THE RALEIGH TWENTY

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

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Forum Home > New Members > Hello from Sydney, Australia

rohankent
Member
Posts: 30

Hi, my name is Rohan. I've recently become nostalgic about my childhood BSA Eighteen that was my first bike in the late 70's. I stumbled across this place to happily find there is some interest in those old things.

 

It's funny, because when I first got my bike as a kid I was in wonder at this shiny candy-apple freedom machine. Once I could ride it, I would explore the outer boundaries of my known universe: the neighbourhood, going further and further each afternoon, coming home just in time for dinner. First bikes are like first cars in that way, a kind of rite of passage. I'd take dad's tools and explore the bike itself too: taking bits off and returning them without really understanding anything of what I was doing.

 

However, it wasn't long before all the other kids in the early 80's were riding BMX's, and I felt desperately uncool and out of step with my heavy bike with white walls. My BSA was eventually relegated to the garage as I grew in favour of a KMart 10-Speed road bike.

 

I'm 42 now and I have a boy who is learning to ride, which I guess is why I'm reminiscing.

 

Long story short, I was at my folks place the other day and dug out my Eighteen and my older sister's Twenty (my parents never throw out anything). They're in a sorry state, but I'm feeling the urge to get them up and running again, the Eighteen for my boy, and the Twenty for me or my wife. I have no experience at restoration, but it would make me very happy to preserve this connection to my childhood, and to cruise the kilometre or so down the road to our local park and back with my boy, and explore the neighbourhood and the mechanics of the bike with him.

 

This seems like a great place to help me with that goal, and thank you in advance for all the communal knowledge.

October 24, 2014 at 12:36 AM Flag Quote & Reply

David in Florida
Administrator
Posts: 417

Welcome back and to the forum :)

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See you on the trail....8)

David

October 24, 2014 at 12:49 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Koala
Member
Posts: 1062

Welcome to the forum. Don't see so many 18s about. Never seen one on the road..

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October 24, 2014 at 7:02 AM Flag Quote & Reply

melofelo
Member
Posts: 373

No experience needed to restore these bikes...just a few simple tools and some patience. Given the great personal history behind them and a newly discovered purpose for them..I'm sure you will enjoy the process of restoration all the more.

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October 24, 2014 at 8:26 AM Flag Quote & Reply

rohankent
Member
Posts: 30

Well, the BSA 18 has been sitting semi-dismantled in the garage since The end of October.

So far:

- I spent some time cleaning rust off the rims with foil and water

- realised the wheels are far from straight, and ordered a spoke wrench, which I haven't yet used.

- noticed a few significant buckles in the rims, and am unsure of how to improve them? I had a flashback to being a kid, and landing the bike hard after following my bmx friends over some jumps. I remember the braking became quite rough, which is perhaps when I stopped riding the bike.

- bought replacement whitewalls and inner tubes. Am wondering if I should replace the rim tape while I'm at it? I also pondered buying stainless steel spokes to replace the original galvanised looking ones, which is perhaps overkill.

- a lot of the chrome parts are badly rusted (handlebars, stem, brakes). I had no luck finding replacements, until an identical bike appeared on eBay. I won the auction, and now have perhaps the world's largest and only collection of red 1978 BSA Eighteens (actually the frames are dated '77, a few hundred apart, and the sturmey hubs are dated '78 ).

- discovered the redemptive power of white vinegar.

- sort of fell in love with the donor bike, and the fact that I have a pigeon pair (not to mention the matching Twenty waiting in the wings). Whereas the plan was to make one good bike out of the two, now I feel the urge to fix both. The new bike is missing the chain guard and original seat unfortunately. My original bike has handlebars that are possibly too rusted. An option would be to make one good original bike, and use the other as a basis for a modified build.

- had great success cleaning the rust off the brake calipers. Ordered some kool stop continental pads in salmon.

- ordered jagwire inner brake cables. Planning on re-using the original white ribbed outer cables.

- am hoping to get a lot further with it over Christmas, and hopefully get my 7 year old boy involved (and ultimately riding it)

December 9, 2014 at 8:01 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Ikara Oz
Member
Posts: 422

I do so Love an adventure....Pushie On!   :-()

!nK

ps. Have pics(?)....Will travel

December 10, 2014 at 3:48 PM Flag Quote & Reply

motownwatanabe
Member
Posts: 3

My favorite way to restore a bike is to disassemble and tumble rusty parts in a vibrating drum, small gummy parts go into an ultrasonic cleaner with warm Simple Green. 9 out of 10 times the stuff will look brand new with no rubbing. For large components like bars I found a miracle product at a Harley shop that's just some kind of soap you lather with water but it goes through rust on chrome like butter. I can't remember the brand and the tin is in my garage, but its 20 degrees in Detroit so I'm not about to get out of bed and go look.  All of these are super biodegradable, relatively cheap and results in a highly detailed  finished product. I now find I can Save almost everything on a bike, except of course cheap wheels which are almost never worth the trouble

December 11, 2014 at 1:38 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Ikara Oz
Member
Posts: 422

Welcome aboard 'Mo'....some good gear goin' on there! I've been using my nails and Brasso on my all original '67 RSW.....old fashioned ways die hard! I must love the pain of it!   :-)

Need to see that 1940s Columbia Paratrooper.....are the Balloon tyres for when it's landin'?

