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Swift folders

Old 03-01-10, 06:36 AM
  #2226  
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I'm slow to respond here. So, I'm someone who cut their hand on snapping QRs (twice, nasty gashes) but this was before I worked out that a little oil on the QR fixes the problem. No issues for a year now! I tend to agree that the front end is a bit twitchy. I've had one bad spill on a rough surface - front wheel disappeared under
me and I was off. Is it a problem? Well, all bikes have compromises and any smart rider finds out what they are and works with them. Regarding the harsh ride: I disagree, but that probably has more to do with set up and the amount of weight was pushed onto the bars. I have a Thudbuster with is magnificent and doesn't take power away like most suspension.

I ride mine every day in London (regretably no longer Chicago) and love the speed and ride.

Jonathan
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Old 03-01-10, 06:43 AM
  #2227  
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Originally Posted by jwlunt
Regarding the harsh ride: I disagree, but that probably has more to do with set up and the amount of weight was pushed onto the bars. I have a Thudbuster with is magnificent and doesn't take power away like most suspension.
Having too much weight on the hands will definitely ruin one's riding pleasure. Add rough roads and it becomes a very uncomfortable experience. Setup/bike fit is crucial for riding long hours in the saddle, and with wrong fit even short times in the saddle will be torture. My very first riding experience after a 20 year break was like that - torture. It put me off for quite a while, some more years in fact.
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Old 03-01-10, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jur
Well that is certainly an interesting read. Looks like I will have to see if these would fit... my guess it's the Liteskin more than the extra width that did the trick. But not sure...
I just a had a quick peek at the clearance on mine with the big apple 2.0's mounted. I'd guess you could fit a 2.15 on the front, but I'm pretty doubtful about the rear. It's pretty close with the 2.0's. Of course, the width of the rim being used also affects actual tire width, so there might be a little fudge room there.
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Old 03-01-10, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by jwlunt
I'm slow to respond here. So, I'm someone who cut their hand on snapping QRs (twice, nasty gashes)...

I have to admit that a snapping qr was a bit of a concern to me because I was having to push on them hard to tighten them up adequately, but now that I've replaced all three of the qr's with bolts I don't have to worry about that any more, and they hold much tighter too. What with that and attaching my rack to the top qr/bolt hole I am converting my Swift from a folder to a semi-folder. My alterations wouldn't be so good for people who fold it up every day. How often do you guys lube your qr's anyway? Oh, and I use Boeshield too.
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Old 03-01-10, 12:59 PM
  #2230  
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is there a reason you choose the brooks saddle over the thudbuster?

Originally Posted by turnstyle
I added a springed Brooks saddle, made a big difference for me.
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Old 03-01-10, 01:04 PM
  #2231  
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I imagine a 2.0 on the rear and a 2.15 on the front would be a great setup if the 2.15 does indeed fit in the front (imagine being the keyword!). What do you mean width of the rim? Don't all 406 rims have a standard width so you can fit any 406 tire?

Originally Posted by bendembroski
I just a had a quick peek at the clearance on mine with the big apple 2.0's mounted. I'd guess you could fit a 2.15 on the front, but I'm pretty doubtful about the rear. It's pretty close with the 2.0's. Of course, the width of the rim being used also affects actual tire width, so there might be a little fudge room there.
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Old 03-01-10, 01:39 PM
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All 406 rims are the same diameter, more or less. The width of the rim referrers to the space between the rim walls. 406 diameter rims are available in very narrow to very wide rim widths. This is to accommodate the wide or narrow tires. Most tire manufactures will tell you the range of rim widths which are appropriate for a particular tire.

Big Apples are fine on the stock Xootr rim, BTW.

Once again, the great Mr. Brown has all the answers: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

Last edited by bendembroski; 03-01-10 at 02:22 PM. Reason: spelling! & wrong link
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Old 03-02-10, 09:40 PM
  #2233  
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Well, I bit the bullet and finally ordered the swift! I'm in my early 30's and this will be my first bicycle that I bought for myself (the last bicycle I had was given to my by my father before my teens). It's coming with the big apple tires rather than the default tires. I also had them switch the right lever to control the front brake and the left lever to control the rear given that the front brake is more important and I'm right handed. Thanks for the feedback everyone!

