The Raleigh IKEA folding bike has one unfortunate weakness, namely that the chainguard is made of a rather fragile plastic. As if to emphasise the problem, when the bike is folded the chainguard becomes very vulnerable to impact with the ground or other hard object. My bike was slightly damaged in this area already when it was delivered to me. I reckoned that it would be easier to repair it than to parcel it all up and send it back but it was a long time before I carried out the repair.
Actually, it was not so much a repair as a modification and reinforcement. Originally the forward end of the chainguard was supported by a rigid black metal bracket, the bottom end of which can be seen in the picture above. The top of that bracket is hidden from view but that, too is bolted to the chainguard. This original bracket was kept and I attached to it an additional bracing piece (coloured silver in the picture) to give added support to the chainguard. Then I curved another strip of metal to fit inside the chainguard and attached it with the three bolts shown in the picture.
I cut away about 3cm of the plastic at the botton of the chainguard which was broken already or at least cracked and serving no useful purpose. The external appearance of the bike has barely altered.
The Raleigh Oakland is gathering dust in the garage as, unfortunately, I have done very little cycling this year and I do miss it. The plain fact is that the prospect of cycling within a few miles radius of my home is not very enticing and I have been busy with lots of other things. It might be a different story if pleasant company were available but no club activities seem to apply in this area. All the same, a bit more exercise would do no harm so perhaps I should try to form a group of leisure cyclists based on the east side of Cardiff – anyone interested please comment and we can see about getting in touch.