Thursday, November 03, 2005
Raleigh Folder blog.
What's a Raleigh Folder? A pretty cool, old Raleigh folding bike (duh!) with 20 inch wheels and the handling characteristics of an English three speed. It's also known as a Raleigh 20. For an in depth look at this bike you can check out the source for all things bicycle Sheldon Brown. Specifically http://www.sheldonbrown.com/raleigh-twenty.html
Why upgrade? Why not? Can't leave well enough alone? I have a burning desire to spend money on bikes and parts? I don't know. But I do have two goals for this upgrade process. Both questionable.
Goal one: Save weight. Now I know all you practical cyclists just blew milk out of your nose. But hey I've got to lift this boat anchor of a bike up a flight of stairs every day. Maybe I can shave two pounds off of that and shave seconds, seconds I tell you, off of my climb up Home Road.
Goal two: Increase performance. No, not my performance in races. But I will be able to stop the bike in the rain if I replace the steel rims and the thirty year old brake pads. You know, stuff like that.
I started out with a bone stock Raleigh Folder bought for $50. Oh yeah, that's another reason/justifacation for the upgrades. Most of these bikes sell for a lot more than that. And by the time the new owners finish their upgrades they could have bought a new folder such as a Swift or a Brompton for the same amount of money. I figure I'll stay below that level since I started so low. And, I have a lot of the parts I need in the basement already.
I wish I started this blog since the beggining of my ownership of the bike since I have started upgrading already. Pretty basic so far. I've replaced the steel seatpost for a longer aluminum one with an integrated clamp. The orginal steel one was too short and (I'm guessing here) heavier than the new one.
Mod two was the replacement of the Brooks mattress saddle with a leather Brooks B66 Champion. Stylish, comfy, and perhaps tens of grams lighter than the original. Of course, to get the double railed saddle to work with the modern seatpost I had to use a Seat Sandwich, a grooved piece of aluminum that allows the clamp mechanism to work properly with the saddle.
So, the bike is still looking pretty stock but I've made it more comfortable to ride, and a little lighter to boot. So far so good. Watch out for more.