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Old 09-23-09, 10:34 AM   #2101
turnstyle
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I would play it safe and buy the fenders that are available on the Xootr website:

http://www.xootr.com/swift-fenders.html

Thank -- problem is: 1) they're sold out for at least a month, and 2) it might be lame, but the Xootr ones don't quite look right to me -- from what I can tell, the SKS seem to look a bit nicer (the bike is already mostly black, and the matte chrome appealed to me).
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Old 09-23-09, 11:19 AM   #2102
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Thank -- problem is: 1) they're sold out for at least a month, and 2) it might be lame, but the Xootr ones don't quite look right to me -- from what I can tell, the SKS seem to look a bit nicer (the bike is already mostly black, and the matte chrome appealed to me).
I'm fairly certain those are just the 20" Planet Bike Hardcore Recumbent Fenders..., likely any 20" fender would work.

If you want some really nice ones, get some Sykes or Woody's wood fenders. They'll make them in a 20" size.
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Old 09-24-09, 01:53 PM   #2103
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fwiw, I added a Brooks Flyer (the B17 with springs) to my Swift, and I'm very happy so far.

Without any break-in, I already found it more comfortable than the saddle that came with the bike (a "Velo Plush") -- I've since spent about 6 hours on it, and I can just barely tell that it's starting to give a bit. I've seen several people describe it as "just as uncomfortable at the end of your ride as it was at the beginning" -- I think that's about right, in a good way.

And I find that the addition of the springs really do help to smooth out some of the choppy tendencies of the bike.

My 2c, YMMV...
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Old 09-26-09, 05:06 AM   #2104
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Big Apples (2") on a Swift frame -- is this possible? If so, can I also add fenders? (such as the Planet Bike or SKS)

I seem to hear conflicting opinions on this...

Xootr (http://www.xootr.com/schwalbe-big-apple-tire.html) says: "We found that they work on the bikes we have tried them on, but slight variances in the frame or hub may make it infeasable in the rear."

Peter Reich says: "The tires need to be no larger than 20x1.75", or you'll have frame, brake, and fender clearance problems (in my opinion)."

So that all makes it seem pretty iffy -- but I'm also fairly sure I've seen a number of Xootr/Swift users who have added Big Apples. Is there something I could measure to see if it would be likely to work?

Am I correct to think that Big Apples do a nice job of smoothing out the ride (with my new saddle, it's now mostly my hands that hurt) while retaining a low rolling resistance? (right now I have Primo Comets that came with it).

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 09-27-09, 10:34 AM   #2105
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... 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... Not to totally hijack this topic but I'm wondering if anyone else here has solved this problem for the Swift
Answering my own question from early August, I ended up buying a Velo Orange Touring seat which has longer rails than the stock seat and can be pushed back enough to give me the setback I needed.

Thanks to dyamamoto and dur for their suggestions on how to insert a standard seatpost, but I couldn't find one with all that much more setback than the stock Swift seatpost already has.
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Old 09-27-09, 01:02 PM   #2106
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Big Apples (2") on a Swift frame -- is this possible? If so, can I also add fenders? (such as the Planet Bike or SKS)

I seem to hear conflicting opinions on this...

Xootr (http://www.xootr.com/schwalbe-big-apple-tire.html) says: "We found that they work on the bikes we have tried them on, but slight variances in the frame or hub may make it infeasable in the rear."

Peter Reich says: "The tires need to be no larger than 20x1.75", or you'll have frame, brake, and fender clearance problems (in my opinion)."

So that all makes it seem pretty iffy -- but I'm also fairly sure I've seen a number of Xootr/Swift users who have added Big Apples. Is there something I could measure to see if it would be likely to work?

Am I correct to think that Big Apples do a nice job of smoothing out the ride (with my new saddle, it's now mostly my hands that hurt) while retaining a low rolling resistance? (right now I have Primo Comets that came with it).

Thanks for any advice!
You can fit the 2" big apples. With my Swift, at least, the front end fits them fine, no fiddling required. The rear required that I move the wheel back about a centimeter in the dropouts. The further you move the wheel back, the more tire clearance there is since the chainstays and seatstays angle outward.

Also, some Swifts have apparently come with slightly out-of-dish rear wheels, which may make the tire clearance issue tougher. The answer there is to redish the rear wheel, which is a hassle, but which you should do anyway.

As Peter suggested, I too have found that my brake and fender clearances got a lot tighter, but with fiddling I got it to work.

So yes, fitting the Big Apples can be a fiddly proposition, but it can definitely be done. I can say that with stock brakes and Xootr's special planet bike fenders, it'll work without complaint or trouble once you've put in the time to set it up.

And for the record, it makes a world of difference for the ride quality.
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Old 09-27-09, 04:25 PM   #2107
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So yes, fitting the Big Apples can be a fiddly proposition, but it can definitely be done. I can say that with stock brakes and Xootr's special planet bike fenders, it'll work without complaint or trouble once you've put in the time to set it up.

