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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 03-05-07, 11:45 AM   #976
Speedo
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Originally Posted by kb5ql
Thanks, Jur. I finished the upgrade this weekend. Shimano 105 Crankset and an Ultegra BB-6500. Wow. What a difference. Subtle, but it's definitely 'like butter' now.
Are you planning to use the 39 tooth chaninring? What I was wondering is whether there was enough length to the dropouts to take up the 14 tooth difference between the rings.

Speedo
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Old 03-05-07, 04:41 PM   #977
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Originally Posted by Speedo
Are you planning to use the 39 tooth chaninring? What I was wondering is whether there was enough length to the dropouts to take up the 14 tooth difference between the rings.

Speedo
Definitely not enough room. You need a derailleur, which is the way I kb5ql will probably go to "manual" shift.
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Old 03-09-07, 10:51 AM   #978
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Thank you to everyone on this site who writes reviews about folding bikes. Your expert comments regarding quality, features and value steered me in the right direction. After careful consideration, I purchased a Swift folder and it's the best bike I've ever owned. It doesn't fold down as tight (or wide) as my Dahon Boardwalk, but it looks like a real (cool) bike, rides like a real (cool) bike, and folds small enough to store in my car and office. Superb!
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Old 03-10-07, 12:55 AM   #979
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LarryCo- Welcome to the best kept secret in folderdom! We keep trying to spread the word and glad you enjoy it. My Swift is hands down the best folder I've owned. As I have said before "The Swift is a great bike that just happens to fold whereas a Brompton has a great fold but isn't a great bike!"
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Old 03-11-07, 01:01 AM   #980
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Hi from a new Swift owner

Hey - wanted to introduce myself. I take ownership of a Swift (Xootr version) next week.

I live in San Francisco and it seems like there are already some happy Swift riders here.

I'm a gearhead but my knowledge of modern bicycles is zero. So it was really cool to find bikeforums.net and this pool of knowledge and info. Decided I needed to get a pedal bike for running around town and my old Schwinn and old Stumpjumper just didn't seem cool enuff. Saw a pic of a Swift and thought it looked really fast and sturdy, yet unique. Little did I know I had stumbled onto a pseudo cult bike.

Been lurking for a couple weeks and have read all the posts going back a couple years. It's fun to read peoples posts (their personalities really come thru after you read enough of them) and I'm looking forward to hearing from some of you who have so much experience with their Swifts. Hope no one minds my asking a lot of stupid questions.

I spoke to Peter Reich about buying one new "built to spec" but then this used one found me, and seemed like a faster way to get started (cheaper too). So I havent ridden it yet (coming from out of state) but I'm probably gonna make some mods to it right away.

I already know I want to dump the derailleur set up. I just dislike them. I'll be using the bike for riding about 3 miles to work and back, most of it level. No big deal for you guys but that's a good workout for me. I'm an avid vintage motorcycle racer so I see the health benefits of riding a bike, it'll force me to work my lungs and legs and back, as well as optimize my sense of balance. No time for gyms so hope the bike will be a fun way to get some cardio. Plus I can thumb my nose at the evil Dept of Parking. As a bonus, the bike can fold up, fit in my truck and go places.

So - a fixed gear setup really appeals to me. I have ridden them a little and realize what a commitment they are.... I'll be looking for advice and wisdom from you Swift fixie riders in here on whether or not to go for it.

Anyway, that's it for now. I'll have lots of questions soon I'm sure.

Ivan
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Old 03-11-07, 01:11 AM   #981
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get a hub gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by hulagun
Hey - wanted to introduce myself. I take ownership of a Swift (Xootr version) next week.

I live in San Francisco and it seems like there are already some happy Swift riders here.

I'm a gearhead but my knowledge of modern bicycles is zero. So it was really cool to find bikeforums.net and this pool of knowledge and info. Decided I needed to get a pedal bike for running around town and my old Schwinn and old Stumpjumper just didn't seem cool enuff. Saw a pic of a Swift and thought it looked really fast and sturdy, yet unique. Little did I know I had stumbled onto a pseudo cult bike.

Been lurking for a couple weeks and have read all the posts going back a couple years. It's fun to read peoples posts (their personalities really come thru after you read enough of them) and I'm looking forward to hearing from some of you who have so much experience with their Swifts. Hope no one minds my asking a lot of stupid questions.

I spoke to Peter Reich about buying one new "built to spec" but then this used one found me, and seemed like a faster way to get started (cheaper too). So I havent ridden it yet (coming from out of state) but I'm probably gonna make some mods to it right away.

