Bought a Kingpin

figbat

Slippery scientist
I have been wanting a new project and have been eyeing up various small wheel bikes as options. This one came up quite nearby and an acceptable price, so I grabbed it and got it home today. I’ve never owned or ridden anything like it but have followed people who have and they all seem smitten, so I took a punt. What a lovely little thing it is! I’ve only ridden it around the block but it has already made me smile. It was bought on the premise of being used for local shopping trips, as I don’t want to rack-up any of my existing bikes and I hate wearing a rucksack. In truth that was just the excuse to get one.

It’s in good working order with a healthy patina but not rotten. It all works but needs a bit of TLC. So far the worst I have found is a snapped spoke on the rear wheel and a bit of play in the upper headset. I’m unsure what to do with it - I did think I might ‘restomod’ it but having got it I like the patina and nothing needs replacing, so I might just clean it up and make sure it is sound.

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SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
The Kingpin is the best of the 20" wheel shopper bike genre, IMHO. Better engineered than the much more common Raleigh Twenty, not that they are bad.
My inclination would be to just give it a lubrication overhaul, wipe it over with a spirit rag to get any grime off it, and just ride it.
The only modernisation I would consider on a bike like that would be to fit alloy rims in place of the steel ones, but you would need to do your homework and make sure the brakes could cope with a slightly smaller rim diameter and the frame could take wider tyres - as the modern equivalents found on current shopper bikes seem to be 20" x 1.75" rather than 20" x 1 3/8" that you probably have on the Dawes.
 

davidphilips

Über Member
Location
Onabike
Nice buy, consider just using it as it is after replacing the spoke and sorting out the headset. That way you have a useful bike and a future project if/when you want upgrade or modify.
Great investment as even if you just keep it as is and use it for a few years you will still be able to at least get your money back if you do ever sell it.
Tbh dont have any vintage bike myself now but can not help thinking that i would buy one if i seen one local? Enjoy looks great and maybe i am mistaken but looks like a viper saddle?
 

davidphilips

Über Member
Location
Onabike
Great picture David, mind if i ask what time/speed your son done and any mods done to the dawes? Plus how did he feel it compared to a road bike on a TT?
 
OP
figbat

figbat

Slippery scientist
One thing I like about it is that it uses generally standard fitments, so the BB is easily replaced for example compared to Raleigh’s proprietary threaded version (this BB feels free and easy though). But the wheels are a bit less common and there are limited tyre options. I also need to investigate why the SA shifter is cable-tied in 1st, although I suspect it’s because it won’t hold so I’ll need to sort that out. It is pretty long-geared even in first though.
 
OP
figbat

figbat

Slippery scientist
I also need to investigate why the SA shifter is cable-tied in 1st, although I suspect it’s because it won’t hold so I’ll need to sort that out. It is pretty long-geared even in first though.
It turns out that the cable-tied shifter was probably to avoid bad shifting due to poor adjustment. I snipped the cable tie and tried shifting - I could get two gears and a neutral. I had assumed it was in 1st but realised that if I pulled the linkage I got a lower gear, so then tightened the linkage and now it shifts into all three gears, with a newly-found lower gear!
 

DCLane

Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
Great picture David, mind if i ask what time/speed your son done and any mods done to the dawes? Plus how did he feel it compared to a road bike on a TT?
He came 10th out of 30 in 10 minutes 58 for a 5 mile TT, beating a stack of riders on full TT bikes :laugh: - I was only 2 seconds quicker on my TT bike :blush: . Apparently the conversation from the rider behind was whether he'd catch him before the half-way turn: on his TT bike, with skinsuit and TT helmet he was slower ^_^

This was stock, with knobbly tyres, mudguards, a pannier rack and a bell although a different seatpost/saddle was used. Oh, and 2nd gear only worked at the start not when he was moving.

It's almost as quick on the flat, definately slower uphill and, according to him, "completely out of control at 38mph downhill".

NY-TT_Tim.jpg


We're modifying the Kingpin with a new bottom bracket, lighter crankset and going up to 10 speed. Larger 451mm wheels are being built with Shimano 105/Dura-Ace hubs, we've a lighter seatpost / saddle plus different stem. New shifters although we've not found new bars yet - they'll match the original and be tilted forwards when we find some for added stability. Oh, and mini-TT bars.

The plan is to mimic Graeme Obree's 'Old Faithful' design whilst keeping it TT legal. Or that's what my 16yo's sketched out.
 
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davidphilips

Über Member
Location
Onabike
That is very impressive David, your sons a flying machine, always thought a good cyclist could go fast on almost any bike and this just goes to show that aero wheels, light bike, 22 gears list is endless may give marginal gains but the engine is the most important bit.
 
OP
figbat

figbat

Slippery scientist
Well, I survived the shakedown ride. I gave it an oily rag clean and service and went for a quick spin along road and gravel track to test it without getting too far from home.
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Before you mention it, the saddle was a bit loose and slipped as I got off - I have subsequently straightened and tightened it.

What it needs:
- one rear broken spoke replacing and the wheel truing
- fashion a bracket to hold the top of the rear mudguard to the frame

That‘s about it! I’m tempted to clean it up further then seal the patina with a surface treatment - boiled linseed oil is one recommendation for this.
 

davidphilips

Über Member
Location
Onabike
figbat when i see posts like yours and leaned about Davids son doing a sub 11 minutes 5 mile TT on one, just can not help but want a Dawes so i am going to put all the blame on yourself,David and his incredible son when i buy one,ttfn and happy cycling.
 

Chris S

Guru
Location
Sparkhill
What it needs:
- one rear broken spoke replacing and the wheel truing
- fashion a bracket to hold the top of the rear mudguard to the frame
The chain looks slack as well. The wheel looks fairly far back in the dropouts so would there be any advantage in removing a link from the chain?
 
OP
figbat

figbat

Slippery scientist
The chain looks slack as well. The wheel looks fairly far back in the dropouts so would there be any advantage in removing a link from the chain?
Yes, it is a bit slack and not a little worn. There is a little bit left in the dropouts but maybe I’ll treat it to a new chain one day.
 
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