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Old 11-12-10, 03:55 PM   #1
L8Guy
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My New wannabe Raleigh Twenty

Hi All

After deciding to take up biking this summer, after not having ridden a bike in maybe 45 years, I found this site and decided on a folder. I bought a Speed D7 after my research, and have enjoyed it over the summer. While reading the many posts and thoughts here, and wanting to learn about maintaining a bike, I was on the look-out for a R20. Yesterday I bought one! Well, actually here in Canada they are referred to as Supercycle Twenty, but they are clearly made in England by Raleigh for Canadian Tire in Canada. When I went to see it, I couldn't believe that it seemed to be totally original: from the 'Supercycle' brand name of tire to the Brooks saddle (which by the way looks absolutely PRISTINE!). It seems to have all the pieces. At first glance and first round of playing with it, everything seems to work. The IGH does seem a bit slow changing, but that could just be due to lack of use and/or lubrication that was more than likely not ever done. The front wheel appears to be in very good shape. The rear wheel, however, seems to be very rusty in some sections and the chrome is peeling. The tires look to be in very good shape and they hold air well.

Anyways, I thought I would share this with you, cuz I am thrilled!!! (my wife did make me take it out of the living room ) I am a complete novice at bike maintenance and would appreciate any insight or help that any of you can provide me or point me in the right direction.

I guess to start with, I should basically take it all apart and clean and lubricate those parts that need it. The cables will need to be replaced and the SA 3-speed IGH will need external cleaning and application of some oil. That's about as far as I can think right now.

Hope you like the pics.

IMG_0286..JPGIMG_0290..JPGIMG_0292..JPGIMG_0289..JPGIMG_0288..JPGIMG_0287..JPG
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Old 11-12-10, 04:45 PM   #2
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Congrats! I love my Twenty. I recommend poking about the web (specifically Sheldon Brown's pages on Twenties and mechanics) for information on dealing with the Sturmey-Archer hubs and general maintenance. I've been using the Twenty for commuting on days when the weather is nice and for beer/grocery runs around the neighborhood. It's a terrific bike.



(This picture was posted by phillyskyline earlier this week, but what the heck. That's our baby.)

Last edited by rutibegga; 11-14-10 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 11-12-10, 08:19 PM   #3
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Yep that rear rim is going to be an issue. You can rebuild the wheels using alloy rims. The brakes are pretty flexy and leave a bit to be desired. Upgrading the pads to Kool Stop Continentals helps some, going with alloy rims helps a bit more.

I currently have 3 Twenty's if you need specific parts recommendations or pictures let me know.

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Old 11-12-10, 09:04 PM   #4
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Nice bike, have you checked the date on the hub yet?
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Old 11-12-10, 09:06 PM   #5
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Welcome to the fold.
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Old 11-12-10, 11:39 PM   #6
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Yup... the only change I'd make on yours is ditch the heavy steel wheels and get a light alloy pair.

A Raleigh Twenty has a ride similar to the full size Raleigh Sports.
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Old 11-13-10, 12:21 AM   #7
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Tried to clean the hub a bit. Is there a trick to that without taking off the wheel and all of the spokes? Anyways, found a spot and cleaned and saw " 72 11", which from what I researched means Nov of 1972. Therefore it is probably a 1973 bike (I think).

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Nice bike, have you checked the date on the hub yet?
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Old 11-13-10, 01:59 AM   #8
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Tried to clean the hub a bit. Is there a trick to that without taking off the wheel and all of the spokes? Anyways, found a spot and cleaned and saw " 72 11", which from what I researched means Nov of 1972. Therefore it is probably a 1973 bike (I think).
Correct. Looks like a nice find.
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Old 11-13-10, 06:49 AM   #9
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Tried to clean the hub a bit. Is there a trick to that without taking off the wheel and all of the spokes? Anyways, found a spot and cleaned and saw " 72 11", which from what I researched means Nov of 1972. Therefore it is probably a 1973 bike (I think).
That is it. Tooth brushes and rags are the best bet for getting into the middle of the hub. You just have to keep working around the spokes.