I already know I want to dump the derailleur set up. I just dislike them. I'll be using the bike for riding about 3 miles to work and back, most of it level. No big deal for you guys but that's a good workout for me. I'm an avid vintage motorcycle racer so I see the health benefits of riding a bike, it'll force me to work my lungs and legs and back, as well as optimize my sense of balance. No time for gyms so hope the bike will be a fun way to get some cardio. Plus I can thumb my nose at the evil Dept of Parking. As a bonus, the bike can fold up, fit in my truck and go places.

So - a fixed gear setup really appeals to me. I have ridden them a little and realize what a commitment they are.... I'll be looking for advice and wisdom from you Swift fixie riders in here on whether or not to go for it.

Anyway, that's it for now. I'll have lots of questions soon I'm sure.
Ivan
Get a hub geared rear wheel. Fixed is fine for a short ride on flat ground but if you take your bike anywhere else your knees will be glad that you have gears. Other than hills, headwinds commonly slow you down quite a bit. Being able to drop down, or up a gear or two, is really beneficial. Hub gears can be had with between 3 and 14 ratios with the commonly available 7 or 8 speed offering a good balance. They can be shifted while moving or stopped....something a dearailleur bike cannot do, plus the gears are shielded from the elements.
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Old 03-11-07, 09:16 AM   #982
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Originally Posted by hulagun
Hey - wanted to introduce myself. I take ownership of a Swift (Xootr version) next week.

I live in San Francisco and it seems like there are already some happy Swift riders here.

I'm a gearhead but my knowledge of modern bicycles is zero. So it was really cool to find bikeforums.net and this pool of knowledge and info. Decided I needed to get a pedal bike for running around town and my old Schwinn and old Stumpjumper just didn't seem cool enuff. Saw a pic of a Swift and thought it looked really fast and sturdy, yet unique. Little did I know I had stumbled onto a pseudo cult bike.

Been lurking for a couple weeks and have read all the posts going back a couple years. It's fun to read peoples posts (their personalities really come thru after you read enough of them) and I'm looking forward to hearing from some of you who have so much experience with their Swifts. Hope no one minds my asking a lot of stupid questions.

I spoke to Peter Reich about buying one new "built to spec" but then this used one found me, and seemed like a faster way to get started (cheaper too). So I havent ridden it yet (coming from out of state) but I'm probably gonna make some mods to it right away.

I already know I want to dump the derailleur set up. I just dislike them. I'll be using the bike for riding about 3 miles to work and back, most of it level. No big deal for you guys but that's a good workout for me. I'm an avid vintage motorcycle racer so I see the health benefits of riding a bike, it'll force me to work my lungs and legs and back, as well as optimize my sense of balance. No time for gyms so hope the bike will be a fun way to get some cardio. Plus I can thumb my nose at the evil Dept of Parking. As a bonus, the bike can fold up, fit in my truck and go places.

So - a fixed gear setup really appeals to me. I have ridden them a little and realize what a commitment they are.... I'll be looking for advice and wisdom from you Swift fixie riders in here on whether or not to go for it.

Anyway, that's it for now. I'll have lots of questions soon I'm sure.

Ivan
San Francisco Swift fixie rider here. I'll be glad to help you with your fixie Swift conversion. The first step is to figure-out what version Swift you have. There are 2 versions: 132.5mm frame spacing and the newer 135mm frame spacing.. You'll need this measurement when getting your fixed rear wheel (Peter can build one up for you for cheaper than what I got mine, and he can probably have it so that it matches your particular Swift's front chainline). Once your rear wheel is installed, we'll need to work on your front chainline...and depending on what version Swift you have, it may or may not require a bottom bracket swap. If you know fixed-gear bikes on a mechanical level, you'll know that this is all standard protocol for fix-ing any bike, so a lot of information already out there is applicable (I recommend hanging-around the Fixed Gear thread on this forum for more technical info...among other things ).

Anyway, don't let anyone convince you that fixed-gear riding is bad for your knees. I've been riding San Francisco fixed for several months, and have had no problems. What I have noticed is that fixed riding will quickly force you to re-evaluate your current position on the bike, and if that position is wrong, it will suddenly become very apparent. If you choose to ignore the warning signs evidenced by newfound aches and pains and not change your position on the bike accordingly, you probably will then injure yourself. Just use your common sense, some good information, and above all, listen to your body. Since switching to fixed-gear, I've raised my saddle a total of 12mm (in 4mm increments over several weeks). Set up your bike to where it feels right, and you won't have problems.

