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  1. #1
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    French thread bottom bracket/spindle HELP

    I have a 1960s Peugeot bike with a cottered bottom bracket that I want to convert into square tapered. I was told that this could easily be done just by replacing the spindle with a square tapered one. I measured the dimensions of the cottered spindle and found that the center, or B in this image from Sheldon Brown

    was 56mm. If I buy a spindle with the middle length of 52mm, im think it would not work because the space between the bottom bracket shell and the spindle thing (dont know what its called) is too far apart for the loose bearings.

    How do I solve this problem?

    Buy a new french threaded bottom bracket? (or maybe just new bearing cups?)

    or will the 52mm spindle work with the bottom bracket cups I already have?

  2. #2
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Hard To Say

    Quote Originally Posted by organicmuch View Post
    I have a 1960s Peugeot bike with a cottered bottom bracket that I want to convert into square tapered. I was told that this could easily be done just by replacing the spindle with a square tapered one. I measured the dimensions of the cottered spindle and found that the center, or B in this image from Sheldon Brown

    was 56mm. If I buy a spindle with the middle length of 52mm, im think it would not work because the space between the bottom bracket shell and the spindle thing (dont know what its called) is too far apart for the loose bearings.

    How do I solve this problem?

    Buy a new french threaded bottom bracket? (or maybe just new bearing cups?)

    or will the 52mm spindle work with the bottom bracket cups I already have?
    First, if you decide to replace it with a
    sealed cartridge unit from Velo Orange:

    http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...y-cups-26.html

    I have one I just ordered for a PX-10
    overhaul, and while I cannot testify with
    regard to its longevity, it appears to
    be a very high quality product.

    If you want to simply replace the spindle,
    whether your 4mm shorter spindle (between
    the cone surfaces) will work depends on
    how much adjustment you have to play
    around with in your adjustable cup. As
    long as you have enough thread left to
    install and tighten the lockring after you
    adjust the bearings, you're good.

    There used to be a number of various
    square taper spindle replacements available -
    which is probably when whatever you read
    was written. Now, unless like me you have
    access to a pile of used parts or a bike coop,
    the choices are more limited. Perhaps
    someone else will post a suitable source for
    a guaranteed replacement.

    But if you really like the bike, plan on keeping
    it for a while, and are going to replace
    with a reasonable quality crankset, consider
    the Velo Orange sealed unit.
    Last edited by 3alarmer; 12-14-12 at 11:08 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Australian Book of Atheism
    There is only no god, and Cyclaholic is his prophet.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    You could also do it the old fashioned way and buy your spindle and cups on eBay. You'll find both Campagnolo and Shimano sets in French thread there right now. You just missed out on a T.A.

    If you buy the Velo Orange unit, you'll have to use a crank with a JIS taper. That's okay if it doesn't bother you to put a Japanese crank on a French bike.

    I have four French roadbikes, so I have some experience with this stuff.

  4. #4
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    I also read somewhere that someone used a italian bb spindle for this. Im not sure under what circumstances it would work but im guessing italian bb spindles have a wider center section (maybe 54mm?) and i am still not sure if it would work to replace a 56mm...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post

    If you want to simply replace the spindle,
    whether your 4mm shorter spindle (between
    the cone surfaces) will work depends on
    how much adjustment you have to play
    around with in your adjustable cup. As
    long as you have enough thread left to
    install and tighten the lockring after you
    adjust the bearings, you're good.

    Mike Larmer
    I just tested how much thread I have left on the adjustable cap after installing everything and there was 2 levels of thread left. I dont think thats any more then 2mm of adjustable space meaning I would need to have an axle of no less than 54mm wide between both ridges?

  6. #6
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
    If you buy the Velo Orange unit, you'll have to use a crank with a JIS taper. That's okay if it doesn't bother you to put a Japanese crank on a French bike.

    I have four French roadbikes, so I have some experience with this stuff.
    Grand Bois:
    As do I , amigo. Take it from me that even the
    experienced can err from time to time. Certainly
    there has been a great deal written and discussed
    with regard to Square taper cotterless crank
    interchangeability that would be largely unnecessary
    if the situation were as simple as you describe.

