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French steering tube

Old 08-09-21, 12:25 PM
  #1  
cdaniels
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French steering tube

Can anyone here rethread or shorten a French steering tube for a Peugeot? Or know someone that can? I have a fork for a PX10 that needs to be 93mm shorter than it currently is.
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Old 08-09-21, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by cdaniels View Post
Can anyone here rethread or shorten a French steering tube for a Peugeot? Or know someone that can? I have a fork for a PX10 that needs to be 93mm shorter than it currently is.
First recommendation would be to move this to the Classic & Vintage forum. Lotsa Francophilia over there, and we're a pretty friendly bunch.

Second recommendation is to find the nearest framebuilder to you and have them quote you a price to do the job right. A PX10 is too nice of a bike to take a hacksaw to the fork. Also, it's the fork. There are places on bicycles where hackery is not recommended. The steerer tube is at the very tippy-top of that list... If it breaks, you can die. And since no bike shop is gonna touch this with a barge pole, I'd guess that your choices are:

1) Find the right fork. This will be a challenge, as trashed frames with untrashed forks are scarce. (Usually it's the other way around.)

2) Have a framebuilder do it. They may want to braze a new steerer tube into the fork, as you're talking about a significant change in length. (Or so it seems to me... but I'm just a low-grade bike wrench who's never put flame to steel in his life, so take that for what it's worth.) If you do end up needing the steerer replaced, use a standard 1" non-French steerer and headset, so you're not stuck trying to find 40-year-old French stems of the right length in good shape for sane money. You'll also need new handlebars, because of course the French had their own standard for those too. (If they could have figured out how to make handlebar tape that would only fit French bikes, they would have.)

3) Get to hackin' and threadin'. You're on your own with that. I wouldn't.

--Shannon
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Old 08-09-21, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by cdaniels View Post
Can anyone here rethread or shorten a French steering tube for a Peugeot? Or know someone that can? I have a fork for a PX10 that needs to be 93mm shorter than it currently is.
Where are you located? I have metric steer tube dies.
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Old 08-09-21, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ShannonM View Post
First recommendation would be to move this to the Classic & Vintage forum. Lotsa Francophilia over there, and we're a pretty friendly bunch.

Second recommendation is to find the nearest framebuilder to you and have them quote you a price to do the job right. A PX10 is too nice of a bike to take a hacksaw to the fork. Also, it's the fork. There are places on bicycles where hackery is not recommended. The steerer tube is at the very tippy-top of that list... If it breaks, you can die. And since no bike shop is gonna touch this with a barge pole, I'd guess that your choices are:

1) Find the right fork. This will be a challenge, as trashed frames with untrashed forks are scarce. (Usually it's the other way around.)

2) Have a framebuilder do it. They may want to braze a new steerer tube into the fork, as you're talking about a significant change in length. (Or so it seems to me... but I'm just a low-grade bike wrench who's never put flame to steel in his life, so take that for what it's worth.) If you do end up needing the steerer replaced, use a standard 1" non-French steerer and headset, so you're not stuck trying to find 40-year-old French stems of the right length in good shape for sane money. You'll also need new handlebars, because of course the French had their own standard for those too. (If they could have figured out how to make handlebar tape that would only fit French bikes, they would have.)

3) Get to hackin' and threadin'. You're on your own with that. I wouldn't.

--Shannon
+1 on checking in the C&V forum. Maybe you cdaniels might find someone with a too-short PX10 fork who would like to trade, rather than modifying yours.
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Old 08-10-21, 03:13 PM
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Hacksaw. 25x1 die. LBS if you don’t want to own the die or can’t figure this out. Don’t cut off all of that 93mm excess, stack some spacers. All kinds of reasons you may want a longer steerer later.

If your LBS can’t handle this one you need a different LBS.
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Old 08-11-21, 08:11 AM
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Extend the headset assembly.

Here's a simple hack that works:

Don't cut anything.

If the top cup threads down on the bearings just use spacers.

If the unthreaded section of the steerer tube is above the top race, and you can't get the cup adjusted down, do the following:

File the threads out of the top bearing cup. Slip it over the steerer, beyond the threaded section. Get an additional top nut, file out the shoulder above the threads. Use spacers to take up the gap between the top cup and two lock nuts. Lock the two top nuts together.

Done.

Last edited by tinkerbike; 08-11-21 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 08-11-21, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by cdaniels View Post
Can anyone here rethread or shorten a French steering tube for a Peugeot? Or know someone that can? I have a fork for a PX10 that needs to be 93mm shorter than it currently is.
AHHHHHHHH - just put a threadless headset and carbon fork on it. (Origin 8 makes a 1" fork steering tube) You also have the problem of being difficult to find old style stems and it is difficult to get the correct length. I started with a PX-10 and loved it but it handles FAR too slowly for a bike these days and it is still stuck with the flexy frame. If you must have a steel bike find a Basso Loto or a Masi made in the USA. Threaded forks are so out of it that you might as well spend all of your time looking for 60 yr old parts.

