It was just my day when Mike informed me that he had one Swift sitting idly in his clinic, awaiting a test ride. BC, the local distributor, was happy for me to test it and I took the Swift for a 30km, "no holds barred" ride to Changi.
First order of the day was unfolding the Swift and putting it in the car. After the likes of Brompton, Tikit and Dahons, this is probably the weakest link of the Swift as a foldy.
It folds "stick-like" ala Strida and Carry Me but its parts are not secure and were dangling all over the place. But it managed to fit into the tiny boot of my Yaris hatch. I'm not fussy here - so long as it goes in, it passes the folding test. Period. Yes, it didn't get a distinction in this area, but it passed!
However, it is relatively easy to fold and unfold and the Swift starts scoring major brownie points big time once you start riding it. Because the frame has no break (same as the tikit) unlike other folders, the rigidity of the Swift is simply amazingly sure.
This is one foldy that you can take off-road, jump kerbs and even go down stairs with full confidence.
The other feature I love about the Swift is zero handlebar flex. Absolutely zilch. That really inspires sharp handling and it truly is very BMX like in its feel. Agile, firm, solid and you feel like popping a wheelie every time you on it! The geometry is also perfect and I could ride hands free confidently after some practise.
Because of the aggresive low stem, short handlebar set up of the test bike, it felt really sporty perhaps a little too sporty for me as after 15km, my palms started to hurt. But this can easily be changed to whatever position you like as the Swift is very accomodating and can be mod to whatever specs you wish - drop bars, riser bars and I think even a butterfly touring bar if you wish.
The standard parts given are pretty basic (Tekro brakes, Sram SX4 RD, Kenda tires, unknown crank etc) but at just a whisker under S$1k, the excellent frame is where the bulk of your money goes to.
The proof of the pudding is how it rides against other folders and that morning, my ride group consisted of one Dahon Vitesse and two Roadies.
The performance of the Swift is legendary and it did not disappoint. It was shod with cheapo Kenda 1.5 tires and I pumped it to 55/65 psi as I'm not a fan of bone jarring rides. The Swift exceeded my expectations with its very full size bike feel. It eclipses the Vitesse easily and I did a friendly race with Rich on a Giant TCR as well as Keong on his Vitesse.