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Swift folders

Old 09-19-16, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jur
get the chain guard as close as possible to the chain. Are there any spacers that you could remove?

Not really. The bash ring is slightly concave when looking at the bike from the right, so I might be able to flip it over so that it curves towards the chain. Another option might be to glue or bolt something to the inside of the bash ring to fill up the space between it and the chain. And failing that, maybe another bash ring would sort the problem.


My past experience has been that bikes become very expensive once I start changing components because the parts are far more expensive when bought as single items, and there is usually a snowball effect where one change leads to another. My question would be, why does my Swift drop its chain when others don't? What could be the difference? And was it like this from the factory, or has something changed?


Update: I took off the bash ring and bashed it with a mallet on a marble slab, then put it back in the original position. The bash ring now sits about 3mm from the chain, so hopefully there is no room for the chain to fall off. I shouldn't be needing to modify a stock bike like this, so I still wonder whether something else was wrong? The inside of the bashring was quite gnarled, which put me off reversing it, and it suggests the chain had fallen off a lot.

Last edited by PebbledChin; 09-19-16 at 06:15 AM.
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Old 09-19-16, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Pallas
A narrow/wide chain ring would also mostly eliminate chain drop. Wolf Tooth Components make one in 52T - 130 BCD.
The Wolf website says that "clutched" rear derailleurs are better at preventing chain drop because they are more responsive, but I don't really know what they are other than Shimano's Shadow Plus and SRAM's Type 2.1/X-Horizon are examples. They also say a 10 speed chain in necessary, so the upgrade starts to become expensive. Why does having teeth with alternating pattern help prevent chain drop?
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Old 09-19-16, 09:04 AM
  #3528  
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Originally Posted by PebbledChin
Not really. The bash ring is slightly concave when looking at the bike from the right, so I might be able to flip it over so that it curves towards the chain. Another option might be to glue or bolt something to the inside of the bash ring to fill up the space between it and the chain. And failing that, maybe another bash ring would sort the problem.


My past experience has been that bikes become very expensive once I start changing components because the parts are far more expensive when bought as single items, and there is usually a snowball effect where one change leads to another. My question would be, why does my Swift drop its chain when others don't? What could be the difference? And was it like this from the factory, or has something changed?


Update: I took off the bash ring and bashed it with a mallet on a marble slab, then put it back in the original position. The bash ring now sits about 3mm from the chain, so hopefully there is no room for the chain to fall off. I shouldn't be needing to modify a stock bike like this, so I still wonder whether something else was wrong? The inside of the bashring was quite gnarled, which put me off reversing it, and it suggests the chain had fallen off a lot.
I had a Birdy which would drop its chain. I analysed why it happened and installed guards which I put as close as possible to the chain so that in the extreme cross-chain combinations it would just not touch. That cured it. I would sometimes hear a clink sound when up-shifting, that would be another drop prevented.

I wrote an entry in the FAQ on chain drop.
https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bi...ead-first.html
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Old 09-19-16, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jur
I wrote an entry in the FAQ on chain drop.
https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bi...ead-first.html
I did read your FAQ a day or two ago. If you are convinced that a new chain would help, then I shall invest a few pounds, but I thought that chains for derailleur gears were flexy from the outset, else the derailleurs wouldn't be able to do their job? The other aspect is that the Swift is pretty rigid, so I don't know why it should have the propensity to drop its chain like other folders, except for having 20" wheels. So do all small-wheeled bikes (with short chain stays) suffer from chain drop because of the increased angle of the chain when cross-geared?
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Old 09-19-16, 10:27 AM
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Might a chain guide or Tern Mainstay help with the problem? I have the chain guide on my Dahon Speed P8, and it works perfectly fine.

Special Parts Dahon Tern and others
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Old 09-19-16, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by tds101
Might a chain guide or Tern Mainstay help with the problem?
The chain is falling to the outside, so something like the Tern Mainstay would be what is needed. The aluminium Swift has a seat tube close to 44mm OD, which is really fat, so it is not clear whether the Mainstay would fit (or indeed, anything at all).
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Old 09-19-16, 11:49 AM
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I had a Xootr Swift, but I opted for an IGH. I'm not a derailleur fan. This is a prime example of why I gravitate towards them.
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Old 09-19-16, 01:42 PM
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I had a similar problem with my bike last year. When I upgraded to a 10-speed RD (and with no bash guard on the front), I would drop the chain on the outside about 1-2 a week. A local mechanic thought the chain might be too long, so we experimented by moving the axle back a bit to simulate removing two links. This seemed to work, so he permanently removed them. I've only dropped the chain twice since then, when I think I was being too aggressive in upshifts.

