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Swift folders

Old 09-05-18, 06:41 PM
  #3826  
mue
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* * * LONG POST


I keep the Xootr Swift logo covered by a nylon wrapper (it's a Buddipole, backpack antenna pack cloth (nylon?) case with really (really!) strong velcro straps). Think of those tool carriers that roll-up -- geometry is very similar to that.

People ask me all the time if the Swift is a folder, so it's (apparently) obviously a folding bicycle, even to unskilled observers.

If we get to that level of interaction I'll tell them all they want to hear (and maybe a bit more than that, hi hi).

. . .

I have the Origin 8 porteur basket (larger one if there are two sizes) in lieu of handlebars (it's a single basket/handlebar unit). It's definitely a challenge while parked, to load it up. I have no worry about carrying home a gallon of milk in a plastic jug, up front, in the basket -- the basket has lots of bungee accessible tubing to choose from (and elevates to two different riding positions, during installation). I think it's dual 25.4mm (choose one, high or low) to the stem's handlebar clamp. Both are enclosed tubing loops, so you must use a separate arch/saddlepiece clamp, to fix this basket to the stem.

I used a SRAM X7 medium length derailer which hasn't seen any dings yet. I have a nice Sugino front crankset with dual chainwheels from an old road bike.

(The bike, purchased new from Xootr, came singlespeed with a proper rear adaptation to a cassette hub, so conversion to multispeed was simple by a standard changeout to a proper rear cassette).

I manually shift front chainrings by dismounting (for the return trip which is all downhill, to get up some speed).

. . .

I used a matching SRAM 8 speed thumb/click style (ratcheted lever) gear shifter; but was unable to get all 8 gears operational, per chainwheel, so I decided to run only 5-6 rear cogs with each chainwheel.

This came about because of the shorter (capacity) arm of the medium length rear derailer, and the fact that the chain rubs the outer chainwheel when on the inner chainwheel, if I try to access the smallest two rear cogs.

The chain makes a telltale ringing sound when it touches the outer chainwheel (on the side flank!) so, if I've overshifted onto a smaller cog, I'll hear it immediately (doesn't seem all that dangerous and haven't had an incident with the chain climbing onto the larger chainwheel).

. . .

I did manage to rub the chain against the rear chainstay, for a few dozen pedalstrokes, while setting up the transmission, until I noticed the sound and lack of clearance. I don't remember how this came about, but I think it was during singlespeed experimentation, running too large a rear cog not far enough inboard on the chainline. I don't remember.

In future I would shroud the chainstay with thin stainless (or similar) during experimentation. There's an 'eraser shield' in my old drafting (drawing with pencil or ink) kit that might be thin enough for the job.

Or, just observe more carefully -- this was a surprise issue I hadn't encountered before.

So, my two gear ranges omit the two smallest rear cogs when on the smaller chainwheel, and omit the two largest rear cogs when on the larger front chainwheel (both are cross-chainline situations).

. . .

On the other hand, I have the larger (outside) chainwheel available to the smallest rear cog and vice-versa (smaller, inside chainwheel available to the largest rear cog). So I have the full intended range.

Again, running a longer cage on the rear derailer would solve both, but I wanted that small amount of extra clearance, to avoid dings to the rear (which is priced well over USD $50 to replace, so I don't want to have to do so).

I knew about this when I made the purchase of the rear derailer (new, online) and didn't know about the chainwheel rubbing issue (only occurs when wanting the smallest rear cog with the smaller chainwheel, which comes up often, as I cannot always dismount to shift onto the faster front ring).

. . .

I have a decent rear rack with luggage, and only carry a rack bag -- not enough heel clearance to tolerate any saddlebags at all (I've done it; my rack back has zippable, thin cloth saddlebags that fold into integral zipper cases, to add a lot of carrying capacity). I'm pretty happy with the rear rack and rack bag, but it does inhibit spontaneous 'light' riding with an eye towards folding and stowage somewhere.

