Saturday, February 6, 2010

Meet Meera- my Raleigh Twenty!

So, there she is, Meera, my Raleigh Twenty! I picked her up from Denton, Texas, last night. The great folks at CycleBabble {that includes some of you, my dear readers :) } pointed out this bike, which was on sale on Craigslist. At first, I was not going to even think of buying it, but I decided I will take a look at it, when my friend Shaoib mentioned interest in a folder yesterday. I showed him pictures of this bike. I knew I was going to buy it even if he wasn't gonna. So, we took a ride to Denton last evening. I test drove her, fell in love right away and the rest of the story is history :)

Tada - Here is Meera, The Raleigh Twenty!

Meera was dusty from having not been ridden in what appears to be a long time. I tried to clean her up, gently, last night. I think the original paint job is still quite good. There is some rusting inside the seat tube. I wonder if I can't clean it up.

There were a three enhancements to the bike that were not stock. Quite frankly, I have no clue what they were for. The person who installed these enhancements was careful enough to protect the frame with some electrical tape before attaching the enhancements using hose-clamps. Pictured below is one of the enhancements (E1). May be a U-Lock holder?
Pictured below is enhancement # 2. (E2). I have no clue what this one was for either. Did I tell you, I find it easier to write your own code instead of debugging code that someone else wrote? :) I removed both E1 and E2. Both E1 and E2 have parts with marked (made in U.S.A). I don't think they came with the bike :)
Came with the stock Brooks saddle! I am not quite sure which model it is. It is kinda Vinyl looking.
Pictured above is also another enhancement (E3). I think I am going to leave this one alone for now. It might work as a saddle bag.

Pictured below is the original pedal and you can see part of the original kick-stand as well. No trouble with the pedal. Whirls around nicely, so far :)
The original tire! Has still some tread on it but the sidewall shows some cracks. (see next two pictures) This is one thing that I will definitely be replacing. Based on my limited research, apparently the stock wheel is a 401, which can fit a Schwalbe Marathon tire. Looking forward to it!
 Original Tire with Raleigh markings on it! Notice the cracks in the tire.

Vinylon may be a the model of the tire, I suppose. Again, you can see the cracks in the rubber. I haven't quite figured out the age of this bike yet. I suppose it could be a 1974 or so (entirely based on my pea-sized brain's guesstimates).
Original Sturmey Archer shifter. Works like a charm (in terms of what it is supposed to do).
Original Sturmey Archer 3-speed rear hub! I think this might need some cleaning. While it works, it does not really work as well as I would have expected it to. Well, now that's being greedy. For Pete's sake, that thing is 30+ years old :) I wonder if it can be minimally serviced. I would eventually like to change it to a more modern IGH, may be a Sturmey Archer or a SRAM or a Shimano Alfine or a Rohloff. Not sure which one will work with the Raleigh Twenty, yet!
The thing that shifts the IGH :)
What a Brilliant idea! :)
Original decal!
Original decal, Made in England!
Original markings on the rear fender!
Pletscher rear rack! This rack is in great condition. Definitely adds flair to the bike and a keeper :) I have Pletscher kickstands on my Cannondale T800 and Gikma!
Original handlebar grip!
 One of these was cracked (pictured below).
I tried fixing it with some glue. Let's see if it works :)
 
Another original marking! May be one can figure out the model year of the bike using this one. The sponge thing is the remnant from E2.
So, whatdya think?
I am very new to the Raleigh Twenty. I have lots to learn about this bike. So, please don't be surprised if I ask you some.

References:
There are tons of references to the Raleigh Twenty on the internet. I found the ones below most useful, so far.
  1. Sheldon Brown's Raleigh Twenty Page
  2. John S. Allen's Twenty Five Years on a Twenty

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