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Thread: swift folders

  1. #2026
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    I mentioned some posts back that I'd be riding the Seattle to Portland event and, well, I did just that this past weekend on my Swift. It was the longest ride I've done to date, with 98 miles on day one (6.5 hours of riding + 1.5 hours for stops) and 102 miles to the finish on day 2 (6.5 hours of riding + 2.5 hours for stops -- I decided to hit every stop on this day). I opted to carry all my gear rather than deal with the luggage van they provided and didn't find the extra weight or the paniers to be that big of a deal.

    The Swift rode like a charm and nothing worse than 3 chain drops occurred over the 200 miles. These all occured when I'm on the extreme ends of the rear casette (I've got a dual drive) and probably are due to minor adjustment needs. Once realized I steered clear of those gears. I think I got real luck because I was #1313, which got a lot of comment on the route! The Scwalbe Duranos I'd put on a few weeks earlier had had 400 puncture free miles of training prior to the ride--I feared a flat in the worst way and brought several tubes, just in case. But no punctures, a smooth ride, including in a terrific thunder and hail storm on the morning of day two. These tires are far more comfortable than my old Primo Comets. And I didn't even bother to pump them back up on day 2. Great tires so far.

    I easily managed 15mph and had long stretches of 18mph+ on flats and climbing during the two days. The only limiter was when I found myself alone on the course with a headwind. Once back with a group all was well. The biggest issue was somewhere to mount a water bottle, but that was solved with a cheap Murano clamp-on attached to the handlebar stem that worked a charm.

    Other folders on the ride that I saw were all Bike Fridays - about 10 of them. And I got a lot of comments about my bike, only 2 derisive, all the others boiling down to "cool!" especially when I passed people.

    I don't know if the Swift is the best bike for this ride nor in the end really care. It is a great ride and in the end the only thing I suffered was numbness "down there" due to needing a true fitting for my B-17, and a persisting clicking noise down by the bottom bracket when I pedalled at times. I might consider the paniers in front next time to distribute things a bit better.

    It was amazing riding with thousands of others, enjoying the scenery and realizing I could do it several decades past my 20s. If you haven't gone on a long ride on your Swift, try it!

  2. #2027
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Cool!

    Speaking as a fellow Dual Drive user, that clicking in your bottom bracket may actually have been the same slightly misadjusted Dual Drive that you think accounted for the dropped chain. When it's off a little, it feels like that.

    I settled on these for the bottle cage mount:

    http://www.lickbike.com/productpage....B='3242-00'

    I tried several, and they're the best I've found. Because the stem is in line with force transmitted up through the wheel and fork, I still lose the occasional bottle on bad bumps, but at this point I attribute that to not having bothered to put any industrial velcro dots where they'll keep it from happening.

    I just switched to my summer tires, which are Primo Comets. How do the Duranos compare in terms of speed and perceived resistance?
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    Learning to wrench better this year—current project: Fixie from build kit

  3. #2028
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    just ordered a xootr swift, should come in next week. planning to ride it stock for now but am wondering what would be a good wheel upgrade (specifically, for lighter weight)? does everyone here pretty much go the custom/self-built route for wheel upgrades?
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

  4. #2029
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    Quote Originally Posted by hudog View Post
    Does anyone know of a place to buy the Humpert Quick Adjustable stem in the US? Looks very interesting as an Swift upgrade, but I can't seem to find a stateside distributor.

    thanks,

    hudog
    I believe brakemeister, who is a folding bike dealer, had some at one time. Ah yes, here's the post from a couple years ago:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...rt#post5266223
    I have the heart of a young boy. I got it on eBay.

  5. #2030
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    Quote Originally Posted by alpacalypse View Post
    Regarding brake levers for Joako, for some reason I've found that short pull levers actually work fine for me with the stock V-brakes. I put some drops on with Cane Creek road levers last week just to try it out, and it's a bit finnicky to set up but otherwise fine.

    My point being, I bet you can get away with using bar-end levers, which are probably a good match for your bars. Here's an example, although you may be able to go cheaper elsewhere: http://www.velo-orange.com/siinbrle.html
    Thanks. I ended up buying a pair of Tektro 740. It is a good lever and I like the idea of the hinge for easier installation/removal.

  6. #2031
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    Will a 34.9 seatpost fit the Xootr Swift? I noticed there is some play in the frame and a 34.9 post might fit. Jur, the Birdy seatpost is 34.9 right? Would you be so kind to test if it fits in the Swift's frame? Thanks!