And for the record, it makes a world of difference for the ride quality.
Thanks, those were all very helpful pointers -- now I can much more clearly see the potential pitfalls.

So I gather you find Big Apples to significantly improve ride comfort? Any idea how they would compare performance-wise to Primo Comets (what I happen to have on now).

Do you ride your Apples at a low psi?

Thanks, I'm now kind of wishing for my Comets to crumble...
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Old 09-27-09, 10:11 PM   #2108
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Turnstyle,

Glad it helped. The big apples definitely improved the ride comfort over the stock Kendas. Some of this has to do with the fact that the Big apples are just physically bigger. The other major thing is, as you note, the fact that I can run lower pressures. I still haven't found my "perfect pressure," but I definitely take advantage of the fact that I can go much lower than I could with the original tires without pinchflatting. I've currently been running them between 40 and 50 PSI, but I'm confident that they could be run at 35PSI or maybe even lower without worries.

(For context, I weigh around 200lbs)

The major difference the big apples made for me, though, was not comfort exactly. The issue was that with the old tires, at somewhat higher pressures, the bike really bounced around at speed, to the point where you were not at all confident while turning. I live in Pittsburgh, which has a lot of steep hills with rough pavement and tight switchbacks, and it always felt like the front wheel was going to come off the ground when I was turning. The Big Apples have more or less eliminated that problem, or at least made it no more of an issue than on a full-sized bike.

As for a comparison with the Comets, I have no idea. A lot of it, I imagine, comes down to air volume. The Kendas I was using were 1.5" wide. I understand the Comets come in a variety of sizes-- the smaller your Comets, the more of a difference the Big Apples will make.

That said, I believe they also make the Comets in a fat size, too, like 1.9" or something. If you're concerned with performance, those may actually be better. You can get them without flat protection and I think with a Kevlar bead as well, which would make them lighter and more flexible than the Big Apples.
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Old 10-01-09, 10:22 PM   #2109
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new black swift folder owner

I am now a proud owner of a Black swift folder! Long story short, tried a bunch of folders around NYC. Tried a xootr. Thought the ride was most like a big bike. Hooked. Still searched. Spoke to Peter and was going to have him build me one but money was an issue. Wanted to try a swift folder before I committed. Found Recycle a Bicycle in Dumbo. They had a black on display and it had not sold. Hustled over, tried it, they switched out a stem, tried it again and bit. Did not haggle or anything. Normally this is end of season, the bike had clearly been tested and sat on display but Peter is on their board, they are a not for profit and if they had asked I would have given them more. So I bought a 'stock' swift. Rode it home over the manhattan bridge and realized how out of shape I really am. Being an old roadie and mtb'er I know I will swap out some stuff...tires (comets or kojaks or something light and fast), spd combo pedals, grips and ends. Right now it is performance and ergo stuff. Headset, BB, brakes or pads and levers, shifter, derailleur all work and it would be nice to have better. Crankset will do for now. If I find I am going on bigger rides a front deraileur add on maybe. This was just to get me down to my kayak in the boathouse quicker than walking but may have renewed my interest in biking again. Cool. Very cool.
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Old 10-03-09, 05:56 AM   #2110
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Lots of New Yorkers here!

I got my Swift from Bfold on 13th Street -- in my case, I wanted an IGH and Bfold just happened to have a 'pre-customized' Swift with an IGH.

My only changes so far have been to replace the stock saddle with a Brooks Flyer, added Cane Creek bar ends, and Power Grips on the pedals.

I'm also considering changing the tires to Big Apples, putting on quick-release pedals, adding fenders -- and my riser didn't come with braze-ons for water, so I might replace it.

I think the Swift frame is under-appreciated as a folder, as the Swift fold is often cited as a weakness -- but: 1) it folds very quickly, and 2) it folds very flat. I do think it's likely that the Brompton would probably let you get into more places, but the Swift just felt more fun to me. That said, my understanding is that some mass transit in NYC (buses, commuter trains) have special exemptions for folding bikes, and Swifts qualify for all of that...
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Old 10-06-09, 08:39 AM   #2111
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How do i get a steel swift here in the UK, has anyone done it before, I know the Xootr is available through AVC, but no one seems to bring in the original (& best ?) version.
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Old 10-06-09, 09:02 AM   #2112
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How do i get a steel swift here in the UK, has anyone done it before, I know the Xootr is available through AVC, but no one seems to bring in the original (& best ?) version.
Have you tried contacting Swift directly? swiftfolders.com
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Old 10-08-09, 07:36 AM   #2113
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Actually, for a steel one, this is probably the place you wanna go: http://hpm.catoregon.org/?page_id=214

Swiftfolders.com is Steve Reich's site, and he sells the aluminum ones now.
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Old 10-08-09, 11:54 AM   #2114
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Actually, for a steel one, this is probably the place you wanna go: http://hpm.catoregon.org/?page_id=214

Swiftfolders.com is Steve Reich's site, and he sells the aluminum ones now.
Ooh, nice. They have a disc brake option too...
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Old 10-11-09, 08:05 AM   #2115
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Hi all, a question about carrying water...

