May we all have a healthy, happy and prosperous 2017 with many many good and enjoyable rides throughout the year.
January 2017 Cover Photo
Mr. (Mrs.) E’s “The Green One”
This is the second of Mr. E’s Twentys to grace our home page in a year but he was the first to respond to the Turkey that opened when I was searching for submissions - Administrator.
We went to a bike jumble a few years ago, only looking to sell an unloved mountain bike that was Mrs. E's. We ended up coming away with a 1971 folder, instead of empty handed, as was our original intent. We haven’t given it a name other than “The Green One” to distinguish it from the “Girly Pink One” (which is really a shade of Battleship Grey).
We replaced the cable inners and all the rubber parts as a matter of prudence. Along with that, there was a savage cleaning done in the course of the service we put the bike through. The coloured cable outers and varied (faded?) metallic coffee brown paint were originally left as we bought it, which involved an extended explanation of patina that took place several times over the summer. Eventually ‘bright and shiny’ won over ‘interesting and original’ and it all had to come apart again. Any parts with even a suspicion of paint were stripped to bright steel using a wire brush fitted to an angle grinder, primed, and spray painted 'British Racing Green' with Rustoleum. As a means of applying coloured shininess, it is effective, but we have discovered it needs a year or so to harden thoroughly. Helicopter tape was applied to vulnerable surfaces, and although the original plan was to replace the decals, that is getting less likely as time marches on. Shiny parts were polished, polished and then polished some more. Fortunately the chrome was in reasonably good condition, so we’ve kept everything including the rims but fitted Fibrex leather faced brake pads as advocated by Raleigh in the seventies. They seem to work quite well, even in the wet and yes, the bike does get used in all the different weathers of the West Midlands.
As far as I can tell, we’re close now to how Raleigh intended it to look with the exception of the decals. The cost so far has been around £70, which includes replacing all the ‘consumable’ components such as brake pads, tyres tubes and even the paint.
My original intention was to preserve it in good working order; Mrs. E’s ambition was to have something ‘nice’ that she would actually use. I think we’ve managed to do both.
If you think you have a photo suitable for our front page, post it in
the Gallery with some info about your R-20 and contact an Admin. Happy snapping!
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.