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  1. #1
    freed psycho. RUN. freecycle's Avatar
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    Touring on a Twenty

    The idea struck me when I was reading about the worlds most travelled man on the Bike Friday site.

    Ive been itching to get my hands on a Raleigh Twenty for a little while now, hopefully by monday ill score a cheap project one to fiddle with. Originally it was intended as the all-around bike. Groceries, something for my girlfriend to ride around on occasionally, and travel (popping to see friends in another town, etc.). At the same time ive been looking into building another bike for some touring, something stable and strong enough to carry all my camping gear and still handle well and not be torture to ride.

    I got to thinking, the twenty is touted as having a "bulletproof" hinge mechanism, takes a rack front and back (ill make it, if it doesnt) and looks like it would have a low enough centre of gravity to make it handle great at speed when it loaded down. It would fit on a coach bus or train better than a full hybrid or lightweight, and would fit easier into my canoe as well. Why not kill two purposes with one bike, and set up the twenty as a grocery mule, and convert it to a tourer when I need to?

    Any thoughts on taking a twenty for a two-to-four day ride, packed with about 40-50 pounds of gear? And what about the three-speed hub? It gets a little hilly up North here. Will it be strong enough to do the job?

    Speed isnt a huge issue, if I can make 100km a day im happy. Can that little bike pull it off?

    Im calling on your esteemed knowledge, your input is much appreciated!

    (oh and dont bother recommending a dahon or a bike friday, this is about the twenty, thanks!)
    "This thing looks like Wavy Gravy binged on Kool Aid and jellybeans, took some bad acid, and threw up under a tree." --Bike Snob NYC

  2. #2
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    I'm planning to do some on my newly acquired Twenty. The upgrades I have planned and in process are:

    1) Gearing. 46 tooth front (maybe the original crank) and the "double sprocket" trick in the back with a 16 paired with a 22 for a bail-out gear for hills, both on the SA AW 3-speed hub.

    2) Better front brakes. I cut the head-tube down and installed a 20" MTB fork with a threaded headset. Then canti-brakes on an aluminum rim. I have a quill stem steerer extender and a tall quill stem for it to get the height to a manageable level.

    3) Racks. I have my doubts about the Plescher original rear, but I haven't decided yet about its replacement. The front can be a canti-stud mounted MTB rack, cut to 20".

    The rims and wheels and SA hub are plenty strong, IMO.

  3. #3
    freed psycho. RUN. freecycle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeazel View Post
    I'm planning to do some on my newly acquired Twenty. The upgrades I have planned and in process are:

    1) Gearing. 46 tooth front (maybe the original crank) and the "double sprocket" trick in the back with a 16 paired with a 22 for a bail-out gear for hills, both on the SA AW 3-speed hub.

    3) Racks. I have my doubts about the Plescher original rear, but I haven't decided yet about its replacement. The front can be a canti-stud mounted MTB rack, cut to 20".

    The rims and wheels and SA hub are plenty strong, IMO.
    Do you mean running two sprockets side by side on the same threading? sounds genius, turn that SA into a six speed, tell me how that works out i may just consider it.

    Wheel-wise I had the same thought, smaller wheels tend to be plenty strong, and the BMX world has some pretty bombproof ones if the stock doesnt work out well I think.

    What are you thinking for handlebars? Im thinking drops, would give a few more positions to play with while on a long journey, and would give me a stronger push on uphills. I havent seen the twenty up for sale yet, but it sounds like its in decent shape, i wont know unfortunately what i need to do on it until i see it, but i definately need a new chain and some tlc to begin with.
    "This thing looks like Wavy Gravy binged on Kool Aid and jellybeans, took some bad acid, and threw up under a tree." --Bike Snob NYC

  4. #4
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    Click on Jur's link. He's the R20 touring expert.

  5. #5
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    " The idea struck me when I was reading about the worlds most travelled man on the Bike Friday site."

    Link, please. Are they talking about Heinz Stucke? I met him years ago in NYC.