The quick releases that hold the seatpost have proven adequate to fix the front of the rack on those arms that reach out to join near the seatpost.

The rack is a Topeak, I think, and has the trapezoidal shaped channels to hold the rack pack securely (it slides into and out of those dovetail channels, to mount or dismount it).

. . .

For some reason on this bike, the combined effects of the setup make the front horn of the seat an issue for me ( uhm .. anatomically, that is). If I tip it back, I feel secure in the saddle, but have this issue. If I tip it forward, I feel like I'm not supported and falling forward (and/or too much weight on my arms).

Haven't quite figured that out, yet; I'm going to try (again) making each possible underseat adjustment, to see if I can get this correct -- does not occur (to the same extent) on any of my other (several) bicycles so it is in principle solveable, though I'm set on the Origin 8 handlebar/basket as a fixed reference point.

. . .

I got my Swift during the final season of production (but, alas, before prices dropped for clearance). Unloaded, I can grab the rear rack and front basket, and walk up stairs with it, crosswise to my body.

Oh, yeah, and it is really annoying to try to get a 10mm Abus chain through the frame, without carrying lots of chain (I have a 30" cut piece to work with, from an online vendor who cuts them to length for you).

One place has the New Jersey barrier covering the propane gas vending rack outside his building -- has a nice rebar loop in the concrete to lock up to.

What I do with the Swift is hook one pedal to the top of the NJ barrier (rear wheel about 16" above the pavement? It's pretty stable (paint job at risk of course). Then I pass the chain through the permanent rear triangle (unaffected by folding geometry of the rear swing frame).

Nobody's ever said anything about it, and I've done this many times, there.

Front remains on the ground in this orientation. I also use a leather toe strap to clamp the brake handle (to affect a 'parking' brake situation).

. . .

I operate the seat tube clamps maybe five times annually, so I am not in a position to comment on fatigue from overclamping pressure of the dual quick releases. I set the bottom clamp pressure so that it is difficult (but not impossible) to use the seat as a wrench, to rotate the seat tube.

Then I loosen it (carefully, to preserve the adjustment) and repeat for the upper clamp. Then reclamp the lower, without disturbing the fixing nut's rotation.

Have not had to redo it (to re-raise a slowly sinking seat tube) over many hours riding, via many separate trips on separate days, with this technique. I think the factory addressed this issue quite a while before I got mine new, so not worried at all.

. . .

Just keeping it in mind (I always gorrilla'd every fastener, until I bought a pair of Park Tool torque wrenches and realized just how far I'd overtorqued everything!)

I only use the larger PT torque wrench to do rear axle fixing nuts -- every other fastener I work with needs much less torque than that; the smaller wrench handles them beautifully, at (I think) 8 Newton Meters or something like that (I don't think it's in inch-pounds; anyway it reads '3, 5, 7' directly on the scale of the wrench, and I use '8' for most fasteners, such as brake parts).

Last edited by mue; 09-05-18 at 06:51 PM. Reason: punctuation - close parens ;)
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Old 09-06-18, 06:25 PM
  #3827  
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I never liked the twist shift and I had changed the sprockets for a 32 low so I remember It did not work well. Could be wrong about what was on the stock cluster.. I used an old Mtn bike shifter which would only shift through 7 gears, so I took it apart and filed a bit of off the detente which prevented a wider range of motion. Works great now. Since I now have a bit more room I can have ergo grips and bar ends. I found that those grips and bar ends, since they allow for a lot of different hand positions, provide more hand comfort.
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Old 09-09-18, 03:38 PM
  #3828  
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An 8 speed indexed SRAM shifter won't pull enough cable to shift through a 9 speed cassette without some kind of modification. If you put a 9 speed shifter on it I'd bet you'd be fine. I have SRAM X7 9 speed on mine but with an 11-28 cassette however I know the derailer can handle 32 teeth cassettes.
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Old 09-09-18, 10:38 PM
  #3829  
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Originally Posted by factotum View Post
Recent purchaser of a secondhand Swift here. Sharing my new setup, a few lingering issues to resolve, and a report from flying with her for the first time. Reading these reports in the forum helped me make the decision to buy my folder so hopefully this is useful to someone out there.

