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Frankophile - clipless?

Old 01-19-16, 08:20 PM
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Frankophile - clipless?

Ok, here's a silly question to show how old school I am:

Are there any clipless pedals out there with French threading?

I'm restoring a 72 Motobecane Le Champion and all the other bikes in my stable are clipless, so it makes sense to continue in that direction. Problem is I've never seen a French threaded clipless pedal (keo).........unobtainium???.?.

What say you?
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Old 01-19-16, 08:27 PM
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Even if you could find some, I'm sure it would be cheaper to have your crank arms re-threaded to accept standard thread pedals.
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Old 01-19-16, 08:30 PM
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You're probably correct...just taking a very conservative approach on the restoration...once metal is removed, there is no going back.
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Old 01-19-16, 08:37 PM
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Hmmmm......a good question, cause come to think of it, all my clipless Look pedals even from the very first one bought in 1985, all had 9/16 threading.....
In fact, I can't remember ever encountering a Look clipless pedal set with French threading........ Not sure if Time ever made them in French threading either....
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Old 01-19-16, 08:55 PM
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What irony...its a french idea, put into production by a french company but they didn't use french threading???

Comment est-ce possible ?
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Old 01-19-16, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Tbone5
You're probably correct...just taking a very conservative approach on the restoration...once metal is removed, there is no going back.
If your current crank arms are in excellent condition you could buy another set of crank arms for the conversion, keeping the originals unchanged.
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Old 01-19-16, 09:12 PM
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I know I'm quite picky about things, but I can never get myself to re-thread a French threaded crankset to 9/16 threading, especially if it has "14x.125" engraved on it....
That's why I don't think I will ever find a Stronglight 107 crank for my bike. They almost always seem to be French threaded out there......
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Old 01-19-16, 09:18 PM
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Just looking at the possibilities... If French threaded clipless exist, like don Quixote, I'll go after them. On the other hand, if they don't the sensable thing to do do is tap'em for standard. As your signature so correctly points out..its just a state of mind. I just want to exhaust the possibilities before going down that road.
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Old 01-19-16, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Tbone5
Ok, here's a silly question to show how old school I am:

Are there any clipless pedals out there with French threading?

I'm restoring a 72 Motobecane Le Champion and all the other bikes in my stable are clipless, so it makes sense to continue in that direction. Problem is I've never seen a French threaded clipless pedal (keo).........unobtainium???.?.

What say you?
I've heard rumors that there were some French threaded Look pedals produced. Never seen one mind you, just heard rumors. I suspect you'd have to go to France, or at least be able to work the phone in French. If they do actually exist, they are rarer than unicorns.

I went through a similar conundrum about 10 years ago. I like vintage bikes but prefer clipless. At this point I've decided that the vintage bikes keep their pedals and straps. For me at least it's the best option. You can buy shoes now that will take old fashioned cleats and 3 bolt Look type. 10 or 15 years ago, that wasn't an option.

OTOH, if you only have vintage bike to ride, I kind of see your point. I don't have the heart to tap out cranks if everything is otherwise original. IMO a better solution is to get another crankset, pull the original, and put it in a box.
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Old 01-19-16, 09:48 PM
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To me, that's an invisible difference. It's only in your mind. If you had a Rene Herse, I'd understand wanting to keep it original, just as I would think it sacriledge to remodel the kitchen in a a Frank Lloyd Wright house. You don't paint a moustache on the Mona Lisa.

But a 72 Moto, there's plenty of them.

I have a "reasonably rare" Gitane Gran Tourisme, only about 500 imported into the US. I've had that frame for over a year, originally I was thinking about modifying the frame and repainting it. Now that I have had time to think about it, [MENTION=61614]verktyg[/MENTION] (Chas) was right. I'm keeping the frame original, but I'm not going out of my way to make the components exactly correct, but it will be "period" correct. But if it came with french threaded cranks, I'd probably tap 'em out to 9/16"
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Old 01-19-16, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine
I've heard rumors that there were some French threaded Look pedals produced. Never seen one mind you, just heard rumors. I suspect you'd have to go to France, or at least be able to work the phone in French. If they do actually exist, they are rarer than unicorns.

I went through a similar conundrum about 10 years ago. I like vintage bikes but prefer clipless. At this point I've decided that the vintage bikes keep their pedals and straps. For me at least it's the best option. You can buy shoes now that will take old fashioned cleats and 3 bolt Look type. 10 or 15 years ago, that wasn't an option.

OTOH, if you only have vintage bike to ride, I kind of see your point. I don't have the heart to tap out cranks if everything is otherwise original. IMO a better solution is to get another crankset, pull the original, and put it in a box.
Ah, this could be the solution! It's the shoes, stupid! Never occurred to me that there could be a shoe that could go go both ways, so to speak. Can you point me toward them?
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Old 01-19-16, 11:41 PM
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Tbone5 - Check out the Vittoria 76 shoes. This came up recently and someone pointed out these and some other brands. I'll probably get me a pair so I can ride my PX and my new Mercian.

Originally Posted by gugie
To me, that's an invisible difference. It's only in your mind. If you had a Rene Herse, I'd understand wanting to keep it original, just as I would think it sacriledge to remodel the kitchen in a a Frank Lloyd Wright house. You don't paint a moustache on the Mona Lisa.