  7. #2032
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joako View Post
    Will a 34.9 seatpost fit the Xootr Swift? I noticed there is some play in the frame and a 34.9 post might fit. Jur, the Birdy seatpost is 34.9 right? Would you be so kind to test if it fits in the Swift's frame? Thanks!
    No, the Swift seatpost is 34.0, the Birdy's does not fit. Not in mine at any rate, and 1mm is much bigger than any kind of seatpost tolerance so I doubt that even yours would take the Birdy's. Better to take a look at Dahon posts, these are 34.0mm.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  8. #2033
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    Quote Originally Posted by tFUnK View Post
    just ordered a xootr swift, should come in next week. planning to ride it stock for now but am wondering what would be a good wheel upgrade (specifically, for lighter weight)? does everyone here pretty much go the custom/self-built route for wheel upgrades?
    Well for general riding to the shops, jumping kerbs and kicking around I like to use these wheels:
    http://www.m5-ligfietsen.nl/site/EN/.../Carbon_wheels
    They are 451, which as the long-timers on this forum know fit well on the swift, you just need new calipers.

    But seriously, I'd suggest first step to new wheels is to decide if you are happy with the top gear on the standard bike, or if you think you need to use the capreo hub. The capreo hub gives you a 9T smallest sprocket which is a 20" increase in top gear and therefore can give you the same range as a 26-27" bike. It's a special hub size and special sprocket, although hub manufacturer 'Chosen' now make a quality cartridge bearing version of the capreo hub as an alternative to shimano's cup-and-cone bearing original capreo hub (that I have). Another advantage of the capreo hub is that you get round the problem of the chain rubbing on the chainstay in top gear - if you try and get higher gearing by having a massive chainring, then the chainstay rub problem gets worse. Advantage of having standard hub is that you can use a closer-ratio cassette (i.e. with a double chainring) that lets you use a shorter chain with more even tension and reduces the change of chaindrop. I've used capreo for a couple of years very successfully but I wear through the cassettes very quickly and you can't replace single sprockets like you can with a standard cassette. I am currently trying to make a standard hub/cassette work by going for a massive chainring instead. I've not cracked it yet - still blighted by chaindrop but I've not given up and next step is to try a front mech and double chainring.

    Next is to choose spoke count. I've been doing a lot of research on this lately and it would seem that 20 spokes is enough for normal weight people, and less spokes doesn't help much anyway.

    In terms of rims, sun, alex and velocity make 406 and 451 rims. Bontrager used to make 406 rims (maverick) but not any more. Velocity look the best to me, with the fusion or aerohead being the light and aero choices IMO. Sun's llightweight 406 offering is called M14a or something similar. I would avoid the lightweight alex rims if you can as my R390s cracked after just a year.

    I was joking about the carbon wheels above but if you do want pimp then hed make their jet 50 (50mm) deep section carbon rims in 406 which do look great. They are really a carbon fairing over an alu rim but many of the best carbon rims are built this way.

    I presume you want to go lighter and faster otherwise you would just stick to the stock wheels which are perfectly fine and I've been happy riding on them since my Alex/Capreo wheels broke.

    I have under my desk a pair of wheels from a Dahon MU EX - one of the pimpest 406 wheelsets you can get. I am going to be testing these as soon as I get a dry evening at my local velodrome (I have to give them back to dahon in mint condition) - or rather I'm going to be testing just the rear wheel only as the front hub on Dahon's is 70mm and Swift is 100mm. Even so, if there is any efficiency advantage to having only 14 paired bladed spokes and a light aero rim, then my test will measure this to the nearest couple of watts, compared to the stock wheels.

    Velocity also make wheelsets, such as the thracian and uriel wheels (fusion rims I think). These wheels look good but my opinion is that the whole paired spoke idea is just a trend/fad and one that we are already moving away from.

  9. #2034
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    thanks for the info rickybails. you are correct, i just want something a little nicer, lighter, and faster. i'm going to look for a low spoke front road hub. for the rear, i'm good with the stock gearing range but fixed may also be an option, so it'll be a standard road or fixed hub. velocity aeroheads look pretty sweet for the rims. i have a feeling this will end up costing more than any of my previous projects/builds due to scarcity of parts (at least in terms of finding used parts on c-list or ebay).
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

  10. #2035
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    By the way, on the clicking noise: If it doesn't turn out to be the rear hub, check the bottom bracket. I had a bad click/clacking noise under pedaling loads with a factory-fresh Swift and had assumed there was something wrong with the two stretches of seatpost not lining up, or something of that nature-- clicking was a fact of life with my old Dahon and I always thought it was just part of having a folding bike.

