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  1. #1
    Senior Member November's Avatar
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    Raleigh Twenty "Simplicity" Project

    This R20 started out in great condition with a factory generator hub and working lighting front and rear with chrome fenders, rear rack, frame pump, etc. Before anybody's head explodes, I SAVED EVERYTHING. I can put it all back the way it was, but I won't. I'll probably sell all that stuff. I wanted to make the bike a little more rugged and not be afraid of breaking the headlight or wrecking the chrome fenders, so I stripped it down. I got the wheels from my daughter's old bike and put on a set of $5 (each) generic 20x1.75" tires. It's a coaster brake so there are no cables anywhere which leads to the next feature: The stem is a seatpost flipped upside-down and inserted into the steerer. Loosen the front stem lever and the stem & bars come off for transport in the car. Switching bars is easy with the removable faceplate on the stem. I may change the bars to road bars for comfort, we'll see. No cables, no levers, no shifters was my goal. The next mod will be to mount a bottle cage to the stem facing me. Gave it a test ride today and it reminded me of riding my first BMX bike.







  2. #2
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    very nice, clean lines and simple. I hope to have mine done soon although I opted for the new Sturmey Archer S2C.
    Speed Uno
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

  3. #3
    Senior Member November's Avatar
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    Dyno, Thanks and I've been thinking of installing an S2C in the future. I'll be waiting to hear how you like yours.

  4. #4
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    Tree Fort out of Michigan had it built for me. They have a great price on the part http://www.treefortbikes.com/product...ick-Shift.html
    Speed Uno
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

  5. #5
    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    Cool job November. Love the paint job, the little striping around the seat post and that great chainguard.

    Like Dyno I like the clean lines. I also like how you really thought "outside the box" when it came to the stem.

    Not sure about using a coaster brake though but that's just me.

    You did get me to thinking about reusing the wheels on an old Broadwalk on my
    R20.

    When I was renovating my R20. I didn't think of changing the wheels. I wanted to maintain as much of the original parts of the bike as possible and thought the weight wouldn't matter since she was destined to be a short-range bike.

    However, after riding on the Raleigh for a few months, I would really appreciate it if Sybil (my R20 ) lost some weight there.

    Glad you're enjoying your bike and bringing back memories of your BMX.

  6. #6
    Senior Member November's Avatar
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    Thanks SunnyFlorida! I can't take credit for the stem idea, I got the idea from a guy on the Raleigh Twenty forum. I can't take credit for the paint job or the chainguard either, they're both factory original. The coaster brake does have it's limitations, but the idea for this project was "less is more", plus it's a short-range cruiser like your Sybil. My father-in-law has a Boardwalk and those wheels would go great on your R20.

  7. #7
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    Or you could buy a BMX at the Goodwill or Salvation army and use the wheelset.
    Speed Uno
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  8. #8
    My legs hurt
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    How strong is that riser attachment to the fork?

  9. #9
    Senior Member November's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bendembroski View Post
    How strong is that riser attachment to the fork?

    Well, I weigh 285 and I've gotten out of the saddle to go up a small hill with no problem at all. Granted, I'm not cranking (pulling super-hard) on the bars, but I've got about 12 miles on the setup right now with no stem or steering issues. It locks in just like the original stem.

  10. #10
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by November View Post
    Thanks SunnyFlorida! I can't take credit for the stem idea, I got the idea from a guy on the Raleigh Twenty forum. I can't take credit for the paint job or the chainguard either, they're both factory original. The coaster brake does have it's limitations, but the idea for this project was "less is more", plus it's a short-range cruiser like your Sybil. My father-in-law has a Boardwalk and those wheels would go great on your R20.
    Got a link to that?
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  11. #11
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    Speed Uno
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

  12. #12
    Senior Member November's Avatar
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    Dynocoaster is right. Specifically here: http://raleightwenty.webs.com/apps/f...w/3811541-tall

  13. #13
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyFlorida View Post
    Cool job November. Love the paint job, the little striping around the seat post and that great chainguard.

    Like Dyno I like the clean lines. I also like how you really thought "outside the box" when it came to the stem.

    Not sure about using a coaster brake though but that's just me.

    You did get me to thinking about reusing the wheels on an old Broadwalk on my
    R20.

