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Royal Enfield Revelation

Old 10-31-11, 09:42 PM
  #1  
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Royal Enfield Revelation



Have won an ebay auction for this bike, cost me a massive 51

Tony Hadland has an interesting article on these bikes https://www.hadland.me.uk/revelation/revelation.htm.

I'm thinking that as it is already rather non-original, I may convert it to hub brakes and maybe an 8 speed hub.
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Old 10-31-11, 10:04 PM
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That's cute. Looks like a great shopping bike - just need some racks. Love the old "Made Like a Gun" slogan - that's classic.
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Old 10-31-11, 10:12 PM
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Love that design and just had another bad idea put in my head...
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Old 11-01-11, 05:59 AM
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Nice score, now I want one of those!

I vote 'yes' on the 8 speed hub but 'no' on the hub brakes. I've tried hub brakes on several bikes and was never happy with them. Rim brakes --even the old steel sidepulls that are on that bike now-- are simply a better design.
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Old 11-01-11, 08:27 AM
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Ever tried them on a 20" wheel? I have and they work extremely well
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Old 11-01-11, 08:50 AM
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The bike I ride every day has a Sturmey Archer XRF8 and 20" wheels and rim brakes.

I have used hub brakes on bikes with 16" wheels (Strida, Moulton, and a cheap Chinese folding bike) and 26" wheels. I really like the idea of hub brakes, and (as you'll see from the litany of complaints below) I have tried hard to make them work for me. I haven't given up using the ones I have, but I'm not likely to go buying another one anytime soon.

To be fair, most of what follows are not problems endemic to hub brakes, but merely problems I encountered with the different hub brakes I have used. Okay, that said, here's the list!

One problem I've had with hub brake installation is the cable routing. The cable has to go almost all the way to the hub, and most bike frames are not made for this. You end up with a workaround, and usually an unsightly one.

A related problem: The Sturmey Archer drum brake works best with the Sturmey Archer double-ended cable that I have found to be the wrong size for every application I've tried. It doesn't help that they don't make one for drop bar levers. The solution is another workaround; I can do that, but it's less than ideal.

Then there's the problem of securing the reactor arm. The Sturmey Archer drum brake front hubs come with a small collection of bands sized to go around a variety of fork blades, not including the fork on my bike. Guess what: another workaround, what fun!

The third problem I had was that the cable and reactor arm hardware rusted. This was especially a problem on the Shimano Nexus rollerbrake equipped bike I rode for several years. The cable stop registers in this slot on the reactor arm, down under the chain stay where it is exposed to a great deal of road grime including salt. Once rusted into place it becomes very difficult to move it. At home this is not a problem; apply a little oil and a little persuasion and it comes free before long. But when I encountered this problem while fixing a flat tire on a cold dark morning, I was not in the least happy about it.

The Shimano rollerbrake that I mentioned, by the way, always rattled. Rattle rattle rattle. I got tired of that, too.

As for braking power, I had a problem only on one, namely the rear brake on my Strida. The brake shoe wore down a little bit, and I couldn't tighten the cable beyond some point. I don't even remember why that was, but the problem was insurmountable. I blame this problem on Strida (design flaw) and the manufacturer of the drum brake (no replacement parts available, even through Strida).
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Old 11-01-11, 09:46 AM
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I like hub brakes.

I also like that little bike, but I always wonder about small wheel'd bikes that don't fold....what's the purpose?
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Old 11-01-11, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
I like hub brakes.

I also like that little bike, but I always wonder about small wheel'd bikes that don't fold....what's the purpose?
I ride my 20 a great deal because it is such a great bike... that just happens to fold / collapse.

It comes of the line like a rocket and rides and handles extremely well and the 20 inch wheels can take a beating.
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Old 11-01-11, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
I like hub brakes.

I also like that little bike, but I always wonder about small wheel'd bikes that don't fold....what's the purpose?
The purpose of a bike with 20" wheels (speaking of which, you rode one this summer) is the same as that of a bike with 27" wheels. I ride large wheel bikes because the cool old bikes come that way. I certainly wouldn't buy one new.

