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Classic Cranks Advice for 3-speed with Chaincase Please!

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Classic Cranks Advice for 3-speed with Chaincase Please!

Old 11-16-10, 05:51 PM
  #26  
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You know a lot, Neal. Take a look at your own fleet as a reminder. And yes, it is brutally ugly. Looks like a ship repairman made it.
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Old 11-16-10, 06:01 PM
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On a side note, I never understood those VO chaincases...

I mean, a proper (covering both sides) chainguard should cover most everything you'd need to keep your pants dry, and it's not like that chaincase is fully enclosed, so you don't even get the benefit of having a perma-lubed chain...
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Old 11-16-10, 06:02 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Here's the V-O chaincase. Note that the crank arm is the Nervar equivalent of the Stronglight 49D or TA Pro Vis 5. I guess there's enough clearance:

neal, i have that chaincase, waiting to be installed on my jeunet. it will fit, but *barely*. in fact, the reason i've held off installing it is because i don't want to have to spend hours getting it just right so that it doesn't rub with the provided hardware, which is less than rigid. note that it does not have a rolled edge at the crank opening, it's totally flat-- i think that's why it'll work. i think velouria's chaincase is thicker because of the rolled/scuplted edge.

Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
No, no. I personally think that chaincase is brutally ugly, but, then again, what do I know?
hey, i resemble that remark! actually, i have mine powder coated the same color as the bike, and i think it will look great once installed. i just have to get around to installing it.
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Old 11-16-10, 07:07 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
hey, i resemble that remark! actually, i have mine powder coated the same color as the bike, and i think it will look great once installed. i just have to get around to installing it.
Sorry, Anton! I did remember you have that chaincase, and no reason to share my aesthetic--after all, I'm the one fond of mounting rings on the inside of the crank spider. The horror!

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Old 11-16-10, 07:10 PM
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Neal - Thanks, I would love to give those a try if you can find the 2nd one.

Personally, I like the VO chaincase, on the right kind of bike. But on this one I'd rather stick with the manufacturer's chaincase - it is very nice and absolutely silent.
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Old 11-16-10, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Sorry, Anton! I did remember you have that chaincase, and no reason to share my aesthetic--after all, I'm the one fond of mounting rings on the inside of the crank spider. The horror!

Neal
ha, no worries, neal! i do agree that that case can look bad in certain applications!
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Old 11-16-10, 07:58 PM
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The problem with the Nervar crank, or TA Pro 5 vis or Stronglight 49 would be finding a chainwheel that's small (42's what OP wants), wouldn't it?
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Old 11-16-10, 08:08 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by archashwell View Post
The problem with the Nervar crank, or TA Pro 5 vis or Stronglight 49 would be finding a chainwheel that's small (42's what OP wants), wouldn't it?
i don't know if they're still made, and they might not pop up often, but you can find old 42T outer rings. it's the one that has the "cyclotouriste" 80 BCD inner bolt hole pattern in addition to the 50.4 BCD crank holes. it was TA's model 205 (ref:205). i think 42T was the smallest in that model. i don't know if stronglight or nervar made similar rings.
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Old 11-16-10, 08:22 PM
  #34  
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Veloria, I think your the result of your effort will have very diminished returns. Really I don't think anyone will ever notice the crank. Perhaps ride the bike for a year, accumulate some dust and dirt on the cranks and they will probably not be an issue visually. Anyway, I think they look fine just the way they are.

PS How about a pic of the rest of the bike?
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Old 11-16-10, 08:42 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
i don't know if they're still made, and they might not pop up often, but you can find old 42T outer rings. it's the one that has the "cyclotouriste" 80 BCD inner bolt hole pattern in addition to the 50.4 BCD crank holes. it was TA's model 205 (ref:205). i think 42T was the smallest in that model. i don't know if stronglight or nervar made similar rings.
I actually have a 40t outer ring. I'll have to check the manufacturer--Stronglight, I think. I used it on my winter commuter last year for some seriously low single-speed gearing (40t crank ring, 22t freewheel).

