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Thread: Technology jump

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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Technology jump

    Met up with a buddy of mine today for a ride around Iowa City. Interesting contrast in bikes

    1970 Raleigh R20 and a 2005 Trek F600. We figure there was about a 60 year difference in the technology.

    Aaron

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    Interesting observation. Not sure when they laid down the Raleigh 20 on paper but that could be about right.

    Now you have to ask yourself will the Trek F600 hang with a new bike in 39 years?

    John

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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekJapan View Post
    Interesting observation. Not sure when they laid down the Raleigh 20 on paper but that could be about right.

    Now you have to ask yourself will the Trek F600 hang with a new bike in 39 years?

    John
    IIRC the Twenty was introduced in 1968, but most of the technology on it dated back to around 1938 or even a bit older. The Trek is an interesting beast, only made for about 3 years in 3 models with the F600 being the top of the line. The frames and forks were built by Dahon along with the seat post, all the rest was sourced by Trek and for the most part are off the shelf parts. I will be interested to see how it ages.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

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    my take on this is the R20 will still look exactly the same 20-30 years from now and the trek will be - hmm maybe not a trek anymore.

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    It's going to be interesting to see how our space age bikes hold up in the long run.

    I always compare music reproduction to other areas of technology.

    I personally think sound reproduction was at it's zenith in the 60's and 70's with tubes and tape machines.

    Along comes the transistor and sure it's cheap and reliable, and runs cooler, etc. but the name of the game is sound reproduction and it sounded better then than now.

    If you look at his bikes I personally don't see a lot of difference. Bikes really haven't evolved much but certainly parts are lighter, stronger, closer tolerance, etc. BUT WILL THEY HOLD UP FOR 50 YEARS? Or does it matter? How many people buy a bike and ride it for 50 years (and yes I know I'm inviting trouble asking that as I'm sure Bike Forums is full of guys who've had a particular bike for lifetime). But I'm talking most people.

    I think most folks buy a bike, don't use it and then it ends up on Craigslist when it's time to clean the garage. We of course here are the exception to that.

    Maybe we had it right when we made bikes almost exclusively out of steel and 40 years later you knock the dust off them and they work just fine.

    Okinawa is living proof of that I think. I see people here all the time with some old steel bike that is 20 -30 years old if not more riding around their field or to the corner store and back. Old bikes look rough but they're still going. And these were probably the bikes comparable to present day Wal Mart bikes in terms of price and technology. And yet here they still all are.

    John

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    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Some old bikes have an ageless beauty, but remember...beauty is in the eye of the beholder...so behold the venerable Raleigh Twenty.

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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevegor View Post
    Some old bikes have an ageless beauty, but remember...beauty is in the eye of the beholder...so behold the venerable Raleigh Twenty.
    Every now and again something gets produced that is destined to become a classic...such is the Raleigh Twenty, and the Raleigh Sports. They were a product of a certain time and will represent that period until the end of time.

    I don't know if someone sets out to design a classic, many that do seem to fail. Others produce something because they perceived a need and it becomes much sought after. What was interesting to me was we also saw a Giant Halfway in one of the LBS's and it was very similar to the Trek and much less expensive. I didn't take time to really compare the differences.

    The Twenty happens to be mine and is undergoing careful upgrades and transformation. I am trying to make it rideable, but keep it looking period correct from a distance. I am not happy with the wheels, I need shiny ones, but had to grab what rims I could to keep rolling for the time being.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekJapan View Post
    If you look at his bikes I personally don't see a lot of difference. Bikes really haven't evolved much but certainly parts are lighter, stronger, closer tolerance, etc. BUT WILL THEY HOLD UP FOR 50 YEARS? Or does it matter? How many people buy a bike and ride it for 50 years (and yes I know I'm inviting trouble asking that as I'm sure Bike Forums is full of guys who've had a particular bike for lifetime). But I'm talking most people.

    John

    <<SNIPPED OUT QUOTE>>
    For what it's worth, I think it is unlikely that many of our modern folders will be as sought after or will remain as functional if they have been used as daily transport as the R20s people keep on digging up. Certainly, some of those old R20s have been left in almost perfect storage for decades and were not much used, but here in the UK you can find terrible examples that have been abused horribly and ridden almost daily. The thing is - they may be ugly and rusty and neglected, but they still work. I doubt that will be true of many of the new breed if they are treated like that.

