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Cottered cranks...when did it end?

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Cottered cranks...when did it end?

Old 01-21-15, 06:43 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by sanmi View Post
I have avoided cottered cranks because I have heard they are difficult to work on. I understand this may not be true if you have the right tools. What if you don't​ have the right tools?
Then you use a hammer, with solid support under the crank so as not to impart impact to the bb bearings. (But your aim had better be true!)
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Old 01-21-15, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Metacortex View Post
I believe the last Schwinn bikes with cottered cranks were the 1968 Paramount P11 and P12. In addition I believe those were the only Schwinn models that had cottered cranks after 1963 when the Town and Country Tandem was discontinued.
Was the town n country triple ever in a catalog?
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Old 01-21-15, 06:55 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by sanmi View Post
I have avoided cottered cranks because I have heard they are difficult to work on. I understand this may not be true if you have the right tools. What if you don't​ have the right tools?
I keep hearing this. Or reading it. I don't get it.

For a cottered crank, you can use vise, or a clamp, or a ball joint separator, or even a hammer. You can make your own tool; many of us have done that. Or you can get the special tool. If you have a little imagination, you can come up with plenty of other tools, probably already in your possession, to deal with cotters.

For comparison,
To remove a Stronglight cotterless crank, you need a Stonglight tool. 23.35 mm diameter. No other tool will do (though there is an aftermarket version).
To remove a TA cotterless crank, you need a TA tool. 23 mm diameter. Park used to make one.
To remove other cotterless cranks, you still need a cotterless crank tool. These are now standardized on the Campy model, but you still need the tool.
Without one of the above tools, a cotterless crank is really hard to deal with. If the extractor threads are ruined, as is not uncommon, you really have to go caveman.
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Old 01-21-15, 09:01 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by sanmi View Post
I have avoided cottered cranks because I have heard they are difficult to work on. I understand this may not be true if you have the right tools. What if you don't​ have the right tools?
A C-clamp with a 15mm socket.

I just was looking for pix on the google images and came across this site:

Bike Repair and Other Stories: Cottered Cranks


I had never thought of leaving the nut on the cotter- but yeah, that kind of makes sense- as long as it doesn't totally hose the threads and you can't take the nut off after you pop the cotter out.
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Old 01-21-15, 09:18 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Came across the zombie while researching who built the Schwinn cottered cranks (I think williams).

Schwinn cottered cranks on the town n'country...I've seen different cottered cranks on some other ones.

It's hard to say who made the Schwinn cottered chainsets. They are stamped with Schwinn and while the swaged chainsets look much like Williams or Nicklin, some look more like Chater Lea as in the picture of the blue bicycle in Rudi's post above.
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Old 01-21-15, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by photogravity View Post
It's hard to say who made the Schwinn cottered chainsets. They are stamped with Schwinn and while the swaged chainsets look much like Williams or Nicklin, some look more like Chater Lea as in the picture of the blue bicycle in Rudi's post above.
As a general rule, things stamped "Schwinn" were made by Schwinn. In their heyday they had a huge factory and, like Raleigh, they made everything on the bike. When they started having parts outsourced, they had them stamped "Schwinn Approved" such as the hubs and pedals made by Maillard, the brakes made by Weinmann, etc. I have read that some of the parts with a hard to read cursive "Schminn" were also out-sourced, but I'm not convinced. I would assume the cottered cranks were made by Schwinn. The one on my 1940 New World, pictured above, took 1/2" pedals.
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Old 01-21-15, 10:14 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
...On the down side you'll need a stash of English, French and Italian cotters...
And a file...

But they do look good on a steel crank arm...
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Old 01-21-15, 10:34 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
As a general rule, things stamped "Schwinn" were made by Schwinn. In their heyday they had a huge factory and, like Raleigh, they made everything on the bike. When they started having parts outsourced, they had them stamped "Schwinn Approved" such as the hubs and pedals made by Maillard, the brakes made by Weinmann, etc. I have read that some of the parts with a hard to read cursive "Schminn" were also out-sourced, but I'm not convinced. I would assume the cottered cranks were made by Schwinn. The one on my 1940 New World, pictured above, took 1/2" pedals.
Yup... I wasn't saying they were made by Williams, Nicklin or Chater Lea, but that they looked like them. My understanding is much like yours, that Schwinn produced almost everything in house unless they have "Approved" appended to "Schwinn".
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Old 01-21-15, 10:56 AM
  #34  
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BTW- I had what I believed to be a 1979 Raleigh Sprite with a cottered crankset.
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Old 01-21-15, 01:52 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Was the town n country triple ever in a catalog?
It never appeared in any catalog I am aware of.
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Old 01-21-15, 02:48 PM
  #36  
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As mentioned by another forum member, cottered cranks are still being cranked out. This East Indian roadster, a Windsor Winchester, is an example of the ilk...

