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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 06-19-15, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
Any of you have 3 speeds that you keep only because they're unique or interesting, despite the fact they don't fit you? My 1955 Phillips has an effective top tube length of 58cm. I ride road bikes at around 50cm. I just can't get comfy on this bike to ride more than about a mile. I keep it because it's pre-raleigh, had all original parts and was fun to work on. I build new wheels around the original hubs.

It's really not fun to ride and I vacillate between selling so someone else will love Prince Phillips and keeping it "just because".
As I recall, you were thinking of building a 3 speed with a light weight frame anyway. I remember because this has been on my mind for years also.
I've seen some really nice conversions here on BF that have been inspiring. It would definitely be unique and interesting.
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Old 06-19-15, 02:25 PM
  #7477  
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Originally Posted by clubman
Toronto (formerly known as York, an enclave of anglo-centric Canada) is where you go for that, at least in the old days.
Do you mean that Toronto would be the place you'd drive the truck full of cheap three speeds?
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Old 06-19-15, 03:17 PM
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I bought what I believe to be is a 1971 (SA hub says 5 71) Raleigh Twenty in coffee color. I paid $60. I've never even seen a folding bike up close, so can't say if it's considered "rough" or not. Hubs feel adjusted, seat post & stem are NOT stuck , it folds, it shifts & brakes, and chrome has mostly surface rust. Wheels are the 20 x 1.75 Sturmey Archer brand, and the tires feel rubbery & pliable with plenty of tread.

Issue: the left side cotter pin is aftermarket and is loose. So when I pedal it moves and has a click. I don't want to ride it like that AND I'd like to get in and repack the bb first thing. This is what will prohibit me from riding it at this point. I understand that Raleigh cotters have a different angle and there's bikesmithdesign online who sells them, although I'd rather get one with a "Raleigh" nut.

So...recommendations at this point? Thoughts? I should start on the bottom bracket right? Maybe replace cables (it has regular cables, not the Raleigh proprietary ones with the thing at the end), brake pads? If I ride the bike with a loose crank arm will it damage the spindle (if not already damaged)? This will be an all summer long project. Paint is dull and will require work. Also I can't get the shift cable locknut undone - assuming it is the locknut (see photo).
1971 Raleigh Twenty by velocivixen, on Flickr
Raleigh Branded Cotter by velocivixen, on FlickrFlickr

Stem/Handlebars Twenty by velocivixen, on Flickr
Headset by velocivixen, on Flickr
Chain Guard Raleigh Twenty by velocivixen, on FlickrSturmey Archer Hub by velocivixen, on Flickr
Aftermarket Cotter Loose by velocivixen, on Flickr
Aftermarket Cotter by velocivixen, on Flickr
Sturmey Archer Shifter by velocivixen, on Flickr
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Old 06-19-15, 03:17 PM
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Used to be that way...Boston apparently as well.
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Old 06-19-15, 03:20 PM
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Continued...
Sturmey Archer 20 x 1.75 Wheels by velocivixen, on Flickr
Adjusting Barrel by velocivixen, on Flickr

Is that the lock nut on the last photo? I can't get it unscrewed from the long skinny part. I've done penetrating oil.

Feel free to comment, critique, advise, chastise, .....
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Old 06-19-15, 03:50 PM
  #7481  
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen

Is that the lock nut on the last photo? I can't get it unscrewed from the long skinny part. I've done penetrating oil.

Feel free to comment, critique, advise, chastise, .....
Two vise grip pliers and Man Strength?

But seriously - a simple way to get the indicator rod free from the hub is to unscrew that bolt holding the cable (seen on the right of your pic) and pull the cable free. Then grab the chain part and twist it counterclockwise, it should come right out of the hub. Now you've got it off and you can go take it to a workbench and work on freeing up the frozen locknut from the barrel.

NICE BIKE by the way (and a super deal). Took my own Twenty folder out for a ride today.

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Old 06-19-15, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
@Salubrious - I saw one of those on our local CL awhile back. Good to know. I'd like to have one three speed that I loved riding vs a whole bunch that are sort of "ok".