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Old 11-13-10, 02:36 PM   #10
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Well, I went to the LBS that I bought my D7 from and picked their brains and got some ideas. First, it seems that since the chrome is coming off the rear wheel, it needs replacement. And NormanF's advice to replace both wheels makes sense also. Thirdly, if I am to replace rear wheel, then it makes sense just to take it off, take it apart and easily clean the SA hub. I got a price on an alloy 20" wheel (sans spokes) for $10, which sounds reasonable. However, they said the spokes would be about a buck apiece for 36 spokes. That would make each wheel about $46. Is that a reasonable price? My plan this week, time permitting, is taking apart as much of bike as I can and making sure the SA hub is working ok, then start building up the wheels. Does that sound like a plan?
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Old 11-13-10, 09:33 PM   #11
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A rim for 10 bucks is a steal. You can probably reuse most of your old spokes. Did the Canadian bikes have 451 rims or 406 rims (20 x 1 3/8 or 20 x 1.75 tires)? Be sure to replace the rims with the right size or your brakes won't fit.
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Old 11-14-10, 12:46 PM   #12
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Well, I went to the LBS that I bought my D7 from and picked their brains and got some ideas. First, it seems that since the chrome is coming off the rear wheel, it needs replacement. And NormanF's advice to replace both wheels makes sense also. Thirdly, if I am to replace rear wheel, then it makes sense just to take it off, take it apart and easily clean the SA hub. I got a price on an alloy 20" wheel (sans spokes) for $10, which sounds reasonable. However, they said the spokes would be about a buck apiece for 36 spokes. That would make each wheel about $46. Is that a reasonable price? My plan this week, time permitting, is taking apart as much of bike as I can and making sure the SA hub is working ok, then start building up the wheels. Does that sound like a plan?

Buck a spoke is about what my LBS charges, I sometimes can get a discount if I buy sets of 20. I also buy mine off the internet and can usually get them down a bit in price. Hard part is figuring out what size you need.

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Old 11-14-10, 02:40 PM   #13
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The rims are 406, I think, since the tires are 20 x1.75. I am hoping, initially, to reuse the spokes so that I can get the bike mechanically ok to ride it and see where to go from there. If I reuse the front hub and the SA hub, and if the spokes come off ok, then I could get bike roadworthy (minimally) for the price of the rims and whatever the LBS would charge to balance wheels. Went to MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) today and bought some tools etc. for this project.

Thanks Wahoonc for your comments and insight. I really can't believe how stoked I am at 61 over this little project.

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A rim for 10 bucks is a steal. You can probably reuse most of your old spokes. Did the Canadian bikes have 451 rims or 406 rims (20 x 1 3/8 or 20 x 1.75 tires)? Be sure to replace the rims with the right size or your brakes won't fit.
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Old 11-14-10, 04:18 PM   #14
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Check out this site:http://www.raleightwenty.webs.com/
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Old 11-14-10, 08:51 PM   #15
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Congrats on your equivalent R20. I see you've already decided to lose the chrome rims for alloy ones. Good luck on doing the change over.

I decided to keep the chrome rims besides the original brake levers, calipers, 3 speed SA hub, tires, etcs. It definitely has its pros and cons for keeping, not keeping them. Chief among them has to do with weight and speed. The R20 weighs a ton with the chrome wheels, etc and it rides slow. However, the weight is not a big issue since it's mainly a short distance bike and I'm never in a big hurry to go anywhere. If I am, I use one of my other bikes.

Since I decided early on that I'd keep the wheels (to reduce the cost of the make over (heheheheheheh - yeah right) I did order the Kool Stop Continental brake pads. Braking with them is okay but not great. It doesn't compare to my new Dahon folder, which btw is a Speed D7 too. But, it's better than braking half with the brakes and the other half with your feet.

Regardless, my R20 has become my 2nd bike, which I use for short distances and some cruising.

Hope your project goes well. It's great to revive a classic/vintage bike or any bike with "good bones". Although restoring/upgrading my R20 cost me more than I expected, I did enjoy bringing this folder back to life.

P.S. Learned a lot about bike maintenance/mechanics in the process too.
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Old 11-14-10, 11:42 PM   #16
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With my own salvaged Raleigh Twenty, I first made sure to get as much grime & a bit of rust off before I placed 2 alloy wheels with the proper hubs & Kool Stop Continental brake pads on my own bike. I had a Electra saddle which made the bike far more comfortable to ride, although not very technically 1970s anymore. Everything else is left as is when I bought it.
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Old 11-23-10, 05:29 PM   #17
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A bit of an update ..........