What I don't understand is the purpose of a bike that folds up but doesn't actually get any more compact in the process.
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Old 11-01-11, 01:44 PM
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Well in response to this thread I took my Twenty out of my trunk and rode it around Burlington for my lunch break. Sure is fun

I guess I forgot about that part and that the fact it folds into the back of my Mini is only part of why its back there.
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Old 11-01-11, 08:27 PM
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Small wheeled bikes will accelerate better, turn sharper and will fit around the annoying landing doorway to get to my front door. They also have a bit more personality as their designers don't stick to the diamond frame (although in this case....). The reason for their creation was for the family who may need a bike for trips to the shops, one frame size fits all members of the family and the low wheels allow more to be carried. My kingpin makes an excellent tourer as its designed to carry stuff, I can get it on a train easily because its a folder (ie folds in theory so exempt from requiring booking a bike space) and will happily do 90 miles in a day. The only downside of a small wheeler is the ride is bumpier.
The Revelation I bought because its simply a cool looking bike and reputed to ride really well. It will be longer than my kingpin so slightly harder to get in and out of my flat and it doesn't fold so more of a pain to take on trains. The long back end should however mean it has better weight distribution when unloaded so unlike the Kingpin it should go up a 1 in 5 hill without needing to plan ahead and put front panniers on to keep the front wheel on the ground. This makes it perfect for day rides.
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Old 11-16-11, 05:21 AM
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Just a heads up if anyone saw this one and wanted to get their own - another one on (UK) ebay right now: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Royal-Enfi...#ht_500wt_1152

That's all. Tempted myself but I already have two R20s so not really got the space.
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Old 11-21-11, 07:04 AM
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That isn't a Royal Enfield. Its an Vindec made after they bought the name when Royal Enfield went bankrupt. Nice bike but not as nice as the original.

I have now made some balsa mudguards with walnut veneer which are looking great and a matching chain guard. I have decided that the paintwork is so poor it needs a repaint so I will be putting the frame back in Burgundy as that's one of the original colours used. As decals are going to be impossible to source for the bike, I have obtained some Royal Enfield motorbike decals which I shall apply to the mudguards (crown, cannon and made like a gun motto). Its a distinct possibility that this bike will end up looking far to stylish to warrant an 8 speed hub. It will get a bullet shaped front lamp for a bit of bling (plastic one made by dyto).
I am also toying with getting some old fashioned rubber block pedals and replacing the rubber with wooden blocks, although I'm not sure my woodworking skills are up to that.

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Old 11-21-11, 07:32 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
The bike I ride every day has a Sturmey Archer XRF8 and 20" wheels and rim brakes.

I have used hub brakes on bikes with 16" wheels (Strida, Moulton, and a cheap Chinese folding bike) and 26" wheels. I really like the idea of hub brakes, and (as you'll see from the litany of complaints below) I have tried hard to make them work for me. I haven't given up using the ones I have, but I'm not likely to go buying another one anytime soon.

To be fair, most of what follows are not problems endemic to hub brakes, but merely problems I encountered with the different hub brakes I have used. Okay, that said, here's the list!

One problem I've had with hub brake installation is the cable routing. The cable has to go almost all the way to the hub, and most bike frames are not made for this. You end up with a workaround, and usually an unsightly one.

A related problem: The Sturmey Archer drum brake works best with the Sturmey Archer double-ended cable that I have found to be the wrong size for every application I've tried. It doesn't help that they don't make one for drop bar levers. The solution is another workaround; I can do that, but it's less than ideal.

Then there's the problem of securing the reactor arm. The Sturmey Archer drum brake front hubs come with a small collection of bands sized to go around a variety of fork blades, not including the fork on my bike. Guess what: another workaround, what fun!

The third problem I had was that the cable and reactor arm hardware rusted. This was especially a problem on the Shimano Nexus rollerbrake equipped bike I rode for several years. The cable stop registers in this slot on the reactor arm, down under the chain stay where it is exposed to a great deal of road grime including salt. Once rusted into place it becomes very difficult to move it. At home this is not a problem; apply a little oil and a little persuasion and it comes free before long. But when I encountered this problem while fixing a flat tire on a cold dark morning, I was not in the least happy about it.

The Shimano rollerbrake that I mentioned, by the way, always rattled. Rattle rattle rattle. I got tired of that, too.

