Thread: Swift folders
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Old 09-05-18, 06:41 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Southwestern New England
Posts: 11

Bikes: Swift, Dahon, Lightfoot, Specialized, Respect, BD Dawes

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I keep the Xootr Swift logo covered by a nylon wrapper (it's a Buddipole, backpack antenna pack cloth (nylon?) case with really (really!) strong velcro straps). Think of those tool carriers that roll-up -- geometry is very similar to that.

People ask me all the time if the Swift is a folder, so it's (apparently) obviously a folding bicycle, even to unskilled observers.

If we get to that level of interaction I'll tell them all they want to hear (and maybe a bit more than that, hi hi).

. . .

I have the Origin 8 porteur basket (larger one if there are two sizes) in lieu of handlebars (it's a single basket/handlebar unit). It's definitely a challenge while parked, to load it up. I have no worry about carrying home a gallon of milk in a plastic jug, up front, in the basket -- the basket has lots of bungee accessible tubing to choose from (and elevates to two different riding positions, during installation). I think it's dual 25.4mm (choose one, high or low) to the stem's handlebar clamp. Both are enclosed tubing loops, so you must use a separate arch/saddlepiece clamp, to fix this basket to the stem.

I used a SRAM X7 medium length derailer which hasn't seen any dings yet. I have a nice Sugino front crankset with dual chainwheels from an old road bike.

(The bike, purchased new from Xootr, came singlespeed with a proper rear adaptation to a cassette hub, so conversion to multispeed was simple by a standard changeout to a proper rear cassette).

I manually shift front chainrings by dismounting (for the return trip which is all downhill, to get up some speed).

. . .

I used a matching SRAM 8 speed thumb/click style (ratcheted lever) gear shifter; but was unable to get all 8 gears operational, per chainwheel, so I decided to run only 5-6 rear cogs with each chainwheel.

This came about because of the shorter (capacity) arm of the medium length rear derailer, and the fact that the chain rubs the outer chainwheel when on the inner chainwheel, if I try to access the smallest two rear cogs.

The chain makes a telltale ringing sound when it touches the outer chainwheel (on the side flank!) so, if I've overshifted onto a smaller cog, I'll hear it immediately (doesn't seem all that dangerous and haven't had an incident with the chain climbing onto the larger chainwheel).

. . .

I did manage to rub the chain against the rear chainstay, for a few dozen pedalstrokes, while setting up the transmission, until I noticed the sound and lack of clearance. I don't remember how this came about, but I think it was during singlespeed experimentation, running too large a rear cog not far enough inboard on the chainline. I don't remember.

In future I would shroud the chainstay with thin stainless (or similar) during experimentation. There's an 'eraser shield' in my old drafting (drawing with pencil or ink) kit that might be thin enough for the job.

Or, just observe more carefully -- this was a surprise issue I hadn't encountered before.

So, my two gear ranges omit the two smallest rear cogs when on the smaller chainwheel, and omit the two largest rear cogs when on the larger front chainwheel (both are cross-chainline situations).

. . .

On the other hand, I have the larger (outside) chainwheel available to the smallest rear cog and vice-versa (smaller, inside chainwheel available to the largest rear cog). So I have the full intended range.

Again, running a longer cage on the rear derailer would solve both, but I wanted that small amount of extra clearance, to avoid dings to the rear (which is priced well over USD $50 to replace, so I don't want to have to do so).

I knew about this when I made the purchase of the rear derailer (new, online) and didn't know about the chainwheel rubbing issue (only occurs when wanting the smallest rear cog with the smaller chainwheel, which comes up often, as I cannot always dismount to shift onto the faster front ring).

. . .

I have a decent rear rack with luggage, and only carry a rack bag -- not enough heel clearance to tolerate any saddlebags at all (I've done it; my rack back has zippable, thin cloth saddlebags that fold into integral zipper cases, to add a lot of carrying capacity). I'm pretty happy with the rear rack and rack bag, but it does inhibit spontaneous 'light' riding with an eye towards folding and stowage somewhere.

The quick releases that hold the seatpost have proven adequate to fix the front of the rack on those arms that reach out to join near the seatpost.

The rack is a Topeak, I think, and has the trapezoidal shaped channels to hold the rack pack securely (it slides into and out of those dovetail channels, to mount or dismount it).

. . .

For some reason on this bike, the combined effects of the setup make the front horn of the seat an issue for me ( uhm .. anatomically, that is). If I tip it back, I feel secure in the saddle, but have this issue. If I tip it forward, I feel like I'm not supported and falling forward (and/or too much weight on my arms).

Haven't quite figured that out, yet; I'm going to try (again) making each possible underseat adjustment, to see if I can get this correct -- does not occur (to the same extent) on any of my other (several) bicycles so it is in principle solveable, though I'm set on the Origin 8 handlebar/basket as a fixed reference point.

. . .

I got my Swift during the final season of production (but, alas, before prices dropped for clearance). Unloaded, I can grab the rear rack and front basket, and walk up stairs with it, crosswise to my body.

Oh, yeah, and it is really annoying to try to get a 10mm Abus chain through the frame, without carrying lots of chain (I have a 30" cut piece to work with, from an online vendor who cuts them to length for you).

One place has the New Jersey barrier covering the propane gas vending rack outside his building -- has a nice rebar loop in the concrete to lock up to.

What I do with the Swift is hook one pedal to the top of the NJ barrier (rear wheel about 16" above the pavement? It's pretty stable (paint job at risk of course). Then I pass the chain through the permanent rear triangle (unaffected by folding geometry of the rear swing frame).

Nobody's ever said anything about it, and I've done this many times, there.

Front remains on the ground in this orientation. I also use a leather toe strap to clamp the brake handle (to affect a 'parking' brake situation).

. . .

I operate the seat tube clamps maybe five times annually, so I am not in a position to comment on fatigue from overclamping pressure of the dual quick releases. I set the bottom clamp pressure so that it is difficult (but not impossible) to use the seat as a wrench, to rotate the seat tube.

Then I loosen it (carefully, to preserve the adjustment) and repeat for the upper clamp. Then reclamp the lower, without disturbing the fixing nut's rotation.

Have not had to redo it (to re-raise a slowly sinking seat tube) over many hours riding, via many separate trips on separate days, with this technique. I think the factory addressed this issue quite a while before I got mine new, so not worried at all.

. . .

Just keeping it in mind (I always gorrilla'd every fastener, until I bought a pair of Park Tool torque wrenches and realized just how far I'd overtorqued everything!)

I only use the larger PT torque wrench to do rear axle fixing nuts -- every other fastener I work with needs much less torque than that; the smaller wrench handles them beautifully, at (I think) 8 Newton Meters or something like that (I don't think it's in inch-pounds; anyway it reads '3, 5, 7' directly on the scale of the wrench, and I use '8' for most fasteners, such as brake parts).

Last edited by mue; 09-05-18 at 06:51 PM. Reason: punctuation - close parens ;)
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