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Thread: swift folders

  1. #826
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    Oziswift, what type of rear derailleur-hanger did you mount, and where did you find it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by james_swift
    That bike is a definite one-of-a-kind, especially with those radical disc brakes. Wow! Could you also post some pics of that sweet crankset/chainring?

    I see that you have a lovely cache of other bikes, including a Friday.
    Hi James and owners of other Nifty Swifties

    Sharp eyes! The cache of bikes is owned by myself and my partner; besides the Bike Friday, there's also a Birdy. The problem with both is in the quick folding; with the Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro, folding tends to throw the derailleurs out of whack. Alex Wetmore's articles sent me down the Swift Folder path. Here's the pics you asked for. The crankset details are in my original post on page 33.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by maunakea
    Oziswift, what type of rear derailleur-hanger did you mount, and where did you find it?
    Hi maunakea

    Peter Reich supplied me with a bare XOOTR Swift frameset and the rear derailleur-hanger was part of the package. See here => http://www.xootr.com/xootr/swift/specifications.shtml especially the 3rd image from the top. Peter supplied me with a spare so you could try him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by james_swift
    I forgot to mention that you can remove those rear V-brake brake mounting posts with a crescent wrench. The front ones, however, are not removable.
    Thanks James - I'm waiting for a a set of A2Z Pivot Plugs see => http://www.cyclesolutions.com.au/products/brake_hw.htm to tidy up the rear end. Just proving difficult to lay my hands on a set right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kb5ql

    Hubbub on right drop and bar-end shifter on left? I won't be doing this right away, just curious to see if this is even possible.

    Thanks.
    Hi kb5ql

    Check out the specs on my Swift posted on page 33. I'm running an SRAM Dual Drive. Twist shifter on a HubBub adaptor on one bar end, bar end shifter on the other. There are a couple of pics there too.

    When researching the issue of using drop bar levers with V or mechanical disk brakes, I came across a couple of sites that didn't find Travel Agents (or similar solutions) satisfactory. You've three other alternatives.

    (1) use Diacompe/Diatech 287 V brake specific levers or

    (2) use a short pull (mini v-brake) set up as used on BMX bikes see => http://bicycles.thurstons.us/18$_solution.htm. Tektro have upgraded their mini v-brake range see => http://www.tektro.com/02products/. These brakes will work with road brake levers. If you check out the mini v-brakes on these two pages, you could find something that suits => http://harriscyclery.net/page.cfm?Pa...rch&startRow=1
    You'll need a model with this specification: Brake Lever Actuation = Short Pull (such as the BX3Vs)

    (3) There are also a whole new range of low profile cantilevers (Avid, Cane Creek, Tektro) appearing on 'cross bikes that use normal drop bar levers. Only trouble with small wheels is that big feet tend to catch on the rear cantilever. Check out => http://sheldonbrown.com/cantilever-geometry.html and ask Sheldon what he would do.

    I think my brother is running Avid low profile cantilevers with Shimano levers on a Moulton with a Rohloff 14 speed internal hub.

    Hope this helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kb5ql
    I am thinking about getting the swift sometime soon and I noticed that the main site says they are out of stock.
    Hi kb5ql

    Would you please point me to the notice on the main site with the "out of stock" message? Thanks

  7. #832
    SWS: Small Wheel Syndrome kb5ql's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OziSwift
    Hi kb5ql

    Would you please point me to the notice on the main site with the "out of stock" message? Thanks
    Orders received by 3pm ET Mon - Fri usually ship same business day.
    January 03, 2007 - The Xootr Swift is temporarily out of stock due to unexpected demand. We expect to receive our next shipment near
    the end of February in 2007.

    http://www.xootr.com/

    I don't know about Peter Reich's stock (steel frame) as I am interested in the ALU Version. I ordered mine directly from nycewheels.com. Should be arriving on Wed or Thurs.

    As for the TravelAgents, I am using them on my 700cc Road Bike w/ Shimano 105 Groupset. I've had no problems w/ them. I'm going to go that route with the swift. I'll be posting back with my results once I've finished attempting the upgrades.
    Last edited by kb5ql; 01-08-07 at 10:03 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OziSwift
    with the Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro, folding tends to throw the derailleurs out of whack.
    Hey there. Can you elaborate a bit on this? I haven't heard BF riders complain about this at all.

