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Stronglight Spiral bottom bracket

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Stronglight Spiral bottom bracket

Old 08-07-18, 05:22 PM
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marius.suiram 
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Stronglight Spiral bottom bracket

So, this was on a bike I have.
Is it a rare part, can it be replaced with other BB, from other makers?


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Old 08-07-18, 06:24 PM
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Not that rare, but still quite desirable for French C&V bike owners that want to do full French builds. Even better if it is BSC threaded, as the French bikes eventually got out of French and Swiss threading towards the mid 80's and it will also work for most other non Italian or French sized/threaded frames.... Even better yet if this BB happens to have a Ti spindle, as those go for a lot of money. A 118mm spindle length is also most popular as that 8s the spindle length to use with most C&V Stronglight double crankset.
Only minor issue I had with these BBs are the 8 notched lockrings. Not that easy to find an 8 notched spanner for these as most out there are for 6 notched lockrings. Claw wrenches would usually work, but you always run the risk of it slipping and jumping off, ruining the notches in the process...
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Old 08-07-18, 06:58 PM
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I'd be concerned that this design might not fit tightly enough against the internal threads, possibly relying too much on lockring tension(?).

Seems like it might click or even loosen itself over time if there wasn't interference contact with the inside of the bb shell.

I have one of these Stronglight cartridges, and another branded Nadax, but haven't installed either one as of yet. At least the lockrings are steel.
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Old 08-07-18, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
I'd be concerned that this design might not fit tightly enough against the internal threads, possibly relying too much on lockring tension(?).

Seems like it might click or even loosen itself over time if there wasn't interference contact with the inside of the bb shell.

I have one of these Stronglight cartridges, and another branded Nadax, but haven't installed either one as of yet. At least the lockrings are steel.
That's why a full, close ended lock ring spanner will be good to use on these double lock ring BBs to make sure you got them on tight enough......finding one for an 8 notcher will be the challenge.
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Old 08-07-18, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Not that rare, but still quite desirable for French C&V bike owners that want to do full French builds. Even better if it is BSC threaded, as the French bikes eventually got out of French and Swiss threading towards the mid 80's and it will also work for most other non Italian or French sized/threaded frames.... Even better yet if this BB happens to have a Ti spindle, as those go for a lot of money. A 118mm spindle length is also most popular as that 8s the spindle length to use with most C&V Stronglight double crankset.
Only minor issue I had with these BBs are the 8 notched lockrings. Not that easy to find an 8 notched spanner for these as most out there are for 6 notched lockrings. Claw wrenches would usually work, but you always run the risk of it slipping and jumping off, ruining the notches in the process...
The BB came from an English made bike, the spindle is 124 mm or so, the bike had a triple crank set.
What means BSC threaded and Ti spindle? Not very familiar.
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Old 08-07-18, 07:41 PM
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OK, looking on-line probably Ti is a Titanium spindle. How should I know if it is Ti or not, nothing marked.
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Old 08-07-18, 07:48 PM
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Another question : the BB has two different diameters at the ends.
But I can replace this specific BB with another one British threaded, right?
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Old 08-07-18, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by marius.suiram View Post
OK, looking on-line probably Ti is a Titanium spindle. How should I know if it is Ti or not, nothing marked.
If a magnet sticks to it, it is steel, not Ti.....
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Old 08-07-18, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by marius.suiram View Post
Another question : the BB has two different diameters at the ends.
But I can replace this specific BB with another one British threaded, right?
I would go by frame inspection rather than by assuming anything based on the bottom bracket cartridge itself, since I'm pretty sure that the cartridge could be fitted into any frame.

An English-made frame would surely have English (i.e. BSC) threading, unless it's an old Raleigh. An English bottom bracket shell should be 68mm wide, and should have left-hand threading in the right end of the shell.
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Old 08-08-18, 12:42 AM
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The bottom bracket is English thread (BSC), in the third picture, it is upside down, but the marking is 1"37 x 24.

1.37" x 24 TPI (thread per inch) is the English bottom bracket dimension.
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Old 08-08-18, 01:07 AM
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Sipdel Novela

The name stamped into the ends of the cartridge in SPIDEL not SPIRAL.

I was never interested in those bottom bracket cartridges because of the concerns listed above. Several other companies offered similar style cartridges that had tapers on the lock rings to center them in the bottom bracket. They were useful for bottom brackets with stripped threads.

A short history of Spidel that I wrote back in 2012:

Spidel was a marketing consortium/agreement between a number of French component manufacturers for their top of the line products. The main players were Stronglight, Simplex, Maillard/Atom and Mafac.

It was organized in in the late 70s in response to the lack of a complete component gruppos available from any of the French manufacturers. The Spidel organiztion lasted until the mid 80's when MTBs grabbed the bike market and those companies got left in the dust.

Shimano and later Suntour plus Campagnolo plus some of the other Italian component makers could offer bike manufactures a complete gruppo (group set) of matched components. That was a great marketing advantage in terms of product name recognition.

Spidel offered gruppos in name only. Bike manufactures still had to purchase the French components from the individual makers whereas they could place a single order with Shimano, Campy etc. and get a complete gruppo.

The other problem was that the companies selling under the Spidel name could never get it together to offer any kind of matching components like Campy and Shimano.

In the 80s Mavic sold gruppos for several years but then got out of the component business when new owners took over the company.

Some of the early Spidel components were still marked with Stronglight, Simplex, Mafac, Maillard and so on but came in Spidel boxes.

Eventually most of the components (cranks, headsets, hubs, brakes, derailleurs) on Spidel equipped bikes carried the Spidel marque but not always.

Spidel branded products:

Stronglight - Cranks, Headsets
Simplex - Derailleurs, Seatposts
Mafac - Brakes
Maillard/Atom - Hubs, Freewheels, Pedals and other items

Here's a Spidel "gruppo" from the early 1980s:



There were several other of these French marketing consortiums in the 70's: Frexa, Gefac and Sélection Tricolore Course (STC) for example. None were successful outside of France.

Frexa brands:

Huret
Maillard (also sold as part of the Spidel program)
Peyrard
Rigida
Poutrait-Morin
Jeunehomme

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Old 08-08-18, 04:51 AM
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Very interesting Spidel history.
Thank you.
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Old 08-08-18, 06:14 AM
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The name Spidel was also known in the United States for a flexible metal watchband, called Spidel Twist-o-Flex. I think they were the same company. That product line dated back to at least the middle 1960s, because I had one on a wristwatch I was given in 8th grade, 13 years old.
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Old 08-08-18, 08:20 PM
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That appears to be a Stronglight/Spidel mod. 700 or one of its close cousins. I'll bet the bearings are still as smooth as silk, because they always are....These in either titanium or steel were team issue for the Peugeot pro team in the early 1980s....I've never heard of any problems with them tending to loosen. They are a great solution for a swiss BB shell.....
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Old 08-09-18, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
The name Spidel was also known in the United States for a flexible metal watchband, called Spidel Twist-o-Flex. I think they were the same company. That product line dated back to at least the middle 1960s, because I had one on a wristwatch I was given in 8th grade, 13 years old.
No relationship.

History of Spidel watch bands: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speidel

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