Frank's Raleigh Twenty build

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Jun 15, 2019
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Got myself another fork, first thing is to add some V-brake bosses. Hacked the ones of the old fork (no use with odd sized steerer) :


Next, position them for welding on the new fork:


And welding complete:


A spray over with matt black and job done:


The completed bike thus far, ready for some test rides:


And a couple of close-ups:




Will run it with just the front brake for now, fine for round these parts. May later add V-brake bosses to rear, or may go for coaster so as not to spoil the paintwork. Had to chop about 1.5" off the head tube to get the fork to fit, but the extra long gooseneck is just the right height at full extension - was a bit worried about that one. Had a quick ride around the block already, and those fat tyres sure give a plush ride. Might fetch over the colour-coded mudguards from UK, if shortened a bit would look good I think. That's it for now.....
Firecloud cycles do a fork with an extra long steerer tube that will work on the 20 and it has the setup for the v brakes. You will have to run the 406mm wheels on it from what i can remember from doing mine. For the back brakes i took the horseshoe shaped bracket from a mountain bike front fork and welded to the back to give a setup for v brakes and i used balloon tyres on that bike. What way do you upload photos to this site?
 
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Banglen, Thailand and a little bit Reading, UK
Thanks for the tip-off Johnny - had a look at them forks. BMX style not for me, would ideally have used the ones that came with the frame, but too narrow for chunky tyres 😕 . I already have some brake bosses for the rear, they're easy to come by on ebay. I'm amazed how well the bike rides now - easy to see why they are popular for resto projects, although I see mine as a modernisation project really.
For photos, you have to use a third party site such as Postimage, Flickr etc. and link across to here. Used to be a tutorial on the old site, but can't find it here? Please post some pics if you can - would love to see......
 
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I have the R-Tech 160A model with all the bells & whistles (pulse welding etc .etc.) with a foot-pedal (can be used W/O it of course).
It also does Stick welding and TIG Brazing. I cannot fault the machine or R-Tech's service & support. I think you will find the same machine(s) in the US under the "Everlast" badge.
 
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Jun 15, 2019
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Thanks for the tip-off Johnny - had a look at them forks. BMX style not for me, would ideally have used the ones that came with the frame, but too narrow for chunky tyres 😕 . I already have some brake bosses for the rear, they're easy to come by on ebay. I'm amazed how well the bike rides now - easy to see why they are popular for resto projects, although I see mine as a modernisation project really.
For photos, you have to use a third party site such as Postimage, Flickr etc. and link across to here. Used to be a tutorial on the old site, but can't find it here? Please post some pics if you can - would love to see......
Which wheels does yours run 451mm or 406mm or old money is 20* 1 3/8 or 20 *1.75?. I have 2 bikes with the 406mm wheels and they run 20 * 1.75 chunky tyres, one with the bmx fork and one has the standard fork on it albeit with drum brakes as opposed to caliper type. I agree Frank that they do ride exceptionally well in either stock or modified form. The most recent one i did has 451mm alloy wheels,seatpost brake calipers and you would be amazed how much lighter it is over the stock model. I like the stock model as well and have two very nice ones ,all 451mm wheel ones that i like to use frequently with the modified one. I think i have 10 of them in all various types and model names.
 
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....Wow - 10 is quite a collection, but can understand the addiction :giggle:

The wheels were originally 451, but now they're standard 406 BMX size - much easier to get over here and in UK. I have a stock model back in UK, and will leave that one as is - just a bit of a clean up really. Both are/were Solitaire models, and as you say they are very heavy in standard quise - unbelievably so. I'll be back in UK in Sept, and will weigh that one and compare to the one I just modded, will be quite a difference I think.

Some pics of yours would be nice - expect others here would also like to see. Shame the dedicated R20 site is all but deceased:(

Not sure of your locale, but spotted a nice one on Gumtree for sale in Chelmsford - looks a bargain at 20 quid........
 
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It didnt work all that well Frank, in fact it didnt work at all. Why they all have to continually change the sites to make it more complicated i'll never understand.
 
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....that's better Johnny, can see 'em now.

