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Swift folders

Old 03-23-11, 11:13 AM
  #2601  
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Few questions for the Swift group.

I've been yearning for a Swift for a few years now and hope to buy this year. My plan is to buy a frameset and build it up with a 9-speed Ultegra group -- not perhaps because it's ideal -- but because I already own it and I don't have tons of cash to do otherwise.

My plan for the Swift is somewhere between fast city rides and touring. I want to keep up with my larger wheel friends who, while not explosively fast themselves, wouldn't hesitate to leave me behind if I couldn't keep up.

My questions relate to the best options to lighten it up and even delude me into thinking I could race it: wheels; fork; seatpost... what are some options? For example, is anybody running Dahon's Kinetix Pro wheels on their Swift?

Thanks all!
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Old 03-23-11, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by 40 Cent

My questions relate to the best options to lighten it up and even delude me into thinking I could race it: wheels; fork; seatpost... what are some options? For example, is anybody running Dahon's Kinetix Pro wheels on their Swift?

Thanks all!
You can run the Pro wheelset as I did back in 2007.. Xootr has 100mm front spacing, Dahon 74mm, so you will need to make up some spacers.. I also ran the lightweight 34mm SDG seatpost and SDG I-beam saddle.. front fork is steel .. I'd leave the fork alone if it were me.. biggest bang for the buck in reducing weight will be wheels and tires .. you can get a Xootr down to around 20lbs pretty easily.. Jur on this board went with lightweight 451 wheel/tires.. I'd go that route if I were doing it all over..

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Old 03-23-11, 12:34 PM
  #2603  
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Originally Posted by BruceMetras
You can run the Pro wheelset as I did back in 2007.. Xootr has 100mm front spacing, Dahon 74mm, so you will need to make up some spacers.. I also ran the lightweight 34mm SDG seatpost and SDG I-beam saddle.. front fork is steel .. I'd leave the fork alone if it were me.. biggest bang for the buck in reducing weight will be wheels and tires .. you can get a Xootr down to around 20lbs pretty easily.. Jur on this board went with lightweight 451 wheel/tires.. I'd go that route if I were doing it all over..
Excellent. Thank you, sir. Wheels and tires... my hunt begins.
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Old 03-23-11, 02:19 PM
  #2604  
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Originally Posted by 40 Cent
My questions relate to the best options to lighten it up and even delude me into thinking I could race it: wheels; fork; seatpost... what are some options?
While I don't think anyone has used this particular fork on the Swift yet. I just ordered the $80 Redline Flight R6 for my Downtube and it seems like it might also be a pretty good upgrade for the Swift.

Stock Swift fork:
894g
32cm axle to crown height
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...nge-out-dilema..

Redline Flight R6/U6:
483g
32.1 axle to crown height
https://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...oducts_id=4248
https://www.jrbicycles.com/storefron...productId=1582

Not sure if there's a significant difference in offset/rake. Also, beware that the Redline fork has a 135 pound rider weight limit...but that's for BMX racing and I presume it'd be much higher if rated for road use.

The normal straight (untapered) 1-1/8" steerer will also require/allow the use of this aluminum riser (or a one piece stem-riser) which is surely much lighter than the stock steel riser:
https://calhouncycle.com/productcart/...&idproduct=978
You'll also need some kind of clamp or locking spacer/top nut to retain the headset tension (there are a number of premade and DIY solutions).

Basically I'm suggesting the same mod seen in this thread, but with the 483g $80 aluminum fork instead of the rare 435g $150 carbon fork that was used:
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...nge-out-dilema..
I guess for a pure weight saving mod it's a lot more involved than wheels/tires/seatpost, but I was looking to ditch the suspension fork and folding riser on my Downtube brand bike anyway.

Last edited by chucky; 03-23-11 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 03-23-11, 03:24 PM
  #2605  
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Originally Posted by chucky
While I don't think anyone has used this particular fork on the Swift yet. I just ordered the $80 Redline Flight R6 for my Downtube and it seems like it might also be a pretty good upgrade for the Swift.

Stock Swift fork:
894g
32cm axle to crown height
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...nge-out-dilema..