    I have noticed that I don't need to adjust my Swift derailleur when packing.... probably because I have to remove it to pack it in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
    Hey there. Can you elaborate a bit on this? I haven't heard BF riders complain about this at all.

    I have noticed that I don't need to adjust my Swift derailleur when packing.... probably because I have to remove it to pack it in the first place.
    I think it's because the Friday's rear triangle pivot is just behind bottom bracket, so the chain rides around the chainring as the bike folds. The Swift's integrated rear triangle/bottom bracket pivots as single unit, so chain tension is not affected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
    Hey there. Can you elaborate a bit on this? I haven't heard BF riders complain about this at all.

    I have noticed that I don't need to adjust my Swift derailleur when packing.... probably because I have to remove it to pack it in the first place.
    Hi

    James is right. The Bike Friday’s pivot point is behind the bottom bracket so two things happen.

    (1) The distance between the crank set and rear hub changes as you fold the bike. It gets shorter so the chain tends to drop off unless the derailleur can “eat” the slack.
    (2) The front derailleur doesn’t move so the chain tends to catch the bottom of the front derailleur cage and pull it out of place.

    This is exacerbated because the pivot is also angled so the rear triangle/rear wheel folds up to one side of the top tube. This causes the chain to exert a sideways force on the cogs, cranks and derailleurs unless you’re very very careful about the set up before the fold. The perfect chain line in the unfolded position is angled in the folded position. The front derailleur is often the most affected – and the chain tends to fall off the chain rings as well.

    The Swift has what was described as a unified rear triangle (URT) on early-model full suspension mountain bikes. (The old Klein Mantra is the best example, although there were several others – Trek Y bikes for example). With these bikes, the relationship between the front crank set/front derailleur and the rear hub/rear derailleur, chain line and chain length remained constant as the rear triangle moved.

    The Swift adopts this principle and takes it to an extreme. The bottom bracket (and front derailleur if fitted) is part of the folding rear triangle and so the bottom bracket to dropout distance never changes. Also, the pivot point is not angled, so, when you fold the Swift, not only does the rear triangle/rear wheel fold directly under the top tube but also:
    (3) The distance between the crank set and rear hub remains constant as you fold the bike.
    (4) The front derailleur moves with the fold so the chain doesn’t do anything to the derailleurs because the chain length and chain line don’t change from the unfolded position.

    There’s a good article about the difference between Bike Fridays and Swifts here => http://www.phred.org/~alex/bikes/bf-vs-swift.html - and ask a Bike Friday owner with a front derailleur to fold their bike so you can see what happens for yourself. The Air Fridays may not suffer from this problem to the same extent.

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    Oziswift, thanks for the info on the RD hanger. I'll email Peter.

    For the BF chain problem, why not put a SRAM master link in the chain, and remove the chain when packing. I use master links on all my bikes now. Started with the folders, but the ML makes a chain bath so much easier.

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    In everyones honest opinion, how close to a normal road bike can the swift be made into?
    The only reason I ask is because I just had the opportunity to ride an Ultegra equipped Giant ocr1, and I was very impressed with the ride compared to my fixed gear conversion. I now see that I have been missing out on a lot of the joys of owning a geared bike. I have always wanted a folder, with the main intention of making it a fixed gear bike ala james (and others) but now my main thoughts are to have it as a nice geared bike with the option to make it fixed gear if I so decided.
    Can I expect the frame to accomodate my intentions of making it a competently equipped roadie? (Without a front derailer though)
    Opinions and thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by big boy phil
    In everyones honest opinion, how close to a normal road bike can the swift be made into? Can I expect the frame to accomodate my intentions of making it a competently equipped roadie? (Without a front derailer though)
    Opinions and thoughts are greatly appreciated.
    Hi big boy phil

    Very close in my opinion. See my posts/pics on page 33 (#805, #813) and page 34 (#828, #831). You can certainly run Ultegra components on most of it. Here are the compromises you may have to make.

    (0) You'll need the aluminium XOOTR Swift frameset with the rear derailer hanger (unless you put in a special order with Peter => http://www.swiftfolder.com/index.html or the Center for Appropriate Transport => http://www.catoregon.org/ if you're going down the all steel path).

    (1) No front derailleur - although you could fit a double chainring and shift from the big to little chainring by hand - there's a reference to that somewhere in this thread and it's the way they used to do it a long time ago.