With the Raleigh Twenty, if it rides and doesn't have issues I may get it because I've never had a folder and it wouldn't take up that much space if I decided it would be a work in progress over time.
We enjoy ours a great deal and are having one of our semi annual gatherings on Sunday.

The headset has a nylon bushing up top that works as a steering damper, it serves it's purpose but prevents one from riding with no hands and makes the steering heavier feeling than it does after you have modded the headset to give it a full set of bearings.

I paid $40.00 for my wife's R20 (2011) and it was in mint condition, my little buddy Forrest cost $30.00, and my daughter's pristine 451 equipped R20 was well worth the 100.00 I paid for it. My oldest rides a Raleigh Saffron which is a non folding version of the Compact... paid $40.00 for that bike.

My stock R20 was a wedding present from a friend.

All except our youngest's bike has had a bunch of upgrades although her bikes does have a headset upgrade which I have written about elsewhere.
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Old 06-19-15, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
Continued...
turmey Archer 20 x 1.75 Wheels by velocivixen, on Flickr
justing Barrel by velocivixen, on Flickr

Is that the lock nut on the last photo? I can't get it unscrewed from the long skinny part. I've done penetrating oil.

Feel free to comment, critique, advise, chastise, .....
Once you have the rod free from the hub, I would apply heat. I believe that the lock nut and adjusting rod are aluminum and the rod is steel - the expansion/contraction of the dissimilar metals should free it.
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Old 06-19-15, 04:51 PM
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Great guys! I noticed that the front wheel didn't want to come out of the fork ends because the fork ends are like a keyhole with a "hole" shaped at top with straight slot going down. Is there a preferred way to install these? I just had to keep working at it. Races seemed pretty good, but one cone (adjustable one) had light pitting. So cleaned, new grease & used same ball bearings. I'm just trying to get it safe.

Regarding the loose crank arm. Thoughts? I mean it's really loose. I'm leaning toward removing the crank arm, working on the bottom bracket then....?
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Old 06-19-15, 05:07 PM
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"Regarding the loose crank arm. Thoughts? I mean it's really loose. I'm leaning toward removing the crank arm, working on the bottom bracket then....?"

Id guess the cotter is the wrong size and worn from use, Ive come across this a few times. When you get a proper one set it with a hammer and punch as just tightening the nut will not seat/tighten it enough. Some cotters need to be filed to fit correctly. Many people seem to stay away or fear cottered cranks, I never though they are all that bad to work with. Good luck with the 20!
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Old 06-19-15, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
Great guys! I noticed that the front wheel didn't want to come out of the fork ends because the fork ends are like a keyhole with a "hole" shaped at top with straight slot going down. Is there a preferred way to install these? I just had to keep working at it. Races seemed pretty good, but one cone (adjustable one) had light pitting. So cleaned, new grease & used same ball bearings. I'm just trying to get it safe.

Regarding the loose crank arm. Thoughts? I mean it's really loose. I'm leaning toward removing the crank arm, working on the bottom bracket then....?
If the crank is uber loose then disassemble and look for damage to the crankarm itself, maybe a previous attempt to fix it elongated the hole. Crank arms are abundant if you need to replace ( although maybe the 20's are shorter)

Buy 3 cotters, replace both and keep a spare. The left side is always the one that works loose. A hammer will do the job but a cotter clamp will execute the job as it should be done. I've never had to file cotters because it's always worked.
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Old 06-19-15, 05:34 PM
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I had a cotter that had the same symptom, an audible "click" when pedaling. Turned out the pin was not seated all the way. Hammering was useless. I ended up employing a "makeshift cotter press" by using a large C-clamp and empty socket to re-seat it.
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Old 06-19-15, 06:54 PM
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I own a vintage Park Tool official cotter press, so no issues. Cotters came out without a hitch. The Raleigh nutted one is different from the one that was on the loose side. Also, someone obviously had done the bottom bracket somewhat recently because there was fresh grease. Bottom bracket cups were smooth and axle looks good. I presume that cable clip on the drive side chain stay is for the shifter cable?

