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Alpin (?) French hubs - IDing / servicing

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Alpin (?) French hubs - IDing / servicing

Old 11-21-20, 11:04 PM
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Alpin (?) French hubs - IDing / servicing

Picked these 28h French thread hubs up NOS a few years back and built them up. Believe the brand is Alpin but the stylized logo leaves some doubt. They're silky


smooth with an early sealed bearing design. Would like to think, though, that at some point I can lube / rebuild them. Seems the only way to open them up would be to separate the two body pieces, which sounds like looking for trouble. Anyone familiar with the brand or construction?
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Old 11-22-20, 04:36 AM
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Separate the two body pieces? Did the shell “body” seem to easily come apart before you built them up?
Are the sealed as in cartridge bearings or just very close tolerance between the cone and dust cover?
I think you just going to have dig the bearings out and clean the races best you can by stuffing a rag in and moving it with a screwdriver or maybe a bent spoke or something

*UPDATE* Good thing my anxiety, and that wonky vent fan, wouldn't let me get back to sleep. I came across this but there is no informationhttps://velobase.com/ViewComponent.aspx?ID=F813D276-5805-4509-86BD-22EEBFC03602&Enum=110&AbsPos=2
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Old 11-22-20, 04:50 AM
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Anyone know French? I found this bi I can’t tell if the shell separates
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Old 11-22-20, 06:38 AM
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-----

Alpin hubs?

(trade publication press release of 1976)



-----

Last edited by juvela; 11-22-20 at 08:01 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 11-22-20, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----

Alpin hubs?

(trade publication press release of 1976)



-----
The high flange ones are very pretty. Also, they are 2/3 of the price of Maxi Car hubs accroding to that ad which should be a lot even at that time.
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Old 11-22-20, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
Separate the two body pieces? Did the shell “body” seem to easily come apart before you built them up?
Are the sealed as in cartridge bearings or just very close tolerance between the cone and dust cover?
I think you just going to have dig the bearings out and clean the races best you can by stuffing a rag in and moving it with a screwdriver or maybe a bent spoke or something

*UPDATE* Good thing my anxiety, and that wonky vent fan, wouldn't let me get back to sleep. I came across this but there is no informationhttps://velobase.com/ViewComponent.aspx?ID=F813D276-5805-4509-86BD-22EEBFC03602&Enum=110&AbsPos=2
No, they did not come apart easily - looks like they would need something akin to a bearing puller to take apart. But they're definitely sealed bearings as is confirmed by later posts in this thread. So total wheel disassembly to replace bearings. Guess I'll cross that bridge when it comes.
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Old 11-22-20, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post

Anyone know French? I found this bi I can’t tell if the shell separates
It's probably a tight press fit, like a bearing, not meant for servicing by the likes of me. And it would require disassembly of the wheel, of course...
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Old 11-22-20, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by alexnagui View Post
The high flange ones are very pretty. Also, they are 2/3 of the price of Maxi Car hubs accroding to that ad which should be a lot even at that time.
Yes - nice looking they are - makes me sorry I have the small flange... Finish is top notch.
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Old 11-22-20, 10:43 AM
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I might add they're extremely light.
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Old 11-22-20, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
Anyone know French? I found this bi I can’t tell if the shell separates
If you are still interested I can translate the documents for you. Let me know

Gill
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Old 11-22-20, 11:36 AM
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-----

they came stock on one or two models of Motobecane ca. 1978-79, domestic european market cycles, not u.s.

production life seems to have been brief



-----
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Old 11-22-20, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Gillparis View Post
If you are still interested I can translate the documents for you. Let me know

Gill
Does the advertisement say anything about servicing them?
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Old 11-22-20, 12:45 PM
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I think "graisses a vie" translates to "greased for life". This may serve as an implication that they don't expect the hubs to need or be serviced?
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Old 11-22-20, 01:05 PM
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It says they are engineered to never need adjusting or taking apart. It says the bearings are not affected by mounting the wheel (I don't know what that means in practice). They have some sort of beech rubber (buna) seal and then an internal chicane to make them waterproof and stop anything making its way in from the outside. As a result they are designed to never need servicing and are greased for life (as someone said).

So I think the idea is that you leave them as they are and assuming the seals are holding up then all should be OK.