As for gearing, I find that a gear less than 70 gear inches for the city is ideal. I actually ride a 68 inch gear, which is nice for the city, but a bit loose for the flats of the suburbs (which is where I hone my spinning technique anyway). Granted that you won't be able to do huge hills, there are always detours and public transportation (which is what the Swift is tailored for).

If you're like me, you can't live in San Francisco long without getting bit by the fixed-gear bug. It's a totally different riding experience, and will give you an intense workout over even short distances (no more freewheel cheating). Oh yeah, and do ride with at least a front brake. Have fun!

Last edited by james_swift; 03-11-07 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 03-11-07, 02:33 PM   #983
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a good test

Take your current bike and find the gear you think you can ride all the time and go out for a ride (no shifting).....if it works on your normal route, then go fixed, if not, use gearing like the pros do. Don't forget, if you live in hilly terrain, are over 30 years old, carry a little "extra baggage", and/or have not been riding for a long time, your knees will protest if you force them to grind up hills in too high a gear ratio. All this talk about fixed gear riding is fine for short flat rides or if you are exceptionally fit and young. The pros use fixed gear riding for specific training, for a short time period and then use gears when the race season starts. For the faithfull fixed gear advocates, I understand the attraction of riding fixed with the simple maintainance and the "zen" experience but lets be realistic, please!
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Old 03-11-07, 03:11 PM   #984
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Fixed gear age of riders? Kickstands?

Thanks for the friendly advice! I will absorb it all.

In light of warnings about fixies and age, I'm curious if there is an age gap between Swift riders with SS or FG bikes and those with multispeeds.

So - everyone chime in with your age and rear hub preference.

I am in fairly good shape for being 47 y.o. (YIKES.... born in the Fifties!) and I have fond memories of the Bendix 2-speed kickback coaster brakes of my day. (3 speeds seemed like a real luxury). oh, and some of my friends who ride fixies are well over 30.

But I am keeping an open mind. I don't want to hurt myself trying to get in better shape!

Hey what do you guys do for kickstands? I hate the crappy looking one they sell on the Xootr site. I really prefer the look of minimalist machines with a few tasteful small details (really like the "vintage" steel frame Swift owned by Zepi). No extra gadgets bolted all over the bike. I'm wondering if using a front brake lever with a locking button (if I can find a nice one) would be a cleverer solution than bolting a kickstand on. Just lean the bike on something solid, apply the brake, then lock the lever. Anybody tried this?
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Old 03-11-07, 03:30 PM   #985
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Originally Posted by charles vail
Take your current bike and find the gear you think you can ride all the time and go out for a ride (no shifting).....if it works on your normal route, then go fixed, if not, use gearing like the pros do. Don't forget, if you live in hilly terrain, are over 30 years old, carry a little "extra baggage", and/or have not been riding for a long time, your knees will protest if you force them to grind up hills in too high a gear ratio. All this talk about fixed gear riding is fine for short flat rides or if you are exceptionally fit and young. The pros use fixed gear riding for specific training, for a short time period and then use gears when the race season starts. For the faithfull fixed gear advocates, I understand the attraction of riding fixed with the simple maintainance and the "zen" experience but lets be realistic, please!
I'm not exceptionally fit nor young...actually I'm a bit overwieght and pushing 40. I think that grinding up hills seated applies to both geared and fixed bikes....doing so over long periods simply is not good on the knees. On a fixie, I'm more limited by the steepness of the grade before I'm be forced to stand on the climbs. On a geared bike, I'm less limited by the degree of the grade, and more inclined (no pun) to sit and grind...which from my roadie days, caused me to have knee problems. Standing on a 5% grade on a fixie or grinding up a 10% grade seated on a geared bike...which is worse? I think it depends on too many factors to consider one worse than the other.
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Old 03-11-07, 08:50 PM   #986
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age

Quote:
Originally Posted by hulagun
Thanks for the friendly advice! I will absorb it all.

In light of warnings about fixies and age, I'm curious if there is an age gap between Swift riders with SS or FG bikes and those with multispeeds.

So - everyone chime in with your age and rear hub preference.

I am in fairly good shape for being 47 y.o. (YIKES.... born in the Fifties!) and I have fond memories of the Bendix 2-speed kickback coaster brakes of my day. (3 speeds seemed like a real luxury). oh, and some of my friends who ride fixies are well over 30.