I know a few coops who would likely have a raleigh cotter and I know a bike shop that's somewhat obscure. He'll have something.
Raleigh Left; Other Right by velocivixen, on Flickr
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Fixed Cup Raleigh Twenty by velocivixen, on Flickr
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Old 06-19-15, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
I bought what I believe to be is a 1971 (SA hub says 5 71) Raleigh Twenty in coffee color. I paid $60. I've never even seen a folding bike up close, so can't say if it's considered "rough" or not. Hubs feel adjusted, seat post & stem are NOT stuck , it folds, it shifts & brakes, and chrome has mostly surface rust. Wheels are the 20 x 1.75 Sturmey Archer brand, and the tires feel rubbery & pliable with plenty of tread.

Issue: the left side cotter pin is aftermarket and is loose. So when I pedal it moves and has a click. I don't want to ride it like that AND I'd like to get in and repack the bb first thing. This is what will prohibit me from riding it at this point. I understand that Raleigh cotters have a different angle and there's bikesmithdesign online who sells them, although I'd rather get one with a "Raleigh" nut.

So...recommendations at this point? Thoughts? I should start on the bottom bracket right? Maybe replace cables (it has regular cables, not the Raleigh proprietary ones with the thing at the end), brake pads? If I ride the bike with a loose crank arm will it damage the spindle (if not already damaged)? This will be an all summer long project. Paint is dull and will require work. Also I can't get the shift cable locknut undone - assuming it is the locknut (see photo).
60.00 is a great deal for crazy bike land...

It does not look like it will take that long to get things sorted out... I'd check one of the bike coops to see if you can find some genuine Raleigh cotters as the aftermarket ones are softer and do not hold as well.

New cables and housings are a 20 minute job and if you can find some aftermarket levers and Kool Stop Continentals pads this will improve the brake feel and performance.

My finisher would blast and powder a frame for 100 Canadian sheckles but am not sure what the rate for that is in PDX.

Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 06-19-15 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 06-19-15, 08:10 PM
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@Sixty Fiver - Thanks! Powder for frame & fork is roughly $150. Not even sure I love the bike as I was afraid to ride more than a block given the slightly loose crank arm. Before I start sinking a lot of $$ into it, I want to get it basically sound then ride for awhile.

My newest "issue" is that the shifter lever came out of the Sturmey Archer shifter. It has 2 tiny bumps that stick out, but can't seem to get it back into the shifter.

Oh well...This is a process.

I've looked for SA shifter diagrams but cannot find any to guide me as to how to reinsert the metal lever.
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Old 06-19-15, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
@Sixty Fiver - Thanks! Powder for frame & fork is roughly $150. Not even sure I love the bike as I was afraid to ride more than a block given the slightly loose crank arm. Before I start sinking a lot of $$ into it, I want to get it basically sound then ride for awhile.
For some perspective on your $60 Raleigh 20...

You had also looked at a smaller step thru Sports on which the asking price was $195. I have acquired several of the coffee step thru Sports over the years for our "fleet" and the one you showed would have been on the low end of overall condition among them. I'd give no more than $75 for that example; probably no more than $50-$60.

OTOH, it is hard to even come across 20's here in my part of the Southeast and when I do I find that the ones that are priced realistically get snapped up immediately. I have been tempted a few times when they were $200-$250 and almost immaculate. The one you bought is average but, IMO, $60 is a killer deal for it.

From what I can tell, 20's are a bike that you'll always want to hold on to because of the uber practicality and the quality.

Looks like you're making great progress on it too!
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Old 06-19-15, 10:26 PM
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@PalmettoUpstate - I think you're right. Good call for all of you who encouraged me to wait and do better with a smaller sized 3 speed. I'm in no hurry. There was a Superbe awhile back, but I didn't go see it. I've really been struggling back & forth regarding my Phillips. It's unique in that it has all it's parts, was all original, pre Raleigh, and my first 3 speed. It's just too big for me though. So I've been waffling back & forth as to what to do. I don't have to do anything if I don't want. I have space for it, and I can wait and just see what happens in regard to getting a better sized one.

