A new project bike has been acquired. I managed to pick up for very small change a Raleigh folding bicycle of unknown vintage and pedigree. I could guess that it was some variant of the lauded Raleigh Twenty, but beyond that I had no clue what I was dealing with. A polite nudge from a fellow velociphile (velosophile?) indicated that this machine is a Raleigh Stowaway. I know a few things about this bike already. The locknut is fine. The frame is fine. The bottom bracket appears fine. The Sturmey Archer hub appears and sounds fine (characteristic clicking through its rotation and shifting fine) but will not be road tested until the rest of the bike is re-constituted.

(more after the jump)
Hinge Rearquarter



The SA also gave me the approximate vintage by virtue of the stamping on the hub shell: AW 72 1. SA’s AW is a 3 speed hub, 72 indicates production year, 1 indicates the month of production. So this is very likely a 1972 Raleigh Stowaway.

That’s the fine stuff. The not so good bits are as follows: brakes – shot; cables – assumed shot given rear brake was locked solid; chain – rusty; tyres – shot, the whitewalls are threadbare; seat-post – inadequate; paint – not original and probably covering most of the frame transfers. Certainly the serial number is obscured by the paint job. It is located on the rear drop out.

Now that the nitty gritty is out of the way the question is: what are my intentions? Is this to become a personal mount or will I resell? Good question. For now I’m going to strip and clean the beast and certainly put new rubber on the wheels. The rest will have to wait and see.