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Stronglight Cranks with VO bottom bracket - will it work?

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Stronglight Cranks with VO bottom bracket - will it work?

Old 09-20-20, 01:16 PM
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Stronglight Cranks with VO bottom bracket - will it work?

I just installed a VO threadless bottom bracket and went to put my stronglight 93 cranks on and they just slide off and on. The BB did come with a bolt that looks like it will screw in and hold the cranks in place, but will this be enough?

EDIT: It looks like this is only a problem on the drive side. NDS goes on fine. The DS crank pushes up against the face of the bottom bracket though...

Last edited by polymorphself; 09-20-20 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 09-20-20, 01:23 PM
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Can you post some good pics of the cranks showing the square hole? They do stop at some point yes? If so how much space is there between the end of the spindle and the crankface where the washer goes?
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Old 09-20-20, 01:27 PM
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It should work if the length is right. IME 93 cranks fit JIS spindles pretty well. JIS might be a hair fat, but old 93 cranks a typically a hair enlarged from previous installation and removal, so it all works out.

As noted above, who much space is there at the end of the spindle?

I don't really understand what you're saying WRT "the cranks no longer move"..

Use a torque wrench to install them. Torque to about 27 to 28 ft lb. LIttle to no grease. I grease and wipe it off. Loctite on the NDS bolt won't hurt anything.
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Old 09-20-20, 01:33 PM
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Salamandrine Bianchigirll Here is the crank on the BB. It slides onto the spindle all the way to the face of the BB and the spindle isn’t catching the crank arm, I can just pull it right back off. This is a 103mm. I do have an unopened 110mm on hand as well, but I'm afraid that will be too long for the chain line to be good?





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Old 09-20-20, 02:26 PM
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I tried the 110 and it looks to mostly fit but I can’t get it flush, should be ok? Spindle doesn’t turn very easily with my fingers either but it’s smooth.



Last edited by polymorphself; 09-20-20 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 09-20-20, 02:47 PM
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Looking the DS spindle, the shoulders are even with the facing of the cup. Are you dry fitting. I am thinking if you install BB, Tightening the NDS side will push the BB itself into the DS cup and provide you with the clearance you need. However in the video linked below, the shoulders are already clear of the cups on the DS.

https://vimeo.com/120816484
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Old 09-20-20, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by CV-6 View Post
Looking the DS spindle, the shoulders are even with the facing of the cup. Are you dry fitting. I am thinking if you install BB, Tightening the NDS side will push the BB itself into the DS cup and provide you with the clearance you need. However in the video linked below, the shoulders are already clear of the cups on the DS.

https://vimeo.com/120816484
I had originally installed the 103 BB all the way onto the bike, and the crank still sat flush against the bottom bracket, as shown in the original photo.. With the 110 when I slide the crank onto the spindle (without it installed on the bike), the crank catches the taper and stops before reaching the bottom bracket shell, as it should. I'm thinking the 103 I got just has an incorrect taper?
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Old 09-20-20, 02:57 PM
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I think the first thing you need to do is look on Velobase and see just what spindle length you need for that crank. I think even 110 is too short for that.

the drive side of the spindle is likely longer that the non drive side too.
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Old 09-20-20, 02:57 PM
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I think you need a longer spindle. I’m using a TA 344 spindle with my 93 crank. It is 114.5 mm long and places the cranks properly. (The 344 was TA’s spec. in a loose-ball BB for a double crank.). In that era the tapers seem to match. Dunno with new(-ish) cartridge BBs. But 110 is way too short. These old cranks used spindles that were longer on the drive side. So a modern symmetric spindle will have to be even longer to stick out as far on the right side as my 114.5 does. See Sheldon Brown.
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Old 09-20-20, 03:01 PM
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This is single speed, so with one less chain ring 110 seems good, no? Here is the final result. The DS caught the taper a little bit but If I wanted to I couldve pulled it off. I put t he bolt in and torqued it, then took. it out, the crank arm would not come off. Seems ok? NDS doesn't appear quite as flush as the DS...


