Thursday, March 21, 2013

My winter projects: Raleigh RSW's

I recently came across a couple of Raleigh RSW's on eBay that were being sold as "local pickup only" down in Nehalem, OR.  Nehalem is just east of Manzanita, a coastal town the family and I frequent almost every summer.  I knew it was going to be a stretch for the seller to get many bids,  seeing that people would need to go to the Oregon Coast to get them, so I put the bids in.

Here are some pictures for the eBay ad...

So, bike number one is a 1970 RSW MkII.  It looks pretty much stock

Bike number two is a RSW 16.

Post Script: 3/21/2013
It is now about four months since I originally wrote this post up... and frankly these bikes were what pushed me over the edge.  The condition was poor and they weighed a fricken TON... each....

Even our dog Hazel was disappointed!

I had just returned from a trip with my eldest son, and traveling with bikes was really on my mind.  But NOT these bikes. Too heavy.  And not Twenties. Too heavy and not small enough.  So what to do?

Sell these and get a Brompton!!  More to come on THAT decision..


  1. They are heavy, mine is a Compact RSW which means it folds...sort of. Interesting the both of yours have the lights and dynohubs. I suspect someone brought those over from the UK. Still and interesting find and a bit of Raleigh history.


  2. Hey Aaron,

    Great to hear from you! Yeah, these actually got sold, one to a guy here in the Northwest, the other shipped to Florida. I was really keen on having one as an example of Raleigh's early small wheelers. My hope was for a folding version like yours, but they are pretty hard to come by... You are probably right about being from England. They originally lived in The Netherlands and came to Oregon in the late 70's.

    But seriously, these weighed more than the Twenty! And sluggish to boot. I just wasn't into going through the pain of fixing them up to have them sit around. It got me really looking at what I wanted to do with a bike, overall. The answer? TRAVEL! So if that was the case, then even the Twenty was a bit unwieldy... It's a slippery slope from here in the world of Brompton.

    SO that's what I did - got a couple B's for my wife and I to begin exploring the world with. More on that to come! Still have five Twenties- one for each of us in the family. But they are local fun; Bromptons are for long distance travel..

    Hope all is well with you!


  3. Still running the roads. Current travel folder is a Dahon Classic III (got a pair of them for $100) I have a Brompton on my long term wish list.


  4. The RSW Mk II in your pictures is identical to one my Dad bought me when I was 11 growing up in North East Scotland, in 1971... it wasn't exactly sporty, and very heavy, but I loved that bike, and rode it so much I wore out the tires and pedals a couple of times over. My Dad passed away a few weeks ago, just short of his 90th birthday. Great memories.

  5. Hello Anon. Thanks for the comments. Sorry to hear about your dad passing.

    While I eventually sold these two bikes, I recently acquired another one in much better condition. I put a set of new 16" tires on it and tuned up the AW hub. It is really a fun bike to tootle around on! They are heavy. I'm not sure why since they look to be made out of similar tubing to the Raleigh Twenty's I have that are lighter. Maybe heavier gauge steel.

    Glad these photos could bring back soem nice thoughts.



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