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Old 11-18-07, 11:03 AM   #1
Tilton
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Nervar cranks

C&V

I went out for a ride with some hardcore roadies yesterday, all of them on lightweight bikes with masses of gears and there's me on my 1983 Japanese steel. It was very enjoyable, cycling en masse through the English countryside on crisp frosty morning, but also a real eye opener and faster than I'm used to. What I've realised is my cadence is ok but I don't use all my gears.

So, hopefully you can help me out. I've got a Nervar cotterless crankset with a 41 and 52 chainring. What I'd like to do is lose the 52 chainring, I didn't use it yesterday, and get something smaller than the 41. I don't want to change my cranks, so what are my options? Anyone know what would be the smallest chainring that will fit with this crankset?

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Old 11-18-07, 11:15 AM   #2
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Depends on the crankset. If the bolt circle is 144 then 41 is the smallest that you can run. I think I've got a nervar with 130 bolt circle, and it will run down to a 38 or so. you could convert an old mountain bike crank with 110, and run a small of 36 (make yer own compact, that was done before compacts were cool). The added benefit is that you'll get to run a tighter cogset in the back, with the associated better shifting.

I ride old bikes with the locals on their plastic wonders sometimes...If the terrain is flat or rolling that weight and money difference isn't really a factor. When the road goes up, though, well, crap. I'd'a got dropped anyway...
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Old 11-18-07, 12:15 PM   #3
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Older Nevar cranksets had 128 bcd. Not too easy to come by these days. However, someone that contributes to C&V mentioned that he had been successful retrofitting 130 rings with the help of a dremel. Never attempted it myself.
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Old 11-18-07, 12:52 PM   #4
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The other option is to change the cogs, maybe a 14-28 would have the same effect. More teeth also means slower wear and longer component life.
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Old 11-18-07, 03:12 PM   #5
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Back in the 60s, I had a Mercier with a Nervar Star crank. I couldnt find any extra parts for it back then, except a puller that I still have. It seemed to be a good crank.
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Old 11-19-07, 09:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noah Scape View Post
Older Nevar cranksets had 128 bcd. Not too easy to come by these days. However, someone that contributes to C&V mentioned that he had been successful retrofitting 130 rings with the help of a dremel.
I resemble that remark.

Tilton, the smallest chainring the 128mm BCD spider supports is 38T -- I currently run 47-38, a 10% reduction from the old classic 52-42 combination which the first owner had installed on Capo #1. I get more redundancies than I would like with my 13-15-17-19-21-23 cogset, but the overall range of 45 to 98 gear-inches meets my needs quite well.

A few months ago a chap was selling a big stack of assorted 128mm BCD rings on eBay -- it has taken me several years to do so, but I have slowly accumulated several 128mm rings between 38 and 52T.

In the meantime, grab a cheap 38T ring with a standard 130mm BCD and either your Dremel tool or 1/4" to 3/8" drill motor. Elongate each of the five mounting holes inward by 1mm, which is roughly the width of the countersink ring. For a professional appearance, go back and elongate the countersink, as well.
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Old 11-19-07, 10:48 AM   #7
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I resemble that remark.
Thanks, John. I knew someone had mentioned doing this, I just couldn't recall who!
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Old 11-19-07, 12:03 PM   #8
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If you want to consider swapping out your Nervar crankset for another vintage crankset with more range, there's the TA Cyclotouriste. It has 80mm BCD and it can be built as a double or a triple, down to a granny ring as small as 26t.
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Old 11-19-07, 06:53 PM   #9
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Nevvar!
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Old 11-23-07, 03:24 PM   #10
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I've been busy this week but managed to get to my local shop today, I thought I needed a 130mm, thanks Noah, but turns out mine's odd and the fit is 122mm. The shop didn't have a great selection but they found a 38T, not as small as I wanted but I'll give it a go.

John E, hopefully someday i'll have the tools and skill to drill and countersink for now my legs will have to pay.

One more question – my options are a 38T and 41T, or a 38T and a 52T, what would you do?

Anyone remember that old Rick Holmes track that went 'pass the information, extend the knowledge', well your all passing it and extending it.

