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  1. #1
    Bromptonaut stocksy's Avatar
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    Wheels for Raleigh 20

    Hello everyone,

    I do a lot of my own bike maintenance, but this is my first restoration project, I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew!

    I've got a non-folding 1977 Raleigh 20 which I aim to restore to a rideable condition.



    The wheels shown are 451 size and will have to be junked due to a mix of corrosion and horrible rim damage. What I think I want to do is purchase some replacement rims and spokes and lace these to the perfectly serviceable hubs, however I am confused about the different 20" sizes - 451 and 406.

    If I replace the wheels with 406s will the original brake calipers on the bike reach the rims? What size spokes would I use to lace these to the existing hubs. Am I going about this the right way?

  2. #2
    Senior Member scoatw's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stocksy View Post
    I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew!
    I'm sure not!

    Quote Originally Posted by stocksy View Post
    I've got a non-folding 1977 Raleigh 20 which I aim to restore to a rideable condition.
    It's lovely in that sherbet green!

    Quote Originally Posted by stocksy View Post
    The wheels shown are 451 size and will have to be junked due to a mix of corrosion and horrible rim damage.
    That does happen. They don't help to stop the bike in chromed steel either especially in the wet so it's easily the most valid first upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by stocksy View Post
    What I think I want to do is purchase some replacement rims and spokes and lace these to the perfectly serviceable hubs, however I am confused about the different 20" sizes - 451 and 406.
    You aren't the first!
    When I did mine I inadvertantly converted it from 451 to 406 without really planning to because both are often described as '20 inch'.

    The sizes are actually the diameter described in millimetres, so the 451 originals are about 45mm taller (excluding tyre size), or 22.5 taller from the axle than the more easily sourced 406 size, which is the more popular, international size used on BMXs, kids MTBs and modern '20 inch' wheeled folding bikes like Dahon, Downtube, Swift etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by stocksy View Post
    If I replace the wheels with 406s will the original brake calipers on the bike reach the rims?
    Not really - to do this you'd need to source some extra long reaching calipers that make up for the 22.mm shortfall using the smaller rims. This can be done but you lose braking power with longer caliper arms as the position of the fulcrum (bolt) is further away from the load making it harder to apply good braking pressure to the rim. There are other ways - some people have sourced hubs with drum brakes and ditched the calipers altogether. I was getting my whole frame resprayed so I took the opportunity to get some v-brake bosses brazed on to the stays so I could utilise some modern brakes at the rear (I'd switched out the forks so didn't need to do this on the front). Or you could go for the less good looking but easily as functional drop bolt route which does the job well - see Sheldon's excellent article on making them here:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/home-drop.html

    All this pre-assumes you are making the move to the 406 size, which in fact you don't have to do.
    Since the 70s 451s have all but disappeared from use in the UK on new bikes, but it's a size that's now used a lot for more 'road' oriented small wheel machines, from recumbents to high end packable folders like Oregon's Bike Friday. This is good for the Twenty as you can with a bit of international mail-ordering get hold of some rather nice modern alloy rims in this size, as well as a pretty comprehensive gamut of tyres from skinny road to hardy touring tyre. Rims are still very hard to find in Europe, but tyres (peculiarly) are more easily sourced from places like Avon Valley Cyles (www.foldingbikes.co.uk).

    You can still get steel 451s to replace like-for-like if true restoration is your aim from the only place I know that sells any 451 rim in the UK - St John Street cycles whom I'd vouch for in terms of friendly and efficient web-based mail-order sales. They'll also sell you some low-pressure schwalbe utility tyres.

    Rim:
    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/category-...-(451)-636.htm

    Tyres:
    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/category-...es-etc-195.htm

    Spokes really depend on the rims you end up buying, and shouldn't really be bought until you have the rims and (nicely reconditioned) hubs in your hands so you can do the measuring you need to do to get the right sizes. With a hub gear you don't need to dish the rear wheel so you will only need to get two sizes - one size for the front and one for the rear, but you'll need to use some sort of spoke calculator to ensure you get the right length. Google 'spoke calculator' and you'll find a myriad of online ones that will spew out the length you need once you key in a few salient (accurately measures) dimensions.

    I think your choice of wheel size depends a lot on the idea behind the bike and the budget you have in mind. If it's a money no object hot rod for the road, I'd get some new skinny 451s; if it's a commuter then I'd make the change to 406, and either use drop bolts or get some new v-brake bosses put on the rear. If it's a true resto to make it look showroom fresh then I'd go for some new chrome ones, but not use it in an Autumn deluge!