The orange one - is that a seat post joined to the gooseneck to give the length? Has it been resprayed? - the colour looks the same as the Chopper I had as a kid, didn't see it on a Shopper before.

Solitaire is the same colour as mine back in UK, think they call it bronze, or coffee colour?

The Triumph - you're very brave to attempt anything with that, I'd have just left it under the hedge :)

The black one in the group shot looks super, chrome fork as well, very nice.

A thought occurred to me me recently. The Shopper and Chopper were being churned out at the Raleigh factory at the same time, so how many parts do they share? I'd say the crank and arms, brake calipers and levers, 3-speed hub, stem........maybe some I've missed? Wouldn't be surprised if R20 parts were being sold off as Chopper parts, with a silly price tag of course.

Anyways, thanks for sharing, looks like you've got a lifetime's work ahead of you with that lot, and keep posting on here please with progress (y).........
 
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The orange handlebar stem Frank is a straight MTB handlebar cut in half to give me the height, it fits into the steerer tube and the centre section of the bar is wider and that allows the quill stem to expand in it and all is well. Cheap and cheerful. There is alot of tips and tricks on the Raleigh Twenty website that you spoke about earlier which is where i picked up alot of the ideas.I would agree about the parts sharing because i think they used whatever was to hand so i would think that alot of the parts are the same. There is about 4 or 5 more bikes to add to the ones in the picture. The orange one is resprayed with rattlecan paint, the most expensive parts were the wheels, buying the alloy rims, hubs, and getting them built. The rest of the parts i had knocking around. The black one is similar, alloy rims but BMX 406mm size , handlebar riser the same idea and it has a coaster brake in the rear wheel. The brakes on the black one are absolutely brilliant, far better than the orange one but that is down to the wrong brake pads fitted. I like building the modified ones but i like the stock ones as well to ride . They ride exceptionally well i think for the time they were built and so well engineered for the time. The Solitaire is a frame i bought out of the UK and built the bike here at home. It has drum brakes fitted on 406mm steel rims as opposed to the caliper type commonly fitted to the majority of them,in fact i haven't ever seen another one with drum brakes anywhere. I'll keep you posted as i build!
 
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....drum brakes are something I've yet to try, but it can start to get expensive, and I'm reluctant to go too crazy on any of my builds. I'm comfortable with welding, so V-brakes will do for now.

The frame on the R20 is cleverly constructed - it's brazed, but without using lugs. Those wrap around joints on the main tube are a neat solution, and cheap to build for Raleigh. They were known for over-engineering their stuff, but that's why so many of the bikes still survive.
One idea I had was to get a frame shot blasted down to bare metal, all the brazing on show, and a coat of clear lacquer on top. Mind you, the paint might be hiding a few sins.

The Solitaire donor for this build had a 3-speed dynohub, which is a shame, would have preferred the standard hub to reuse in the build. I stripped the old wheel down back in the UK, and when you hold the hub in your hand it feels like a solid lump of lead! Gonna look out for an R20 with normal hub to use for another build, but for now I'll just enjoy this one......
 
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Yes it can start to get very expensive very quickly. The v brakes are as good as you get in my experience if the right pads are in and an alloy rim. The drum brakes in the one i have were in wheels on a bike i bought cheap other than that i wouldn't have them either because they are useless, much like the drum brakes in the mini i had 35 years ago!
 
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Got round to adding a rear brake. First, I decided to make a new jig to hold the bosses in place:


Here it is in place on the frame - a lot better than bits of wood and clamps:


Found a small pot of acylic to touch up, not perfect but it'll do:


And the completed brake:


Its a fiddly job, no denying, but the new jig makes it so much easier. I'll be getting a set of white cables for it later, just for cosmetics, and I expect I'll put the original white Brooks saddle back on at some stage........
 
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Just a final update on this one to show the finished bike, if such a thing exists ;)



I trimmed the mudguards and added them, shame not to as they're colour coded. I decided not to add the chain guard, as I prefer the one already on the crank. I'll be doing another one next time I'm back in the UK, already got the bike back there, so may as well turn it into something useful.
 
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