    (2) Gearing: You're going to need either (a) much larger chainrings than the normal 53/39 crankset or (b) much smaller sprockets. Bike Friday sell sell large chainrings; not sure if they'll fit the Ultegra cranks. TA Specialities also provide outsize chainrings. Alternatively, you could run Shimano's Capreo rear cassette (9-26 teeth). Bike Friday and Moulton have modifed this cassette so it runs from 9-28 or 9-32. However, if you do this, you'll need the Capreo rear hub. If you use just one front chainring, the Ultegra short cage derailer should be adequate; if you end up with two chainrings, you'll need the long cage version.

    (3) Brakes. I don't think that Shimano's dual pivot brakes will fit. I'm not at home so I can't check. If you decide to run with drop bars and Shimano Ultegra 'brifters', then you have 3 options to use V brakes with these levers. (a) use a (inline?) Travel Agent (b) use Tektro mini v-brakes (c) use one of the new low profile cantilevers. I'd use Tektro's top of the line mini Vs if I was going down this path. I've read mixed reviews about Travel Agents and the low profile cantis from Avid, Tektro, Cane Creek, when fitted as a rear brake, tend to catch your heel when your pedaling.

    The other option is to use Diacompe/Diatech 287 V brake specific brake levers with a bar end shifter. See my post above (#831). You might also like to check out the information on Alex Wetmore's bicycle pages => http://www.phred.org/~alex/bikes/, especially about small wheeled bikes/folders.

    You can build up wheels on narrow rims (Alex, Velocity, Sun) and use narrow, high pressure tyres from either Schwalbe or Continental.

    Look forward to seeing how you go.

    OziSwift

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    Quote Originally Posted by big boy phil
    In everyones honest opinion, how close to a normal road bike can the swift be made into?
    Depends on what you do with your road bike.

    The handling will not be the same, no matter what you do. It's very responsive, so it's hard to take one hand off the bars, and difficult (if not ill-advised) to ride no-hands. I've found this interferes with my ability to make hand signals and do on-bike stretches.

    The ride will be rougher than a typical road bike, unless you do something to smooth it out (e.g. use plush tires) -- which will have a (minor) impact on your overall speed. I'm definitely not enjoying the ride quality with 100psi Marathon Slicks.

    Unless you put a double front chainring or something funky like a SRAM DualDrive on your bike, your gearing range with just a single front chainring will be smaller than a standard road bike. However, I find the single front is a good compromise between simplicity and gearing.

    Personally I find all this makes the bike poorly suited for fast group rides and maybe centuries, and good for almost everything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
    It's very responsive, so it's hard to take one hand off the bars, and difficult (if not ill-advised) to ride no-hands. I've found this interferes with my ability to make hand signals and do on-bike stretches.
    I agree that the Swift is more responsive, but I'm able to comfortably ride mine no-handed, and I'm not an especially acrobatic cyclist. While I haven't ridden it on a century yet (though I intend to), I've done a couple of 50 mile rides, and found it comfortable enough. I too am using narrow high pressure tires (Stelvio 1.125" @ 90 psi), but I will put on something wider (Marathon Racers?) when they wear out, in the interest of more comfort, and perhaps a somewhat less responsive front end.

    I don't do many group rides on mine, but that's because it's a fixed gear, which brings its own issues when riding with others.

    I'm not really disagreeing with Bacciagalupe--the Swift will not behave the same as a 700c road bike. But the differences are surprisingly minor, to me at least.

    Jack
    Last edited by JackJ; 01-10-07 at 01:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by big boy phil
    Can I expect the frame to accomodate my intentions of making it a competently equipped roadie? (Without a front derailer though)
    Opinions and thoughts are greatly appreciated.
    Oziswift's bike certainly goes to show that you can do a full-blown road bike configuration with the Swift. If you're expecting the Swift to ride like a Giant OCR1, you will be disappointed. An aluminum frame riding on 20" wheels is nothing like a carbon 700C road bike. It's just not an apples-to-apples comparison. On the other hand, if you're looking for a versatile folding bike that can go from stock, to road bike, to fixie, and back again, then the Swift can certainly accommodate. If you like to tinker and tweak; if the end result is a truly unique and personal machine, then the Swift will fit the bill. If you want a carbon dream machine, then get a carbon dream machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OziSwift
    (1) No front derailleur - although you could fit a double chainring and shift from the big to little chainring by hand - there's a reference to that somewhere in this thread and it's the way they used to do it a long time ago.
    You can also go with an SRAM Dual Drive for a wide gear range. The loss of performance is minimal.

