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Swift folders

Old 12-29-13, 05:27 PM
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Wow. So I just spent several hours over the past week skimming all 134 pages of this thread. And since I have a sort of grab-bag of questions, I figured I would post here rather than start a new topic.

First of all, I noticed that there was a lot of talk about custom Swifts and orders from Peter R. earlier on in the thread, whereas for the last several years it's almost entirely comments about the stock Xootr version. Does anyone know if Peter is still selling customized frames (Alu or SS)? The swiftfolder.com pages are still there but I haven't received a reply to my email yet. I take it the new stainless-steel frame (aka swallowtail) is effectively dead at this point?

I'm interested in a Swift with Alfine 11 IGH for wet-weather commuting and suitcase-packable touring. At 6'0", limited saddle set-back is a concern. Comparing the geometry to my present commuter (effective TT length 56.5 cm), it looks like I can just barely get by if I switch to a saddle with longer rails than my Brooks B17, and switch from trekking/butterfly bars to drop bars, something I've been wanting to try for a while anyway.

My other alternative would be a BIke Friday NWT or Crusoe. The custom fit and purpose-designed touring frame are pluses, but I like the Swift's horizontal dropouts and constant BB-axle distance while folding. The Friday would require a spring-loaded tensioner. And of course the Swift is significantly cheaper.

Apart from the geometry, the stock Swift frame looks ok, but does it have braze-ons and dropout mounting points for a proper front rack? By "proper" I mean one which transmits the weight directly to the axle, not cantilevered off the brake posts like the cheap Nashbar front rack. I tour with less than 40 pounds so plan A is to put my panniers on the front and keep the back free for extra bulky, lightweight loads.

Finally, there aren't any Xootr dealers where I live (Seattle). Any suggestions where I could try out a Swift in person?

Thanks everyone.
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Old 01-02-14, 09:57 PM
  #3327  
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mark 03,

The Swift is a nice bike. Someone in Seattle should let you test-ride their bike.
Perhaps start that request as a topic?
Folding: It doesn't get as small nor as quickly as other folders such as the Brompton.
As for build quality a Bike Friday is nicer that the aluminum Chinese made Xootr and it is made in the USA, pnw.
I think Peter still makes some Swift steel frames in Bklyn ( I should really know this ! )
Swift is one of the best designed/ looking folder out there imo.
I think its just a cleaner better looking design than most others, and you can hang any parts on it you desire.

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Old 01-02-14, 10:40 PM
  #3328  
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mark 03
Look at the recent Silk from Bike Friday, they offer it in a disc brake sliding dropout IGH
and even a Belt drive option.
and the BB is part of the rear assembly..

Just saying Bike Friday makes sized bikes for the rider, others only make one .

so the riders height is immaterial , you adapt the bike .. in those cases..

main frame length + the height of the seat and handlebar masts are all changeable.


Also ..
Jan at HPM/CAT Oregon in Eugene is an old friend of Peter in Bklyn and also makes the bikes ..

JIT , so you can have a say on what fittings you get..

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Old 01-03-14, 09:04 AM
  #3329  
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Yes, I looked at the Silk, but was a bit put off by the price premium (compared to BF's already robust---and fair---price for custom fit made-in-the-USA). I also suspect that there is a weight penalty for replacing the rear triangle with a rear fork. Being an average-to-light rider (165 lb) I would gravitate more to the lighter Crusoe frame, but then require a chain tensioner.

I did inquire for a Seattle Swift owner in my other thread (also looking for the Swift owner Ron whose fully loaded touring bike is pictured on the Xootr web site). Judging from this thread the buzz over the Swift seems to have reached a peak several years ago and been subsiding since. Feels like I'm late to the party!

Also have an inquiry in to Peter in Brooklyn, but no reply for a couple of weeks now.
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Old 01-03-14, 10:30 AM
  #3330  
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Originally Posted by mark03
Yes, I looked at the Silk, but was a bit put off by the price premium (compared to BF's already robust---and fair---price for custom fit made-in-the-USA). I also suspect that there is a weight penalty for replacing the rear triangle with a rear fork. Being an average-to-light rider (165 lb) I would gravitate more to the lighter Crusoe frame, but then require a chain tensioner.

I did inquire for a Seattle Swift owner in my other thread (also looking for the Swift owner Ron whose fully loaded touring bike is pictured on the Xootr web site). Judging from this thread the buzz over the Swift seems to have reached a peak several years ago and been subsiding since. Feels like I'm late to the party!

Also have an inquiry in to Peter in Brooklyn, but no reply for a couple of weeks now.
The Swift thread contains a lot of information from those of us who have modified the bike to suit our riding. If it appears to have subsided a bit recently it's probably because we've covered just about all there is to say and do with a Xootr Swift!

