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Old 03-13-06, 05:33 PM   #1
DaFriMon
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I had some nice pictures taken outside, today, but they were too large. So here's a mediocre snapshot taken in the hallway just now.

Yes, just another Raleigh Twenty thread. I've been dawdling over this project since last summer. I had a local bike shop build me a new front wheel around the old hub, and ordered a new rear wheel with a Sturmey Archer X-RF5 5 speed hub to replace the original 3 speed. 70 PSI Primo V Monster tires. New stem and handlebars, cork grips, cheap BMX pedals, new seatpost. The saddle is the stock saddle that I took off my Dahon. I've got Brooks saddles on my other bikes, but this actually isn't bad, for now. New cables and brakepads, of course. Overhauled the headset, and replaced the handlebar quick release with some headset spacers. Now the quill type stem won't turn sideways for folding, of course, but I can live with that.

The main thing that still needs to be dealt with is the bottom bracket, and the original cottered cranks that go with it. But at the moment it actually seems to be working quite well. So last night, I said the heck with it, put on a chain, adjusted the gears, gave everything else a once over, and this morning I took it to a local bike path for a shake down ride.

This was just a test ride, and I wanted to stay off the roads until I was sure there weren't any major problems. I ended up doing just 7 miles, 4.5 of them on the path.

My main reaction is pleasant surprise. Yes, there is plenty of time for problems to show themselves, but this bike really has a very nice ride for what it is. The steering seemed a little skittish for about half a mile, then my reflexes adjusted, and it began to seem quite stable. The ride is surprisingly cushy for a small wheeled bike with no suspension. Part of this is probably due to the wide, medium pressure tires I picked, but I think the frame has to get a lot of the credit.

I started reading some bad things about SA 5 speed hubs shortly after I ordered a wheel built with one. There's plenty of time for things to go wrong, but my first impression was a good one. I must have gotten the adjustment right. The shifting is smooth and quick, and each gear runs quietly. The range I've got now is about 41 to 92 gear inches, which is probably not ideal for an around town, running errands, sort of bike. Once I do get around to overhauling the bottom bracket, I'll probably replace the cranks and put on a smaller chain ring. If I decide to put the cottered cranks, with the integrated chainring, back on, then I'll put on a larger rear cog.

All in all, this confirms for me why these are such popular project bikes. Mine will be used mostly for short trips around town, which is why I've made rather modest component choices. I can see, though, why it would be tempting to turn one into a real road bike.
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Old 03-13-06, 08:15 PM   #2
bobkat
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DFM - I see you replaced the rear wheel with a 5 speed SA hub. I'm really new to biking and tinkering, but is there such an animal as an 8 speed read hub. If so, why did you go with the 5. Advantages and disadvantages? I have an old 20 and am planning on converting it to a folding recumbent. Thanks for any info.
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Old 03-13-06, 09:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobkat
DFM - I see you replaced the rear wheel with a 5 speed SA hub. I'm really new to biking and tinkering, but is there such an animal as an 8 speed read hub. If so, why did you go with the 5. Advantages and disadvantages? I have an old 20 and am planning on converting it to a folding recumbent. Thanks for any info.
Keep in mind that I don't claim to be an authority. I did a lot of reading on internal hub gears, and made the best decision I could, but there were other ways I could have gone. Please don't make any decisions based on my recommendations.

Since I intended this to be a utilitarian city bike, high performance was not an issue. I seriously considered having the original 3 speed hub overhauled and installed in the new wheel. When I decided to go with a new hub, a 5 speed didn't cost that much more. A Sturmey Archer 5 speed was also about the same width as the old 3 speed, so I didn't have to worry about spreading the rear dropouts. I could have gotten 7 speed internal hubs from Shimano, Sturmey Archer or SRAM if I'd wanted to go that route. Don't forget to check out the width of the hub before you order, and decide if you're prepared to cold set the frame.

If I ordered the wheel today, I could get an 8 speed hub from SA or Shimano. SRAM still has their 7 speed hubs, and I seem to remember reading that they're coming out with a 9 speed. If money is no object, you could get a 14 speed Rohloff.

Here's a better picture of my bike. Good luck with yours!
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Old 03-13-06, 09:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobkat
DFM - I see you replaced the rear wheel with a 5 speed SA hub. I'm really new to biking and tinkering, but is there such an animal as an 8 speed read hub. If so, why did you go with the 5. Advantages and disadvantages? I have an old 20 and am planning on converting it to a folding recumbent. Thanks for any info.
Personally I would stay WAY AWAY from the SA 5spd. There is a reason Brompton doesn't fit them anymore! Shimano makes an 8spd internal hub (Nexus); I have it on 3 of my bikes at the moment. I also have one of their 7spds as well. SRAM has a good 7spd and V1nce has one on his Raleigh 20 that I rode. SRAM will soon have the 9spd but it is not currently available and is considered a 2007 model.

Between the 8spd Shimano Nexus and the SRAM 7spd I personally like the feel better of the Shimano but some argue that it may not be as reliable as the SRAM. I don't believe that but even if it only lasted 20,000 miles instead of 25,000 miles I'll be looking for better options by then anyway.
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Old 03-13-06, 10:24 PM   #5
spambait11
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Great looking bike. Not too crazy about the pedals, though.
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Old 03-13-06, 11:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
Between the 8spd Shimano Nexus and the SRAM 7spd I personally like the feel better of the Shimano but some argue that it may not be as reliable as the SRAM. I don't believe that but even if it only lasted 20,000 miles instead of 25,000 miles I'll be looking for better options by then anyway.
Its that "clickbox" on the SRAM that has me going for the Nexus. I know that it makes wheel
removal easier, but it scares me. I don't have a kick stand and I imagine I will drop my bike
on the clickbox or hit it against something. It is more likely to get hit than a derailleur.
Otherwise I would get the 7 spd SRAM.
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Old 03-14-06, 02:54 PM   #7
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DaFriMon: Lovely bike sir!

hbob: I wrote in a post last week about SRAM clickboxes the other day - they are quite fragile but not in maybe the way you imagine as they come with a hooped metal bracket that goes between the wheel nut and frame that loops around the clickbox like small bullbar protecting the box in the event of your bike falling on it's side or being clouted. However - there is a little thumbscrew that holds the box in position on the axle which is not ideally suited to repeated removal of the wheel for punctures; on mine it broke and though it has been epoxy-resin'd back in it's about to go again. Maybe it's due to overtightening once but as it's a metal-into-plastic thing the whole unit needs to be replaced. Pfft.
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