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Offroading on a Twenty, yea or nay?

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Offroading on a Twenty, yea or nay?

Old 07-27-08, 03:58 PM
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gdh81
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Offroading on a Twenty, yea or nay?

Ok so I've had the Twenty for just over a week and its perfect for what I want. Its quick on the road, fits in my tiny storage area and some days if I squint just right and look to the grassy side of the road, I'm on a nice ride through the Cotswolds.

Here's the question. I live in a very parky/woodsy area. I recently turned off the paved path and found quite a good amount of hard, packed dirt trails. I took a quick ride through some of them and I was really surprised by the capabilities of the 20. Very nice control and the Sturmey was perfectly suited to the slight inclines and descents. However it was pretty bumpy, and the rack was rattling away. That doesn't bother me, but the rattling was indicative of the vibrations that the rest of the bike must be enduring.

So how tough can I expect it to be? I'm not log jumping or bogging in the mud. Just some firm, bumpy trail riding through the park.
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Old 07-27-08, 04:10 PM
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Have you tried putting some tyres on it?
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Old 07-27-08, 04:57 PM
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Definite 'Yay' to that. The frame is over-engineered and should take most things you throw at it.

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Old 07-27-08, 05:00 PM
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There are a few things you could do to make the R20 more off road friendly:

1: Change the tyres to a wider knobby type and drop the psi to 45-55, or do that to your existing tyres.

2: If you're using 406 rims, change the front fork with a suspension fork, that will give you V-brakes up front and dampen the rattling overall. I don't know if a suspension fork in the 451 size is available.

3: There are suspension seat posts available like Thudbuster to smooth the ride out, I think there might be
suspension headstems as well.

4: You could change the wheels, frame and front suspension fork to 26" and call it a....MTB


Ah, I see LittlePixel is playing with his computer again and teasing us all with a Photoshop MTB R20.....again, nice bike, Huw.

Last edited by stevegor; 07-27-08 at 05:04 PM. Reason: ADD
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Old 07-27-08, 05:46 PM
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Absolutely bigtime! Very rugged frame.

Add Schwalbe Marathon plus tyres and you can even ride the Australian outback and maybe survive!

Compromise with the right wheels and add big apples and you can even soften the bumps!

Raleigh 20's are tough bikes!
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Old 07-27-08, 05:54 PM
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Good good good. That's what I wanted to hear. I'm still rolling the stock fork and 406 wheels. I don't expect to change the fork anytime soon, as I've read that its kind of a pain. But I will be lacing the hubs to new wheels, hopefully soon.
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Old 07-27-08, 06:02 PM
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My next 20 will be set up for off road riding...
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Old 07-27-08, 06:22 PM
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Be careful with standing and pedaling hard. Going up a little rise I came out of the saddle to pedal and because the frame flexed I bent the chain guard. Otherwise on grass paths with 1-3/8" 451 tires I had a great time.The Brooks B67 helped with the bumps. However I wouldn't try any serious off road stuff with this set-up.
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Old 07-28-08, 09:17 PM
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R20mx

Before BMX we used to strip the twenty's, put 'cow horn' handlebars on and take them off road, off small jumps etc... The NZ twenties don't have the reinforcing struts from the BB to the crossbar and I never saw a broken frame, so the UK ones will be bullet proof. We were a lot lighter back then of course, but still maybe 60kg's.

That's an awesome mockup little pixel!!! Had me really going for a minute, or two!
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Old 07-29-08, 07:33 PM
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I wouldn't use a R20 offroad here where I live as the terrain is very rugged and stony with deep ruts which would swallow a 20" wheel, knarly hills with suicidal descents and some very technical courses.
I'd keep to good dirt roads and smooth single track.

One thing I have noticed is that there doesn't seem to be any high quality front suspension forks available for a 20" wheel, certainly none with decent travel or a lock out setting. Most are cheap and nasty types off kids bikes, believe me, if you want to do serious offroad on a MTB R20 you will need serious suspension.
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Old 07-29-08, 08:13 PM
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I took it through the woods on dirt the other day. It was great, very quick and a lot of fun. Then I took it (on accident) through a pretty rough field. That was not as pleasant. The 20 is fine, but the path wasn't quite worn enough.
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Old 07-30-08, 10:27 AM
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I ride my Triumph Trafficmaster (Twenty clone, also made by Raleigh, about the same vintage) on that kind of terrain. There's a bit of rattling, but I think it's just from the thinner bits like the fenders and the chain guard. Otherwise it feels very sturdy. Part of my commute involves riding through a park and cemetery, so I go over chip gravel, packed dirt with small rocks in it, a bit of grass, wood chips where a temporary path has been put down while the regular route is renovated, curb cuts that aren't perfectly flat and probably annoy people in wheelchairs, etc.

I've got Intense Micro Knobby BMX tires on it, which are designed for BMX racing on hard surfaces, but have enough extra grab to get me over some of the rougher stuff.
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Old 07-30-08, 03:29 PM
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My 20 spends most of its time off the road.
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Old 07-30-08, 06:22 PM
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Eee. Ricohman, that's gorgeous. It's about the same vintage as mine and I think the frame is identical, except mine's sky-blue. Are the whitewalls vintage or new? Mine had what I think were the originals, and they rotted out after a bit of the bumpy riding we're talking about here.
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Old 08-06-08, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Indie View Post
Eee. Ricohman, that's gorgeous. It's about the same vintage as mine and I think the frame is identical, except mine's sky-blue. Are the whitewalls vintage or new? Mine had what I think were the originals, and they rotted out after a bit of the bumpy riding we're talking about here.
Those are the original tires. They have lots of tread but the sidewalls are rotting.
If anyone knows of a modern replacement please let me know!
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Old 08-06-08, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ricohman View Post
Those are the original tires. They have lots of tread but the sidewalls are rotting.
If anyone knows of a modern replacement please let me know!
Yup, exactly what happened to mine. The white sidewall came away from the tread about a third of the way around the rear tire.

I didn't try to look for anything that would be an accurate replacement for a restoration project. As I said, I put a hardpack/street type of BMX tire on it, and they're great on roads.

The problem I'm having now is that I'm getting pinch flats because I'm riding on low pressure in an attempt to keep the tires from blowing off the rims. I'm leaning towards replacing the wheels entirely so that I can have a bike that's safe for a bit of offroad and dirt path riding.
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Old 08-07-08, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by stevegor View Post
One thing I have noticed is that there doesn't seem to be any high quality front suspension forks available for a 20" wheel, certainly none with decent travel or a lock out setting.
You have to start barking up the recumbent tree for that kind of fork... How does this one [HP Velotechnik] grab you?

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Old 08-07-08, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by LittlePixel View Post
You have to start barking up the recumbent tree for that kind of fork... How does this one [HP Velotechnik] grab you?


Very nice L.P.....glad to be proven wrong...price?
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Old 08-07-08, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by stevegor View Post
Very nice L.P.....glad to be proven wrong...price?
price = lots
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Old 08-07-08, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by LittlePixel View Post
price = lots
Too much to spend on a R20?
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