But I am keeping an open mind. I don't want to hurt myself trying to get in better shape!

Hey what do you guys do for kickstands? I hate the crappy looking one they sell on the Xootr site. I really prefer the look of minimalist machines with a few tasteful small details (really like the "vintage" steel frame Swift owned by Zepi). No extra gadgets bolted all over the bike. I'm wondering if using a front brake lever with a locking button (if I can find a nice one) would be a cleverer solution than bolting a kickstand on. Just lean the bike on something solid, apply the brake, then lock the lever. Anybody tried this?
48 & 1/2 years young! I prefer gears! I have a bothersome knee and prefer to spin rather than grind regardless of how many gears I have. Listen.....there is nothing wrong with riding a fixed or single gear bike, just don't overdo it. As many of you know, young folks can get away with bravado but us older guys have to use our brains first, if we want to be able to keep riding into our 60's and beyond. I've tried the single gear approach and in my area, its very frustraiting to spin like a madman then be forced to stand and grind up even a modest hill. I live in hilly Western Washington U.S.A. and its 10 miles to anything civilized, so for me, a normal daily ride is at least 10 and often 20 or more miles, if I am using the bike to get somewhere to buy something, other than a burger or a coffee. If I lived in the city or suburbs where it was flat and I had access to bus service then yes, I would probably ride a fixed gear of about 60-70 gear inches especially if I had alot of stop and go. From my perspective, in a rural area, it makes little sense to ride one gear although I could get away with it if I keep my daily excercise route shorter.

A few rubber bands around the downtube and tire valve/rim will hold the front wheel from flopping. Cheap, light and it works!
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Old 03-12-07, 12:13 AM   #987
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A few rubber bands around the downtube and tire valve/rim will hold the front wheel from flopping. Cheap, light and it works!
Brilliant! ...er, what downtube?!!!
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Old 03-12-07, 08:14 AM   #988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles vail
Don't forget, if you live in hilly terrain, are over 30 years old, carry a little "extra baggage", and/or have not been riding for a long time, your knees will protest if you force them to grind up hills in too high a gear ratio. All this talk about fixed gear riding is fine for short flat rides or if you are exceptionally fit and young.
I'm joining this a little late, but I live in a very hilly rural area, am in my mid forties, carry some extra baggage, and ride 100 - 150 miles/week fixed, often on a Swift. Yes, by all means, listen to your knees, but the key to keeping them healthy is fit and fitness. I certainly wouldn't recommend fixed for someone just getting into riding in San Francisco, but I do want to dispel the notions that fixed is bad for your knees, uncomfortable on long rides, unsuitable for hilly terrain, and unwise for those with greying hair. It's just not so.

Fixed is not everyone's cup of tea, but I advocate it for those interested because it has re-energized my interest in cycling, especially during the winter where I appreciate a change of pace.

Jack
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Old 03-12-07, 10:36 AM   #989
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yea, I know!

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Brilliant! ...er, what downtube?!!!
I suppose you could use several and connect them over the top tube next to the head tube. I assume you are riding a Swift?

In retrospect, after re-reading your original post, you could use a fixed (pedals move all the time) or a single speed (with a freewheel,allows coasting). The fact that you have a three mile commute on flat terrain makes one gear ideal. Simple, less to go out of adjustment, easy to service, etc. I wish I had a simular situtation but I like my home in the country and will have to just use some gearing.

Last edited by charles vail; 03-12-07 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 03-12-07, 02:48 PM   #990
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I assume you are riding a Swift?
This is still the Swift Folders Thread isn't it? Sorry Charles couldnt resist.
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Old 03-12-07, 02:55 PM   #991
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Fixed is not everyone's cup of tea, but I advocate it for those interested because it has re-energized my interest in cycling, especially during the winter where I appreciate a change of pace.

Jack
OK, FG Swift experts!

My buddy has offered me a handsome pair of Campy large flange track hubs. I know the rear hub is 120mm width so too narrow for the 130+ mm Xootr frame rear fork ends. So, possibly stupid question... Is there any way this hub can be spaced or adapted to be used on my frame?

Yeah, I'm on a budget.
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Old 03-12-07, 05:01 PM   #992
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You just need to get a new, longer axle bolt and some spacers. Not difficult, not expensive.
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Old 03-12-07, 06:15 PM   #993
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nifty swifty

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This is still the Swift Folders Thread isn't it? Sorry Charles couldnt resist.
touche'
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Old 03-12-07, 09:06 PM   #994
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[QUOTE=hulagun]Thanks for the friendly advice! I will absorb it all.