Redline Flight R6/U6:
483g
32.1 axle to crown height
https://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...oducts_id=4248
https://www.jrbicycles.com/storefron...productId=1582

Not sure if there's a significant difference in offset/rake. Also, beware that the Redline fork has a 135 pound rider weight limit...but that's for BMX racing and I presume it'd be much higher if rated for road use.

The normal straight (untapered) 1-1/8" steerer will also require/allow the use of this aluminum riser (or a one piece stem-riser) which is surely much lighter than the stock steel riser:
https://calhouncycle.com/productcart/...&idproduct=978
You'll also need some kind of clamp or locking spacer/top nut to retain the headset tension (there are a number of premade and DIY solutions).

Basically I'm suggesting the same mod seen in this thread, but with the 483g $80 aluminum fork instead of the rare 435g $150 carbon fork that was used:
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...nge-out-dilema..
I guess for a pure weight saving mod it's a lot more involved than wheels/tires/seatpost, but I was looking to ditch the suspension fork and folding riser on my Downtube brand bike anyway.
I'll be looking into this more., thanks!
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Old 03-23-11, 03:35 PM
  #2606  
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Originally Posted by chucky
While I don't think anyone has used this particular fork on the Swift yet. I just ordered the $80 Redline Flight R6 for my Downtube and it seems like it might also be a pretty good upgrade for the Swift.

Stock Swift fork:
894g
32cm axle to crown height
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...nge-out-dilema..

Redline Flight R6/U6:
483g
32.1 axle to crown height
https://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...oducts_id=4248
https://www.jrbicycles.com/storefron...productId=1582

Not sure if there's a significant difference in offset/rake. Also, beware that the Redline fork has a 135 pound rider weight limit...but that's for BMX racing and I presume it'd be much higher if rated for road use.

The normal straight (untapered) 1-1/8" steerer will also require/allow the use of this aluminum riser (or a one piece stem-riser) which is surely much lighter than the stock steel riser:
https://calhouncycle.com/productcart/...&idproduct=978
You'll also need some kind of clamp or locking spacer/top nut to retain the headset tension (there are a number of premade and DIY solutions).

Basically I'm suggesting the same mod seen in this thread, but with the 483g $80 aluminum fork instead of the rare 435g $150 carbon fork that was used:
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...nge-out-dilema..
I guess for a pure weight saving mod it's a lot more involved than wheels/tires/seatpost, but I was looking to ditch the suspension fork and folding riser on my Downtube brand bike anyway.
Chucky,

Excellent, thanks for that. With my 200 lbs however, I'm wondering how deep the pothole would have to be to equal 5 feet of air by a 135-lb bmx'er.

Skimming this thread, I see many have tried to crack the Swift fork nut figuratively speaking. I will explore wheels first...

Speaking of that, Jur, I see your initial build -- back a ways in this thread -- had velocity rims you really liked at the time. Are you still running them? 28-hole F and R? Any regrets or tips?

Thanks.
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Old 03-23-11, 05:34 PM
  #2607  
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Originally Posted by jur
I'll be looking into this more., thanks!
You're welcome; I'll measure the fork offset for you once it arrives.

Also, before you go ordering parts here's a little preview of the style of stem/riser I'm equipping because using a straight riser tube on a 1-1/8" steerer would require a special (1-1/4") tandem stem:

Half the price of the Airnimal J-Stem Riser and the stem is integrated (which hopefully makes it stiffer and lighter). Surely the aluminum is not as strong as the steel one piece stem-risers made by Bike Friday, but hopefully strong enough:


Originally Posted by 40 Cent
Excellent, thanks for that. With my 200 lbs however, I'm wondering how deep the pothole would have to be to equal 5 feet of air by a 135-lb bmx'er.
"...it is important to recognize that with regard to bicycles, at least, empirical development (namely, try it out, strengthen the parts that break, and lighten those that don't) is a valid practical approach to optimization. But hand in hand with that approach must go an awareness that innovation will inevitably bring failures." - Bicycling Science 3rd edition

Last edited by chucky; 03-23-11 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 03-24-11, 08:24 AM
  #2608  
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Originally Posted by jur
Newer folding bikes come with the right sort of folding stem that would work on the Swift. They clamp around the steerer and fold just above that point. Many also slope forwards for increased reach, a big plus point.

