A Personal Blog on Bicycle Transportation and DIY Projects

Raleigh Twenty Folding Bike Restoration Completed

I recently finished Heather’s Raleigh Twenty a few days ago.   When we first found the bike, I heard that it was a great bike.  After the restoration, I have to say that I have a new appreciation for this type of bike…I see why they are popular!

The bike was completely stripped down and build back up from scratch.  I found the combination of fine grade steel and Noxon metal cleaner worked wonders and chrome.  This gave a brighter shine than the steel wool and wd40 method.  Simichrome brought the dull aluminum parts up to a brilliant shine. 

The tires were replaced with white walls and new white brake cables were added to match the look.   A Brooks B67 saddle replaced the stock saddle.  Kool-stop Continental brake pads improved the braking while maintaining the look.  Heather liked a basket and we found the perfect one…from the kitchen!  A few zip ties held it in place on the rack.  

On the safety side, I found a vintage head light on Ebay that fit perfect on the bike.  I figured that the light needed a modern update with a CREE XR-E 107 lumen LED, “micropuck” power regulator and a 25 degree dispersion optic.  This runs on 2 AA batteries.    The well-known Planet Bike Super Flash was mounted to the rack.

On the test ride after the rebuild, I found that it had issues of slipping in all gears.   I thought it was the hub, so I stripped it down and rebuild it back up (something that was not easy as three sets of instructions all had errors!)  I finally got it back together.  However, I  found out the issue was really a loose chain….so at least I know the hub is in great condition! 

The Raleigh Twenty is true a gem of the folding bike world.  With the Sturmey Archer AW three gear hub, lots of chrome, and a bullet proof steel frame, they don’t make them like they used to.  It looks great and is a lot of fun to ride too.


3 responses

  1. Absolutely stunning. Great job – so faithful to the original but lovely and appropriate little upgrades.

    February 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm

  2. andre

    I have two 1969 folding bikes , thankyou for info

    February 25, 2010 at 3:45 am

  3. Wow, you’ve done a great job. It looks beautiful. Thanks for the tips.

    April 15, 2010 at 3:30 pm

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