Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Triumph Trafficmaster (Twenty Stowaway)

Back in October I got a couple of Raleigh Stowaways Triumph Trafficmasters. Neither were complete, but together they would make a single complete bike and another that could be stripped down and rebuilt in a new form. The seller I got them from has posted on the Raleigh Twenty forum in the past and has what can only be described as the greatest collection of folding bikes on the entire planet (or at least in England). 

These bikes are alot of fun to ride. They're fast and manouverable but still comfortable (apart from those crap saddles). The main difference in feel is probably the wheelbase. It's a few centimeters short of the wheelbase on a large wheeled bike which makes a difference for the cruising stability - or Longitudinal stability which in a nutshell probably means something like 'Does it go around corners?' & 'how easy is it to hold a straight line?'.

Oh yes and in typical Raliegh 3 speed fashion the gearing is too high, but really its based on the notion that if you need a lower gear to get up that hill then you should get off and push because then the gearing will be right for going fast down the otherside.
Both frames are a little scratched, but one of them is a bit more rusty than the other. So the least rusty bike got to live and recieved the missing bits it needed off the other bike, whilst the other poor bike found out that it could be reduced to the contents of a cardboard box ready for rebuilding. The plan so far is a hub geared/hub braked collapsible tourer with (if I can get some cheap) a set of butterfly bars.
Surviving original bike got to play out in the sun

Poor rusty bike didn't even fit in his temparary cardboard home
While we're at it here's a romatic shot of my brothers genuine Raleigh Stowaway with all of it's ever so slightly better features than mine, such as chromed mudgaurds and sheathed brake levers....oh and a mickey mouse bell.


  1. Awwww, they are too cute. How do you feel riding in traffic though? I'd be worried that motorists might not see me due to the frame height. But I feel like that anyway because I'm quite short. Plus some motorists have special powers that apparently prevent them from noticing anyone on a bike.

  2. Cute!?, right I'll have to design some manly flames and or butch skull motifs of somesort into the re-build ;-)

    The bodys positioning on these sorts of bikes isn't any different from a big diamond frame, so your road presence is the same really. Probably more so than someone hunched over drop-bars on a largewheeler.

  3. Ha ha, she's right Jim they are cute. You could use Boss-Hawg cow(bull?)horns for handlebars and they still would!

    That a 5'10" er with long arms can share one with a 5'3" er with short legs & arms speaks volumes for the adjustability of the design. At its extremes I can ride with the handlebars level with the seat, and with tilting them back a bit, sit fairly upright too :>)

    The only thing I'd change on ours is the gearhub (if the old one broke) for another with a coaster brake to simplify it a bit.

    The collapsable tourer idea sounds good. A bit like a Moulton but a heck of a lot cheaper!

  4. Raleigh Twenties are very fine bikes. I enjoyed reading about your working on them. If I could find an email address for you, I'd offer you some cheap butterfly bars.

  5. Hi David thanks for visiting :-D email is cyclea2b[at}gmail[dot]com.

  6. These bikes were a shocking manifestation of horror. They were heavy, slow and completely unstable so much so that I ended up in hospital after mine went out of control on a main road. I still have the scar on my chin to this day. The best day of my adolescent life was throwing mine in a skip when my new racer was delivered.

  7. The best day of my adolescent life was throwing mine in a skip when my new racer was delivered.

    Sacrilege! At least if you did that today, somebody would rescue it & put it on Ebay ;>D

    They do steer differently due to not having a conventional headset - riding no hands is a no no - but certainly aren't unstable.

  8. @anon I hope non of your other bikes go suddenly out of control all by themselves!

    Usually if one of my bikes has a wobble it's because I'm riding it ;-)

  9. I've just bought a Triumph Traffic Master and I love it. It's a shame I live on a hill but I shall just have to get a bit fitter. The bike I bought was rusty but I've painted it up and cleaned everything and it's good to ride. I used Hammerite paint, the sort that goes on over rust. I used to have one of these bikes years ago and I was delighted to find another one on ebay going cheap enough for me to buy.

  10. I bought one too super fun and fast very good handling .

  11. What size tyres do these take having difficulty finding them mine says semperit
    1-3/4 but I've been told they take 1 - 3/8
    The ones I got on are Austrian tyres help??

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