24 comments on “Swifty scooter deview

  1. Wow – that was quite a bit of bang for the buck on that question. Thanks! The Swifty One looked like an elegant design on the surface but you brought up some good points to sway me towards the Kickped. I originally thought the tire size was a pro because the ride would be smoother over rough concrete and it would be able to support higher speeds. But you’re right – you can only kick so fast and the basic design of a scooter seems somewhere in between biking and walking, more like jogging speed. It seems logical that the size of it’s tires should be optimized for that speed. My main concern is road roughness because the only scooter I had was the Xootr and I couldn’t handle the roughness of the roads on it (I live in Berkeley, CA). Another thing about the swifty that concerned me was the foot height. I noticed, from a diagram on the web, that your foot rides almost 5 inches above the ground which seems a bit high (http://www.kolobezky-pro-dospele.cz/news/recenze-kolobezka-swifty-one/). Do you have any insight on footboard height? I can see how higher is better in terms of being able to ride without the bottom of the scooter hitting a rock or turn without the edge of the scooter scraping the ground. But when is high too high? Does Kickped feel the right height? A couple of other things concern me about the kickped.

    1. Will the handlebar stand the test of time. People call this scooter durable but, as you mention, the handlebar seems to get loose over time. That seems like a pretty critical weak point to me!
    2. I’m only 5’6″ so I’ll need the smaller kickped. I heard that the smaller version can’t be slung over your shoulder like the larger version from a review on the net. Is this true? Does this make it not possible to fold and carry the smaller kickped over your shoulder like the larger one?
    3. One review on amazon complained about the way the kickped fold is supported by the rear brake lever and mentioned that the rear brake lever broke because of the weight that it must support when folded. Do you think this is another fault in design – having the brake lever supporting the scooter when you carry it folded on the shoulder?

    Thanks for your insight! It’s tricky to buy something based simply on web visuals.

    • The KickPed handles road roughness very well. Here in NYC the winter cracks, buckles and potholes the roads everywhere, and on the Xootr I suffered so many microimpacts to my joints it was like operating a jackhammer. Sometimes my elbows and wrists hurt after long rides. That has never been an issue with the KickPed.

      With regards to footboard height, 5 inches is pretty high. Unless you’re offroading (lol) or thrashing, I don’t see any advantage to that. I think it would taper your kick strength. The KickPed seems to be no more than 4 inches off (can’t find my tape measure). I’ve always thought the height is right, and the narrower footboard economizes motion greatly. Only on the KickPed did I realize how wide the Xootr MG’s deck is.

      Hard to say about the handlebar. I have yet to take it into the shop and try to tighten it. All the components are very simple though; if there’s a handlebar joint you can fix yourself, it’s this one.

      I doubt that the smaller one can’t be shouldered, UNLESS the joint that the handlebar collar locks over is shorter (but why would GoPed change tooling on machines to make 2 different joint heights?). That would abbreviate space between folded stem and footboard. Also, shoulder dimensions are very different. Mine are wide and bony; I can even shoulder the Xootr folded, uncomfortably. Unless a lot of reviewers have this problem I wouldn’t give it much credence.

      I don’t like that the rear brake spoon is the linchpin of the whole folding mechanism. However, it’s bolted down with self-locking nuts, and when it gets wobbly, they only need to be tightened down more. I noticed that NYCeWheels did this when I brought it in for the bearing service. As a metalworker, it’s hard to see how a piece of die-formed steel could break under the weight of the KickPed; only at the base where it screws to the board could that happen. But the upper curvature of the brake spoon is braced into a carveout in the deck, providing a fulcrum against the pull in folded position, and though my two locking bolts need tightening again, I don’t see any other problems.

      Someday, I do want to swap out the bearings. They get scrapey after a while.

      And FTR, I don’t know the Swift, but I love the Birdy. I bought mine around 2005, when the lowest model was still $8-900. The price isn’t justified now, which explains why NYC (I’d wager one of biggest folding bike markets in US; I did read that this is where Xootr’s sales are concentrated) is choosing Dahon en masse. I saw someone getting ogled for a Brompton the other day, but as I recall it has no shock absorbers. Brompton manz, enjoy your folding joints getting bashed out of tolerance by crap urban roads!