OK, I have finished totally stripping down the bike and cleaning and removing any rust I could. When I took the front hub apart and saw little to no grease, it meant a complete strip job. The bottom bracket loomed in the horizon and looked kind of scary. Did some research and at first figured I would take it to the LBS and get them to remove it. But, then I saw that I had in my warehouse some VERY LARGE welders clamps and in no time flat, with some jury rigging, I popped the cotters and the cap came off no problem. I left the drive side alone and just cleaned everything. In taking it all apart, I managed to save all the bearing balls in the BB, front hub and forks, and they cleaned up well and look and feel good. Even the plastic bushing on top of the forks looks almost new. So aside from some inevitable scratches on the paint job, everything looks great. I ordered 2 406 rims and last weekend I built the rear wheel with the SA hub and the original spokes, and balanced it actually fairly well (I think ) I am leaving the front wheel as is for the time being since it looks to be in very good shape. The LBS owes me a pair of original tires for my D7 and they are not in yet. I found another shop in town that has about 6000 sq ft of bikes on the floor .... literally hundreds of them. Half new and half old. Even has a penny farthing that is rideable. Along with the many used bikes, they seem to have bins and bins of older parts. So before I reassemble everything, I will spend some time there with my axles, cotters etc. and see whether they have any spares that may be in better shape. So for now (until the tires come in) the frame sits in the stand with the rear rim mounted waiting for reassembly. I can only say that this process has taught me a lot about bike maintenance. We'll just have to see if I learned enough to put it back togather again.
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Old 11-23-10, 06:33 PM   #18
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Oh I hope you took pictures. Makes putting the bike back a whole lot easier.
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Old 12-03-10, 06:05 PM   #19
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Oh I hope you took pictures. Makes putting the bike back a whole lot easier.
Darn, where were you before I started all this! It seems the only pictures I took were the ones I posted. It would have definitely been a better idea to take a lot more. Hindsight doesn't help in this case, but I have learned for the next time. Because I didn't have better pics, I figured the rear wheel was laced the same as front, so after building wheel and truing, it seemed to me that the spokes stuck too far through the nipples into the rim. I decided that I needed to take it apart again and use a cross three lace in the hope it would stick through less, and it did. I did have to do some de-burring at the ends, but finally had a smooth interior. I was still waiting for the LBS to get those tires, and last weekend went in and was told they couldn't get the 1.75 tires from Dahon that they owed me and instead got me a pair of 2" Schwalbe Big Apples. I didn't have the heart to tell them that I thought that 2" tires would be too wide for the forks cuz they already felt bad for throwing out my tires and me waiting almost 3 months. So I mounted the tire on the rear wheel and lo and behold, it did fit with a bit to spare. I decided to build the front wheel with alloy rims and when I put the Big Apples on, it too fit with even a little less to spare (but no danger of rubbing). The putting it all back together again whould have been easier with pic (as mentioned), but after regreasing BB and assembling it and assembling everything else, I finally got it back together again. The SA hub seemed to still be a bit stiff and I needed to find out how to make it work. After more research it seems I was able to adjust the cones, oiled it well and got it working. I was so excited, I went for a ride in my 60 ft warehouse before I realized I had no brakes ...... and thankfully there was a rather large box that helped stop me . I oiled the brake cables and assembled and adjusted them. End result, the bike is back together oiled and greased and working !!!!! I re-used all the cables, all the spokes and all the bearing balls. I will replace the cables in the future, but for now I am done. Aside from the cost of the various tools (many of which paid for themselves since I didn't pay for wheel building and truing) the final cost of project to date is:
Rims 2x$15 = $30
oil, grease $10
Tires n/c
Front axle $20 (I needed a right cone with flange and found a complete axle at that used bike shop)
Total Cost = $70
Experience - priceless
I won't be using the original chrome fenders since they create some problems with the 2" Big Apples. But for whatever it's worth, I found that the SKS fenders from the Dahon D7 should work on the R20 with slightly longer struts. Those are still to come. So this should bring the cost to about $100 re-build.

I am a happy camper
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Old 01-16-11, 12:25 PM   #20
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Ive recently built an alloy rim onto the 3 speed hub and spokes on my Apollo Wayfairer folder. I taped the alloy rim to the steel wheel. Then took 4 spokes out at a time. Brillo padded them in soapy water. so the hub and spokes are shiny. The alloy rim has a deeper well than the steel rim. so the spokes were a bit long. I filed them down.

the alloy rim was one of 3 wheels I got from the bike recycling place. Think it was 10 for the 3. The rim was black anodised. took forever to sand that all off.
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Old 01-18-11, 09:00 PM   #21
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That's a great find! I recently picked up a similar coffee colored 1971 Raleigh Twenty that I'm currently working on getting back on the road. I'll probably keep that one in stock-shape since it works fairly well, and is almost perfect as it is now. I can't wait to see your "after" photos. I'm currently looking for a pair of alloy rims for my white 1972 R20. What rims did you end up getting? I'm having trouble finding a pair in a stock-looking silver (they all seem to be black for some reason).

