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  1. #1
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    Raleigh Twenty good bike for Beginners? and how much?

    I don't know much about bicycle maintenance. I've owned a folder in the past, but it was ruined in a minor car accident. I've considered buying a new shiny bike again, but I find simpler bikes more attractive. And as an artist, I enjoy building/constructing/designing things. I would like the opportunity to learn more about bikes while I'm young and have time and the ability to learn new things. So instead of buying another mid-priced dahon, I was thinking about buying used and buying something with some age and charm. The Raleigh 20 really struck me as a nice looking bike, and from what I've seen it's pretty inexpensive. It's popular, and a lot of people upgrade them so there should be plenty of resources available for me to learn more about my bike. So, I wondering if buying a Raleigh 20 would be a good investment for a newby to learn how to restore/maintain/upgrade a bicycle, and how much would be a fair price for a decent condition Raleigh 20? And also, if yes and cheap does anyone knows of anyone selling one in the Tempe, AZ area lol.

    Thank you,
    Ryan

  2. #2
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The price of upgrading a Raleigh 20 can vary widely and there are some things that should be done to bring the bike up to snuff, even if it is minty fresh.

    Living in Arizona you might not have to worry about the 20's wet braking, or lack of it and swapping the pads out to Kool Stop Salmon pads will make a good improvement, swapping the front wheel for an alloy one will give you the greatest improvement and bang for your buck.

    The rear brake is so anemic that even the pad swap and an alloy wheel will only give you speed attenuation but all the important braking comes off the front anyways.

    There is no reason to be looking at swapping out anything else unless you plan to hot rod the bike and then you start to get into where serious skills and / or money are going to be required.

    This is my '72 which has new alloy wheels, better brake pads, and some added comforts like my Brooks saddle and nicer grips, I also swapped out the stock brake levers as the originals are very flexy and contribute to poorer braking.

    It is a very smooth riding and comfortable bicycle and a match to my wife's 1974 which has seen a very similar treatment...



    If you have not seen it, this is my 1973 Phillip's 20 that has seen some extensive work all the way around which went as far as rebuilding the rear triangle and building a custom front fork, as well as adding cable guides, bottle mounts, and some bottom bracket work to allow for the modern crank. The bike has no stopping issues with it's V brakes and was built up to be a very capable all rounder with a focus on touring.

    This work is beyond the skills of most... I work as a frame builder and am a bicycle mechanic / technician with a well set up shop to do everything I need and we did the powder coating in house as well.





    http://raleightwenty.webs.com/ is an excellent resource... I also hang out there a fair bit.

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Local resell/barter shop looks at auction prices, priced one at $500...

  4. #4
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Local resell/barter shop looks at auction prices, priced one at $500...
    Damn... they often show up at my house as gifts and the most I have ever paid for one is $100.00 and this was because it was the British version and because it was pretty close to mint.

    It now belongs to my youngest daughter.


  5. #5
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    Thank you for the replies. Ya, as you mentioned I am planning on learning more about the bike as I go and as I ride. Making simple neccessary upgrades first, and more difficult upgrades later if desired/possible. From what I've seen the bike goes for as little as $50 on craigslist, I'd hope to buy it for a similar amount, but I've seen it as high a $250+ on ebay... not sure what price range is reasonable or a rip-off. As mentioned the raleigh twenty requires a few intial upgrades to make it more ridable, besides asethetics, does the raleigh 20 hold any value? For instance, is it worth buying an older folder and upgrading vs. a cheap new folder, give it a retro look, and then upgrade it aswell? At $50 my opinion now is that the bike has pretty good intial value as even used cheap modern folders don't seem to sell that low. I suppose it's worth mentioning everything on my dahon speed p8 is usable workng condition besides the frame and fork, I could possibly add/swap these components to a cheap bike with a good frame but bad componenents.. Is a raleigh twenty a bike that could benefit from this, although it may be a bit more difficult to manage, vs buying some 100 citizen/yeah brand type bike or some single speed dahon?

