What to do ?


Legendary Member
Having just aquired a Raleigh Arena converted to singlespeed...i'm in a quandry as i personalise and tart it up a bit.
Its a nothing special frame, nothing special at all, but as a foray into SS, it's just a plaything.
So, its got those narrow drop bars. It feels so wierd after modern bars, and i cant help but think it looks wierd too.
Is it normal for you guys who've converted to adopt wider bars...do the narrows get ditched by most ? Whatcha all doing ?
I'd cut off the drops and convert them to bullhorns, but i'm not sure :biggrin: I dont want to look like a wannabe courier :blush:

Its only a bit of fun, a hack maybe...but i dont think i can live with those narrow bars

BTW, its got 650A Weinmann wheels on it, fitted with 26x1.3/8 tyres on. Was that normal ? or is it just a mix of bits that the sellers put together. It runs well (in the 200yards i've ridden before immediately stripping it down)

Any thoughts re the bars ?


Active member of Helmets Are Sh*t Lobby
I converted an old style 80's Dawes which has the narrower bars which I have been usuing several years and thinking of doing as you suggest and cutting them and making them into bullhorns. I am rarely on the drops so it seems a natural progress.

I don't think you have anything to loose by converting them as if you cannot get on with them just get a new set of wider bars.


Corn Fed Hick...
...on the slake
gbb;1302191I said:
...dont want to look like a wannabe courier :blush:
Don't forget to roll one trouser leg up for the full effect :smile:

I put a flat bar on my bike in the end as I wasn't using the drops - got it off fleabay for about a tenner. Cut down drops sound pretty good though, might give that a go myself.

Would you put regular brake levers on the flat section? Although I guess if you're a hardened fixie rider you wouldn't bother about brakes! :biggrin:


Man or Moose!
Forget potentially being lumped in with the fakenger crowd and consider what you use the bike for. Narrow bars may be an advantage i.e. for getting down in between the traffic.

Id flip and chop, I like bullhorns and use 42cm(I think, might be 44cm, cant remember) profile aero base bars. Or I'd buy some narrow risers (proper hipster style) and a brake lever that can be used on the tops and change between bars as and when I see fit (drops for longer rides for more hand possitions, risers for commuting, seeing over traffic and getting through traffic).

Run brakes, or down gear to the point you cant break the 10mph barrier, lol!

BTW you running it fixed or just SS?


Legendary Member
You could try using the bars for awhile, see if you get used to them. I have ones like that, ride on the drops all the time, and find them supremely comfortable - plus they do give you the option to drop down when you hit a headwind, which can make quite a difference.


Legendary Member
I put North Roads on mine. I did try them upside down for the classic look but it was just too low without fitting a ridiculously tall stem.


Legendary Member
Singlespeed only...dont think i'd fancy fixed, too lazy :thumbsup:
Painted orange now, quite fetching.
One thing i noticed straight away once i started re-assembling. The freewheel 'wobbles' slightly as the wheel rotates. When the chain was very tight, it kept 'tightening up' and jamming. Moved the wheel forward very slightly and it seemed better.

Chain too tight ?

650A wheels (French size i gather )with 26 x 1.3/8 tyres....fine for commuting, but the tyres look a little chunky. Can anyone shed any light on whether they were fitted as original ?
Guy at work has a Hobbs with 26 inch wheels...must be before my time.

Flip and cut it is i think...as suggested, ive got nothing to lose anyway.
Funnily enough, I saw an Arena last night on the commute.

The Arena seems to have been a juniors bike, hence the smaller wheels to make the geometry fit. It wasn't made from a good quality steel. Not even 501, if memory serves. But it was a decent general purpose sports bike, and should stand up to commuting reasonably well.

The wheel size might be annoying after a bit. It's possible to get alloy rims and half-way decent tyres in that size, but not straightforward, and your choice will be limited. Unfortunately, there aren't a variety of widths available for that size. And beware - it's a different 26" from MTB wheels. And different again from 26x1 1/4". Sheldon Brown has more detail.

Hope it works out well for you.


Legendary Member
It did seem to be a relatively popular bike, one of the guys at work was telling me he and his mate had them as youngsters. Again you're right, it was a smaller bike, but it just about fits me. Much shorter toptube than my Raleigh Clubman, i'm nowhere near as stretched out on this one.
The other guy with the Hobbs said he struggled to get 26x1.1/4 for his, but i read the bead sizing is a bit wierd for these 650A's.

Frame material ?...it is budget. Not even an 18-23 sticker, so gas pipe in all probability.

First ride out tonight, easily maintaining about 15mph on the flat with 48x15.

Tyres are a bit old and lumpy and felt wierd cornering, but that may be the narrow bars as well.
All in all, a good intro, it seems to ride well enough for me.

Resprayed it orange...can't say i'm happy with the outcome. Maybe have another go at some stage :ohmy:
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