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Old 01-21-15, 03:21 PM
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A Penny Farthing bike? The spokes are V shaped, with both ends out at the rim? The hub looks like it's aluminum, but that can't be right--maybe nickel plated steel? Thanks for the photo!

Originally Posted by blaise_f View Post
Cottered for life!

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Old 01-21-15, 03:31 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
As a general rule, things stamped "Schwinn" were made by Schwinn. In their heyday they had a huge factory and, like Raleigh, they made everything on the bike. When they started having parts outsourced, they had them stamped "Schwinn Approved" such as the hubs and pedals made by Maillard, the brakes made by Weinmann, etc. I have read that some of the parts with a hard to read cursive "Schminn" were also out-sourced, but I'm not convinced. I would assume the cottered cranks were made by Schwinn. The one on my 1940 New World, pictured above, took 1/2" pedals.
I'm trying to remember who it was who told me the cranks were outsourced and brit. I feel like it was one of the Schwinns, but we're going back 20+ years and my memory is a tenuous thing.
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Old 01-21-15, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
I'm trying to remember who it was who told me the cranks were outsourced and brit. I feel like it was one of the Schwinns, but we're going back 20+ years and my memory is a tenuous thing.
First I read of it was when the mighty Stan Cooper @Scooper said it here.

http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ount-a702.html
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Old 01-21-15, 04:25 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
  • Cottered cranks are beautiful.
  • They are extremely durable.
  • You don't have to worry about crank bolts coming loose.
  • You wont be pulling the threads out of your crank arm
  • You only need one cotter press (vs ISO,TA and SL pullers).
  • They ARE easy to work on in most cases. (It only takes a little finesse to fit cotters).
  • Rarely, they can be hard to remove even with the right tool, but you can still salvage the crank arm by drilling or drifting out the cotter.
  • You don't have to worry about wear in the chamfers of the square drive.
...
I have broken two left cranks while riding. The first, a 1960 Agrati on my first 1960 Capo, broke across the spindle eye as I was starting across Wilshire Bl. on Westwood Bl., for those familiar with the UCLA area. I managed to get across this huge intersection -- the busiest and largest in west Los Angeles -- and 3 miles home with the left crank timing advanced by about 30 degrees. The breakage shook me up, but did not dump me. The second, a 1970 Sugino Mighty Compe aluminum, broke across the pedal eye during an out-of-saddle climb. That one did throw me to the ground, causing minor injuries, and I had to ride the bus most of the way home. After the shock of falling, it took me a moment to see what had happened, because my left foot was still clipped into the pedal, but the pedal was no longer attached to the bike.

I am keeping the original Agrati cottered crankset, with aftermarket aluminum Simplex rings in my preferred 49-46 size, on my current 1960 Capo. Agrati, aka Magistroni, made a high-end cottered crankset, with the drive side crank and the spider forged as a single unit.
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Old 01-22-15, 06:50 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
I'm trying to remember who it was who told me the cranks were outsourced and brit. I feel like it was one of the Schwinns, but we're going back 20+ years and my memory is a tenuous thing.
Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
First I read of it was when the mighty Stan Cooper @Scooper said it here.

http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ount-a702.html
Yes, here's the quote:

Originally Posted by Curtis Odom View Post
Cool, my favorite Schwinn trivia subject has been brought up. The "Schninn" was brought to my attention sometime in the late 70's. Seems very few people ever noticed this (I guess they were not meant to). The story I got from an old geezer back then was it was a type of import duty tax dodge. I have seen the Schninn stamp on hubs, cranks, brakes, brake levers, and maybe more. To me these all appeared to be British made parts.
That's not exactly history. It's hearsay. It may be right, and it may be something someone made up at some point, and I'm a little less than 100% convinced. And it's not the only explanation for it:

Originally Posted by Ed. View Post
...
I think the issue is one of handwriting style. ...
Try writing "Schwinn" in that beautiful cursive penmanship you learned in the third grade, and see how you make the transition from the h to the w!

What do I know? Well, when I overhauled my 1940 New World I too was struck by the similarity between the Schwinn parts and English parts of the same period, but there were also distinct differences. Notable in its absence was the "British Made" stamp. When I repainted my "Alvin" frame (made by Alvin Drysdale's Velox Cycle Co here in New York in 1937) I found the words "British Made" stamped on every part, including the lugs, bottom bracket and rear fork ends. But on on the New World, the only part that was identified as British Made was the Stumey Archer hub.