    When I was renovating my R20. I didn't think of changing the wheels. I wanted to maintain as much of the original parts of the bike as possible and thought the weight wouldn't matter since she was destined to be a short-range bike.

    However, after riding on the Raleigh for a few months, I would really appreciate it if Sybil (my R20 ) lost some weight there.


    Glad you're enjoying your bike and bringing back memories of your BMX.

    Quote Originally Posted by November View Post
    Thanks SunnyFlorida! I can't take credit for the stem idea, I got the idea from a guy on the Raleigh Twenty forum. I can't take credit for the paint job or the chainguard either, they're both factory original. The coaster brake does have it's limitations, but the idea for this project was "less is more", plus it's a short-range cruiser like your Sybil. My father-in-law has a Boardwalk and those wheels would go great on your R20.
    I also agree as far as using the Boardwalk's rims on the Raleigh Twenty. My now former Dahon Boardwalk S1 "donated" (or rather was stripped) of the parts I added over the years to it to improve on it. At that bike's purchase (I bought it new), the rear dropouts were "cold pressed" or stretched outward to accept the wider last-of-the-UK-made-in-2000 Sturmey-Archer AW 3 speed hub. The Boardwalk's rear rim was then rebuilt around that hub. This whole unit was later transfered onto the Raleigh Twenty I have now. I bought a new front BMX hub (see photo #1 below) off the shelf for 30 dollars as I felt that it would vastly improve it's performance (steering & braking) and add some snazzy looks to it. I believe it has-see photos below-plus the money spent was well worth the investment. The Electra beach cruiser saddle was transfered over from the Dahon Piccolo I also had at the time (I sold it to pay for the Twenty's refurbishing done at my LBS). I kept everything else as is-it is fine just the way it is shown in it's present condition as an "slightly updated to the 21st century, but still has the uniqueness & the durability (i.e. unfortunately mostly the heaviness trade off) of a 70s bike" that it is still is. Just as long as I don't have to lift it, the trade off is acceptable to me as I grew up with bikes like this one.

    Coaster brakes are fine for bad weather, but I still prefer hand brakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dynocoaster View Post
    Or you could buy a BMX at the Goodwill or Salvation army and use the wheelset.
    I recommend that you buy new. If you sell your bike, you can always strip off those nice parts just like I did.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 03-07-11 at 07:57 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member November's Avatar
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    Very Nice! Is yours a '74 like mine? Same color, forks and chainguard! I had the salmon Kool Stops on mine too before I stripped everything off. After the pics above were posted, I added a silver 400mm alloy seatpost to get me up a little higher. I need to get a cap for the top of the stem to finish it off. I can see straight down thru to the front wheel as it is now.

  15. #15
    Schwinnasaur Schwinnsta's Avatar
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    Folder Fanatic, how did you get your handle bars at that height?

  16. #16
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    Not mine but a real nice Twenty in LA http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb...241695306.html
    Speed Uno
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  17. #17
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Instruction Sheet-Front End.gif
    Quote Originally Posted by November View Post
    Very Nice! Is yours a '74 like mine? Same color, forks and chainguard! I had the salmon Kool Stops on mine too before I stripped everything off. After the pics above were posted, I added a silver 400mm alloy seatpost to get me up a little higher. I need to get a cap for the top of the stem to finish it off. I can see straight down thru to the front wheel as it is now.
    No. Yours is a bit newer than mine. My own bike dates from January, 1972 as the date stamped on the original Sturmey-Archer 3 speed hub stated. Except to add to it's safety (better braking on Aluminum rims & new puncture resistant tires/tubes), or shifting (I liked my own newer Sturmey-Archer hub as it does not require remembering to oil it all the time), I wanted to keep it pretty much like it came. The mechanic told me that there was absolutely no wear on any of the parts. It seems to me when you change or adapt something, you have to address something else as the bike was not built like modern ones are now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
    Folder Fanatic, how did you get your handle bars at that height?
    When my bike was taken to the LBS, there was a tiny part called an "Restrictor Wire" (http://www.bikexprt.com/bicycle/twntyinst/twinst2.htm#img -or see image above) that restricts either taking the stem/handlebars unit off completely or sliding it up or down too much. My own Restrictor Wire was removed at my request-it was in the way. I now have all options available to me in order to store it in a car's trunk/boot or an enclosed area much easier, or adjust the height of the stem somewhat. I still only use the bike at the height pictured for safety reasons anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dynocoaster View Post
    Not mine but a real nice Twenty in LA http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb...241695306.html
    That listing has just been deleted. Those Twentys really go fast.
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 03-03-11 at 11:40 AM.

