thanks Guy. I don't mind the extra weight since I'm around 70 lbs overweight so theoretically, if I lose 2 lbs, I've broken even with the weight gain of the internal hub. Hopefully, I'll lose more. Also, it's good to know the squirrely feel can be minimized by lengthening the stem. I'll have to keep that in mind.

    I was more worried about hill climbing, but it sounds like the Nexus 7 will be more than suitable. It's not too hilly here in NYC, unless you go up the monster hills in upper Manhattan and the Bronx. And hey, hills build quads and character. As for the grip shifts, Peter said he might be able to fit rapid fire shifters instead cuz to me, the Shimano grip shifters are counterintuitive compared to the SRAM grip shifters. I've tried the Shimano grip shifters before and hated them cuz I had to keep looking down to see what I was doing.

    My plan was to use skinnier commuter slicks rather than the 1.75" wheels the Xootr comes with. Also, Peter said Apex front and rear fenders work pretty good on the Swift cuz they're plastic and flexible. He had a Planet Bike full fender too, but he said it still got in the way a little.
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  19. #69
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    So, anyone else think a Swift with a Moulton New Series suspension fork (carbon, even) would be the coolest? Santa Fe Bike, what's the chance?

  20. #70
    www.getafolder.com wpflem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by austex
    So, anyone else think a Swift with a Moulton New Series suspension fork (carbon, even) would be the coolest? Santa Fe Bike, what's the chance?
    Yes, it would be cool alright. Moulton is the ultimate ride in a small wheeled bike. Still I couldn't believe that stepping down in price to the Swift level could still give such a good ride. It sure sold me on Swift as a real value.
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  21. #71
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    I love Moultons, but really can't justify the expense. But I like this vote of confidence for the Swift.
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  22. #72
    All ur bike r belong Enki james_swift's Avatar
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    Got a set of 20" Apex fenders for my Swift: (click on blurry thumbnails)









    Had to do a little plastic-trimming to get the fenders to clear the rear brake / front fork, but that only took 5 minutes with a sharp knife.

    These fenders are light, flexible and don't detract from the clean lines of the Swift. Bring on the rain!

    Edit: don't get these fenders...after a week of rain-riding with these, I was sorely disappointed with their performance. I replaced them with the excellent Freddy Fenders from Planet Bike.
    Last edited by james_swift; 12-14-05 at 12:35 PM.

  23. #73
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    Hey James. I thought it was sunshine all year long on the west coast of the states? :-)

    Are those the recumbent mudguards/fenders that people have posted about? FWIW I bought a cheap $7 mudguard designed for a kid's bike - fits front wheel fine...I got caught in the rain (again) and rear xts was ok, but front wheel threw up loads of grit and rain, so made a beeline for the bike shop and that's all they had in stock. Seems ok though.

    Made a few modifications in the last few weeks; fitted some ergon grips - they're fantastic, and the small bar ends help my climbing...easy to cut the left one to accommodate the shifter

    I also found myself sitting too far back on the saddle (even after adjustment) so fitted a looong stem. It's only a couple of inches longer than standard (looks same length as yours) but what a difference - the 'snappiness' (squirrely?) steering is gone...much more of a sedate ride with what feels like 'heavy' steering...I'm not sure I prefer it at all actually...may be a getting used to thing, but at the moment I feel like I prefer the 'snappiness' of the short stem.

    It really is a versatile bike, you could turn it into any kind of bike you like really, with basic component changes...really impressed with the thought process of the design. I guess that's why I've seen the track bike, fixed gear versions etc. etc.

    Also getting a lot of positive feedback....from kids! Not sure what the US is like, but kids seem to be the predominant bike riding demographic here and they're intrigued by the look of the swift - I guess they think it's some kind of weird bmx! Glad I carry it around with me, it would get nicked very quickly if I left it locked up somewhere...!

  24. #74
    All ur bike r belong Enki james_swift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guydickinson
    Hey James. I thought it was sunshine all year long on the west coast of the states? :-)

    Are those the recumbent mudguards/fenders that people have posted about? FWIW I bought a cheap $7 mudguard designed for a kid's bike - fits front wheel fine...I got caught in the rain (again) and rear xts was ok, but front wheel threw up loads of grit and rain, so made a beeline for the bike shop and that's all they had in stock. Seems ok though.

    Made a few modifications in the last few weeks; fitted some ergon grips - they're fantastic, and the small bar ends help my climbing...easy to cut the left one to accommodate the shifter

    I also found myself sitting too far back on the saddle (even after adjustment) so fitted a looong stem. It's only a couple of inches longer than standard (looks same length as yours) but what a difference - the 'snappiness' (squirrely?) steering is gone...much more of a sedate ride with what feels like 'heavy' steering...I'm not sure I prefer it at all actually...may be a getting used to thing, but at the moment I feel like I prefer the 'snappiness' of the short stem.

    It really is a versatile bike, you could turn it into any kind of bike you like really, with basic component changes...really impressed with the thought process of the design. I guess that's why I've seen the track bike, fixed gear versions etc. etc.

    Also getting a lot of positive feedback....from kids! Not sure what the US is like, but kids seem to be the predominant bike riding demographic here and they're intrigued by the look of the swift - I guess they think it's some kind of weird bmx! Glad I carry it around with me, it would get nicked very quickly if I left it locked up somewhere...!
    Hey Guy...I'm not sure if these fenders are for recumbents, although they could be. I assumed they were for BMX.

    For the most part, it's sunny where I am...but we had a really strange from-out-of-nowhere thunder storm...the kind that only rained enough to coat the streets with a filthy layer of mucky grime. I actually got grime in the bottom headset (making the steering feel "crunchy"), so after taking apart the head tube assembly, cleaning-out everything and re-packing the bearings, I installed a headset seal to keep future crud out.

    The long stem makes my Swift feel like a road bike with longish geometry...nice and stable, just the way I like it. The roads on my commute are all long, straight flats, so this set-up on my Swift works best for me. I love that the Swift doesn't have that typical pogo-stick stem/handlebar design common on a lot of folders. It's a real stem/handlebar that can take real out-of-the-saddle pulling/pushing forces. I can't say the same for my Dahon.

    Yeah, I definitely am sold on the versatility of the Swift. I've been obsessing over converting it to a single-speed with a Surly Cog, a set of cassette spacers, and a Singleator. A lot of the commuters in SF ride ss/fixies, and I think the style is contagious or something. I'm just not sure of the durability of my SRAM cassette freehub (I've ridden Shimanos all my life) enough to subject it to the stresses of a single-speed conversion.

    I'm really pleased with my Swift. I get the performance and versatility of a big-wheeled bike, and the convenience/coolness factor of a folder. It easily cruises at 19-20mph, then chucks as easily under my desk at work. Parts options are as numerous as for any standard bike, and the fit is easily tweaked with a saddle with longer rails and/or a longer, lower stem.

    My next mod is to change-out the Kenda tires for some fast-riding Stelvios.

    Guy, have you updated your picture set with the new stem and front fender?

  25. #75
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    I have the same Apex fenders on my mtb. They do the job about 85%. I still get splashed a little running through puddles, but not as bad as before. It's supposed to rain tomorrow and Friday so we'll see how dirty I get. Thanks Guy & James for posting your info on the Swift. It's been very informative and it's good to know I can do lots of mods to it. BTW, does it have a horizontal or vertical dropout in back?
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