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Old 04-25-09, 11:26 AM   #1
Gotte
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Anyone know...

How heavy a Raleigh 20 frame is? Is it like a ton of bricks, or comparable with say a Dahon 7 (which seems quite sturdily built)?

I can get one for about 10, and the thought has crossed my mind to build it up into a second folder (replacing everything, probably except the stem, handlebars and frame).

Also, does it take a standard Shimano BB? I'm guessing being British, it would. But you never know...
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Old 04-25-09, 12:13 PM   #2
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It is HEAVY. Heavier than any modern folder, I think. I carried/rode one during the previous SoCal Folder ride and the thing is built like a tank and is heavy as one. That said, with lightweight parts you can probably get it to a more decent weight, and the ride is great. Dunno about the bb though.
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Old 04-25-09, 12:14 PM   #3
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I dunno about the weight, but Raleigh Twenties do NOT take standard english-thread BBs. Sheldon Brown's site has a page on twenties explaining more:

http://sheldonbrown.com/raleigh-twenty.html#bottom
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Old 04-25-09, 04:20 PM   #4
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Some BF folder members think old R20s are a waste of time and money and prefer modern bikes, however, the great Sheldon Brown was a keen advocate of the venerable R20 and modded quite a few, so......

Are you keeping it standard or modding it? If you're modding then Sheldon's info is the best to go by, a few of us R20 owners have used his knowledge to guide us through some of the problems with the R20.

I'm not sure how much my R20s weigh, but they are heavy, which isn't necessarily are bad thing....built to last?? I've toured on mine with loaded panniers back and front and I've appreciated the solid build, not the flexy feeling you might get from a modern folder. If you gear them up right and you're a reasonably strong rider the R20 is a good solid workhorse that will last and last.

The 76mm wide BB shell is threaded 26tpi, not 24tpi like most bikes so it does present some problems if you want to use a modern cotterless crankset. There are a few ways around this:

1: Buy a Phil Wood 73mm BB with a 113mm length spindle and Phil 26tpi retaining rings.....very expensive!!

2: Use the Phil 26tpi rings and find a 73mm Shimano UN72 BB (113mm spindle). The UN72 has a threaded cup which is removeable, the other end might come off by a few gentle taps with a rubber mallet, or if not, very carefully using a hacksaw cut it off along the length. This will make the BB ready to use with the Phil rings.
This method is cheaper, but the availability of 73mm UN72 BBs with the correct spindle length is becoming increasing difficult.

3: Find a LBS you trust who will cut the BB shell from 76mm to either 73mm or even better to 68mm, (the standard BB shell width), get them to rethread the shell to 24tpi and you can use any Shimano BB you want.
This method is probably the best way to go, many R20 owners are choosing it and not having any problems.

Next is the rims and brakes.......

R20s in Australia and I think in the UK came with 451mm rims, not the BMX 406mm size.
If you're changing to narrower 451mm alloy rims then the standard R20 brakes are not the best to use, so a modern brake system is advisable. This presents some problems if you're using mudguards as road calipers will be too short and narrow to reach over them. Tektro make a long reach dual pivot brake that should work, Shimano might have some as well.

Not using mudguards?......READ Sheldon's article on "drop bolts".
For my modded R20 I use Shimano 105 calipers with Sheldon's drop bolt idea for the rear brake, and for the front I inserted a length of steel tubing up into the steerer tube, drilled a hole so I could bolt it into the existing brake hole, then drilled another hole to fit the new caliper at the correct length....works perfectly.
The range of tyre and rim choices is limited in the 451 size, so you might choose to go 406mm.......

406mm

Better range of rims and tyres that are more common worldwide, any LBS will have them at all times.
Use Sheldon's drop bolt method for the brakes, or as some R20 owners have done, me included, braze on Vbrake mounts for an excellent braking system.

The next thing to change is............

Just remember the R20 is an old bike...you can sink some money into them and mod them like I have, it will still be an old bike, but if you're a tinkerer and you enjoy some challenges the end results are a surprisingly fun bike to ride which will serve you faithfully for years to come.....and NO FLEX!!