  18. #18
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    My simplicity project almost done but I need to find a nice front caliper brake.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
    Folder Fanatic, how did you get your handle bars at that height?
    Pull the restrictor wire, it is captured by the front brake bolt. I did that on mine, then marked the stem. I also have the high rise handlebar that was apparently only used in 1971.

    Aaron

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  20. #20
    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    I was lucky that I didn't have to worry about a restrictor wire. It looked like it was already taken off when I got it.

    Thank God for that or else I would have been pulling at the thing and wondering why the stem wasn't coming off.

    My R20 came with the original stem and "all rounder" handlebar. However, I wanted something higher and wider and got a newer stem, which would also fit a standard diameter high rise handlebar.

    However, after a while, I felt like the handlebar was almost too wide for the size of the bike and switched back to the original stem and shorter/less wide handlebar.

    And like FF said above, I found that changing one thing - the handlebar - usually meant changing something else like getting a stem to fit the Raleigh and still accommodate the newer high rise handlebar I wanted.

  21. #21
    Senior Member November's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynocoaster View Post
    My simplicity project almost done but I need to find a nice front caliper brake.
    Dyno, we are on very similar paths! How's that SC2 working for ya? I really like the flipped bars and Brooks saddle.

  22. #22
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    I like the hub and it takes a little getting use to. Thanks, I like the handlebars flipped rides nice that way.
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  23. #23
    Schwinnasaur Schwinnsta's Avatar
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    Can the stock stem take a 25.4mm handlebar? Wald makes a 19.5" wide handlebar with a 6 1/2" rise.

    I had go with a longer than stock seat post. It seems like these bikes were probably designed for someone 5'-9" or under.

  24. #24
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
    Can the stock stem take a 25.4mm handlebar? Wald makes a 19.5" wide handlebar with a 6 1/2" rise.

    I had go with a longer than stock seat post. It seems like these bikes were probably designed for someone 5'-9" or under.
    Actually, these bikes are rather like the old classic UK made Mini Coopers that were imported here many years ago-you don't need to adjust the driver's seat at all to fit various drivers of different heights. My legs are rather long for my torso like most females, even at around only around 5 foot tall. I don't need to raise the saddle very high in order for my legs and knees to flex well (all of my other bikes I must raise the saddle very high). I like the relaxed angled body position the Twenty offers it's user. I was originally thinking about adding a longer seatpost, but I find that this is totally unnecessary.

  25. #25
    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
    Can the stock stem take a 25.4mm handlebar? Wald makes a 19.5" wide handlebar with a 6 1/2" rise.

    I had go with a longer than stock seat post. It seems like these bikes were probably designed for someone 5'-9" or under.
    The stock 22.2 mm stem that came with the Raleigh has a diameter of 23.8 mm. Therefore I would have to find a handlebar that's 23.8, if I want to work with the original stem.

    However, I did purchase a newer stem for the Raleigh and that can fit a 25.4 handlebar.

    But, in my case, rather than experiment with handlebars now I opted to work with the original stem and handlebar (which is 21 inches wide with a 4-5 inch rise). So far, so good. I like the shorter/less wide handlebar on the Raleigh.

    Nevertheless, thanks for pointing out this Wald handlebar. It is shorter and higher than the one presently on the Raleigh. In addition, I can once again use the newer stem I bought for it.

    FF - Like you I'm a shorty but with long legs. However, I'm not the best of riders and so I normally keep the seat a lot lower than I should.

    Fortunately for me, the Raleigh is a little lower to the ground than most bikes I've had and so I'm able to put the seat higher than usual.

    P.S. Dyno - Excuse my ignorance but does that mean that you're also riding around on a coaster brake? I'm curious. How's the braking quality then?

    Sorry, I've had limited experience with coaster brakes and they have not been good. I always ended up skidding to a stop as oppose to ...well..stopping. It could of been me or poor brakes or both.
    Last edited by SunnyFlorida; 03-07-11 at 08:58 PM.

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