Sunday, December 9, 2007

Next Item On the Block: Raleigh Twenty

This is an easy one to sell: the Raleigh Twenty.
I have to come to terms with the fact that I will never spend the time or money to dial in this folder as I had planned to when I bought it.

I like Sheldon's freaky, yet wonderfully obsessed-over Twenty.

And of course our milk crate was only OK after I saw Tarik pull it off. Does the milk crate make the man, or the man make the milk crate? The latter I'm sure.

After borrowing a buddy's Swift Folder fixed gear for a couple months, I decided that if I go folder I'll likely go with the Swift. I've also spent about 30 or 40 miles on a Bike Friday folder and it's cool, but I don't really have a scenario where a folder makes sense. The only place I travel with any regularity is Redmond/Seattle area and my buddy Alex always hooks me up with a great bike.

Anyway, the fact is, the Raleigh Twenty is a wonderful bike for the true bike nerd to really geek out on. It's a standard canvas for folding nerds... if that makes any sense.

The Raleigh I'm selling originally shipped with the 451 mm 20" wheels. It's currently converted to standard BMX 20" (406 mm) and running a fixed gear. The cottered crank is being lame and I think will need to be replaced, which is really the crux of what stopped me in my tracks on this bike. Switching from 451 to 406 wheels makes for a bit of a bottom bracket drop. And with cheesy cottered cranks on there, you're stuck with huge platform (9/16ths) pedals; couple that with the fact that you're running fixed gear and you get the unintentional bunny hop on some corners, which is always a fun surprise.
I wanted to replace the cranks with some fancy short cranks, but to replace the cranks you need a regular/square spindle bottom bracket. The Raleigh 20 comes with a "special" (read: proprietary) bottom bracket shell, and of course the only sensible way to get a normal bottom bracket in there is to buy some fancy Phil Wood retaining rings. Phil is known for nice stuff, not bargain value prices. So that's where I stopped on this project.

So, if you want to buy any bits of this bike or frame, let me know. I'll part it out, since any serious nerd is not likely to want the bars and I don't want to sell the B-67 saddle that's on it.
There's also a reflector on the rear fender that I want to keep.
Bike as is w/out saddle and rear reflector: $100
Frameset only: $85
If you're curious about more technical specifics about how to make the Raleigh Twenty into a modern-ish, performance folder, check out Sheldon's Raleigh Twenty page.


Tarik Saleh said...

Nice! I think thats what I paid for mine before I went hogwild with the upgraditus. Thats a good price. And a nice color too. It is a shame about the fork/headsets on those thingies, otherwise they would be great right out of the thriftstore. I think the massive rake on these actually makes it a low trail design and perhaps they would steer better with a milkcrate on the front rack. Mine is already "ruined" by upgrading. You should test this and then triple the price and sell it as a low trail hauler.

KCJeff said...

I've got mine rideable and I like tinkering on it but it definitely could use a new headset and possibly a bottom bracket. Yours looks better than mine though. Mine is the original Olive Drab. At some point I may give up but it's cheaper than a lot of hobbies.

bry said...

I could use the chainguard if it's available.

I'm right in the excitement phase now with my fixie project, as I just picked up a bronze-green, early model (same handlebars as yours) for $75. I plan to remove bits of rust and mix a close enough paint match to restore, then hit with some clear coat.

I'm also hoping it'll be possible to keep orig forks and eliminate unstable stock headset. Ideally, I can throw on a low-stack-ht threadless headset, and still keep the steerer clamp setup, using threaded headset nuts to hold it tight enough. Not sure if this can work, or if there'll be enough room, even with smallest Aheadset stack ht of 25mm. No one else who's shared a Twenty story online seem's to've done this--anyone have thoughts on it?

Then it's onto upgrades--alloy rims, flip-flop hub, and replacing fr hub bearings, and bb's along with cotter pins. I like the 44t chrome ring and figure its 165mm cottered cranks can't add more than a lb vs newer alloy cankset anyway.

Well, that's the scope of my project. If it works out, and I'm riding it regularly btwn home and train, I'll also probably wanna find some light fenders that fit. I couldn't tell from your picture if yours are orig chrome or lighter aftermarket ones. If the latter, I'm interested in those too.

Of course I also support your changing your mind about selling the thing in the first place. In 5-10 yrs you might wanna travel beyond your friends with loaner bikes. And what could be sweeter than having that yellow beauty to go exploring?


bry said...

Hey, I just looked at what you wrote again. Not sure what you meant about cranks, "you're stuck with huge platform (9/16ths) pedals." I threw my Time ATAC pedals on my Twenty's cranks no problem. Do your cranks look like this?

Anonymous said...

Bryan is right. There are two common pedal threadings, 1/2" x 20 TPI and 9/16" x 20 TPI. The former is used mostly for bikes with one-piece (Ashtabula) cranks. There's a much greater variety of pedals available with the 9/16" threading, which is used on the original Twenty cranks.

johann said...

Cool bike!
I got one recently, and I am in the process of upgrading it to make it ridable for my wife.
I'd like to try a fixed gear version, but I cannot get a hold of another for a reasonable amount.
If you still have this one and are willing to ship it to Boston, MA, I'm really interested in it.
Hope to hear from you.