Ever since I realized that there was a 16" wheeled version of a Raleigh RSW folding bike, I have wanted to get my hands on one. I've now owned three Raleigh RSWs, two of them I've sold and one of them I still have. But I've not come across a folding one, for a decent price, until just a couple weeks ago. If you look around on eBay, nice versions of this bike are listed for sale in the thousands of dollars. This one was listed as "non-functioning and very rusty" with a price to go along with that assessment… and FREE SHIPPING. I was hooked and started calculating how many of my other bikes I'd need to sell to offset this one...
Here is a nice profile shot after I got her all put back together with new tires. Yes… the picture is a bit dark… it won't stop RAINING around here!
Once I got it unwrapped, it took me about a week to get it all back together. I rebuilt the SA-AW hub which was in surprisingly good condition internally. Same with the front hub, headset and bottom bracket. I have been using a product called Krud Kutter for rust removal recently and it does a great job. The handlebars were particularly rusty and this treatment of Krud Kutter and a light rubbing with steel wool after it soaked a bit was amazing. The rest of the bike got a complete polishing with Number 7 Rubbing Compound and two coats of Turtle Wax on everything after it was cleaned up. I then started re-assembly.
But, silver linings, the basic frame of the carry-all is still intact and not broken up. All of the parts are there too. I took a bunch of pictures of the original bag because you just don't see details of these on the web.
Here is a final look at the bag from the front toward the rear. You can see the straps are wearing through to the harder stiffening fabric below in many places.
So.. that's it. My plans for this one are to get the bag remade. My folks have a friend who does custom upholstery work, or DID. I think they might be retired. But this is a pretty small job and I'm hoping that they might take it on. I also want to see if I can get a custom fabricated steering tube extender made for this bike. I have a Kalloy seatpost that gets me to the right height, but I have to lean over pretty far to get to the handlebars.