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  1. #1
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    Do you fold your R20?

    I just picked up a nice 20. I've read quite a bit about them and have logged much time just looking (drooling) at pictures--particularly customized 20s. I finally decided to commit and bought one. I am surprised at just how big it is! I drive a four door civic and found it pretty hard to fit into the car folded. I thought I could use the trunk, but went with the back seat in the end.

    I wonder how others take advantage of the R20 folding capability-- do you fold it to save any space? Or do you tend not even to fold?

    Also, anybody have any customized ways of holding the R20 in its fold? How about resting the bike once it's folded in any other way than resting on the crank and chain? I searched the threads and haven't seen mention of this, let alone much discussion particular to the folding functionality of the R20.

    Thanks for any thoughts...

  2. #2
    jur
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    I fold occasionally when I catch a lift with SWMBO in the car. I just fold it, do nothing with saddle, bars are fixed and so need tools so they stay as is, and stand it in the back of the wagon. The chainwheel rests on something to protect the carpetry.

    It is still large but at least fits into a vehicle with little trouble. I probably wouldn't bother to fold if I had to go on the train.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  3. #3
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    My hands are up - it's pretty rare that I fold mine. It fits in the back of our econobox car if you fold down one half of the split rear seat but yes - they are bulky as hell compared to a modern folder - especially as Jur says - if you can't rotate the bars or lower the saddle without tools...

  4. #4
    There's a biking season? yohannrjm's Avatar
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    I have a Twenty and a Civic as well. When I first bought it, I had to pick it up from work, as I'd ridden one of my other bikes in on that day. I was very surprised at how large it was once folded. It would not fit in the trunk, so I had to pull the passenger seat forward, and then put it in the back seat.

    I don't think these bikes were made to be a commuting folder. They're too heavy and unwieldy for that. It's more of a stow-away design. I use that aspect of it every day. I always store the bike folded in the basement. It's so much easier to take down there once it's folded. It takes up less space, and I use only one hand to carry it, so it allows me to hold onto the railing as I go down those steep, narrow stairs.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your thoughts. I think once I lighten it up a bit with some changes, the prospect of folding on the go or just stowing will be more manageable. I'd still like to figure out an unobtrusive way of securing the R20 fold, like maybe a bit of bungee somehow.

    It's odd that the non-folding 20 seems relatively rare--especially given the limited practicality of the folding R20. But then, as yohannrjm notes, maybe the bulk of its practicality lies in its stowability.

  6. #6
    There's a biking season? yohannrjm's Avatar
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    Incidentally, once folded, my bike rests quite steadily on the rear wheel and rack. Hasn't fallen over yet.

    Also, I removed the fenders (I want to restore them to some of their original glory, once I figure out how), along with the seatpost and saddle (changed for alloy post and light saddle). I also changed the front wheel for an alloy one. It seems to have made a significant difference as to weight.

    I'll be looking for some light fenders, so the bike can be ridden in the wet.

    I also want to put on some short reach brake calipers. However, Sheldon's homemade drop-bolts are beyond my reach at the moment. He says something about reflector mounts (I wonder where you can get them...LBS maybe).

  7. #7
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    Well I guess I can say I fold mine all the time taking it to the Bike shops. It fits in the back seat of my Honda Accord. I have a bike rack, but in the winter its just easier to toss it in the back seat. I still have yet to ride it though But the day is comming soon check out the site... http://web.mac.com/phatatude/Green_S...enty_Blog.html . As for the weight thingie that Yohannrjm mentioned, mine only needs a front caliper and its weight today was 22.4 pounds. That was also before I replaced the seat post clamp with aluminum (today), and I have still yet to put the lighter seat and seat post on it. When I first got the bike its weight was right at 37.7 pounds. It would be nice to get it into the sub 20 pound arena, but Im thinkin' Phat chance without high dollar Campy equip. and carbon forks. (I found some carbon forks, but they were for children's racers).

    Check the site for progress...
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    R-20's - To fold or not to fold... who cares, they're fippin' cool either way
    Last edited by phatatude; 03-29-08 at 12:40 AM.
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  8. #8
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    I used to store mine folded in the shed (no space otherwise), and I used to fold it to fit in the back of my wife's Fiesta (tight!). Other than that, the fold was there for days when all the bike racks on the train were full, which means you can't otherwise bring it on board. That only happened once in 8 months, but if there'd been no fold, I'd have waiting an extra 45 mins, which when I was soaking wet on a winters day didn't appeal much.

  9. #9
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    "Incidentally, once folded, my bike rests quite steadily on the rear wheel and rack. Hasn't fallen over yet."