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I won't be using the original chrome fenders since they create some problems with the 2" Big Apples
What are you planning on doing with your original fenders? I'm looking for a pair in better shape than the quite-pitted fenders on my '72.

My fenders do look nice when you can't look too closely tho:

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Old 01-19-11, 12:39 PM   #22
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Hi FishBiscuit

Nice looking bike! I like the white colour ..... seems to suit. The rims I got were actually the cheapest rims I could find easily from my LBS. They are alexrims - Y303. Just a very basic rim, no mostly covered channel for spoke nipples. They are just a simple 'silver' colour. That resulted in having to make sure each spoke end was ground down smooth. I even re-used the 37 yr old rim tape The bikes has been sitting all by itself in the warehouse for the winter. I am getting new SA cables (when the LBS puts an order in for bike parts later) and will replace brake cables. My intention, in the future is to seek out 451 rims with narrower tires and see if I can find better brakes. Consequently, I will be holding on to the original fenders (sorry about that ). One fender is almost immaculate, while the other does have some rust but isn't pitted badly. I do have access to someone that is prepared to sand blast and re-chrome the fenders and kickstand (which is in worse shape) if I go that route. I think when all is said and done, I want to keep all the pieces in case I change my mind and just strip her down again, sand her completely, re-paint and re-decal her, and put her back together, hopefully, almost good as knew.

By the way, I am a little bit envious at the list you and your SO have as "My Bikes:". Hope your '71 project goes well!
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Old 01-19-11, 05:57 PM   #23
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Fishbiscuit,

Several choices on the rims in silver. Sun Ringle CR-18, Weinman are available in silver and Sun Rhyno Lites are available in high polish. Don't recall the model number on the Weinman, but I have them on my Twenty.

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Old 01-19-11, 06:04 PM   #24
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Nice looking bike! I like the white colour ..... seems to suit. The rims I got were actually the cheapest rims I could find easily from my LBS. They are alexrims - Y303. Just a very basic rim, no mostly covered channel for spoke nipples. They are just a simple 'silver' colour.
I'll have to look for those. I think I have one Alex Y303 rim that came on my white Twenty (fitted with BMX hubs and 20 x 1.95 tires that don't quite fit). That Alex rim didn't have enough spoke holes for the SA hubs (the 2nd rim was a different brand, and black). I'll check my LBS this weekend and inspect their rim selection.

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My intention, in the future is to seek out 451 rims with narrower tires and see if I can find better brakes. Consequently, I will be holding on to the original fenders (sorry about that ). One fender is almost immaculate, while the other does have some rust but isn't pitted badly. I do have access to someone that is prepared to sand blast and re-chrome the fenders and kickstand (which is in worse shape) if I go that route. I think when all is said and done, I want to keep all the pieces in case I change my mind and just strip her down again, sand her completely, re-paint and re-decal her, and put her back together, hopefully, almost good as knew.
I don't blame you, and I didn't think there'd be any harm in asking. I, myself, hang onto everything I take off the bikes. I was planning on getting 451s too, as I prefer the way they fill out the fenders. The bike was obviously designed for them. Just like everyone else though, I'm leaning towards the 406s simply for the more robust variety of tire choices available in that size. My most recent acquisition, the Coffee Brown Twenty, is amazingly immaculate- only superficial rust on the chrome, and only a few chips and scrapes in the paint. The fenders and rims are both rust-free. The frame was well taken care of- it was dirty, but it turned out that the dirt was suspended in a layer of wax. Whoever had that bike before clearly loved it. The only thing wrong with it was that the headset had been modified in a dangerous way (and was missing some key bits that I'm currently tracking down).

I've found the best way to clean rust off of the chrome is with wadded up aluminum foil with WD-40, and a lot of rubbing. Works much better than anything else that I've tried (including bronze and steel wool with different types of acids). I discovered that bronze wool will scratch chrome, despite what people have written online. I've had no problems with aluminum foil though!

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Originally Posted by L8Guy View Post
By the way, I am a little bit envious at the list you and your SO have as "My Bikes:". Hope your '71 project goes well!
Thank you. We actually just started collecting them this past summer. Pretty much just picking up anything cool, vintage, and Raleigh that we could find for under $125. At some point though, we got a little carried away. Now I've got enough projects to last me until the mid-summer. I think three 3-Speeds for each of us is enough, so some will have to be re-homed.

Last edited by FishBiscuit; 01-19-11 at 06:07 PM. Reason: clarification
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