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Old 11-22-20, 01:15 PM
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"for life" may in this case imply they have reached the end. But I wouldn't quit without a (long and risky) fight: f you disassemble the wheel they just need to (important detail) make alignment marks for re-assembly, pull those flanges off with whatever kluge works and does not damage any of the 3 pieces...THEN consider if you can press/pull out the cartridge bearings OR best to leave them and do an in-place flush and re-grease ala the method that miamijim detailed in his very handy how-to "wiki". As said, a "long and risky fight" but these hubs seem worth some hassle (IMO). Also consider that LocTite (green) may be necessary for re-assembly to ensure tight fit of the now looser press-fit of flanges to center body, BUT once they are spoked and under tension the tight built wheel probably helps keep the 3-parts together...probably.
DOH! Mis-read the OP's post I thought they DID need servicing, so ignore all the above until such time as they stop being "silky" which might be decades away! As bianchgirll says the finally tightening of QR can affect the pre-load on all sorts of bearings, tho cartridge-type seem generally less prone to this than convention ball bearings. Good luck and fun to learn of yet another brand of hub that's new to me (I recently acquired some Pelissier hubs and those are 'silky" too!)

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Old 11-22-20, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by msl109 View Post
No, they did not come apart easily - looks like they would need something akin to a bearing puller to take apart. But they're definitely sealed bearings as is confirmed by later posts in this thread. So total wheel disassembly to replace bearings. Guess I'll cross that bridge when it comes.
Perhaps this will answer you question.

Originally Posted by Gillparis View Post
It says they are engineered to never need adjusting or taking apart. It says the bearings are not affected by mounting the wheel (I don't know what that means in practice). They have some sort of beech rubber (buna) seal and then an internal chicane to make them waterproof and stop anything making its way in from the outside. As a result they are designed to never need servicing and are greased for life (as someone said).

So I think the idea is that you leave them as they are and assuming the seals are holding up then all should be OK.
Thank You

Sometimes (don't understand why) but clamping the skewer can effect the axle adjustment. I know weird right but it was something I was told to watch for.
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Old 11-22-20, 02:26 PM
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I rebuild a lot of hubs at the Bike Exchange and have noticed the same thing. It should be noted that it only applies to quick release hubs where the clamping pressure compresses the axle. If there is any play in a hub with a nutted axle, it will still be there when the wheel is bolted up in the bike.

One of the things that troubles me about the design of these Alpin hubs is that the drive torque has to pass through two "press fits" to deliver any torque to the NDS hub flange. To me, that just seems like a less desirable design choice compared to the conventional way of using a single forging that includes the freewheel mounting and flanges into one unit - the same way that I think most would prefer that the crankset spider be forged integrally with the crankarm as opposed to swaging a flat plate to the arm at the point of highest stress.
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Old 11-22-20, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
Perhaps this will answer you question.



Thank You

Sometimes (don't understand why) but clamping the skewer can effect the axle adjustment. I know weird right but it was something I was told to watch for.
Steel parts seem hard and rigid, but steel is elastic just like all other solid materials. Frames, spokes, axles, QR skewers (and even steel and ceramic bearing balls and races) are all elastic!

So, tightening the skewer stretches the steel skewer a bit, measured in thousandths of an inch, perhaps as much as a half-millimeter(?) which is about 20 thousandths.

As the skewer stretches, also the axle compresses, which acts on the bearing adjustment since the hubshell resists compressing.
For the axle assembly bearings to not be affected by QR tightening, the bearings would need to "float" on the axle (or within the hubshell), and with some kind of compressible spring washer in place to prevent this float from causing play. Such a spring washer can substitute for any kind of bearing adjuster.
Phil wood hubs had no spring washer or bearing adjuster, so as the bearings wore in use there was freeplay that couldn't be corrected until the axle came out for bearing service. Fortunately this play is hardly noticeable while riding (I'm riding on old Phil hubs these days, which came on my recent Nishiki OSP find).
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Old 11-22-20, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
Perhaps this will answer you question.



Thank You

Sometimes (don't understand why) but clamping the skewer can effect the axle adjustment. I know weird right but it was something I was told to watch for.
Thanks for the translation - so it seems they were never intended for servicing. Guess I'll hope the 40+ yo grease i there has aged well!