Couple more questions:

1. I'm thinking of getting a fender for the swift - but only a front fender. I'm not so interested in protecting myself from wet conditions, I mainly want to protect the bike's important components. It seems to me that the front fender does the job of protecting the chainring where as the rear fender is mostly used to protect the person. Is this true? I also find the rear fender a bit ugly with too many tradeoffs on the swift. Anyone know if the front fender alone will do the job of protecting the important components of the bike?


2. Is it best to oil the bicycle chain and levers with Boeshield T-9 right away or would it be bad for the bike to oil it brand new?

Last edited by rishio; 03-03-10 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 03-03-10, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by rishio
Well, I bit the bullet and finally ordered the swift! I'm in my early 30's and this will be my first bicycle that I bought for myself (the last bicycle I had was given to my by my father before my teens). It's coming with the big apple tires rather than the default tires. I also had them switch the right lever to control the front brake and the left lever to control the rear given that the front brake is more important and I'm right handed. Thanks for the feedback everyone!

Couple more questions:

1. I'm thinking of getting a fender for the swift - but only a front fender. I'm not so interested in protecting myself from wet conditions, I mainly want to protect the bike's important components. It seems to me that the front fender does the job of protecting the chainring where as the rear fender is mostly used to protect the person. Is this true? I also find the rear fender a bit ugly with too many tradeoffs on the swift. Anyone know if the front fender alone will do the job of protecting the important components of the bike?


2. Is it best to oil the bicycle chain and levers with Boeshield T-9 right away or would it be bad for the bike to oil it brand new?
Welcome to the fold!

1. The most important component on the Swift is the interface between the seat-post and the seat-tube. A rear fender will help keep the road grit from getting up into the quick releases and mucking things up. Aesthetics aside, I haven't had any issues with a rear fender and folding the bike whatsoever (unless you count the seat-post marking the fender a bit). Fenders; because it's probably not water.

2. No harm in lubing up the QR's strait away. I'd keep the T-9 away from the chain though. I'm not super familiar with the stuff (never seen it in the UK), but it looks like a superior alternative to WD-40. If that's the case, it's not a heavy enough oil for a chain. Use a proper chain lubricant instead. I'm sure jur can make a definitive statement on this. If you search the forums, you'll likely find hundreds of opinions about how to best clean / lube / maintain a chain. Myself, if I've been riding in the wet, I wipe the chain with a dry rag a few times, then run some fresh oil on the rollers of the chain and wipe away the excess. If I haven't been out in the rain for a week or so, I'll do the same process after a weeks worth of riding. Then again, I live in Glasgow, and I can't remember the last time I went a whole week without it raining.

Also, don't forget to post pics of your new bike once it arrives.
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Old 03-03-10, 02:49 AM
  #2235  
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Wow. I thought searching on how to clean a chain would help me understand what to do. Instead it made me more confused with the wide variety of conflicting opinions.

I'd like to keep it simple. I like the idea of using T-9 for everything. That said, I'm not sure if it is best to use when the chain is brand new. I'm also not sure how to use it. Do you first wipe the chain, apply the t-9, wait 2 hours, then wipe the chain again? Or perhaps you don't wipe the chain and just apply t-9, wait for 2 hours, and then wipe the chain.

Any input on this would be great. Would like to know how to maintain a bike from the get-go.
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Old 03-03-10, 03:35 AM
  #2236  
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Originally Posted by bendembroski
I'd keep the T-9 away from the chain though. I'm not super familiar with the stuff (never seen it in the UK), but it looks like a superior alternative to WD-40.
I should really google before I post. T-9 is obviously a good chain lube. Note to self: If you don't know, don't post!

I'll leave the suggestions on how to use the stuff to people who actually do so.
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Old 03-03-10, 03:53 AM
  #2237  
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James Swift put me on to Boeshield. I don't use it for the chain for the only reason I can't get it easily, so I use other well-rated lubes for the chain. I cherish my Boeshield.

