Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Mercier and BB loosening

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Mercier and BB loosening

Old 12-16-14, 01:33 AM
  #1  
commodus192
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
commodus192's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 62

Bikes: 64 Schwinn Varsity in Coppertone, 74 Raleigh Super Course MKII, 72 Mercier 300, 71 Atala Gran Prix, 2002 Trek 1200 and approximately 25 others I'm too lazy to list - of which 15 of those, are Varsity's (my fav)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mercier and BB loosening



So, in the local bike co-op where I volunteer, I spied a rusty, paint-faded, grimy Mercier frame hanging from one of the water pipes in a junk room. I took it home, scrubbed, cleaned, lubed, this, that - and finding extra vintage parts out of the scrap pile, upgraded this junker to that of clunker. Actually, it's quite pleasant to ride, despite it's rather homeless appearance - and is quite light. I live in VT, but rode it all around Manhattan recently as I often do, and have a question. The bike is french, and judging from Team Mercier images from 1972, I believe that is the year of this thing. Could be a Mercier 300, could be a 200; not sure - info is limited. But my question is, any advice on how to keep the Bottom Bracket on the left side from unthreading itself...? That is, it is regular threaded....righty tighty, and pedal loosey. I've gotten it as tight as I can, but it seems to like to slowly loosen itself after 20 miles or so. The picture of the BB and axle is from BEFORE I cleaned it, etc. It doesn't look like this any longer lol. Any help...great!

Mike
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Untitled.jpg (50.3 KB, 81 views)
File Type: jpg
untitled1.jpg (100.5 KB, 82 views)
File Type: jpg
untitled2.jpg (93.9 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg
untitled3.jpg (59.6 KB, 86 views)
commodus192 is offline  
Old 12-16-14, 03:25 AM
  #2  
CycleryNorth81
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 877

Bikes: custom Cyclery North (Chicago), Schwinn Circuit

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked 201 Times in 116 Posts
Use loctite on the rings.

https://www.amazon.com/Henkel-01-2420...ywords=loctite
CycleryNorth81 is offline  
Old 12-16-14, 03:45 AM
  #3  
Barchettaman
Senior Member
 
Barchettaman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Posts: 1,436

Bikes: Focus trash find commuter, Eddy Merckx Corsa, BP Stealth TT bike, Leader 720 TT bike, Boardman Comp Hybrid drop bar conversion, Quantec CX budget cyclocross build, SerottaNOS frameset ready to build up!

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 36 Times in 29 Posts
Yep, try Loctite Blue.
Barchettaman is offline  
Old 12-16-14, 05:58 AM
  #4  
jimmuller 
What??? Only 2 wheels?
 
jimmuller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Boston-ish, MA
Posts: 13,335

Bikes: 73 Raleigh Carlton Gran Sport, 72 Peugeot UO-8, 82 Peugeot TH8, 87 Bianchi Brava, 76? Masi Grand Criterium, 87 Centurion Ironman Expert, 74 Motobecane Champion Team, 86 & 77 Gazelle champion mondial, 81? Grandis, 82? Tommasini, 83 Peugeot PF10

Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1190 Post(s)
Liked 285 Times in 144 Posts
Why is the left side coming unscrewed? It would normally tighten itself from crank rotation. There is a lockring on it, right???

You may know all this of course but on a French bike the problem is usually on the right. Right-hand threads on both side means the right side will loosen if not really really tight. The left side should not be a problem unless the threads are damaged.
__________________
Real cyclists use toe clips.
With great bikes comes great responsibility.
jimmuller
jimmuller is offline  
Old 12-16-14, 07:15 AM
  #5  
randyjawa 
Senior Member
 
randyjawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada - burrrrr!
Posts: 10,744

Bikes: 1958 Rabeneick 120D, 1968 Legnano Gran Premio, 196? Torpado Professional, 2000 Marinoni Piuma

Mentioned: 186 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1082 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 867 Times in 522 Posts
Left side, to me, suggests the non-drive side. Is that correct? If so, the problem is likely easy to fix, but thread locking compound, like Loctite, will not do the job alone.

