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Old 11-15-10, 07:35 PM   #1
Veloria
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Classic Cranks Advice for 3-speed with Chaincase?

I have a lugged modern 3-speed, on which I would like to change the cranks for something more classic. Here are the current cranks:



Due to the chaincase, I am limited to a 42t chainring. Any suggestions for an inexpensive classic-looking crankset that would fit?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-15-10, 08:26 PM   #2
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Search for "cottered" on ebay and you'll find a fair selection. Some of the Chinese ones are rather attractive... not really classic, but not terrible.

Sounds like you can't use the standard Raleigh type crank, since it has a 46 or 48 T chainring. At any rate, the arms on those are 6 1/5" (165 mm). That said... can you go as small as 36T? Pyramid sells a cottered crank with 6" arms (152 mm) and a 36T ring. It's called a "tricycle crank" for reasons I don't know. At any rate, it's a perfectly ordinary cottered bike crank. And it costs about ten bucks. Not very pretty in my opinion.
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Old 11-15-10, 08:48 PM   #3
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I was going to suggest a Stronglight 93, but the chaincase hides the best part...Do you want to use the same bottom bracket? I'm leaning towards rhm's suggestion for a cottered crank, but still a Stronglight.

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Old 11-15-10, 09:14 PM   #4
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If you're on Ebay, look for "chainset". That's what the English call them. You'll get a more European flavor to your results.
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Old 11-15-10, 09:58 PM   #5
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I like Sugino Super Mighty for a single chainring.

Or if affordability goes out the window, a TA cyclotouriste
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Old 11-15-10, 11:07 PM   #6
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"Classic-looking" doesn't give me enough to go on. Do you have examples of cranks that you like for this type of bike? You could use any number of 130 BCD cranks depending on the bottom bracket. There are several single chainring models sold by various companies.
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Old 11-15-10, 11:57 PM   #7
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I would prefer modern, cotterless (non-cottered?) cranks, but with a classic (elongated and slim, not chunky) look to them, and on the cheap side.
For example, like the ones on the modern Pashleys or Dutch bikes:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lovely_...7622490725575/

or, even something like these would do:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lovely_bicycle/5127342128
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lovely_bicycle/4924178874
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Old 11-16-10, 07:14 AM   #8
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That Pashley crank is very pretty! I don't quite see the attraction of the other two, but more to the point, I'm not sure they would work. The one on the Trek, with a the spider and crank arm forged as one piece (usually a good sign) is definitely not going to play nice with your chain guard. You need a crank arm that's swaged to a disk-shaped chain ring, with generous clearance between the ring and the arm. I suggest you measure that distance on your existing crank, and report back; it's going to be the major limiting factor unless you want to replace the chain guard as well. A lot of headache for aesthetics!

Zaphod's suggestion for a TA may be the way to go, if you can get a chain ring small enough.
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Old 11-16-10, 07:18 AM   #9
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One of your biggest obstacles will be drive side crank clearance of your chain case (both inside and outside the chain case). I've gone through much trial and error just fitting a slim chain guard to my bike while keeping the slim, elegant CPI crank set that somehow found its way from Australia to a shop in the US, from which I adopted it. You'll need plenty of space between your crank arm and your chain ring, and then you may have to add or remove spacers from your bottom bracket, or replace it with longer or shorter spindle length to get an acceptable chain line.
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Old 11-16-10, 07:23 AM   #10
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Veloria, I hereby dub you "The Foremost Bicycle ∆sthetician!"

Put that on your blog.
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Old 11-16-10, 09:02 AM   #11
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velouria, i'm sure by now you know my preference, which is shared with several of the above posters, although i think you and i disagree on it :-).

that said, i'm not even sure the TA crankset could work with the abici's chaincase as the Q-factor is so low. the pie plate rim might be too thick to provide adequate clearance between the chainring and the crank arm.

couldn't you just ask a pashley dealer to order a replacement set of the cranks used on the pashley? i agree, they look nice. (but are they alloy? they might be chromed steel, and therefore heavier than they need to be).
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Old 11-16-10, 09:51 AM   #12
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On my bikes in which I have a chainguard (though not a chain case), I've achieved enough clearance by mounting the ring on the inside of the spider. While that has raised the hackled of several BF aestheticians, it does perform as I'd like. I've most commonly done that with a Stronglight 93 crankset and used anywhere from 42 to 48t rings:



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Old 11-16-10, 10:00 AM   #13
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On my bikes in which I have a chainguard (though not a chain case), I've achieved enough clearance by mounting the ring on the inside of the spider. While that has raised the hackled of several BF aestheticians, it does perform as I'd like. I've most commonly done that with a Stronglight 93 crankset and used anywhere from 42 to 48t rings:



Neal
neal, mounting the ring to the inside of the spider wouldn't even be noticed on a full chaincase setup, so that's a nice suggestion, and i could see that working on a crank with a very small BCD like the TA pro or stronglight 49. but for cranks with a larger BCD but similar low Q factor such as your stronglight shown above, would a pie plate with a rolled edge even fit between the spider and the crank arm?
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Old 11-16-10, 10:33 AM   #14
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Neal's is a good suggestion. I do the same mounting trick mounting the chainring in the inner position with a Sugino crankset on my commuter. I did it to get a better chainline on my IGH.