  6. #6
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    these are to lovely looking bikes you have sixty fiver!! I had the same idea as Ryan. I love the old raleigh twenty, coming from scotland you can pick them up here for £20 around $35 in second hand shops i have seen so many, maybe just maybe i might get one and spend £250 on any upgrades gears are the most important to me as i plan to travel a lot. I have just ordered a brand new Dahon Visc P18 for my cycle tour.
    But i can see what Ryan means by appealing to the eye The Raleigh Twenty looks the biz!

  7. #7
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Few small wheeled bikes can compare to the 20 when it comes to ride quality, the handling is very good, and they have a lot of classic appeal to boot.

    Folding wise they are good for small flats and the boot of a car but I rarely ever fold mine, I just enjoy riding them because they are very nice bicycles.

  8. #8
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I love my Twentys, none of mine have any wild modifications on them. Alloy rims, brake cable and pad upgrades have pretty well been it. I paid less than $150 for each of mine. Current fair market value seems to be $100-$300 with most currently selling on Ebay towards the higher end of that spectrum. The bikes are fairly simple to work on and most parts are readily attainable. My personal Twenty has had some upgrades; alloy wheels, alloy seat post, Brooks saddle, and modern LED generator lights. My brides is getting new rims and a different saddle. As part of the new rim process I will switch the rear hub out to a coaster brake version.

    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.
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  9. #9
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    Another cool looking TWENTY!!

  10. #10
    lowlife bottom feeder BassNotBass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Local resell/barter shop looks at auction prices, priced one at $500...
    I've been on the lookout for a Twenty for a few years now and the couple that I've seen pop up up in my area were priced about this same way.
    I plan on living forever... so far so good.

  11. #11
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    Two threads running lol

    Prices vary here in the UK dependent on condition.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/Bikes-/335...Raleigh+twenty

    Jerry
    Brompton M2L (SRAM A2), Brompton M2L(X), Dahon Uno (SRAM A2), Both Swift Xootr & Moulton TSR2 now gone

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    One day I just might buy something like this on ebay.co.uk and fly up there to pick it up:

    $(KGrHqV,!hEF!jsPqRMiBQOnLiErH!~~60_12.JPG $(KGrHqZ,!jQE+)p(dpV)BQOnL0T)8g~~60_14.JPG

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Raleigh-Tw...item3ccfafd2e2
    Last edited by Ekdog; 03-12-13 at 05:41 AM. Reason: Posted this before I saw Jerry's.

  13. #13
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    Yep that ones looks very nice.

    Jerry
    Brompton M2L (SRAM A2), Brompton M2L(X), Dahon Uno (SRAM A2), Both Swift Xootr & Moulton TSR2 now gone

  14. #14
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  15. #15
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    ^
    I think I like the stock look better TBH.

    Could be tempted by one of these: http://www.evanscycles.com/products/...29501#features

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elvis Shumaker View Post
    ^
    I think I like the stock look better TBH.

    Could be tempted by one of these: http://www.evanscycles.com/products/...29501#features
    £309 in the UK would get you a very nice original R20, and leave a wad of cash for sensitive upgrading.
    Jetstream P11 ; iXi

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryka View Post
    ... I suppose it's worth mentioning everything on my dahon speed p8 is usable workng condition besides the frame and fork, I could possibly add/swap these components to a cheap bike with a good frame but bad componenents.. Is a raleigh twenty a bike that could benefit from this, although it may be a bit more difficult to manage, vs buying some 100 citizen/yeah brand type bike or some single speed dahon?
    What color is your Speed P8?

    -HANK RYAN-
    Norman, Oklahoma USA

    Addendum: The reason I ask the color is because knowing the color may help the smart guys (like Thor) determine what specific components (crankset, derailleur, etc.) are available from your Speed P8. For USA Dahons, a black frame should indicate a 2011 or newer Speed P8. A red frame should indicate a 2007 or newer Speed P8. A silver frame should indicate a 2005-2006 Speed P8. A white frame should indicate a 2004 Speed P8. My understanding is that your Speed P8 has a red frame. Pictures of the derailleur and crankset might be helpful.
    Last edited by HGR3inOK; 03-14-13 at 03:17 PM. Reason: Addendum
    DISCLOSURE: I have an ownership interest in an independent bike shop that is an authorized dealer for Raleigh, Dahon, Tern & Brompton.

