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'73 Raleigh Competition BB axle length?

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'73 Raleigh Competition BB axle length?

Old 11-24-22, 07:13 PM
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'73 Raleigh Competition BB axle length?

I'm trying to round up all the pieces to put my '73 Raleigh Competiton on the road. I'm not going all original but I am trying to stay period correct and all European content. While going through my stash of cranksets I discovered I had the correct TA Specialties 3 arm crankset that the bike would have come with new and a pretty nice one too. What length BB axle would this need? I put in an offer on a TA Specialties BB (and it has now been accepted) but at 122mm I'm pretty sure the axle is for a triple. What length do I need, symmetrical or asymetrical AND does it have to be TA Specialties/Stronglight? Whenever I parted out a bike I saved any axle that was any good for quite awhile and I have a small collection of them but nearly all are Japanese so I have to assume they won't work because that would be too easy.
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Old 11-24-22, 10:53 PM
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I usually use a 118mm BB for TA and Stronglight doubles.
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Old 11-25-22, 07:32 AM
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I've always used a TA #344 spindle for a TA double. Those measure 114.5mm. The TA catalog also suggests a #373, 118mm spindle for a double, but I don't think I've seen one of those. The #374 spindle measures 121.5mm and is used for a triple.
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Old 11-25-22, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile View Post
I'm trying to round up all the pieces to put my '73 Raleigh Competiton on the road. I'm not going all original but I am trying to stay period correct and all European content. While going through my stash of cranksets I discovered I had the correct TA Specialties 3 arm crankset that the bike would have come with new and a pretty nice one too. What length BB axle would this need? I put in an offer on a TA Specialties BB (and it has now been accepted) but at 122mm I'm pretty sure the axle is for a triple. What length do I need, symmetrical or asymetrical AND does it have to be TA Specialties/Stronglight? Whenever I parted out a bike I saved any axle that was any good for quite awhile and I have a small collection of them but nearly all are Japanese so I have to assume they won't work because that would be too easy.
Hi Murray, funny that you should post this - I've got a TA Cyclotouriste triple ready for my '75 Competition, and I'm looking for the matching 122mm BB - I have the BB for the original 3-arm TA double, which should be the right fit for yours. The JA Stein crank puller just arrived in the mail, so if you like I could take mine apart this weekend, give it an inspection, and we could trade!

Ged
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Old 11-25-22, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Ged117 View Post
Hi Murray, funny that you should post this - I've got a TA Cyclotouriste triple ready for my '75 Competition, and I'm looking for the matching 122mm BB - I have the BB for the original 3-arm TA double, which should be the right fit for yours. The JA Stein crank puller just arrived in the mail, so if you like I could take mine apart this weekend, give it an inspection, and we could trade!

Ged
My BB won't be here for a few days but I'd consider it as I don't see myself getting a TA or Stronglight triple any time soon. We should be able to just swap axles, everything else should be the same. I just ordered my Stronglight/TA puller a couple days ago.
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Old 11-25-22, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile View Post
My BB won't be here for a few days but I'd consider it as I don't see myself getting a TA or Stronglight triple any time soon. We should be able to just swap axles, everything else should be the same. I just ordered my Stronglight/TA puller a couple days ago.
The pullers are so fabulous!
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Old 11-25-22, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Ged117 View Post
Hi Murray, funny that you should post this - I've got a TA Cyclotouriste triple ready for my '75 Competition, and I'm looking for the matching 122mm BB - I have the BB for the original 3-arm TA double, which should be the right fit for yours. The JA Stein crank puller just arrived in the mail, so if you like I could take mine apart this weekend, give it an inspection, and we could trade!