Frame is a stock Al Xootr swift ca. 2004. Modifications made include:

-drop bars, indexed 8-speed bar ends, cane creek v-brake drop levers
-threadless stem riser plus 100 mm straight stem
-standard road double chainrings (kept stock cranks)
-shimano 105 short cage RD, no-name top pull shimano FD
-20" x 1.5" schwalbe marathon tires (100 PSI)
-terry liberator x saddle, SPD pedals

Overall I'm really happy with the build and it's great for my kind of riding, which includes a lot of mid-distance recreational rides with ample hills and urban adventures. The ride is not too jarring in my opinion, though I think opting for the gel saddle was a good decision. I was able to dial the geometry to mirror my daily rider cross bike, and that along with some higher pressure tires made the ride feel pretty efficient - - efficient enough to beat my cycling partner on a 700c gravel bike on climbs as per our usual, anyhow I found that a longer stem, and bars a bit wider than my normal preference, were essential for reigning in the handling (how does anyone ride with that horrible shorty stock stem??)

There are still a few issues to work out though:

-the high BB height relative to the rear axle means the chain rubs the bottom of the front derailer cage on a combination of small chainring plus any of the 4 smallest cogs. just an annoyance but i'd like to modify the cage to avoid that
-after searching high and low I couldn't find any Swift front derailer clamps, so I kluged my own: made a clamp-on cable stop out of plumbing parts, cut off most of the integrated 31.8mm clamp on the derailer then slotted the remaining stub to thread the strap of a hose clamp through it. It actually works really well, but it's ugly and clunky so i'm still holding out hope that a Swift one materializes
-the clamp-on seatpost rack and bottle cage held on with zip ties I have now are kinda cheesy. I may spring for a crossrack and the newer model stem with the braze-ons.

I just came back from my first flying trip with the Swift. Scored a hardshell case at goodwill with the same dimensions as the f'lite. I opted to remove the rear triangle and fork completely to be able cram some other stuff in with the bike and also have some hope of the bag closing again if TSA decided to open and inspect it (both of which were accomplished easily this way). With the extra disassembly, I spent about an hour on the other end setting everything back up. On the way home I realized I could leave all the cables connected except the front brake so I expect the next reassembly to be a lot faster. Haven't decided if I'll always do a more thorough breakdown when I fly or give Swift's recommended packing method a try.

It was strange to be rolling around a giant almost-50-lb bag since I usually travel very light. But the convenience of having a bike ready to go and fitted to my preferences was worth the extra luggage. I figure I'm about $800 in between the bike/shipping and parts. I've already spent at least nearly that much on bike rental over the past year, so in the long run it's going to be a big money-saver.
Do you have a picture of the whole bike?
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Old 10-13-18, 04:49 PM
  #3830  
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I feel sort of weird saying this, buy I like the swift best stock.

This afternoon, I took off my thudbuster and stuck the stock seatpost in place. Took off the rack. Tucked it in the back of my car for rides of opportunity.

After pootling around a bit, I realized how much I missed this bike.

Edit--- forgot to add, I only spent about $300 in upgrades to find this out. If anyone want a Xootr thudbuster, let me know.