    Hope that's some help. Keep asking questions - there's loads of Twenty nuts on here that will be more than happy to help with your project bike.

    Huw
    Last edited by LittlePixel; 10-01-08 at 06:43 PM.

  4. #4
    Bromptonaut stocksy's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for the informative replies, plenty of information for me to mull over there! littlepixel, that twenty on your site is superb - want!

    The bike is actually intended for my mum. She has restricted movement in her knees due to an injury and could no longer pedal (or even sit on) her touring bike. She has tried this twenty and loved it, in fact yesterday was the first time she had successfully ridden a bike in more than five years, it was a good moment

    I'm sure I will be back with more questions as I get into this project.

    Thanks again,
    James.

  5. #5
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    That sounds excellent...that your mom is once again riding and you're a good kid for doing this for her.

    The combination of the stock brakes and steel wheels on R20's (and some of their other 20 inch models) makes for some of the poorest braking I have ever seen on a bike... my daughters both have vintage Raleigh bicycles with 20 inch wheels that have had their brakes upgraded and/or rims replaced with alloy.

    My P20 runs 406 alloy BMX wheels that I salvaged and then laced up to new hubs... my P20 is a fixed gear and does not have a rear brake but does have a BMX brake up front that provides far better stopping power.

    Changing out those steel wheels for alloy is probably the best upgrade one can do to a 20 as besides improving the braking, the bike will be lighter and faster.

    The things one can do to a 20 are simply amazing.

  6. #6
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    I hope your mum appreciates your efforts!
    Sounds to me like the best route to get it on the road and safe a.s.a.p. would be to go for some 406 wheels with some decent width tyres for day-to-day road use like the Schwalbe Marathon which has a safe reflective pinstripe on it and good cushioning from bumps/puncture protection, as well as a drop bolts on the front and either a longer caliper on the rear or another drop bolt. At least that's probably what I'd do to get it back on the road fast so your ma has a workable new steed with minimum fuss.(ie she isn't waiting for it to return from the brazers etc There was some discussion a while back about long-reach calipers in this thread that will probably be of interest;

    Also - you might want to do some measuring but these calipers might be long enough for the wheelswap.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    The things one can do to a 20 are simply amazing.
    Nods wildly! I think Raleigh missed a trick at the time. There were about a million variants - Sun, Philips, Stow-away but all were basically the shopper formula. If they'd pushed the envelope a bit with components and gearing for more enthusiastic users they might have made some real classics like the Moulton Speed six. It's like they bought M and forgot to appropriate all the innovation.

    Ok so they did put out the rear-suspended Moulton three, but we all know the Twenty is a platform capable of so much more than they ever exploited.

  7. #7
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    Just know if you do not use the stock hubs in front and back, you WILL have to file (or grind) the drop outs to fit the axles of the new hubs. make sure you file the correct sides of the dropouts.

    file the bottom of the back dropouts, and the back or trailing edges of the front fork drop outs. If you file the wrong edge, you will be adjusting the bikes wheel alinement and that is BAD...

    Drop out work...
    http://web.mac.com/phatatude/Green_S...ind_On....html

    Hey you guys, just remember the R-20 was one of the last upright bikes Sheldon (the GREAT) was able to ride and enjoy. He said that the low single tube allowed him to get his leg over, so the Twenty was one of the only bikes in his stable that he could still ride.

    R-20's : Your mums ganna have the coolest grocery getter around...
    Last edited by phatatude; 10-03-08 at 10:57 AM.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Forgot to tell ya... Thats a nice bike!

    R-20's- Makin' people scratch their heads since the 60's...
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    Phatatude- Ride em' till the wheels fall off, or your jewels go numb...


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  9. #9
    Bromptonaut stocksy's Avatar
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    Everything is ready for powder coating now:



    I wonder if it will ever go back together again

    Judging by the parts I've stripped down and cleaned (hubs, headset), either bikes were made much more solidly in the 70s or this bike hasn't done very many miles. All of the bearing surfaces are perfect and the chainring and sprocket don't look worn at all.

    I've ordered some sun CR18 rims and some Schwalbe Marathons, I will measure the hubs and rims when they arrive and order some spokes. This will be my first wheel build and I'm actually looking forward to it. When these are done I'll definitely put some dual-pivot brakes on, but I want to be able to measure the drop first.