      • You’ve pretty much sold me on the Kickped. I might just order it. I’m still a bit nervous about not being able to try it – not knowing things such as how it feels to have to always jump between feet to alternate. Forgive my lack of knowledge, but I assume by self-locking nuts, you mean they are removable? I feel comfortable knowing that rear brake can be removed and replaced incase it breaks. I am also not sure about the height of the handles in the small model, but taking a measuring tape it seems like it will go up to my waist when I stand on the board. That seems reasonable I suppose. Hopefully it’s not too high. I did call nycewheels about carrying the kickped and they have told me that you are able to fold and carry the smaller version, It’s just less comfortable because the strap is right at the end of the handlebar. I also have thin/bony upper body so we’ll see. i’m sure I’ll figure something out. The last annoyance I have is it seems like they skimped with the bearings. I replace rollerblade bearings with ease and am wondering if it’s much harder to do with the kickped. Is it hard to get good quality bearings for some reason? Rollerblade bearings are available pretty much everywhere. I’m not sure how the scooter will be but I like the idea of having a simple vehicle that can take me at jogging speed within a 3 mile radius and be carried on bus, subways, cars, locked outside or taken inside without too much hassle. I thought it was going to be rollerblades but boy, was I wrong! Hope this works out better than rollerblades for me.

      • I’ve never removed self-locking nuts, and here’s something to consider: take out the nuts and bolts installed before riding, and put in some good stainless steel ones. Take out the steel ones and bring them to the hardware to make sure you get same dimensions, but just the rear two holding the spoon brake on. Those rear nuts/bolts get sprayed with a lot of road crap, and when I went to tighten mine today, they’re frozen half-loose. The spoon moves too freely and I can’t tighten them down! Fortunately I have a plasma cutter (youtube it if you’re curious) so worst case I can blow out frozen bolts in a couple seconds (after I try some PB Blaster and Kroil), but I bet you don’t. And when the spoon is loose, it also drags on the tire.

        I also did a video of what’s wrong with the front assembly; it’s not the handlebar stem that’s the problem, it’s where the whole handlebar assembly fits into the chassis! Something is doddery in there. I hope to remove it soon, photo and document the failure, and write another blog. But don’t let that put you off — given the problems the Xootr has developed over a few years of riding, the KickPed is still superior, sturdier, and easier to fix, albeit slower and less “sexy”, whatever that is.

        The bearings seat into a recess on either side of the tires. They’re probably epoxied in and spun while drying at first, so the inner ring doesn’t seal down. I’d love to get around to swapping them, the back tire especially is hella draggy.

        After having ridden 4 types of scooter (the ex3, some dreadful electric goped knockoff, the Xootr and the KickPed — and a Razor long enough to laugh at it), I think you’ll be pleased and find this a much better conveyance than rollerblades.

      • “take out the nuts and bolts installed before riding, and put in some good stainless steel ones. Take out the steel ones and bring them to the hardware to make sure you get same dimensions, but just the rear two holding the spoon brake on.”

        So just to be clear, take out the two brake steel bolts and replace them with stainless steel ones?

        Well the issues you are having kind of sucks because it is supposed to be bulletproof with a life time guarantee. I can’t help but think that promise is a little out of touch. Seems like they should know about these weak points and fix them in the factory.

        Still, I’d be pretty content if it’s bulletproof enough to not give me problems for a couple years. I’ll look out for your video and look forward to more posts on the issues. Hope the company hears about them too and responds regarding these issues.

      • Yeah, take out those two nuts+bolts in the back and replace them with identical ones in stainless. I’ll be doing that myself as soon as I have a moment. The longer you ride with them, the more they’ll corrode and be tough to remove without stripping. This is mainly a problem when your brake works itself loose and you can’ t loosen or tighten the screws normally, as is the case with me.

        You DID read my other two posts about my customer service experience with NYCW? If not, please do. I don’t think they’re going to be responding to aaanything. So far neither Xootr nor NYCeWheels has combined perfect product with sound customer service. It’s strange that my problem was so easy to fix but they were such pains about it…would have been easier to do myself.

