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Swift folders

Old 04-25-12, 02:07 PM
  #3026  
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Oldmill, for daily use you're probably just going to do the quick fold. The Swift is not very small in this configuration, as folding bikes go. In fact, I think the 26"-wheeled Montagues are about the same size folded. As for bringing it on a train, I do bring mine on our light rail trains, with the bike quick-folded, and the handlebar removed and strapped to the top tube. A bit of a pain, but takes only a minute or so. But I would not bring it on a really crowded train, unlike a Brompton for example. And I would never take it on board a bus.
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Old 04-25-12, 02:16 PM
  #3027  
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On another note, I still haven't dealt with my worn-out wheel problem. Xootr is out of cheap replacement wheels so I'll have to have one built up, plus I need to deal with the front really soon too.

I'm kind of a mental crossroads about what to do next on the front wheel. If I'm building up a drum-brake wheel anyway, should I spend a few extra bucks and get the dynamo version of the Sturmey hub? The always-on simplicity of a dynamo system does have some appeal, though it won't be able to power my homebrew LED system and I'll need to start over. Anyone have impressions -- good or bad -- of the latest-gen Sturmey dynohubs or the latest-gen LED generator lights? I hear great things about the newest gen-lights from B&M, Schmidt and Philips, but most of those opinions are from people who've had the older gen-lights. It is VERY hard to find an opinion from someone who has compared them with the latest crop of battery LED lights, which usually put out more light but don't have optimally shaped beams.

Also in the back of my mind is a potential switch back to a 700c based bike with disc brakes for commuting during the wet months, from November to April. I'm not usually fighting for space on the train that time of the year anyway, and I've hardly ever folded it since last fall. I'd keep using the Swift as my commuter and road bike for April/May through October, though, when I need it to fold and it's mostly dry thus much less rim wear. If I did that then I'd probably stick with rim brakes.

I dunno, lots to think about. The Swift is still temporarily disabled, and I'm commuting on my mountain bike while I sort this out.
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Old 04-26-12, 12:50 AM
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Hi. I'm new to folding bikes. I've got the chance of a used Xootr Swift and also a Bike Friday NWT. My main use is lunchtime, early morning rides from work. The fold is just to be able to get into the boot (trunk) of my car. I had an RTA last year which means no more commuting to work!

Which would you guys go for ? I'm loosing weight quickly but still 14st 10lbs . Is there a weight limit on the Swift.

I don't need racks etc except day pack and like a nippy ride but comfortable. I'd also like to do some sportive (audax) rides - about 80 to 100 miles. It needs fenders (mudguards) and i'd like to preferably use drop bars or alter the stem if required.

Any advice appreciated. Oh, i'm based in the UK by the way.....
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Old 04-26-12, 02:25 AM
  #3029  
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How tall are you? And do you know the prices for those two? I have a Swift and it performs! But the NWT is a great bike by all reports, but you need to know what size. The Swift is a size medium although that can be stretched either way; the BF are different sizes; no use buying a small if you are 6'.

BTW Looked at acronyms for RTA but no clue... Road Traffic Accident, Return To Australia, Right Torsion of the Abomasum, Random Task Arrival...

And "no commuting" - is that by car or by bike?

Last edited by jur; 04-26-12 at 02:30 AM.
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Old 04-26-12, 03:22 AM
  #3030  
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Thanks jur...RTA i assumed was a worldwide term for 'Road Traffic Accident'! Although I like the Random Task Arrival option.....!

And no commuting by bike any more as the accident was on my bike...first one in 30years.

I'm 1.70 metres (5ft 7in) tall. The NWT is the shorter model, the seller listing it as suitable for 5ft 2 to 5ft 10 and is approx 8 years old - priced at 450. The Swift is priced at 350....

I've just looked the pics of the Swift from you sig link. That looks like the type of bike i'm after with the addition of a double chainset...the hills are steep were i live...

https://www.endomondo.com/workouts/hvJ6BlgBt4U

I do like the fact that the Swift is a little more customisable in terms of stems, bars etc.....
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Old 04-26-12, 08:16 PM
  #3031  
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buzz609, I don't know a thing about BF but can vouch for the wonderfulness of the Swift. just returned from a trip to Chicago where I packed it in a suitcase (no luggage charge, thanks Southwest), built it up in my hotel room (less than 15 minutes), and then rode it 40 miles along the shore of Lake Michigan: https://app.strava.com/rides/7347628

I actually own two Swifts, a stock version I travel with and a custom build with drop bars and BMX stunt rims (for potholes) to commute into downtown Boston. love the bike because everything is standard parts, very customizable
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Old 04-28-12, 12:37 AM
  #3032  
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Originally Posted by buzz609
And no commuting by bike any more as the accident was on my bike...first one in 30years.
1st one in 30y? Wow. Did that put you off bike-commuting?