In light of warnings about fixies and age, I'm curious if there is an age gap between Swift riders with SS or FG bikes and those with multispeeds.

So - everyone chime in with your age and rear hub preference.

I am in fairly good shape for being 47 y.o. (YIKES.... born in the Fifties!) and I have fond memories of the Bendix 2-speed kickback coaster brakes of my day. (3 speeds seemed like a real luxury). oh, and some of my friends who ride fixies are well over 30.

As an Old Dog, (fifty-something) I like single-speed a lot. Particularly the simplicity of the packing for travel. And I like to coast. Reconnect to your inner eight-year old. Coasting is good. God, just imagine posting this on the fixed gear forum, I'd be crucified, dead and buried. Anyay, get a flip/flop hub and have it both ways at no extra charge. My $0.02. Just returned from a trip to S.F. The single-speed was perfect.
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Old 03-12-07, 09:36 PM   #995
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hulagun
OK, FG Swift experts!

My buddy has offered me a handsome pair of Campy large flange track hubs. I know the rear hub is 120mm width so too narrow for the 130+ mm Xootr frame rear fork ends. So, possibly stupid question... Is there any way this hub can be spaced or adapted to be used on my frame?

Yeah, I'm on a budget.
This axle might fit, but it's best to drop an email to Sheldon Brown to make sure (he'll know). You'll also need a bag of spacers to go with it. Keep in mind that 120mm track hubs typically have a 42mm chainline, so you'll definitely need to swap-out the bottom bracket. For starters, my 68x107mm Shimano BB gives me a 49mm chainline with the sprocket mounted on the outside of the crank spider. If I were to mount it on the inside of the crank spider, it would only give me ~45mm chainline. So with a 68x107mm BB and your 120mm track hub, your chainline would be off by 3mm. You might need to go with chainline spacers to compensate (not sure how far you can go before the sprocket bottoms-out against the chainstay).

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Old 03-13-07, 01:33 AM   #996
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Mine came friday, I kinda like the blue

Got mine friday, I kinda like the blue.
Seems like a very sweet ride!
I do have a couple of questions for you pros that I will ask later.
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Old 03-13-07, 10:50 AM   #997
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Hmm, I emailed Xootr late last week to ask the cost of a Swift with an 8 speed Nexus redline hub. No response yet. Does anyone have an idea of the price and how long it would take to get one?
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Old 03-13-07, 11:10 AM   #998
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MillCreek
Hmm, I emailed Xootr late last week to ask the cost of a Swift with an 8 speed Nexus redline hub. No response yet. Does anyone have an idea of the price and how long it would take to get one?
You need to talk with human powered machine or Peter Reich.

I spoke with Peter Reich regarding a Nexus redline hub and single speed versions of the swift. the single speed is (as of January) 660 and an additional 180 for the redline hub.
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Old 03-13-07, 12:51 PM   #999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by law4jba
You need to talk with human powered machine or Peter Reich.

I spoke with Peter Reich regarding a Nexus redline hub and single speed versions of the swift. the single speed is (as of January) 660 and an additional 180 for the redline hub.
So that puts a Swift with a redline up to $ 840, and I can get a Dahon Mu XL for about $ 810 shipped, which includes a redline, fenders, rack and lights. Noting this is a Swift thread, does anyone have any comments on the merits of a Swift vs. a Dahon Mu XL? I would primarily be using this as a supplemental city/errand/commute bike, and already have two road and two mountain bikes at home.

Last edited by MillCreek; 03-13-07 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 03-13-07, 03:11 PM   #1000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james_swift
This axle might fit, but it's best to drop an email to Sheldon Brown to make sure (he'll know). You'll also need a bag of spacers to go with it. Keep in mind that 120mm track hubs typically have a 42mm chainline, so you'll definitely need to swap-out the bottom bracket. For starters, my 68x107mm Shimano BB gives me a 49mm chainline with the sprocket mounted on the outside of the crank spider. If I were to mount it on the inside of the crank spider, it would only give me ~45mm chainline. So with a 68x107mm BB and your 120mm track hub, your chainline would be off by 3mm. You might need to go with chainline spacers to compensate (not sure how far you can go before the sprocket bottoms-out against the chainstay).
Is Sheldon still answering e-mails? He is pretty ill at the moment.

http://www.sheldonbrown.org/journal/health.html

Although his journal is still up to date. So the answer is probably yes.
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