Sunday, September 10, 2017

Raleigh Twenty Folding Bike



I received this Raleigh Twenty from an online deal last week, and cleaned and re-assembled it this weekend. It's a great bicycle in largely original condition.

The old decals are in excellent condition, and even the gold color on them has faded very little.

Riding the Twenty feels similar, but a little different from a Raleigh Sports or similar bike. The center of gravity is lower, and the handling is a bit "snappier" in that the bike feels like it "bites into" turns because of the small wheels.



The headset has a nylon/plastic steering dampener in it to combat the bike's propensity to "snap" into turns. It works reasonably well and it's a fun bike to ride.













The bronze green paint is in decent shape, and even the rear fender reflector is still good. The Dare grips are in great shape, as is the plastic-faced Sturmey Archer shifter.








Even the original tires are good enough to ride, with minimal sidewall cracking and good tread life.


The chrome is in great shape as well, and this Brooks mattress saddle is the nicest surviving example of the type that I've ever encountered. I believe this bicycle was ridden VERY little in its former life. The only thing missing now is the frame pump, but I have one of those on the way for it. I'll probably add a bell as well.


4 comments:

  1. Great little bikes that all but escaped notice, until Sheldon Brown brought them back to the forefront. They are a bit of a stretch for anyone much over 5'-10", mine was modified with an extra long alloy seat post. They do extremely well on short rides about town, but can also be set up for longer rides. I have done 45 mile rides on mine in the past.

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    1. I'm 5'7" - it fits me pretty well, though there's not a great deal of extension left on the stem and seat post. The only disappointing part, I think, is that plastic headset sleeve on the top. I left mine stock and it's fun to ride. It's only slightly slower to me than a regular Sports 3-speed.

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  2. There is a way to ustilize an Ahead style headset on the Twenty with a bit of minor modification. I have 3 and all still have the original nylon bit in there. So far no issues, though none are ridden a massive number of miles.

    Aaron

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    1. That's a plus to hear. I have a spare one on the way as a back up. I plan on going with it stock as long as possible - it really isn't bad to ride even with the oddball headset design on the top.

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