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French Crank - What to Do, what to Do?

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French Crank - What to Do, what to Do?

Old 10-29-20, 02:21 PM
  #1  
Dannyboy21
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French Crank - What to Do, what to Do?




I had this French crank on a bike I acquired. It is a 3 bolt number,urrently with a 52/48 ring set-up. The BCD seems quite small. Am I out of my mind to think that somewhere out there I can find a replacement inner ring that is 40 t or even smaller for this?

Anyone know:
1. What make the crank may be?
2. What the BCD is?
3. Thoughts about where I may find that smaller inner ring?

Thanks for your input. - Dan
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Old 10-29-20, 02:28 PM
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-----

make: Specialites T.A.

model: Trois Attachees

smallest inner offered: 36T

BCD: 116mm

tip: puller thread is unique size which does not interchange with others

---



-----

Last edited by juvela; 10-29-20 at 02:34 PM. Reason: add image
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Old 10-29-20, 02:29 PM
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Dannyboy21-

That is a TA Professionel crankset. It has a unique 23 mm crank extractor and a 116 mm BCD. Excellent cranksets and rings are still available on EBay. More info here: VeloBase.com - Component: Specialités TA Professional 3-arm and here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1975-Specia...cAAOSwTxJcP4EC
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Old 10-29-20, 02:42 PM
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This model crank, with 42/52T rings, was the stock crankset on the Raleigh Competition Mk. II c.1973-76. Certain older Park Tools crank pullers came with a double-sided head, one side the now-standard 22.0 mm, the other a 23.0 suitable for T.A. cranks. Do not attempt to use either side on a Stronglight!
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Old 10-29-20, 03:19 PM
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Is it possible that a TA 6 bolt might have the same 116mm BCD and work with the 3 bolt Crank? This 36T on eBay below for instance?

Look at this on eBay https://www.ebay.com/itm/324181006350
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Old 10-29-20, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Dannyboy21 View Post



I had this French crank on a bike I acquired. It is a 3 bolt number,urrently with a 52/48 ring set-up. The BCD seems quite small. Am I out of my mind to think that somewhere out there I can find a replacement inner ring that is 40 t or even smaller for this?

Anyone know:
1. What make the crank may be?
2. What the BCD is?
3. Thoughts about where I may find that smaller inner ring?

Thanks for your input. - Dan
So you say it came on a bike, if so then you took it off, what tool did you use?

If you did not use a TA thread tool, then this has already had the wrong tool forced into it and the threads may be compromised and may not come off again if it is reinstalled, you may have gotten very lucky getting it off.

This can be a PITA as the threads are very close to others so the wrong tool often gets used until the threads strip out and then you have to resort to brute force to get them off.

I would not go any further until you can determine this and sort it out completely, you don't want to source a spendy, hard to find part before you can be sure the crank will live on.
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Old 10-29-20, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Dannyboy21 View Post
Is it possible that a TA 6 bolt might have the same 116mm BCD and work with the 3 bolt Crank? This 36T on eBay below for instance?

Look at this on eBay https://www.ebay.com/itm/324181006350
Nope. You'd need to use this 'adapteur' and still source out a smaller chainring.
I'm a little confused what crank your ring fits. You can see the 44 tooth ring on the adapteur is already close to the minimum size. It looks quite used as well.

Last edited by clubman; 10-29-20 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 10-29-20, 05:17 PM
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I have the same crank on my 1974 Raleigh Competition. I believe it has a 42t inner so you may be able to tease one out of the ebay market. Personally, I'd recommend using that 52/48 to set up your bike with half-step gearing. Assuming it's going on a 5-6 speed vintage bike, half-step will be perfect to reduce the number of duplicate gears.
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Old 10-29-20, 05:55 PM
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FWIW the 3-pin was also OEM on Motobecane Grand Record, from '74 to '76...(I checked the catalogs on VeloBase and the teeth specs are 42/52)

Last edited by unworthy1; 10-30-20 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 10-29-20, 06:03 PM
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116 mm BCD was the Continental standard for many years, starting by the 1930’s. Italian, French, and even English makers used it. But that was in the chromed steel age. In the alloy age, Campagnolo, TA, Stronglight and Nervar all made cranks with this BCD.

Seems to me you can get a 36t ring. If it were mine, i would not balk at a steel ring, if that were my only choice.

Another chain ring option is to take a dremel to an 86mm bcd chainring from FSA.

Last edited by rhm; 10-29-20 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 10-29-20, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Seems to me you can get a 36t ring. If it were mine, i would not balk at a steel ring, if that were my only choice.
Yep. Steel is real.
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Old 10-29-20, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post

I would not go any further until you can determine this and sort it out completely, you don't want to source a spendy, hard to find part before you can be sure the crank will live on.
Thanks for this advice. I did get help removing this crank from a seasoned mechanic who worked on bikes for over 30 years from the 70s into the 90s. Thankfully the threads are good. French bikes are the latest steepening gradient to my learning curve it seems. I tried to replace a nice Stronglight Competition headset on an old Browning V last night with something less sparkly and quickly learned that not all 1 inch headsets are the same diameter. Lots of fun. Thanks again.
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Old 10-29-20, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Dannyboy21 View Post
Thanks for this advice. I did get help removing this crank from a seasoned mechanic who worked on bikes for over 30 years from the 70s into the 90s. Thankfully the threads are good. French bikes are the latest steepening gradient to my learning curve it seems. I tried to replace a nice Stronglight Competition headset on an old Browning V last night with something less sparkly and quickly learned that not all 1 inch headsets are the same diameter. Lots of fun. Thanks again.
The seasoned guru must have had the correct tool and I would imagine eluded to such.

