Your ever-expanding web resource for the Raleigh Twenty
and other classic small-wheel bicycles.


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Not exactly a great blogger, am I...

Posted by Raleigh Twenty on August 23, 2015 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

I must admit that I'm a pretty lousey blogger. Perhaps it is just becaue I'm not convinced that I have anything interesting to say.

So, what has happened in the 3.5 years since the last blog post? Well, I moved out of home, moved back in, got a car, crashed a car, sent car to the wreckers, learned to speak Latin (not kidding!) built a couple of bicycles, had one bicycle stolen from me (grrr!!!) and put a new set of handlebars and tyres onto my folding Raleigh Twenty. I spent some time at college, a student share house, built some model trains, pratically forgot that I had a website, discovered that I'm a tenor and got a choir scholarship, etc.

I'll be honest and say that I have not done a heck of a lot of cycling in those three years. Ironically, it was because I lived a half-mile from college and a mile from a transitway bus-stop with a 15-minute bus ride into the local CBD. Not much call for cycling when you live so close to everything!

Now I'm living back in the family home, I'm not far from some great local bike paths, and my sister has taken up an interest in cycling. I couldn't convince her to try the Raleigh Twenty though, so I went out and got her a regular big-wheel city bicycle. She's 5'2" tall, and the saddle is all the way down and the bars are all the way up for her to fit onto the darned thing!

I might blog some more in future, but I've been fairly happy letting the forum take care of itself for the most part. I'm not the sort of person who grabs the banner and leads a parade. I'm usually quite happy to take it a little slower and easier than most people. Stop and smell the roses, sing a few songs and enjoy what creation has to show me.

That said, I exhort you, keep on peddaling!

Blogging again

Posted by Raleigh Twenty on March 11, 2012 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (4)

I came to realise that it had been some 18 months since I bothered with a blog posting - sorry!


In the mean time I have been doing a few things. I updated several of the articles, added photos, added new articles and general housekeeping. I had come to neglect the site during 2011 as I had become busy with starting up at Campion College (which reminds me, there are still a few errors to fix on this site!)


Anyway, you will find the site is now being properly maintained. There is still an active membership and I no longer run this as a one-man-show. I have several members from the US and UK helping me to ensure that all runs smoothly and I am much appreciative of their help.


After a long rest in pieces in my garage, "RADAR" (also known as "Raider") is slowly recieving more parts for the rebuild. A new bottom bracket spindle courtesy of Kurt from "The Headbage", as well as new cranks, those wheels I built nearly 2 years ago and donor parts from another Twenty. Another weekend at home should see it finished, and somewhat "uglified" - I shall be fitting brown mudguards to uglify the bike as much as humanly possible since my last brown Twenty was stolen from outside my dormitory last year.


Keep in touch, keep coming back to see the new developments here at

More than just a website...

Posted by Raleigh Twenty on August 14, 2010 at 9:44 AM Comments comments (3)

This has become far more than just another website. It has become a web community hub.

I never imagined that it would grow the way it has. It is not by my own design or efforts that this website has taken off the way it has. It has been the steady stream of emails, many of which were asking questions, many more with suggestions, photos and kind words of encouragement.

As much as any of the members or viewing public might offer me congratulations for this site, in reality I must give due acknowledgement to the many people whom hae contributed and enrichened the material I have online. There are only so many photos that I can take of my two Raleigh Twentys before everyone gets sick of them. There is only so much that I can put online and make interesting.

Now with the forum up for a little while, this site has become a freely-communicating web-hub for like-minded people. Since the opening of the forum, I've had new members almost daily, and often 2 or 3 in a single day!

This is starting to become more than what a single person can handle on their own. At the moment I remain the sole administrator and editor, but I will be using the forum to ask people to help out from time to time. For example, the wikipedia article is well below-standard for wikipedia and still contains no illustrations. I've authored a number of wikipedia articles, but have depended on more wiki-familiar authors to put in pictures and expand them.

Some of my other wikipedia articles:

Swiss Army Bicycle

X200 Class Rail Tractor (New South Wales Government Railways)

Small Wheel Bicycle

Folding Bicycle

Moulton Bicycle

(the above articles are ones that I have written from scratch or had a significant contribution such as expanded from being a mere article-stub)

Know what you don't know

Posted by Raleigh Twenty on July 27, 2010 at 12:17 PM Comments comments (4)

I was trying to think up a creative and intelligent name for this posting, but came up with nothing. What can you expect at 2:17am? This is bicycle-related so hear me out.

