enter image description hereI was given an older Team Raleigh frame, serial #WBK 601376 R. I use it as my commuter bike to school where I teach. I want to update the frame with new equipment.

My local bike shop was able to put newer Sora drivetrain, shifters, and brakes on it. Now I want to update my steering system so that I can:

  1. use 700 wheels up front
  2. put on wider handlebars
  3. shorten my reach

I want to be able to do all the work myself.

Can anyone knowledgeable tell me if my list of equipment sounds right?

  1. new fork for 700 wheel, 1" threadless.
  2. handlebars 31.8, 420 wide
  3. headset for 1" threadless fork
  4. 80 mm stem (or so) to shorten up my present 100 mm. stem.

Can I find these things used, do it myself and save some money?

What advice and/or cautions can you offer? Can anyone tell me anything about the frame by the serial number? Is this from the middle 90's?


  • What size is the previous front wheel? – ojs Jan 18 '18 at 18:43
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    At this point, you’re looking to spend around $300 or euro in mods. You could most probably find a good used bike that fits you perfectly with the features you want in that price range. – RoboKaren Jan 18 '18 at 19:52
  • Previous wheel was a 27.25, which is one of my problems. My old fork won't allow a 700 wheel because the caliper won't quite reach. Currently using the original fork, 27.25 wheel, and caliper. – michaelharv Jan 18 '18 at 19:53
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    I'm hoping to do it all under $100 with used parts (except the bearings) and doing the work myself. I'm not an expert, but have pretty good mechanical experience. – michaelharv Jan 18 '18 at 19:55
  • Can you add pic of the bike? – Argenti Apparatus Jan 18 '18 at 20:37

I've been doing exactly this with a Raleigh Arena 10 speed bike.

Its ridiculously expensive to buy new parts for this old bike, so I was fortunate to pick up a crash damaged road bike that had frame damage but the transmission was okay.

You need long-reach brake calipers to move from the 27" wheel to a 700c wheelsize, which is 4mm smaller. I got some NOS Tektro R556 dual pivot calipers cheap, and while they fit the front wheel perfectly the rear still doesn't reach the rims. More work required here.

https://www.bikeman.com/bicycle-product-reviews/product-testing/1028-tektro-r556-dual-pivot-long-reach-caliper-brake From https://www.bikeman.com/bicycle-product-reviews/product-testing/1028-tektro-r556-dual-pivot-long-reach-caliper-brake

The donor bike had Shimano 105 3x9 and that has transferred across okay. I was astonished that the cartridge BB fitted right in.

The front derailleur is clamp-on and requires a shim for the smaller seat post. I also had to be creative with the pull cable routing given its bottom pull and the original front mech was a top-normal bottom pull "Spirt"

Rear wheel spacing was also surprising in that the rear wheel fits perfectly, but in the smallest gear the chain binds on the frame. So this needs fiddling.

Up the front end, I chose to stay with my original drop bars. The quill stem stays for now too while I fiddle with fit, but it will likely change to a much shorter one.

You do not need to replace the fork to change the wheels. However aluminium rims will do a lot both for safety on braking and for overall lightness. The old Chromed steel rims didn't brake very well, and got worse in the rain. You can get Quill Stems down to 20mm in length, and it saves the cost of a replacement fork. Getting a safe 1" threadded fork is going to be hard enough, plus the threadded to threadless adapters are a bit of a bodge. I'd get a nice used quill stem off ebay,

I intend on running 35mm tyres, mostly because I have them already and they fit fine.

Not sure about the stubby mudguards. In reality they aren't worth it, but they look so right on the bike. But mine are completely rusted.

Why am I doing this with a bike that isn't valuable or even nice? In the late 1980s I rode a green version of this bike to high school. Stupidly I threw the bike out when aged mid 20s, thinking "I have a car, why do I need a bike?" (yes, really) and I utterly regret this decision now. This blue Arena was in my neighbour's shed and he gave me a bunch of bikes, so I kept it. When the donor bike came up, I knew it was time to progress this restoration.

Own work Note this shows the 105 brake calipers which don't reach. I'm also missing the top nut that your bike has around the quill stem. Don't loose that!