The biggest problem is getting hold of these stems, they are not sold as spares. Perhaps we could contact a manufacturer and organise a group buy.
Yes, I think I've seen some on Asian manufacurers pages? Would probably have to be a big order, then logistics of international distribution to global Swift owners! Personally I'm really picky about the hinge mechanism as well. My Dahon stem hinge became really unreliable, which partly prompted getting the Swift. I was curious about Brompton stems because they have the screw-down clamp. One of the issues with the Dahon was nothing to actually prevent the hinge from loosening and collapsing mid-ride, which happened to me more than once. So any folding stem would need to have a fail-safe, and be able to withstand some flex.

That's one good thing about the Swift stem. Just some creaking where the riser meets the steerer that I need to wax or something to stop the squeaks. Otherwise, very solid. I'm thinking cheapest option might be getting some BMX bars, and I can hook the center part over the steerer. I've seen the bottle-cage solution described, and I may look at that too. Rather not have one on my bike, though. And I've got to make some adjustments to raise my handlebars about 10cm anyway.
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Old 03-24-11, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by metamichael
Yes, I think I've seen some on Asian manufacurers pages? Would probably have to be a big order, then logistics of international distribution to global Swift owners! Personally I'm really picky about the hinge mechanism as well. My Dahon stem hinge became really unreliable, which partly prompted getting the Swift. I was curious about Brompton stems because they have the screw-down clamp. One of the issues with the Dahon was nothing to actually prevent the hinge from loosening and collapsing mid-ride, which happened to me more than once. So any folding stem would need to have a fail-safe, and be able to withstand some flex.
Bike Friday has a nice relatively fail-safe folding stem riser that they sell aftermarket:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMzWWl26Q-c

However, I personally think folding stem risers are the one of the worst components on folders because:
1. They really limit where you can fit the folded bike and are slower to fold because the bars also usually need to be folded (ie to fit between the wheels). Customize the bars and you can forget about it (thanks to the folding stem, even a Brompton is huge with drop bars). A pop off stem can be nestled much more quickly and compactly in a wider variety of situations.
2. They're really heavy.
3. They account for almost all the flex that people complain about with folders. All the folders with reputations for being stiff are the ones without folding stems.

Last edited by chucky; 03-24-11 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 03-24-11, 04:13 PM
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In case you were wondering if you had to remove the pedals to pack the bike...



the answer is that you only have to remove one pedal (the left one). the right-hand pedal (circled in red) is threaded through the spokes of the rear wheel. it fit fine.

I figured this out involuntarily when, for the life of me, I couldn't dislodge the right-hand pedal. I had taken them both off with an allen wrench instead of a pedal wrench on this end + reassembled them just fine the same way, but when I went to pack the bike last night in AZ I could not get the right-hand pedal off again. And it was late enough in the evening that all the bike stores were closed. I almost had to leave it with my dad.
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Old 03-24-11, 04:26 PM
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What suitcase is that?
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Old 03-24-11, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jur
What suitcase is that?
pretty sure it's the vertical 30" Samsonite hardshell, the one described on the Xootr packing instruction page:

https://www.xootr.com/swift-suitcase-...tructions.html

I got it from the previous owner. it's pretty well beat up, so I have to tape one of the hinges shut. but it does the job...
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Old 03-27-11, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by chucky
I'll measure the fork offset for you once it arrives.
I carefully measured/calculated the fork offset at approximately 28mm. I also confirmed the other specs and they're all spot on.

Here is the Redline Flight R6 Expert Fork with the Rans B75 stem riser (which has 3.25" of forward reach):

total weight = 675g + QR seat clamp vs 750g + stem for the Airnimal J-Stem configuration
...which is probably almost three pounds lighter than the stock Swift fork+riser+stem arrangement.

Similar inexpensive 1 piece stem risers for 1-1/8" steerers are available from various recumbent dealers with the following amounts of forward reach: 2.5", 3.25", 3.5", 4.5", 5.5", 6.5".
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Old 03-28-11, 09:42 PM
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Nice research Chucky. Those stems are huge though, any smaller sizes available? I only need 12" rise x 3" reach on my Swift.

