Over the holiday break, I came across a coffee brown Raleigh 3-speed, 1980 from the looks of it and it was the ladies version. It was at the local Thrift Store and I picked it up for a song - $35. It has cleaned up real nice. So I got the idea that I could find a mate to it and my wife and I could ride around the neighborhood on matching vintage bicycles. Well in by searching, I came across a guy back in Madison who runs a bicycle shop called ReBrit and he had a mate to the one I had! But also during my searching, I came across a vintage Raleigh Twenty folding bicycle on craigslist. It wasn't a mate, but it also wasn't as expensive as the one in Madison. It was a Raleigh and it was local and, dang was it cool looking.
Anyway, a few emails later, I kind of put it aside. I mean, I have 17 bicycles in my place right now, not all mine, but that's a lot of steel tubing. Our man with the Twenty got back to me and lowered his price - substantially. It was a deal I couldn't refuse.
So here she is!
In almost perfect vintage condition, even with the Elite "torch" on the front. The headlight doesn't really work - yet!
The saddle is an original Brooks mattress saddle, but it's got a pretty unsightly tear in it. Boy, would a B-66 look nice on it! But it would cost me almost as much as I spent on the bike. It's got a new chain on it and I think the master link is causing a bit of noise as it rides. The tolerances between the chain and the frame are pretty tight.
So after doing some reading about the Raleigh Twenty on the web, it seems most people modify them - alloy wheels and new rubber, possibly replace the bottom bracket. This bike is so original though, it kind of seems a shame to mess with it. I need to decide what I'm going to do with her. Will I actually ride it? I have good bikes to ride (Surly and Faggin)
Anyway, I'm excited to have it.