    When it got bad enough I ended up calling Xootr for a replacement, who recommended that I check the BB just in case. I did, it was loose (seemingly loose from the factory), I tightened it, and everything got better.

  11. #2036
    Small wheels ARE better! OldiesONfoldies's Avatar
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    I finally got to test the Swift and now know what the fuss is all about...

    http://lovethefold.blogspot.com/2009...-and-sure.html

  12. #2037
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    my swift just came in. i have one group ride and one commute on it thus far. pretty nice bike, feels fast and solid. not a replacement for my roadie and fixie, unfortunately. was i expecting too much? i still love it though, great for commuting.
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

  13. #2038
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    Quote Originally Posted by tFUnK View Post
    not a replacement for my roadie and fixie, unfortunately. was i expecting too much? i still love it though, great for commuting.
    Out of the box, I don't think you could expect the Swift to replace a fixie or a roadie. However, this thread is full of people who have modified theirs to be a pretty quick ride. It's one of the great things about the bike. It's a very versitile platform for tweaking and whatnot. Take a look at James', Jur's, Paul's, Neoton's, Sqynt's, Kiato's, itsmoot's and my (random sample) bikes for examples of all the different ways the bike can be configured. I'd bet that if we got all these bikes together in one place, all of them would have significantly different 'feel' / speed / comfort / whatever.

  14. #2039
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    wheels worn out...

    After a 15 months of solid riding (inc 5 months of vicious winter) I conclude that my stock wheels are worn out. Why? Well, I guess the Chicago salt & grit of the winter took its toll and the break facings / rim are now convex. So convex, in fact, that they are weakened to the extent that a 100PSI Marathon has deformed the front rim. Damn. All this makes me think I should really switch the fork for one with disk brake mountings and move to a light weight disk set up on the front. Less worried about the back. I need to start sniffing out a suitable setup... I'd rather not blow $100 on stock replacements and then dump them for something more interesting shortly after!

    Next time I will pay much more attention to de-gritting / de-salting my rims every night.

  15. #2040
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    Hi All
    first post. i'm thinking of buying a xootr swift (through london's cycle to work scheme) and i need to make my decision by monday. i had intended to get up to foldincycles.co.uk in bath this weekend, but cant. my big question is - do i need to test ride this thing before i buy it? or is the ride generic enough that i'll have no trouble? i'm pretty standard build/proportion - 5' 11", ...

    from reading posts it looks like you can customize the hell out of this anyway so if i need a different seat/handlebar stem for more/less reach etc.

  16. #2041
    Senior Member jwlunt's Avatar
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    Junglism - the bike has been designed to be a great ride rather than a small fold. This is brilliant if you want a great ride but bad news if you want a small fold. A friend of mine in New York took a look at a Swift and went for a Dahon Mu because he simply couldn't imagine getting the Swift on a crowded train every day - much too big! So, if you are OK with a larger fold then get the Swift. I've ridden most folders of a similar price (Birdy, Mu, Speed, Tikit, Brompton) and the Swift is the folder than most feels like a real bike.

    Like most folders, the stock bars are very narrow but you get used to those quickly or change them for a hundred other options (I have butterfly bars on mine). Also, these bikes all feel a bit 'twitchy' compared to a normal bike, but you get used to that as well.

    Personally I think you should have no fear from buying one without riding providing you already understand the general issues with folders and are OK the specific Swift size restrictions. Maybe it'll help to know the folded dimensions: I just measured mine with the bars still attached (I very rarely take the bars off) and it measures:

    85cm horizontally, ie across the wheels front to back
    105cm vertically, ie bottom of front wheel to top of bars
    115cm diagonally, ie front of front wheel to back of seat

    Good luck with your choice.

    Jonathan

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    Hey Jonathan,
    Awesome info thanks! i'm lucky that public transport's not part of my commute, so fold size isn't that important - just needs to fit inside my smallish room in a shared house. thanks for the size measurements as well. I hope to join the swift crew on Monday

    Calvin

  18. #2043
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    stem size & seat post size

    junglism,
    At 5' 11'' you probably want the "large" configuration from xootr.
    "medium" might work.
    Look here: http://www.xootr.com/folding-bicycle.html

    I am 5' 11" and bought my xootr swift used. I replaced the stem with a larger one and found the fit much better. I think that I have the standard seat post length. You can always swap out a different stem or seat post. http://www.xootr.com/parts_swift-folding-bike.html

    Check with Xootr and ask them the size parts they use for the "large" configuration.