Ged
Stein tools are good... when they are in stock
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Old 11-25-22, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile View Post
My BB won't be here for a few days but I'd consider it as I don't see myself getting a TA or Stronglight triple any time soon. We should be able to just swap axles, everything else should be the same. I just ordered my Stronglight/TA puller a couple days ago.
Now we're cooking with cheese. I'll take the BB apart tomorrow, and give the spindle a look, and if its serviceable I will PM you some photos, and if all goes well I'll stick it in the post.
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Old 11-25-22, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Stein tools are good... when they are in stock
The Stronglight/TA puller from Stein is very nice quality, it wasn't cheap, but I figure I'll be servicing this TA crank and BB for years to come. Neither my local bike shop nor the vintage-oriented shop across town had the correct puller.
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Old 11-25-22, 04:47 PM
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The 3-arm TA isn't a Cyclotouriste, which may or may not be significant WRT axle length. With a Cyclotouriste (Pro 5 vis), I'm using a 373 for a triple, and the chainline is as close to perfect for a 7 speed freewheel as I can discern. Not being an engineer, I'm limited to visually lining the middle chainwheel up with the middle cog The 344 was perfect for a double with both an Ultra-6 and 121 mm OLD and 7-speed and a 126 mm OLD.
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Old 11-25-22, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Ged117 View Post
Now we're cooking with cheese. I'll take the BB apart tomorrow, and give the spindle a look, and if its serviceable I will PM you some photos, and if all goes well I'll stick it in the post.
You better wait until I have mine in hand. It's coming from Wisconsin, not that far away, but the way USPS works it will go right past my house in Illinois to the distribution centers either St. Louis or Hazelwood, Missouri and then back to illinois IF I'm lucky. Hazelwood is known as the Black Hole of the US Postal service, I've had a few packages that disappearred after arriving at Hazelwood........
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Old 11-25-22, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
The 3-arm TA isn't a Cyclotouriste, which may or may not be significant WRT axle length. With a Cyclotouriste (Pro 5 vis), I'm using a 373 for a triple, and the chainline is as close to perfect for a 7 speed freewheel as I can discern. Not being an engineer, I'm limited to visually lining the middle chainwheel up with the middle cog The 344 was perfect for a double with both an Ultra-6 and 121 mm OLD and 7-speed and a 126 mm OLD.
I think the 373 is 121.5mm, so if Murray's is 122, should be pretty close. I plan to run the original five-cog freewheel or source a Suntour Ultra-6, with the Maillard 700 hub. Did you have to spread the triangle to fit the Ultra-6? Do you think its worth it?

Originally Posted by Murray Missile View Post
You better wait until I have mine in hand. It's coming from Wisconsin, not that far away, but the way USPS works it will go right past my house in Illinois to the distribution centers either St. Louis or Hazelwood, Missouri and then back to illinois IF I'm lucky. Hazelwood is known as the Black Hole of the US Postal service, I've had a few packages that disappearred after arriving at Hazelwood........
No worries, I planned to take the bottom bracket apart this weekend anyway. Soon enough the garage will be uninhabitable, so I'm shifting the Competition inside for the winter clean and preservation of the frame process before building it up just before spring. I'll PM you later on.

Cheers
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Old 11-25-22, 08:39 PM
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I've seen several specs for the TA 373 spindle between 117-120 mm in length, IIRC, and 122-125.5 for the 374, IIRC.

I rode a lot of miles with a Sakae Ringyo axle that put the chainwheels too close to the BB, so the chainline centered on the 2nd largest cog in my U-6 freewheel instead of between the 3rd and 4th cogs. I used the freewheel until a few years ago (on my one bike) without any problems, other than aesthetic, on the bike or myself.

But I don't know what BB and spindle go with the TA Pro that came on the Competition. My advice is to try it, ride it if it's ridable, and shoot an email to Specialites TA in France to get their input. I am OCD enough to want the chainline right, but with a 120 or 125 mm hub, cross chaining is much less a problem than with a 130 or 135 mm hub, so the chainline is less critical, in my non-engineer's opinion.

Sure, I'd want a pretty chainline, but I'd ride first and then get the chainline correct, but an engineer may correct me - but, please, only if it really is a problem in the short term.
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Old 11-25-22, 09:56 PM
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I’ve got a few TA 344’s, in 114.5, and 116 lengths.
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Old 11-26-22, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Ged117 View Post
The Stronglight/TA puller from Stein is very nice quality, it wasn't cheap, but I figure I'll be servicing this TA crank and BB for years to come. Neither my local bike shop nor the vintage-oriented shop across town had the correct puller.
Stein was out of stock, so I bought a budget double sided puller from Poland.
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Old 11-26-22, 04:32 PM
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I’ve got a few TA 344’s, in 114.5, and 116 lengths.
Are precision and standardization over-rated?
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Old 11-26-22, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Stein was out of stock, so I bought a budget double sided puller from Poland.
That's what mine is too.
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Old 11-27-22, 05:27 AM
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Just spit balling, but what would the chainline look like if you flip the triple spindle?
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Old 11-27-22, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile View Post
You better wait until I have mine in hand. It's coming from Wisconsin, not that far away, but the way USPS works it will go right past my house in Illinois to the distribution centers either St. Louis or Hazelwood, Missouri and then back to illinois IF I'm lucky. Hazelwood is known as the Black Hole of the US Postal service, I've had a few packages that disappearred after arriving at Hazelwood........
It was in St. Louis not Hazelwood this morning but I've had St. Louis send stuff to Hazelwood before.... Hopefully it will be here Tuesday.

My Stronglight/TA crank tool is in the US too.
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