Scary. I haven't had a RTA yet, in 8 years. I hate driving so if one in 30Y is enough to put one off cycling... wow. Too scary to contemplate.
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Old 04-28-12, 12:43 AM
  #3033  
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Originally Posted by buzz609
I've just looked the pics of the Swift from you sig link. That looks like the type of bike i'm after with the addition of a double chainset...the hills are steep were i live...

https://www.endomondo.com/workouts/hvJ6BlgBt4U
Heh heh here's my commute...
https://app.strava.com/rides/7023870

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Old 04-28-12, 07:46 AM
  #3034  
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Now THAT's a commuter. What kind of bars are they? This is exactly the setup I would want if I do get the Swift,
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Old 04-28-12, 11:09 AM
  #3035  
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Originally Posted by jur
Heh heh here's my commute...
https://app.strava.com/rides/7023870

Wow, nice. Any details on your setup there? Especially on the fork, riser/stem, seatpost and wheels? It looks light too - how much does it weigh?



Originally Posted by mtalinm
I was about to order a Garmin GSC 10 Speed/Cadence Bike Sensor for my Swift since I actually ride it more than my road bike. but now I am wondering whether it will actually fit, because the pedal fully extended back is still in the rubber on the tire at least on my '11 frame.

of course the cadence detector will be ok, but I don't think it will reach the speed sensor even if it is mounted at the ends of the spokes. anyone get this working? I have 406 rims.
I think it will *just* reach on 406 rims if you use the "rare earth magnet on your pedal spindle" trick for the cadence sensor part instead of the included magnet. My new Swift just arrived yesterday and I'm planning to use the same sensor. I have 406 rims too.
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Old 04-28-12, 09:28 PM
  #3036  
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Originally Posted by idc
Wow, nice. Any details on your setup there? Especially on the fork, riser/stem, seatpost and wheels? It looks light too - how much does it weigh?... I have 406 rims too.
Fork - Litespeed 650c fork, used with drop bolts to make the brakes reach. Wheels are 451 for the slight higher gearing. Handlebar is a plain bullhorn, but I sawed off the curved rising bit at the tips - I don't like them and the bars look too big/clumsy to me. Gear shifters are Dura Ace barend shifters, and the brakes are Tioga crosstop levers; that combination allows both brakes and barcons to be mounted together. Normal TT style lever plug the bar up so you can't use barcons with those.

Like that the bike weighs about 8.5kg. Since that phot was taken I have ditched the Tioga Spyder saddle in favour of a Brooks. Front derailer is Ultegra, RD is XT shadow. That curving stem riser is a Bagetta recumbent stem. I reamed the stem clamp to accept 26mm bars. The bike is now very close to being perfect; I am wondering if I should go drops with brifters but I like the setup as is.

Last edited by jur; 04-28-12 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 04-30-12, 12:39 AM
  #3037  
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Hi There Swift Guru's.
I have been reading through this thread with interest. You guys have done some great mods to these bikes.
I am on the fence about a folder and the swift seems like a good place to test the waters (will use for travel overseas)
I have tried to organise a test ride with no luck in my area (through local supplier sales data). (Sydney)
I am 6"3" and currently have a road bike that fits me perfectly.
From what I have read I will need a longer stem and probably bullhorn or drop bars to get the same reach as my road bike.

As I am not an ideal height for all folders (except $BF) and you tend to sit in a more upright position to what I am used to.
My question is to all the tall guys who have modified their swifts to get longer reach
- Does it all feel a bit weird?
- Can you get into a nice racing position and feel like a road bike?
- Am I being unrealistic to expect a medium sized frame to ever feel decent.

Folders are small and I think I may be expecting the impossible.

Thanks
Wayne

Last edited by virtualvision; 04-30-12 at 01:16 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-30-12, 02:59 AM
  #3038  
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Originally Posted by jur
1st one in 30y? Wow. Did that put you off bike-commuting?

Scary. I haven't had a RTA yet, in 8 years. I hate driving so if one in 30Y is enough to put one off cycling... wow. Too scary to contemplate.
Jur...I must admit that despite the accident and the injuries (dental work, bruising and a wrist broken in 3 places - 2 screws in wrist) i was ok after a while with commuting...BUT my wife said a big NO...So i ride when i can...

I'd had plenty of close shaves also...but there character building!

The commute bike looks even better.....Thanks for the replies by the way....
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Old 04-30-12, 03:04 AM
  #3039  
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[QUOTE=jur;14154681]Heh heh here's my commute...
https://app.strava.com/rides/7023870

[/QUOTE

jur...i just noticed the commute profile...that's some climbing....you take the long way round ?!

