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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 07-15-09, 08:22 PM   #2026
Joako
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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.
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Old 07-15-09, 08:24 PM   #2027
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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!
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Old 07-15-09, 11:33 PM   #2028
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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.
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Old 07-16-09, 07:25 AM   #2029
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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?
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.
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Old 07-17-09, 01:31 AM   #2030
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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).
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Old 07-19-09, 01:03 PM   #2031
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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.
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Old 07-19-09, 07:20 PM   #2032
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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
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Old 07-23-09, 04:51 AM   #2033
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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.
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Old 07-23-09, 06:28 AM   #2034
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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.
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Old 07-24-09, 10:26 PM   #2035
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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.
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Old 07-25-09, 02:02 AM   #2036
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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.
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Old 07-25-09, 06:57 AM   #2037
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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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Old 07-25-09, 09:24 AM   #2038
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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
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Old 07-27-09, 01:02 PM   #2039
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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.
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Old 08-03-09, 07:51 PM   #2040
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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
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Old 08-03-09, 09:09 PM   #2041
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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)
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Old 08-03-09, 09:13 PM   #2042
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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.
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Old 08-04-09, 07:52 PM   #2043
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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
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Old 08-10-09, 05:21 PM   #2044
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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
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Old 08-12-09, 01:50 AM   #2045
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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.
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Old 08-27-09, 07:35 AM   #2046
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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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Old 08-27-09, 08:22 AM   #2047
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This thread has been winding down. Time to revive it with some pics.

In the works:

- Steel Swift folder with a Nexus 4 speed and some OG ACS RL Edge tires.

Aluminum Swift is going out, but I will be transferring the SA 8W transmission next week.
That is a tiny chainring.
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Old 08-27-09, 11:05 AM   #2048
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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.
Will do


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That is a tiny chainring.
Yes, because the Nexus 4 1st gear is 1:1. No wonder why they are not making it anymore.


Does anybody knows of a bike shop in NYC that do welding/braze-ons? The rear triangle was setup for drum and caliper brakes only. Or, has anyone tried running caliper brakes with 406 tires? Thanks.
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Old 09-01-09, 01:14 PM   #2049
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We had a couple of hours of dry weather this morning (the first in ages) so I took the chance to get out for a short ride and take some photo's of how my Swift looks now. If you follow this Swift thread you will know that I, along with many other owners, am constantly tweaking my bike to get the perfect set up. Well, I've been at it again!

My Xootr Swift is three years old and is pretty much a standard bike. Any changes I've made have been to saddle, handlebars and luggage carrying, everything else (brakes, wheels, drive chain, chainwheel and bottom bracket) are as fitted by the factory. I did replace the stock cassette with a SRAM PG850 eight speed set with 11 - 32 sprockets to take account of the local hills and my 58 year old knees.

I bought the Swift so that I could put it in my car and travel to locations away from home to cycle fresh roads. I did not want to carry my conventional bikes on a roof rack or hanging on the back of my small hatchback so a folder seemed to be the answer. I wanted a good bike that happened to fold rather than a folder that was a reasonable ride. Folded size was not important so long as it would go into my car - the Swift scored on all points. If you scroll back through this forum you will see many photo's of by blue Swift sporting various bags, pedals, handlebars and saddles - I think I've finally cracked it!



I have fitted a rack and I think it will stay! It's a Tortek lightweight model that provides a platform for my AGU Yamaska bag. When I first fitted the rack I attached the "arms" to the lower seat tube q/r. It worked and looked neat but it did mean that the q/r skewer would not screw far into its retaining nut. Knowing how important the seat post q/rs are I decided to re-locate the arms to the rear triangle via 22mm 'P' clips. If you look at the photo of the bike minus the bag you will notice that the rack platform is level with the top of the Swift's main frame tube. This, to my eyes, is a nice touch as it looks to be part of the package. I think that carrying luggage low on a small wheeler is a good idea as it keeps the centre of gravity low and stops the bike looking "top heavy". The rear bag also sits in line with the front bag which is located on a Rixen/Kaul Klickfix Caddy bracket. This new bracket bolts around the steering tube and keeps the bag close to the bike.



I don't need to carry a lot of things when I ride as I only have time for day rides but, living in the UK (England - 8 miles from Scotland) and on the fringe of the English Lake District, wet weather gear is required on every ride. We have lots of lakes and need to fill them with something and that something falls from the sky at regular intervals! This means that mudguards (fenders) are not an optional extra they are essential. I prefer the look of the Swift without 'guards but needs must. The ones I've fitted are Zefal Junior 20" MGZ 2050B ones. Aren't you glad you were not a member of the committee that came up with that name?

Bike spec is as follows;

Handlebars - Easton EA70 with Specialized Body Geometry grips and ski 'bar ends.
Stem - Simca adjustable. This is the best adjustable stem I have found. It doesn't look like an adjustable model and is very quick and easy to change position.
Computer - PRO Scio W.3.5 which has a thermometer and altimeter built in!
Seat - Specialized BG2 Sport.
Pedals - run of the mill flat platform fitted with power grips. I can ride in any footwear and they are so easy to use.
Bag - AGU Yamaska which has small side panniers hidden in the side pockets.
Front bag is Rixen/Kaul 'bar bag.
Bottle holder - Rixen/Kaul - neater than the Minoura model.
Front light - Smart, which has its own bracket that bolts to the fork crown - very handy.
Rear light - 4D Toplight which bolts to the carrier's rear plate.
Stand - unbranded from Taiwan
Tyres - Schwalbe Marathon Racers. I have tried the Marathon Plus tyres but found that they caused too much drag. Our roads are impregnated with thousands of small stone chippings which give good grip but riding with the Marathon Plus tyres was like ripping Velcro appart. Not much freewheeling I'm afraid.




So there it is - for the moment. Still the best bike I have owned and it gets the most use.
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Old 09-01-09, 05:10 PM   #2050
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Isn't the Swift the versatilest EVAH?
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