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Xootr Swift- converting it to a folding enduro roadie for my girlfriend

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Xootr Swift- converting it to a folding enduro roadie for my girlfriend

Old 01-25-21, 03:34 PM
  #1  
mlau
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Xootr Swift- converting it to a folding enduro roadie for my girlfriend

Dear BF,

I never thought I'd have a girlfriend, but I do....and she's a keeper.
Her primary enjoyment in life is biking for hours on end...and her (poorly chosen) carbon fiber triathlete bike isn't very easy to transport....or fit inside her dinky apartment.
She's 5'3, 120lb.

I'm thinking of converting my Xootr swift (that I'd loaned to a friend) into a dropbar, road bike like Jur's.
Currently, it's got a Thudbuster, BMX rack, adjustable stem, North Road bars, stock wheels/saddle/shifter.
I'm thinking of getting drops, maybe building up lighter wheels (never built wheels before), and getting a female specific saddle.

If I marry this woman, I'd like to get her a custom frame with well chosen components.....in the meantime, I'd love her to have an option that fits in her car.
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Old 01-25-21, 03:36 PM
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Oh, forgot to mention.....I'd greatly appreciate any tips on component selection, etc.
I don't know much about STI shifters or newer technology....currently, I'm riding a used Brompton, and a Miyata 1000LT with barend shifters.

I think that building up some fast, light wheels with at least Ultegra hubs and an STI shifter would be nice.
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Old 01-25-21, 05:40 PM
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I have a Xootr Swift, and it's a fun bike, but it's very stiff, even for 175 pound me. I would want something lighter and flexier for a rider like your GF. Keep an eye for a used Bike Friday Pocket Rocket--they seem to go pretty cheap, and my BF Crusoe (similar to the PR), is a very lively, fast feeling frame.
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Old 01-25-21, 09:41 PM
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Lighter wheels would be nice along with some lighter tires. If she is used to clip less pedals they might appeal. But if it were me, I would let her try it out, adjusted to fit ergonomically, of course, and see how she likes it. Small wheel bikes are fun in a way that those not used to riding them can be surprised by. It is possible that their nimbleness, flickability and portability, while different from carbon road bikes, could result in a folder being her go to ride.
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Old 01-26-21, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by 12boy View Post
Small wheel bikes are fun in a way that those not used to riding them can be surprised by.
Yes, it is always the best to fit it to her first, let her out on it. Even with relatively large 24" wheels my folders often surprise riders used to stiff diamond frames and large wheels.

So rather than going in with a shopping list of things, it can be be good to spend time exploring the options together. My wife wanted her bike to be painted gold, but I could tell from how quickly she made the decision that she had not explored the options or the possibilities (me + rattle cans + dusty shed...)
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Old 01-26-21, 09:59 AM
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She's used to platform pedals....even on her carbon Fuji Straight 2.1

I think that these are great ideas!
Do I need to learn wheel building, or should I get a shop to do it?

I don't know much about this stuff, but could probably pick up the skills.
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Old 01-26-21, 12:04 PM
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Just got off the phone with a nice gent from Xootr.

Ordered one of each step, another seatpost, the last riser (newer design, lighter), extra derailleur hangers (that he was trying to talk me out of).

I'm pretty excited....
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Old 01-26-21, 05:50 PM
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Oh, and if I marry this gal....I hope to fly her to Oregon for a bespoke Bike Friday someday.
It's probably not practical...but she truly loves biking.
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Old 01-27-21, 02:26 AM
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Why would xootr want to talk someone out of extra derailler hangers?
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Old 01-27-21, 08:09 PM
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I dunno? Because the guy wanted to save me money?

The old timer recommended just bending the hangers back into place, since he felt bad taking my money for a little machined piece of metal
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Old 01-28-21, 02:58 AM
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I modified a very standard dahon to the same effect.

I think you need to go back a bite; what tyre of terrain will she ride? tarmac rough/smooth? unpaved? jump curbs?
Then what have you got on the current bike. are they stuff you can reused based on what you want to achieve? or is it a full rebuild using parts from ebay and stuff like that?

