Classic & Vintage - The French Bottom Bracket Thread
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The PK10 frame has arrived, but I am in Atlanta until tomorrow evening. The frame seller assures me the BB threads are French. In the meantime I decided to rent a bike to tour around Atlanta (my colleague and I had a great time and got inside the hotel just before the rain started today). While in the rental shop I asked if they happened to have any French bottom bracket parts that they were looking to sell off. To my suprise I was offered a NOS set of TANGE French BB cups for $10.00 tax and all...so I bought them.
Now, I need to think about a spindle/axle and corresponding crank set. It seems we have a couple of these French BB restoration threads going and maybe we can consolidate the information into one thread?
I don't anything about TANGE, but figured for $10.00 I couldn't be going far wrong. The guy that sold them to me wasn't sure what spindles would work, but he thought I should be able to find a number of options. So I now have the frame and a set of cups...two sets in the right direction :D
05-19-06, 06:14 PM
If you search this forums archives, as well as checking out Sheldon Brown's articles on French parts/bikes, you may find that there is a certain style/number of JIS (Japanese) spindle that will work with the French cups in a 68mm shell. I can't remember offhand, but pretty sure it's a size available from Sugino and perhaps Shimano, Tange and others too. Shouldn't be too hard to get the spindle and bearings to complete this...you're putting a regular square-taper crank on it, right?
05-19-06, 07:31 PM
I hope you got a lockring with those cups. French lockrings are hard to find.
Tange is a good brand. The Shimano cartridge bottom brackets are actually made by Tange.
The spindle you need depends on the crank you plan to use. I just checked a spindle that came out of a Gitane with a TA Cyclotouriste double and it's 113mm, +5mm on the drive side.
I could swear that the Stronglight on My PX10 is a 122mm, but I'm not going to pull it to make sure. Whatever it is, it works for both Stronglight 93 and Campy SR.
What year is your PKN-10? My 1980 is Swiss-threaded. I probably have a spare French/Swiss threaded lockring, if you come up short. (Trick: Aluminum English lockrings can be forcibly rethreaded onto French-threaded steel cups.)
All square crank spindles have a 2-degree taper, but there are at least two different standard end cutoff widths/diameters. I always thought Shimano was the odd man out, but I have been seeing some strange problems with Campagnolo Veloce cranks on a Campag. cartridge and with Shimano cranks on a UN-72 Shimano cartridge, so I don't know what to believe right now. :)
Thanks Guys! I have been reading Sheldon Brown's web page quite a bit over the last few days; so much good stuff he has put up...
Any way, the Tange Cups did come with a lockring. They actually had 2 sets and now I wonder if I shouldn't have picked up the second set just to have as a spare. Ah well, can't always think of everything at once :)
I checked the frame out this evening. There are serial numbers on the underside of the BB: there are 2 sets of numbers, one set is engraved into the frame, the others are printed on a piece of paper that is glued to the frame and they read as follows:
The good news: the paint is in much better shape than I had thought. If I can match it, I can touch it up w/o too much difficulty. And, there are no signs of rust anywhere, no dents, dings, nothing to indicate the frame was abused or misused...all looks pretty good.
The not so good news, there is no head set! I had, for some reason, assumed I was getting the original head set...my error...the ebay seller clearly said "frame only"; so now I need to learn about French head sets as well :rolleyes:
So, I plan continue my search for an axle and then a crank set. I am tempted to call Harris Cyclery and take them up on the Sugino crank and a matching spindle as advertised on their web page...thougths? Also, any ideas on the head set are also greatly appreciated.
I will get some pictures up soon. Probably Sunday as my oldest graduates from University tomorrow (he goes to grad school in the fall). That's one down, two to go :)
05-19-06, 10:53 PM
The Stronglight A9 headset that Harris Cyclery sells is beautiful and light. I have one on my Gitane. I don't think you'll find a vintage French headset for less $$.
05-20-06, 07:34 AM
I think the A9 is cheaper here:
some on ss/fg have used this retailer and report they're good (the retailer is in England) but I have not personally used them.
from what I recall of the frame, I'd check the BB-- the decal set it had has almost always been swiss threaded, IME. I refuse to believe my experience is all inclusive, however.
As to spindle tapers, there is a pretty wide variety in vintage spindles. An old edition of Sutherland's will provide this info, as well as some handy mix and match info.
05-20-06, 09:35 AM
I wondered where I would be able to get bearings for the A9 if I needed them. Now I know. Thanks for posting that. That's an amazing price for that headset. I almost wish I needed another one.
Engraved: B0010721 that's the "real" one (see my signature)
paper: 5245985 dealer's stock number?
PKN10E60 60cm frame size
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