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Old 04-23-08, 09:29 AM   #1
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Classic Single Speed Cranks

Hi,

I am building a fixed gear porteur style bike up currently. I am interested in using a vintage crankset for the aesthetics. Would I run into any issues running older cranks on a modern frame? It will be a 68mm English BB shell.

Also, I'd love some pointers on where to look for NOS stuff.

thanks.
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Old 04-23-08, 09:40 AM   #2
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Well most classic era single speed bike were coasters and then there are 3 speeds. These would all use steel cottered cranks. You know raleigh heron, CCM, BSA, Rudge Hand etc... When VLWs had single rings that was in the era of steel cottered cranks as well, magistroni, stronglight etc... if you want alloy then you are looking at track cranks. The really great looking classic single speed cranks are usually 3 speed, 5 speed and coater brake city and touring bikes, but those are a bit heavy. That said something like a TA pro-5-Vis would be a nice option too and you can polish the aluminum to your hearts content but they don't have quite as much pizzaz as a cottered steel crank with a nice chromed chainring IMHO.
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Old 04-23-08, 09:43 AM   #3
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Check veloorange for NOS stuff and contemporary/retro offeringe. They just got a bunch of beautiful cottered three pin cranks that would look great, and they also stock TA cranks (that can be sued as single speed) though they are very expensive.

http://velo-orange.blogspot.com/
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Old 04-23-08, 09:52 AM   #4
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Check VeloOrange they have vintage, NOS, and new but retro stuff for that kind of build. They just got some cool 2-pin cottered cranks. They also stock TA cranks ($$$!) which are beautiful.

http://velo-orange.blogspot.com/
Those are nice and I have a set of very similar stronglights with the same BCD. Unfortunately mine also are french thread.

And what sucks about these is that you have to use a 48 tooth ring, no other option. That's a pretty tall order for an upright bike, I mean I know Raleigh used 46 on most 3 speeds it's pretty big. My girlfriend's cruise is 40/18 and I think that it a good SS gear for an upright bike or else you are bobbing like a turkey when ever you hit an incline. However! You can find smaller rings for these, in particular there were some cheep SR cranksets and stuff from the 70s which used this bolt pattern for the inner ring which would alloy it to be used for SS.
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Old 04-23-08, 10:10 AM   #5
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They are 170mm with 48/40 rings. The British thread BB is included and they take French thread pedals, though they can be tapped to British. If you want a set to restore an old bike or just to be different, they cost $55.


Two issues -

(1) pedals french threaded. What does that mean?
(2) Assuming, I want the 48T and remove the 40t ring, that would give me a funky chainline. And it uses (what I assume is) a proprietary BB.

I like that crank, BTW.
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Old 04-23-08, 10:11 AM   #6
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It's easier and usually cheaper to increase the size of the cog than to decrease the size of the chainring. Big gears are more efficient, too. My three speed has a 52 ring and a 22 cog.

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Old 04-23-08, 10:13 AM   #7
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Wow, is that TA intended to be a single ring crankset? Where would I get something like that.

Sidenote, I plan to run about 70" or 49x18T.
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Old 04-23-08, 10:25 AM   #8
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Wow, is that TA intended to be a single ring crankset? Where would I get something like that.

Sidenote, I plan to run about 70" or 49x18T.

TA Pro Vis 5 cranks can all be used as single, double, or triple but get ready for sticker shock (about $300 with one ring):
http://www.velo-orange.com/pro5viscr.html

TA Tevano sets for sale on Veloorange can also be triple:
http://www.velo-orange.com/tatecrar.html

I don't know if they were meant for single but if the chain line works who cares, they are beautiful!!

Also crazy $, but some day I'll save up and get a set.
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Old 04-23-08, 10:59 AM   #9
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That crank was on a POS Raleigh mixte that I bought. I spent about a week sanding out the scratches and gouges and then polishing it on a wheel. I gave it new caps and decals. It was a double, but they're easily converted to a single. It's my favorite crank. I'll put one on the Peugeot I'm building for my daughter if the cottered Simplex it has on it now doesn't work out. They're on eBay all the time. I'm watching one now. I wouldn't pay more than $35 for a used one. Rings are still available.

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Old 04-23-08, 11:01 AM   #10
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Dirt drop, what width BB are you using on the 3-speed and what is your chainline?
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Old 04-23-08, 11:16 AM   #11
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I'm using a 115mm Miche Primato cartridge BB. It mounts with adapter rings like a Phil Wood BB, so the chailine is adjustable within a few millimeters. Mine is just about centered. I don't know what the chainline is because I've never measured it. I use a straightedge across the chainring to the side of the cog. My cog is mounted with the convex side out.

I only paid $20 for the BB and I like it. I just wish I could get them in French thread.

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Old 04-23-08, 01:41 PM   #12
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Sidenote, I plan to run about 70" or 49x18T.