  18. #18
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    Well the Raleigh 20 sounds like a good idea. Now it's just a matter of finding on available in AZ. Infact I will also be visiting home in Chicago land area IL, and visiting a friend in Milwaukee, WI between the 15th-25th. If anyone knows of a Raleigh 20 available in Phoenix/Chicago/Milwaukee area I'd be interested... I'd prefer to find one in AZ as I wouldn't have to worry about shipping it home or trying to pack it on a plane Thanks .

  19. #19
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    Also, while I'm looking for the Raleigh 20, are there any other nice vintage folding bikes, that may also worth fixing up and modifying and what not? I like the 20" size vs 16". Just wondering if there is any other models to look out for that offer just as good a build/ride/frame as the Raleigh 20, maybe even lighter than the Raleigh 20 as people complain most about it's weight. Thanks

  20. #20
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    are you sure its good advice for a beginner to start with a twenty ? Bottom bracket ? derailleur equipped donor with 74 mm front axle ... 406 wheels.. and the lsit goes on .... ??? Just sayin ..I know you guys have spend years and some sizable cash in your twenties surely a labour of love ...I admire... but how much do they really weigh ? and how is that braking ? You have good 3 speed wheels just laying around the house ...
    I am just sayin .... I dont think this is a real good idea for a beginner on a budget .... If you want to do this right its gonna be expensive, well worth it if you see the above examples... but...??

    thor

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    Yes, I am definitely not interested in dropping huge sums of money immediately on a bicycle (huge sums being $500 or so) but am willing to spend some money over time, which is why I'm not in the market for a new dahon/tern/brompton bicycle. I considering replacing my dahon speed p8, or buying a new brompton, but in the end I decided I would be better served repaired my old bicycle as discussed in an earlier thread. I know little about bikes and am more than a little nervous in purchasing a machine that costs more than a 1000 dollars that I know nothing about, worst case if I spent 1000 making a machine of equal quality I'd atleast have a better understand of how it works and would be able to care for it properly. However, my dahon frame was comprimised in the crash so fixing it is not an option. I suppose I'm in the market for any used folding bicycle with a decent frame that is worth upgrading and modifying, and is possible to upgrade and modify, and only costs $100 or so. But to me a bike worth working on and learning about would have to be as nice looking as a raleigh twenty, so I feel like putting the money into a raleigh twenty is a good option. It doesn't seem, from what I've heard, too expensive to atleast obtain and make minor upgrades on a 20 so that it is ridable and enjoyable. Further upgrades can come later as my budget and expertise grows. I suppose the frame of the used bike is the most important factor for a project bike since I'll probably one day want to replace the other components as I learn how. If there are other better options for used 20" folder for this sort of project/learning experience I'm open to suggestions.

  22. #22
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    Hi.

    FWIW I'm old enough to have had a Raleigh Twenty in my
    youth but as a student I had a different folder, a Mayfair,
    European 3 speed with a big fat main tube and joint.

    A nice Twenty is a good buy and probably not a good
    basis for serious upgrades, as you might as well use
    a cheaper knackered one for the uphill upgrade path.

    If your serious buy two, one to keep near original,
    the other to modify, then you'll have lots of spares.

    rgds, sreten.
    Last edited by sreten; 03-12-13 at 04:44 PM.

  23. #23
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    Thor has a good point, if you want a hobby that isnt going to cost you a lot of money and wont break the bank of you lose interest, buy an R20 (or one of it's badged cousins), but if you want a bike to just get on and ride, well maybe look somewhere else...

    I went from a 6 speed Brompton to a 3 speed Puch Picnic, and great as the Picnic was, it was several eons away from the Brompton in terms of overall ride experience.

    You dont say what kind of cycling you have in mind, I would think thats something to consider before you choose between a classic and a modern.