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Old 11-16-10, 08:49 PM
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I'm not generally a Shimano fan, but here's an early 600 series crank that has vintage appeal:

Seller's in France, with $16 shipping, but they do sell more locally on eBay too.
Here's the auction. Small ring is a 39.
And the good thing is that it's a JIS taper crank, with 130 BCD, easy to find chainrings.
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Old 11-17-10, 06:54 AM
  #37  
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Veloria, I may have found what you need in my parts bin. It's a lower-middle-grade Sugino crank from the 80's, 170 mm aluminum arms swaged to an aluminum spider for 110 bcd rings. Since it's swaged, the contact area between the spider and the crank arm is quite small, comparable to the TA/Nervar/Stronglight/Velo Orange ones shown above; and since it's got removable chain rings, you can put any size on there you want (42's are readily available).

Will it fit? Dunno for sure, but there's about 5 mm space between the spider and the crank arm, which opens up to about 10 mm of space between the outer chain ring and the crank arm (enough space for a chainring guard bolted to the outer ring). I think that just might be enough, depending on spindle length and how adjustable your chain case is.

Can't show photos right now, my camera is awol; but in overall proportions it's like the one archashwell showed above. Just slightly cheaper looking, and bearing a patina of 25 years of oxidation.

I don't have a 42T ring for it, nor a set of chain ring bolts, but you can find those. Let me know if interested.
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Old 11-17-10, 09:42 AM
  #38  
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I had the same problem retrofitting bike with a full chaincase. Original crank was made of lead or something, so I didn't want to re-use it. Main problem of course was the central part of possible replacement cranks being too large for the hole in the "pie plate" chaincase cover. I had the added problem of needing a tiny chainring to get the gearing right for the rider, so I ended up going with a new FG crank and leaving off the pie plate. Here are a couple of things I tried; since you want to use a reasonable sized ring, something like this may work for you. Super Maxy is probably easy to find and has a swaged spider, so it might fit. I also considered using this less-classic but probably available shimano mountain triple and hacking off the attachment points for the outer rings. I couldn't bring myself to do that, however.


Last edited by Roll-Monroe-Co; 11-17-10 at 09:46 AM. Reason: additional detail
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Old 11-17-10, 10:02 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
For extra chaincase clearance, I imagine you could mount the TA ring on the inside of the spider, though I've never seen that done. But is a TA outer ring available as small as 42T?
I've seen them as small as 32T, for tandem timing chains.
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Old 11-17-10, 10:02 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Andrew F View Post
Veloria, I think your the result of your effort will have very diminished returns. Really I don't think anyone will ever notice the crank. Perhaps ride the bike for a year, accumulate some dust and dirt on the cranks and they will probably not be an issue visually. Anyway, I think they look fine just the way they are.

PS How about a pic of the rest of the bike?
+1
At first glance my eye is drawn to the plastic pedal (you're too stylish for such things!). A classic looking pedal and a metal or chrome plated, plastic dustcap will go a long way in the looks department, I think.
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Old 11-17-10, 10:33 AM
  #41  
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+1 to plastic pedal

I've was looking at the pics of your bike and thinking about the cranks, and what really ruins the look for me is the dustcap. The cranks are a little on the thick side, and remind me a bit of my kitchen faucet, but really the plastic pedals coupled with the plastic dustcap give a feeling of 'cheap plumbing' to the look of those cranks. A way to break up the wideness of the cranks would be to run a tasteful bit of pinstriping down the center, or handpaint a stencil design. If it was me, I'd probably epoxy some beer caps from my favorite microbrew to the existing dustcaps, but that's a different type of aestetic. But for simplicity, new chrome dustcaps and metal pedals might go a long way to changing the look for the better.
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Old 11-17-10, 10:38 AM
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I know I'm late to the party, and Velouria may have already sourced something, but I had a Fuji crank set ( Forged Japan 171 G-2) with a swaged on 52t chain ring, with 110 bcd holes on the spider for a smaller ring. It has quite a bit of clearance between the arm and the ring / spider.
I was wanting a 42 ring only for my SS shop bike, so I sawed off ( I know, drewed) the large chain ring and left the spider, and fit the smaller ring only. No spacers required, so I needed thin chain ring bolts.

It worked out well, and in your application the Drew would not be seen.
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Old 11-17-10, 12:04 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Andrew F View Post
Veloria, I think your the result of your effort will have very diminished returns. Really I don't think anyone will ever notice the crank.
Au contraire, Andrew F. That slender, old school crank arm MAKES the look!
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Old 11-17-10, 01:32 PM
  #44  
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Au contraire, Andrew F. That slender, old school crank arm MAKES the look!
Hmmmm... on your BSA, it's the entire deal; Chainring, crank and guard, its's all visible. But on Veloria's bike the Chaincase covers everything but the crank. What I'm saying is- that as the two previous posters have noted- replace the pedal and dustcap and I think the crank will not be such an issue. Would it be sweet to have a thin crank, yeah but I don't think it's as big of an issue. Anyway seems like a lot of money when a few simple changes and some road grime may soften things up a bit.