    Link:

    http://bikechina.com/ct-heinzstucke1z.html

  6. #6
    freed psycho. RUN. freecycle's Avatar
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    yeah stucke! he has the bike friday now, such a brilliant way to live a lifetime eh. how was he in person?

    whereabouts is jurs link? could be staring me in the face, i apologize
    "This thing looks like Wavy Gravy binged on Kool Aid and jellybeans, took some bad acid, and threw up under a tree." --Bike Snob NYC

  7. #7
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The dual drive on my other Twenty "Grace"... it gives me a great 6 speed gear range (32-72 gear inches) and no overlap with 12.5 % jumps between gears.

    Since the chain ring on a P20 is a 3/32 I used 2 Shimano 3/32 cogs (16/18) in place of the 1/8 SA cog and spacers, used a Suntour derailer, and a thumbie to handle the rear shifting duties. Some small modifications had to be made to the d hanger to get it to work well.

    I took her on a group ride a few weeks ago and folks were having trouble hanging on to my back wheel on some steep climbs where I never had to get out of the saddle and could spin my way up which was good since I am not up to standing climbs yet.

    She's nearly as fast as her partner.






  8. #8
    freed psycho. RUN. freecycle's Avatar
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    did you get new bars on her? she looks different.

    and hrm that sounds a lot easier than i expected, ill have to take a shot at it once i get the damn thing.

    right now theres some n00b trying to pawn one for 120, but he knows apparently little about bikes and less about their value, its rusty and a little tattered, and 120 bucks. Im going to take a look over and convince him there are horrible problems with it, and try to get it for half that =D.

    I poked through Sheldons and Jurs sites and found my touring idea stronger and stronger. I think I am definately going for it. Im picking up a cheap and ugly, but large set of panniers for twenty bucks soon as well.
    Im a very light packer, so for a weeks journey I think I can pack most everything into the 28L worth of pannier with the sleeping bag on top of it all, and perhaps another small set of panniers for the front for the water, and bits and bobs. For now I think ill be pretty comfortable, even when i become canoe-born. The cargo really helps when youre soloing.

    Im going to investigate some manner of portaging the canoe with the bike. Can you imagine? That would make life so easy.
    "This thing looks like Wavy Gravy binged on Kool Aid and jellybeans, took some bad acid, and threw up under a tree." --Bike Snob NYC

  9. #9
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    free - I have two Phillip's 20's ... Grace just got set up for commuting and utilitarian riding and at some point I plan to add a hitch for my trailer since she has the gearing for it and if she doesn't, I have bigger cogs.



    One issue I found with my larger paniers is that with the short stays on the Twenty kicking them was a problem... running smaller paniers in the rear and the same up front might address this.

  10. #10
    freed psycho. RUN. freecycle's Avatar
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    I think ill be replacing the original rack with something higher to prevent the heel-strike,

    And its bloody hard to find one in Toronto! They've become fashionable, and thats the death of value. Im still poking around, but hey if I can get it for sixty bucks, thats worth as much as three hours of time looking for a free one (a likely trashed free one).
    "This thing looks like Wavy Gravy binged on Kool Aid and jellybeans, took some bad acid, and threw up under a tree." --Bike Snob NYC

  11. #11
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    Hey freecycle,
    I think you could do a lot worse than use a twenty for touring. I started riding my Twenty when I weighed about 260lbs and it handled fine. I believe you can get a front mount rack at Nashbar that will fit your Twenty. Good luck in scoring one,
    Juan

  12. #12
    freed psycho. RUN. freecycle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juan162 View Post
    Hey freecycle,
    I think you could do a lot worse than use a twenty for touring. I started riding my Twenty when I weighed about 260lbs and it handled fine. I believe you can get a front mount rack at Nashbar that will fit your Twenty. Good luck in scoring one,
    Juan
    Wow, thanks for that endorsement! Im seeing one Monday, so fingers crossed for good condition.
    "This thing looks like Wavy Gravy binged on Kool Aid and jellybeans, took some bad acid, and threw up under a tree." --Bike Snob NYC

  13. #13
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Twenty's are hellishly strong bikes and with 20 inch wheels can carry more and take more abuse than a conventional touring bike.

    The most crucial changes one needs to make is to change out the wheels for alloy versions and at the very least, change the front wheel... they have some of the poorest wet braking of any bikes which stems from long reach calipers, steel rims, and a very high rolling speed on those wheels.

