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  1. #1
    Senior Member brianinc-ville's Avatar
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    Converting Italian bottom bracket for a triple crankset.

    My wife really likes her 1961 Atala for riding in the flatlands; we're planning a longer tour in the mountains, though (here's the thread where I was considering other options), so I'd like to set it up with a triple crankset. Right now, it's got the original steel double crankset on a 128mm cottered spindle. Chainline is 41mm to the inner ring. The BB is Italian (shell 70mm). Three questions:

    1. What inexpensive modern triple crankset would you recommend? Which FD to go with it? I think I'll stick with friction shifting.

    2. If I wanted to use a typical modern triple crankset, what length square-taper BB spindle should I get? Looking on Sheldon's charts, I'm seeing lengths from 110 to 123mm. Or would I be better off with an Italian cartridge BB?

    3. Anything I'm not thinking about, here?

    I think I'll be doing the same conversion with my '71 Raleigh International for myself, so stay tuned. Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member jeirvine's Avatar
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    I have one of these on my Team Pro:
    Vintage Avocet Touring Crankset 170mm Road Touring Campagnolo 52 48 30 Tooth | eBay
    They are a lot like Campy Record triples, but a little more under the radar.
    The man who dies with the most toys…is dead. - Rootboy

  3. #3
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    1st, consider the ring sizes you want. Velo Orange, IRD, and Electra all make triples. The first two also have Italian threading BB's that can be sourced through each brand and will be of the correct length. For IRD, you have to buy the Italian "cups" in addition to a Cartridge that comes with English threading.

    Then consider crank arm length, and you might only have one choice remaining from that group.
    All the above will give a reasonably vintage look.

    A Campagnolo Record front changer will I think handle what you will need unless you really want to push the overall teeth difference.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Michael Angelo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianinc-ville View Post
    My wife really likes her 1961 Atala for riding in the flatlands; we're planning a longer tour in the mountains, though (here's the thread where I was considering other options), so I'd like to set it up with a triple crankset. Right now, it's got the original steel double crankset on a 128mm cottered spindle. Chainline is 41mm to the inner ring. The BB is Italian (shell 70mm). Three questions:

    1. What inexpensive modern triple crankset would you recommend? Which FD to go with it? I think I'll stick with friction shifting.

    2. If I wanted to use a typical modern triple crankset, what length square-taper BB spindle should I get? Looking on Sheldon's charts, I'm seeing lengths from 110 to 123mm. Or would I be better off with an Italian cartridge BB?

    3. Anything I'm not thinking about, here?

    I think I'll be doing the same conversion with my '71 Raleigh International for myself, so stay tuned. Thanks for your help!
    If you going to use a Campy Crankset this might help out.


  5. #5
    car dodger norskagent's Avatar
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    When I installed a campy triple on my Mclean I thought I needed a 123mm spindle as per the chart above, but found out (after buying the 123) that I needed a 117mm because my crank was pre-'78. " Pre-1978 triples used 117/118 mm spindles, which are no longer available. A Phil 116 can sometimes work for those setups."
    See reference table at the bottom of this page:
    Vintage Bicycle Parts : Bottom Brackets
    1989 Schwinn Paramount OS
    1980 Mclean/Silk Hope Sport Touring
    1983 Bianchi pista
    1976 Fuji Feather track
    1979 raleigh track
    "I've consulted my sources and I'm pretty sure your derailleur does not exist"

  6. #6
    Senior Member brianinc-ville's Avatar
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    Interesting. It looks like Stronglight and TA spindles in various sizes aren't too hard to find, but will they really not work with other cranks?

  7. #7
    Senior Member vonfilm's Avatar
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    I think you ought to look at a 26/36/46 Sugino Triple that is available on Amazon for a little over $100.
    1973 Schwinn Super Sport
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  8. #8
    Senior Member brianinc-ville's Avatar
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    OK, update: I bought a modern (no-name, Shimano-type) triple crankset I'd like to use. The cranks came with a 110mm (standard 68mm shell, JIS taper) sealed bottom bracket. So I'm trying to figure out what length of Italian spindle to buy. It looks like most of the Italian spindles out there now are Stronglight or TA, and thus ISO taper.