    Besides this: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/bbtaper.html

    which as a summary of practical application of available
    information works pretty well, I can quote from
    Sutherland's Sixth 3-5 : (sounds sort of biblical, no?)

    Old useful combinations that do work - Maxy type spindles
    can be used to place chainline farther from the frame with
    Stronglight or TA cranks.
    and 3-8:
    The square taper of JIS spindles is similar (though
    longer) to that of older Stronglight and TA spindles.
    While I appreciate your passion for period authentic
    restoration, it can be somewhat limiting to search
    continually for old parts on e-bay when what is
    actually required for a repair is readily available,
    albeit in a more modern format.


    To organicmuch: From that same section of Sutherland's
    Sixth 3-5 :
    Old combinations that don't work - Peugeot
    cottered spindles and cups will not interchange; its bearing
    race diameter is much smaller than the others.


    so there is an additional problem. My own feeling
    (and I too own a couple of Frenchies that I enjoy riding
    from time to time) is that they would be much easier to
    work on if I lived in Paris. Meanwhile, I'm grateful for the
    Velo Orange contribution because it is cheaper than a
    Phil Wood BB and it makes my life a little easier.

    Respectfully,
    Mike Larmer
    Last edited by 3alarmer; 01-02-11 at 12:45 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Australian Book of Atheism
    There is only no god, and Cyclaholic is his prophet.

  7. #7
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    I found this useful piece of information from Sheldon Brown's site answering my question.
    French bottom bracket cups usually have thinner walls than Japanese ones, so the bearing ridges on the spindles are farther apart. If you use a standard Japanese spindle, the adjustable cup won't be able to screw in far enough to snug up the bearings, or if it does, it will sink into the bottom bracket shell so that you won't be able to install the lockring.

    The good news is that a Japanese spindle made for an Italian size (70 mm) bottom bracket will usually fit! In the Sugino marking system, these are the spindles that are marked with a "5" code. Spindles for 68 mm bbs have codes beginning with 3. This trick often makes it possible to upgrade an older bike from cotterd to cotterless cranks at a reasonable cost.
    Now, 3alarmer brings up another problem with interchangability between peugeot and other parts. Am I doomed to replace the entire bottom bracket?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    An ISO crank will sit farther out on a JIS spindle. This not only creates chanline issues, but can result in a damaged crank.

    The simplest way by far is to buy French cups and a 118 mm spindle and use a vintage French crank. All of the old French doubles use that length.

    Here's one that I converted to cotterless. I used Sugino cups and a Sugino ISO spindle marked MW-68.



    I used the cottered crank on my beater Jeunet.



    This one has an ISO cartidge BB made by Edco of Swizerland. Velo Orange used to sell them. I had to use it because I was unable to find the correct spindle for the triple.



    I used Stronglight cups and a 118 mm Stronglight spindle on this one. I see them on eBay all the time.

    Last edited by Grand Bois; 01-02-11 at 07:51 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by organicmuch View Post
    Now, 3alarmer brings up another problem with interchangability between peugeot and other parts. Am I doomed to replace the entire bottom bracket?
    I think "doomed" is putting it a bit harshly. A Velo Orange bottom bracket and compatible crank will solve all of your problems at reasonable cost.

    I fully agree with 3alarmer that insisting on an authentic period restoration is a very limiting approach for a bike that is going to be used as a practical rider. If you were restoring it to be a museum piece, fine, but not if the bike is to be put to practical use.

  10. #10
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    We're Doomed !

    Quote Originally Posted by organicmuch View Post
    Am I doomed to replace the entire bottom bracket?
    I prefer to think of it as following the path of least resistance.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Australian Book of Atheism
    There is only no god, and Cyclaholic is his prophet.

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    If you can find a spindle with the same B measurement, you can Use your Cups,
    if they are not pitted
    A,C and D are all dependent on the crank you get, and its requirements..

  12. #12
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    If you can find a spindle with the same B measurement, you can Use your Cups,
    if they are not pitted
    A,C and D are all dependent on the crank you get, and its requirements..
    What part of:
    Old combinations that don't work - Peugeot
    cottered spindles and cups will not interchange; its bearing
    race diameter is much smaller than the others
    .
    did you not understand?
    Quote Originally Posted by The Australian Book of Atheism
    There is only no god, and Cyclaholic is his prophet.

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