Thread: Swift folders
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Old 08-30-05, 01:31 PM
  #11  
james_swift
All ur bike r belong Enki
 
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My swift was delivered yesterday. It came partially assembled in the box. All I had to do was install the handlebar and stem, the seat and seatpost, and pedals. The bike was already tuned-up and smooth-riding right out of the box.

My first impressions:

1.) Sweet lookin': the smooth, laid-back angles of the seat tube and rear triangle, in additional to the long wheel base (compared to a typical folder), make it look sleek and fast.

2.) Feel the lite-ness: after hefting-around my 24lb Dahon for 4 months, lifting this bike is cake. The Swift is 22lbs in stock dress. The first thing I did was swap-out the saddle for a Ti-railed racing model, the aluminum bar for a carbon bar + carbon bar-ends, and the platform pedals for my Crank Bro's Candy-C's.

3.) The ride: it definitely doesn't feel like a folder...more like a road-bike, but with quicker steering and response (way quicker due to the 20" wheels); not as squirelly as my Dahon (I can stay upright waiting at traffic lights much easier on the Swift than on my Dahon). The aluminum frame is stiff, yet doesn't ride as harsh as one would assume a 20" wheeld bike would ride. Out-of-saddle cranking is solid; the bike accelerates quickly, and tracks surpisingly well. I still need to get used to the handling with such a short stem, but once I get more stretch over the bike with a longer stem, I'll feel more confident in corners. Right now, it just feels as if most of the weight is distributed to the back, and not enough to the front.

Negatives:

1.) The 60mm stem is way too short. No problem, since the bike uses a standard 1 1/8" threadless steerer tube, I can just slap-on a 130mm stem (which I plan to do this weekend).

2.) The SRAM handlebar grips are tiny....they look like they were deisgned to fit the hands of a toddler. Again, nothing a parts-swap won't fix.

3.) Handlebar is narrower than my Dahon's: doesn't look like a stock handlebar width to me. That, combined with the short stem and short grips made for a bit of a twitchy first-ride. Again, nothing a parts-swap won't fix.

4.) The SRAM grip-shift looks like it made of cheap toy plastic. Although it shifts smooth and clean, it just looks like it could break quite easily.

The coolness factor is prime with this bike. On the train this morning, I was immediately asked by a couple of riders: "Hey, is that a folding bike?". Personally, I never knew about this bike until one day when I was googling some info on folding bikes and stumbled across NYCEWheels.

Riding around my area with this bike really gives me the feeling of owning a one-of-a-kind. It may not fold-up as compactly as a Dahon or Brompton, but for it's limited foldability, you get a much better ride and way more customization options.

Last edited by james_swift; 10-25-05 at 03:25 PM.
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