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Raleigh Twenty

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:23 am
by barefoot
I'm about the enter the exciting world of retro biking, having won myself a BSA - Raleigh Twenty!

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Not sure what year it is - they were built from the mid 60s to the mid 70s. The serial number might hold some clues.

I just have to get it home, strip it down, blast it, powder coat it, then start building it up into something awesome.

I'm thinking of modernising it somewhat, and turning it from its current cruiser setup into a more practical commuter and city bike. A little along the lines of this Twenty of Sheldon's:
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mixed with a little of this one:
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... and maybe a bit of this one thrown in for good measure:
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Mine isn't a folder like these three are. They were made both ways, originally only in rigid form, but later with the hinge as an option. I don't need a bike to fold, so I'm happy to save the weight and flex.

Management is less than pleased with me buying (yet) another bike, but she'll get over it...

tim

Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:22 pm
by toff
Well done barefoot. I have a Twenty that I've built up using Sheldon's as a template. I went with cowhorn bars. I'm using an old Shimano 600 rear derailleur and a 5-sprocket freewheel on Suntour Superbe Pro hubs for now, but I intend to go with the 8-speed SA hub Sheldon chose. I'm also getting a second wheel made so I can ride it fixed.

You will have lots of obstacles to overcome, especially the proprietry threading of the headset and bottom bracket, but that's half the fun...

Choosing wheel size will also be a challenge: Yours looks like it has 451 size wheels, but I chose 406 like your last pic because I wanted to install front shocks.

I installed mountain bike size front shocks on mine too, and went with a threaded headset, so I solved that problem, but the cranks were the biggest challenge. In the end, I shaved down the bottom bracket so that a standard 26 TPI bottom bracket would fit, installed a mountain bike bottom bracket and BMX cranks with no front derailleur.

I've also mounted a weeride on the front of mine, and I take my 13 month daughter for rides. She loves it! We turn heads whenever we ride it.

Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:52 pm
by 531db
toff wrote:Well done barefoot. I have a Twenty that I've built up using Sheldon's as a template. I went with cowhorn bars. I'm using an old Shimano 600 rear derailleur and a 5-sprocket freewheel on Suntour Superbe Pro hubs for now, but I intend to go with the 8-speed SA hub Sheldon chose. I'm also getting a second wheel made so I can ride it fixed.

You will have lots of obstacles to overcome, especially the proprietry threading of the headset and bottom bracket, but that's half the fun...

Choosing wheel size will also be a challenge: Yours looks like it has 451 size wheels, but I chose 406 like your last pic because I wanted to install front shocks.

I installed mountain bike size front shocks on mine too, and went with a threaded headset, so I solved that problem, but the cranks were the biggest challenge. In the end, I shaved down the bottom bracket so that a standard 26 TPI bottom bracket would fit, installed a mountain bike bottom bracket and BMX cranks with no front derailleur.

I've also mounted a weeride on the front of mine, and I take my 13 month daughter for rides. She loves it! We turn heads whenever we ride it.


Pics of the "Toff Twenty"?

Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:43 am
by toff
They exist but I haven't taken them. Will take some this weekend...

Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:11 am
by bridgethegap71
Yes I have one or two of these lying around - will have to get them out of the pile. . . .

Posted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:53 pm
by kukamunga
Just discovered this thread. The following beauty is going up on auction on eBay from this Thursday night, if anyone's interested.....
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It's a wee ripper !!

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:33 am
by kukamunga
BSA 20 (Raleigh 20) 'Shopper' HERE!

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:07 am
by kukamunga
Another BSA Twenty Shopper on eBay here

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 9:09 pm
by kukamunga
Don't forget this is finishing in half an hour.....
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Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 9:47 pm
by MountGower
Here I was feeling guilty about steeling this thing off you and then.... bam. Good to see you got a reasonable price. Sad to see it go no doubt. Although, I suppose you'll just whip out one of your other ones and start buffing it.

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 9:53 pm
by kukamunga
I was hoping to get minimum $300, and I got just that..... just!

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:21 pm
by kukamunga
Is this based on a Raleigh 20?

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:33 pm
by kukamunga
Some interesting Raleighs here

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:02 pm
by kukamunga
Wonder how this BSA Twenty will go?

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:11 pm
by Kid_Carbine
A problem with anything that has the Raleigh name attached is their unique threading for headsets & bottom brackets.
Sourcing standard replacements in the UK shouldn't be too much of a problem, but in Australia, well I haven't found a bike shop that stocks them yet.

Sheldon refers to this problem in the build up of his Twenty & explains in detail how he got around these problems. A good read of his story would be highly recomended because if anyone thinks that a replacement bottom bracket for their new Shimano Mega Ace crankset is going to fit, ............... it won't.

Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:34 am
by kukamunga
Some people like 'problem' bikes. Me? I just like passing on problem bikes (now, where did I put those two Peugeots, the Motobecane, and the Gitane?) :wink:

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:52 am
by super_simian
I did read online somewhere that an FAG (no joke) plastic 24tpi sealed bottom bracket will work with the 26tpi threading on these. I'm doing a bit of research because after our trip to Japan, my sister has decided that a tricked out city type bike is for her, and I just happen to have a metallic brown non-folding Twenty out the back....

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:44 am
by kukamunga
Just refreshing this thread

Check out these two mint condition Raleigh Twentys on eBay ! :shock:

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:23 pm
by toff
I like the colour of this one better. Those other 2 are 16-inch wheel Stowaways whereas the BSA is a genuine whitelabeled Twenty.

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:30 pm
by kukamunga
toff wrote:Those other 2 are 16-inch wheel Stowaways whereas the BSA is a genuine whitelabeled Twenty.

My oops ! :oops: I should've known and read better. I've got an incomplete Stowaway on eBay ATM ! And a Raleigh 20 in the shed..... :?

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:49 pm
by twowheels
toff wrote:I like the colour of this one better. Those other 2 are 16-inch wheel Stowaways whereas the BSA is a genuine whitelabeled Twenty.


The Stowaways are actually 22" wheels, gave a burgundy one away not long back.

Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:06 am
by Resg
I think there's some Twenty parts on there at the moment as well...

Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:35 pm
by paul
How do these things ride - looks like it would be scary !!

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:23 am
by toff
twowheels wrote:
toff wrote:I like the colour of this one better. Those other 2 are 16-inch wheel Stowaways whereas the BSA is a genuine whitelabeled Twenty.


The Stowaways are actually 22" wheels, gave a burgundy one away not long back.


You know... It's my turn to admit my mistake. I shot my mouth off without checking my facts. Stowaways are true Raleigh Twentys. Just a variant, like the Shopper, etc. I was getting confused with the Raleigh RSW, which looked similar and had 16 inch wheels. Something about the pictures of those late model Ebay Stowaways reminded me of the 16 inch version - probably the narrowing seat tube diameter.

paul wrote:How do these things ride - looks like it would be scary !!

Twentys in original form are heavy and the brakes are a bit dodgy, but they do handle well. They have a wheelbase which is pretty long - about the same as a road bike, so that makes them stable, and the small wheels also assist stability by lowering the centre of gravity, as well as making for a highly manouverable bike. Biggest problem with the small wheels is bumps, because you feel them all. That's why I run front shocks on my mod Twenty.

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:43 pm
by paul
its the small wheels i would be worried about, just dont look too stable, but i guess ok if you arent going too quickly?