    Yeah--I've seen this in some pictures and will try it when I remove the fenders. CHeg seems to have worked pretty hard at making an R20 a bike to keep at his side--good folded pictures and the suitcase is pretty cool too (http://home.comcast.net/~cheg01/r20.html , though I know you're beyond familiar with it).

    Speaking of pictures, it'd be cool to see a folded R20 squeezed into a Fiesta! Man, I thought my Civic was tight.

    And by the way Phatatude, your site caused a lot of drooling (a compliment). I think the combo of seeing the bike in the shop and accessible info. helped put me over the top. I'll definitely be checking in!

  10. #10
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Sadly, I never took any pics, and the bike was stolen. I do have another 20 now, but I don't have the car anymore, and the new bike has big wide cowhorn bars. Whether I can fit it in the back of my Citroen AX, I do not know.....

  11. #11
    Avoid trauma Lake_Tom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yohannrjm View Post
    I have a Twenty and a Civic as well. ... I was very surprised at how large it was once folded. It would not fit in the trunk, so I had to pull the passenger seat forward, and then put it in the back seat.

    I don't think these bikes were made to be a commuting folder. They're too heavy and unwieldy for that. It's more of a stow-away design. ...
    Are you saying it would not fit in the trunk even with the seat and stem "telescoped"? I got an R20 in my shed and I just know my next car is going to be a small one. thanks
    I smell the spring in the smoky wind.

  12. #12
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    As you'll see in my post, a stock 20 with the bars and stem lowered, and turned sideways, and the seat lowered, will *just* fit in a Ford Fiesta. Just. In the trunk, that is, with all the seats in their normal positions. I've never owned a Civic, but I'd be surprised if it didn't fit.

  13. #13
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    Folded mine once to see if it would fit in the trunk (boot) of my wife's Chevy Prism. Just barely fit after removing the bars and seat post. But I've no need to as my (rarely used) motor vehicle is a Dodge minivan.

    Picked up another folding R20 but I may swap frames with a friend who has one that doesn't fold. It would be interesting to compare folding to non frame weights.

    I just saw that 1-7/8" x 0.058" 4130 tubing is available. I could replace the folding plates with a brazed on sleeve. Save some weight and I could extend the wheelbase slightly

  14. #14
    There's a biking season? yohannrjm's Avatar
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    phatatude - Great blog! Thanks for the information you have up there. I'm especially thankful for the information on switching out the fork. I'm considering changing the headset and fork, but not immediately.

    Lake_Tom - I think I could get the bike into the trunk of my Civic now. I've made a few changes. Also, the trunk is a little emptier. Still, it will be easier to shove it behind the passenger seat.

  15. #15
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    Yohannrjm, dont mention it. The site is there for people to see and share. I figured the bike has enough quirks that some one out there can learn from all of my screw ups I have two more Twenties that I may eventually hot rod, depending on how lite the wallet is when I get finished with this one
    The whole folding issue with the R-20 (not that its a real issue has to be put into the perspective of how old this bike is. The fact that it had a horizonal hinge was revolutionary enough And as far as fitting into a car over here in the states, If they had been here in the numbers they were in Europe, they would have easily fit into the boats that we called cars in the 70's and 80's. Think of all of the R-20's contemporaries in the 70's. From what I can remember (remeber I am in the U.S. and we didnt have many folders here), the R-20 would have been light years ahead of the competition vs. the vertical hinged bikes of its day. I do like the fact that I can fold it if I have to. In fact, my R-20 should get plenty of folded time because there is 4 people in our family (soon to be 5) and my bike rack only holds 3 bikes.
    Then I have to go back to why we all have R-20's. Especially us who are modifying ours. We all could have bought a folder for less money than we have spent, some of us could have bought two or three We bought them because they are a cool project and or a REALLY solidly designed, straight foward bike... And they look cool (actually these are some of my reasons for buying, I cant speak for the rest of you

    Oh, and one other thing is the fixies that only have a front brake come apart into two parts "Lickity Split"!

    Check the progress and leave some comments
    http://web.mac.com/phatatude/Green_S...enty_Blog.html

    R-20's - "Why are you ridin' a stoopid folding bike?", "Um, cuz that's what the cool kids ride..."
    Last edited by phatatude; 03-27-08 at 07:14 PM.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Phatatude- Ride em' till the wheels fall off, or your jewels go numb...


    Come check the progress...
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  16. #16
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    I've realized that one of the reasons I've been drawn to the 20 in particular, besides the reasons Phatatude cites (i.e.-cool project, solid bike, etc.), is precisely because of how it looks folded. One of the images of the 20 that's stuck with me since I've known about them has to be one on John Allen's site, "Twenty-Five Years on a Twenty" (http://www.bikexprt.com/bicycle/mytwenty.htm). There's a shot of his 20 at Logan Airport, folded and locked up on some kind of handrail in some parking garage. It's pretty gangly and awkward-looking in its fold, like an old bike cracked in half over a railing. But there's something very cool and unique about that look too, and it's gotten more appealing the more I've looked at it. Even if it doesn't fit very well in my trunk, it'll be not-fitting-that-well in pretty cool way!