One of the best signs of wisdom is that someone knows what they don't know. They have an awareness of their own ignorance on certain subjects or in certain fields. For example. I know absolutely nothing about sky-diving, except that you exit a perfectly good aircraft in order to do it!

Here I have a website for which I regularly recieve compliments from many people across the world-wide-web. However as a project, I am still generally unhappy with it. Don't get me wrong, it is a run-away success and will probably outstrip my capacity to act as sole administrator and webmaster by the end of the year.

So where am I going with all this? This website is still incomplete. With much assistance and input from members I am currently preparing a new technical article on brakes for the Raleigh Twenty. I am acutely aware that there are stll huge gaps in my knowledge base. I have precious little material on the Raleigh Twenty built by Morrision Industries in New Zealand. In fact, I am aware of 2 frame variations and which to obtain an example of each.

As much as I might recieve compliments, honourable mentions or accoldes, there is still much to do. When I created this website my aim was to be the ultimate collection of information on the Raleigh Twenty on the internet. Perhaps this is the best website on the Raleigh Twenty. However I am aware of what still needs to be done to make this website complete.

The online forums was created so that the ever-growing numbers of site members could discuss and exchange information directly. From this I hope to build an online community and to continue to provide new information all the time.

It seems that I set out to put together some data on the website. The available information out there is mind-boggling. Who knew that this little bicycle would gain such a cult status? I don't think anyone ever knew, or would have imagined how quickly this website and this web-community would grow.

It pays to know about what you don't know.

Forum now up and running!

Posted by Raleigh Twenty on July 26, 2010 at 6:51 AM Comments comments (1)

Due to a good general consensus that a forum would be a good thing, I have now opened one. Please read the forum rules, and play nice.

Decisions, decisions! (An update)

Posted by Raleigh Twenty on July 22, 2010 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (12)

So, what have I done since I made the original posting about decisions to make?

1.) Build new wheels using hubs and rims I have in stock.


I have a 36-hole front hub and a 36-hole AG hub (AW with built-in generator). I also have a pair of ARAYA aluminium alloy rims in 36-hole (406mm BSD), which are hardly used. I scrounged those off a kid's BMX that had been thrown out for council clean-up. I'll only have to purchase spokes, copper washers for the rear hub and build up the wheels from there.

- I used the ARAYA VP-20 rim, but I used a Sturmey-Archer SRC-3 (II) hub (3-speed with coaster brake) which was in a 700C wheel. It is near to impossible to get a suitable rear brake for the Raleigh Twenty which will work with a 406mm rim. 451mm rims have so far been impossible to obtain at a reasonable price here in Australia. The only importer for Sun-Ringle's CR-18 rims won't bring them into the country, so if I want them I'll have to order from overseas (so much for supporting local bicycle shops!)

2.) Flexible/modular design

My plan is that I will primarily use the folding version of the frame. Part of the plan is to make the design modular so that I can switch between having drop handlebars and north-road style handlebars when I want. For the time being I'll retain using 3-speed sturmey-archer hubs.

- This idea has been scrapped for the time being. It doesn't really work having the coaster-brake hub in the rear wheel. However, a 3-speed coaster-braked Raleigh Twenty might be more versitile than I first thought. I have ridden around on a couple of similarly-equipped bicycles and found them to work quite well. There is the possibility of acquring a couple more Raleigh Twenty bicycles in the near future, but I'm waiting for them to appear in the right condition and at the right price.

3.) Planetbike mudguards (fenders)

The old steel ones are servicable, but getting rather battered and are missing a few vital components. I've been quoted $90 for a set of planetbike mudguards, which will save a lot of weight, and hopefully will be just as sturdy.

 - I'm a university student. It would be nice to have these, but the steel ones will have to do for the time being. I'm no weight weenie anyway (just take a look at my collection of bicycles - none of them weigh less than 15kg!)

4.) Schwalbe Tyres and Tubes

I'll get some Schwalbe tyres and inner-tubes. It will be either the Marathon or the Marathon Plus tyres, probably 20" x 1.75" (47-406). I'll go for the metal-stem inner tubes. Always, when you are going to build up bicycles with a limited budget, you need to plan your spending carefully and then hope that your plans eventuate. Occasionally I take advantage of sales or specials to get wheat I know I will need in the future for cheap. Sometimes I get lucky and find all sorts of treasures in the throw-out piles from various places.