    Last winter I made a daft bid on a real old wreck of a R20. It is the non-folding version. It cost £15 and was launched onto the road in 1969. It is rusty, has been badly daubed over with new paint at some time in the distant past, and the chain was nearly solid with rust. The hub had no oil cap on it and the innards were bone dry and rusty when I looked into the hole with a pencil light. I put it on the bike stand, applied the oil can to the chain and gave a couple of squirts into the hub then plugged it with a rolled up bit of tissue to keep it there for a minute or two. When I turned the pedals, there was a really grim sound coming out of the hub - like it was full of grot or broken bits, but within about fifty spins of the pedal, it was gone. I took it onto the street, winced at the springs sticking out of the worn out saddle and pedalled away. To my amazement, it shifted perfectly through the gears and rode like a 'good un'. Some day I'll try and restore it unless I find a tidier one for not much money. The point is - this bike has done long service with no respect being shown to its needs but it still has something great about it.
    Last edited by EvilV; 06-07-09 at 07:44 AM.
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    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
    For what it's worth, I think it is unlikely that many of our modern folders will be as sought after or will remain as functional if they have been used as daily transport as the R20s people keep on digging up. Certainly, some of those old R20s have been left in almost perfect storage for decades and were not much used, but here in the UK you can find terrible examples that have been abused horribly and ridden almost daily. The thing is - they may be ugly and rusty and neglected, but they still work. I doubt that will be true of many of the new breed if they are treated like that.

    Last winter I made a daft bid on a real old wreck of a R20. It is the non-folding version. It cost £15 and was launched onto the road in 1969. It is rusty, has been badly daubed over with new paint at some time in the distant past, and the chain was nearly solid with rust. The hub had no oil cap on it and the innards were bone dry and rusty when I looked into the hole with a pencil light. I put it on the bike stand, applied the oil can to the chain and gave a couple of squirts into the hub then plugged it with a rolled up bit of tissue to keep it there for a minute or two. When I turned the pedals, there was a really grim sound coming out of the hub - like it was full of grot or broken bits, but within about fifty spins of the pedal, it was gone. I took it onto the street, winced at the springs sticking out of the worn out saddle and pedalled away. To my amazement, it shifted perfectly through the gears and rode like a 'good un'. Some day I'll try and restore it unless I find a tidier one for not much money. The point is - this bike has done long service with no respect being shown to its needs but it still has something great about it.
    Built to last?, yes indeed, ugly? only for the uneducated

    Where I live in Oz the rust issue isn't really a problem unlike the UK, in fact the last R20 I bought for $100au was nearly in show room condition, complete with a perfectly working SA lighting system powered by a 3 spd rear dynamo hub. The owner also has a BSA 20 in better condition that he wants to sell.

  10. #10
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevegor View Post
    Built to last?, yes indeed, ugly? only for the uneducated

    Where I live in Oz the rust issue isn't really a problem unlike the UK, in fact the last R20 I bought for $100au was nearly in show room condition, complete with a perfectly working SA lighting system powered by a 3 spd rear dynamo hub. The owner also has a BSA 20 in better condition that he wants to sell.
    Funny...that was one of my "upgrades" I may put a front dynohub on it eventually just to balance the bike and I just love the look of it. Both my other Green Raleighs have front dyno hubs so the Twenty looks kind of left out.

    Aaron

    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  11. #11
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    What is different about a bike built today compared to an old bike? Steel is still steel and if you buy a decent bike, ride it twice and store it for 30 years, it will still be rideable. Buy a Mallwart bike and no amount of storage is going to improve it. The really lousy bikes built back then were thrown away so what we find is the decent ones.

  12. #12
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crackerdog View Post
    What is different about a bike built today compared to an old bike? Steel is still steel and if you buy a decent bike, ride it twice and store it for 30 years, it will still be rideable. Buy a Mallwart bike and no amount of storage is going to improve it. The really lousy bikes built back then were thrown away so what we find is the decent ones.
    Actually the supposedly crap bikes of the 70's are still better than the Xmart bikes of today. Also try and find steel bikes anymore, especially in the mid range quality/price. Everybody wants/expects full suspension and 27 speeds for ~$69.95...Walmart delivers and but they are DOA. In reality the Huffy's of yesteryear are for the most part equivalent to some of the lower end of the midrange stuff today. Also people forget that Raleigh's most definitely were not low end bikes. My 3 speed Raleigh Superbe cost as much in 1972 as an Electra 3 speed does today.

