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  1. #1
    Senior Member jeffpepperdine's Avatar
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    French Cotter Pin Bottom Bracket with English Square Taper Spindle?

    I have the intent of upgrading the significant others 60's/70's Peugot Mixte to a square taper so I can install a lighter crank.

    Will I be able to use the cups from the existing bottom bracket (provided they are in good shape) with a newer english square table spindle? Specifically, I have a dura ace 7400 spindle (112mm) in the parts bin.

    Thanks for the advice.
    - j

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    IDK, Lots of of unstated specifics and pictures not offered, so abundant unknowns ,
    so rather than have all the answers in advance..
    Learn by doing .. Go ahead tear it down and compare parts.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-02-12 at 12:09 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member jeffpepperdine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    IDK, tear it down and compare parts.
    Fair enough, just trying to get some insight so the bike isn't out of commission while I collect parts.

    Let me make my question less specific... do the cups from cotter pin bb's ever work with square taper spindles?

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I expect they will both use 1/4" balls in them..

    FWIW anecdote, Campagnolo had 2 different Cups
    one was made with a reverse helix around the hole
    to resist contamination with road grit , and another without.
    so the BB axles were different to compensate for the cup thickness..
    bearing race spacing narrower /wider.


    Wisdom of N+1 having a bike you can ride while you are restoring your old one.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-02-12 at 12:22 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member jeffpepperdine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    I expect they will both use 1/4" balls in them..
    Thanks,

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Wisdom of N+1 having a bike you can ride while you are restoring your old one.
    She has an italian roady too, but likes her mixte for around town... and until I get the energy to building a shed/workshop, I don't think the dining room can handle another +1. Haha.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Not French, but I've swapped cottered to square taper on a 73ish Japanese 10 speed without problem, using the same cups.

    From Sheldon-
    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/botto...ets.html#axles


    • "3" series spindles normally fit 68 mm ISO/British/French bottom brackets
    • "5" series (N/A) spindles normally fit 70 mm Italian bottom brackets, also 68 mm French with thin cups
    • "7" series (N/A) spindles fit "oversized" 73 mm ISO/British bottom brackets, sometimes also work with Raleigh 26 tpi cups in older Nottingham-built Raleigh bikes.
    • Models designated "-B" use bolts, others use nuts. Length measurement does not include the protruding thread for nut-type spindles.

  7. #7
    Collector of Useless Info
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    The only stopper issue I can think of is whether a ISO or JIS spindle actually fits through the hole in the cups. Then it's "just" a matter of getting the right length and the right distance between bearing surfaces. Best thing to do is to take your old spindle to the local bike co-op, and find a square-taper spindle that's compatible by just holding them up against each other. It may be possible to get actual measurements for the new spindle before buying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffpepperdine View Post
    Let me make my question less specific... do the cups from cotter pin bb's ever work with square taper spindles?
    At least one time it did. A friend had a '72 Raleigh with a Stronglight cottered cranks and Raleigh's proprietary threaded cups. We successfully substituted an SR square taper spindle and new bearing balls using the old Raleigh cups to fit an SR triple crank.

  9. #9
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Having one of these around really helps to answer these questions:


  10. #10
    Senior Member jeffpepperdine's Avatar
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    So I took everything apart last night. My first time trying to remove cotter pins... what a joy.

    Any ways, it looks like the bearing races do fit standard 1/4" balls, so I should be able to use the existing cups.

    The interesting part, is that even though the bottom bracket shell is french threaded 68mm, the spacing for of the races on the existing spindle does not match that of a standard 68mm square taper spindle. As you can see in the photo, they are about 3mm different. I mocked it up with a couple bearings and the adjustable cup sinks to far into the bb and I can't get the lockring on.

    It is really close though. I'm thinking if I can track down an italian spindle, the extra 2mm with give me enough to let the lockring catch..

    Thoughts?

    photo.jpg

  11. #11
    Senior Member jeffpepperdine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    "5" series (N/A) spindles normally fit 70 mm Italian bottom brackets, also 68 mm French with thin cups
    Funny, how I read this article before I started my project and then again when you posted it, and both times I managed to overlook the "68mm French with thin cups". Which is obviously what I have.

    Many thanks,
    - j
    Last edited by jeffpepperdine; 04-03-12 at 09:26 AM. Reason: error

  12. #12
    Senior Member jeffpepperdine's Avatar
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    Lastly, for anyone else who my be wondering, this quote from sheldon seems to sum things up.

    French-thread bottom bracket cups use 35 mm x 1mm threads. They are getting hard to find. If you have a French bicycle with sound bottom bracket cups, you may want to re-use them, even if you wind up changing the axle. Since French bottom brackets are normally the usual 68 mm width, British/I.S.O. bottom bracket axles will sometimes work.
    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 J.I.S. 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 cottered to cotterless cranks, at a reasonable cost, or replace a worn French cotterless spindle that is no longer available -- but see warning below about French crank extractors.

    Few cartridge bottom brackets are available in French thread, but Phil Wood retaining rings are available in French size. They work with Phil Wood bottom brackets and Shimano UN72 units. Velo Orange makes a French-threaded bottom bracket.

    French-thread bottom brackets, like Italian, use regular right threading on both sides. This means that the fixed cup will have a tendency to loosen up in use. The best prevention is to make sure it is really tight. In some cases, a thread adhesive may even be called for.

