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Swift folders

Old 08-31-10, 02:42 PM
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With a north of England autumn on the way I decided I needed some extra carrying capacity. During the summer I can ride with very little baggage but when the temperature drops it's good to have some extra room handy to store warmer clothing and a heavier grade waterproof jacket. Usually I ride with an Ortieb saddle pack and a small 'bar bag but neither of those can acommodate much more than lightweight summer clothes.

Enter the Rixen Kaul Freepack City Backpack with a capacity of 18 litres. It's larger than I need but then I don't have to fill it to the brim! The backpack is fitted with Rixen Kaul's Klickfix attachments which means it can be mounted on the bike via their handlebar bag bracket. The bag has various comparments that are ideal for storing clothing, food, tools, camera and anything else that you care to carry. It also has two mesh side pockets which are perfect for drinks bottles.

I tried it out on the front of my Swift using the R/K Caddy bracket then moved it to their seat post adaptor. On the front it was stable and easy to keep an eye on. The steering was a little heavier but most of the weight came from the drinks bottle! However, if you are a weight weenie you would not be riding a folder, one of the new gravity defying exotic machines would be your first choice. Obviously, on the front it presented a little more air resistance but no more than I did. When I moved it to the seat post the steering returned to normal and the bike felt a lot more balanced. Being a rucksack the bag is very easy to remove and carry off the bike - handy for a folder. If you fold the Swift on a regular basis and use the seat post to hold it all together then the seatpost bracket will not be an option for you. I only fold the Swift when I put it in the car (about once or twice a month) so it is no problem to lay the seat post beside the bike.

All in all I like the backpack. It provides good capacity and looks neat. Folding bikes are different compared to the "normal" machines and require alternative solutions to luggage problems; the Freepack City Backpack fits the bill for me.
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Old 09-01-10, 04:27 PM
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thanks a lot for the info on the caddy workign well

i have pretty strong opinions on this. i'm crossrack + bag in back, freepack sport in front. of the freepacks, i think they do waste a little weight in terms of its internal frame relative to say a pannier backpack like vaude's cycle 25/30/35 line, but then you have the rack weight on your frame. my concerns about weight are just carrying around

i woudl almost switch to the freepack city, but i do need good integrated helmet carrying system. which they exclude from that model
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Old 09-11-10, 12:03 PM
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new owner of a used Swift here. have experienced the occasional dropped chain as mentioned earlier in this thread. it happened while descending a steep hill in 8th, something I do rarely. so I tightened the H limiter screw until it wouldn't shift into 8th anymore. is this A Bad Idea? I really don't need 8th as I am nervous enough descending hills on this bike :-)
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Old 09-11-10, 08:51 PM
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urbanis, for regional buses, i tried bagging (with seatpost removed and carried in my backpack to make it lighter). overall, my bike is just too heavy to carry for more than extremely short distances. and the bag handle is an awful way to carry it, as it forces the weight onto a few fingers, where as holding from the main bar distributes weight better. the only other use i thought i would get out of the bag was preventing scratching between the frame and luggage compartment, but i don't think it does much there, the bike probably doesn't move.

the worst part about bagging was i was reluctant to take it out of the bag (to avoid having to bag again) when making a connection from a bus to a train, and i had an awful time carrying it.

i already don't need the bag for amtrak. i'm not trying to hide that its a bike from bus companies. the bag is a bit bulky rolled up. so i'm not going to use the bag at all from now on. and fold it at the last minute when boarding bus. unfold it and roll the bike with the seatpost removed for making connections. the best strategy is to make it very quick to fold and unfold, without any bags or straps to have to mess with.

the only remaining feature of the bag is covering the chain and oily parts of bike, if you wanted to put other luggage on top of it, say in the trunk of your car.
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Old 09-11-10, 09:52 PM
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so this was a fun experience on the Swift yesterday. was on my commute home in downtown Boston. thought I was maintaining a decent pace, but at a stoplight the bike behind me did the pull-up-next-to-you-because-you-can't-possibly-go-very-fast-with-teensy-wheels move. he was in full Spandex on a LeMond road bike.