  17. #17
    shaken, not stirred. gnome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jagee View Post
    It's odd that the non-folding 20 seems relatively rare--especially given the limited practicality of the folding R20. But then, as yohannrjm notes, maybe the bulk of its practicality lies in its stowability.
    I wish the folding R20 was easy to find here. In NZ the most common twenty is the locally made non-folder. I wish I had a even rarer locally made seperatable.

    I have folded my twenty once. I haven't ridden it yet as I need to regrease the hubs. If I want to take a light well folded bike, I'll take my Bickerton, but if I want a solid riding bike that just happens to fold then I'll take the R20 (when it's been serviced).
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle"
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  18. #18
    There's a biking season? yohannrjm's Avatar
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    I thought of converting my bike into a fixed-gear, but then thought better of it. We have a lot of rolling hills here, and even though I am in good shape, I'm not going to try and mash an R-20 up them (or spin down, for that matter).


    Hmm....I was supposed to service the S-A hub yesterday. Maybe, since I've never done this before, I'll have my LBS do it. Can't afford a new rear wheel yet.

  19. #19
    Avoid trauma Lake_Tom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jagee View Post
    ... It's pretty gangly and awkward-looking in its fold, like an old bike cracked in half over a railing. But there's something very cool and unique about that look too, and it's gotten more appealing the more I've looked at it. Even if it doesn't fit very well in my trunk, it'll be not-fitting-that-well in pretty cool way!
    Deep

    Thanks for your input, Johann and SammyBoy!
    I smell the spring in the smoky wind.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by yohannrjm View Post
    Hmm....I was supposed to service the S-A hub yesterday. Maybe, since I've never done this before, I'll have my LBS do it. Can't afford a new rear wheel yet.
    It's really pretty simple if you have the right info.

    Download this Word file by clicking on the URL. http://bikesmithdesign.com/SA/SA-tips.doc Some useful info and links to much more. It's what I hand out when I teach Sturmey Archer overhaul classes.

  21. #21
    There's a biking season? yohannrjm's Avatar
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    MnHPVA Guy - Thanks a lot for that. I may go ahead and do the overhaul myself.

    Maybe you can help me - I oiled the hub and the shifting between second and third gear is working fine. However, when I try to engage first it seems to go into a false neutral. The pedals just spin around without the gears engaging. I adjusted the indicator, but it did not help.

    I've been trying to figure out what could be causing this before I open the hub up. I hope you have a few ideas about what's causing this.

  22. #22
    jur
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    There's only one cause - maladjusted indicator rod. In 2nd gear, the end of the rod must be level with the axle end, viewed through the hole in the axle nut.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  23. #23
    There's a biking season? yohannrjm's Avatar
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    Yes, that's what I thought. However, even with the indicator rod adjusted properly (I checked several times that it was level with the axle in second gear), it still is in neutral in first. I tried a systematic series of experiments with the indicator rod slightly forward of and behind the axle end, to no avail.

    Judging by the state of the front hub, I guess this bike has not been serviced (or used) much since the SA hub was made. That's why I thought it might be time to service it completely.

    Thanks for your input.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by yohannrjm View Post
    Yes, that's what I thought. However, even with the indicator rod adjusted properly (I checked several times that it was level with the axle in second gear), it still is in neutral in first. I tried a systematic series of experiments with the indicator rod slightly forward of and behind the axle end, to no avail.

    Judging by the state of the front hub, I guess this bike has not been serviced (or used) much since the SA hub was made. That's why I thought it might be time to service it completely.

    Thanks for your input.
    If you (or Jur) had bothered to read the Fault Finding PDF that my file suggested that you download, you would see that this adjustment isn't even mentioned as a possible cause for this problem.

    However, neither is the most common cause. Most likely the low gear pawls aren't engaging because they are gummed up with dried lube. Less likely is that you have 2 broken low gear R springs or that the pawls are rusted in place.

    Since the other 2 gears are working OK with the indicator adjusted properly, you should be able to rule out the use of a long indicator in a short axle.

  25. #25
    There's a biking season? yohannrjm's Avatar
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    Well, is my face red!!

    I hadn't got around to reading the suggested documents (though I did read your word doc). Since a maladjusted indicator rod caused slippage in second, I thought it would be the same for first gear. My inexperience with these hubs shows up here. However, now that I know where to find more information, hopefully my troubleshooting will fare better as I educate myself about them.


    Sorry about taking up your time. I'll keep you posted about progress with the hub. I hope to get to it tonight.

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