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Cyclo vintage cotter pins

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Cyclo vintage cotter pins

Old 02-11-22, 09:21 PM
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big chainring 
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Cyclo vintage cotter pins

These are genius! Wonder why they didnt become the norm? Remove the small nut on small end, tighten nut on larger end... self extracting! Anyone seen these before?
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Old 02-11-22, 09:56 PM
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Make some and bring them to market.
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Old 02-11-22, 10:04 PM
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Wondering why they didn't take off.
Came out when switch made to cotterless cranks?
Bolts snapped when seized in crank arm and you torqued them?
One company had a trademark?
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Old 02-12-22, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by WGB View Post
Wondering why they didn't take off.
Common practice is to drive the cotters home and use the nut to retain them; the larger section threads would not tolerate this.

But they'd work once, same as normal cotters...
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Old 02-12-22, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
Make some and bring them to market.
Yeah, I would be tempted to buy a couple of those...
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Old 02-12-22, 07:55 AM
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As previously suggested, I doubt these were very reliable or durable and they would have cost about twice the price of a standard cotter pin. Most home mechanics and bicycle shops would likely have been reluctant to pay double the price for what they considered to be a one time use item, even if it was slightly more convenient. In the long run, they were probably better off financially by investing in a cotter pin press and using standard cotter pins.
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Old 02-12-22, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
As previously suggested, I doubt these were very reliable or durable and they would have cost about twice the price of a standard cotter pin. Most home mechanics and bicycle shops would likely have been reluctant to pay double the price for what they considered to be a one time use item, even if it was slightly more convenient. In the long run, they were probably better off financially by investing in a cotter pin press and using standard cotter pins.
On the facebook group I got this picture from, several posters remember them as a quality component. Not a one time use item. Made servicing BB's easy. The price of a cotterpin in the 60's?...25 cents? Maybe these Cyclo's were a dollar? I didnt know anything like this even existed. I would imagine by the mid 60's that steel cottered cranks were phasing out. The cotterless alloy crankset was a leap forward.
My one one nice Stronglight cottered crank from early 60's is really a beautiful piece with nicely machined BB spindle. I've used it on 4 different bikes. Cotterpins go in easy, the cranks sit 180 degrees apart and best of all the cotters come out fairly easy too. By the late 60's the steel cranks and BB spindles were crude in comparison.
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Old 02-12-22, 11:14 AM
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My comments were with respect to the current marketplace.

If I understand it correctly, there is a shortage of quality cotters and almost no one has cotter pin press. I used to beat mine with a hammer to get them out. The pins and the BB bearings did not last long.

The thought was, instead of selling standard pins and a tool, sell self-extracting pins into the current market - no tool needed.

Meh, it was just a thought.
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Old 02-12-22, 08:41 PM
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That thread looks too small to extract a hard pressed cotter pin.
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Old 02-12-22, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
I used to beat mine with a hammer to get them out. The pins and the BB bearings did not last long.
I don't think it's possible to damage a quality BB bearing by hammering on it. I have done this experiment, many times (a hundred? five hundred? My shop days go back to '71 and I did it at home before then.) The Williams cranks on my one-owner '71 Super Course have been out maybe 5 times in the last 50 years for bearing greasing, and the races still look great.

I don't remember ever running into a bearing so soft that cotter hammering could damage it, but there may have been some crappy brand I didn't run into, or I just don't remember.

My main worry with the double-threaded ones is hammering on the backside to seat them might mushroom the end so the extracting nut can't ever come off. Though maybe it would never need to come off, eh? Or maybe you can hammer with the nut backed off so far that the hammer is hitting the nut, not the cotter's male thread. Yeah I guess that's how I'd do it. Use a punch with a concave face, so the punch is htting on the outer rim of the nut, not centered where it could hurt the female thread. Luckily my cotter-hammering punch does have a nice concave face.

You know you can't set the cotter tight enough just by tightening the nut, right? The nut is just to hold it in, after setting with a hammer or a powerful press. For the same reason, I have my doubts the backside nut will be strong enough to pull out a well-hammered pin, especially after some years have passed.

I'd be curious enough to give 'em a try though, if I had any. Interesting idea.