I mention that because I found that with small wheeler that uses regular parts (Brompton is excluded), you can use TT parts and get something scaled up with will go like the std bike. (I run the TT drive train setup but it rides like a compact and is faster than my gravel).
And TT riders like to have the next best thing to maximise their performance = sell their old kit on ebay etc.
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Old 01-29-21, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Fentuz View Post
I modified a very standard dahon to the same effect.

I think you need to go back a bite; what tyre of terrain will she ride? tarmac rough/smooth? unpaved? jump curbs?
Then what have you got on the current bike. are they stuff you can reused based on what you want to achieve? or is it a full rebuild using parts from ebay and stuff like that?

I mention that because I found that with small wheeler that uses regular parts (Brompton is excluded), you can use TT parts and get something scaled up with will go like the std bike. (I run the TT drive train setup but it rides like a compact and is faster than my gravel).
And TT riders like to have the next best thing to maximise their performance = sell their old kit on ebay etc.

She's currently using a full carbon bike that needs babying, and can't handle gravel. I doubt she's jumping curbs.

update: I got my Xootr swift back from a friend, and traded him my girlfriend's hybrid that she wanted to get rid of. He was happy to have a "real bike" again, and frankly didn't treat my Swift too well...little did he know.

I'm going to first swap out the handlebars from north road to flats, and remember the joy of riding it.

Later, I want to get my girlfriend sized for a saddle and drops.

Any tips on tires? Also, I'd like to have Sti shifters on it...but not sure how to proceed. Do I just swap out the cassette, rear derailleur, cable, and shifter? Any recommendations?
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Old 01-29-21, 07:55 AM
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btw, nice thread!

I'm a bit of a noob, just ordered a torque wrench for bolts.

But this will be fun, and I love my girlfriend
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Old 01-29-21, 12:13 PM
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If I were you, i d return the oem stem and would fit a new one that accomodated 31 something mm as per current std.
then it depends if she wants flat or drop handlebar.
if you run as least a 8speed rear, you can upgrade to 9 or 10 then, you need to decide if you want a front derailleur or not.based on that and terrain, you can select the cassette.

If you got 9, shimano sora works well, if 10 then tiagra.

torque limited wrench it adviceable, I have 3 of them...
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Old 01-29-21, 01:22 PM
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If you're looking to use brifters, you'll need to change out the brakes. The stock v-brakes need long pull levers, and the STI are short pull. If you're sticking with 406 wheels (which I'd recommend for tire selection), you could use mini v's.

I'd also recommend going with a 1x drivetrain, so you can avoid having to mount/cable the front derailleur (as long as the gear range would work for you).

For tires, I've had good luck with Panaracer Minit Lites, Schwalbe Kojaks, and the Schwalbe Ones I have right now.
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Old 01-30-21, 06:12 AM
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Xootr Swift, cannot go wrong with it. From personal experience, I have seen it fit easily in a small car trunk. You can easily take it to the country sides and have a blast with it.
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Old 01-30-21, 10:12 AM
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Best of luck on your new relationship. My first date with my wife was a 3 and a half hour bike ride. We have been riding together for the last 10 years and we're going out in about an hour for a ride together. If she's a keeper I don't think the bike really matters. On our first ride I give her my best bike at the time a Titus Racer X. We're both the same height so we can ride the same bikes. I sold that bike but always let her ride the best bike.
It definitely changed the way I ride. No more clip less pedals as she doesn't like to ride on bike lanes much but not getting around fast is not the point anymore. I look at groups of Men speeding around on their road bikes passing me and I really wouldn't trade places with them. My whole relationship with bikes has changed. I no longer see a bike as an exercise machine but as way of being in my environment. That's why my favorite bike now is a Brompton even though I can ride other high end full size bikes I own. My advice is don't worry about the bike. Ebay is full of xs bikes being sold by ex-boyfriends.
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Old 01-31-21, 10:04 PM
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I'd keep the bike simple. 1x chainring up front is all she'll ever need with a long cage derailleur on the rear and an 11-36 cassette if she likes climbing. I'd also avoid Kojak and other skinny tyres - in the real world of imperfect roads these slow the bike down and make the ride feel harsh with the 20" wheels (I've tried these). The only good thing to be said for them is that she'd save a little weight. Right now I'm running Swalbe Marathons (not particularly light at all) which I keep pumped up to around 90psi. These have good puncture protection and roll over a lot of kilometers without complaint. I'd also consider keeping flat bars instead of drops as the bike is simpler and easy to transport without hooking onto things if folding it frequently for storage or transportation is important to her. I also find flat bar shifters much cheaper than brifters, etc.