My understanding is that some folks who have added a water cage to the Swift's front riser sometimes have the water bottle pop out when they hit a bump, due to the more vertical orientation.

Is there a particular water cage that might be better suited for use attached to the front riser?

Thanks kindly!
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Old 10-11-09, 10:49 AM   #2116
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I've never had a problem of a bottle popping out when located on the 'bar riser. It may be the shape of your bottle that is the problem - some are narrower than others. I tend to use the Tacx 500ml model which is more squat in shape and fits snuggly into most cages. Try the Topeak Modula Cage EX which is adjustable to fit many sizes and shape of bottles. Do you have your bottle cage facing you? If you do it will be leaning the "wrong way" to keep the bottle safe. I have the bottle cage "out front" so that the cage is leaning back slightly as they are designed to do.
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Old 10-11-09, 12:15 PM   #2117
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I don't actually have it yet -- just trying to figure out what to get -- I had been hoping to place it on the inside of the riser -- that's why I'm looking for an "appropriate" cage that would work properly, given the angle... (thanks!)
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Old 10-12-09, 12:53 AM   #2118
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I had been hoping to place it on the inside of the riser
YMMV, but I found that having the bottle in that position did not work for me. It was quite annoying to strike my knee on it when climbing out of the saddle, granted I have rather long legs. I currently have my bottle cage mounted on the front of the seat post for the best compromise between easy reach, and coffee cup holding abilities. Having the bottle behind the seat post would be fine for a water bottle. Coffee cup? Not so good.
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Old 10-12-09, 06:18 AM   #2119
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YMMV, but I found that having the bottle in that position did not work for me. It was quite annoying to strike my knee on it when climbing out of the saddle, granted I have rather long legs. I currently have my bottle cage mounted on the front of the seat post for the best compromise between easy reach, and coffee cup holding abilities. Having the bottle behind the seat post would be fine for a water bottle. Coffee cup? Not so good.
Quick question: does your riser have the braze-ons for the water cage, or did you use something like the Minoura mount (which, I gather, would push the cage farther away from the riser)? ie, I'm wondering if most of the people who are having trouble hitting the cage might be using a mount, rather than braze-ons (as not all Swift risers seem to have the braze-ons).

My plan is to first try it on the inside, but if it doesn't work there, it seems I can just rotate the riser 180 deg ...
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Old 10-12-09, 01:21 PM   #2120
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Quick question: does your riser have the braze-ons for the water cage, or did you use something like the Minoura mount (which, I gather, would push the cage farther away from the riser)? ie, I'm wondering if most of the people who are having trouble hitting the cage might be using a mount, rather than braze-ons (as not all Swift risers seem to have the braze-ons).
I used a Minoura mount. I believe the bottle mount nuts were added to the risers some time around a year ago. The ones in the parts section states they all have them now.
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Old 10-12-09, 07:01 PM   #2121
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I had a Minoura mount. It didn't cause my knees to hit the bottle, but it did eventurally break. Now I use a Twofish Quick Cage, available, among many other places, here. I've been pretty happy with it. It holds the bottle, and comes off and goes on quickly.

Jonathan
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Old 10-12-09, 09:47 PM   #2122
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You may see my Minoura holder... I have one of the newer ones which allows rotation. The bottle sticks up at an angle and slightly to the side to clear the handlebar.



I can't have it sitting between me and the stem riser; while it doesn't hit my knees with riding seated, it definitely does while climbing out of the saddle, and I do a lot of climbing, a fair bit of which is out of the saddle.
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Old 10-13-09, 05:25 AM   #2123
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Hi all, thanks -- from jur's picture, you can see how the Minoura mount pushes the cage away from the riser -- and so, on the inside, it would similarly push the cage closer to you.

So, I'm hoping that the newer riser with water braze-ons would now enable me to have the back of the cage flush with the riser, and that bit of extra clearance is hopefully enough to pull the cage out of climbing-out-of-the saddle knee interference range, if you see what I mean.

Does anybody have the riser with braze-ons? If so, have you tried a cage on the inside?
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Old 10-13-09, 07:49 AM   #2124
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Does anybody have the riser with braze-ons? If so, have you tried a cage on the inside?
My original riser is with braze-ons - same problem of knee-hitting. It is a vexing problem for me; my Birdy has a sport stem so the bottle cage can be mounted on my side of the stem riser.
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Old 10-13-09, 01:29 PM   #2125
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My original riser is with braze-ons - same problem of knee-hitting. It is a vexing problem for me; my Birdy has a sport stem so the bottle cage can be mounted on my side of the stem riser.
Ah, that's interesting -- do you use the Minoura to get the cage lower on the riser? (ie, why don't you just turn the riser around and use the braze-ons in front?)

Thanks again, very helpful info!
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