!nK

December 11, 2014 at 4:46 AM Flag Quote & Reply

wooden shoe biker
Member
Posts: 519

The original steel rims with fat tyres remind me of a Wheelbarrow more than a bike.  I llike the skinny tyres and alloy without mudguards or chainguard or rack for a lightweight ride around 25 pounds still.  ( Toss Brooks white saddle for sure, sorry_

December 14, 2014 at 7:25 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Raleigh Twenty
Site Owner
Posts: 819

For the 18" wheels, you are probably best finding replacement stainless steel spokes and rebuilding the wheels. As long as the rims still have plenty of chrome on them they will work, except when it is wet.


Wheel-building is not the black-art that some people make it out to be. I've manage to build perfectly servicable wheels using nothing but instructions off the web and a bit of patience.

You actually don't need a spoke wrench. A flat screwdriver will do the job once you've taken the tyres, tubes and rim tape off.

For the 20" wheels, as long as they are straight, you can probably just put on new rubber and fresh brake pads and they'll work just fine. That's what I did with my (now stolen and sorely-missed) 1977 non-folder and I managed quite well.

I'm also in Sydney (a bit North of Parramatta) if you would like me to drop by some time in the new year, I can pass you some advice and ideas on the restoration job.


Whatever you do, DO NOT LOSE ANY NUTS OR BOLTS! The Raleigh components were 26tpi instead of the international standard 24tpi and it can be a real pain in the you-know-where to find replacements!

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Martin Hartley

Webmaster

December 15, 2014 at 11:50 PM Flag Quote & Reply

wooden shoe biker
Member
Posts: 519

You will need a spoke wrench if you want any tension on the spokes.  Sometimes the nipples have been ground down on the inside of the rim so as to be smooth and not sharp and puncture the inner tube.   I grind all respoked rims , when recycling spokes or with new spokes the length inside can be a couple mm. too long from my experience.  Some sit pretty high and sharp.   I have a lathe with rubber or carborundum wheels to grind off the excess.  Ride on.

December 16, 2014 at 6:51 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Ikara Oz
Member
Posts: 422

On the matter of excess or excesses....does anyone have an old MKS 'Sylvan' pedal in aluminium! The cap that closes the axel end marked MKS is the missing piece that l am looking to find....the pedal set l have work fine with one cap missing///////////////////// Can anyone help or guide me here?

Cheers,

!nK

December 16, 2014 at 3:49 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Koala
Member
Posts: 1062

Try an email.

[email protected]

you never know unless you ask

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December 16, 2014 at 6:37 PM Flag Quote & Reply

John L
Member
Posts: 114

Please be sure to take before and after pics ... mine is a very similar story to yours ... i got my twenty at 9 years old and grew up with it!! It was the answer to my prayers and gave me the freedom to go fishing, and generally roaming about and enjoying my ever growing freedom.

however my bike disapperaed long ago ... but will be picking up a "new"  bike on Friday... 

December 17, 2014 at 6:23 AM Flag Quote & Reply

2whls3spds
Administrator
Posts: 1318

Hit up the local bike kitchen/co-op and see what they have in the spares bin. I am sure there are several brands of caps that will interchange.


Aaron

December 17, 2014 at 5:20 PM Flag Quote & Reply

rohankent
Member
Posts: 30

Here's the bikes as I found them at my folks place


February 25, 2015 at 6:33 AM Flag Quote & Reply

rohankent
Member
Posts: 30

Slow progress. Starting to think about getting back to the garage.



February 25, 2015 at 6:35 AM Flag Quote & Reply

The Grumpy Old Squid
Administrator
Posts: 980

I've never seen training wheels on a Twenty before (inder any of its vairous names).

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Craig S Werner

EMCS(SS), USN (Ret.) The "Grumpy Old Squid"

February 25, 2015 at 9:58 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Ikara Oz
Member
Posts: 422

Good to see....curious what wheel size EIGHTEEN run?

Paul S. recommends training wheel be removed from small bikes when children reach 3....pedals removed [ crank arms included in this preferably rather than just left on and taped] then seat lowered so the child can reach the ground and kick along like a 'hobby horse' In a week or so they should be able to balance! We see a lot of 'Balance' bikes here in Ox!

February 25, 2015 at 1:09 PM Flag Quote & Reply

David in Florida
Administrator
Posts: 417

Wish I had one of these PUSH BIKES when I was a kid.

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See you on the trail....8)

David

February 25, 2015 at 7:49 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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