Last edited by buzz609; 04-30-12 at 09:33 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-30-12, 03:21 AM
  #3040  
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Hi Wayne

Whether you could get stretched out on a Swift depends a bit on your build, if you are long or average in torso height, then I would say probably not; however you could add the option of going quite far back with the saddle. Assuming you don't intend using a Brooks (which have annoyingly short fore-aft adjustment range ), you could get quite far back just using the saddle adjustment range on the stock seatpost. You will have a slightly more relaxed saddle to pedal angle but that does not need to be a bad thing, in fact it would be required for balance if you really want to stretch out. So that gives you quite a bit extra over and above playing with stem length. The answer also depends on your existing setup - what is the saddle-to bar distance on your roadie? I could measure mine, add say 2-3" for the set-back seatpost that you could use, and see how it would compare.

[edit]Also wanted to mention that after 5 years the Swift has not faded in glory like all my other bikes. Only the Swift retains that thrill every time I ride it, the others get a feeling of "Ahh nice bike." but the Swift is like, "wow such a brilliant bike!" I haven't tired of it one little bit. I have tried a friend's Cervelo but it's just not the same. My friend raves over his Cervelo's stiff Dura-Ace wheelset; mine is stiffer still. He like the responsiveness; mine is more responsive. I just can't beat him on the downhills.

Last edited by jur; 04-30-12 at 03:37 AM.
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Old 04-30-12, 04:29 AM
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Thanks for the help Jur.
From center of bars to saddle tip = 25"
I realise that all seats are different but it will give me an idea.

Really like your swift setup. Something to aspire to.

Nice comment that you added. Good to know that you still rate this little gem after all these years.
I used to have dura ace wheels but I am too heavy for them and they were mushy and I started breaking spokes. I got some custom wheels built for my weight (only 84kg but thrash my bikes in crits) and the difference is outstanding. So your swift would be a similar standard - nice.

What is your height Jur? (can't quite tell from the photo)
Your bike setup is agressive so it's a good comparison.

I just looked at your No of posts. Dude you are dedicated.
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Old 04-30-12, 05:08 AM
  #3042  
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Originally Posted by jur
Hi Wayne

[edit]Also wanted to mention that after 5 years the Swift has not faded in glory like all my other bikes. Only the Swift retains that thrill every time I ride it, the others get a feeling of "Ahh nice bike." but the Swift is like, "wow such a brilliant bike!" I haven't tired of it one little bit. I have tried a friend's Cervelo but it's just not the same. My friend raves over his Cervelo's stiff Dura-Ace wheelset; mine is stiffer still. He like the responsiveness; mine is more responsive. I just can't beat him on the downhills.
+1

4 year owner. I love my Swift.
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Old 04-30-12, 06:48 AM
  #3043  
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Originally Posted by virtualvision
I am 6"3" and currently have a road bike that fits me perfectly.
From what I have read I will need a longer stem and probably bullhorn or drop bars to get the same reach as my road bike.
- Am I being unrealistic to expect a medium sized frame to ever feel decent.
You can have a long seatpost, riser bar to get the height, but long stems affect the handling. The main dimension you are stuck with on the swift is the effective top tube, so you need to know how far off the swift (or any potential bike) is from the ideal ETT for you. Measure your own bike (I assume this fits) and measure the effective top tube (the horizontal distance between the centre of the seat tube and the centre of the steerer tube, at around the height of the top tube on a traditional diamond-frame bike (about crotch height then)). The ETT on the swift is 55.5 cm. The differerence in your ideal ETT and the swifts will have to be made up in the stem length. Any stem longer than 130-140mm (with typical angle) will have unusual handling that will take some time to adjust to.

This is a simplification - the difference in seattube and headtube angle also plays a factor (swift is 72/72). Let's say your current bike is 73 degree seattube so on a swift you need a slightly longer stem all other things being equal because the ETT on the swift is being measured at a point on the seatpost further back than on the 73-degree bike. But at your height I expect this doesn't come into it - that there will be a big difference between your ideal ETT and the swifts.

On solution to fitting the swift is when your ideal bike is measured using flat bars. You can make a taller person fit on a swift by using drop bars on the swift. Drop bars put the hand contact point much further forward than on flat bars. That's what I did: my ideal ETT for a MTB is 620 - a whopping 6.5cm longer than the swift. So flat bars would be too cramped for me but drop bars and a 140cm stem give me the stretch I need and while the long stem makes the handling less than perfect I have adjusted to that.

For a proper fit there are not many folding bikes our there that do long or custom fits. Bike Friday is the only on I know of.

Good luck!
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Old 04-30-12, 01:05 PM
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Thanks Rickybails
I currently have a 58cm ETT frame with a 140mm stem on drop bars, but this is my ideal racing position to get as flat as possible.
It's going to be a comprimise on a swift but it doesn't sound like it will be too bad and workable (but a risk)
What I am afraid of is spending all the effort on customizing it then not being happy.