Own work

Here's my home-made dropper which was finished today. This question provided the motivation to get on with it.

More photos are found at https://criggie.org.nz/pictures/?gallery=bikes/raleigh_arena/rear-brake-mount

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    If your quill stem is holding there without the bolt, then it has a plenty of rust inside and will be very hard to release it. For the bolt itself, i'm pretty sure you can take a bolt from modern kids' bike with a wide thick spacer to hold it. You also miss the counter nut for the fork bearing, so be ready to tighten it before every ride. – Alexander Jan 19 '18 at 12:04
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    On the rear wheel, for the chain to not touch the frame, add a spacer or two on the axle inside the frame. This 1mm should be enough for the chain to move freely. – Alexander Jan 19 '18 at 12:06
  • @Alexander that quill stem is from a race bike, and it has a recessed 6mm hex bolt. So its totally secure. Also, there's a thin locknut above the upper race, but you're right its ugly and exposed to rain. – Criggie Jan 19 '18 at 19:48
  • Thanks Criggie. In my case, I'm afraid I do have to change my fork to change wheels. The fork on my bike now, the black one, is from the even older frame that I started with, a late 80's Raleigh Technium. The hole for the front brake caliper is just too high to let my Sora caliper reach a 700 wheel properly. Besides, with this frame, I just want to update all that I can and keep riding it. It's a bit heavy for touring, but it's great for a very efficient commute. Do you happen to know any bikes from which I might scavenge a 1" threadless fork . . . or a threaded one tall enough for me to cut? – michaelharv Jan 19 '18 at 20:52

Sure you can find all sorts of stuff used...However you need to make sure everything fits. Make sure the fork is long enough to go through the head tube. You might need to add extra spacers depending on the new stem. as for the new stem you will need to make sure is is the right stem for the 1" fork as well as the new handlebars. What width tires do you want to run, will they make clearance on the new fork.

One thing to think about when changing what maybe is a 26" wheel up front, to a 700c, is the new bike geometry. This could move the front of the bike either up or down depending on the old fork dimensions.

Also do you know how to do all the part changes, and have the proper tools, and ability to measure the parts to make sure you get the proper parts before purchasing them. There are a lot of questions you need to answer before you move forward with this.

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    Thank you John. My previous wheel was 27.25, so the move to 700 wheel shouldn't be a problem as far as overall geometry of the bike goes. Right now, my old caliper can't quite reach a 700 wheel. Can you offer any guidance on how to get the measurements? Will all 1" compatible stuff work together? – michaelharv Jan 18 '18 at 20:05
  • well you are looking at having to get a new wheel, fork, brake, stem, handlebars. this most likely will not happen at under $100. 1" forks can be hard to find. Do you want t stay with caliper brakes? I recently did a 1" disc conversion, and it was very hard to find a 1" disk fork. – John Burgess Jan 18 '18 at 20:11
  • To answer your question if you need a 1" fork, it will work with a 1" stem, the other opening on the stem will have to match the handlebars. and depending on the fork stem length you may need extra spacers/ cut the fork stem to fit. depending on the type of brakes you currently have you might be able to install them on the new fork and have them align properly to the new wheel. pictures would help us to give better examples of issues you may run into. – John Burgess Jan 18 '18 at 20:11
  • John, already you've been really helpful. Of course, I meant 27". The fork on the bike now is actually from the original Technium frame, which was replaced by Raleigh with a much nicer one. Since then, I have upgraded the old drivetrain, gears, shifters, and brakes; but I am just now trying to replace the entire front end. So far, I've got my wider handlebars in hand. (Ha!) Now, should I be looking for a 1" threadless fork, compatible with a 700 wheel? Will I be able, do you think, to use the same headset if I'm simply moving from threaded to threadless? – michaelharv Jan 18 '18 at 21:46
  • threaded and threadless stems are very different. you can google that to see the difference. And you need to look into width of tire you are using to make sure they will fit. many road style forks are only able to handle up tp a 32mm tire. if you are commuting you may be using a wider tire, in which case you need to make sure there is clearance, both on the fork arms and the bottom of the crown. – John Burgess Jan 18 '18 at 21:53

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