With the balance of the bottom bracket installed, thread in the adjustable cup (the non-drive side of the bottom bracket). Adjust the bearing play to zero or very close to it. Don't over tighten. Next, thread on the locking nut and then, holding the bottom bracket non-drive cup from turning, really tighten up the lock nut against the cup. REALLY tighten it up, using the proper tools, not a hammer and punch like some might use in place of proper tools.

Now check to ensure that the bottom bracket spindle turns freely and with NO drag or roughness. Ensure also that the bottom bracket spindle does not flop around because the bearing adjustment is too loose. And that is about it, except for frequent checks for the first couple of rides.

Perhaps some pictures will be a help and this is how I rebuild/install bottom brackets on my vintage machines...



__________________
"98% of the bikes I buy are projects".
randyjawa is offline  
Old 12-16-14, 07:15 AM
  #6  
likebike23
Rides Majestic
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Westfield, MA
Posts: 1,357

Bikes: 1983 Univega Gran Turismo, 1970 Schwinn Super Sport, 2001 Univega Modo Vincere, Self-Built Nashbar Touring, 1974 Peugeot U08, 1974 Atala Grand Prix, 1986 Ross Mt. Hood, 80's Maruishi MT-18

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
The fixed cup on my U08 was coming loose on me also. I put a wrench on it, tightened, and gave it a couple of firm taps with a dead blow hammer to make sure it was snug. Its held up fine since with no loosening.
likebike23 is offline  
Old 12-16-14, 08:16 AM
  #7  
repechage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 15,730
Mentioned: 104 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1844 Post(s)
Liked 683 Times in 535 Posts
Typically it is the fixed cup that unwinds from a French or Italian bottom bracket.
With the adjustable cup coming loose... Not enough torque on the locking, a bottom bracket shell that is not square, the face does not contact the ring fully or threads that have become damaged, most likely in the shell but possibly the other parts.
I would thread the adjustable cup in the approximately same amount as typical, no locking, no spindle and test for play. Play is bad.
Check the locking to cup fit too. Now site the locking as it meets the shell and look for a less than perfect meeting of those parts. Facing the shell would not hurt. I then would be tempted to assemble it with loctite blue. If that comes undone or the play between the adjustable cup and the shell is excessive.... Consider the bottom bracket assembly that VeloOrange has that bypasses the shell threads.
repechage is offline  
Old 12-16-14, 09:09 AM
  #8  
John E
feros ferio
 
John E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
Posts: 20,403

Bikes: 1959 Capo Modell Campagnolo; 1960 Capo Sieger (2); 1962 Carlton Franco Suisse; 1970 Peugeot UO-8; 1982 Bianchi Campione d'Italia; 1988 Schwinn Project KOM-10;

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 973 Post(s)
Liked 377 Times in 277 Posts
Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Typically it is the fixed cup that unwinds from a French or Italian bottom bracket.
With the adjustable cup coming loose... Not enough torque on the locking, a bottom bracket shell that is not square, the face does not contact the ring fully or threads that have become damaged, most likely in the shell but possibly the other parts.
I would thread the adjustable cup in the approximately same amount as typical, no locking, no spindle and test for play. Play is bad.
Check the locking to cup fit too. Now site the locking as it meets the shell and look for a less than perfect meeting of those parts. Facing the shell would not hurt. I then would be tempted to assemble it with loctite blue. If that comes undone or the play between the adjustable cup and the shell is excessive.... Consider the bottom bracket assembly that VeloOrange has that bypasses the shell threads.
I endorse this message.

I have never had an adjustable cup come loose, but I have had to resort to Loctite blue on French and Italian fixed cups, as mentioned here and above.
__________________
"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." --Theodore Roosevelt
Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
Carlton: 1962 Franco Suisse, S/N K7911
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1982 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
John E is offline  
Old 12-16-14, 10:39 AM
  #9  
unworthy1
Stop reading my posts!
 
unworthy1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 11,383
Mentioned: 71 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 773 Post(s)
Liked 350 Times in 283 Posts
+2. and go back into the BB shell with a wire brush (I use a round one on a power drill) and get both sides of those threads really clean! A wire brush will make them gleam, plus you'll really see if any are damaged. Clean the BB cup threads too, and THEN, before adding the Loctite BLUE, wipe everything down with alcohol (rubbing or denatured) and let that dry off, that way the Loctite will actually LOCK!
Best of luck...looks like it might be a 300, but at least a 200...how about some more shots of the frame details?
unworthy1 is offline  
Old 12-17-14, 01:27 AM
  #10  
commodus192
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
commodus192's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 62