If you are attempting a restoration that is another matter. Most cities of any size have a frame builder and most frame builders have French dies or know where to borrow one.
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Old 08-12-21, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by cdaniels View Post
just use spacers.
Nearly 10cm of spacers in threaded headset?

Anything more than 6mm looks botched.
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Old 08-12-21, 05:00 AM
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OP has done the only difficult part of this job. He found a suitable fork. The rest is completely straightforward. 25x1 is not an unusual die size. Quick search says they are $15-$60.

There is is no need to make this one complicated. Cut the steerer. Cut the thread.
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Old 08-12-21, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
OP has done the only difficult part of this job. He found a suitable fork. The rest is completely straightforward. 25x1 is not an unusual die size. Quick search says they are $15-$60.

There is is no need to make this one complicated. Cut the steerer. Cut the thread.
The dies are not terribly expensive, but a proper steer tube die stock is piloted to keep the die on axis. Without the pilot, you need to be very careful to prevent the die from drifting off axis.
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Old 08-12-21, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
The dies are not terribly expensive, but a proper steer tube die stock is piloted to keep the die on axis. Without the pilot, you need to be very careful to prevent the die from drifting off axis.
Good point. Iíve seen it done both ways and those who keep it straight without a pilot have some skill. Simplest way to get it done accurate w/o the pilot would be to extend the existing threads. Umm, in this case that is 93 turns of the die.

Also, for those who have not worked with threadsódo not cut too far. The expander wedge of the stem needs to engage steerer below the threading, where the metal is full thickness.
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Old 08-13-21, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Hacksaw. 25x1 die. LBS if you donít want to own the die or canít figure this out. Donít cut off all of that 93mm excess, stack some spacers. All kinds of reasons you may want a longer steerer later.

If your LBS canít handle this one you need a different LBS.
There doesn't seem to be any LBS with French dies that have been obsolete for 40 years
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Old 08-13-21, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
The dies are not terribly expensive, but a proper steer tube die stock is piloted to keep the die on axis. Without the pilot, you need to be very careful to prevent the die from drifting off axis.
The only one I have seen for sale in French threading was $200
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Old 08-13-21, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
OP has done the only difficult part of this job. He found a suitable fork. The rest is completely straightforward. 25x1 is not an unusual die size. Quick search says they are $15-$60.

There is is no need to make this one complicated. Cut the steerer. Cut the thread.
French threaded dies have been obsolete for 40 years. They are VERY expensive
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Old 08-13-21, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tinkerbike View Post
Here's a simple hack that works:

Don't cut anything.

If the top cup threads down on the bearings just use spacers.

If the unthreaded section of the steerer tube is above the top race, and you can't get the cup adjusted down, do the following:

File the threads out of the top bearing cup. Slip it over the steerer, beyond the threaded section. Get an additional top nut, file out the shoulder above the threads. Use spacers to take up the gap between the top cup and two lock nuts. Lock the two top nuts together.

Done.
93mm's of spacers would be extremely ridiculous for a restoration.
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Old 08-13-21, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by RiceAWay View Post
AHHHHHHHH - just put a threadless headset and carbon fork on it. (Origin 8 makes a 1" fork steering tube) You also have the problem of being difficult to find old style stems and it is difficult to get the correct length. I started with a PX-10 and loved it but it handles FAR too slowly for a bike these days and it is still stuck with the flexy frame. If you must have a steel bike find a Basso Loto or a Masi made in the USA. Threaded forks are so out of it that you might as well spend all of your time looking for 60 yr old parts.

If you are attempting a restoration that is another matter. Most cities of any size have a frame builder and most frame builders have French dies or know where to borrow one.
No frame shops in my area. I have called several all over the state and other states, no one has one anymore.
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Old 08-13-21, 04:38 PM
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No framebuilders or bike shops have French dies and they didn't have them back in the day either, with rare exceptions. It doesn't really make sense for bike shops or framebuilders to have dies nowadays either.
Find a fork that fits better.
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Old 08-13-21, 04:46 PM
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OK... So now comes the soul searching. Are you the kind of guy who takes his car to the dealer for maintenance? If so then find a frame builder. Do you have tools around the house and do you know how to use them? What happens if you try to shorten it yourself and fail? Well your back at square one and need another...

Don't forget machine shops and car engine rebuild mechanics. They can be real artists...

I have a local machine shop guy who turns seat posts and stems to fit old Peugeot bikes. Yep... a machine shop could do it in a jiffy...
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Old 08-16-21, 02:02 PM
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25x1 die is a normal die. I have no idea what they are used for besides French steerers. Do a search and see how many vendors stock them. Normal. Common.

Pretty much every bike shop I ever patronized had French dies. Wastyn, Stiller, Cycle Smithy, Turin, Yellow Jersey. Lesser known shops like Wheel Thing and Hartley’s had them. I would not expect the local Trek Superstore franchise to have them. If you have spent your life at bike shops that didn’t want to do bicycle repairs your experience would be different.
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