Why Merino wool?
Believe it or not, we still get this question. Merino is one of the most technical fabrics out on the market. It's ability to transport moisture (sweat), retain heat, and remove heat, is simply unmatched in the world of petroleum based products. Merino wool gives you a broader range of temperature regulation than any other single piece of clothing. If you're new to buying Merino wool, you won't be disappointed. In fact, you'll wonder why you hadn't tried Merino wool sooner.
Why are your Organic Cotton t-shirts expensive?
If you look at what a conventional cotton T "costs" us as a society, we would never buy another one of those pieces of crap again. Like the .99 cent hamburger from Mickey D's, or our (once) cheap gasoline prices, conventional cotton has been a reckless case study in greed and disregard for our future. Conventional cotton is the largest user of herbacides and pesticides in the world... most of which is used right here in our backyard. So to answer your question... $30 to buy a 100% USDA Organic, with using water based inks, is actually cheap. Put it this way...it won't cost you later in higher health insurance (think fat kids with diabetes) or a vanishing ozone (think subsidized oil). Thanks for listening.
Where are your bikes made?
Our bikes are made in an A-level factory in Taiwan. They are extremely proud to make our bikes. We truly support USA manufacturing where we can and though you might see one from us soon, affordability is key to the Swobo design philosophy. The gears, brakes, tires, handlebar grips and saddles, etc. are all manufactured in Taiwan, Japan and Germany. There is no production of these items in the USA, so even if you make a frame in the USA, you still need to import all the components.
I've never bought a bike on-line. How much assembly is required?
First and foremost, if you've never assembled a bike before, our recommendation is to take it to your local bike shop. Better yet, see if we have a dealer
in your area and get your bike there. Our bikes come 95% assembled, but do still require some attention. The bikes are packed with the rear wheel attached and the shifter, brake lever and the grips attached to the handlebars. Crank and chain are installed. The saddle is attached to the seat post. You will need to put in the front wheel, turn the stem so that it faces forward and aligns with the front wheel, attach the handlebars to the stem, thread in the pedals, and insert the seat post into the seat tube. Tire pressure should be checked. All bolts should be double-checked. Very few tools are needed. If you have a multi-tool you are set. If you don't have a pedal wrench a 15mm open-end wrench will work. Use white lithium grease when you are installing anything that is threaded, and the seat post before you insert it in the seat tube. Mechanical skill is required and assembly by a professional bike mechanic should be your first choice whether a Swobo dealer or not. Don't attempt if you are uncertain and don't hesitate to contact us for assistance.
Why internal hubs?
Look at any road or mountain bike. You can see a gear shifting component, called a derailleur, hanging off the right rear dropout. It is vulnerable and exposed and in the way. You can also see a set of 9 or 10 cogs, upon which the rear derailleur moves the chain up or down, to change the gears in the back. In the front you have another derailleur that moves the chain from chainring to chainring, on the crank. The shift levers, that move the derailleurs via the shifter cables, have to be moved a certain way and there are positions the chain cannot be in, on both the front chainrings and the rear cogs. Confused? Internal hubs negate the need for the front and rear derailleurs, one of the shift levers and all the rear cogs. Jump on the Otis, which is a 3-speed bike, and immediately you know how to shift it into the easier or harder gear. No instructions needed. It is that obvious and that easy. For most cities, a 3-speed is all you need. You have a low gear for hill climbing, a middle gear for flat riding and a high gear for downhills. For city use, having the gear shifting mechanism INSIDE the rear hub, instead of outside the hub, means you can drop the bike on the right side, never have to worry about rain or snow or sand and there is virtually no maintenance, as it is a sealed system. The best of all possible worlds.
What do the names mean?
What do you want the names to mean? I prefer Seeking Women Or Best Offer. *Ahem*.
What's with the coaster brakes?
For city use, coaster brakes make a lot of sense. Your hands don't have to be near the brake levers to stop. When your rims are wet you have full stopping power. There's no maintenance or adjustment necessary, and no replacement of brake pads. And you lay down some nice skids.
Can I remove the Swobo badges?
The head badge is not riveted and can be removed, although not easily. Badges are 1.5mm alloy with a 3M adhesive backing. We purposefully keep the graphics minimal on our bikes.
What is the brake reach on the Sanchez?
The Sanchez frame accepts standard or short reach brakes, which Shimano refers to as 39-49mm. Measure from center of brake mounting bolt to center of the brake shoe mounting bolt, with the brake shoe in the middle of the brake arm.
What is the rear spacing on the Sanchez and what is the largest size tire that fits?
The Sanchez is designed to accept track hubs and adhere to a track chainline, so it is standard track dimensions. The rear hub over-locknut dimension (OLD) is 120mm and the chainline is 42.5mm. Considering these parameters, the chainstays are narrower than a road bike. Tires sizes vary by manufacturer and one brand's 700 x 25C will measure the same as another company's 700 x 28C and vice versa, so it's possible some will fit and some will be tight. But if the rear wheel is far enough back in the dropouts, you can probably fit a 700 x 28C.
An internal gear hub is only available in ratios. (Gear inches depend on the number of teeth on the chainring, the number of teeth on the rear cog, and the size of the tire). The beauty of an internal hub is, once you've calculated for the 1:1 gear, usually the middle gear in the range, then all you have to do is plug in the ratios, multiplying the chainring by each one, and that's the gear inches for the entire range.
So, on a Dixon, you have a 38T front ring, a 19T rear cog, and a 26" wheel. So, the inches equals 49.7". See Sheldon Brown's website
for the equation and a great calculator. Now, how do you figure out all the other gears? Take each of the ratios, and multiply the chainring size by each ratio, and plug it into Sheldon's site, and you'll get the inches.
1st gear = .542
2nd gear = .621
3rd gear = .727
4th gear = .853
5th gear = It's the 1:1 gear, so it always equals 1
6th gear = 1.172
7th gear = 1.375
8th gear = 1.611
9th gear = 1.844
That means that you've got 8 other chainring sizes to chose from. 1st gear = .542 * 38T= a 20.6 chainring size, so the inches equal 27" 9th gear = 1.844 * 38T = a 70.1 chainring size, so the inches equal 91.8".