Bikes: 64 Schwinn Varsity in Coppertone, 74 Raleigh Super Course MKII, 72 Mercier 300, 71 Atala Gran Prix, 2002 Trek 1200 and approximately 25 others I'm too lazy to list - of which 15 of those, are Varsity's (my fav)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I can't tell you how invaluable all of your input/information and helpful photos are. I'm definitely going to try these suggestions and being more visual than auditory, I'm going to print all this off, and reclean everything making sure the threads are spotless - and follow directions. It's a Stronglight crank, however, I have a cheapo alloy left side one on while I derust/de-spot/degrime the original arm. I attached a couple of more upclose details of the frame unworthy1 - maybe you know something about these Merciers. I've pinged it to see if it is Reynolds 531, and while it does ping - I really can't tell. Dropouts are Simplex. Even though it looks terrible, it's about the best it is ever going to look - I put a lot of time into trying to spiff it up - it's all faded. The funny thing is the man who supposedly dropped it off at the co-op, stated he was very sentimental about it......but looks tell a different story! Thank you again all - really appreciate your help. Mike
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
aa.jpg (17.6 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg
aaa.jpg (16.8 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg
aaaa.jpg (43.8 KB, 63 views)
File Type: jpg
aaaaa.jpg (42.3 KB, 64 views)
File Type: jpg
aaaaaa.jpg (44.2 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg
aaaaaaa.jpg (35.2 KB, 64 views)
File Type: jpg
aaaaaaaa.jpg (35.0 KB, 65 views)
commodus192 is offline  
Old 12-17-14, 05:57 AM
  #11  
jimmuller 
What??? Only 2 wheels?
 
jimmuller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Boston-ish, MA
Posts: 13,335

Bikes: 73 Raleigh Carlton Gran Sport, 72 Peugeot UO-8, 82 Peugeot TH8, 87 Bianchi Brava, 76? Masi Grand Criterium, 87 Centurion Ironman Expert, 74 Motobecane Champion Team, 86 & 77 Gazelle champion mondial, 81? Grandis, 82? Tommasini, 83 Peugeot PF10

Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1190 Post(s)
Liked 285 Times in 144 Posts
Originally Posted by commodus192 View Post
I have a cheapo alloy left side one on while I derust/de-spot/degrime the original arm.
In that case I feel obligated to make you aware of two points. First, the style police will come after you if you aren't careful. We C&V'ers are pretty tolerant but the S.P aren't. Just in case you are ever stopped, carry with you at all time documents detailing your intent to clean up the other arm, preferably with pics.

Second, the difference in performance between the two crank arms may cause handling problems. With the right side wanting to move faster than the left the bike will tend to pull to the left and have difficulty making right-hand turns. Take it for a test ride in a large empty parking lot, preferably a very large lot empty on a Sunday morning. You don't want to be surprised on the road.



Neat bike!
__________________
Real cyclists use toe clips.
With great bikes comes great responsibility.
jimmuller
jimmuller is offline  
Old 12-17-14, 11:03 AM
  #12  
unworthy1
Stop reading my posts!
 
unworthy1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 11,383
Mentioned: 71 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 773 Post(s)
Liked 350 Times in 283 Posts
graphics and headlugs look more like a model 100 (200 usually had BCM lugs and forged Simplex dropouts rather than these "stamped" Simplex DOs, plus a different forkcrown).
Perhaps the seat post size would nail it: a 200 had plain-gauge 531 seattube, so in the metric world that would use a...huh, I dunno!?
Will Chas or another French expert please chime in?
unworthy1 is offline  
Old 12-17-14, 11:09 AM
  #13  
repechage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 15,730
Mentioned: 104 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1844 Post(s)
Liked 683 Times in 535 Posts
Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
graphics and headlugs look more like a model 100 (200 usually had BCM lugs and forged Simplex dropouts rather than these "stamped" Simplex DOs, plus a different forkcrown).
Perhaps the seat post size would nail it: a 200 had plain-gauge 531 seattube, so in the metric world that would use a...huh, I dunno!?
Will Chas or another French expert please chime in?
A large number of decent quality French frames will use a 26.4 mm seat post… some 26.6 mm. I have been surprised from time to time, I have a Motobecane Grand Jubile that takes a 26.6… I was expecting a 26.4.
A smaller diameter that those just mentioned points to a thicker, less expensive tube set.
repechage is offline  
Old 12-17-14, 11:16 AM
  #14  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 9,508

