Low tech/learner R20 Mods
I have been really impressed with the Raleigh Twenty mods, and am thinking of buying one and having a go myself, as a fun thing to do, but also as a learning process as someone who has never modded anything before.
So, in order of simplicity, so I can build my knowledge and skills slowly but surely, what are the best modifications to make to a standard R20 ideally using standardized off-the-shelf parts ?
Last edited by gringo_gus; 06-11-08 at 05:01 AM.
Hi, Gus, welcome to the wonderful world of the R20. Some of us have gotten pretty wild, but the R20 is a great little bike to start on the slippery slope of frankenbike. Probably the first thing I would do to an R20 would be to just take apart, grease, clean and adjust everything. You'll learn plenty just doing that.
Not the simplest, but I think the most important thing the R20 needs is a new set of wheels with alloy rims and stainless spokes. You can use your original hubs, and it's really easy to follow Sheldon's wheelbuilding primer http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html. If you follow the recipe precisely, you'll have a nice shiny new set of wheels that you can be proud of. Plus they'll stop in the rain. The only deviations from the recipe I had was to not bend the spokes around each other so I could guage tension by plucking them like a tuning fork, and everything had to be mirror-image because the holes in my rim were offset the wrong way. If you run into trouble, you can take the wheels to your LBS to be finished and tensioned.
Good luck, and before you know it you'll be posting here about bottom brackets and dual-drives!
Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc
I mirror the above about wheels - safer too. Make sure you get the right size alloy rims for your bike though; When I did mine I was not aware of the two popular sizes of so-called '20 inch' wheels and accidentally changed the bike from it's native 451 size down to 406. It worked because of my new forks—but it's good to get the right size wheels off the bat as you don't have to change your brake calipers then.
Usually - American/Canadian Twentys have 406 wheels (the BMX size) and English/European Twentys have 451, which are bigger and harder to find rims and tyres for, though in the high end, you can get nicer 'road bike' skinny rim/tyre combos in this size.
To shed a little weight—you might want to consider swapping the steel bars and seatpost for alloy versions as well - a pretty easy upgrade, though the seatpost is a less-than usual size and you may need to include a shim so's you can fit a modern post.
After that - well then you're getting into the complicated territory of fork swaps and bottom-bracket transplants. When I did mine I'd never done anything like it before - so being a beginner doesn't mean you can't tackle anything, but it takes cash and time and patience to get the parts you need. Oh and tools. Lots of tools. Add to that getting the cost of getting the *right parts this time* and sending the wrong ones back
Good luck with the project - you're in the right place when it comes to tips and advice!
Oh and yes - we do want oodles of pictures of the conversion!
Last edited by LittlePixel; 06-11-08 at 07:34 AM.
Reason: grammar woes
Hi folks. Im not new here. Im Alecw35. But I cant get logged in on that name...cant get a password GRRR
What about changing the seat post for an alloy one.
Its a 28.6MM diameter. Thats 1 1/8" size.
Lots of modern bikes use this size now.
The seat clamp on the frame...if its a removable one is a 31.8mm size
So you can change that for an alloy one too.