Good luck.
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Old 04-25-09, 04:58 PM   #5
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The frame is around 5kg.
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Old 04-26-09, 03:36 AM   #6
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Many thanks, esp to Stevegor - that answered all my questions. I'll pop over to the Sheldon site and read up. I enjoy a project and will think about this one. I had half hoped to tour abroad with it (well, for my friend or me, depending which is the best ride between that and my alu folder), but my main fear is the weight, not so much for my legs as for paying excess luggage.
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Old 08-13-10, 06:40 PM   #7
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The fork weighs 872 grams (1.92 lbs). The front frame section weighs 1156 grams (2.55 lbs). The headset, including quick release, weighs 246 grams (.54 lbs). I couldn't weigh the rear frame section because my scale only goes up to 5 lbs! So (several days on, hence the edit) I weighed it at work and the rear frame section is 2291 grams (5.05 lbs). In sum, the frame is 3.447 kg (7.5993 lbs) and frame, fork, and headset together are 4.5656 kg (10.064 lbs).

Last edited by harlond; 08-17-10 at 06:53 AM. Reason: Got weight on rear section
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Old 08-13-10, 07:40 PM   #8
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As I said over a year ago, the R20 is not a light bike, but it has stood the test of time.
With sensible light weight mods you can drop a far bit of that weight off and you still have a solid and dependable bike ideal for touring and commuting....... and no worrying FLEX.
Just remember, it's not a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro.

Last edited by stevegor; 08-13-10 at 07:41 PM. Reason: The Martians made me do it
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Old 08-14-10, 11:23 PM   #9
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It does have the ride quality of a Bike Friday with suitable upgrades. Granted, its not the latest in folder bike technology but it stands as a "little brother" to the full-sized Raleigh Sports!
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Old 08-15-10, 03:18 PM   #10
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It does have the ride quality of a Bike Friday with suitable upgrades. Granted, its not the latest in folder bike technology but it stands as a "little brother" to the full-sized Raleigh Sports!
And without the frightening flex of some modern folders.
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Old 08-15-10, 04:47 PM   #11
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And without the frightening flex of some modern folders.

Brompton has nothing 'frightening'. You and your flex fetish Mr Gore lol!
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Old 08-15-10, 06:50 PM   #12
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Brompton has nothing 'frightening'. You and your flex fetish Mr Gore lol!
Hey, you leave my self assessing, obsessive, mind boggling calf flexing fetish alone....."Hmmmm SHAVED LEGS"

Actually, I was referring to a certain brand that has a notorious history of very flexy head stems and frames, it starts with "D", the R20 suffers none of these.

Last edited by stevegor; 08-15-10 at 06:51 PM. Reason: Aussies rule
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Old 08-15-10, 07:10 PM   #13
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Hey, you leave my self assessing, obsessive, mind boggling calf flexing fetish alone....."Hmmmm SHAVED LEGS"

Actually, I was referring to a certain brand that has a notorious history of very flexy head stems and frames, it starts with "D", the R20 suffers none of these.
Interesting and having had a Mu SL for a little while I cannot argue with you Sir Gor of the Folding Table! Do you think the really high end bikes like the Mu EX and Jetstream EX are likely to have less flex oh great one?
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Old 08-15-10, 07:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Gotte View Post
How heavy a Raleigh 20 frame is? Is it like a ton of bricks, or comparable with say a Dahon 7 (which seems quite sturdily built)?

I can get one for about 10, and the thought has crossed my mind to build it up into a second folder (replacing everything, probably except the stem, handlebars and frame).

Also, does it take a standard Shimano BB? I'm guessing being British, it would. But you never know...
I am a Raleigh Twenty owner and now a former owner of 2 sacrificed Dahon bicycles. I guess I can safely chime in on this thread's discussion. I bought my Twenty as a back-up folder to my Brompton (my primary bike) as I decided that longevity is more important to me than solely focusing on the weight fixation that the bicycle world seems to argue about endlessly. I am leaving most original parts on, upgrading some other parts, and adding some bags for it's sole use (will not be used on the Brompton). The bike is right now at the shop awaiting some ordered parts. So far, so good.

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The next thing to change is............