So far on the Twenty I've done the bottom bracket, but still need to source out a Raleigh cotter/nut. If anyone has one they can spare, please offer to sell it to me. . I've done the front hub and removed the brake calipers, deep cleaned, reinstalled with Kool Stops and recabled the front so far. I need to buy a brake cable for the rear, but have new housing. I also need to get SA cable kit for the shifter, which I got back together.

The reflector on the rear fender is not original and may take it off until I can replace.

Question: Can the pedals be disassembled for lubrication or do I just have to squirt some oil in there & call it good? I dont' see a way to remove the outer dust cap.

Last edited by Velocivixen; 06-19-15 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 06-20-15, 12:33 AM
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@Velocivixen Cool Twenty! I don't know if I just live in crazy price land, but I can't imagine finding something like that for $60. Looking forward to seeing you get it working. I know someone with the Phillips version and she absolutely loves it (although she said it was a necessity to get alloy rims) because she can lock it anywhere and most people don't know what the heck it is, so they leave it alone.
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Old 06-20-15, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by forestine
@Velocivixen Cool Twenty! I don't know if I just live in crazy price land, but I can't imagine finding something like that for $60. Looking forward to seeing you get it working. I know someone with the Phillips version and she absolutely loves it (although she said it was a necessity to get alloy rims) because she can lock it anywhere and most people don't know what the heck it is, so they leave it alone.
You don't live in crazyland. I'm in the Portland, OR market and even pieces of junk start off, minimally, at $100. Seller got the bike free from a friend & he didn't ride it. He was asking for more. I pointed out the issue with the loose crank arms and educated him about Raleigh proprietary threading, etc. basically pointed out "issues". I offered and he accepted. I probably could have bought it for less.
@Sixty Fiver - I've read about your R20 where you said you re tapped the threads, etc to accept modern bb. Sheldon Brown mentions this and talks about the threads not being strong, etc. what's your experience? Also wondering if I build 451 wheels (current are the 406) if I'll be able to keep the fenders. Also if I go that route, how much brake reach would I likely require? Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-20-15, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
You don't live in crazyland. I'm in the Portland, OR market and even pieces of junk start off, minimally, at $100. Seller got the bike free from a friend & he didn't ride it. He was asking for more. I pointed out the issue with the loose crank arms and educated him about Raleigh proprietary threading, etc. basically pointed out "issues". I offered and he accepted. I probably could have bought it for less.
@Sixty Fiver - I've read about your R20 where you said you re tapped the threads, etc to accept modern bb. Sheldon Brown mentions this and talks about the threads not being strong, etc. what's your experience? Also wondering if I build 451 wheels (current are the 406) if I'll be able to keep the fenders. Also if I go that route, how much brake reach would I likely require? Thanks in advance.
I used to live in crazy bike land... aka Portland. You did well to haggle the price down to 60.00 as all the R20 bicycles I have seen for sale there have been listed for a lot more and my wife got non stop offers from folks who wanted to buy hers.

My wife has often said that if I filled a truck or trailer full of old three speeds, which are as abundant the mosquitoes here, and brought them to Portland we'd make a killing... I also know from my experiences with friends there that I live in 3 speed heaven as the prices are rather low.

I have re-tapped and refaced the bottom brackets on a number of 20's so they will take a modern cartridge and have had no problems over many thousands of km... a little blue loctite works as an anti seize and thread-locker and nothing has budged.

If I was rebuilding wheels for a 20, 451's would be a good idea as then you can run a shorter reach brake... the 406 model normally has spacers on the fender and removing those will allow the 451 wheel to fit nicely with the mudguards.

The 451 rolls a little faster and stands a little taller but is not quite as robust or plush as the 36 spoke 406 wheel... these were originally built with 28 spoke rims so replacements would have to be 36 if you want to use the hubs you have.

My wife's R20 in Portland...



Mine...



My daughter's 451 model... I was riding it this day.

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Old 06-20-15, 02:40 AM
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Forrest used to be a 3 speed... he was the scruffiest little Phillip's 20 you ever saw.