    My fixed Twenty was down to 27 pounds before I pout the fenders back on and added the new Brook's saddle and when I replace the fork and get an alloy stem and bars I should be able to bring to back to that lower weight although it is by no means weighty.

    I can also see it as being a decent tourer.

  14. #14
    freed psycho. RUN. freecycle's Avatar
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    This is creepy, http://toronto.en.craigslist.ca/tor/bik/655799939.html

    Its like the fates are telling me to go touring on a twenty. What do you think? Sounds like a sweet deal to me.
    And panniers are arriving tonight or tomorrow, will provide impressions.

    Oh and sixty? Dibs. You aint getting the fork by airmail from under MY nose.
    "This thing looks like Wavy Gravy binged on Kool Aid and jellybeans, took some bad acid, and threw up under a tree." --Bike Snob NYC

  15. #15
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    With the 20 by 1.95 tyres I am running both folders I am opting to use a rigid fork as even at maximum pressure they roll fast and are great at sucking up the bumps.

    If I was going to run high pressure 451's a suspension fork would be essential.

  16. #16
    freed psycho. RUN. freecycle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    With the 20 by 1.95 tyres I am running both folders I am opting to use a rigid fork as even at maximum pressure they roll fast and are great at sucking up the bumps.

    If I was going to run high pressure 451's a suspension fork would be essential.
    Ah its shot anyway, its a short steerer tube and he has a buyer. It probably would have been a jerry rigging of high proportion to get a rack on that thing too. I just hope after a long day on iffy roads my arse wont be completely numb
    "This thing looks like Wavy Gravy binged on Kool Aid and jellybeans, took some bad acid, and threw up under a tree." --Bike Snob NYC

  17. #17
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Fat tires and a Brooks saddle, maybe a sprung one. I went shopping on my "new" (40 yrs old) folder today. One tyre is 1.75, one is 2.00. Old sprung saddle. Soft as anything. Actually a small problem that the thing started "bouncing". You get the feeling the wheels is not round if you know what I mean. Plenty soft enough. I am planning on one or two more of this kind, no heavy forks on my bikes when it can be done this easy.

  18. #18
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Another thing about the Twenty is it's hella flexible. Just this aft'noon I was angle-grinding off the brake bridge of my own project bike so it can take bigger rims. Seems it can fit even a 28" (bigger than 700c) wheel at the back should your whim go that way. So you could have a bombproof tourer with big wheels if that was your whim if you can lose the bridges and find a compatible fork.
    This whim is obviously including very high BB height for zero pedal stikes *ever*

  19. #19
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    So you did start Lil'Pixel?

    A person who I am suprised hasn't chimed in on this thread is Stevegor. He tours a ton on his R20. In fact I think he also is starting a build on another one.

    R-20's : Ya gotta love a bike that gives so many option...

    come check the progress...
    http://web.mac.com/phatatude/Green_S...enty_Blog.html
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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


    Come check the progress...
    http://web.mac.com/phatatude/Green_S...enty_Blog.html

  20. #20
    freed psycho. RUN. freecycle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittlePixel View Post
    Another thing about the Twenty is it's hella flexible. Just this aft'noon I was angle-grinding off the brake bridge of my own project bike so it can take bigger rims. Seems it can fit even a 28" (bigger than 700c) wheel at the back should your whim go that way. So you could have a bombproof tourer with big wheels if that was your whim if you can lose the bridges and find a compatible fork.
    This whim is obviously including very high BB height for zero pedal stikes *ever*
    That immediately made me think of 24 inch rims with fat road tires. Brilliant! That high a bb would lend itself well to the odd lookout trail or day-hike from the campsite through the woods (with correct tires of course).

    Im getting antsy, there are very few twenties left in toronto in decent shape that arent a little overpriced and i really want to get a week in fiddling with the frame and seeing what its capable of. The one i saw had a shredded bb and SA 3-speed, wasnt worth 120 bucks covered in gold plate.

    Anyone want to start mailing me the unused bits off their parts bikes? i need a frame, a crank would be nice, mebbe some bars and a seatpost? anyone?
    "This thing looks like Wavy Gravy binged on Kool Aid and jellybeans, took some bad acid, and threw up under a tree." --Bike Snob NYC

  21. #21
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The 24 inch conversion has intrigued me thinking that a folding mountain bike would be a kick to ride and the Twenty's frame can handle this... it would of course have to be an SS.