Do you recall any of the names of the recumbent dealers stocking other sizes?


(My homebrew riser w/80mm Ritchey 1" stem)
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Old 03-29-11, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by itsmoot
Nice research Chucky. Those stems are huge though, any smaller sizes available? I only need 12" rise x 3" reach on my Swift.

Do you recall any of the names of the recumbent dealers stocking other sizes?
RANS makes parts which aren't in their online catalog such as the B-75 I purchased which is 13" long with 3.25" of reach. I got mine from RANS because I needed some other unlisted RANS stuff, but these guys stock everything and reputedly have the lowest shipping fees:
https://www.easystreetrecumbents.com/

Alternatively you could always cut a longer one down with a pipe cutter and add your own stress relief slot. IMO this is actually preferred because I think the relief slots are too long on my B-75 riser (which limits how far I can trim the fork steerer).

Be careful though...I haven't even ridden mine yet so I can't say whether it might snap off on the first ride (although it feels strong and rigid). Also remember that the stock fork tapers to 1" (vs 1-1/8" for replacement forks) and that replacement forks need a method for retaining headset tension like this:
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/handsup.html#threadless

Last edited by chucky; 03-29-11 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 03-29-11, 07:12 AM
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Just returning to the subject of bottle cages on the Swift for a moment. I have had the bottle held in a Rixen/Kaul bag on the front of the stem riser which was fine except that I like to use a bar bag and the bottle got in the way. I dug out an old Blackburn bottle cage and tied it to the seat post using Velcro straps.



The cage is held in place very well and does not move. It is also easy to remove when folding the bike. A standard bottle fits fine but I have not yet tried a taller bottle. It does not brush against my legs when pedaling. Might be a solution for some people who do not wish to spend lots of money on specialist brackets.

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Old 03-30-11, 06:56 PM
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bad luck today. hit a pothole and my CrossRack bag went flying. luckily the laptop wasn't damaged, but it landed on one of the hooks which broke off. I doubt it is repairable, so will probably need to get a new one. it was indeed attached to the rack with the holding pin, but perhaps not tightly enough.

on the subject of water bottles, I used the Minoura but found i couldn't get it tight enough to keep from sliding down the riser. so I will probably order a new riser with the mounts for a holder. too much of a pain otherwise.
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Old 03-30-11, 09:07 PM
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Just joined the Swift club...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/30684316@N08/5575370123/
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Old 04-01-11, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by chucky
RANS makes parts which aren't in their online catalog such as the B-75 I purchased which is 13" long with 3.25" of reach. I got mine from RANS because I needed some other unlisted RANS stuff, but these guys stock everything and reputedly have the lowest shipping fees:
https://www.easystreetrecumbents.com/

Alternatively you could always cut a longer one down with a pipe cutter and add your own stress relief slot. IMO this is actually preferred because I think the relief slots are too long on my B-75 riser (which limits how far I can trim the fork steerer).

Be careful though...I haven't even ridden mine yet so I can't say whether it might snap off on the first ride (although it feels strong and rigid). Also remember that the stock fork tapers to 1" (vs 1-1/8" for replacement forks) and that replacement forks need a method for retaining headset tension like this:
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/handsup.html#threadless
Thanks to the info Chucky. I've contacted Easy Street Recumbents about one, they're going to check their stock to find the best fit.

IIRC some Swift owner here (Jur?) uses an aluminum riser tube clamped to their stock fork's steerer. They said it was a bit flexy but not too bad. I'd imagine these alloy risers will perform as good or better. We'll see.
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Old 04-03-11, 05:48 PM
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New convert - Swift with Doves

Hello Swifters,

I joined the club last December, motivated by an old house with no garage and undesirable outdoor storage, which made the basement the only storage option. Over the last couple years that hassle factor cut our riding way back, especially with the S.O.'s heavy, unwieldy hybrid.

This is her bike. It gets far more use than her last bike just because it's so easy to get up from the basement. I really love it too. When we ride together I'm on a Breezer Ziggy, which is also new to the household in the last few months after I finally quit hording my old Bridgestone that never really fit me that well. Every time I grab the Swift I'm super impressed with it. There's enough bike there to keep me very happy. On the Breezer I'm always aware of the compromises. But I do like it for my multi-mode commute and tooling around when I just want transport and as long as I'm not thinking like a critic I have a good time on that bike, too.

