My swift folder
Chainring/Cranks/BB/Bar Tape: Sugino 75
Rear Hub: Phil Wood low flange fixed/fixed
Front Hub: Phil Wood low flange
Saddle: Selle San Marco Aspide
Bars: Soma Major Taylor
Chain: KMC white
Pedals: MKS GR-9 w/ MKS Alloy Clips & Campy Record Straps
The 49X14 or 49X15 Gear Ratios end up seeming really slow with 20" wheels, so I am looking for an x-large chainring.
Last edited by vas jr.; 09-05-07 at 10:53 AM.
Small point, and it may never matter........but the connector link in the chain is better off reversed from how it appears now.
Yeah...I know. I was so frustrated with my broken chain tool that once I got it on and realized it, I just left it that way. I am going to fix it and touch up the chain with white out.
Beautiful bike, Vas! Nice attention to details.
Really choice components you have there. Phil hubs...nice!
Are those Primo Comet 20x1.35 tires? If so, that might be partially why you're having a hard time getting a good gear ratio. The Comets in that size measure slightly under 18.75 inches in diameter, while most other similar-application 20" tires measure at least 19 inches and greater in diameter. For example, 49x14 with your current tires yields 65 gear inches. The same gearing on a tire with 19.5" diameter (Kenda Kwest 20x1.50 for example) will yield 68 gear inches. Significant difference.
How do you find riding brakeless on your fixed Swift?
Vas: How'd you get the steel frame?
Good point on the gear ratio. I'll measure the tires when I get home tonight (I rode a different bike to work). The problem is I usually ride with about a 90 inch ratio normally (46X13 & 49X15 on 700 wheels)...this being florida where there are no hills except bridges. There is a local bike shop here that has a 56 tooth chainring laying around that I was going to pick up for it.
I also normally ride brakeless (unless I am doing really long distances) so I am more used to riding without brakes than with them. The drops I put on the bike are a little deep but I do have a longer stem riser that I keep forgetting to get from my parents' house.
Oh...and I picked up the frame off craigslist from a guy in Cleveland...not sure exactly how old it is.
How about Jan Vander Tuin? Does he still exist? Moved on to a new company? Exited the bike business?
Next question: Are steel framed Swift Folders still available on the East Coast???
http://www.catoregon.org/hpm.htm gives the following contacts: email email@example.com; and phone (541) 343-5568 or (800) 343-5568. There's also a link to a catalog that includes the steel Swift Folder here.
I apologize if you've already tried these contacts (I haven't) but I wanted to make sure you and others were aware of them.
90 gear inches is very high, what kind of cadences do you run? I own a few bikes that don't even have a 90" top gear. At 100rpm you are looking at 28mph in that gear.
I don't have a fixed gear anymore, but 65" was always about perfect for me (in hillier Seattle). 18mph at 90rpm, 8mph at 40rpm (for the climbs), and 30mph at 150rpm (for the descents).
Sort of an update:
I was going pretty fast down a bridge with a loaded rear rack of around 25lbs and it was downright scary. The bike wanted to move one side to another, i think it's due to the load not being bolted down. So I'm thinking of getting a front rack instead. Anyone would know why?
If the load can move from side to side, it will try to steer the bike (any bike). The further behiind the rear wheel it is, the more its likely to effect handling.
I've had problems with the following setups:
- Loosely connected loads (Note that cheap panniers on cheap racks will often have this problem)
- Bags that flex and are fastened to the handlebars. If the load is significantly offset from the axis of the headset, it doesn't take much weight for it to start to steer the bike!
- Rear racks that flex. I now stick to very rigid rear racks
- Heavy and very uneven loading between rear panniers if the bike has rear suspension and rack is mounted on the rear suspension. (It can twist the suspension enough to cause steering effects and I doubt that its too good for it anyway) With even loading and a solid rack , mounting on the rear suspension has worked fine for me.
I just got back from riding with a loaded front rack. Man, I really hate it. Steering is so much different, so unresponsive (understeering?)
Where was the load located? Which front rack did you use? How much were you carrying? What frame and fork were you riding?
Bikes that are designed for front loads ride great with them.
ICE B1, Brompton H6, Schwinn Mirada drop-bar vintage mtb
But I likes it responsive. Oh well. I guess I'll give it another few days.
I have a couple of products to report on for you today.
This one is for the Swift-fixie crowd:
A lot of fixed-gear riders have been saying good things about the EAI track cog. The guy at Box Dog Bikes in SF also highly recommended it over the Dura Ace and Surly track cogs, so I picked one up. My verdict so far: this cog is smooth and quiet...solving my 2 biggest complaints about the Surly cog. At $32, it's more expensive than the Surly and Dura Ace, but well worth it, I say.
Here's one for the commuters:
I saw at my local Performance Bike shop that they had replaced the Mr. Tuffy tube protector strips with these Slime Tube Protectors. I had been contemplating a tube liner to go with my IRC Metro tire (well over 500 miles now, and starting to flat more often), so I picked-up the road version of these liners, spec'ed to fit 700C X28-35. Installed with 1-inch overlap inside the tire, I simply trimmed away 28 inches of liner for a perfect fit. Although touted as "light-weight", but with no real printed specs on their actual weight, the resulting 58 inches of liner weighs significantly less than the 20x1.35-1.50 Pyramid tube I have.
On the road, after having gotten over the psychological idea of the back tire being heavier now, I entirely forgot about it after the first 2 miles of riding. The weight difference is only a slight one. The liner doesn't change the compliant 100psi ride that I love about the IRC Metro.
So many of you will be asking, "Why not just get a tire with better puncture protection?". I thought about it, and after having done much comparing, I just couldn't find a tire that better suited my needs: a narrow, fast, light-weight, easy-to-mount/unmount, 100psi tire that doesn't ride like a concrete donut. The Metro fits this bill perfectly, except in the area of puncture protection. So until IRC makes a Kevlar version of this tire (or if Schwalbe drops the very hefty price tag on their Kojak), I think I'll stick with this setup for a while.
My Big Apples flatted more than I expected of them, so I installed a set of 26" slime liners. They are heck of expensive here (like all bike stuff) at $35 a set; bit at least they don't wear out. Buy once. I didn't trim the length, just went with the full overlap. My Raleigh 20 Steamroller doesn't mind the extra weight. No further punctures. I may install them on the Swift's Conti GPs too.
If you consider what they are, they can't cost more than a few pennies each. Every time I pay astronomical amounts like that, I gnash my teeth that some rich bugger is getting richer still and the lowly paid workers who do the actual work still get bugger-all. No, I'm not a communist, just a compassionist.
I guess I'm lucky to live only a few blocks away from a retail Performance Bike shop. I think I get more pleasure from the puzzled looks I get every time I walk in with my Swift than I do shopping.
I get the vast majority online from the US, some from HK, some from the UK. A combination of shops uch as aebike and ebay. Nashbar and Performance - I think I have looked at both at times in the past, and the shipping which is often UPS, makes it impractical for small amounts.
(My latest purchase was 2 thudbusters and 9 doz bottles of Prolink - almost $1kAU! I organised a group buy for Prolink which proved immensely popular. We pay $18AU per bottle here. We got it for $6.50AU with the group buy.)