Now he is rocking a 9 speed drivetrain along with the new bodywork...

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Old 06-20-15, 08:00 AM
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That was a very good deal at $60. I've never bought a Twenty because I've only seen them priced at twice that or more.
Another bike you might want to check, if you run across one, is a Raleigh Colt. They are the same as a sports, with
26" wheels, but with a compact frame. They tend to sell for less because they're not full size.

Finished my Sprite this morning. All servicing done. Managed to get the S5 back together without breaking it.
I did install a Sun Tour friction shifter to operate the left side bell crank. In Florida, I didn't need it
but now I'm in New England and I wanted the granny gear for hills. The left side shifter isn't as slick
as the right. The right side with the usual trigger shifter works just as well as a normal AW.
The left, that shifts from close to wide ratio, is a little more fussy. You have to freewheel, put some tension
on the shifter and slowly rotate the pedals until it snaps into gear. It does work flawlessly though and I'm
very fond of the close ratio option this hub gives me. Very glad to have it back together. This bike is going
to be my main rider once I get a tool kit and air pump. No pump stays on this bike though. I'll have to come up with something.
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Old 06-20-15, 09:42 AM
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@Sixty Fiver - your bikes are gorgeous. You're right about the fender spacers - mine has those. Thanks for giving me the rundown on what worked for you. Who, in Portland, would have die for Raleigh threading? I wonder if A Better Cycle would? What color paint is that on Forrest. It looks to be similar to the Raleigh "coffee" color, which I love.
@BigChief - your Sprite is very handsome. Is it coffee color? In the photo it almost looks very dark Eggplant color (purple). Please tell me more about the left side shifter. There is a step through Triumph for offer now on CL and it has cables coming out of both sides of the rear hub. It seems I've read about this before, but thought you might like to take a minute to educate those who might be searching for info. like this. Will you ride this bike or ???

Got the front brake recabled/housing last night and oh boy, what a difference. Today I'll get brake cable for the rear and a new SA cable kit. If I'm inclined I might remove the rear wheel and clean up the AW hub. The chrome on it is very nice and after oiling yesterday, seems to shift (on the stand) just great. I'll post photos later.

Have happy riding and productive wrenching!

OH! I wanted to ask: What would happen if I laced a SA GH6 front dyno to, say, a 451 rim? A 406 Rim? Would the faster rotating wheel burn out the bulb or anything? What is the difference if I used a modern LED headlight vs vintage?

Also, do you think a 350MM seat post would suffice? I'm 5'6" & have my saddle top about 27.25" above crank center. Thanks.

What chain do you like to use on something like this? Single speed, 1/8"? Any particular model?

Last edited by Velocivixen; 06-20-15 at 09:49 AM. Reason: asked another question
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Old 06-20-15, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
OH! I wanted to ask: What would happen if I laced a SA GH6 front dyno to, say, a 451 rim? A 406 Rim? Would the faster rotating wheel burn out the bulb or anything? What is the difference if I used a modern LED headlight vs vintage?
I believe @rhm aka Rudi has a Twenty with a dynohub. He would probably be able to answer questions about Dynos and small wheels.

I'm tinkering with my Sports (installing new rear wheel with S5 hub), so I rode my 20 to work this past week. I geared it down a bit and built up the wheels with aluminum rims. It's fun to ride, and I get a lot of appreciative comments, but I've noticed it doesn't seem to hold it's speed as well as a full size bike. Maybe that's my imagination.
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Old 06-20-15, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by gna
I believe @rhm aka Rudi has a Twenty with a dynohub. He would probably be able to answer questions about Dynos and small wheels.

I'm tinkering with my Sports (installing new rear wheel with S5 hub), so I rode my 20 to work this past week. I geared it down a bit and built up the wheels with aluminum rims. It's fun to ride, and I get a lot of appreciative comments, but I've noticed it doesn't seem to hold it's speed as well as a full size bike. Maybe that's my imagination.
Your bike looks so good! Paint looks great from this distance. Are those vintage rims?
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