To lube the chain, first ride it with the lube that comes with it - nothing wrong with that. If the chain got wet somewhere, dry it as well as possible; I use a cheapie compressor mainly for drying the chain after wet rides. Amazing how much water comes off. Not to mention dirt. Then, apply WD-40 liberally, spin backwards few times, blow dry again with compressor. This cleans and dries the chain. Apply lube, wait overnight (ideally) then wipe off as much lube from the outside as you can.

Before applying any lube, it is important the chain be dry from either water or any other cleaning agent you used, since the lube can't displace whatever is in there very well at all. Best result is when the chain is very dry when applying lube.

Wet riding is extremely destructive on most bike components. But the compressor routine has resulted in drastically increased chain life for me.
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Old 03-03-10, 07:52 AM
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Nice swift up on Ebay:

https://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...T#ht_606wt_958

I keep going back and forth with the ideas of buying and building up a frameset, buying a complete bike and modding, or snagging something like this online....
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Old 03-03-10, 07:57 AM
  #2239  
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I was pleased with Boeshield until the weather got below freezing, and then the squeaking started. I'm using ProLink now, and very happy with it (no squeaks, feels great), but I'm also looking forward to comparing the two in summer.
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Old 03-03-10, 01:35 PM
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Hey Jur,

Your cleaning instructions makes most sense to me. By compressor, I assume you mean one of those small cans of air blowers? One question, do you not water your bike/chain at all with a hose as part of the cleaning process?



Originally Posted by jur
James Swift put me on to Boeshield. I don't use it for the chain for the only reason I can't get it easily, so I use other well-rated lubes for the chain. I cherish my Boeshield.

To lube the chain, first ride it with the lube that comes with it - nothing wrong with that. If the chain got wet somewhere, dry it as well as possible; I use a cheapie compressor mainly for drying the chain after wet rides. Amazing how much water comes off. Not to mention dirt. Then, apply WD-40 liberally, spin backwards few times, blow dry again with compressor. This cleans and dries the chain. Apply lube, wait overnight (ideally) then wipe off as much lube from the outside as you can.

Before applying any lube, it is important the chain be dry from either water or any other cleaning agent you used, since the lube can't displace whatever is in there very well at all. Best result is when the chain is very dry when applying lube.

Wet riding is extremely destructive on most bike components. But the compressor routine has resulted in drastically increased chain life for me.
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Old 03-04-10, 03:24 PM
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Well alas, I'm not able to get the swift.

Xootr told me there was a slight flaw in the batch of frames where they welded the rear drop-out a little to far forward on the rear stays. The problem was that I wanted Big Apple tires on the front and rear and the forward rear drop-out prevented me from being able to install a big apple tire on the rear of the current batch. With the next batch not coming till late in the year, I searched the internet and came upon a swift made by james swift. The fixed gear intrigued me and a few things came to my mind:

I don't need a bike for practical purposes immediately.

I want to know about all the components of a bicycle and how to put it together.

I want to know how to ride a bicycle properly.

I have a tight budget and I can't just go spend money on fancy components and create the bicycle I want without understanding the difference in the components, their tradeoffs and how they work.

So what If I just bought a good frame - the swift - and experiment with it by starting out building a fixed gear bicycle.?

Xootr referred me to "Human Powered Machines" in Oregon to build a frame that could fit the big apple tires. Turns out they build steel frames. I emailed them asking if they could build me just the frame and major components of the bike - let's see if they can do it, how long it will take, and most important how much it costs! Hopefully not too expensive.

What do you guys think - should I go forward with trying to build a fixed gear swift to start? Or am I digging myself deep into a rabbit hole that I won't be able to find my way out from..

Any other suggestions of my Swift Dilemma?
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Old 03-04-10, 04:56 PM
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One of the great things about the Swift is that the frame is so versatile and that it takes (mostly) standard components. As long as you don't mind spending money on bits and bobs, there isn't a hole that can't be dug out of.