I've seen some questions about narrow-wide chainrings and clutched RDs. When SRAM released their 1x11 equipment (Apex, Rival and Force) last year or the year before, a bunch of magazines published info on why it works. But, it does get expensive pretty fast to go down that route.
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Old 09-19-16, 03:01 PM
  #3534  
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Originally Posted by PebbledChin
I did read your FAQ a day or two ago. If you are convinced that a new chain would help, then I shall invest a few pounds, but I thought that chains for derailleur gears were flexy from the outset, else the derailleurs wouldn't be able to do their job? The other aspect is that the Swift is pretty rigid, so I don't know why it should have the propensity to drop its chain like other folders, except for having 20" wheels. So do all small-wheeled bikes (with short chain stays) suffer from chain drop because of the increased angle of the chain when cross-geared?
The Swift has normal road bike geometry so that isn't why. A new chain will be better but that only lasts for a short while before sideways play increases. Wolftooth chainrings have been invented for the MTB crowd because with a single ring up front they have the same problem. Nope, your only solution is getting the guard as close as possible. Having one that is a bit larger also helps. And it's not because of extreme cross-chain gearing, it's a normal thing. Any gearshift might drop it.

I made a light guard that bolted to the seat tube before going with a front derailer.

Last edited by jur; 09-19-16 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 09-19-16, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by jur
I made a light guard that bolted to the seat tube before going with a front derailer.
Thank you for info. Do you know whether the Tern Mainstay chain guide would fit an aluminium Swift, by any chance? They are reasonably priced. Do you have a photo of your homemade guide?
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Old 09-19-16, 04:07 PM
  #3536  
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Originally Posted by PebbledChin
Thank you for info. Do you know whether the Tern Mainstay chain guide would fit an aluminium Swift, by any chance? They are reasonably priced. Do you have a photo of your homemade guide?
I don't think the Tern thing will work, since the seat tube is back from the bottom bracket shell on the Tern, while on the Swift it is on the shell like a conventional bike. Maybe it would work with a bit of hacking.




This is the only image I have of this long - abandoned guide. It was a tube for the chain fastened to a aluminium bracket made from a strip of aluminium. A complete kludge but it worked. A chain guard while heavier will work better. Is yours the original Swift guide?
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Old 09-19-16, 04:11 PM
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The Tern Mainstay is very close to what I fashioned. It may be best to start with that and see if it csn be made to work.
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Old 09-20-16, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by jur
The Tern Mainstay is very close to what I fashioned. It may be best to start with that and see if it csn be made to work.
For anyone wondering the Mainstay doesnt fit on the swift, I bought one for this very purpose and can confirm.
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Old 09-20-16, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by PebbledChin
Amazing! That saves loads of trig for 5-bolt rings.

I've now got my hands on a clean, little-used Xootr Swift. I've never had a newish bike before now, and I was quite bowled over by how lovely the Swift looked with its sparkly polished aluminium fittings. I decided to ride it around for a while in its original configuration, but I've now had quite a few chain drops from the front ring. I can replicate the occurrence very easily with the bike on its back, and putting the chain onto the 11T sprocket with a bit of enthusiasm. Rapid-fire style triggers might slow the change down, but the grip shift that the Swift comes with almost encourages changing several gear steps at a time. The chain falls to the outside, so it has always been retained between the chainring and the bash guard, but in my view, a chain dropping bike is dangerous because it is possible to lose drive in the middle of a roundabout, or in a middle lane, or half way across a cross-road. I've tried to cure it, but I'm left baffled. I wound up the b-screw tension, but it has not improved the situation. I might just carry on with my plan to convert it to a Nuvinci, but I now think it might be a bit of a shame with the Swift being such a light and fast bike, but I can't think what else to do. Maybe sandwiching the bash ring between the chainring and the spider is possible? A but ugly though.

On another topic, where is a rear battery-powered light best positioned? The seat post is not a good place for multiple reasons.
PebbledChin. I would look into a new chain and cassette. As chains get old they get sloppy laterally as well as get a little longer. Any bike shop can measure the "stretch" in your chain. Some bikes have their own idiosyncrasies. Practice shifting a little slower and keeping the chain moving but not fast. You may change your shifting style to eliminate the chain Drop...

Mounting a Front derailleur will also work. You will want to be able to adjust it as you go up and down with the rear shifter so I would not go with an indexed lever.

Last edited by Rick Imby; 09-20-16 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 09-20-16, 08:39 AM
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I would also look at the teeth on the Crank---If one or a couple of them are a bent a little this will add to your problem.
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Old 09-20-16, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by tds101
I had a Xootr Swift, but I opted for an IGH. I'm not a derailleur fan. This is a prime example of why I gravitate towards them.
I have a Dahon with Infernal Geared Hub and just bought a Swift as I have a huge dislike of IGH. It's all good though.
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Old 09-21-16, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick Imby
I have a Dahon with Infernal Geared Hub and just bought a Swift as I have a huge dislike of IGH. It's all good though.
Whatever floats your boat. Some people never have issues with a derailleur, and others have hell to contend with. I had hell with my first IGH, the NuVinci N360 CVT. I hated it. I switched to Shimano IGH, 3 and 8 speeds, and I'm quite happy with the results.