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Old 11-16-10, 11:18 AM   #15
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neal, mounting the ring to the inside of the spider wouldn't even be noticed on a full chaincase setup, so that's a nice suggestion, and i could see that working on a crank with a very small BCD like the TA pro or stronglight 49. but for cranks with a larger BCD but similar low Q factor such as your stronglight shown above, would a pie plate with a rolled edge even fit between the spider and the crank arm?
I imagine the fit would be very close, if not impossible! However, I've seen pics of the TA pro vis 5 (also low Q) used with a chaincase though perhaps one with a larger opening than Veloria's. A completely different aesthetic would be to use an MTB crankset from the 80s as those had much higher Q and more spacing between arm and spider.

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Old 11-16-10, 11:23 AM   #16
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For extra chaincase clearance, I imagine you could mount the TA ring on the inside of the spider, though I've never seen that done. But is a TA outer ring available as small as 42T?
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Old 11-16-10, 11:31 AM   #17
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But is a TA outer ring available as small as 42T?
yes, in fact i recently sold off a couple of 50.4BCD 42T rings that i had gotten as part of a TA box lot.
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Old 11-16-10, 11:33 AM   #18
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The sturmey archer crankset featured on this cooper "aintree" bicycle is rather nice looking. Though, they are probably not inexpensive nor are they any easier to find than other suggestions previously made here. They probably also would have the same problem clearing the pie plate in the chain case that other cranks would have. They do have a version with a 42 tooth chainring though.

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Old 11-16-10, 01:21 PM   #19
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My own tastes in classic arms run to Stronglight, and you can find models other than the sought-after 93 and 49 (which in their most classic phases had beautiful sharp-edged arms that are nevertheless somewhat "brutalist") more cheaply on eBay and CL. The only problem with these (cheaper ones) is that they tend to have odd chainring BCD sizes like 86; you'd probably be able to find one with a small chainring that will work for you, but replacement might be dicey. I also like the Sugino cranks, though apart from the Mighty Competition (144 BCD) and the Mighty Tour (110 BCD) they tend to look more modern than you might like. Several of the more modern ones also have an annoying characteristic -- they forged only one crank length (like 175 mm) and simply made shorter cranks by drilling the hole further up the arm -- that's a visual turn-off. Suntour's are nice, too, but unless early Superbe, again fairly modern-looking, rather than classic. I suggest window-shopping at VeloBase.com first, followed by patience and a well-constructed saved keyword search on eBay.

You may wish to check out what your front chainwheel distance from frame centerline is: with a 3-speed, you want the chainline to be close, like a fixed/singlespeed, and so you have to get a crank that can work with both chaincase and the adjustability of the rear cog chainline. But that's another topic unto itself. If the crank you choose has JIS taper (not Stronglight), then finding a well-priced BB that will work is easy (arm clearance at chainstay aside). For ISO and other "classic" standards, not so easy. Yes, as nlerner pointed out, the inside mounting position of a crank designed as a double can work, if you have chaincase clearance for the spider hanging outboard of that.
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Old 11-16-10, 04:50 PM   #20
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Thanks so much for all the replies.
I cannot believe that I even dared to hope that this would be easy : )

Re some of the comments: Yes, Pashley's cranks are steel and they are heavy. This bike is a "light" (30lb) Italian 3-speed, so I would prefer if at all possible to go alloy. I have nothing against a TA crankset, other than that I cannot afford it, especially as I'd like to do other things to this bike (like switch the current Shimano Nexus hub for a modern SA, but that is another story).

I was under the apparently deluded impression that there is a ton of cheap cranksets out there and it was just a matter of finding the right size and knowing what name to look for. Argh! : )

I will have a thorough read through all the advice and will report back re whether I find a good solution.

Thanks once again!
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Old 11-16-10, 05:28 PM   #21
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There is probably something out there in the vintage market that would suit you perfectly. The trick is to find it.
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Old 11-16-10, 05:32 PM   #22
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I was under the apparently deluded impression that there is a ton of cheap cranksets out there and it was just a matter of finding the right size and knowing what name to look for. Argh! : )
the hardest part is finding the right one for the job, but once that's established the rest is easy, and there is a ton of cheap cranksets out there.

those cranks don't even look half bad; i wonder if simply swapping out the pedals for vintage block pedals or rat-trap pedals would transform the overall look.
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Old 11-16-10, 05:34 PM   #23
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Here's the V-O chaincase. Note that the crank arm is the Nervar equivalent of the Stronglight 49D or TA Pro Vis 5. I guess there's enough clearance:



Veloria, I have an orphan right-hand Nervar crank arm such as the one shown. Of course, you'd have to track down a left side, but it's a start. Let me know if you're interested.

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Old 11-16-10, 05:37 PM   #24
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You're not recommending that chaincase, are you? I'm sure it won't "go" on that bike.
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Old 11-16-10, 05:48 PM   #25
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You're not recommending that chaincase, are you? I'm sure it won't "go" on that bike.
No, no. I personally think that chaincase is brutally ugly, but, then again, what do I know?

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