The key step in much of this is to realize when your out of your depth and make sure you get the correct help.

That being said, since you already realize that, you are well on your way to sorting these type of things on your own.
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Old 10-29-20, 08:44 PM
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Good cranks - I have them on two bikes.
i found a 40t on eBay a year + ago
not cheap
38’s show up And I will outbid you.
even when I worked for a shop that stocked TA rings- never saw smaller than a 38t

the 6 pin ring cited earlier won’t do it
there was for a time an intermediate “ring” that bridged the 3 to 6.

the problem with these aside from the lack of spares is that the teeth are oriented to the back side... easy to down shift- not a happy on the shift in the big ring.
No land, ramps or pins...
the chain has to fully clear over the top of the teeth.
light, low “Q” factor.
many came in French threading
can be tapped to 9/16” x 20
but you will lose the backside filler.

both of my crank sets on bikes have French threads with thread matching pedals
have a 5 pin with English threading... looking for that #374 spindle... they turn up- not cheap!
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Old 10-30-20, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
many came in French threading
can be tapped to 9/16” x 20
but you will lose the backside filler.
His are english - "W" stamp.
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Old 10-30-20, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by oneclick View Post
His are english - "W" stamp.
Yes, was just at the eye doctor... phone screen without more magnification...
Thanks.

the missing arm labels are around online.
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Old 10-30-20, 11:16 AM
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...and J.A. Stein (eBay) sells crank extractors in the 23 mm thread to fit these old TA cranks.
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Old 10-30-20, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Dannyboy21 View Post
Is it possible that a TA 6 bolt might have the same 116mm BCD and work with the 3 bolt Crank? This 36T on eBay below for instance?

Look at this on eBay https://www.ebay.com/itm/324181006350
No, but the 116mm 3-arm bolt circle was used by many crank manufacturers:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
3-arm.jpg (235.4 KB, 219 views)
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Old 10-30-20, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Nope. You'd need to use this 'adapteur' and still source out a smaller chainring.
I'm a little confused what crank your ring fits. You can see the 44 tooth ring on the adapteur is already close to the minimum size. It looks quite used as well.
Haha. I wish it was 44; it is 48t, really don't feel like pushing 48t uphill at 51 years old.
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Old 10-30-20, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
38’s show up And I will outbid you.
Nice. We shall see! In all seriousness, I am not looking at spending a fortune to put a climbing ring on this. Maybe find a project to put it on long term, as is.
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Old 10-30-20, 06:08 PM
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DO let me know if you see a deal on a 44T ring for these - I would use that with my existing 42 and mount my set of T.A. Professionals back on my Raleigh Competition with the Dingle Drive!
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Old 10-30-20, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
DO let me know if you see a deal on a 44T ring for these - I would use that with my existing 42 and mount my set of T.A. Professionals back on my Raleigh Competition with the Dingle Drive!
I will
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Old 10-30-20, 06:22 PM
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Are my ears ringing? T.A. Pro 3-arm chainrings and bolts 42/52
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Last edited by francophile; 10-30-20 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 10-30-20, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Dannyboy21 View Post
Is it possible that a TA 6 bolt might have the same 116mm BCD and work with the 3 bolt Crank? This 36T on eBay below for instance?

Look at this on eBay https://www.ebay.com/itm/324181006350
I would say yes, it should fit with no problem. TA made 6-bolt chainrings with 3 different bcd's:
Criterium: 152 mm bcd, smallest ring 44 teeth.
Randonneur: 116 mm bcd, smallest ring 36 teeth.
Cyclotouriste: 80 mm bcd, smallest ring 26 teeth.
The Ebay ring is a Randonneur and will fit your crank perfectly. You should buy it right now, because these don't show up all that often. You'll have 3 extra holes but so what. 3-hole 116mm rings smaller than 42t are almost impossible to find unless you get steel rings (this used to be one of the standard chainring bcd's in Europe).
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Old 10-31-20, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by kroozer View Post
3-hole 116mm rings smaller than 42t are almost impossible to find unless you get steel rings (this used to be one of the standard chainring bcd's in Europe).
The Raleigh catalogs from the early 1970s spec lower-end (Super Course down) with steel three-pin 40-52, variously "Raleigh", "Nervar", or an unbranded 40-48 on the 24" GP.

HOWEVER, count the teeth. I just picked up a 1973 SC and it has a "made by Stronglight" steel crankset with a 42 (!) - 52. The 72 SC spec says "Stronglight 40-52".

Steel ring teeth make sense; the smaller the ring the more sense they make. I suppose the best arrangement would be a U-channel ring of steel teeth with an inner aluminium ring and arms centrifugally cast into the ring and then machined and peened.
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