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Help Identifying old French bicycle: J.Prenat 1960s or 1970s?

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Help Identifying old French bicycle: J.Prenat 1960s or 1970s?

Old 07-14-14, 04:03 AM
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Help Identifying old French bicycle: J.Prenat 1960s or 1970s?

Hello,
I've recently acquired this bicycle and wondering if anyone can tell me more about it. I found this in a small used bike shop in Berlin with the intent of using it for fitness/recreational riding. I knew old French bikes had their quirks, but I wasn't fully aware of the extent (mostly in regards to special tools / sizes).

My best guess is late 1960s or early 1970s.

-Frame is some form of Reynolds 531 with cut-out lugs.
-I'm assuming the Stronglight double cranks, Simplex drivetrain, and Mafac Racer brakes are original. Cranks appear to be french threaded, but have not verified.
-Belleri stem is 22.0mm, and I think the clamp size is 25.0mm. I don't believe this is original (80s?)
-Belleri handlebars are _i think_ 25.4mm, and also likely newer (80s?).
-Not sure about wheels/hubs/ Ideale seatpost.
-I've installed the new brake levers and transferred the saddle from another bike.

My intent was to use the bike for longer out-of-town rides, but I'm having trouble keeping the bottom bracket tight. Initially I didn't want to spend the $ on the Stronglight crank extractor, so I took it to a local shop that said they work on vintage bicycles, but I'm beginning to think they aren't very competent as it has been there twice so far and each time the crank starts to move from side-to-side in the bottom bracket after a few KMs. I am unsure if I will take back and ask them to install a sealed/cartridge BB, or just buy the tool and assess further myself.

I do like the way the bike rides, albeit the stem is a little long for me. I tossed around installing some more modern components (brakes, wheels, stem, seat-post, bar-end shifters) but I'm currently undecided how deep $ I want to get on this bike.

Fotos:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/m1y2hprfp...BKT0h5hMWpE1Ea

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-14-14, 07:54 AM
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That's pretty sweet. Main tube 531, Simplex ends. Mid to late 70s is my guess. Not sure what your shop did for you. It does not look like they have removed any part of the BB. I don't see any fresh marks on the face of the fixed cup or marks on the lock ring. I would invest in the correct puller and assess it for myself. Removing the fixed cup and a drop or two of an appropriate thread locker is a good step. However...looking at the pic of the BB that shows the drive side, I see what might be a crack in the BB. I am hoping that is just where the paint has failed but would need a closeup to tell more.

The bike is most likely a shop brand built by a contracted frame supplier. It is a good basic mid-level bike. The only thing I might change is the derailleurs.
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Old 07-14-14, 08:46 AM
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CV-6,
thanks for the reply. I hadn't considered the possibility of a shop-branded contract frame, but that makes sense.

Good catch! After a quick cleanup and removal of some paint around the area I snapped a few more close-up photos of the BB shell (at the same link above). Unfortunately for me, it does look like at least the start of a crack.

My German isn't great, but I believe they said they pulled it apart and cleaned everything, and re-assembled. Always the chance I didn't fully understand though. But there is some grease on the spindle that appears to be coming out of the fixed cup on the drive side, so I think they did have it apart at least.

So it looks like I need to pull the cranks and cup off to get a better idea of the extent of the damage.

Thanks again!

Last edited by dotMR; 07-14-14 at 08:49 AM. Reason: forgot to mention something
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Old 07-14-14, 04:36 PM
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Good pics. The only way to know for sure is to pull it apart. But it looks like it might just be a gouge. Good luck with it.
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