Swift Folding Bike FAQ's


How fast is the bike?
For a given amount of power delivered to the pedals, this bike is faster than most mountain or "hybrid" bikes. At 15mph (25kph) on a level road, this bike requires about 3% more power than a racing bike with narrow high-pressure 700C tires.

How does the riding position compare to my "regular" bike?
Swift overlayed onto hybrid bike. First, let us point out that the Swift can be your "regular" bike. Unless you race or do narly mountain biking, the Swift can be your "one bike." The image to the right is an overlay of the Swift on the outline of a Trek hybrid bike. You can see that the wheelbase is essentially identical. The seat-to-handlebar distance is also nearly identical. This explains why the Swift has such a solid feel and comfortable ride. This is not an itty bitty toy bike like some folders...it feels like riding a high-quality 700C hybrid bike.

What does the bike feel like to ride?
Pretty much like an average "hybrid" ride. It's more stable than a racing bike and a bit more responsive than a mountain bike. Any new bike will feel a bit different for the first few minutes of riding. After a few days, the Swift bike will feel like you've ridden it all your life.

Do I have to pedal faster because of the smaller wheels?
No. The Swift is set up with a larger front chainring, so that the bike pedals just like a bike with large diameter wheels.

How easy is the bike to fold?
The Swift bike has the simplest folding mechanism on the market. Just slide the seat up a little way and fold it up. With practice, you'll be able to do this in about 5 seconds. This page shows just how easy it really is.

What are the dimensions of the Swift when folded?
The nice thing about the Swift is that you are in charge of its folded size. For normal daily activities the quick-fold procedure will be adequate, but the Swift can get smaller by simply removing some quick-release levers. We have taken measurements of the Swift folded in different configurations for you to check out.

Are there any disadvantages to a compact-wheel bicycle?
Only two. First, smaller wheels have slightly higher rolling resistance than larger wheels. This is not a noticeable effect for anyone but racers. Second, smaller wheels handle large obstacles (boulders, logs, curbs) less readily than larger wheels. This will also not be noticeable in most applications. See our discussion of 406mm wheels.

Can I ride the bike off paved roads?
Swift off paved roads. Sure. The photo to the right is some single-track we rode on the stock Kenda tires. The path was pretty smooth, but with some roots and a few sandy spots. The Swift did just fine.

If you do a lot of riding off pavement, we suggest you put on a set of 1.5inch (37mm) BMX-tires. This is not the right bike, however, for riding on trails with big obstacles like boulders and logs. Stick to your full-suspension mountain bike for that.

How do I make sure I get a good fit?
We set up your bike at the factory based on the size selection you provide during the order process. If you're between 5 ft tall and 6 feet 7 inches tall, we can fit you with high confidence. If you need to make an adjustment afterwards, that's easy too. If you prefer, you can buy the Swift bike from a dealer, who will have a factory-certified fitting system.

Where can I buy the bike?
Right here. We offer a 30-day no-questions-asked warranty, so if you don't like it, just send it back. If you'd prefer to buy from a dealer, check out our featured dealers. If you'd like to buy from your favorite bike shop, just have someone at the shop call or email us at the factory (sales@xootr.com, 800.816.2724) to place a dealer order. We're happy to accommodate your preferred purchase mode.

What options are available for the bike?
We currently offer the Xootr Swift in one standard version. It is highly likely the standard product is going to perfectly meet your needs. If you wish to make some minor tweaks, like swap the saddle, pedals, or tires, you can probably do that just fine on your own or at your bike shop. If you'd like some other option, say a fixed-gear set-up, or racing handlebars, you can get pretty much anything through our partner Design Mobility, Inc. We believe that most of the variety offered by other manufacturers is just plain confusing and adds not much value at all. We travel with the Swift, commute on it, and use it on country roads. (We also race on it...which we admit is a lunatic fringe activity.) You can accommodate all of these uses by changing tires (and maybe the stem if you are fussy about riding position for these different uses). We've made the hard choices so you don't have to.

Where did the Swift design come from?
Peter Reich created the Swift Folder more than 10 years ago. He refined his design over the last decade and built and sold hundreds of bikes to New Yorkers out of his shop in Brooklyn, NY, USA. In 2004, Xootr LLC evaluated dozens of different bike designs and decided that the Swift Folder was the most elegant design on the market and licensed the Swift Folder from Design Mobility, Peter's company. We at Xootr worked with Peter to make some additional patent-pending refinements, such as an all-aluminum frame design and a modular dropout system, that were only possible through higher-volume production techniques.

Is it possible to add additional gearing to the Swift?
Yes. We have a front derailleur mount which could provide up to 27 gears, depending on your setup, or you can install an internal rear hub which could provide up to 24 gears. Customers have successfully used the Sram "Dual-drive" internal hub.

Is the Swift available with an internal-gear hub?
The Swift has "horizontal dropouts" (the slots that accept the rear axle), which is a requirement for setting up a bike as a single-speed or with an internal-gear hub. As a result, the bike can be configured with an internal-gear hub. We do not offer a bike set up that way as a stock configuration. Competent bike mechanics can do the conversion themselves. Alternatively, Peter at Design Mobility can set one up for you. Note that we do not recommend internal-gear hubs for those of you concerned about speed and performance. They are relatively heavy and they are relatively inefficient. Most of our customers who are real cycling enthusiasts have concluded that a derailleur-based system suits them better.

Can I swap out the stock SRAM 11-28 cassette for their 11-32 cassette?
If you need to tackle some large hills on a regular basis but do not want to add the complication of a front derailleur or an internal-gear hub, we do understand that this should work with the stock derailleur.

Can I convert the Swift from an 8-speed to a 9-speed?
We have not tried this ourselves, but converting the Swift to a 9-speed would require a cassette, chain, and shifter.

Can I swap out the stock 52T chainring?
Yes, you can replace it with any standard 130mm BCD chainring (avoid ramped and pinned chainrings).

I like a more upright riding position, can the Swift accommodate me?
There are a variety of options if you prefer a more upright riding position. One option is a shorter stem which brings your hands closer to the seat, thereby decreasing the rider's reach. Another option is bar ends which give the rider some comfortable additional riding positions. We could also install the riser we use for XXL Swift's, which is nearly 2" (50mm) taller. Other options include riser bars, a longer stem with a very steep angle, or an adjustable stem. Whichever option you want to try is up to you, but we will work with you to get you in to a comfortable riding position.

Can I tow a trailer with the Swift?
Yes, we know that customers have used Nashbar, Extrawheel Voyager, Burley, and BOB IBEX cargo trailers successfully with the Swift.

What is the size of the bottom bracket?
The stock bottom bracket is 68mm x 116mm, square taper. Customers have successfully swapped it out for an Shimano UN-73 68mm x 115mm.

Will the Swift accomodate 451 rims?
We have never put the 451 rims on ourselves, but we understand that they do fit with certain tires.

What is the spacing for the front fork and rear dropout?
The front fork spacing is 100mm and the rear dropout is spaced at 132.5mm which can be compressed to 130mm or expanded to 135mm to accept a large variety of hubs and wheels.

What size axles does the Swift accept?
The axles for the Swift are 10mm, but will also accept 3/8" axles.

What is the best way to lock up my Swift?
The best way we have found is to use a U-lock around the seat tube (the section of the frame between the bottom bracket and where the seat stays join) and then loop a cable lock around anything with a quick release on it (seat and wheels). Securing the frame isn't hard...it's the easily removable remaining chunks like the front wheel that require attention. If possible take the seat post with you as it looks less inviting to take a bike without something to sit on.