  19. #2044
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    Quote Originally Posted by werbin View Post
    junglism,
    At 5' 11'' you probably want the "large" configuration from xootr.
    "medium" might work. ask them the size parts they use for the "large" configuration.
    However if you're long in the upper legs like me, you need to get the seat back, not a longer stem. On bikes with standard seatposts, you could do this by substituting a set-back seatpost. The Swift seatpost is extra thick and long so this isn't possible.

    Brompton solves this problem for their bikes with a 'Saddle Adapter Pin':
    http://www.nycewheels.com/brompton-a...-adap-pin.html

    Not to totally hijack this topic but I'm wondering if anyone else here has solved this problem for the Swift

  20. #2045
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    Quote Originally Posted by andmalc View Post
    However if you're long in the upper legs like me, you need to get the seat back, not a longer stem. On bikes with standard seatposts, you could do this by substituting a set-back seatpost. The Swift seatpost is extra thick and long so this isn't possible.

    Brompton solves this problem for their bikes with a 'Saddle Adapter Pin':
    http://www.nycewheels.com/brompton-a...-adap-pin.html

    Not to totally hijack this topic but I'm wondering if anyone else here has solved this problem for the Swift
    I solved this problem by cutting down the stock seatpost and inserting an aftermarket layback seatpost of the correct OD (sorry I don't recall what that was). I inserted the stock seatpost into the seattube enough to properly support the fold and cut it off at the top of the seat tube. I then slotted the cutdown seatpost and installed a seatpost clamp. The other advantage to this mod is that once the aftermarket seatpost height has been set to the correct height, you can remove the entire assembly for folding and reinsertion is a no look affair. If you need more height you can cut off the stock seatpost higher although Thomson has some fairly long seatposts. The Thomson seatpost is so light the entire assemble actually weighs less than the stock seapost alone. I have a picture of this set up on a previous post (#1930)

  21. #2046
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by dyamamoto View Post
    I solved this problem by cutting down the stock seatpost and inserting an aftermarket layback seatpost of the correct OD (sorry I don't recall what that was). I inserted the stock seatpost into the seattube enough to properly support the fold and cut it off at the top of the seat tube. I then slotted the cutdown seatpost and installed a seatpost clamp. The other advantage to this mod is that once the aftermarket seatpost height has been set to the correct height, you can remove the entire assembly for folding and reinsertion is a no look affair. If you need more height you can cut off the stock seatpost higher although Thomson has some fairly long seatposts. The Thomson seatpost is so light the entire assemble actually weighs less than the stock seapost alone. I have a picture of this set up on a previous post (#1930)
    You can use the stock Dahon telescopic post, available from Thor, for this identical mod. In fact the telescoping post is made by the same people as the stock Xootr post. Or you could do as above and cut the stock post, the inner needed is 27.2mm.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  22. #2047
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    dyamamoto and Dur: thanks guys - great suggestions.

    I'm not sure my hack sawing skills are up to modifying my seatpost, so I did check out the Dahon telescopic post. Thor doesn't have a picture of it but this site does so I can see how this would work:

    http://www.gaerlan.com/dahon/misc.htm

  23. #2048
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    Yet another question about converting a Xootr Swift to 451 wheels and caliper brakes.

    If you've used Tektro 556 brakes, how does the Xootr work with the recessed mounts? If it doesn't have you tried any of the suggestions made by Sheldon Brown here? Another method I've read about in the mechanics forum, here, is the use of the nutted bolts on Tektro 800a brakes in the body of the 556 brakes. What would you recommend?

    Thanks,

    Jonathan

  24. #2049
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanG View Post
    If you've used Tektro 556 brakes, how does the Xootr work with the recessed mounts?
    I had to drill mine. No big deal. The only thing I wished I'd known then that I know now is that you can get much longer versions of the recessed cylinder nut that came with the tektro brakes. So if when you fit them it feels like it's only hanging on by a couple of turns, get a longer nut.

    Richard.

  25. #2050
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    Joako:
    When you finish building it, can you tell me how the steel Swift compares to the aluminum? It seems that very few people have ridden both, and I'm curious about maybe switching.

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