Raleigh Twenty: Proper photos!

I had nothing to do at lunchtime today, so I used my 30 minutes to take photos of my bike.  I didn’t pick a very good day for taking photos.. even at lunchtime, it was so dark that my camera wanted to use the flash!  It didn’t get it’s way – I’d rather take a blurred photo than a photo using a flash.  😛

All the photos are in a set on flickr, which is here.

So, here’s the bike in most of it’s glory.

Rear view

I’m probably keeping the paint the way it is, btw.  The blue’s grown on me, and who doesn’t love a bit of patina?  okay.. I don’t like patina much, normally.. but I’ll let it off just this once.  I’m just going to clean off the sticker residue, treat the rust, and leave it at that!

RH View

The crank’s staying too, but the 18T freewheel will probably swapped for a 16T.  I’m cycling a bit manically at the moment..

Folded

It doesn’t fold up particularly small, but it’s better than trying to fit a full MTB on a train!  The handlebar causes a bit of a width issue, which is more annoying than the general size.

Front view

The headset needs a spacer added, and the stem is still giving me issues.  It turns out it IS a 22.2mm clamp (so the shim I bought is way too big), but the clamp is deformed.  I think I need one with more forward reach anyway..

So, this project is nearly done!  Just lots of fine tuning to do.  🙂

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Raleigh Twenty: First ride

So, yeah – the Raleigh Twenty (or Triumph Traffic Master, if you’re being pedantic) is now pretty much assembled, and had it’s first test run this morning! Naturally, things didn’t go quite to plan..

As the front brake isn’t set up (the brake blocks are too close to the rim, and rub like nobodies business), I was relying on the coaster brake working.. which it did! It’s actually quite a good brake, although it’s a weird experience not being able to align the pedals. If I align them for a dismount and coast, I can’t brake! If I brake, I lose alignment.. I’m sure there’s a knack to it, as fixed speed must be even more difficult to stop, and plenty of loonies ride fixed. I’m not sure that I’d like to lose the front brake entirely, though. That just seems like an accident waiting to happen.

The coaster brake can also be quite powerful, I found. Or at least, it felt like it was powerful as I braked and the handlebars swivelled forward! I knew they’d be the biggest potential issue, but I’d hoped I’d managed to tighten them enough. The stem I’d bought was supposedly for 22.2mm bars, but it didn’t seem to want to grip the bar properly. I tightened it up some more on the train, which resulted in the bolt snapping in half, so I think I can safely judge that it’s actually intended for 25.4mm bars. 😛 I’ve ordered a shim, but I’m not sure where I’m going to find a replacement bolt. I’m sure I must have something in all the spares that I’ve got at home.

Everything else worked alright, though! It’s a weird old thing to ride.. the crank is in front of the saddle, rather than underneath it, so my riding position is very laid back and relaxed. Getting up on the pedals makes it feel more BMX-like, with it’s short wheelbase and low center of gravity. I can’t work out if 18 teeth is right for me or not.. it’s alright for cruising, but pedalling is a bit frantic when I’m standing up. I reckon a 16 tooth cog might be better, but I’ll give it a while. It was hard to get a proper feel for the bike when the handlebars kept pitching forward. 😛

A really poor photo - sorry!

The current plan is now:

  • Fit shim to handlebar
  • Fit new bolt to stem
  • Fit a headset spacer (there’s a 2mm-ish gap between the clamp and the nut, so it’s not as tight as it can be)
  • Sort out the front brake (it doesn’t seem very adjustable. Tempting to swap it for a dual pivot or center pull)
  • Strip the paint
  • Paint?

I should proooobably have stripped the paint before I assembled it, but I’m not blessed with that kind of patience. Instead, I’ll probably end up stripping stuff I wanted to keep, and painting stuff I didn’t want painted. I still don’t know what colour to paint it!

Raleigh Twenty: Starting to wish I’d left it standard!

Another day, another issue!

I got the new fork over the weekend, so I started putting things back together.  I got the old lower headset race off, put on the new one, and then attempted to fit the new crown race to the new fork.

  • I tried hammering it using the old headset cup and a screwdriver.  It wouldn’t budge.
  • I tried hammering a piece of plastic pipe, to even out the force.  It wouldn’t budge.
  • I filed down the fork crown a bit, then tried hammering it via the pipe.  It wouldn’t budge.
  • I tried using a hammer again.  It budged!  Then it got stuck.
  • I hammered more and more and more…

JIS vs. ISO

So, it turns out that there are different measurements of fork crown.  Just because a fork is 1″ diameter, and you have a 1″ headset, it doesn’t mean they’ll fit together.  In my case, the fork had a JIS crown, which is 27mm in diameter, whereas the headset had an ISO crown, which is 26.4mm.  ISO has been the standard for years, with JIS only being adopted in any kind of number in Asian countries.

The fork I bought has a German-sounding brand name, so it surprised me to find that it had a non-standard crown. My theory is that it makes more sense to make the larger diameter, and let bike shops face it down to 26.4mm if needed.  That way it can fit anything! That’s probably why it also has such an enormous steerer – let someone else cut it, rather than limit the appeal.

Anyway, this lesson in crown diameters has now cost me a crown race, and judging by the stuff available on the interweb, and what I’ve got at home, I might have to buy another headset.  For £10.  I guess I should’ve taken this job to the bike shop.  😐

ooh, and while I’m here – I forgot that the locknuts from the old fork won’t work on the new fork, because the old fork has Raleigh threading.  It never bloomin ends!