Another option would be to look for a used Swift. They pop up on Craigslist and Ebay from time to time.
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Old 03-04-10, 07:44 PM
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Yeah, I might go ahead with the plan on putting together the bicycle myself. I emailed Human Powered Machines in Oregon and am awaiting their reply. Let's see if they offer to sell me a frame rather than a bike with all the components, how much it will cost, and how long it will take to build. I'm not sure what to make of their steel frame however (rather than aluminum). There website says it's 28 lbs!
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Old 03-04-10, 10:45 PM
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Not really sure why you're heart is set on the Big Apples. They'll be harder to put on and take off, like when you need to fix a flat. Slower too. Maybe more likely to rub on something. Maybe noisier. I'm very happy with the slick Kojak tires (much more so than the Marathons that came with the bike). Also, do I understand correctly that you're new to cycling? Have you ridden fixed before? It's very different. You should try it out first. But then you can get a flip flop hub with fixed on one side and single speed on the other. I rode fixed years ago, but I'm happy with single speed now, and that's what I have on my Swift.
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Old 03-04-10, 11:08 PM
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Last time I asked the frame only was $700. I had one of the earlier steel frames and it was pretty light. It even felt lighter than the aluminm one. It might have been psychological, but I never had the chance to weight each one individually.
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Old 03-05-10, 03:10 AM
  #2246  
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IMHO, I wouldn't worry too much about the weight difference between the frames. Once you add yourself to the weight of the bike, there's probably only a few percent difference. You'll feel the extra weight a bit on the hills, but unless you are racing or doing time - trials, there's not much in it. I suspect though, that a steel frameset from HPM is going to cost close to a complete bike from Xootr. (Shame about the bad batch of frames.)

If you do go down the route of building up a bike yourself, one thing to keep in mind: There is a debate all over the forums about steel vs. aluminum / fat vs. skinny tires / fixed vs. freewheel / internal gears vs. derailuers / Disc vs. V-brakes / not to mention the arguing that goes on regarding specific brands. At the end of the day, there is only one way to find out what is really best. Try it. Just because one tire / gearing / frame / saddle combination works really well for one person, doesn't mean it's right for you.

BTW, have you seen this?
https://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...wt_958&afsrc=1

Looks like it has some good components on it. If you don't like the idea of drops, it's pretty trivial to change them to something else...
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Old 03-05-10, 09:44 AM
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BTW, have you seen this?
https://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...wt_958&afsrc=1

Looks like it has some good components on it. If you don't like the idea of drops, it's pretty trivial to change them to something else...
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Nice looking bike! If I wanted one I'd be interested. That's a lot of seat tube and handlebar tube sticking out of it though!
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Old 03-05-10, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by werewolf

Nice looking bike! If I wanted one I'd be interested. That's a lot of seat tube and handlebar tube sticking out of it though!
Nothing that can't be fixed with the judicious use of a hacksaw.
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Old 03-05-10, 08:37 PM
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Yeah, but that put a lot of stress on the frame. Anyway it's sold now.
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Old 03-05-10, 10:45 PM
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I might go for Marathon Racer (20x1.5 / 290g) tire on the back (for speed/weight) and Big Apple Lite tire on the front for comfort/control but I wanted to be able to put big apple on the rear in case the ride is too harsh rendering the bike useless. The streets where I live (berkeley) aren't so great. I think my best/cost effective bet is to order the standard bike from xootr and think about single speed/fixed/inner hub details in the future. The question is do I wait for xootr's next batch of bikes which will modify the frame so that big apple's can also go in the rear or should I just buy the xootr from the current batch and risk having the racer in the back and the big apple in the front.. decisions..decisions...

Originally Posted by werewolf
Not really sure why you're heart is set on the Big Apples. They'll be harder to put on and take off, like when you need to fix a flat. Slower too. Maybe more likely to rub on something. Maybe noisier. I'm very happy with the slick Kojak tires (much more so than the Marathons that came with the bike). Also, do I understand correctly that you're new to cycling? Have you ridden fixed before? It's very different. You should try it out first. But then you can get a flip flop hub with fixed on one side and single speed on the other. I rode fixed years ago, but I'm happy with single speed now, and that's what I have on my Swift.

Last edited by rishio; 03-05-10 at 11:10 PM.
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