Xootr Swift Blue and Silver Twin Folders

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Alan B   100 GW

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Xootr Swift Blue and Silver Twin Folders

Post by Alan B » Apr 01 2018 5:51pm

xootrSwift01.PNG
Yesterday (3/31/2018) I was looking at the Xootr site for some Swift information and I didn't see the pages that were there before, the Swift is mentioned only on the "discontinued" page. Very sad to see them go, if they are in fact discontinued. This thread is about my Swifts. For more historidcal and other info on the Swift folding bicycle see http://swiftfolders.com.

Years ago a road biker friend of mine at work told me about the Swift folder, and then Jeremy based one of his ebikes on one (suggested by JennyB), so I have been following this bike for a long time, and planning to make an ebike with one. A few years ago I bought one and started a BBS02 build with it, and then I bought another one for a test of the Luna Xiongda dual speed front hubmotor. The Blue Swift BBS02 project got sidetracked and the Silver Swift was set up first. Other things have interfered with my ebike journey, so things have moved slowly on all my ebike projects.

Here's Jeremy's thread:
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=42133

The goals for both of my Swift folding ebikes are pretty much the same. To have ebikes that are lightweight and easy to take places (in vehicles), that can handle steep gradients at least up to 15% (hopefully more), that are configurable for short or medium range, to take camping, etc. The two machines approach these goals from very different directions - a mid drive vs a geared front hubmotor.

A standard small geared hubmotor might have difficulty making a 15% grade, but the combination of the small 20" wheels and the retro-direct gearing in the dual speed hub give it the capacity to climb a steep hill. Other solutions to this such as large hubmotors or full size geared hubmotors could make the grade but at significant weight, and one of the goals is to keep this light. I also considered dual small geared hubmotors, and those would do the job, but at increased complexity, with dual controllers and motors and the wiring, etc that goes with that.

The BBS02 mid drive, with proper gearing will clearly climb the really steep stuff, at the cost of more chain maintenance. There is a downside to the BBS02 on the Swift, as the motor interferes with the folding at least a little. If the motor is positioned under the chainstays the interference (to folding) is reduced to a small and tolerable level, but then the torque reaction of the motor will tend to rotate it away from the chainstays and there is nothing to help stop it from moving. Solving this problem will be one of the pieces of this puzzle.

In the interest of full disclosure the dual speed hub in pre-built wheel kit was provided by Lunacycle for my testing, this included the usual controller, cabling and the display / throttle / etc. The rest, including batteries, bikes, etc. was purchased by me. The BBS02 kit was purchased from Empowered Cycles, and Matt attached it to the Swift frame.

The other pieces to this puzzle are the batteries. To keep the bikes light we want small batteries, and to meet different range requirements it is best if the batteries are reconfigurable. I selected 14S / 58V fully charged for compatibility with the Diamondback Overdrive that I have, and for the several batteries and chargers I already have on hand in that range. The small Luna 6AH pack fits in an underseat bag, but only having one of those I decided to try out the EGO Power+ tool battery as well. For longer range trips I have a 14S Shark pack that I bought a few years ago that might be possible to use, though it is getting big and heavy. These are all 18650 based packs. The Lipo bricks I have are 6S, so they are not ideal for a 14S system, though they can be pressed into service if needed.

The EGO batteries are 14S packs with built in BMS, the particular flavor I have is 2.5AH, so the plan there is to set things up such that I can run one or two in parallel. I have a separate thread on the EGOpowerPlus batteries and the 3D printed mounts I am working on for them.

EGO Battery Thread:
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 14&t=93563

I have done a few test rides with the Luna dual speed front hub. It climbs a 15% grade nearby, and on the level it seems to be quite efficient, not taking a lot of power. The setup needs more work on the wiring and organizing the components for staying conveniently out of the way when folding. it is not a speed daemon, I'll have to take some accurate measurements, but the most power I generally see is about 650 watts. The small wheel likely keeps the power down and limits the max speed, but it has lots of hill climbing torque.

There will be more later, and I will add photos, etc.

More photos
https://photos.app.goo.gl/BhyoANXIT2bgyo5F2

-dg   1 kW

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Re: Xootr Swift Blue and Silver Twin Folders

Post by -dg » Apr 13 2018 7:56am

It's been a while since I was on here. You sent me a PM a long time ago asking about Swifts, but I had some health issues and did not ride for a couple years. Just last week I finally put my partially electrified Swift together and took it out for a quick spin.