Last edited by mlau; 10-13-18 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Forgot to add stuff
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Old 10-16-18, 12:10 PM
  #3831  
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Originally Posted by ttgg View Post
The full fold is great for tucking in the back corner of my minivan

How do you pack the Swift in your minivan? When I had a saloon, I'd dump the bike wrapped in a blanket on the back seat; it pressed against the rear of the front seat so it couldn't move around. Now I have a minivan, there is nothing to hold the bike tightly in, so it sloshes around. I've tried putting it folded in the front passenger footwell, but it requires enough room to open the door really wide and lots of manipulation. Lately, I've tried placing the bike upright and width-ways across the van, sandwiched between the tailgate and the last row of seats. This works OK, but it needs catching when the tailgate is opened, and I have to be very careful that it doesn't press on a window. There must be a neat or elegant way to carry it. I've seen internal racks for some specific cars, but they rely on taking the bike's front wheel out and clamping the forks into a quick release skewer, but dismantling a folder seems silly, and I get my hands dirty. Who'd have though having more load space would have been a problem?
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Old 10-16-18, 01:22 PM
  #3832  
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Originally Posted by PebbledChin View Post
How do you pack the Swift in your minivan? ... There must be a neat or elegant way to carry it.
heh, sorry nothing "neat or elegant" going on here! I have a 1989 van which I have gutted to use as a work vehicle. There are no seats in the back, and I have removed all the usual plastic paneling etc from the walls. The van is the "Grand" or extended model, which is a little bit longer in the tail end. With the Xootr fully folded, it fits upright in the space between the back of the wheelwell and the rear corner. I then just strap it in with a bungy cord, there are various hooking points exposed from removing the paneling. Right now I have it assembled except the handlebars turned sideways. It snugs in nicely from the rear corner to just in front of the wheelwell. I got the bike used and it was already scratched up a bit, I don't worry about it especially with it being aluminum.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help!
oh yeah, I also just throw a pad over the handlebar where it touches the window, which it does when the bike is not folded.
Edit: I also have folding pedals which help greatly as far as hugging the wall better.

Last edited by ttgg; 10-16-18 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 10-20-18, 07:04 PM
  #3833  
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I pull the seat off, fold and pull the handle bars off and rest them on the main frame. I have a cut pool noodle to protect the main frame.
it sits in the back of my Honda CR-V against the rear seat bungee corded in place. I still have plenty of trunk space.
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Old 10-21-18, 08:14 AM
  #3834  
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Originally Posted by bent4me View Post
against the rear seat bungee corded in place
This is also my preferred method.
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Old 12-22-18, 02:53 PM
  #3835  
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Well, I never thought this day would come, but I'm thinking about selling my beloved Swift. Through no fault of its own--my patterns of life have changed and I simply have no excuse to ride it.

But I have no idea what it's worth. It has a 9 speed drivetrain, SRAM x5 trigger shifters and X7 RD. Any idea what I should sell it for?

This would be in the Chicago area. (And while I'm at it, anyone interested?)


Last edited by samkl; 12-22-18 at 02:54 PM. Reason: Picture didn't show up...
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Old 12-22-18, 04:58 PM
  #3836  
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You can see the completed listings in eBay. You can email if that venue does not work out. I may be interested. You can post in Folders Market Place on this board.
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Old 12-23-18, 04:07 PM
  #3837  
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Good luck samkl with finding a buyer for your black Swift folding bike.
I put a PAID ad in the CLASSIFIED section of this Forum in October this year for my BLUE Swift Folder, 8 speed, SRAM X4 trigger shifter and rear derailleur, CLIX front wheel quick release, plus a few additional updates, TekTro levers, drink bottle holders, warning bell, Ritchey Mt. grips, riser bars,I also offered at no additional charge other size/length stems, seat posts. (A picture is in Post #3835 , which is 2 posts above). My asking sale price was half of what I paid for my Swift. I did not receive any interest or replies or offers! It’s still in my garage.
You can contact me at pismobiker@gmail.com if I can be of any help.
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Old 12-23-18, 07:00 PM
  #3838  
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I got no interest when I posted about my original swift folder here but when I posted on CL I finally got an interested buyer -- I paid about $1200 for it in 1999 (?) and bought it directly from the inventor in Brooklyn, NY. I sold it for $400 to the person who was a motivated buyer of such bikes -- and mine was custom painted and sort of one-of-a-kind since the owner doesn't make them in the same way anymore.
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Old 12-28-18, 04:40 PM
  #3839  
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Example of shipping charges

Originally Posted by BeachBiker View Post
Good luck samkl with finding a buyer for your black Swift folding bike.
Had any offers yet?
Goog Luck!