it was pretty clear that he was aiming to get ahead of me, but when the light turned green he happened to be looking sideways. I hit the pedals and took off; he never caught me.
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Old 09-14-10, 03:38 PM
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Another way to mount a water bottle

002..jpg

take a standard cage. bind it to the riser with two zip ties, each over a rubber spacer to prevent slippage.
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Old 09-15-10, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by mtalinm
take a standard cage. bind it to the riser with two zip ties, each over a rubber spacer to prevent slippage.
Why would you need to do that? There are already braze-ons permitting you to mount the cage on the riser in the standard fashion.
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Old 09-15-10, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by nish2575
urbanis, for regional buses, i tried bagging (with seatpost removed and carried in my backpack to make it lighter).
Hi Nish, thanks for sharing your experiences with bagging. I used to work in a bike-hostile building, where the only way I was going to get my bike in the door was by bagging it. This was with another bike, but I remember it being a small pain to bag and very awkward to carry bagged, so I would only bag at the last minute. Since then I've worked for more bike-friendly offices with indoor bike-parking facilities. When I'm commuting other places, if I can't bring my bike indoors (e.g., movie theater), I just lock outside and remove the seatpost. So, yeah, I guess I don't really need a bag at this point.

You've confirmed my finding with folders overall, that the folding generally makes the bike compact but more difficult and awkward to transport. It's much easier for me to carry the bike unfolded when climbing stairs and roll it unfolded on sidewalks, ramps, and platforms. So I reserve folding for storage/baggage purposes only.
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Old 09-15-10, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Urbanis
Why would you need to do that? There are already braze-ons permitting you to mount the cage on the riser in the standard fashion.
Wow, yours has braze-ons? Cool. Where are they located? This may be worth replacing the riser.
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Old 09-15-10, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by noteon
Wow, yours has braze-ons? Cool. Where are they located? This may be worth replacing the riser.
https://www.xootr.com/swift-riser.html

I went for it after being very unhappy with numerous attempts to cobble a cage onto the bike - much more a comment on my craftsmanship than anything else.

Been very happy with it. Tight and clean
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Old 09-15-10, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by tblott3
https://www.xootr.com/swift-riser.html

I went for it after being very unhappy with numerous attempts to cobble a cage onto the bike - much more a comment on my craftsmanship than anything else.

Been very happy with it. Tight and clean
oooh, very nice. for the rest of us w/o braze-ons, my solution may work well. the cage slid around when I tried to zip-tie it directly to the riser, but sandwiching the rubber spacers in between does the trick.
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Old 09-15-10, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by noteon
Wow, yours has braze-ons? Cool. Where are they located? This may be worth replacing the riser.
Only $20 from Xootr direct (+ shipping). You could save on shipping by going to bfold. I got the XL riser and needed to put on a longer front cable so I could continue to pop up off the headset for more compact folding.
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Old 09-15-10, 07:57 PM
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Hose clamps work even better than zip-ties, which will eventually break.
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Old 09-18-10, 05:49 PM
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tried an ortlieb downtown (ql-2 system i think) on my crossrack. the bottom hook was too narrow to fit around crossrack's middle bar. anybody have any experience with this type of mounting system on the crossrack? do the ortlieb's fit, just i wasn't adjusting it right? do arkel's fit on the crossrack?
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Old 09-18-10, 08:37 PM
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I toured NZ with a Deuter on my Crossrack. The Deuter's hook system is actually Ortlieb's. I had the bottom hook on the bottom bar, not the middle one - that's where it lined up.
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Old 09-18-10, 09:02 PM
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thanks! maybe the downtown is shorter (its a pretty short pannier), i'll look up measurements
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Old 09-18-10, 09:17 PM
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Old 09-19-10, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by nish2575
do arkel's fit on the crossrack?
Sort of.

