Wednesday, June 22, 2016

N+1

I have been in the market for a good folding bike that I can take when traveling. It was important to have a good and solid build. Too many hinges weaken and flex over time. I also wanted one that had descent components, non proprietary parts and did not break the bank. It didn't have to fold quick or tiny as I was not using it for commuting on trains or buses. It just had to breakdown small enough to carry in my car or motor home. My research led me to the Xootr Swift. One of my concerns was it's reported stiff ride. After all comfort is the reason I ride a recumbent. I was also not pleased with the low end Sram x4 rear derailuer and 8 speed 11/28 cassette with 52t front chainring especially given the $800 price tag. Fortunately, I found a dealer outside of Philly who had one in stock I could try. The ride was better than expected and the shifter worked well enough but I new it would be a matter of time before I would upgrade. There was a customer there who praised the bike and said he did many self-contained tours and was very happy with the bike. I later went home still pondering whether to buy. I later did a wide search on Craigslist and found an almost new one at half the price. It had upgraded 9 speed 11/32 cassette with Shimano 105 rear deraileur and a Paul Thumby shifter. After another 1 1/2  hr drive to Pa it was mine. My first ride was 26 miles and It was faster than my Fuji. Yesterday after adding kickstand, bag, water bottle cage and phone holder I managed a very enjoyable 41 miles at a respectable average for me. The stock seat is as comfortable as it's going to get on a traditional bike. Gearing was adequate for the hills in my area but I see upgrading to an 11/34 when this wears out. What makes this bike stand out is it rides like a full size bike and only weights 25 lbs stock, 5 lbs less than my Fuji. The small 20x1.5 tires make for a harsher ride but the chromoly fork helps dampen things. So far I am very pleased and should work fine for it's intended use.


Needs kickstand



Some pictures from the website in various folded states




2 comments:

Tom Kepler said...

Nice looking bike. I ride a Montague Navigator full-size folding bike. You might want to research the Montague brand if you ever look k for something different.

Martin Garnick said...

I was looking at Montague Tom, but wanted something more basic like a 1x9 gearing and non disk brakes. All parts on this bike are interchangeable with my trike making on the road repairs and spares easier.