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    I apologize, the bike I should compare to is not the ocr1, but the tcr1. Still not apples to aples, but it is an aluminum framed bike.
    Thanks for the replies. I have a lot to consider before I start shelling out the cash.
    I guess I was trying to see if the swift would compare to a Bike Friday. Where all I read and hear about those bikes, is how awesome they are. And how they can easily replace someones true road bike. I have inquired about the fridays as we'll, and the number one turn off is the price. Second, is when I asked about turning it into a fixed gear bike, the contact person @ BF advised against it, and said its not practical and would be difficult to do. Although I have seen BF's as fixed bikes.
    From everything I have read about the swift, I am sure it would be a capable platform for me to turn it into what I want. And what I am after is first and foremost a compact package of a bike that performs well. I'm not looking to reduce my stable of bikes by having an all in one package of a bike, but to expand my collection to have a sweet folding bike that would be able ride with the big boys if needed.
    Man this is getting long winded.
    Oh, one last thing. I don't know anything about braze on front derailers, but is that even a consideration to get a FD onto the swift?

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    Quote Originally Posted by big boy phil
    I apologize, the bike I should compare to is not the ocr1, but the tcr1. Still not apples to aples, but it is an aluminum framed bike.
    Thanks for the replies. I have a lot to consider before I start shelling out the cash.
    I guess I was trying to see if the swift would compare to a Bike Friday. Where all I read and hear about those bikes, is how awesome they are. And how they can easily replace someones true road bike. I have inquired about the fridays as we'll, and the number one turn off is the price. Second, is when I asked about turning it into a fixed gear bike, the contact person @ BF advised against it, and said its not practical and would be difficult to do. Although I have seen BF's as fixed bikes.
    From everything I have read about the swift, I am sure it would be a capable platform for me to turn it into what I want. And what I am after is first and foremost a compact package of a bike that performs well. I'm not looking to reduce my stable of bikes by having an all in one package of a bike, but to expand my collection to have a sweet folding bike that would be able ride with the big boys if needed.
    Man this is getting long winded.
    Oh, one last thing. I don't know anything about braze on front derailers, but is that even a consideration to get a FD onto the swift?
    Yeah ... a NWT with 105 components and drop bars is something like $2000. But if you are set on a derailer drivetrain (front and back) then it is probably your best bet.

    If you are interested in a fixed gear, talk to Walter at BF.

    If you search this thread, you will probably find reference toa Japanese guy that makes a clamp for a 40mm seat tube to which you could attach a braze-on front derailer. Last I checked, after converting from Yen, it was about a $100.

    Note that with the Swift, you will then have to consider the bend to the front derailer cable. You could split the cable--with the method that coupled bikes use--to avoid the bend; but it already sounds like a lot of work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by big boy phil
    ... I guess I was trying to see if the swift would compare to a Bike Friday. Where all I read and hear about those bikes, is how awesome they are. And how they can easily replace someones true road bike... fixie ... the contact person @ BF advised against it, and said its not practical and would be difficult to do ... to have a sweet folding bike that would be able ride with the big boys if needed... I don't know anything about braze on front derailers, but is that even a consideration to get a FD onto the swift?
    Hi big boy phil

    Alex Wetmore publishes a “Bike Friday vs. Swift” article on his website, which is worth a read. For background, I own:
    (1) a custom built, steel framed road bike designed for me by Australia’s best bike fitter.
    (2) a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro.
    (3) a customised XOOTR Swift.
    I bought the Bike Friday because it packed up in a suitcase, making it easier to travel by air. Unfortunately, I discovered the Swift after I’d bought the Bike Friday . I built up the Swift because of problems I had folding the Bike Friday. maunakea proposed an elegant solution to the BF folding problem (above). Why didn’t I think of that! Thank you, maunakea .
    I prefer to ride the full sized bike – the Bike Friday or the Swift will never replace it until I can’t throw my leg over the big bike’s saddle. The BF and Swift are “twitchier” due to smaller wheels, higher bottom brackets and fork offset/trail dimensions. Properly configured, either can hang with the big boys – and I haven’t noticed any discernable difference in handling between them.

