Thursday, September 10, 2009

Raleigh Twenty!

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I have been harbouring a desire to own a Raleigh Twenty. I did research and found that they were in production from 1968 to 1984 (folding version introduced in 1971).

The late Sheldon "Capt. Bike" Brown owned a number of them including one which had built as a fixed gear version. His fixed-gear Twenty later received an 8-speed Sturmey-Archer hub which a gear range of something like 33 to 101 gear inches - better than most 80's mountain bikes!

I managed to score one off the trading section of a bicycle forums I lurk around and it is currently in the post on it's way to my doorstep. I can't wait for it!

Anyway, here is a picture of it taken by the seller:


I have most of what I'll need to get it back on the road. I scored a set of alloy 20" wheels off council clean-up just around the corner from my house (an extremely lucky find!) and a while ago I bought a cheap folding bike for $20 off the internet, which is going to give up it's alloy stem and handlebars. I also have a Dahon Classic III with a damaged frame, so that may also yield some useful odds and ends.

A major advantage of owning this will be that Cityrail is running a trial where folding bicycles are not required to have a child ticket during peak periods any more. There are also a number of technical advantages, but I'll wait until I have completely road-tested them before reporting those here.


  1. Hi Marty,

    I have a Twenty which is almost identical to this one. I have radically modified it à la Sheldon Brown, and it's a great ride. Next step is to put a SA 8-speed on the back.

    Also hoping to get a Sydney Twenty club up and running. Contact me for more info...

    Cheers, Chris
    chrisharris AT

  2. Hi Marty and Chris,
    I couldn't believe that the photo of the Raleigh Twenty is identical to my bike!
    My late dad bought it for me when I was 13 and I stopped riding it when I was around 25 (now in my 40's). Then it was in storage with Dad for years after which he used it to ride around Ballina in his 70's (passed away at 80 2 yrs ago). A
    NYWAY, back to the point - it was quite neglected and my husband went to get it fixed as a surprise but the bike man said it would cost around $400 to get in working order. So have not done so and have no idea how to go about it.
    Mine has a Jack Walsh badge and is virtually the same as the picture (without wheels) but has handle bars. What should I do?? As you can imagine I have sentimental attachment to this bike and would love to ride it again. I live and work in the Inner West of Sydney so it would be ideal transport.
    Thanks, Becci

  3. Becci,

    Please contact me at hartleymartin(AT) I live in Sydney, and I'd be glad to help you get your bicycle back on the road again.