It is a great little bike that will cover most uses to which a bike can be put and anyone who buys one will not be disappointed. The fold may not rival the Brompton but the ride more than compensates for that. It can also be tuned to your requirements using normal bike parts. I smile every time I ride it - even up hill - and it is the one bike I would not part with.
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Old 01-12-14, 12:56 PM
  #3331  
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I have a slightly less flattering opinion of my Swift, but it is a solid bike. I find it just a bit too heavy and harsh (but stiff if you like that), although I haven't tried wider tires on both wheels (just the rear, to date), and I would prefer a smaller frame size option. But - as a folding bike I think it's great if you don't need something that folds too small (I've also ridden a Dahon and Strida - although not a BF, which I sometimes think I should've opted for!)
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Old 01-12-14, 01:19 PM
  #3332  
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Another Seattlite , on the Google I BoB group shed his Eugene Swift, looking for for a newer Brompton S6L.

he Bought the 94 Mk2 M3R I shed when I got My Newer M3L..

update: he has since resold it..

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Old 02-19-14, 08:22 PM
  #3333  
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Just getting the Swift thread back on page 1.

This is my cracked frame Swift, the crack is not growing so I am still commuting and doing other rides with it. I have the replacement frame already but need a chunk of time to move all the parts accross, plus I am waiting for some new bits to come in to match the new frame color.

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Old 02-25-14, 05:25 PM
  #3334  
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Well that's 134 pages read over last 2 days and I am crosseyed lol, but think this will be my next bike and maybe even my buddy wants one, I took the tern verge 18 and the new eclipse x20 out for a testride a few weeks back, lovely bike to ride but I just don't trust the hinges on them or dahons, so have ruled them out, I like the reach if bikes but not in my small budget and reading all these pages I think its a xootr for me, pretty much 99% good reviews, I am training part time to be a cycle mechanic and love the idea of customising the bike to fit me, already spoke to the guy from ebay selling them and I am still convinced its my best option, it wont be standard for long, firstly I need comfort, maybe a RIDO saddle first, get my geometry sorted to fit my frame, I am about 17stone and 5ft 11.5 so a large frame and longer stems in order, the after that just go out and ride it, as next thing is speed and improving anything as and when I can afford it, luckily where I work strip and sell parts off donated second hand bikes so I can get stuff cheap or free and be surrounded by experts all the way if I get stuck!, only problem is now is money, just when ya think its a go, I get a 300+ gas bill and a 200+ car repair to pay and I am unemployed, the bike thing I do is voluntary!
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Old 02-26-14, 03:44 PM
  #3335  
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Hi jur.
Sorry to hear about your frame

I remember little pixel feeling ok with the service he got from his cracked merc.

How do you feel about your swift?

Do you feel you got good value out of its lifetime and milage?

There are a few reports of cracked swifts but they are good value.
Thanks
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Old 02-27-14, 03:21 AM
  #3336  
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The particular batch of frames that my Swift came from, was the early batch, made from thinner tubing and the seatpost tended to fit a bit loose, all giving rise to the possibility of cracks in one spot. Peter Reich was aware of the fact that some of those early frames might crack, so they have the policy of life guarantee which I didn't know about. Anyway when I mentioned the crack to Xootr they put me on to Peter straight away and he immediately sent me a new frame, without even asking for a pic of the crack.

I got exactly 7 years from mine, and considering that I ride it hard, is pretty good for the early frames. Reich thinks I took good care of it. And I did, but I think that frame 2 will outlast me. I am looking for a nice light crankset to go with the new frame, as a kind of gift to myself.

The crack is not growing, so I am considering to modify it for a belt drive, just 1 gear, super light, for commuting. I would want to have some reinforcement welded over the crack, and polish the frame to raw aluminium. Medium term project.
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Old 02-27-14, 09:29 AM
  #3337  
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Originally Posted by jur
The crack is not growing, so I am considering to modify it for a belt drive, just 1 gear, super light, for commuting. I would want to have some reinforcement welded over the crack, and polish the frame to raw aluminium. Medium term project.
I actually asked Peter about that (belt drive), and he was really down on the idea. A shame since I'm building mine with Alfine 11 hub gears and belt drive would've been perfect. If you do try this, be sure to report back here; I'm curious to hear how it goes.
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Old 02-27-14, 11:17 AM
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Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I do feel that belt drives are slightly oversold. Having worked on them and test rode them, I am not at all convinced the upsides outweigh the downsides when compared to a chain drive system. Issues with squeaky noises (largely addressed with the new centertrack design), picky alignment (again, centertrack is better), tensioning, and limited cog/belt sizes keep me from wanting to jump into belt drives on my personal bikes.
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Old 03-02-14, 01:37 PM
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If you are tall, buy the optional, longer (12", IIRC) handlepost.
IMO, (i) the Swift is the best airline-legal "suitcase bike", and by far the fastest to pack and unpack. 5 minutes, each way, without rushing; and (ii) the wheelbase gives it a stability that nothing else on ISO 406 can match.
I like the ride of my steel frame Swift much more than the Al frame, but a good saddle and shorts make the Al frame bearable.
The 11 speed Alfine would be the IGH of choice.
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Old 03-02-14, 03:03 PM
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Yes, I looked at the Silk, but was a bit put off by the price premium
(compared to BF's already robust---and fair---price for custom fit made-in-the-USA).

did you call them up and ask to roll back the spec list a bit , and just go with chain drive for the Alfine?
and get a quote on that lower figure .. ??