I would check the standards of all the threaded parts. All I remember from my New World was that the bottom bracket was BSA threaded; the pedals were American threaded; and the front axle, which was stripped, required a Schwinn replacement part (that I got from Kopps in Princeton). Had that hub accepted a British axle, I wouldn't have had to go to Kopps for the replacement.
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Old 01-23-15, 01:12 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
I have broken two left cranks while riding. The first, a 1960 Agrati on my first 1960 Capo, broke across the spindle eye as I was starting across Wilshire Bl. on Westwood Bl., for those familiar with the UCLA area. I managed to get across this huge intersection -- the busiest and largest in west Los Angeles -- and 3 miles home with the left crank timing advanced by about 30 degrees. The breakage shook me up, but did not dump me. ...
Jeebus! I bike commuted in Westwood during rush hour in the early 1980s from UCLA and then down Wilshire,... a fast ride for the nervy bike commuter. Wilshire/Westwood is a HECK of an intersection to have a problem.... a multi lane train of cars that just keeps a'rollin'.... you're lucky you didn't get run over...
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Old 07-23-18, 10:21 AM
  #43  
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We had a Gitane tandem (c 1971) that had cottered cranks. For whatever reason with the tandem setup the cotters kept getting hammered out of shape, once it started it progressed rapidly resulting in a lot of play. I replaced them a few times, even made it SOP to tighten them before every ride, but that didn't help, they were good for just a few rides. Finally had a machinist make up a set out of stainless steel. That solved it once and for all.
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Old 07-23-18, 06:40 PM
  #44  
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I love the look of cottered and they work pretty well too.


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Old 07-23-18, 07:56 PM
  #45  
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Old 07-23-18, 08:42 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Peter_B View Post
Jeebus! I bike commuted in Westwood during rush hour in the early 1980s from UCLA and then down Wilshire,... a fast ride for the nervy bike commuter. Wilshire/Westwood is a HECK of an intersection to have a problem.... a multi lane train of cars that just keeps a'rollin'.... you're lucky you didn't get run over...
Scarier is Wilshire at Sepulveda. Was whacked a few times by car mirrors, no crashes but made one think. Unfortunately the shortcut through the VA cemetery got locked shut.

Wilshire and Westwood- here is a wild true story. After my parents split, court pending, my Mom got a banking job. My father knew approx where she parked in a nearby parking lot (before it became a huge building)
he had a key, took the car, parking guy called the local foot patrol officer, in a urgent rush my father dumps the car into reverse at a pace, dead in the big intersection, cop knew my Mom, knew SHE was not in HER car...
Tow truck and handcuffs. Call my Mom, she walks down. Cops ask if she loaned my father the car. She told the truth. Cops put it all together as my father's girlfriend is caught circling the block. She gets stopped.
The choice- have car towed to transmission place of cop's choosing, and pay upfront for repair, rent my Mom a car at the nearby Hertz till done OR keep the cuffs on and face vehicle theft charges with girlfriend as accessory.
Wild West justice rendered in Westwood. Car was fixed in less than a week. My Mom did not tell me the facts her explainer was a bit thin, found out from the Cop a few years later the real (as I also worked in the Village) on a day I won the Westwood Criterium in my class. Straining for vintage bike content.
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Old 07-23-18, 08:47 PM
  #47  
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I don't miss cottered cranks, at all.

The thing I do miss is long-lived, steel chain rings. If someone made steel rings for my Campy, I'd buy them.
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Old 07-24-18, 03:03 AM
  #48  
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Zombie thread!

Originally Posted by jimincalif View Post
We had a Gitane tandem (c 1971) that had cottered cranks. For whatever reason with the tandem setup the cotters kept getting hammered out of shape, once it started it progressed rapidly resulting in a lot of play. I replaced them a few times, even made it SOP to tighten them before every ride, but that didn't help, they were good for just a few rides. Finally had a machinist make up a set out of stainless steel. That solved it once and for all.

ARGH! ZOMBIE THREAD!
When did it end? It hasn't ended yet. Bikes with cottered cranks are still being made in China, India and lots of 3rd world countries.

Problem with most cottered cranks were/are the cotters!

Many, no, most cotters used during the bike boom era were soft and distorted easily in use, then they worked loose!

Gitane's were the worst. I was a masher back then and had to replace the cotters on my 1972 Gitane Gran Sport about every month! Peugeot cotters weren't as bad.

Sold Gitanes for entry level bikes from 1973-1976 and Bertins from 1975 on - Bertins were much better. We mostly worked on French bikes so didn't have that much experience repairing British, Italian or Japanese cottered cranks.

We used to get high strength hardened steel cotters from Zeus. Used them on the Gitane Tandems, better quality classic bikes with cottered cranks from the 60's plus larger, heavy riders who were always tearing up their cotters.

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Old 07-24-18, 09:51 AM
  #49  
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No. I hate cotters. I know all the tricks, and unfortunately, I've had to use them all. It's just not worth it to me. I'm glad they died out.

Ashtabula cranks are heavier, but they're much easier to service than cottered.
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Old 07-24-18, 09:59 AM
  #50  
francophile 
PM me your cotters
 
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Honestly, I'll have someone shoot video on the next pair of cotters I press out with my VAR07 when another cottered bike comes through my shop. I can't seem to find any videos online so it becomes clear how simple a process it is.

I can swap out all 6 cotters on 3 different bikes in the time it takes most people to remove 1 cotterless crankset. Cotters are really one of those cases where "the right tool for the job" is absolutely critical.

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