Just remember the R20 is an old bike...you can sink some money into them and mod them like I have, it will still be an old bike, but if you're a tinkerer and you enjoy some challenges the end results are a surprisingly fun bike to ride which will serve you faithfully for years to come.....and NO FLEX!!

Good luck.
I cannot go the way of stevegor, Little Pixel, and the rest of the gifted artistic tinkerers of these forums simply because I don't know how to tinker! But that did not stop me from buying, salvaging, and even selling off the Dahons for this old bike. I grew up with bikes such as this one is. I understand this is an old bike (and so am I), and no one in their right mind would buy one since the new bikes are so pretty. Well, I always like to go against popular opinion and operate under the best way to conduct my own life. And this bike is the best way for me way back in the past (had I known about folding bikes then) and now.

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Many thanks, esp to Stevegor - that answered all my questions. I'll pop over to the Sheldon site and read up. I enjoy a project and will think about this one. I had half hoped to tour abroad with it (well, for my friend or me, depending which is the best ride between that and my alu folder), but my main fear is the weight, not so much for my legs as for paying excess luggage.
If you have the fear of weight (and rightly so) when choosing to fly with such a heavy bike, I would also hesitate to bring the Twenty with me. The reality of flying has change very much over even a short period of time with all the new excess fees placed on passengers. As for riding the Twenty, I don't have such fears. I do fear it somewhat if I have to carry it or even lift it for too long. I am busy working on solutions to those problems and will share my solutions when the bike comes back from the shop.

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The fork weighs 872 grams (1.92 lbs). The front frame section weighs about 1140 grams (2.51 lbs). I couldn't weigh the rear frame section because my scale only goes up to 5 lbs!
I think I will take the bike over to the Veterinary hospital soon to weigh it. There is a large scale there that is meant for the giant dogs that might just about fit the Twenty.

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Originally Posted by stevegor View Post
As I said over a year ago, the R20 is not a light bike, but it has stood the test of time.
With sensible light weight mods you can drop a far bit of that weight off and you still have a solid and dependable bike ideal for touring and commuting....... and no worrying FLEX.
Just remember, it's not a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro.
That is exactly what I want in my own Twenty!

Last edited by folder fanatic; 08-15-10 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 08-15-10, 11:51 PM   #15
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Folder Fanatic,
I hope you enjoy your R20 as much as I have mine.
I know that high end Dahons, Moultons, Birdys and Bike Fridays are lighter and possibly faster, but that's not what the R20 is all about. Sure get it as light as you can, but it's more about its endearing durability and ability to take loads, even the revered Jur has alluded to that.

Francis Paddy Sean O'Shea Mulleady,
Don't know what the high end Dahons flexibility factors are, but if they use the same type of stem that the el cheapo models use, which are inherently flexy, then they are IMHO, an accident waiting to happen if ridden with vigour and gorilla like enthusiasm.... hint hint. Best for pottling I say.

Now go away you silly little man, and leave me alone, I should be studying.
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Old 08-16-10, 12:27 AM   #16
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Now go away you silly little man, and leave me alone, I should be studying.
One only distracteth himself
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Old 08-19-10, 08:51 PM   #17
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As the late Sheldon Brown wrote, the frame is that trustworthy that you can ride a Twenty without the hinge bolt being installed!
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Old 08-19-10, 10:38 PM   #18
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As the late Sheldon Brown wrote, the frame is that trustworthy that you can ride a Twenty without the hinge bolt being installed!
Is that why other newer folder owners consider us R20 owners as.......... UNHINGED?
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Old 08-19-10, 11:01 PM   #19
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I don't know why frame flex is such an anathema in a folder. Sure my Dahon flexes but that's part of its character and it cushions the bumps a little. Its also a good compromise between being functional, relatively lightweight, modable without being stupid expensive. I like.

If someone really wants to go fast on a folder, getting a fairing will do more for speed than lightening the bike by a pound.
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Old 08-20-10, 04:42 AM   #20
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Flex in a Dahon frame is negligible, it's the handlepost that's the issue. Well, it's not really an issue for me as I have my handlebar low, but for more upright positions it's very flexy.
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