Old Swifts Never Die…

Here’s Maurice, a very determined RAB customer on his re-rebuilt Swift, somewhere in Asia.  Frame durability is everything!  All the other parts are meant to be replaced over time (and the frame itself carries a lifetime warranty, should you have just replaced everything else).

And now, in a spectacular little demonstration of how to dispose of a Swift that is just too terminally worn out to rebuild again, Matt once more goes above and beyond…

Lightness Counts.

This is a 14 lb. carbon-fiber development project, maybe for the future.  For most people in most riding circumstances, the weight of their bike doesn’t matter all that much.  But if you’re carrying your folder up 4 flights of stairs…

No promise on when or how much, but it’s worth pursuing.

What’s in a Name?

When trying to settle on a name for the bike, I turned to my father’s good old Funk and Wagnell’s dictionary, loaded with no-nonsense definitions and some great illustrations.  Here’s what caught my eye under swift:

It was that last definition that sold me. The cozy cottage industry image of little black bikes, like chimney swifts, hidden in homes across the city, waiting to take their lucky owners out on exhilarating and extraordinarily efficient journeys, then fold up again, ready for the next time. 

Special thanks—

To Jan, who educated me and made the whole thing possible,

To Les, who built enough frames to let me relax,

To Karl, Nathan, and Tom, who liked what they saw and made it grow.

To Matt, George, Steve, Jarad, Karen at RAB, TimesUp!’s Bill and Hannah, Mike McGettigan at Trophy, David at Bfold, Dave at Bikeworks, Steve Stollman, Cathy Cahill, Wendy Brawer, Noel Wiggins, Alex Wetmore, James Black, Joey the fast, Sky, Luke, Trevor, and most of all, to Karen—my guiding light.

This site is really only about the frame—that’s all that’s unique to the bike. What gets bolted on to it, the care it receives, and who rides it are what bring it to life.

Both are so small, so inconsequential in the infinite void. The big difference between them is an incredibly thin, delicate, and beautiful film of gas, water, and life sheathing the earth. A wonderful little layer, and right now, it’s our one and only nest. There is no plan B.

Let’s accept our good luck so far, and take comfort in time’s steady willingness to heal our excesses.

End Note

There’s an old photo of the Earth and Moon, taken by the Voyager space probe as it started its journey out of our solar system…

Traversing a great space or performing many movements in a brief time; rapid; quick.

Capable of quick motion; fleet; speedy.

A bird of swallow-like form, possessing extraordinary powers of flight (often called chimney-swifts).

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