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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 04-19-17, 02:10 PM   #1
corvusVelox
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A plucky Raleigh 20's future

So a while back, I acquired a '69 Raleigh 20. For many reasons, I'll argue that it's one of the better bikes ever built. I like the look and feel of it, and the power transfer and acceleration rate are pretty impressive. It's a lot of fun to ride. HOWEVER, this bike has aged and has a number of associated problems. (Cranks with a few millimeters of slop in them, chain-eating cogs, a loud rear hub, etc.) For the most part it works, but it's ready for a big overhaul.

So here's the thing: I've been entertaining notions of rebuilding this thing into a dedicated touring bike- the kind that can be stuffed into a carry-on or other luggage. I'm not married to this idea, but it's an option. So. Would it be a crime to do some well-past-the-point-of-no-return modifications, or should I keep it mostly* original and just buy a Bike Friday?

*there's a few after-market parts on her

Also, sorry she's so dirty in these photos.
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Old 04-19-17, 02:49 PM   #2
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They do look really good bikes but they have a few problems..Bottom bracket is difficult to replace but not impossible..Gearing might be a problem..only 126mm OLN at the rear end so you would need to make it 130mm or 135mm if you want derailleur gear or Nexus or Alfine gears..Don't think the top of the headset is too good..nylon bearing I think..No doubt lots of people on this forum know more than me..

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Old 04-19-17, 03:08 PM   #3
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I love the Raleigh 20 frame and have seen a lot of upgraded and modernized versions. I'm not a fan of cotter cranks but have seen square taper conversions for these frames. Good score! IMHO you should forego originality and make it usable as a touring bike. Good old Sheldon has documentation.... https://www.sheldonbrown.com/raleigh-twenty.html

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Old 04-19-17, 03:32 PM   #4
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Yes, those aspects are worrisome- I've read a bit about how others have modified these things and am inclined to keep the original hub (provided it's viable on a long-term basis) or replace it with a similar Sturmey-Archer hub.
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Old 04-20-17, 02:02 AM   #5
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It has been a long time since the last R20 upgrade thread so looking forwards to follow your upgrade.

I would say the R20 has a great frame and a great potential. If you want a great bike you need to do the upgrades.

A lot of peopel has posted about the R20 upgrades so make sure you read before starting to avoid inventing the wheel twice.

I think Sixty fivers bike "Forrest" is one of the most uppgraded R20 bikes out there. He welded on a new rear triangle. You`ll find some photos of it in this thread

http://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bi...ur-photos.html

and all over the BF plus in the R20`s own forum:

THE RALEIGH TWENTY

The R20 must be the most popular folder for upgrades out there

https://www.google.no/search?q=R20+f...+forum&start=0

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Old 04-20-17, 02:23 AM   #6
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The revered guru Sheldon Brown did a write about the Raleigh Twenty back in the day.

Consensus is its built similar to its full size Raleigh Sports cousins. It can be lightened through upgrading to alloy wheels and alloy seatpost and can approach the performance of a Bike Friday at a lower cost.

Best folding bike ever built.
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Old 04-20-17, 02:30 AM   #7
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For a state of the art upgrade you will have to replace virtually everything bar the frame, so my view would be why do that to a very nice, original condition, useable bike ? They are not a rarity yet, but original condition bikes are getting harder to find.

If you really want an upgraded R20 buy a junker or just a frame and use that as a basis.
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Old 04-20-17, 08:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corvusVelox View Post
So here's the thing: I've been entertaining notions of rebuilding this thing into a dedicated touring bike- the kind that can be stuffed into a carry-on or other luggage.
There has been a claim on this forum that the Twenty can be broken down in three minutes and packed into an airline not-oversize case. On that claim I'm from Missouri: could I see a youtube video of that, please?