        The bearing problem happened to me within a year. But you seem confident about bearing replacement. I’d just get better ones, hell, they as much as told me to do that. Any DIY fixes I can come up with (as with the Xootr, when I cut+bent a new rear brake plate in my metalshop) I’ll video & share, of course.

  2. And once again I diverge from the topic to another item that peeked my interest. I’ve been using the xootr swift bike for the past 2 years and it’s been great for what it is. I’m curious on how you like your birdy bike and if you still use it even though you have the scooter. I’m also curious if you have any thoughts on the birdy versus the swift. I like the swift because it rides like a real bike rather than a folder in my opinion. I love the control you get with the small wheels but am not sure if it’s the optimal 20″ wheel setup. Just curious 🙂

  3. Well – I just ordered the kick-ped today! So your basically the guy who sold it to me and will probably also be my technical support given your experience with not-so-nycewheels 😀 It’s preordered right now so I don’t expect it for a few weeks but they mentioned that they are just getting new shipments in so we’ll see. First thing i’ll probably do is replace those nuts like you mentioned. I suppose there is no point in replacing the other nuts? I also had a thought about adding some velcro to the stem joint to make it a tighter fit and not rattle. One thing I hate is rattles and that’s something that bugged me a lot from my old xootr. I also remember struggling to pull the pin out and in. I’m excited about getting this one and If it’s good, I bet we’ll see a lot of folks in my home town, berkeley CA, getting them. Perfect for the bart and, berkeley style, hitching/renting cars and dropping it in the trunk. I’m also a film maker / photographer so let’s see how inspired I feel to do a piece!

    • I hope you told those lovely lads at NYCW that the Olive Green Alex guy sold you on it. They’d love that 😛

      Preordered, huh? Where are they all going? I am only person I see in NYC with one, and I’ve had a couple people ask me if I made it myself! (Like I said, it’s very utilitarian, another reason I call mine the Proller.)

      No need to replace other nuts, they just hold the deck on and the load is pretty spread out. You shouldn’t have any rattle to your stem joint, I don’t after two years of at least 15 minutes’ riding, 5 days a week, rain or shine. The wobble to the KickPed’s handlebar stem has no rattle. And yes, the Xootr has crazy rattles and the pin/pinseat is a MAJOR defect. I think every year or so, my entire deck had to be replaced because that pinseat would get cored out by the shock damage from pockmarked roads.

      Given your lifestyle and location, the KickPed seems a better choice. Xootr goes over well with New Yorkers, it matches the high design of their iVerything and boutique fashion duds. But the KickPed seems more at home in the Berkeley I know…it certainly fits my coupture better.

      Feel free to email or post about your impressions when it arrives. You’re also uniquely qualified to document its strengths (or weaknesses); I can only do shaky phone-cam videos. The more information available about these things, the more people will have the confidence to make the leap and buy one sight unseen!

      • I’m not the only one you convinced. I remember reading a blog post by Kent’s bike blog where he mentioned someone swayed him against getting a xootr “One reviewer noted (and I wish I could re-find this review on the net) that he felt like he could read braille by rolling over it on a Xootr.” Here’s the posting: http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/2013/04/30daysofscootering-soggy-commute-and.html (yes – i googled kickped like crazy). Funny thing is that Nycewheels give him a deal on the scooter for doing blog posts on it! You should have gotten in on that. I ordered online so I didn’t have the possibility of mentioning that you sold me on it but I definitely will. btw, here’s the facebook post where they tell us to hurry up and order it before it sells out (it did kind of work on me: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152195364697802&set=a.226044262801.174514.161623522801&type=1&theater

      • Haha mine was the first online review comparing the two! I still get a lot of traffic for that & the other posts. But my blog is about a ton of stuff, and the more extensive scooter and bike content elsewhere eventually overcame my ranking. I wonder if NYCW they recruited Kent to offset any bad PR from my posts…I don’t hold any grudges, they’re workers like me and their store is a beacon in a be-engined world, but that lifetime warranty is a big selling point to anyone who’s busted a Xootr (I work with a guy who’s broken 3 scooters, one a Xootr).

