Gallery: Kanishka’s Swift Folder

Swift Folder
Swift Folder

[Kanishka sent us these photos and write-up about his Swift folder. —ed.]

This is my 2010 Swift Folder by Peter Reich/Design Mobility. Retailed, spec’d out by bfold/David Lam for Peter.

Components and Accessories:

  • Alfine 8
  • Civia Loring Bars
  • X-Seat (American distributor of Spongy Wonder)
  • Marathon Racers (used to be Marathon Pluses for a long time, probably switch to Kojak’s soon)
  • A few special quick releases
  • Ergon Grips (should probably switch to cork or just taping the whole bar)
  • Gear inches: 2nd – 38 gear-inches, 7th – 83 gear-inches
  • Klickfix extender with handlebar adapter mounted on front
  • Klickfix Freepack sport backpack
  • Carradice SQR on back
  • Carradice Super C saddlebag – amazing

I bike to school somedays (grad student), 6 miles one way. Most days I put my bike on the front of a local bus both ways, or one way and ride the other way. Year ’round. Some days I take the long distance train that runs along my route (have to fold for that), but it’s a very quick trip (8 mins train, 15 mins bus, 40 mins bike). It’s between Dover and Durham, to the University of New Hampshire. I usually carry groceries home once a week. Often I just take my bike for a short 1/2 mile ride to a local coffee shop.

I also frequently visit my parents in Hartford, CT. This usually involves the folded bike on a train then bus, or bus then bus, connecting in Boston. If I switch between train and bus, I have to bike across downtown Boston to connect to the other leg of the trip. Then I do some short biking around Hartford when I’m home.

By far the most useful is when I take the bike folded on a train into Boston and hang out there for the day/night. I use it to get around to my various favorite hangouts in Cambridge and Jamaica Plain. In the summers, I usually get together with a friend and do an overnight credit card tour in the area of 50-60 miles.

I like to call my configuration “the grad student” because you can carry books (lots of them), laptop, food, dishes (because you are poor and can’t eat out), and groceries. As well as travel easily on public transit (again because you are poor and shouldn’t own a car, also because you need the time to do school work instead of actively driving on long distance trips).

This December I might switch bikes if I can talk Bike Friday into welding a Dahon-style plate into the front of a 20″ folder. I also only really need 3 gears, so I’ll probably switch to an i-Motion 3. Maybe disc brakes in front. And if I come across a huge burst in income, a belt drive. I’m kind of looking for a cross between a Long Haul Trucker, a Civia, a Swift folder, and a Brompton.


6 Responses to “Gallery: Kanishka’s Swift Folder”

  • carfreepvd says:

    Nice to see someone else rocking the Spongy Wonder saddle!

  • John_in_NH says:

    I met Kanishka the other week while I was randomly going to UNH to pick up some new 2010 6Inch areal Imagery. He was admiring my Breezer Uptown 8 which was on the same bus. We got to talking and Ecovelo came up, it went from there. My Breezer is all spec except some DIY bits and a double kickstand. It is always great to see some other folks in the Granite Headed state out on their bikes :)

  • Micheal Blue says:

    I also have Spongy Wonder bike seats on both of my bikes. Can’t imagine sitting on a normal bike seat any more. It’s a nice bike. I can see the fold is kinda half-baked as is my Dahon’s: the chain is left exposed; and it also touches the brake cables. I didn’t get the comment about adding a Dahon-style plate.

  • Epicyclist says:

    Hey, another Swift in (sometimes) the Boston area! Maybe we should buy our Swifts a couple beers in Cambridge sometime. Is that a steel or aluminum frame?

    I assume the Amtrak train in the background is the Downeaster. Have conductors ever given you trouble about bringing the Swift aboard? And have you ever tried to take it on the Northeast Regional (Boston-Providence-New York)? I imagine the conductors on that line might be less laid-back than on the Downeaster. The Amtrak web site says folding bikes are allowed as carry-on luggage on “certain cars,” but doesn’t specify further. I asked a conductor last time I rode the train (without my bike), and he said it should be okay, but it was kind of a noncommittal answer.

  • VeloFred says:

    It was nice to see one of our customers online. Nice ride Kanishka.

    Best Regards,

  • kanishka azimi (new england!) says:


    look at thorusa -> accessories -> adapters. near the word \2 or 3 hole\, he has a picture of the plate built into new dahons. i’ve got nothing bad to say about the folding mechanism. my last bike was a brompton, so i know elegant folds. i’ve started to prefer the swift’s fold for various reasons


    sounds like a good idea! me, you and john (who i believe is interning with city of cambridge). no hassles on any amtrak, usually just the ticket sellers on northeast (springfield-new haven, providence-new haven) ask me to fold the bike before selling me the ticket to prove that its a folder. another swift owner has said he has had occasional issues. i once came across a post on bikeforums or google, that had a copy of a reply recieved from amtrak that they recommended you print out, involving some internal operations memo, which was useful to show to conductors. maybe you can find that?

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