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  1. #1
    Senior Member owenmyers's Avatar
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    Identify these Zeus cranks

    I've had these Zeus cranks for a long time and have never known what group they came from. When i got them they were triples so i took the old chainring bolts and small ring off which i still have. I actually have a Zeus Criterium crankset box but i never thought it was the matching one for my cranks, today i looked again and the image of the cranks on the box shows doubles with a different Zeus logo, but stamped on the box are three chainring sizes: 40/46/50 or 51. I have all of those. Should I put the old chainrings back on and sell them as triples with the box? or should i leave them as is. I also have a Zeus bottom bracket that's in really nice condition, i believe the threads are for a Zeus frame. Should i include that as well? Oh yeah and i have a stack of 13 extra Zeus chainrings.



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  2. #2
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    No, that's a "Criterium" crank. Looks like a fairly early version. Is there a letter stamped on the back of the arms? I think that's a date code with the date corresponding to the alphabet sequence, although I haven't nailed down specific letters to specific dates yet.

    What size/style rings do you have?

  3. #3
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    Zeus bikes were French, but the bb you have could be anything (they made to fit all).

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    Senior Member owenmyers's Avatar
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    I thought everything Zeus was made in Spain. The markings on the back of the cranks are: A - most likely indicating the earliest version, B.S.C - not sure - 172.5mm length. The chainrings appear to be period correct so im going to label those as early Criterium as well. I can measure the BCD tonight.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member owenmyers's Avatar
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    Essentials bike works - 2012

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  6. #6
    Stop reading my posts! unworthy1's Avatar
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    wrong dust cap
    I think dbaki was trying to say that Zeus bicycles usual had French threaded BBs (true, and the frames were made by Razesa), but your BB unit might be BSC threading.
    They can fetch some money on eBay, these Zeus components...

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    car dodger norskagent's Avatar
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    It's been a while since I serviced my zeus, but I think the BB shell was 68mm, but it was italian threaded.
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    Hi Owen,

    I'd also go with earlier Criterium. The box could be correct, even. Not certain.

    If you're selling, don't bundle. Unless truly matched, it rarely does you well.

    As for those spare rings, I'm sending a PM to you!

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    I took my Zeus crank and BB out of the frame yesterday. It looks like yours and I think it is late 60's early 70's. The arms do have a letter on the back and I will measure the BB and check the threads tomorrow and let you know what mine are. All the rust came off easily but the chrome is not savable
    Ed
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    Technically, it's a Zeus Triple but they made them using the Zeus Criterium arms and employing longer chainring bolts and an extra set of spacers to mount an extra chainting on the inside. This method meant you couldn't get any lower gears than the double. Given that you've converted it to a double, it becomes a Criterium.

    +1 to Spanish bicycles using the French threading standard during the boom era.
    Last edited by T-Mar; 03-09-13 at 08:40 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member owenmyers's Avatar
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    wrong dust cap
    Better than none right?

    Here's the story with the BB. The cups and crank bolts are new but the spindle has been used. The Zeus bearings were replaced with Campagnolo bearings. I received the cranks and BB together in a group so i'm guessing the spindle was used with different cups at one time with the Zeus cranks. The spindle reads: 123x55t. I will listen to you LeicaLad and i will not bundle.
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    I have the same cranks on a Zeus:

    redZEUS5.jpg

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
    wrong dust cap
    I think dbaki was trying to say that Zeus bicycles usual had French threaded BBs (true, and the frames were made by Razesa), but your BB unit might be BSC threading.
    They can fetch some money on eBay, these Zeus components...

    Im fairly sure that Zeus made most Zeus frames, not Razesa. Zeus was known for being the only manufacturer that made bikes where ALL the metal components we're made in house. And most of the ones I've worked with have English BB.

  14. #14
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by owenmyers View Post
    The spindle reads: 123x55t.
    That's definitely the triple-length spindle. The double spindle is 118x55.