As for braking power, I had a problem only on one, namely the rear brake on my Strida. The brake shoe wore down a little bit, and I couldn't tighten the cable beyond some point. I don't even remember why that was, but the problem was insurmountable. I blame this problem on Strida (design flaw) and the manufacturer of the drum brake (no replacement parts available, even through Strida).
Rudi, those are all good and valid points from your personal experience and well worth adding into the thread. I do agree with the cable routing being an issue. WRT the double ended cables you mentioned, there is a little pinch bolt included with the SA kit that works famously atmo. I've only got one bike with drums at the moment, my Peugeot PX-8, but would happily convert more bikes to drums given the opportunity... I'm actually sitting on a SA X-RD5 built into a 700c wheel at the moment. Not sure which bike to put it on, but I'll find something in the collection soon and I'll mate that to a SA drum/dyno on the front.
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Old 11-21-11, 08:28 AM
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I don't "get" the OP's bike. With the extended seat tube and head tube, it looks like it would be heavier than a regular diamond frame bike, and all it's other "features" to be disadvantages.

Sez the person who has never ridden one. I did rig a light weight BMX bike like this once, but it didn't go well for me.
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Old 11-21-11, 03:38 PM
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The point is that if a family owned this 'shopping' bike, any member of that family can go and do the shopping on it as the seat post and stem can be adjusted for a wide range of riders. One point made on the original advert for this particular bike is that it is 25% lighter than a full sized equivalent. Small wheels give it better acceleration than a larger bike because it has less rotational inertia which is perfect for its purpose of short trips about town. Some of the early folders such as the Raleigh Twenty and Dawes Kingpin were originally non folding shopping bikes before being cut in two and having a hinge added.
I also have a Kingpin folder which I adapted to create a touring bike by replacing the 3 speed hub with deraileurs. This performs rather well as a bike designed to carry a lot of shopping is very comfortable carrying loaded panniers. A touring bike would obviously be better but there is a benefit to having a touring bike that can be taken on trains without requiring a bike reservation.
I guess I just like old small wheelers, they have a bit of character.
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Old 11-21-11, 05:14 PM
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That's way sleeker than a Raleigh 20. I haven't ridden a 20 yet but I just picked up a couple. Winter's on the way and I was trying to fit all my rod brake roadsters in the basement when a CL ad shows up looking to sell or trade the pair. So I traded my Phoenix for them. Not sure I'm saving any room but a change is always nice. They won't be ready to ride till next spring. I think I'll restore the green one and Drew the white one.

They'd look sleeker with those skinny tires and lime green paint.
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Old 11-23-11, 09:39 AM
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Check out raleightwenty.webs.com to see what you can do with a raleigh twenty
To make the twenty look sleeker, switch it to 451 wheels.

Anyway, I now have a dilema. The revelation is yet to get dismantled and powdercoated into Burgundy. I have been spending my time making some mudguards and a chain guard.

Anyway, I have fitted the mudguards and now the bike has taken on a completely different personality. It now looks way too nice to go fast on and it would seem a shame to change the hubs. The mudguards and chainguard are made from Balsa, Walnut Veneer and Epoxy Glue so the bike isn't gaining much weight. Do I go ahead with increasing the number of gears so I can make more use of it or do I keep it as original as I can for use on special occasions, tweed rides etc?
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Old 12-03-11, 06:26 PM
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I'm now thinking racks. ARGH no mudguard eyelets on the front for a front rack! The rear rack is going to be a pain as well. I may have to get replicas of the original racks custom made.
I also noticed something interesting, the braze on for the front rack at the top of the head tube. If I'm not mistaken, they just brazed a normal nut to the headtube. They go to all the trouble of the neat looking curved joint supports on the frame and then when it comes to a threaded braze on to bolt a rack to, they just brazed a nut onto the headtube?
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Old 12-03-11, 07:08 PM
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Will P-clips work for the rack?
The fenders and chainguard look great.
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Old 12-04-11, 09:04 AM
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I think P clips would be dodgy as the forks taper. The best bet for a front rack would be a porteur style rack. There is a frame fitting one that would work but at 85 I'm sure I can get a better looking copy of the original made cheaper. The problem then is that a rack attached to the front of the frame would make the bike too long to get in and out of my flat so it will have to be easy to remove.
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Old 02-17-12, 05:09 PM
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Here's a link to a 1964 Revelation:
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/215/44...f5f6dbef_b.jpg This is an original Royal Enfield built in 1964.
Suggest you check you serial number and compare it to some of those listed on the Hadland site. -G.R.
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Old 02-17-12, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Guy Retreau View Post
Here's a link to a 1964 Revelation:
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/215/44...f5f6dbef_b.jpg This is an original Royal Enfield built in 1964.
Suggest you check you serial number and compare it to some of those listed on the Hadland site. -G.R.
I think the machine there is mighty attractive, though I think russcoles is nicer with the burgundy paint.
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