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 102 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2874 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,385 Times in 940 Posts
The trick I've used to tighten French right hand cups. Start the cup in the BB and get as tight as possible. Place the cup flats in a bench vise (this will require hanging the frame from the ceiling probably or some very patient friends), tighten the vise jaws and do the final tightening using the frame as your wrench handle.

Reverse the process to loosen.

This works. But you may have guessed I am not a huge fan of French frames (and I will never own another French threaded BB).

Ben
79pmooney is offline  
Old 12-18-14, 02:26 PM
  #15  
dddd
Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race
 
dddd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern California
Posts: 7,983

Bikes: Cheltenham-Pederson racer, Boulder F/S Paris-Roubaix, Varsity racer, '52 Christophe, '62 Continental, '92 Merckx, '75 Limongi, '76 Presto, '72 Gitane SC, '71 Schwinn SS, etc.

Mentioned: 112 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1066 Post(s)
Liked 496 Times in 353 Posts
Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
+2. and go back into the BB shell with a wire brush (I use a round one on a power drill) and get both sides of those threads really clean! A wire brush will make them gleam, plus you'll really see if any are damaged. Clean the BB cup threads too, and THEN, before adding the Loctite BLUE, wipe everything down with alcohol (rubbing or denatured) and let that dry off, that way the Loctite will actually LOCK!
Best of luck...looks like it might be a 300, but at least a 200...how about some more shots of the frame details?

This ^^ is good advice, and touches on an issue that recently came up on the CR list iir.

The adjustable cup loosing isn't caused by the threading's direction, since the cup likely isn't unwinding itself outward, but is simply becoming loose enough to lose adjustment and perhaps rock within the threaded junction, much like often occurs with hastily-installed English fixed cups on cheap-bike assembly lines.

But, any cup not properly tightened (i.e. with metal-on-metal at the threads, instead of perhaps a metal-dirt-metal sandwich) will of course lose it's tightening tension when pedaling forces are applied to the bb.

My approach to dealing with the adjustable cup getting securely tightened is to first do a preliminary adjustment that allows me to set up the cup and lockring position such that the final tightening has me turning the cup and lockring together, as one, into final adjustment, using both a lockring spanner and a pin tool simultaneously. This way, as the cup is turning in the bb shell (and not just the lockring turning on the cup's threads) any dirt that is trapped in the bb shell threads yields to the mating surfaces since the surfaces are kept moving. And as for the lockring's threads, there is far more tightening stress on this narrow band of 4-5 threads, so any dirt here will be more forcibly displaced from thread mating surfaces than in the bb shell itself.

On the fixed-cup side, there is a lot more tightening torque being applied, so here there is little chance of dirt getting in the way of secure tightening, though the cheap bikes often don't get sufficient torque applied at the factory.
dddd is offline  
Old 12-18-14, 02:31 PM
  #16  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 39,931

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 485 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6880 Post(s)
Liked 1,513 Times in 957 Posts
Folks, please pay attention. His left cup is coming out, so why post tips on keeping the right cup in?
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 12-18-14, 05:02 PM
  #17  
juvela
Senior Member
 
juvela's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Alta California
Posts: 10,729
Mentioned: 302 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2505 Post(s)
Liked 808 Times in 639 Posts
+3 what unworthy1 said

looks like 1972 to me also. wonder if fork original to cycle...the blades certainly appear as if they must be longer than the originals.

Last edited by juvela; 12-18-14 at 07:41 PM. Reason: clarification
juvela is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Seabass_First
Classic & Vintage
29
03-15-16 10:08 AM
Treker
Bicycle Mechanics
1
07-31-14 09:35 AM
retyred
Classic & Vintage
26
05-05-14 03:23 PM
captainsparkle
Classic & Vintage
23
07-24-13 11:30 AM
veyrf
Classic & Vintage
12
06-10-12 09:55 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.