How tall are you Rickybails?
What is your handle bar to seat tip length if you don't mind.
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Old 04-30-12, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jur
That curving stem riser is a Bagetta recumbent stem.
Brilliant!
Is it stiffer/lighter that your former solution?
I also like your sterer/brake/shifter solution.
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Old 04-30-12, 03:51 PM
  #3046  
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Originally Posted by virtualvision
Thanks for the help Jur.
From center of bars to saddle tip = 25"
I realise that all seats are different but it will give me an idea.

Really like your swift setup. Something to aspire to.

Nice comment that you added. Good to know that you still rate this little gem after all these years.
I used to have dura ace wheels but I am too heavy for them and they were mushy and I started breaking spokes. I got some custom wheels built for my weight (only 84kg but thrash my bikes in crits) and the difference is outstanding. So your swift would be a similar standard - nice.

What is your height Jur? (can't quite tell from the photo)
Your bike setup is agressive so it's a good comparison.

I just looked at your No of posts. Dude you are dedicated.
OK, my Swift is 51cm from tip to bar camp centre, 20". The curving stem riser is about 4" extension, so you have an inch to add there, and about 2-3" to add at the saddle, since my seatpost does not have setback plus the Brooks can't be set back much at all. So that gives 24" maximum from saddle tip to bar clamp centre.

I am 178cm.
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Old 04-30-12, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by jur
OK, my Swift is 51cm from tip to bar camp centre, 20". The curving stem riser is about 4" extension, so you have an inch to add there, and about 2-3" to add at the saddle, since my seatpost does not have setback plus the Brooks can't be set back much at all. So that gives 24" maximum from saddle tip to bar clamp centre.

I am 178cm.
Thanks Jur, appriciate your time.
Sound like it will work very well for touring around, trails and commutor setup. If I try to reproduce my road bike I am just pushing the limits of what this frame can do for me.
I have tried setting saddles too far back before - it just boggs the bike down, you start to loose that quick feeling of accelerating with the bike, just grinding from behind all the time.
I really want this bike to work for me but I will proceed with caution. I need to look around and check out other options I think.

Wayne
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Old 04-30-12, 06:42 PM
  #3048  
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The 24 inch will result in a normal-ish saddle setback; mine is unfortunately quite a bit forwards due to the seatpost with no setback plus the Brooks saddle. So yes agreed, you can't get that same stretched-out setting as on your roadie. But with a small compromise here and there you can get quite comfortable. Pity the Swifts aren't made in a large, I would buy one in a heartbeat. Maybe we could ask Peter Reich to arrange such a thing.
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Old 05-01-12, 03:26 AM
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Well i've done it. Purchased a used Xootr Swift. Should be here Friday.

One question...i will need to add front mech to extend the gearing. I've looked at the adapter from Xootr US but also i noticed that Shimano now do a top pull road mech, the CX70 (in 34.9mm)...

I assume that with a clamp on cable stop this would work in the same way. Any thoughts ?

I'm looking to keep the 8 speed Sram for now (to keep cost reasonable) and change the gripshift for X7 triggers..(Not a fan of gripshift..)

Other option is convert to 9 speed but the costs start to ramp up....

Also for anybody looking to use standard bottom pull mechs...i found this company who make an adapter for use as top pull...used mainly for the cyclo-cross bikes. https://www.speen.de/speen____SportsE.../products.html

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Old 05-01-12, 03:56 AM
  #3050  
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The Xootr pulley system is a kludge at best, at least mine is.
1. The pulley does not have a system to allow the pulley to rotate when the fixing bolt is fastened. Basically the pulley needs a shoulder bolt.
2. The pulley groove does not line up with the cable run. In my case the cable runs in a spiral curve from the built-in cable stop to the pulley and out up to the derailer. so not only is the pulley not able to rotate, the cable wants to jump out of the groove.
3. The pulley diamtere is just plain too small so the cable does not line up in many ways. Where the cable exits the cable stop hole it rubs aganst the hole side. I noticed this whole mess when my cable broke off there. Hopeless really.

I ditched the pulley and replaced it with a wide flat profile Delrin cylinder of the proper diameter with a flange to prevent the cable from slipping off. On this flat surface the cable can do its proper spiral path.

Doing a top pull will also solve this unholy mess. If you get it going nicely, post some details here for the interested parties.

[edit]Just a word of warning: No standard clamp-on derailer will fit around the seat tube which is 40mm IIRC. You HAVE to use the Xootr clamp with a braze-on derailer.

Last edited by jur; 05-01-12 at 04:06 AM.
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