Maybe I should do a build thread so everyone can have a super clean ride like this ;-)
IMG_1469.jpg
Btw, if anyone plans to wad all the wires up with the controller on top of a cardboard battery box, I recommend old road bike inner tubes to tie it down with. They are the best and the most in tune with the spirit of the thing.

I was really sad to see they have discontinued the Swift. My plan is to swap the sensorless Bafang SWXU for a Q100H so I can run a sine wave controller as the SWXU is noisy. Oh, and maybe make a proper battery box to go behind the seat tube and wire everything neatly.

I really like the look of the silver Swift, I'll have to keep my eyes open on craigslist or something.

RIght now trying to decide if I want to run the open source firmware in a KT controller, or splash out for a Phaserunner.
If simplicity worked, the world would be overrun with insects.

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Alan B   100 GW

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Re: Xootr Swift Blue and Silver Twin Folders

Post by Alan B » Apr 13 2018 9:37am

Good to hear from you and see your Swift ready for action. Perhaps sometime we can do a Swift ride, we are not far away.

I don't use much duct tape, instead I use vet-wrap, tie wraps, and occasionally gaffer's tape. I'm moving toward 3D printed brackets. I like the Blue a lot, the Silver was all they had left, it's a good look as well. I've heard they still have Silver but you have to call them, it is no longer on the web. My Blue one has the BBS02 which doesn't run yet. The Silver with the 2 speed front hub is haywired to run at the moment. I drove it around in the desert in January. Low gear is nice for the rough terrain.

Would be good to see another Swift build thread, go for it.

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Re: Xootr Swift Blue and Silver Twin Folders

Post by -dg » May 02 2018 1:29am

Well I tidied up the pile o'wires a bit and have been riding it. Unfortunately tonight it started making clickety-crunch noises from inside the motor. Last time it did this it was a cracked/split planet gear. I assume it is the same thing again. I may have an extra gear from last time because "always buy two of anything from China" . Either way, I think I'm done with the Bafang SWXU. I'll order a couple of Q100H and see if I can break those instead. This will also let me play with cheap sine-wave controllers (the SWXU was sensor-less).

While I wait for new motors, maybe I'll finish my classic late 80s Trek 950 with the BPM. I'm not sure how I feel about a big motor like that though, seems a little much and somewhat unbike-like. I guess I have to try it and see. I'll order a Q128 with the Q100's just in case.
If simplicity worked, the world would be overrun with insects.

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Alan B   100 GW

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Re: Xootr Swift Blue and Silver Twin Folders

Post by Alan B » May 05 2018 5:15am

Each build takes on a somewhat different character. I've put the most miles on the Borg, a big solid hubmotor. Having ridden the range of 500cc motorcycles, 50cc mopeds and on down to bicycles, it feels moped like, solid and reliable for commuting. Riding light ebikes with less power after that makes them feel more like toys than commuting machines. But every thing has a place, and a light machine can be used for serious purposes, it just needs more care and downtime for maintenance, perhaps a spare to keep one on the road all the time.

I see the 7.5 AH EGO battery I ordered has been shipped finally. I have some priority projects diverting my attention, in a few weeks I'll get further on the Swifts, hopefully.

I'm slowly working on a 3D printed case and mount design for the small Luna battery for the dual speed front hubmotored silver Swift. I'm considering moving it out of the seat pack because it is hard to keep the cabling out of the way with the seat's motion during folding.

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Re: Xootr Swift Blue and Silver Twin Folders

Post by -dg » Jun 23 2018 10:56pm

The good news was that I had an extra gear for the SWXU. The bad news is that it lasted less than 30 miles. I'm out of spares and since this is the third failure of the same part I've given up on this motor. Too bad, it looked nice.

The replacement, an ugly black Q100H arrived and I transferred the rim and spokes to the new hub. This is a lot more work than transferring a hub and spokes to a new rim. I haven't trued it up yet since the controller I ordered to use with it is delayed and won't even ship until next week.

Meanwhile I'm riding my old road bike.
If simplicity worked, the world would be overrun with insects.

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