    Your main problem will be gearing. A 56t front chain ring and 9-32 (modified Capreo) or 11-32 (if you’re happy pumping a max of 102 gear inches) 9-speed cassette should work just fine. Note that a 1T difference in the rear cogs is not as discernable on 20” wheels as it is on 27” wheels so you can live with bigger jumps (11-13-15 etc) in the rear cluster without detracting from the road bike “look and feel”. If you can live with the slight weight penalty, the SRAM Dual Drive or Rohloff are the go for multi gearing small wheel bikes with one front chain ring. Depends on what you need and how much you can afford.

    Bike Friday may not exactly duplicate your position on your favourite bike. As far as I know, the Pocket Rocket frames are built with a fixed 72 degree head and seat tube angle. Also, the frames are built in 2 cm (virtual) top tube increases from somewhere around 46 cm through to 60+ cm. If you like riding with a stem length between 90-110 mm and your road bike seat tube is 71 degrees, you may have to compromise your road bike position on a BF.

    If I was asked to choose between a Bike Friday and Swift with identical components, I’d come down on the side of the Swift because it would cost much less while providing the flexibility to reconfigure it as you please. Its only drawback is that it comes in one size and the seat post is fixed.

    I’m surprised with BF’s change of heart about fixies because it certainly promoted them last year on it’s old web site and dedicated considerable space to BF riders’ single speed and fixie bikes and their exploits. I think it even offered one in its 2006 range.

    kb5ql (see post at the top of page 34) is contemplating the front derailer route on a Swift. Whether braze on or clamp, remember that the chain slopes DOWN from the chain rings to the rear cluster on small wheeled bikes (that is, the chain is not parallel to the ground as it is on a full size bike) so the derailer tab needs to be offset from the seat tube, not PARALLEL to it. If the seat tube angle is 72 degrees, the FD tab will probably less than this; I’m not sure how much but it shouldn’t be too hard to work out with a little math.
    Looking forward to seeing how you and kb5ql go.
    OziSwift

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    I bought myself a butt buddy

    I bought a butt buddy. Yes, really.

    Check out this page at Sidetrak.com It's basically a steel spring with urethane dampers, so it does something similar to the Cane Creek Thudbuster.

    Unlike the Thudbuster, it is not intended for offroad use - instead of several inches of travel, it has 6 mm. The urethane is also very stiff. It doesn't sound much, but from a week of riding it I can say that I'm starting to like it. It takes the brunt off the worst bumps & potholes here in SF, and seems to remove some road buzz from the aluminium frame.

    My kitchen scales say it weight about 250 g (just under 9 oz) - about a quarter water bottle.

    James_Swift wondered if it starts moving or oscillating when spinning at high cadences. The answer is, I can't really tell. My spinning technique is lousy and I just start bouncing in the seat. But I don't think it does, at least not as I can tell.

    So all in all, it doesn't perform miracles, but it does seem to reduce the worst bumps. I hope it will reduce fatigue on long rides. I've signed up for the San Francisco to LA Aids/Lifecycle ride, and am considering doing all 545 miles on my Swift

    Edit: I find that it works best when I'm sitting relatively upright. When I'm on the drops I have much less weight on the seat, and I don't notice it doing so much. YMMV.

    Last edited by yangmusa; 01-10-07 at 10:03 PM.
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    Random & infrequent updates about my Birdy folding bike (and the Swift I used to have): http://yangmusa.blogspot.com/

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    In response to the various "can I use a Swift as a road bike?" questions:

    I've never owned a road bike, so I can't tell you how it compares to "the real thing". But I can tell you that I regularly ride 40+ miles with a bunch of roadies, averaging 16++ mph over that distance. We ride over the hills south of SF, then down the peninsula. Along the way, there are 5 long open stretches where we do sprints. The faster riders drop me on the sprints, but I think that has more to do with my fitness - I certainly don't run out of gears (I have a Sturmey Archer 8 speed hub).

    Magnus
    ICE B1
    Riese & Müller Birdy Silver
    Raleigh Gran Prix

    Random & infrequent updates about my Birdy folding bike (and the Swift I used to have): http://yangmusa.blogspot.com/

  23. #848
    All ur bike r belong Enki james_swift's Avatar
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    My Swift's latest incarnation:






    I added an inline brake lever, Oury grips to the bar tops, and I upgraded the front brake to Avid SD-5.

  24. #849
    SWS: Small Wheel Syndrome kb5ql's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody for all your help. Here is a quick shot of the bike. I'll probably update this info later this weekend.


  25. #850
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    Quote Originally Posted by james_swift
    My Swift's latest incarnation:
    What is the black thing on the stem-rise below the stem?

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