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Brakes for a Raleigh Twenty (70s folding bike)

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Brakes for a Raleigh Twenty (70s folding bike)

Old 10-01-12, 01:14 PM
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Jude
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Brakes for a Raleigh Twenty (70s folding bike)

I just picked up one of these from Craigslist to use for commuting around town and that sort of thing, and possible day trips to other cities. It's a cool little bike, but currently it needs some work - the shifting is really unreliable (which I'll be having a shop look at) but what makes it totally unrideable as is is the braking.

I've read accounts of others riding these bikes and everyone tells the same story which is that the braking is basically nonexistent, which fits with my experience on this one. I'd absolutely not feel safe on any downhill steeper than 2%! This is apparently thanks to the steel wheels and long-reach brake calipers.

So my question is - what other options do I have for braking? Will any amount of tuning get mine working to the point where it's safe to ride? Replacing the brake pads is easy, but should I also replace the brakes themselves, and if so, with what? Is there a modern version of these lengthy calipers that would perform better, or another newer type of brake that could be added?

I have read that there's an adapter which would allow me to put V-brakes on there, however others' reports and my own searching reveals that this adapter can't actually be found anywhere.

What can you tell me about this? Thanks!
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Old 10-01-12, 01:56 PM
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If I was in love with the bike I would invest in some alloy 20" rims with drum brake front hub.
drum brakes and folders go together very good.
I got a 16" diblasi that I hauled all over europe and the caribbean including 3 trans atlantic crossings under sail.I smelled asbestos when decending "the rock" and drums are great and dont get knocked out of adjustment easy.

on the rear you could do the same but the front would give you more stopping power then you need!

yes-try better brake shoes and a new cable first

Last edited by puchfinnland; 10-01-12 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 10-01-12, 02:17 PM
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Try the easy thing first and get some Kool Stop pads for it.
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Old 10-01-12, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by mparker326 View Post
Try the easy thing first and get some Kool Stop pads for it.
I agree, && clean the sides of the rims with alcohol. It will be a great improvement.
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Old 10-01-12, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mparker326 View Post
Try the easy thing first and get some Kool Stop pads for it.
+1

Kool Stop Continentals will help quite a bit.



What's the problem with the shifting? A little oil in the hub, and cable adjustment usually solve most SA problems.
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Old 10-01-12, 07:11 PM
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The problem on R20 is very long caliper brakes. Even with Kool Stops, the braking will be sub par. The drum route is one way to go but I in my experience drum brakes are not that good and it will require you to alter your front fork and go with a new 3-speed hub in the rear.

What I did on mine was replace the rims with aluminum ones. I used a Dimension adaptor plate and V-brake on the front. On the rear I only put Kool Stop pads and let it go at that. The front brake stopping power is enough. The rear brake is marginally improved by the rims and Kool Stops.

https://s869.photobucket.com/albums/a...t=P1020319.jpg

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Old 10-01-12, 07:53 PM
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If you get the toe in right with a good pad the braking in dry conditions is ok. Not great, but ok. In the rain, they're worthless.
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Old 10-01-12, 09:18 PM
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Drum brake. Why didn't I think of that? I even have one.
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Old 10-02-12, 12:46 AM
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Koolstops and upgrade to a newer cable. Those old galvanized cables in the old housing have waaay too much friction. Next step is alloy rims. Drum/roller brakes are an option if you want to go that far. Old British bikes were never designed to stop using their brakes, that is what hedgerows are for.

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Old 10-02-12, 09:25 AM
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I put a new fork with canti mounts on my R20. It cost less than one of those Delta adapters, but I had to cut the head tube and install a real headset. If you know a framebuilder, canti mounts aren't that hard to braze on.
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Old 10-02-12, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by cycle_maven View Post
I put a new fork with canti mounts on my R20. It cost less than one of those Delta adapters, but I had to cut the head tube and install a real headset. If you know a framebuilder, canti mounts aren't that hard to braze on.
Ah, clever. I see Niagara has one for $27 with canti bosses.

I have an old 3-speed hub with drum brake. I don't know how to get it to work, but it should be possible. Now we're talking.
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Old 10-02-12, 11:23 AM
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See https://sheldonbrown.com/raleigh-twenty.html for some ideas. I'd also recommend posting in the folders forum. Lots of guys are modding Raleigh Twenties.
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