    Please tell me if this is correct: 110 + 2mm (for the wider Italian shell) + 4mm (JIS cranks on an ISO spindle) = 116mm.

    Does that sound right?

  9. #9
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry much your about right on for a standard 118mm length matching BB for the triplecrank you brought wihich is offered in both itallian and ISO.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Pars's Avatar
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    You could throw that on your International and see how it sets up, then go from there.

    Another crank to look at would be the Campy Racing T. These can be found pretty cheaply, and I believe they use the same BB as a double would. On my Raleigh RRA, I got the standard 111mm Campy Centaur BB and if fits perfectly. The same BB is used for a double on my Trek.

  11. #11
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    This Sugino 350 crank with 48, 36 & 26 chainrings works great with a 113mm BB on My Simoncini;

    https://www.benscycle.com/p-915-sugi...Fc1j7Aodbh4AUA

    Last edited by Barrettscv; 03-23-14 at 07:11 PM.
    When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    This Sugino 350 crank with 48, 36 & 26 chainrings works great with a 113mm BB on My Simoncini;

    https://www.benscycle.com/p-915-sugi...Fc1j7Aodbh4AUA

    Any thoughts on whether the Sugino triple would work with a 115 mm spindle? Is the 2mm difference enough to keep this from functioning properly?

  13. #13
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by satbuilder View Post
    Any thoughts on whether the Sugino triple would work with a 115 mm spindle? Is the 2mm difference enough to keep this from functioning properly?
    What bike? Generally speaking, it should be fine.
    When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

  14. #14
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    Either a Colnago or a Pinarello. It's temporary until I get my legs back.

  15. #15
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    I think you should be fine using the 115mm with the Sugino triple as long was your not using indexed shifting in the front.

  16. #16
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    Thanks all. I ordered one.

  17. #17
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    I am having my difficulties getting to the outer ring with a 115 spindle size. Picked up the Sugino mentioned previously (XD-350) Trying to work with a 13-23 6 spd freewheel in the back as it's what I have. FD doesn't have quite enough stroke to get there. FD is a post CPSC Campy SR, RD is Campy SR as well. Have adjusted the FD stops completely out but still not getting it, so I'm assuming I need a shorter BB spindle. Question is, will a 113 actually do it? FD lever pulled almost all the way to the DT and still a no go on the top ring. Playing with chain length issues as well to try to find the sweet spot, if there is one with the setup I have now.

  18. #18
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    Well 113 is pretty short for a triple I would think you may have issues with the inner chainring and everything clearing on the inside. I would a actually say you may want to consider a little more forgiving FD with some more capacity if your running a tripple which would give you a extra 3mm+ FD travel to play with. I feel your pains putting a tripple on a vintage bike seems easy in theaory but it can be first rat pita.

  19. #19
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    Any suggestions on a good replacement front derailleur?

  20. #20
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    113 is what is recommended for that crankset.

  21. #21
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
    Well 113 is pretty short for a triple
    I'm not sure about this as a general rule. With a triple, the inner ring is so much smaller and the chainstays are closer together as they get close to the BB. All of which is to say that the little ring could be be less problematic than the big ring. If the triple arms shift the rings to the outside at all then you might want the entire thing moved inward a little.
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
    jimmuller

  22. #22
    Senior Member jeirvine's Avatar
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    Just measure the inner ring to chainstay clearance. If it is at least 3mm or so, then a 113 should be fine. IMHO that's the only real limiting factor - there's not a lot of flex on an inner ring on a triple, so close tolerances there are ok.
    The man who dies with the most toys…is dead. - Rootboy

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    It seems to be more an issue of the front derailleur not having sufficient stroke to get to the outer chainwheel.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by satbuilder View Post
    It seems to be more an issue of the front derailleur not having sufficient stroke to get to the outer chainwheel.
    Do you need a clamp on or braze on? How nice? I have a spare clamp on Record OR, NOS.

  25. #25
    Senior Member jeirvine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by satbuilder View Post
    It seems to be more an issue of the front derailleur not having sufficient stroke to get to the outer chainwheel.
    Right, so a shorter spindle could bring the whole setup inboard, in which case current FD may have sufficient reach.
    The man who dies with the most toys…is dead. - Rootboy

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