I got this bike for
free when I bought another Raleigh Twenty. When I went to collect my purchase, the
previous owner offered me a box of spare parts, which included the stripped
bare frame. It was a rusty old metallic
blue Triumph frame, and I knew from the start that for once, I had a frame that
I would not feel guilty about modifying. How could I refuse?
The first thing I did was look for new and exciting ways to replace the wheels. I didn’t want heavy steel. I didn’t want BMX wheels either. I hunted out some sporty 451 wheels from a well-known Chinese internet site. The wheels are apparently made by a company called Rycerz, I had never heard of them before, but they were the start of the custom job.
To even begin thinking about fitting the wheels, I had my work cut out. Having a cassette gear set instead of a S-A 3 speed made the wheel hubs quite a bit wider. First I had to cold set both the back forks (from 110 to 135mm) and the front forks (from 100 to 110mm). As that seemed to go well, I wanted to be sure that the rust was surface only, so I took the bike to my local powder coating shop where they dipped it to clean it and keyed it in primer grey. It was already a totally different bike.
Next, I took some good advice from @davepalk on the forums of our Raleigh Twenty website, who really helped me in giving instructions for my frame work and from bikefix.co.uk in central London. Dave had suggested cleaning up the tear drop on the end of the rear of the frame to free space for the gear workings, amongst other things, and provided some great reference photos. The tear drop was ground back and then brazed and filled in with brass. I also had some cable management lugs brazed on. Other work accomplished at the same time included cutting back the bottom bracket barrel width to 68mm and standardizing to modern 24 tpi. Bikefix also helped me with converting the steering to an aheadset. I ground back the chain guard mount myself and cleaned up that area of the tubes.
Next the bike went back to the powder coaters for an “Emergency Orange” finish. I’m really happy with the way the frame looks now.
I shared the final build work with George from the Peddle Back Cafe in the Broadway Market in Tooting. Well, I pulled it together enough to walk it there, but I needed help due to not having the right tools to press in the headset cups and a few other bits. George was a great help and he managed to figure out a plan for a single ring with 165mm cranks.
I have ordered some nice black "Triumph" motorbike tank stickers from eBay to finish the job for now.
See the other pictures
of this project along with all of the pictures julesd has posted here.
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.
The Grumpy Old Squid, David in Florida, 2whls3spds
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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 also sold under many of Raleigh's captive brand names such as Triumph, Sun, Hercules and BSA. It was sold as the "Supercycle Twenty" in Canada. It was also built to a unique design by Morrison Industries in New Zealand.