        Looks like Xootr’s going to have to step up their game. At least they’ve got some great engineers. Might have to be my third scooter if I’m still condemned to an urban environment.

  4. Crazy twist of events! I cancelled my Kickped and ordered a Mibo Courage instead! I don’t think you’re going to agree with the decision, especially with it’s weight, but I scrounged the internet and did a lot of research. The one I picked is this one: http://www.mibo.cz/eshop-product/kolobezka-mibo-courage-top. Here are a couple of reviews: http://www.letskickscoot.com/home/articles/MiboTiny.cfm and http://www.the-vu.com/2013/04/the-mibo-gepard-kick-scooter-review/. I love everything (theoretically) about this scooter except for the weight. There are a few things that can be done to reduce it. Your thought? Fire away!

    • Hm, I love Czech goods. (I’m wearing a Czechoslovakian watch that just arrived today from Slovakia, in fact!) It’s been said that their design/engineering is on par with Germany’s, but without all the hoopla. I wonder where it was made?

      I’m surprised they went with a steel body. That, and the folding configuration make it clear that it’s not for walking-carry. In NYC frequent folding and carrying make it impractical (those big ol’ tires and handlebars would make you VERY unpopular on a crowded train), and I’m puzzled that one reviewer said 10 mph is fast for a scooter; my average cruising speed is 13 mph on the KickPed.

      One thing you could def offer the scootworld is a critique of the moving parts. My favorite thing about the KickPed is that it has so few failure points. You can drop it, throw it in a trunk and take it through the rain or mud without worrying about a brake cable getting fussy or your folding points gumming up. As you’ve noted, that’s among the Xootr’s biggest flaws (and its slippery-torquing handlebar stem becomes FATAL in any kind of rain). I’d link any such review if you wrote it on your blog, FWIW.

      • Mine’s being put together right in Sokolska for the next 4 days! Keep in mind that the one I am getting, the mibo courage, does not fold. I took a close look at my usage patterns, what I enjoy in a human powered vehicle, and the city structure where I live. The subway over here is not quite as crowded as new york and I don’t need to fold the already small scooter. In fact, I’ve had folding things before and I’ve found i’ve never liked folding at all. The only useful thing for me is to occasionally put it in the trunk of a car and this scooter can fit without folding if it’s not occupied by other things. Since I don’t need to put it in a car too often, I preferred to get a lighter, sturdier non-folding version. The other thing about me is that I like to go down hills and I feel uncomfortable only having a foot brake to slow me down. One other factor is that the scooter is replacing my folding bike. Most of my commute is within a 1-3 mile radius and a nice quality scooter that’s comfortable to ride will fill that niche. I think the kickped compliments my folding bike but I don’t feel like it could replace it for my needs. I rent a car for longer commutes for my photography work. It just needs to fit in the rental cars trunk and I won’t need to fold this scooter to do that (though it will be a tight fit).

        The main issue with kickpad for me was braking power and I also wanted more comfort and higher speed control for moderate hills. It looks like a great scooter but these 12″ tire scooters just seems right to me intuitively for the type of thing I want. If I was planning to keep the bike, I would have got a kickped because I think the two compliment each other. I’m personally looking at a scooter/car duo and I think the Mibo Courage fits that role better.

        Whether it does or not – I’ll find out soon enough because there is no turning back at this point! It might take up to a month to get to me though!

  5. Here’s another interesting tidbit – at least for me – the company wrote to me when I was questioning them about cost and quality.

    “I would like to point out, that we decided NOT to compromise quality, hand made frames checked one by one by Breta Michalek, we are not changing scooter parts for cheaper versions, or using cheaper and thinner steel and still providing 5 years warranty. MIBO is for enthusiast, and still, it is not costing half of price of any bike with this specification.

    • It sounds great, TBH. Czech assembly at that price seems a win, even if components are from overseas (witness the KickPed, which I’m almost certain uses Taiwanese parts though it’s made in USA). And since it’s replacing a bike, it’s probably a perfect substitute/compromise. Not a consolation prize.

