Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Evening Rides - Raleigh Twenty

A shot of the Raleigh Twenty from the other evening. We're into the longest days of the year, and we have daylight until about 8:45 p.m. With the help of a couple of LED lamps that charge via USB cable, I can ride well into the evening. I did just that with this Raleigh Twenty. It's cooler and more pleasant at dusk than earlier in the evening this time of year, and this ride was pretty good.

The Raleigh Twenty is a bit deceptive. Despite having small wheels and a folding frame, the bike is actually quite robust. It is only slightly slower than a full-sized wheel bike. It's a great choice for the person who wants a vintage folding bike that does not suffer much disadvantage compared to something like a Raleigh Sports. It may not fold up as compact as more modern folders, but it's rock solid and a joy to ride.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Rolling into Summer - Classic Raleigh Bikes

A few shots from this week. The week started relatively hot and humid, but finished with outstanding weather. It was warm and fairly dry today, with no sign of rain or thunderstorms. These are Grade-A riding days - lots of daylight into the evening, lots of warmth, and not too much humidity (yet). But the hottest and most humid days of summer still await...

1958 Raleigh Sports 4-Speed

1970 Raleigh Sprite 5-speed

1962 Raleigh DL-1 Export Model

1972 Raleigh Twenty Folding Bike

Also this weekend a couple of great sporting events: the U.S. Open Golf Tournament and the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. I plan on watching a bit of both this weekend.

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Longer Days

We're entering the longer days of the year - lots of daylight to ride in the evening. We've had some summer-like evenings here this week, along with some very nice, cooler weather. I had a good opportunity this week to ride several classic Raleigh bikes - a Raleigh DL-1; a Raleigh Twenty; and a Raleigh Sprite. These are all great bikes.

 With hot, humid weather arriving, these Mallard Ducks are out and about enjoying a swim.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Classic Raleigh and Schwinn Bikes - Memorial Day Weekend

The weather has been summer-like this weekend: hot and humid. But that has not stopped me from getting plenty of ride time. I took out several bikes this weekend - a 1958 Raleigh Sports; a 1947 Schwinn Continental and a 1941 Schwinn New World.

1958 Raleigh Sports 4-speed bike:

1947 Schwinn Continental 3-speed:

 1941 Schwinn New World 3-speed:

The only concern this weekend has been fast-developing thunderstorms each afternoon. I use a phone app radar/forecast program to check hourly forecasts, and I keep an eye on darkening skies as I ride. But so far... so good this weekend. Summer is arriving.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Traditional, New Pedals for 1/2 Inch Spindles (U.S. Size)

 I'm a big fan of traditional rubber block pedals made without reflectors. While reflector pedals have a little extra safety element, they are not correct for older utility bikes, such as 1940s-50s era bikes.

So when I found out that MKS is making a traditional pedal in both 9/16 and 1/2 inch spindle sizes, I jumped on some. These are the MSK 3000S pedals - they've been made for decades, but are now becoming more readily available online thanks to sellers in Japan.

I recently bought a set of 3000S pedals in the 1/2 inch spindle size. This size is particularly difficult to find high-quality, traditional pedals. This is the size that old, American-made bikes take, both those with one-piece cranks, as well as 1940s-50s Schwinns with cottered cranks.

The 3000S pedals have arrived, and the quality is very good. They also fit perfectly in these Schwinn cranks from the 1940s. They will be a welcomed alternative to using old-stock pedals, which often are bent or worn. I'll keep riding my old Torrington #8 pedals, but I will have a ready back up set of MKS 3000S pedals for them.