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Old 09-20-20, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
This is single speed, so with one less chain ring 110 seems good, no? Here is the final result. The DS caught the taper a little bit but If I wanted to I couldve pulled it off. I put t he bolt in and torqued it, then took. it out, the crank arm would not come off. Seems ok? . . .
Single-speed?, ah OK then.

Why did you take the bolts out after torquing the cranks on? They (and their washers) are meant to stay in place. But having removed them, how much space do you see between the top of the crank hole and the end of the spindle? If flush, the spindle taper is too small — the bolt is bottoming against the end of the spindle instead of pressing on the crank. If the crank has been taken off and put on many times over the decades, the holes may have been worked larger. You want at least 1.5 mm clearance. More than 4 mm or so means the spindle taper is too fat, the crank won’t fully seat.

In any event, if you have a good fit, and chainline is OK, put the bolts and washers back in, torque them, and leave them alone. You shouldn’t need to remove them for the life of the bottom bracket. I like to use dust caps so that if a bolt does start to loosen it can’t fall out onto the road, followed shortly by your crank.

(I don’t know why the left-side ring doesn’t want to screw in all the way. I’m not familiar with threadless cartridges. Did you ask VO?)
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Old 09-20-20, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by conspiratemus1 View Post
Single-speed?, ah OK then.

Why did you take the bolts out after torquing the cranks on? They (and their washers) are meant to stay in place. But having removed them, how much space do you see between the top of the crank hole and the end of the spindle? If flush, the spindle taper is too small — the bolt is bottoming against the end of the spindle instead of pressing on the crank. If the crank has been taken off and put on many times over the decades, the holes may have been worked larger. You want at least 1.5 mm clearance. More than 4 mm or so means the spindle taper is too fat, the crank won’t fully seat.

In any event, if you have a good fit, and chainline is OK, put the bolts and washers back in, torque them, and leave them alone. You shouldn’t need to remove them for the life of the bottom bracket. I like to use dust caps so that if a bolt does start to loosen it can’t fall out onto the road, followed shortly by your crank.

(I don’t know why the left-side ring doesn’t want to screw in all the way. I’m not familiar with threadless cartridges. Did you ask VO?)

It turns so everything is good enough
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Old 09-20-20, 04:54 PM
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103 is way too short. 110 is probably too short too. You don't really know till you torque the crank on. It will go up the taper a few mm farther than test fit. I hope you have a crank puller for that 93, or can borrow one. If you don't use full torque to fix them, they will fall off and be ruined. NDS first.

Not sure those fat cups are going to work out with a vintage crank. I don't like how they are not flush with the BB shell. Sloppy.

Why are you using a threadless BB? Swiss threads? Stripped shell? Is a threaded BB an option?
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Old 09-20-20, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
103 is way too short. 110 is probably too short too. You don't really know till you torque the crank on. It will go up the taper a few mm farther than test fit. I hope you have a crank puller for that 93, or can borrow one. If you don't use full torque to fix them, they will fall off and be ruined. NDS first.

Not sure those fat cups are going to work out with a vintage crank. I don't like how they are not flush with the BB shell. Sloppy.

Why are you using a threadless BB? Swiss threads? Stripped shell? Is a threaded BB an option?
Swiss threads. I do have the 93 crank puller. The cranks have no play. As far as the cups, I am also annoyed that they are not flush with the shell, although in their tutorial video I'm not sure it is entirely flush either. What do you mean they may not work out? I'm not sure what to do. It's all on and secure and *seems* ok, but this bike is for a friend and I don't want anything to go terribly wrong.
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Old 09-20-20, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
Swiss threads. I do have the 93 crank puller. The cranks have no play. As far as the cups, I am also annoyed that they are not flush with the shell, although in their tutorial video I'm not sure it is entirely flush either. What do you mean they may not work out? I'm not sure what to do. It's all on and secure and *seems* ok, but this bike is for a friend and I don't want anything to go terribly wrong.
Ah, Swiss threads. Grabbing a UN55 for one of those is a bit difficult...