Last edited by pismocycleguy; 01-09-19 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 01-08-19, 07:44 AM
  #3840  
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Seatpost clamp for Xootr Swift

Has anyone used this Bikefriday clamp in place of the standard Xootr Swift seatpost clamp?

https://store.bikefriday.com/product...roducts_id=710

Regards,
Joseph
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Old 01-08-19, 10:36 AM
  #3841  
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I use bolts and nylock nuts for stem and seatpost since I never fold it.
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Old 01-09-19, 10:38 PM
  #3842  
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Originally Posted by BeachBiker View Post
Good luck samkl with finding a buyer for your black Swift folding bike.
Any interested buyers yet?
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Old 01-09-19, 10:42 PM
  #3843  
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Originally Posted by BeachBiker View Post
Good luck samkl with finding a buyer for your black Swift folding bike.
I put a PAID ad in the CLASSIFIED section of this Forum in October this year for my BLUE Swift Folder, 8 speed, SRAM X4 trigger shifter and rear derailleur, CLIX front wheel quick release, plus a few additional updates, TekTro levers, drink bottle holders, warning bell, Ritchey Mt. grips, riser bars,I also offered at no additional charge other size/length stems, seat posts. My asking sale price was half of what I paid for my Swift. I did not receive any interest or replies or offers! It’s still in my garage.
Any new listings for Swift Bikes?

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Old 01-10-19, 03:58 PM
  #3844  
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Nope, not yet. But I posted an ad in the for sale section—check it out if you’re interested!

Originally Posted by pismocycleguy View Post

Any interested buyers yet?
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Old 02-23-19, 08:45 AM
  #3845  
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Originally Posted by Trocadile View Post
To follow up on the derailleur hanger question - Xootr confirmed that they no longer have them and Peter Reich wrote to say he had a few spares which can be had for $9.50 (Design Mobility, Inc., 280 Nevins St., Brooklyn, NY 11217).


I've been away from here for a long time and reading this I first learned that Swift is now defunct. Oh my, but my single speed is still going strong...and I once worked on Nevins Street in Brooklyn, but that was long ago...and I also went to college nearby too, even longer ago.
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Old 02-23-19, 08:48 AM
  #3846  
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Originally Posted by 12boy View Post
I use bolts and nylock nuts for stem and seatpost since I never fold it.


I never fold mine either, and I put those locks on up front, and I think I should do it for the seatpost too. I forgot where I got them and what size they are. Do you remember what yours are?...but maybe I even have some spares in my big disordered bike parts box...
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Old 02-23-19, 10:32 AM
  #3847  
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Sorry, I don't recall. We have a vendor here that specializes in bolts and fasteners and I have replaced most of my bike bolts with hard steel black Allen heasd bolts. Don't seem to rust more than regular bolts and they haven't rounded off either. I just tried bolts until I found one that fit through the holes and got a length just long emough so there wasn't much left outside the nut.
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Old 02-23-19, 11:12 AM
  #3848  
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Thanks, 12boy, but I found two extras in my bike box right away. They are 2" long and 3/16" wide and the ones i presently have on my Swift work perfectly. If anyone needs more exact measurements i can give it to you, providing i can find my micrometer.
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Old 06-08-19, 04:42 AM
  #3849  
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Anyone know a of a carbon fork option for a Swift folder with 20” 406 size wheels?
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Old 06-08-19, 08:20 AM
  #3850  
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I have seen a carbon fork specified on some short wheel base recumbents ..

,,, those have a 20" wheel under your knees...

but they won't have a really tall steerer, quite the opposite ..


....
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