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Questions about Swift modifications

Old 02-11-10, 11:16 PM
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hesperus
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Questions about Swift modifications

Hello everyone,

I've been riding my stock swift for about 5 months until I've recently decided to bring it in for the winter.

In the meantime, I'm thinking about certain modifications I would like to make during this period to make it an even more enjoyable ride come spring. However, I'm somewhat of a bicycle novice so I appreciate any feedback/advice offered.

1. I would like to change the handlebars to something more in line with bullhorns. If I pursue this option, what else would I have to change? The current grip shift? The brakes?

2. I am also seeking slicker and faster tires. Can I replace the current Kenda Kwests with the Schwalbe Kojaks (406) without getting a new tube?

Thanks!
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Old 02-12-10, 12:20 AM
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Joako
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1. Make sure to get a bullhorn with a 25.4 clamp. You will also need to change your brake levers and get an adapter for the grip shift.

2. Yes


Originally Posted by hesperus View Post
Hello everyone,

I've been riding my stock swift for about 5 months until I've recently decided to bring it in for the winter.

In the meantime, I'm thinking about certain modifications I would like to make during this period to make it an even more enjoyable ride come spring. However, I'm somewhat of a bicycle novice so I appreciate any feedback/advice offered.

1. I would like to change the handlebars to something more in line with bullhorns. If I pursue this option, what else would I have to change? The current grip shift? The brakes?

2. I am also seeking slicker and faster tires. Can I replace the current Kenda Kwests with the Schwalbe Kojaks (406) without getting a new tube?

Thanks!
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Old 02-12-10, 03:47 AM
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bendembroski
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Yup. The standard tubes will work no problem.

Fitting bullhorns can be a bit fiddly. You've got a few things you need to deal with. Firstly, almost all bullhorns are slightly larger (commonly called "road") in diameter than the straight bars that come with the Swift ("mountain" size). This means (like Joako said) that the brake levers and grip shift won't fit.

The v-brakes on the Swift need a different "cable pull" than most standard "road" brake levers use. There are two ways around this, find road levers that have the right cable pull for v-brakes, or get some thingamy-jigs called "travel agents" that adapt v-brakes to use the same cable pull as road levers. Since you'd be needing to get new levers anyway, I'd suggest getting v-brake compatible road levers.

The shifter "problem" has a couple of solutions as well. The simplest is to get a small mountain bike "bar-end", attach it to the bullhorns, and mount your shifter on that. Ugly, but it works. The other option is the swap the rear derailleur that came with the bike for a Shimano, and fit some bar-end shifters to the bullhorns. This looks much better, is lighter, and is more expensive. You need to change the rear derailleur as the SRAM unit that comes on the swift pulls a different amount of cable than most bar-end shifters.

Finally, you'll likely need a new stem. Bullhorn's extend the reach of the bars by a fair amount, so it's likely that you won't like the riding position with the same stem used with a straight bar. Also, like Joako said, the diameter of bullhorns is likely to be different from the standard Swift stem. It's probably going to be easier to find a road stem that fits your needs than it will be to find mountain sized bullhorns.

For more details on all this malarky, take a look at the late, great Sheldon Brown's website: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/

I did almost exactly the conversion you are considering a few years back. I used v-brake compatible brake levers and a shimano derailleur - shifter combo. Worked great for me. You can see a pic here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dembroski/3595096484/

Good luck!
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Old 02-12-10, 01:53 PM
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My swift is mod'd thusly: Delta Ergo bars



with Shimano Deore V-brake.

I like it. I also have the Kojak tires on it now. I like them too. Same mods you're thinking of.
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Old 02-12-10, 02:43 PM
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You could avoid a lot of hassle by simply fitting "ski type" bar ends which curve round like the bars above. I have just fitted a pair of Ergon touring grips/ends and they really do offer a good alternative to the bullhorns or butterfly bars.
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Old 02-12-10, 07:52 PM
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To make it simple on the bars installation:

1. Get some Tektro RL740:

http://www.tektro.com/02products/10ql.php

They work with vbrake, fits oversized bars, and it has an hinge for easy installation. This works better installed horizontally, as your stock swift.

2. Get a 25.4mm bullhorn OR get a 26mm bullhorn AND a 26mm stem.
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Old 02-13-10, 10:41 PM
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Thanks for the helpful advice everyone! After looking around on websites and double-checking my bank account, I think I will go with a bullhorn + stem, new brake levers, shimano rear derailleur and bar end shifters.

Is there a particular reliable 8 speed shimano derailleur that is easy on the wallet?
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Old 02-14-10, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by hesperus View Post
Is there a particular reliable 8 speed shimano derailleur that is easy on the wallet?
Derailers don't have 'speeds', all derailers can do all speeds. The only thing you need to know is what is the biggest cog on the back - road derailers are usually limited to 28 teeth (but they will do up to 30 teeth). So if you have 30 or less teeth in the back, choose ANY shimano derailer that fits your budget. Just avoid Dura-ace and XTR - these cost a LOT more for no real extra performance. I would stick to LX or XT (mountain), or Ultegra or 105 (road).

Where you do have to watch out, is at the shifters - they do have 'speeds'. So you have to get an 8 speed bar end shifter - a little rare but they can be found on ebay. Usually, bar end shifters can also be operated in friction mode, ie no 'speeds' or indexing clicks.
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Old 02-14-10, 03:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jur View Post
Derailers don't have 'speeds', all derailers can do all speeds. The only thing you need to know is what is the biggest cog on the back - road derailers are usually limited to 28 teeth (but they will do up to 30 teeth). So if you have 30 or less teeth in the back, choose ANY shimano derailer that fits your budget. Just avoid Dura-ace and XTR - these cost a LOT more for no real extra performance. I would stick to LX or XT (mountain), or Ultegra or 105 (road).

Where you do have to watch out, is at the shifters - they do have 'speeds'. So you have to get an 8 speed bar end shifter - a little rare but they can be found on ebay. Usually, bar end shifters can also be operated in friction mode, ie no 'speeds' or indexing clicks.
Jur beat me to it. I've been using 9 speed bar-ends with an 8 speed cassette in friction mode for over a year and find the shifting just fine (once I got the 'feel' for it, my shifting was plenty quick).
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Old 02-14-10, 04:32 AM
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Oh yes, one more thing - don't mix SRAM and Shimano.
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