Advice I repeat any time cotter extraction comes up: Heat is such a help that I use it first, before even trying it cold. Even a blow-dryer can help though a heat-gun or propane torch is better. Get the whole area (crank cotter and spindle) good and hot, even too hot to touch, like when the oil starts smoking, and then "strike while the iron is hot". Note it is possible to go too hot. Glowing orange would not be good!

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Old 02-13-22, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
I don't think it's possible to damage a quality BB bearing by hammering on it.
(snip)
I don't remember ever running into a bearing so soft that cotter hammering could damage it, but there may have been some crappy brand I didn't run into, or I just don't remember.
I have removed hemispherical ball bearing parts from my BB. Maybe it wasn't the hammering on an unsupported crank, then again, what cracked them? Yes, it was a cheap bike.

No, there was no way I was going to buy a cotter press. Cotters were readily available and inexpensive and I was just a kid with no money, no guidance, no mentor, no tools,... except a hammer. :-).
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Old 02-13-22, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
[snip] no mentor, no tools,... except a hammer. :-).
I worked at a big shop in the early '70s that kept the lights on in winter by offering a half-price complete overhaul. Most of the bikes we worked on had cottered cranks, so I'm sure I did hundreds of them at a rate of maybe 5 a week? Or a dozen? Memory is weak. Some of the bikes were very old even then and hadn't been worked on for a long time.

But we always hammered them out, and hammered them in. Never once was stumped, or had to drill one out or anything else but the hammer and punch. With a few tricks, like heat, a good cup-faced punch, and a pipe from the crank to the floor, they almost always came out with one whack. Usually we re-used the old cotters if they hadn't been ridden loose, that ruins them. To re-install, I set them with one big whack and they never came loose after we installed them. Heavy hammer, full swing, and the pipe to the floor to concentrate the impulse, not let it get dispersed through the frame and the tires or the bike stand. The pipe also takes the impact off the bearings, though as I said I'm not convinced that's necessary. But it can't hurt. Any old length of plumbing pipe big enough to fit over the cotter (I use 1/2" pipe), with a floor flange screwed onto the other end. Longer length to allow you to do this job in the bike stand, or shorter if you want to do it with the tires on the floor. Either way works but tires on the floor way is harder to balance the bike while hammering.

I still like hammering them, on the rare occasion I'm working on cotters. I have a VAR #07 cotter press, the giant one, but I find it unwieldy and slow, so it's a wall-hanger — bike shop decor.

Oh yeah my cup-faced punch is just another old cottered crank spindle, that has decorative dimples in the ends. The dimple just fits the end (either end) of a cotter, holds it on-center, and spreads the impact force well to keep from mushrooming the pin. Those spindles were almost always decent steel and heat-treated to be tough not brittle, so they make good punches, you just gotta find one with the "innie" dimples on the outer faces. Wear eye protection! Mine hasn't chipped or shattered in all these years but you might get one that's more brittle. Hold the punch with pliers so your hand is away from the hammer's trajectory. I think most people will flinch if their hand is right in the path, resulting in a less accurate and/or weaker hammer strike.

Thant's all I know!

Last edited by bulgie; 02-13-22 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 02-13-22, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
That thread looks too small to extract a hard pressed cotter pin.
Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
I don't think it's possible to damage a quality BB bearing by hammering on it. I have done this experiment, many times (a hundred? five hundred? My shop days go back to '71 and I did it at home before then.) The Williams cranks on my one-owner '71 Super Course have been out maybe 5 times in the last 50 years for bearing greasing, and the races still look great.

Mark B
English cotters need to be seen in the context of the metallurgy and quality workmanship coming out of England both pre and post war. Tolerances were good, steel was hard, threads were rolled, competing marques used compatible equipment. Many older cottered cranks I've removed (>100?) have been hammered until I bought both a Park and a VAR press. As time when on, some 'lesser' cottered cranks entered the market and cotters got soft so they could be mashed into an ill-fitting crank without labour intensive filing. Those are the ones that are hard to get out.

TDC, Bayliss-Wiley, Chater-lea, and Phillips (British Made?) BB's were mostly bombproof...Raleighs too. Easy to snug up if a hammering jostles them a bit.

I can't speak for Italian and french units.

Last edited by clubman; 02-13-22 at 08:25 PM.
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