My opinion of Sturmey-Archer is somewhat mixed. I had a 5 speed IGH from them, and when it worked, it worked smooth as silk. The spacing between the gears? Totally strange,...it was either slight difference, or massive jump. I hear the Sturmey-Archer 8 speed is much better.

But, as they say, to each their own.

Oh, btw, the bike I had the NuVinci hub on was a Xootr Swift, and I totally regret selling the bike. I should have just swapped out the rear hub. The Xootr Swift is SMOKIN!!!
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Old 09-22-16, 09:23 AM
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Jur,

I like that chain guide! Cool idea, a little tube.
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Old 09-22-16, 10:24 AM
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This has probably been covered somewhere in this thread, but I'm curious how people deal with the loose bar/stem when folding a Swift down. It seems to me to pack it down that small to put in a car, it would bang against the frame and scratch everything up.
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Old 09-22-16, 11:32 AM
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I have cardboard in my trunk. actually a couple of collapsed boxs. Makes it easy to pad between and on top.
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Old 09-22-16, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick Imby
I have cardboard in my trunk. actually a couple of collapsed boxs. Makes it easy to pad between and on top.
That's brilliant. Simple, obvious, and I never would have thought of it. Thanks!
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Old 09-24-16, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick Imby
I would look into a new chain and cassette. As chains get old they get sloppy laterally as well as get a little longer
In a belt and braces approach, I've put on a new chain & 11-34 cassette (old chain only had 0.4% elongation, though) and the cycling experience is much better. I do think most of it is down to my moving the bashring closer to the chainring, however.

Another issue has arisen: I have discovered several circumferential notches in the seat post that line up with the seat tube joint. Is this common? Is it caused by improper tightening of the QRs? I noticed that my hands were stained grey after touching the bike. I now realise that this was coming off the seatpin, so either some strange moly or graphite lube has been used by the previous owner or (gulp) there is some serious wear has been taking place inside the seat tube. Are new seat pins readily available? I can't quite read the makers stamp. It is two letters that looks like "nh". I measure it as being 34.0mm OD, but I can't find any that diameter.
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Old 09-24-16, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by PebbledChin
In a belt and braces approach, I've put on a new chain & 11-34 cassette (old chain only had 0.4% elongation, though) and the cycling experience is much better. I do think most of it is down to my moving the bashring closer to the chainring, however.

Another issue has arisen: I have discovered several circumferential notches in the seat post that line up with the seat tube joint. Is this common? Is it caused by improper tightening of the QRs? I noticed that my hands were stained grey after touching the bike. I now realise that this was coming off the seatpin, so either some strange moly or graphite lube has been used by the previous owner or (gulp) there is some serious wear has been taking place inside the seat tube. Are new seat pins readily available? I can't quite read the makers stamp. It is two letters that looks like "nh". I measure it as being 34.0mm OD, but I can't find any that diameter.
Again the Brilliance of the Swift design to the rescue. In the spirit of making as many parts industry standard as possible the Swift works with a 34.0 or 33.9 seatpost. This happens to be the same size that Dahon uses. There are several variations of this seatpost available. Zootr sells two sizes, long and extra long and a Thudbuster suspension post. Dahon also sells one with a built in air pump.

I am not experienced in the dings on the Swift post but I would be very very attentive to make sure they have not turn into cracks. My guess is the dings come more from the clamps NOT being tight.

It is common to put a coat of lube on any seatpost to keep it from rusting to the frame---I know this happens a lot with aluminum post/ cromoly frames. Not sure about aluminum/aluminum post frame combos.

Standard parts to the rescue again. Most any LBS will probably have seat QRs that will work properly with your swift.
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Old 09-24-16, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jur
The only way to cure chain drop is to get the chain guard as close as possible to the chain. Are there any spacers that you could remove?
Another option is to just add a front derailleur and with the adjustment screw locking it into one place. With the wide angles the rear derailleur takes the chain you may need to custom widen the front derailleur cage to keep it from rubbing. As a bike mechanic from the early 80s we had to customize (bend and reform) front derailleurs a lot to get them to work right.
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Old 09-24-16, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick Imby
In the spirit of making as many parts industry standard as possible the Swift works with a 34.0 or 33.9 seatpost.
The thought of this makes me uncomfortable. 0.1mm can make the difference between slipping and not slipping on an ordinary bike, and the Swift is uniquely dependent on the seat pin. I've read something somewhere that indicated that not all 33.9mm pins were the same, and that recommended particular brands for the Swift. I've also read something somewhere that said to only use the original Swift seat pin; the presence of the Thudbuster on the Xootr website indicates that they don't think this is necessary. There are also people on here who have broken their frames from overtightening the QR. I can only think that the overtightening arose from trying to cure slippage.
Apparently, a good test of a seat pin is to loosen the QRs and clamps. A well-fitting pin shouldn't fall under gravity! It's Sod's law I can't find links to any of these posts or websites now I am looking for them!
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