When you're working out your gearing, you might also want to consider Sheldon's advice on even-toothed chainrings and sprockets.
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Old 04-23-08, 02:16 PM   #13
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Here's a lousy shot of a Stronglight 49D w/ a 45-tooth ring (and a Nexus-8 rear hub) on my Raleigh Int'l:



And a Stronglight mod 93 w/ a 42-tooth ring mounted on the inside:



Neal
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Old 04-23-08, 02:17 PM   #14
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When you're working out your gearing, you might also want to consider Sheldon's advice on even-toothed chainrings and sprockets.
Thanks... that's something I had not considered before.
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Old 04-23-08, 02:19 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Here's a lousy shot of a Stronglight 49D w/ a 45-tooth ring (and a Nexus-8 rear hub) on my Raleigh Int'l:

[IMG]h ttp://web.mit.edu/nlerner/Public/Bikes/International8_5.jpg[/IMG]

And a Stronglight mod 93 w/ a 42-tooth ring mounted on the inside:

[IMG]h ttp://web.mit.edu/nlerner/Public/Bikes/StEtiennePorteur5.jpg[/IMG]

Neal
Wow, I have a better appreciation for my current-gen stronglights after seeing yours.

Here's a my Stronglight Pulsions.

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Old 04-23-08, 02:22 PM   #16
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Here's a lousy shot of a Stronglight 49D w/ a 45-tooth ring (and a Nexus-8 rear hub) on my Raleigh Int'l:



And a Stronglight mod 93 w/ a 42-tooth ring mounted on the inside:



Neal
That is one crazy cool chainguard!
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Old 04-23-08, 02:52 PM   #17
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That is one crazy cool chainguard!
That Belgian seller has a couple of other listed on eBay right now. He always has reasonable shipping charges, too:

http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQfgtpZ1QQ...ELQ3aUSQ3a1124

Neal
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Old 04-23-08, 03:41 PM   #18
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And a Stronglight mod 93 w/ a 42-tooth ring mounted on the inside:



Neal
That dustcap looks like it's crossthreaded.
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Old 04-23-08, 05:04 PM   #19
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That dustcap looks like it's crossthreaded.
An optical illusion, I hope.

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Old 04-23-08, 06:22 PM   #20
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Sheldon Brown says to use a road double to make a single ring crankset. Remove the small ring, move the big to the inside. Use short bolts to hold the ring. Cheaper than using a track crankset; the hipsters go bonkers for any track crankset that shows up on eBay.

Harriscyclery.net has these Suntour Cyclones on closeout. Easy enough to convert to single ring.


http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/cranks/130-single.html

They are 160mm crankarm length which really is a good thing for fixed gear. $80
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Old 04-23-08, 06:33 PM   #21
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Stronglight Pulsions
Yech. Looks like someone tried to reinvent Campagnolo Victory.

-Kurt
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Old 04-23-08, 06:37 PM   #22
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Sheldon Brown says to use a road double to make a single ring crankset. Remove the small ring, move the big to the inside. Use short bolts to hold the ring.
It works, but it's very ugly IMHO. Sorry Neal. It's not necessary if you use the right BB length and are willing to make some modifications.

I don't think that anybody suggested using a track crank. I won't use one because it would require using a 1/8" chain, which makes no sense to me since they're heavier and no stronger.
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Old 04-23-08, 06:48 PM   #23
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It works, but it's very ugly IMHO. Sorry Neal. It's not necessary if you use the right BB length and are willing to make some modifications.

I don't think that anybody suggested using a track crank. I won't use one because it would require using a 1/8" chain, which makes no sense to me since they're heavier and no stronger.
My main need on that bike was to have enough clearance for the chainguard. It's just too tight with the ring on the outside.

Neal
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Old 04-23-08, 06:55 PM   #24
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It works, but it's very ugly IMHO. Sorry Neal. It's not necessary if you use the right BB length and are willing to make some modifications.
Indeed - I can't see the logic in placing the larger of the two rings on the inside of the crank either. Clearing the chainstay with such a setup would require such a large offset of the BB that the crankset would look ridiculous.

If one must use the large ring, it should be put on the outside, such as the TA crank on Dirtdrop's Carlton.

Incidentally, on this note, I never could figure out the fascination with the mounting of a single ring - regardless of size - on the inside. Besides the fact that it looks ugly, one could just as well mount the ring on the outside with a short enough BB to compensate for the chainline.

Neither should there be any negative results in terms of clearance - after all, the crankset itself isn't as much the limiting factor against the chainstay as much as the chainring, which would be mounted in roughly the same place as before.

All this, is, of course, excluding cranksets that, by design, sit quite close to the BB edge, and cannot be brought in any further whether one wishes to do so or not. (Not to mention less common chainguard issues such as Neal's machine).

Take care,

-Kurt
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Old 04-23-08, 06:56 PM   #25
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My main need on that bike was to have enough clearance for the chainguard. It's just too tight with the ring on the outside.
I assume then, that the Stronglight cannot be mounted on a shorter BB without there being clearance problems against the cup edges themselves, correct?

-Kurt
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