    Some French bicycles, notably many Motobécane models, used Swiss thread bottom brackets. These have the same thread and diameter as French, but use a left thread for the fixed cup. This makes life interesting when you need to remove the fixed cup and don't know which way to turn it. Good luck. Phil Wood offers Swiss retaining rings, and Velo Orange makes a cartridge bottom bracket which uses expanding sleeves instead of threads, and also will work in a French-threaded frame.

    Newer French bicycles commonly use Italian or British/I.S.O. bottom brackets.

  13. #13
    Senior Member jeffpepperdine's Avatar
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    Apparently japanese made, JIS Italian square taper axles are hard to find.

    Anyone have one in a parts bin they would sell to me? 70mm shell width, 115-125 overall? Its for a sugino road double crank.

    Thanks,

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    The cups are the different threading, the axles are separate item.
    french 35mm x1mm pitch.. italian 36mm x26tpi
    The 70mm dimension is the hub shell

    take the Axle itself to your local bike shop and see if they can source a replacement.

    China is cheaper so Japan companies went there to get parts made.
    being Italian thread you can get a cartridge Shimano type BB in that thread..

    Having the axle in your hand facilitates getting the right product, then too..

    Take your stuff to a bike shop, cranksets, bike, the works..
    you need to get the chainline right and 10mm of difference in that is too much.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-03-12 at 11:02 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member jeffpepperdine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    The cups are the different threading, the axles are separate item.

    The 70mm dimension is the hub shell

    take the Axle itself to your local bike shop and see if they can source a replacement.

    China is cheaper so Japan companies went there to get parts made.
    being Italian thread you can get a cartridge Shimano type BB in that thread..
    My threading is french.. and as such I want to use my existing cups, which are in good condition. My shell width is actually 68, but the cups that I have accept an axle that has bearing race width of 55, which is comparable to a standard Italian axle design for a 70mm bb.

    I am currently calling all the lbs's to see if anyone has one in a parts bin. As of right now none do, so they would have to order it anyways.

  16. #16
    Junior Member king_edward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffpepperdine View Post
    My threading is french.. and as such I want to use my existing cups, which are in good condition. My shell width is actually 68, but the cups that I have accept an axle that has bearing race width of 55, which is comparable to a standard Italian axle design for a 70mm bb.

    I am currently calling all the lbs's to see if anyone has one in a parts bin. As of right now none do, so they would have to order it anyways.
    hey I notice you are in Victoria! I highly recommend checking out the Recyclistas for parts, they are awesome. They have a basement full of stuff and I always find what I need there.
    heres the website:http://www.recyclistas.ca/
    good luck!
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  17. #17
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffpepperdine View Post
    Apparently japanese made, JIS Italian square taper axles are hard to find.

    Anyone have one in a parts bin they would sell to me? 70mm shell width, 115-125 overall? Its for a sugino road double crank.

    Thanks,
    I may have a 70mm "5" spindle within that width-range. PM me your address and it's yours for shipping-cost.

    I've noticed that U.S. cottered-cranks typically use thin cups as well and when converting to cotterless and re-using the cups, you have to use a 70mm spindle as well.

  18. #18
    Senior Member jeffpepperdine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by king_edward View Post
    hey I notice you are in Victoria! I highly recommend checking out the Recyclistas for parts, they are awesome. They have a basement full of stuff and I always find what I need there.
    heres the website:http://www.recyclistas.ca/
    good luck!
    I didn't have a chance to go by Recyclistas, but I've been to Bicyclitas and a handful of other shops. While Recyclistas may have the piece I need, I'm not really counting on it. Most of their stuff is mid-range and lower end, so finding Italian bits might be a needle in a haystack. haha. Thanks for the recommendation though, I might try to swing in there this weekend.

  19. #19
    Senior Member jeffpepperdine's Avatar
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    Turns out the bears races were slightly different. The old bb did take 1/4" balls, but when all the balls are in the cups, a standard spindle will not sink all the way to the bearing race. I think I did read somewhere that this has to do with Peugoet cups bearing race alignment being unique.

    The easiest solution for me was to track down french cups, which I managed find for free after rummaging through bins are a few local bike shops. Found a campy adjustable cup and a sugino fixed cup. Of course this meant the always fun removal of a factory tightened right threaded fixed cup (which I was trying to avoid). I was able to use the existing english spindle that I already had.

    So much for a quick overhaul..

    Thanks for everyone's help along the way.
    - j

  20. #20
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I have tons of old and new spindles here and might have a few NOS French square taper spindles kicking around... replacing the spindle is as Sheldon Brown stated in that a #5 spindle in the right width usually serves as a suitable replacement for the cottered spindle.

    Velo Orange makes a French threaded cartridge that sells for about $45.00 which currently one of the best solutions there is out there.

  21. #21
    Senior Member jeffpepperdine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I have tons of old and new spindles here and might have a few NOS French square taper spindles kicking around... replacing the spindle is as Sheldon Brown stated in that a #5 spindle in the right width usually serves as a suitable replacement for the cottered spindle.
    Is there any difference between French vs English spindles in regards to bearing race fit and location? I am using a Sugino crank, so I wanted a JIS taper anyways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    Velo Orange makes a French threaded cartridge that sells for about $45.00 which currently one of the best solutions there is out there.
    I did know about these, but was trying to do this project on a budget. The bike is a weekend cruiser and gets very low miles, so I wasn't concerned about getting a brand new bb (all the races I found are in great shape).

    Amazon also has french cups for $10... although who knows about quality.
    http://www.amazon.com/Bottom-Bracket.../dp/B003ZKOOMC

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