      You’ve gotten me to watch the Czechs. Maybe I need a new conveyance that is closer to my Birdy (erm, sounds naughty) than my KickPed, for the longer rides I am now taking into and out of the city…hrm…

  6. Haha. Yeah after reading about the Czech’s, the swifty started seeming a little gimicky to me. Don’t even get me started on the Razors! I think it’s pretty awesome that Mibo are assembling it for me right now by hand. Usually that is reserved for really high end stuff and costs a bunch. While browsing I also noticed that the ceo of the company is a scooter enthusiast himself. I kind of like that.

    You could probably actually meet up with Jerry, one of the reviews who helped me through all the questions I had about the Mibo and his experience with it. He’d probably let you try it out which would be kind of fun for kicks. Real nice guy who was trying to connect me with someone in CA to try it out. Pretty cool how I might be the second person in Cali to have this scooter! Kind of sucks too. If I like it I’ll make a short film and show it off. Bet it could fill i solid niche in my area.

    Of course all these reviews are one thing… But who knows till you actually try these things. I’m looking forward to gliding down the new bay bridge bike lane without worrying about stopping (theoretically :D). Can’t wait to get it. I’ve got a good feeling but we’ll see.

    I do wonder about the frame they use though. The kickped is using chromoly steel and I hear that’s the best stuff. Not sure with the Czech’s are using because chromoly wasn’t mentioned and I heard Hi-Tensile steel is not nearly as good (if that’s what they are using). But this is just internet chatter – what do I know.

    • I’d dig meeting up with Jerry after I hear your assessment, assuming it’s positive. Sure he’s nice, alt-vehicles tend to make people evangelists, even to the point of starting scooter companies! I am actually a little scared that I will love this thing and want to buy one. I have a little trouble getting my Birdy, even folded, into a Brooklyn bar on a Saturday night.

      You’ll just have to see about the alloy when it arrives. You’re not doing tricks on it or drops, so unless the alloy is an issue for susceptibility to corrosion (and then paint quality/technique would also be key), based on what I know it wouldn’t keep me up at night.

  7. Sounds good. Keep you posted. Yeah – you’re probably right in being scared! I can sense that you’ve been tickled! You’re best bet is to let me take the risk and if I’m all gung-ho about it, you could meet up with Jerry and try it. And if you like it and plan to get it, we can start a company that would give rise to scooters in the states. Kidding about the last sentence…

    Shoot – I better get back to work.

  8. Hey Brechett,

    I got my Mibo Scooter a few weeks ago. I love the scooter. Rode it 30 miles the other day! Yes, 30 miles. It’s got the big things right but my purchasing experience was not great. I also had a problem in the hub with the scooter I received so they are finally sending me a fix. One thing is clear, I won’t be missing my bike – I ride this scooter everywhere. I’ll write a review when they send the fixed unit in. In the mean time, I put a small snippet of my thoughts on my blog.

    • Rishio! Good to hear from you! 30 miles is a hike. My longest ride on the KickPed was 9 miles, and I did it in ~1 hour but was in quite a lather by the time I got home, despite it being cold. Made me think that something like the Mibo would be a good idea, though getting it in to any NYC venue on a Saturday night would be a task. Coat checks have got to start taking folded scooters.

      I look forward to your blog post about the purchasing experience. That, and warranty support, are key for most folks—NYCEWheels were decent with me about the KickPed issues I had, but I’ve been too swamped to blog about it. It’s not as pressing because the newer KickPeds have had the inadequate parts swapped out.

      You should post a link to the small snippet of your thoughts 😛

      • I should clarify. 30 miles was extreme and I went that distance because I joined a bike group and didn’t realize how long I was going. 20 miles is hard. 10 miles is good exercise. 5 miles is about my daily commute and easy going. My guess is that the Mibo goes twice the distance of the Kickped with the same amount of energy in real world conditions.

        My little snippet isn’t much – more like a trailer 🙂 http://blog.rishio.com/2013/11/my-scooter.html

        Right now I’ll say that I love the scooter, but have been frustrated with the support. A lot of it has to do with the distance, the language barrier, and the fact that they are probably a small, mom/pop company. I did get a chance to ride the kickped on the sidewalk briefly and I have to say, the quality of ride you get on the mibo is amazing in comparison. More later…

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