- I've opted for the cheap way out (remember I'm a university student) I've used the tyres that I already have. They're cheap, but they work reasonably well and I'm not racing or anything - I'm just riding around on local trips mostly. I found that I had a "thorn-resistant" inner tube, which has much thicker rubber than standard inner tubes and I have used this in the rear wheel. I might also get one for the front wheel, but I have found that rear wheels always puncture far more often than rear wheels.


Online forum? Do we need one?

Posted by Raleigh Twenty on July 22, 2010 at 9:59 AM Comments comments (54)

I'm just putting it out there to all our members and those who follow

Do we need to have a forum, dedicated to the Raleigh Twenty? What are your thoughts/opinions on it? I had never envisaged having some 90 members on this website. In fact, site membership was not even promoted in the very first days of this website.

This site had been originally concieved as a place for me to put up my research, findings and some technical advice on the Raleigh Twenty, after a couple of weeks of internet searching only brought up a limited amount of technical data. I never thought that it would turn into the cyber-monster that it is rapidly becoming!

So, should we have an online forum dedicated to the Raleigh Twenty?

Wheel Building 101

Posted by Raleigh Twenty on July 21, 2010 at 12:01 AM Comments comments (32)

I build my first wheel today. I started with a hub, rim and a packet of spokes and nipples, and after two attempts produced my first wheel:

The rim is made by Araya (the VP-20 model) and was a street find. I salvaged a pair of wheels of a cast-off kid's BMX-style bicycle. The rims are used, but in reasonable condition. No cracks, splits or anything else to cause concern. The are slightly concave, however, I believe that this is not due to wear, but a feature of the manufacture. I have encountered several brand new rims which are slightly concave. I have no idea why manufacturers would do so, but it is the case.

I had to un-lace this wheel because I made an error:

As you can see by the markings, it is intended for a 20" x 1.75" tyre. I have gotten around the issue of fitting a rear brake with a long enough reach by simply using a 3-speed coaster-brake (back-pedal) hub. SRC-3 (II) by Sunrace Sturmey-Archer.

I corrected this error by starting all over again. This time I remembered to grease the threads of the spokes during assembly, so not all was lost. There is a matching front wheel already waiting in my workshop, which only needs to have the hub re-packed with fresh grease (I don't own cone spanners, so I'll have to take it down to my bicycle club this week to have it done).

Poor Radar (My blue Raleigh Twenty) has been in pieces in the garage for some months now, and will finally get a new lease of life as my travel bicycle. I hope to be able to make it fold up so that it will fit into the 130cm x 70cm x 25cm bicycle boxes supplies by Countrylink, instead of having to partially disassemble it every time I travel.

A Note on Sturmey-Archer FRONT hubs

Posted by Raleigh Twenty on June 23, 2010 at 10:56 AM Comments comments (212)

My brown Raleigh Twenty has the original Sturmey-Archer front hub, which has a few perculiarities when it comes to hubs.

1.) There are no lock-nuts.

2.) It matters which way you put the front wheel into the forks.

3.) Get it wrong, and you're in for a headache!

Sturmey-Archer, and I imagine a number of other British manufacturers did not have lock-nuts on their front hubs. Now this is the most important thing for you to remember.


There is an adjustable and a non-adjustable cone.

- The non-adjustable cone screws in until it runs out of threads - (there is a shoulder on the axle for this). This cone is round - ie has no flats for cone wrenches.

- The adjustable cone has no lock-nut, so just screws in. This one has a pair of flats for a cone-wrench.

The front forks are key-holed - ie the axle won't just slip out, you need to spread them slight, as the cones have a shoulder which fits inside the round part of the fork end - a way of ensuring that a loose axle nut will not result in a front wheel falling out of the forks.


Pictures wll follow.

A Brief Hiatus

Posted by Raleigh Twenty on May 24, 2010 at 10:08 AM Comments comments (4)

I'm just going to let everyone know that I am taking a short break from updating this website (I will provide the new monthly cover photo though). In order to concentrate on my university studies. As luck would have it all my exams are on the first day of the examination period, so I will be flat out getting ready for those. It does mean, however, that I do get something of an extended holiday. Time to do some tinkering and touring! I may not answer emails straight away, but they won't be going anywhere. I'll be back on deck full time as of June 10th.