But a 72 Moto, there's plenty of them.
I think Moto Le Champions were actually pretty rare. I've ever seen more than 1 or 2, and I worked in bike shops in the bay area for 10+ years.

I'm not super purist myself, that's just where my head is at right now. Like you say, it's all in my head - I won't even dispute that. I think when you totally hot rod a bike, anything goes and it can be potentially very cool. But if a bike is basically all original and stock, but has clipless pedals, it just doesn't work for me aesthetically.
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Old 01-20-16, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine
I think Moto Le Champions were actually pretty rare. I've ever seen more than 1 or 2, and I worked in bike shops in the bay area for 10+ years.
Yep, and so is my Gitane Gran Tourisme, and I'd tap the french crank threads to english on either in a New York minute.

If you're putting clipless pedals on a bike made in 1972 and worried about deflowering a french threaded crank, well, the word irony comes to mind.
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Old 01-20-16, 12:58 AM
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Interesting. I'm assuming you've confirmed the crank ends are French threads. When I received my mostly original equipped '72 Le Champion, it came with a Stronglight 93 crankset (170mm arms / 42-52t rings), threaded for 9/16-20tpi pedal axles. Has the original Campy N.Record shift group, pedals and Tipo hubs. Oddly though the brochure specs Lyotard pedals and who knows what pedal thread; could be either French or English. Although like I mentioned, mine are 9/16 x 20. Then again, the 1972 model year has a Swiss threaded bottom bracket. Funke'

Back to the crank. The Stronglight 93 were plentiful and made for many years, pedal ends available in the 9/16x20tpi and also French thread 14mm x 1.25. Perhaps you should set your crank aside and just get the English threaded version. Don't mess around with rethreading.

Onto the pedals: If by chance you're committed to going with a vintage clipless, they do exist but rare. IMHO, I'd think they'd pretty nutz to use, but thats half the fun riding this old stuff. For reference, check the online Speedplay pedal museum and then shop fleabay. (Don't forget the mate cleats!)

I get where you're going and like the same idea but if you want to sort of look vintage and ride sensible clipless, you can't go wrong with Shimano PDM323. Get the chrome steel cage version. Also if you want to jazz them up, grind and polish out, they easily dismantle.

(p.s. I ride my LeC off-road and gravel trails, using the original pedals and toe clips. I wear 1st gen Vittoria mtn. bike shoes designed for SPD cleats.)

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Old 01-20-16, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Tbone5
Ok, here's a silly question to show how old school I am...
Okay, here's a silly answer to show how old school I am:

Toe clips!

Seriously... no one is going to notice that the pedal thread isn't original, but everyone is going to notice that the pedal isn't original.
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Old 01-20-16, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Tbone5
What irony...its a french idea, put into production by a french company but they didn't use french threading???

Comment est-ce possible ?
Je ne sais pas? Allez demander aux Français
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Old 01-20-16, 07:34 AM
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The french threading M14x1.25 was available for clipless pedals until 1992.

Since december 1992, new standards make the threads exchangeable with the corresponding threading BSC.


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Old 01-20-16, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by gioscinelli
Je ne sais pas? Allez demander aux Français

Qui ira nulle part rapide.
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Old 01-20-16, 09:53 AM
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Unicorns exist!

I guess you just had to ask in French. Makes sense, though I'm not sure these were ever exported to NA.
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Old 01-20-16, 10:06 AM
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Maybe a silly question, but would it be possible to take an existing pair of clipless pedals and replace the spindles?
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Old 01-20-16, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by icepick_trotsky
Maybe a silly question, but would it be possible to take an existing pair of clipless pedals and replace the spindles?
Replace the spindles with what? Seems it would be harder to find French-threaded spindles for clipless pedals than to find the French-threaded pedals(?).

I went to a lot of trouble to source clipless pedals with 1/2" threads for several Schwinns and a Huffy. They haven't been made since the 90's.

If one taps a French-threaded crank for 9/16" pedal threading, how good is the resulting threaded hole for using a French-threaded pedal?

I've been meaning to tap a junked French crankarm to 9/16" and than test the threads with a French-threaded pedal and a big pedal wrench.

If the crank is steel, I'd be quite surprised if a French-threaded pedal couldn't still be reliably used, but I am very curious as to how tight and securely that the attachment would be in a re-tapped alloy crankarm.

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Old 01-20-16, 10:49 PM
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M14 x 1.25 = 12.8mm drill bit
9/16" x 20 = 33/64 or 13mm drill bit
20tpi = 1.27mm pitch


I'll bet the people that can put a right hand pedal into a left crank arm can make this work with no problem.
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Old 01-21-16, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Filochard
The french threading M14x1.25 was available for clipless pedals until 1992.

Since december 1992, new standards make the threads exchangeable with the corresponding threading BSC.

Yes, I had one of those, Look arc, white, with french threading.
It's rare, but it exists... in France anyway.
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Old 01-21-16, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by vincent_r
Yes, I had one of those, Look arc, white, with french threading.
It's rare, but it exists... in France anyway.
"Arc"? I thought those came out later than the pedals pictured.
IIRC, these pedals carried the "PPxxx" model number designations here in the US.....
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Old 01-21-16, 01:22 PM
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I may be wrong. They were Look, maybe not the ARC model.
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