  22. #22
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phatatude View Post
    So you did start Lil'Pixel?
    I guess I did - Angle-grinders rock!
    I got all the paint off with a blow-torch and wire brush, removed the kickstand fitting, pump-mounts, chainguard bracket and brake and chainstay bridges. The back can now fit a 28" wheel with about 1 1/2 inches to spare, if one was so inclined, though that would be overkill I feel - 650c or 26" MTB or Iso 520 (24") is likely a better fit.

    Oh and I removed most of the headtube below the junction with the top-tube so it can accept 24" forks without having silly chopper-bike steerer angle. It looks rocking in it's dull steel with bright filed bits haha.

    Plans: to have a shot at the inspired three-thread UN-54 bb fix posted the other day - looks like a good one. See how 650c wheels will go and if not then maybe look at 520s. Erm. Think about gearing options and whether to go retro with NOS vintage parts (If it's to be like the Team Pro visuals you've seen then it should be Campag Record really) or modern on the groupset. Front derailleur?

    I need to find someone that can braze in a new brake bridge - possibly on the chain rather than seat-stays, as well as get a compressor for my 80s airbrush so I can have a stab at painting it all with no decals once I have all the bits I need.
    Last edited by LittlePixel; 04-26-08 at 03:09 PM.

  23. #23
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freecycle View Post
    That immediately made me think of 24 inch rims with fat road tires. Brilliant!
    I think it'd be up for the job but you'd have to move/replace the bridges in the rear triangle to retain the integrity. I think for a 'roady' conversion you might not need to (Track bikes don't always seem to need bridges) but on something that's gonna plug a bit of mud you'd want to have as much stiffness as possible.

    Also - and I'm sure you've already thought of this - but the stays narrow as they taper to the seat tube so you may not be able to fit the fattest of tyres. I'd be looking to find the 24" equivalent of Cyclocross tyres - ie not madly fat but with the nobblies you need on the edges. Even if a fat tyre does fit there's the clearance it needs should it get clogged with mud/snow to factor in.

    But I think it'd be a sweet conversion and a bit of a first - I've seen twentys that have bmx tyres that do the odd bit of gravel and trail riding - heck I've ridden trail on Stelvio slicks a couple of times, but a bigger wheeled twenty for touring and off-road would be a really interesting bike to see. I think Raleigh invented the Jeep of bike frames here in some ways - it can with the right parts be a lot of different things to a lot of different people.
    Last edited by LittlePixel; 04-26-08 at 03:02 PM.

  24. #24
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    The 24 inch conversion has intrigued me thinking that a folding mountain bike would be a kick to ride and the Twenty's frame can handle this... it would of course have to be an SS.

    I couldn't resist. Wheel size is guessed a bit (Now I see it in the page I think they're more like 451s on this beastie but you get the idea).

    I just wanted to sketch it together and is a concept I like a lot...
    Bits are off a Trek Fuel. Y
    ay to the chameleon-like nature of the Twenty frame...

    Last edited by LittlePixel; 04-26-08 at 03:04 PM.

  25. #25
    freed psycho. RUN. freecycle's Avatar
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    haha, brilliant! you MUST do this.

    I now own a large set of panniers, yay! And I have an in on a czech folding bike. It has a weird hinge, it hinges at the seattube, vertical hinge, the swivel point is on the bottom and it looks like theres a bolt on the top of the hinge that locks it, the bolt goes through the seattube.

    Honestly it looked like a clever mechanism from the four feet I was away from it, I will post a picture when I get one from the seller. I would like to go with a twenty, but im going to take a look at this one, I havent seen a similar one yet. The geometry looks very close to the twenty, except with the different hinge mech. Dare I say, it looks like it may be a bit lighter than the Twenty, again, just from afar.

    I will be test riding soon, will attempt to kick its ass of course, and get back to you all with how sturdy the hinge is. Still, keeping an eye out for the venerable twenty.
    "This thing looks like Wavy Gravy binged on Kool Aid and jellybeans, took some bad acid, and threw up under a tree." --Bike Snob NYC

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