    I'm getting increasingly enthusiastic about this bike, it might be hard to give it away at the end. Maybe I'll have to get another one for myself

  10. #10
    jur
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    Do us a favour and weigh the frame? I did and posted but that post got lost when BF servers crashed. AFAIK it was close to 5kg for the lot.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  11. #11
    Bromptonaut stocksy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Do us a favour and weigh the frame? I did and posted but that post got lost when BF servers crashed. AFAIK it was close to 5kg for the lot.
    According to the bathroom scale, the frame is 2.75kg and the fork 750g, but that seems a little light to me. I shall try to find something more accurate to weigh it with.

  12. #12
    Bromptonaut stocksy's Avatar
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    Many hours of toiling later, I've finally finished the bike:







    The original green was a bit rich for my mum's tastes, she decided to go for a silver-grey finish. The powdercoating was done by Faircharm Restorations in Leicester. They acheived a really good finish and I would recommend them.

    The original brake calipers do reach the rims, though the rear brakes needed a bit of persuading, by which I mean filing the hole in the brake bridge into a slot. With the kool-stop MTB pads on there the braking power is not bad.

    My mum seems to really like it, she went for a short ride even though it's blowing a gale outside.

  13. #13
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Beautiful job.

    I know nothing about these R20 restorations, but it looks like new. It's a very pretty bike that.

    What do you think the total job cost including acquiring the original bike?

    Well done.

  14. #14
    Bromptonaut stocksy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
    Beautiful job.

    I know nothing about these R20 restorations, but it looks like new. It's a very pretty bike that.

    What do you think the total job cost including acquiring the original bike?

    Well done.
    Thank you I'm very pleased with it!

    I'd say the whole job cost about 400 including the original bike (20). I ran waaay over budget mainly because I underestimated the cost of replacing the wheels and how hard it would be to get 20" mudguards (I had to get them shipped from the USA).

  15. #15
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    About as clean as they come Stocksy, now go put some miles on it ...

    And EvilV, A real man doesnt ask that question when it comes to R-20s (It might make the owner cry ...


    R-20's : Old Steel, New Tricks...
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    Phatatude- Ride em' till the wheels fall off, or your jewels go numb...


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  16. #16
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    That bike is beautiful... I spent the day tooling around on my Twenty after a long break and really had to appreciate what a wonderful bike they are.

  17. #17
    jur
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    Nice! Very nice!
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  18. #18
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stocksy View Post
    Many hours of toiling later, I've finally finished the bike:







    The original green was a bit rich for my mum's tastes, she decided to go for a silver-grey finish. The powdercoating was done by Faircharm Restorations in Leicester. They acheived a really good finish and I would recommend them.

    The original brake calipers do reach the rims, though the rear brakes needed a bit of persuading, by which I mean filing the hole in the brake bridge into a slot. With the kool-stop MTB pads on there the braking power is not bad.

    My mum seems to really like it, she went for a short ride even though it's blowing a gale outside.
    What model Planet bike fenders are those?
    Riding 19 Years of Specialized Sirrus Tradition.
    Live in Houston? Come to http://bicyclecommutehouston.blogspot.com/
    1988 Specialized Sirrus, 1989 Alpine Monitor Pass MTB, 2007 Specialized Sirrus 700C hybrid, 2007 Schwinn Town & Country trike, 1970 "Resto-Improved" Raleigh 20, 1970 "WIP" Raleigh 20, and 1980 "WIP" Schwinn Town & Country trike

  19. #19
    Bromptonaut stocksy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
    What model Planet bike fenders are those?
    The mudguards are supposed to be for recumbent bikes, but they fit fine. I got them here. I don't think they would fit with 451 wheels unless they were modified to fit between the front forks and the seat stays since they are quite wide. This did allow me to get the 47-406 (20x1.75) tyres on however.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    thats a good looking bike

  21. #21
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    Wow! What an absolute beaut, defo worth the effort and money, one of nicest R20 restorations I've seen in a while.

  22. #22
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Such a great outcome - useful, modern, practical and beautiful in that silver grey. You have a lucky mum!

  23. #23
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    Lets hope the bike will still be given to his mother...


    R-20's : So nice your mum could ride it... if she can catch you
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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


    Come check the progress...
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