By not work out I mean do the crankarms contact the BB rings when fully torqued on? If the BB is in as snug as possible, and the crankarms are fully torqued on, is the chainline OK? If everything is tight and there's no play and good chainlines, you should be OK.

I haven't used a VO threadless BB personally. I'll assume it works without problems if you followed the directions. I'd still suggest keeping a close eye on it for the first 100 miles or so.

As an aside, I'd suggest some loctite on those chainring bolts. Sometimes they'll loosen up when using a single chainring on a road double crank.

Last edited by Salamandrine; 09-20-20 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 09-20-20, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Ah, Swiss threads. Grabbing a UN55 for one of those is a bit difficult...

By not work out I mean do the crankarms contact the BB rings when fully torqued on? If the BB is in as snug as possible, and the crankarms are fully torqued on, is the chainline OK? If everything is tight and there's no play and good chainlines, you should be OK.

I haven't used a VO threadless BB personally. I'll assume it works without problems if you followed the directions. I'd still suggest keeping a close eye on it for the first 100 miles or so.

As an aside, I'd suggest some loctite on those chainring bolts. Sometimes they'll loosen up when using a single chainring used on a road double crank.
Here are photos of both sides as well as the chain line. No play, everything seems snug and chain seems to be ok to my untrained eye.






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Old 09-20-20, 07:15 PM
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I think you're good, if all is snug. Give it a test ride.

Chainline - if you look at it from the back and the chain looks basically straight, and it's not snaking excessively, it should be fine.

If you want to measure it, typical spec is 43.5mm from the center of the seat tube to the center of the chainring for a single, or 43.5mm to the point halfway in between the chainrings. You can fudge this a bit, especially since a double is being used as single.
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Old 09-20-20, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
I think you're good, if all is snug. Give it a test ride.

Chainline - if you look at it from the back and the chain looks basically straight, and it's not snaking excessively, it should be fine.

If you want to measure it, typical spec is 43.5mm from the center of the seat tube to the center of the chainring for a single, or 43.5mm to the point halfway in between the chainrings. You can fudge this a bit, especially since a double is being used as single.
Ok, thanks. Can't test ride it until I can get my hands on some french pedals unfortunately, this build has been a nightmare! I just did a quick measurement and looks like I'm at 44.5mm, maybe 44.75.
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Old 09-20-20, 07:57 PM
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You can also move the chainring you the inside of the crank spindle for better chain line.
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Old 09-20-20, 08:06 PM
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I've installed two Velo-Orange threadless bottom brackets and the tapered expander didn't sit flush to the bottom bracket shell with either. Shouldn't be an issue as long as it's torqued to spec. How's the crank clearance at the chainstay on each side? I feel like with some vintage cranks, they cut the dies first then specified the spindle offset afterwards...
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Old 09-20-20, 08:24 PM
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FWIW, the stock SINGLE chainring spindle for a Stronglight is 113 mm; mod. 93 as a double used a stock 118 mm spindle, unless you have a Raleigh Gran Sport with the 125 spindle and a chainguard where the big ring should be. This is all stock Stronglight stuff with loose bearings.

My mod. 93 that I run with one ring is a Phil Wood 113 asymmetrical that I have flipped around - I think i could use a 108 or so JIS with a wee bit of tweaking, but what I have works, so ....
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Old 09-20-20, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by eeuuugh View Post
I've installed two Velo-Orange threadless bottom brackets and the tapered expander didn't sit flush to the bottom bracket shell with either. Shouldn't be an issue as long as it's torqued to spec. How's the crank clearance at the chainstay on each side? I feel like with some vintage cranks, they cut the dies first then specified the spindle offset afterwards...
Good to know, more or less looked like my pics above?

As for clearance, looks like theres about 3/4 inch between the stay and the inside of the crank arm at the closest point.
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