As to clamping the hub, I know that has an effect with cup and cone designs but not sure why it would be relevant with a cartridge bearing (?)
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Old 11-24-20, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
"for life" may in this case imply they have reached the end. But I wouldn't quit without a (long and risky) fight: f you disassemble the wheel they just need to (important detail) make alignment marks for re-assembly, pull those flanges off with whatever kluge works and does not damage any of the 3 pieces...THEN consider if you can press/pull out the cartridge bearings OR best to leave them and do an in-place flush and re-grease ala the method that miamijim detailed in his very handy how-to "wiki". As said, a "long and risky fight" but these hubs seem worth some hassle (IMO). Also consider that LocTite (green) may be necessary for re-assembly to ensure tight fit of the now looser press-fit of flanges to center body, BUT once they are spoked and under tension the tight built wheel probably helps keep the 3-parts together...probably.
DOH! Mis-read the OP's post I thought they DID need servicing, so ignore all the above until such time as they stop being "silky" which might be decades away! As bianchgirll says the finally tightening of QR can affect the pre-load on all sorts of bearings, tho cartridge-type seem generally less prone to this than convention ball bearings. Good luck and fun to learn of yet another brand of hub that's new to me (I recently acquired some Pelissier hubs and those are 'silky" too!)
Yes, they don't need servicing, as they've never been used. I just have a thing about knowing I can rebuild a mechanism - not a fan of disposables. Should I ever attempt a rebuild, your advice makes a lot of sense!
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Old 11-24-20, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
"for life" may in this case imply they have reached the end. But I wouldn't quit without a (long and risky) fight: f you disassemble the wheel they just need to (important detail) make alignment marks for re-assembly, pull those flanges off with whatever kluge works and does not damage any of the 3 pieces...THEN consider if you can press/pull out the cartridge bearings OR best to leave them and do an in-place flush and re-grease ala the method that miamijim detailed in his very handy how-to "wiki". As said, a "long and risky fight" but these hubs seem worth some hassle (IMO). Also consider that LocTite (green) may be necessary for re-assembly to ensure tight fit of the now looser press-fit of flanges to center body, BUT once they are spoked and under tension the tight built wheel probably helps keep the 3-parts together...probably.
DOH! Mis-read the OP's post I thought they DID need servicing, so ignore all the above until such time as they stop being "silky" which might be decades away! As bianchgirll says the finally tightening of QR can affect the pre-load on all sorts of bearings, tho cartridge-type seem generally less prone to this than convention ball bearings. Good luck and fun to learn of yet another brand of hub that's new to me (I recently acquired some Pelissier hubs and those are 'silky" too!)
btw, not to derail, but are the Pelissiers a similar design or a more traditional one? Read somewhere that the Alpin name was an offshoot of Pelissier but I've also seen that contradicted. They certainly resemble one another with the deep stylized engraving.
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Old 11-24-20, 07:04 PM
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Have not done much looking before now, but VeloBase.com has some good pix and some info: The model 2000 Profesionnel (FR spelling?) I have are conventional 1 piece hubs with unconventionally smooth sealed bearings, to my senses these rival Mavic 500 series in silky slickness. HOWever there's a model Dural 1000 I never saw before with 3-piece alloy shell that looks suspiciously like the Alpin hubs, check them out (there's sparse info) and see what you think: VeloBase.com - Component: Pelissier Dural 1000 (high flange, 3 piece hub shell)
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Old 11-28-20, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
Have not done much looking before now, but VeloBase.com has some good pix and some info: The model 2000 Profesionnel (FR spelling?) I have are conventional 1 piece hubs with unconventionally smooth sealed bearings, to my senses these rival Mavic 500 series in silky slickness. HOWever there's a model Dural 1000 I never saw before with 3-piece alloy shell that looks suspiciously like the Alpin hubs, check them out (there's sparse info) and see what you think: VeloBase.com - Component: Pelissier Dural 1000 (high flange, 3 piece hub shell)
They look very similar, but I'm seeing wrench flats that suggest cup and cone construction in those. But they are so similar in appearance to the Alpins that I'd think the same company may have fabricated the shells at least. Most interesting is what looks like deep cut, vs cast, CNC looking logos (I believe CNC was available at the time, but certainly was not in widespread usage) We'd need someone who was immersed in the trade in Europe at the time to tell the story, I guess.
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Old 01-24-22, 12:50 PM
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Alpin 3000 high flange hubset


Cleaned up these old hubs and replaced the cartridge bearings. Now building up with Super Champion Gentleman rims and returning to a Motobecane C4C.
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