Anyway, good luck whatever you do!

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Old 01-31-21, 10:24 PM
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For example...
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Old 02-01-21, 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Vanrex View Post
The stock v-brakes need long pull levers, and the STI are short pull.
Or fit travellers on the V brakes. works well
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Old 02-02-21, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Pahana View Post
Best of luck on your new relationship. My first date with my wife was a 3 and a half hour bike ride. We have been riding together for the last 10 years and we're going out in about an hour for a ride together. If she's a keeper I don't think the bike really matters. On our first ride I give her my best bike at the time a Titus Racer X. We're both the same height so we can ride the same bikes. I sold that bike but always let her ride the best bike.
It definitely changed the way I ride. No more clip less pedals as she doesn't like to ride on bike lanes much but not getting around fast is not the point anymore. I look at groups of Men speeding around on their road bikes passing me and I really wouldn't trade places with them. My whole relationship with bikes has changed. I no longer see a bike as an exercise machine but as way of being in my environment. That's why my favorite bike now is a Brompton even though I can ride other high end full size bikes I own. My advice is don't worry about the bike. Ebay is full of xs bikes being sold by ex-boyfriends.

She really doesn't care about the bike, just appreciate the thought.

That being said, I think that I sorta know what she needs/wants: brakes near shifters, aero position/aero bars, platform pedals (yes, not clipless).
Down the road, maybe a pocket rocket is down her alley.
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Old 02-02-21, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by joey buzzard View Post
I'd keep the bike simple. 1x chainring up front is all she'll ever need with a long cage derailleur on the rear and an 11-36 cassette if she likes climbing. I'd also avoid Kojak and other skinny tyres - in the real world of imperfect roads these slow the bike down and make the ride feel harsh with the 20" wheels (I've tried these). The only good thing to be said for them is that she'd save a little weight. Right now I'm running Swalbe Marathons (not particularly light at all) which I keep pumped up to around 90psi. These have good puncture protection and roll over a lot of kilometers without complaint. I'd also consider keeping flat bars instead of drops as the bike is simpler and easy to transport without hooking onto things if folding it frequently for storage or transportation is important to her. I also find flat bar shifters much cheaper than brifters, etc.

Anyway, good luck whatever you do!

I'm thinking along the same lines. The Crazy bars, or Jones J bars, or the Koga Denham bars look pretty attractive to me.
Currently, my tires are Big Apples.
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Old 02-03-21, 03:32 AM
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Originally Posted by mlau View Post
she needs/wants: brakes near shifters, aero position/aero bars, .
Have you looked into this type of setup

it is TT aero with shifter incorporated to brake lever (twist the lever to shift gear).

I saw your mention on curved flat bar with TT aero ads on. I tried it on my dahon and as the geometry, the rack angle is too small, it is not stable at all.
Folders tends to have a small rack which give them great handling characteristic in tight environment (turn easily with small input) rather than straight stability like a road bike. This is why I 'd like to have a 445-48cm bar on mine rather than a 58cm.
I don't know what rack yours has but it is something to keep in mind.
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Old 02-03-21, 11:05 AM
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I also put some clip-on aero bars on my Dahon Speed. It made it a little faster in race mode but it was very twitchy!

I agree with Fentuz that you might as well go for narrow straight bars to maintain an aero-ish position

Last edited by Falconista; 02-03-21 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 02-03-21, 11:27 AM
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Nice idea, everyone!
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