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Old 05-16-14, 07:04 AM   #1
KenNC
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crank suggestions for a 76 Motobecane Grand Record? Need some help!

I have a 1976 Motobecane Grand record frame (Reynolds 531 that year) wth a French-threaded bottom bracket shell (no bb) on which I would like to put a decent, reasonably period correct, crank. Catalogs say it came with a "TA Professional 52 42" but understand those are rather rare. The vintage Stronglights are attractive but really unsure of spindle length and spindle taper and don't want to get an expensive mish-mash of parts that don't fit with whatever BB I end up with (a VO with JIS taper, or an SKF or Phil Wood, or perhaps a used traditional off of ebay, are what i see as my BBoptions)

I've been checking Velobase, Sheldon Brown, tables at Phil Wood and elsewhere, but there are a lot of options, so any general suggestions or "rules of thumb" that would help narrow the focus would be appreciated!

I might opt for a "play it safe" approach and go with a Velo Orange crank, their 50.4 BCD crank (TA Cyclotouriste reproduction?) interests me and I don't have anything with that type of chainring set up.
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Old 05-16-14, 07:24 AM   #2
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A word of caution!

"I have a 1976 Motobecane Grand record frame (Reynolds 531 that year) wth a French-threaded bottom bracket shell (no bb)"

Are you sure its French Thread , Many Motobecanes used Swiss thread BB. Swiss is french on adjustable side but left hand thread on the fixed cup. My 1972 Motobecane was this way.
Not too many BB options, Phil Wood might be the only one ($$$)
Good Luck
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Old 05-16-14, 07:31 AM   #3
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I don't think the TAs are that hard to source on eBay. I'm sure someone here has a set they'd sell. I have a set of strong lights if you want to go that way.
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Old 05-16-14, 10:57 AM   #4
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"Are you sure its French Thread , Many Motobecanes used Swiss thread BB. Swiss is french on adjustable side but left hand thread on the fixed cup. My 1972 Motobecane was this way.
Not too many BB options, Phil Wood might be the only one ($$$)Good Luck
I was concerned about this--first thing I did when I got the frame was take a LEFT side adjustable cup from an early 80s Moto that I believe is Swiss threaded (and currently have in pieces), and it threaded into BOTH sides of the 76 GR bottom bracket nice and smooth... Phew!
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Old 05-16-14, 11:30 AM   #5
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crank suggestions for a 76 Motobecane Grand Record? Need some help!

Stronglight 93 would be my choice.
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Old 05-16-14, 02:37 PM   #6
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IRD has Swiss Thread bottom brackets.

Italian, French, and Swiss Conversion BB Cups
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Old 05-16-14, 02:45 PM   #7
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Stronglight 93 would be my choice.
Those are really pretty cranks. I like the stronglight 99 as well; not as pretty but the stronglight cranks were really light weight and the chain rings were very well made.
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Old 05-16-14, 03:25 PM   #8
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+1 on the SL 93's
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Old 05-16-14, 03:49 PM   #9
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'swiss' means the thread diameter is french on both sides, but the fixed cup direction is left, like standard (not french) bb's.

my '76 (with its swiss bb) came to me with a sugino mighty crank, and that's the way i've left it. it might not look like the catalog, but i love it. i have basically the same crank (mighty competition) on my '73 falcon too.

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Old 05-16-14, 04:07 PM   #10
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How about a Velo-Orange "Grand Cru?" No need for a proprietary extractor tool and French thread (or threadless) bottom bracket also available.


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Old 05-16-14, 06:09 PM   #11
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I have a spare set of TA Professional 3 arm cranks. Send me a PM if interested.
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Old 05-16-14, 07:28 PM   #12
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I have a spare set of TA Professional 3 arm cranks. Send me a PM if interested.
I've got two complete TA Pro 3 arm cranksets....one English or French. I have no use for them.
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Old 05-17-14, 05:21 AM   #13
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I've got two complete TA Pro 3 arm cranksets....one English or French. I have no use for them.
Oh yeah? ..well…I've got THREE. See your 2 and raise you one.
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Old 05-17-14, 05:48 AM   #14
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Oh yeah? ..well…I've got THREE. See your 2 and raise you one.
I have a stronglight 99, a stronglight 99 bis, a stronglight 93, and even a few spare chain rings for the 99s. I think we just played to a draw on this one,

Heck I just put the stronglight 99 on a Japanese bike and things seem copacetic:

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Old 05-17-14, 02:11 PM   #15
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Another vote for Stonglight 93. I have one and really like the classic look.
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Old 05-17-14, 02:15 PM   #16
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I agree, the 93 is a better looking crank than the 3 pin TA. Though the TA is "proper". Might be easier to find rings for the 93 also.
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Old 05-17-14, 02:32 PM   #17
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I like the looks of the Stronglight 93. I have them on two bikes. The 122 BCD really limits your choice of rings. It was intended for road racing. I think the 99 is a more practical choice if you're not going to race because the 86 BCD allows smaller rings. The BIS version has drilled rings, if you're into that.
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Old 05-18-14, 08:43 AM   #18
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Thank you for the helpful suggestions and kind offers--classy folks on this forum! I need to wait a month or so on this--mostly to explain to my wife why we have another frame in the house and vintage wheelset on its way!
Given the choices and my tendency to want to swap and change things, this does raise the question: "What is the most generally useful bottom bracket for two-ring cranks?" I see 118mm mentioned, and it seems ISO taper for most of these vintage cranksets. May keep my eyes open for one of those while i am working on the frame--which is cleaning up very nicely (but that is a topic for a separate thread).
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