I'm finding it a bit funny that most of us spend less on entire bicycles than what we are suggesting Veloria spend to update her cranks.
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Old 11-17-10, 01:35 PM
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Yes but its really fun to spend other people's money
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Old 11-17-10, 04:04 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Andrew F View Post
Veloria, I think your the result of your effort will have very diminished returns. Really I don't think anyone will ever notice the crank. Perhaps ride the bike for a year, accumulate some dust and dirt on the cranks and they will probably not be an issue visually. Anyway, I think they look fine just the way they are.

PS How about a pic of the rest of the bike?
See here for a flickr set of the bike.

Overall I guess I agree with you. I am friendly with the manufacturer, and they've already told me that this is what they've been able to come up with given the chaincase. I agree that the cranks are not that bad, and several European "modern classic" bicycle manufacturers use them. It's just that the bicycle frame is so beautiful, that it "calls out to me" for something more period-appropriate. The manufacturer uses what I think is a modern Stronglight crankset on a chaincase-less version of the same bike, but the ring won't fit inside the chaincase (which I love and am not giving up).

Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
+1
At first glance my eye is drawn to the plastic pedal (you're too stylish for such things!). A classic looking pedal and a metal or chrome plated, plastic dustcap will go a long way in the looks department, I think.
The pedals are CatEye and are pretty good (as in effective), so I am afraid to mess with what feels good. But if I replace them, I am thinking MKS rubber block pedals. This is a 3-speed city bike, so I want to ride it in all of my normal shoes and metal pedals can be slippery in the rain.

Originally Posted by Roll-Monroe-Co View Post
Au contraire, Andrew F. That slender, old school crank arm MAKES the look!
https://farm5.static.flickr.com/4090/...0e482734_b.jpg
Oh right, taunt me with your beautiful BSA cranks and sexy chainguard. Very nice!
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Old 11-17-10, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Veloria, I may have found what you need in my parts bin. It's a lower-middle-grade Sugino crank from the 80's, 170 mm aluminum arms swaged to an aluminum spider for 110 bcd rings. Since it's swaged, the contact area between the spider and the crank arm is quite small, comparable to the TA/Nervar/Stronglight/Velo Orange ones shown above; and since it's got removable chain rings, you can put any size on there you want (42's are readily available).

Will it fit? Dunno for sure, but there's about 5 mm space between the spider and the crank arm, which opens up to about 10 mm of space between the outer chain ring and the crank arm (enough space for a chainring guard bolted to the outer ring). I think that just might be enough, depending on spindle length and how adjustable your chain case is.

Can't show photos right now, my camera is awol; but in overall proportions it's like the one archashwell showed above. Just slightly cheaper looking, and bearing a patina of 25 years of oxidation.

I don't have a 42T ring for it, nor a set of chain ring bolts, but you can find those. Let me know if interested.
Re this and other advice for cranksets that are doubles to begin with - I don't think my mechanical abilities are up to understanding how to convert them to single ring cranksets without destroying my bike, and the resident mechanic's new work schedule is such that his helping days are over for now. So I'd love to give it a try, but I'll need to read your post 3 more times just to understand it first : )
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Old 11-17-10, 04:35 PM
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You know we're here to help. We've walked moderately unskilled people through some complicated tasks here.

That is a gorgeous bike, and those are very artful pictures.
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Old 11-17-10, 04:51 PM
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What worries me about messing with the doubles, is that I might install a crankset that will seem right but will distort the BB or mess up the frame in some other way as I ride it. This has happened to a couple of people I know, so I am weary of it.
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Old 11-17-10, 05:00 PM
  #50  
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really the only ways I could imagine a crankset doing damage to your bike is if its rubbing the chainstay or if you're installing a crankset onto the wrong type of spindle (ISO on JIS or vice versa). Even if you're installing the crankset on the wrong type of spindle if you do get damage to anything its to the crankset not the frame or BB.


or I suppose if you switched to massively longer crank arms and got tons of pedal strike but thats a pretty outlandish suggestion.
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