    Of course if you have just fallen in love with the look of a green R20, common sense and practicalities dont come into it, you just have to buy one, or you'll always regret it.
    Jetstream P11 ; iXi

  24. #24
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
    are you sure its good advice for a beginner to start with a twenty ? Bottom bracket ? derailleur equipped donor with 74 mm front axle ... 406 wheels.. and the lsit goes on .... ??? Just sayin ..I know you guys have spend years and some sizable cash in your twenties surely a labour of love ...I admire... but how much do they really weigh ? and how is that braking ? You have good 3 speed wheels just laying around the house ...
    I am just sayin .... I dont think this is a real good idea for a beginner on a budget .... If you want to do this right its gonna be expensive, well worth it if you see the above examples... but...??

    thor
    A Twenty in nice condition does not need much to bring it up to speed... and am not sure where a 74mm measurement fits on an R20.

    Replace the front wheel with an alloy one, upgrade the brake pads and you are pretty much good to go if you are looking for a solid, comfortable bicycle with oodles of vintage appeal.... it is hard to find a small wheeled bicycle that rides any better or that is any tougher.

    If I was quoting a price to upgrade a Twenty with new rims (lace overs) and brake pads we would be looking at $150.00 and with a full rebuild of the wheels I would add another $75.00 for new spokes although this is not always needed. My '72 has an off the peg front wheel and the rear has had a new rim installed with the original spokes since it had so few miles on it.

  25. #25
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    It is not about Brompton or R20, comparing fold and price.

    Some peopel want/need something bombproof. If you are not a tinkerer no need to tinker much with a R20.

    Some peopel need cheap transport and if you REALLY need cheap you also need it to be reliable. With coaster brake /drumbrakes the brake problem plus the rimwear problem is solved.

    A brompton is not an option for everybody, but if you get a R20 or similar you may manage to save up for a Brompton.

    Spares. I live in an area where childrens bikes is plenty. Looks like when peopel (grandparents) have too much money on theyr hands they buy new (shiny but often bad quality heavy) bikes for the children, and often they are dumped for as simple a problem as a flat tyre. Same with BMX bikes. I have an endless source of free alu wheels, tyres and tubes. I do not use the tyres, (often cheap knobbys) but if i REALLY had to I could. Same with chains and BB`s and headsets. Free plastic fenders and stuff also.

    Often the bikes have Shimano three speed hubs with shifters in perfect condition. Others have 5, 6 or 7 gears and often SIS der and twistgrip shifters. Sometimes the little monsters have outfitted the bikes with all sorts of extras, like lock, lights, bags, alu seatpost racks, adjustable ahead stems in alu, bell with compass- you name it.

    I always have several extra wheels. If I find a MTB with Deore or similar but with worn out rims I take the hub out and build a folder wheel with it- Good to have spares, good to have some extra wheels with winter tyres or wider than avreage tyres for special ocations. Also I try to protect the Kinetix wheels from loaded touring and stuff like that, just swap out the wheels.

    Three of our old beaters have an oversized BB shell. Two is Faubercrank, one is Thomson cottered. I decided on the easy way out of this and cut out modern BB shells from donor bikes (like the mentioned childrens bikes or others) and placed them innside the BB shell, epoxyed them in place. Still holding up 5-6 yrs later. Good thing with epoxy is you can mix steel and alu. Of course you cand spend the time and money needed to search the net and go for a Phil Wood BB solution if that is what you want.

    If you do not have the same sourche as me at least garage sales, flea markets and craiglist should get you cheap parts if that is what you need- or an oportunity to recycle and play with "Lego for adults" if that is your thing.

    Old heayy MTB`s from the 80`s is a good source for drumbrakes and 5 speed gearhubs with coasterbrake. Also bikes with Nexus 7 and sometimes Nexus 4.


    I like our nice newish bikes w kinetix wheels and our Bromptons a lot, but I really love the old steel beaters with hub brakes, hub gears, BA`s that newer need tinkering and that can carry a ton if you want them to. Steel frames let you weld and braze, add on and chop off without damaging.

    Good thing with folders is most peopel can find a place to store two folders where you could only store one "big" bike.
    Last edited by badmother; 03-13-13 at 02:47 AM.
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

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