    As far as storing something for 30 years? Not likely around my place! I have a Raleigh Sports Standard that has well over 15,000 documented miles on it, has had the crap beat out of it, been wrecked, stored outside, and it is still a viable, rideable bike today.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevegor View Post
    Built to last?, yes indeed, ugly? only for the uneducated

    Where I live in Oz the rust issue isn't really a problem unlike the UK, in fact the last R20 I bought for $100au was nearly in show room condition, complete with a perfectly working SA lighting system powered by a 3 spd rear dynamo hub. The owner also has a BSA 20 in better condition that he wants to sell.
    We get an average of two inches of rain a month where I live so anything that runs around here gets wet pretty often. More damaging still is that in the winter months the roads are salted. That means four months a year they are running around in brine. The old chrome finish takes a beating in those conditions. I think that $100au would run out around £50.... That showroom bike would be a real steal at that price.

    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Funny...that was one of my "upgrades" I may put a front dynohub on it eventually just to balance the bike and I just love the look of it. Both my other Green Raleighs have front dyno hubs so the Twenty looks kind of left out.

    Aaron

    ENVY at your stable coming from here Aaron. That late style Raleigh Superbe (I think that's what I see at the rear) reminds me of the one my dad had in the hallway around 1955. That one had rod brakes unlike yours and it was a four speed. I asked him about it the other day. They look great - especially the Superbe and the R20. I'm not so sure about the style of the other one - but that's a personal observation and no reflection on the machine, or your restoration of it.

    My dog R20 has a working front wheel hub dynamo. It puts out a good AC voltage if you spin the wheel and stick a tester on it.
    Last edited by EvilV; 06-07-09 at 11:04 AM.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
    We get an average of two inches of rain a month where I live so anything that runs around here gets wet pretty often. More damaging still is that in the winter months the roads are salted. That means four months a year they are running around in brine. The old chrome finish takes a beating in those conditions. I think that $100au would run out around £50.... That showroom bike would be a real steal at that price.



    ENVY at your stable coming from here Aaron. That late style Raleigh Superbe (I think that's what I see at the rear) reminds me of the one my dad had in the hallway around 1955. That one had rod brakes unlike yours and it was a four speed. I asked him about it the other day. They look great - especially the Superbe and the R20. I'm not so sure about the style of the other one - but that's a personal observation and no reflection on the machine, or your restoration of it.

    My dog R20 has a working front wheel hub dynamo. It puts out a good AC voltage if you spin the wheel and stick a tester on it.
    The Superbe is a 1972 (IMHO about the time they started going downhilll fast in quality) I would suspect your dad may have had a Roadster, they were great bikes too.

    The one in the front is a 1968 Compact RSW also known as the Shopper, made in both a fixed frame and a folder. It was a chance bid on Ebay and I ended up with it. BF member Viscount has several, lives a ways south of you.

    None of the bikes have really been restored, just cleaned up and cared for. The Twenty was in the worst shape overall when I got it, but I also knew I was planning to do upgrades so was willing to accept a less than perfect one. I usually don't bother with the showroom quality stuff anyway for a couple of reasons, one I know I am going to ride it, not look at it and I am too cheap to pay collector prices for the really nice stuff.

    I have one 197? Raleigh Sports that was made in Malaysia under license that is plug ugly, but was my only form of transportation, rain, snow and shine for 5 years and has well over 15,000 miles on it...still ride it on occasion.

    Unfortunately I have seen little in today's market outside of the big dutch bikes that compares to the Raleighs from the 50's and 60's. Not much call for them I guess.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  15. #15
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Funny...that was one of my "upgrades" I may put a front dynohub on it eventually just to balance the bike and I just love the look of it. Both my other Green Raleighs have front dyno hubs so the Twenty looks kind of left out.

    Aaron

    Very nice collection.

    What most people forget or don't know is that Raleigh was a very important and successful company in their day and they made quality bikes.

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