It is a pick list menu, as the bikes are JIT built as the order comes up in the build Queue.


[though I got an As Is Pocket Llama* when the BTO buyer didn't like the color choice]
*Rohloff, Schmidt disc front dynohub..
the nature of the folding behind the BB frame means I use the R'off chain tensioner .

[I found 1.75" tire gets deflated to pull the wheel,when needed..]

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Old 03-05-14, 06:53 AM
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Has anybody retrofitted front suspension on there xootr? I have seen some nice ones but with them being pretty good for parts changeability I was wondering if its been done before, or even any pics with a suspension stem and a cane creek seatpost with maybe a bmx wheel, I know canecreek made a post specific to the swift but I haven't seen the correct size advertised on there site so maybe its been discontinued?
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Old 03-06-14, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by dezzie
Has anybody retrofitted front suspension on there xootr? I have seen some nice ones but with them being pretty good for parts changeability I was wondering if its been done before, or even any pics with a suspension stem and a cane creek seatpost with maybe a bmx wheel, I know canecreek made a post specific to the swift but I haven't seen the correct size advertised on there site so maybe its been discontinued?
One simple way to achieve this is to get a front wheel with a pantour suspension hub. I used to have a Dahon speed pro that had these as standard and it worked really well for me. You need to find a cheap one as I recall they were quite expensive but in the UK you can get a complete wheel with pantour hub for 80.

Or just fit fatter tyres!
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Old 03-10-14, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dezzie
Has anybody retrofitted front suspension on there xootr? I have seen some nice ones but with them being pretty good for parts changeability I was wondering if its been done before, or even any pics with a suspension stem and a cane creek seatpost with maybe a bmx wheel, I know canecreek made a post specific to the swift but I haven't seen the correct size advertised on there site so maybe its been discontinued?
I had a setup like you describe on my Swift for a time. I succeeded in making an extremely cushy ride, but at the expense making it heavier and slower.



I eventually removed the suspension and returned the Swift to being a folding road bike. Sometime later I got a Pacific "Reach for the Road" which was designed for suspension, it's nearly as light as my stripped-down Swift.

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Old 03-24-14, 07:58 AM
  #3344  
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Peter Reich is alive and kicking - about to order a Swift Folder from him. He's very approachable - you can contact him here: swiftfolders@gmail.com
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Old 04-13-14, 04:31 PM
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I was surfing YouTube and came across a demonstration of the Bike Friday folding stem. It's actually the riser that the stem bolts to. It looks to be a great idea and I was wondering if it would fit the Swift. The video is about four years old and I could not find the product on Bike Friday's web site so I'm not sure if it is still made. Has anyone seen it and tried to fit it to the Swift?
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Old 04-13-14, 05:34 PM
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Own and, fit it to a swift, myself ? no , but I have the stem/stanchion on a Bike Friday , once the fold down exposes the bolt head

it is a fairly normal 1" quill with a wedge tightening inside the fork , into a 1.125" threaded-headset steerer tube.
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Old 04-14-14, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Braithwait
I was surfing YouTube and came across a demonstration of the Bike Friday folding stem. It's actually the riser that the stem bolts to. It looks to be a great idea and I was wondering if it would fit the Swift. The video is about four years old and I could not find the product on Bike Friday's web site so I'm not sure if it is still made. Has anyone seen it and tried to fit it to the Swift?
You know, I brought my new swift, packed it in a suitcase and flew to Mexico. I have the great Shamino 8 internal hub. I rode it every day - and the only problem I had was packing the thing back into the suitcase because the riser extension froze onto the steering stem. After 4 months. Luckily I knew of a metal working shop, and showed them how to remove the extension. Now I will always worry about that part seizing. I'll think I'll try the automotive antiseize stuff.
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Old 07-07-14, 06:58 AM
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Does anyone have any suggestions for a nice front suspension fork? I'm in NYC and the potholes in my area are killing me. I don't want a thudbuster seat post, yet, but a new front fork would be killer!
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Old 07-07-14, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by tds101
Does anyone have any suggestions for a nice front suspension fork? I'm in NYC and the potholes in my area are killing me. I don't want a thudbuster seat post, yet, but a new front fork would be killer!

suntour swing looks promising.






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Old 07-07-14, 10:52 AM
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Wow, that looks nice. Are there any others that are known to fit?
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