The stock Swift configuration was a bit too sporty for her tastes . At 6' and leggy, she's at max seat post extension and even with the taller Xootr riser stem the bars were below seat height. Fitted with Doves the bars are about level with the seat and the the Swift is still, well, Swift! And comfy. An awesome heads-up, responsive city rider. It a fun, fun bike.
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Old 04-04-11, 06:05 PM
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Pickup in Illinois pretty good deal https://cgi.ebay.com/VERY-NICE-XOOTR-...44859222336576
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Old 04-04-11, 09:20 PM
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That's one strong wheel!

I hit a nasty pothole in Boston last week. The CrossRack bag went flying (wasn't strapped quite tightly enough). When I got home, I noticed that I had also broken I spoke. I suppose it's possible the spoke broke later, but my guess is it happened at the pothole ... which was 6 or 7 miles from home.

The amazing thing: when I took it to the LBS today to get a replacement spoke, they said that pretty much all the other spokes still looked true. I'm amazed because every time I've broken a spoke on other bikes, the wheel has gone way out of alignment.

That's one strong wheel!
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Old 04-05-11, 12:51 PM
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wow mtalinm you're one lucky guy! - been a bit the opposite for me.
my rear rim failed. not sure when. it's been rubbing the brakes for a couple of days now. pretty silly but i just assumed that it just needed some truing. and when i finally got around to it today, i realized that the rim has cracked. im really lucky i didnt get a blowout as a result. i think what sealed the coffin was riding in to the market with about 30kg of stuff to sell (i weigh about 70kg)

a bit disappointed as i've only had my swift 1.5yrs, but i have ridden through 2 winters, and have probably got a bit of grit wearing through those rims.. would really like to get some of those calipers to see if rim-wear was the problem.... No idea the distances i've covered. work-home is only 3miles. though i do use it for all of my transport..

anyway, as it happens, i'm planning to go on a cycle tour to portugal in a couple of weeks and need to get this fixed. and my problem at the moment is in finding a 20" wheel with a hub so i can swap the 8spd cassette over to it.... and i just cant find any? do i need to get one built? am in london so appreciate if anybody knows where to get these?

my girlfriend is always giving me sh*t for my "ridiculous" bike so i have to get this fixed quick smart
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Old 04-05-11, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Dynocoaster
Pickup in Illinois pretty good deal https://cgi.ebay.com/VERY-NICE-XOOTR-...44859222336576
Dang! I almost put a bid in on this thing (only 3 minutes left) then realized they won't ship. Too bad.

UPDATE: sold for $312.77. Somebody got a deal!

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Old 04-06-11, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by junglism
wow mtalinm you're one lucky guy! - been a bit the opposite for me.
my rear rim failed. not sure when. it's been rubbing the brakes for a couple of days now. pretty silly but i just assumed that it just needed some truing. and when i finally got around to it today, i realized that the rim has cracked. im really lucky i didnt get a blowout as a result. i think what sealed the coffin was riding in to the market with about 30kg of stuff to sell (i weigh about 70kg)

a bit disappointed as i've only had my swift 1.5yrs, but i have ridden through 2 winters, and have probably got a bit of grit wearing through those rims.. would really like to get some of those calipers to see if rim-wear was the problem.... No idea the distances i've covered. work-home is only 3miles. though i do use it for all of my transport..

anyway, as it happens, i'm planning to go on a cycle tour to portugal in a couple of weeks and need to get this fixed. and my problem at the moment is in finding a 20" wheel with a hub so i can swap the 8spd cassette over to it.... and i just cant find any? do i need to get one built? am in london so appreciate if anybody knows where to get these?

my girlfriend is always giving me sh*t for my "ridiculous" bike so i have to get this fixed quick smart
There a couple of places in London that deal in recumbents and other small wheeled bikes that should something off the peg that would work... I've never dealt with any of them directly. I bet these guys could help: https://www.bikefix.co.uk/shop/index.php

You'd probably be best off getting a new wheel built up around your existing hub, provided it's in good shape.
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