Thanks

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Old 11-23-07, 06:02 PM   #11
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The 122bcd is a Stronglight size. I'm guessing that your Nervar crankset has the outer ring attaches with 5 bolts like this one and the rings are Stronglignt, not Nervar. If thats the case, you could use TA chainwheels. That will give you unbelievable options... from 56 to 26!


Last edited by Noah Scape; 11-23-07 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 11-24-07, 01:47 AM   #12
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If you are getting rid of your nervar 41t ring, and it fact it is 122 bcd, you should sell it to me....i've been looking for that ring for an old nervar crankset i have....seriously, please...
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Old 11-24-07, 11:26 AM   #13
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Here's links to two pics one of the crankset and one of the 51T I replaced with. So am I right in thinking this cranset is Nervar but the chainrings are Stronglight? There's no branding or serial numbers on the chainrings so I just don't know.

[img=http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/9987/nevarcranksetyx4.th.jpg]

[img=http://img255.imageshack.us/img255/101/52tzl4.th.jpg]


Woodenwheels I'm running the 38T and 41T at the moment so it's not for sale. I went out for a ride this morning not far, but it felt ok. I'll need to go a bit longer to really know though.

Last edited by Tilton; 11-24-07 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 11-24-07, 02:16 PM   #14
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That is an 80s Nervar crankset. I've seen a few go through the Bike Library, but I never bothered to check the BCD. It is not at all what I had in mind.
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Old 11-25-07, 10:19 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilton View Post
Here's links to two pics one of the crankset and one of the 51T I replaced with. So am I right in thinking this cranset is Nervar but the chainrings are Stronglight? There's no branding or serial numbers on the chainrings so I just don't know.



[img=http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/9987/nevarcranksetyx4.th.jpg]
[img=http://img255.imageshack.us/img255/101/52tzl4.th.jpg]

Woodenwheels I'm running the 38T and 41T at the moment so it's not for sale. I went out for a ride this morning not far, but it felt ok. I'll need to go a bit longer to really know though.

Here is a photo of what I believe is the same basic crankset. This is on a c.1985 Peugeot Mixte bike I picked up just a few Months ago. The bolt circle diameter on mine is 122 mm. and from the looks of your chainring, I'm sure yours is the same. And, I would think your chainrings are Nervar too. You can't see in my photo but my small chainring has a support bar between the crank bolts just like yours. Seem to be good quality, and the cranks clean up very nicely with just a bit of metal polish, and mine were VERY oxidized.

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Old 01-21-12, 09:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John E View Post
I resemble that remark.

Tilton, the smallest chainring the 128mm BCD spider supports is 38T -- I currently run 47-38, a 10% reduction from the old classic 52-42 combination which the first owner had installed on Capo #1. I get more redundancies than I would like with my 13-15-17-19-21-23 cogset, but the overall range of 45 to 98 gear-inches meets my needs quite well.

A few months ago a chap was selling a big stack of assorted 128mm BCD rings on eBay -- it has taken me several years to do so, but I have slowly accumulated several 128mm rings between 38 and 52T.

In the meantime, grab a cheap 38T ring with a standard 130mm BCD and either your Dremel tool or 1/4" to 3/8" drill motor. Elongate each of the five mounting holes inward by 1mm, which is roughly the width of the countersink ring. For a professional appearance, go back and elongate the countersink, as well.
John-
Reviving an old thread with a question. I've just done the same thing on the Nervar Star crank on my Raleigh Gran Sport - found a 130 BCD 38T ring at the co-op, and widened the holes with a Dremel. How has your converted ring worked out for you in the longer term? I also did not elongate the countersink, and am wondering if this could eventually warp the ring, or cause the bolts to loosen, since they don't sink snugly into the non-countersunk and slightly off-set holes. (The current performance is great, and I'm shifting fine with a 52/38 setup in front).
Thanks,
-John
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Old 01-21-12, 10:29 AM   #17
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Performance shouldn't suffer but I'd use a threadlocker and check the bolts often.

I quite like my Nervar gear. It's solid, well-made, lightweight and good-looking pieces of kit, and the only downside is that rings are hard to find.
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Old 01-21-12, 07:18 PM   #18
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I've got a few 122 bcd chainrings kicking around.
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