Raleigh Twenty.jpg

Rebuilding would be a fun project, might turn out to be a bit of a fool's errand, for serious multimodal cycle touring I'd suggest instead a Bike Friday or Airnimal.
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Old 04-20-17, 08:58 AM   #9
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No way are you going to get a 20" wheeled bike down to an airline carry on size.
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Old 04-20-17, 09:33 AM   #10
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Having worked on bikes most of my life, I say buy a Bike Friday and fall in love with it Also...
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Old 04-20-17, 02:12 PM   #11
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...and this is why I asked. Lot of good feedback- thank you all. It's good to hear some differing opinions- as it is, I'm not entirely keen on cutting THIS bike. (Probably a little more on restoring her.) A junker has yet to show up, but there's some time to plan on account of my not having a direct need for a traveling folder quite yet. If and when any modifications happen, I'll keep you posted. Until then, any other anecdotes are always welcome.
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Old 04-20-17, 06:03 PM   #12
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I have 4 Raleigh Twentys. 3 folding and one non folder (technically a Shopper). 2 are hot rodded and 2 are stock. All are 406 size wheeled bikes. I also own a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket and my wife has a Pocket Crusoe Petite. The Twenties are nice toys and town bikes and the Bike Fridays are real bikes and have been on cross country tours. I could never hot rod a Twenty to the point it would be equal to a Bike Friday. Roger
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Old 04-20-17, 08:33 PM   #13
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No way are you going to get a 20" wheeled bike down to an airline carry on size.
Hmm. Maybe the Caracle.
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Old 04-21-17, 03:05 AM   #14
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Hmm. Maybe the Caracle.
Nope, fails on both size and weight, and that's without pedals or case/covering.
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Old 04-21-17, 04:18 AM   #15
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20 something

It might only make since if you had access to used parts and had the tools and time. Having rebuilt, rehabilitated several of these, I would not make major investments into one. "A poor man's Friday", I don't think so. Heavy steel frame, poorly welded, soft fork, oddball threading. It used to be one of the few and an early leader, now we have much better options, even on used market.
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Old 04-21-17, 08:40 AM   #16
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Great group in the UK for all things Twenty, kingpin and their derivitaves.


https://www.facebook.com/groups/RaleighTwenty/
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Old 04-21-17, 12:07 PM   #17
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I modded a 20 with the following:

-front S/A drum brake hub laced to Velocity AeroHeat rim
-BMX seatpost for steerer tube to allow for modern, threadless stem.
-stem, handlebar, brake lever, grips to taste
-replaced seatpost and saddle with new.
-re-threaded bb to english threading and cut width down to 73mm.
-square taper bb and cranks
-MKS removable pedals
-Stainless KMC 1/8" chain
-rear S/A S2C coaster brake hub laced to velocity AeroHeat rim

Turned out to be a way-fun bike. Before the BF "upgrade", I had uploaded pix of the disassembled bike fitting into a legal check-in size suitcase, but it was more than just a few minutes of disassembly.
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Old 04-24-17, 11:00 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
I modded a 20 with the following:

-front S/A drum brake hub laced to Velocity AeroHeat rim
-BMX seatpost for steerer tube to allow for modern, threadless stem.
-stem, handlebar, brake lever, grips to taste
-replaced seatpost and saddle with new.
-re-threaded bb to english threading and cut width down to 73mm.
-square taper bb and cranks
-MKS removable pedals
-Stainless KMC 1/8" chain
-rear S/A S2C coaster brake hub laced to velocity AeroHeat rim

Turned out to be a way-fun bike. Before the BF "upgrade", I had uploaded pix of the disassembled bike fitting into a legal check-in size suitcase, but it was more than just a few minutes of disassembly.

Interesting! How did it ride with two speeds? Was your principal reason for doing so to cut weight, or for utility? Rebuilt an 820 Antelope with an X-RF5 a couple years back and was playing with doing a similar modification this time. Well, using anything built by Sturmey-Archer, anyway. It just wouldn't be proper otherwise.

Edit:
Oh, so I test-rode a Brompton this weekend. Yeah, they're really nice.
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Old 04-24-17, 11:06 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by corvusVelox View Post
Interesting! How did it ride with two speeds? Was your principal reason for doing so to cut weight, or for utility? Rebuilt an 820 Antelope with an X-RF5 a couple years back and was playing with doing a similar modification this time. Well, using anything built by Sturmey-Archer, anyway. It just wouldn't be proper otherwise.

Edit:
Oh, so I test-rode a Brompton this weekend. Yeah, they're really nice.
Rode well for 2 speeds -- the S/A kickback system takes a couple rides to get used to, but once mastered, it works well.

I did not have the issues other did with early S2C hubs. Reason was pure utility -- I ditched the QR function at the fold and the frame just bolted together. I wanted a separable frame where I didn't have to deal with extraneous cables. With the 2sp hub, drivetrain was contained in the rear half.
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