18.20 blues’ Rare Raleigh 18s
This is a project completed with and for our children. The Raleigh 18s were originally my partner's and her sister's when they were children. For years they commuted everywhere on their purple single speed bicycles, originally purchased for them by their father. Her dad rode and still rides a Twenty for his transport needs. After years of use the Raleigh 18s were left in the backyard shed where they succumbed to the elements and rusted beyond recognition. As our kids were growing out of their 16" bikes, we decided it would be fun to restore and upgrade the bikes.
To complete the project we needed additional parts. We obtained an old and unrestored BSA 18 that had been on display at the now defunct Canberra Bicycle Museum, Melbourne, Australia. From three bicycles, and various additional parts, we created two. The bikes have now been rebuilt and are in use. The modified and upgraded parts are mostly drawn or inspired from the world of vintage BMX.
The Raleigh 18 is not just the small sibling of the Twenty, but is also a precursor of the Raleigh BMX bikes and craze that followed, so it seemed an appropriate and sympathetic approach to upgrading them. The bicycles are great. Our kids love them and feel proud of their contribution and what we achieved.
We're glad that we opted to go for better more modern parts and design elements. Being a purist and keeping to original parts has its place for some bikes, but it can be expensive and it can mean the bicycles may not be as practical or safe for everyday use.
See all the pictures of this album here.
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Please send me your pictures and write-ups by the 25th of the month so I have something to choose from for the next month and beyond.
If you think you have a photo of a Twenty for our front page, post it in
the Gallery along with some information about it and contact a Website Administrator (The Grumpy Old Squid, David in Florida, or 2whls3spds).
The original Raleigh Twenty was in production in various forms and under various names from 1968 until 1984 and has gained a cult following from cyclists worldwide. This popularity can be largely attributed to the late Sheldon Brown, a legendary bicycle guru, who owned several Raleigh Twentys throughout his lifetime.
At one stage, the Twenty was Raleigh's biggest seller. Raleigh's survival through the cycling slump of the 70's can be largely attributed to the Twenty and it's variant models. It was sold also under many of Raleigh's captive brand names such as Triumph, Sun, Hercules and BSA. It was also sold as the"Supercycle Twenty" in Canada. It was also built to a unique design by Morrison Industries in New Zealand.
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