I have an Arkel Bug on my Crossrack. I've ended up adding a bungee around the bottom, hooked to the bag-carrier knobs on the top of the Crossrack, to keep it from touching the rear tire.
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Old 09-20-10, 03:30 PM
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Not worth taking a picture of the mod, but after months of struggling up a killer hill on my commute home, I decided to swap the stock 11-28T cassette on my Swift for one with a more generous range of 11-32T. Hopefully, this will make that stretch of the greenway more manageable (if not more pleasant).
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Old 09-20-10, 03:52 PM
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Some recent mods, not really worth taking pictures of:

--pitlock locking skewer on front wheel, to simplify and speed up my locking routine (and have fewer locks to carry)
--swapped stock 11-28T cassette for a more generous 11-32T, to give me a lower hill-climbing gear (I have a very nasty hill on my commute home)

The Dahon Traveller Rear Rack is working great. When I need to carry it, I bungee my NYC Kryptonite u-lock on the lower rails, leaving the top of the rack clear for attaching other items. A single bungee cord works great for attaching a small bag to the top. Last week, I got a Wald 582 folding rear basket that I bungeed to the rack top. I like the fact that I can remove it quickly and collapse it down for storage. I haven't tested it on the road yet, but I saw a woman by the Union Square Trader Joe's today with a milk crate bungeed to the rear rack of her folding bike (in the same way I attached the Wald), and she said it's the perfect grocery getter and she has never had a problem with it slipping when loaded.

I am trying to streamline my bike commuting routines to minimize futz time (folding, loading, locking, etc.).

Last edited by Urbanis; 09-21-10 at 09:18 AM. Reason: Added links
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Old 09-20-10, 08:02 PM
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Okay, tested the 11-32 rear cassette on my 12 mile ride home today. I greatly appreciated having the lower bottom gears--the hillier parts of my commute felt much more manageable and I enjoyed the ride more (which is really the most important thing).
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Old 09-21-10, 06:33 AM
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I think this bike is getting dialed in! I am now considering a double kickstand for loading the bike and swapping the Marathon Racers for Kojaks. Anyone else using Kojaks on their Swift?
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Old 09-21-10, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Urbanis
Some recent mods, not really worth taking pictures of:

--pitlock on front wheel, to simplify and speed up my locking routine (and have fewer locks to carry)
--swapped stock 11-28T cassette for a more generous 11-32T, to give me a lower hill-climbing gear (I have a very nasty hill on my commute home)

The Dahon Traveller Rear Rack is working great. When I need to carry it, I bungee my NYC Kryptonite u-lock on the lower rails, leaving the top of the rack clear for attaching other items. A single bungee cord works great for attaching a small bag to the top. Last week, I got a Wald folding rear basket that I bungeed to the rack top. I like the fact that I can remove it quickly and collapse it down for storage. I haven't tested it on the road yet, but I saw a woman by the Union Square Trader Joe's today with a milk crate bungeed to the rear rack of her folding bike (in the same way I attached the Wald), and she said it's the perfect grocery getter and she has never had a problem with it slipping when loaded.

I am trying to streamline my bike commuting routines to minimize futz time (folding, loading, locking, etc.).
I'm sorry. I need pictures. Pictures please.
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Old 09-22-10, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Urbanis
Okay, tested the 11-32 rear cassette on my 12 mile ride home today. I greatly appreciated having the lower bottom gears--the hillier parts of my commute felt much more manageable and I enjoyed the ride more (which is really the most important thing).
I did the same thing sometime ago as I live in a very hilly area. In this part of the world you are either climbing a hill or climbing a steeper hill! On some rides I climbed many hills and then turned around to retrace my path home, only to find that someone had turned the hills round too and I ended up climbing gradients that I did not remember freewheeling down on the way out! Swapping the cassette helped but I am considering reducing the size of the chainwheel to give me even lower gears. My Xootr Swift is my pleasure vehicle and I am more than happy to pootle along at between 12 and 15 mph. In the four years I have had the bike I have never used the top two gears out on the road and only tried 6th gear once on a slight (and rare) downhill stretch. I have a lightweight racing machine available if I want to tear up the tarmac but even then about 20 mph is my limit. If I need to travel faster I will go back to riding a Honda 750!

When I first bought the Swift I was not sure if eight gears would be enough, as my touring bike has 27. However, I can get by with 5 out of the available 8 so there is no problem. By reducing the chainwheel to 50 or 48 teeth I will be able to use all of the cogs and twiddle my way up a cliff!

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Old 09-22-10, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Braithwait
By reducing the chainwheel to 50 or 48 teeth I will be able to use all off the cogs and twiddle my way up a cliff!
Let us know how it goes...
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