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    My Zeus reads. the crank arms are marked with a small, b. The BB is 68 and is french threads. The spindle is 18x55 Serial number is R1280
    Can anyone tell the year from the serial number???? The frame weighs 4lb one ounce but is a small frame that I will never get to ride. It has the word Reynolds stamped in many places on it with the tube length under the word Reynolds.
    Ed

  16. #16
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by owenmyers View Post
    Better than none right?

    .
    I'll disagree, most racers did not use them and the picture on the box, which seems to be correct for these crank with all the evidence that has been presented, does not have any. No dustcaps is better than wrong, IMHO.
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  17. #17
    Stop reading my posts! unworthy1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericbaker View Post
    Im fairly sure that Zeus made most Zeus frames, not Razesa. Zeus was known for being the only manufacturer that made bikes where ALL the metal components we're made in house. And most of the ones I've worked with have English BB.
    of course, I am repeating hearsay and pretending it's my own knowledge...but this hearsay is from the Classic Rendezvous site which says:

    "Razesa produced the high end framesets for Zeus toward the end of Zeus's lifespan.....some of the high end frames in the late 70s to early 80s."
    as well as:
    "Zeus bicycles most often used Reynolds 531 or Durifort tubing in Metric (French)
    tube & threading dimensions."
    And the only Zeus I ever worked on had a FR BB but no idea if Razesa made that frame. I'd add that many of the Zeus (especially early) frames used Reynolds 'A' grade tubing, a predecessor of 531, and they used that tubing well past the hey-day of its popularity.

  18. #18
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    I have 3 and the bbs are French.

  19. #19
    Senior Member owenmyers's Avatar
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    Arrrggg. I don't know what to do. I can try to thread the cups into a Peugeot frame. Can anyone tell me how much the crankset is worth?
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    Hi Owen,

    Hard to put a firm number on the value, but things to consider. With the original box showing it as a triple, and the bolts and spacers to make it a triple with the third ring, it becomes something of a hen's tooth set. Original Campy triples, which were limited to the 36t limit for the smallest ring, still command serious buyer attention. I'm not sure I've ever actually seen a Zeus original triple before.

    Here's the one instance where a bundle might make sense, simply because the spindle is the right length. Alternatively, you provide the information of the spindle length used by the triple crank, but sell it separately.

    Either way, figure a good price for the NOS double - then double that for a price on a NIB original triple. It would only require one bid. But the rarity factor is a major part of that thinking.

    I'm open to be flamed on this opinion. . .
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by owenmyers View Post
    Arrrggg. I don't know what to do. I can try to thread the cups into a Peugeot frame. Can anyone tell me how much the crankset is worth?
    I believe French cups are the smallest, so won't even thread into English or Italian. Also, both cups if French are threaded normal, the fixed is not a reverse thread.

    Put the crank on ebay, it will find the best price on its own. Zeus parts are a little hard to come by, and the only right parts for a Zeus frame.

  22. #22
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    In removing my BB I gave the cone a good twist to the right and it did not move. Then the light came on and said it is a left hand loosen french thread ,dummy. For a bike that looked very rusty every thing was very easy to get loose.
    Ed

  23. #23
    Stop reading my posts! unworthy1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
    I'll disagree, most racers did not use them and the picture on the box, which seems to be correct for these crank with all the evidence that has been presented, does not have any. No dustcaps is better than wrong, IMHO.
    I won't take sides here (to each his own) but I'd say this: the Zeus crankbolts I have encountered were a larger-than-normal 16mm.
    If the Criterium BB uses that bolt head, it may be moot: you might not have clearance for a Campy dust cap, anyway.

  24. #24
    Senior Member owenmyers's Avatar
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    I'm going to post them on ebay tomorrow. I'm selling the cranks, the bottom bracket, three Zeus chainrings w/ original Zeus chainring bolts, and the box all together. Hopefully i can afford a new project bike with this money.
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