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Stronglight BB Confusion

Old 10-26-22, 09:43 AM
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Stronglight BB Confusion

Confused on whether this is right or left threaded. On a 1977 PX10LE, so thinking it's french threaded. But it won't budge. Going to return the 38mm wrench I bought, this is something like 37.5. Going to try the Sheldon method next but want to be sure I'm turning it the correct direction.

Normally I would just leave it and use as is, but already bought a french threaded sealed bb with longer spindle for a triple crank. Maybe I should forget it or look for a longer spindle.

The fixed cup has three circles in it. These indicate something but I haven't been able to find the info.

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Old 10-26-22, 09:54 AM
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If you have a good spanner and it's held on with a bolt and a pair of stout washers, just try harder alternating each direction until it shifts. When it does, if it shifts easier, keep going. If it shifts and gets tighter, go the other way.
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Old 10-26-22, 10:09 AM
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-----

the cup which is in there exhibits the Stronglight code for BSC/"English"

would expect a 1977 to have a metric/"French" threaded shell

possible someone may have forced that cup in there or rethreaded the shell

Stronglight fixed cup thread codes/markings:

BSC: two rings and eight flats

metric: one ring and eight flats

Italian: one ring and eight flats or one ring and two flats

CH; no rings and eight flats

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Last edited by juvela; 10-26-22 at 10:13 AM. Reason: spellin'
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Old 10-26-22, 10:14 AM
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A 12-point socket in the 1-1/2" size will grip four the octagonal 38mm cup flats solidly, allowing massive torque to be applied in a controlled fashion.

I find such large sockets at thrift stores and pawn shops who inventory boxes of tools and sockets. New ones aren't that expensive either.

Note that I also tried the 1-7/16" size socket but it was far too small to go in the Stronglight cup.
A 12-point 38mm socket is harder to find but is perfect.

Not typically necessary, but it might be good to "square" the end of the socket (using a belt sander, file or grinder) if the there is a deep bevel at the socket's opening.

Some slightly newer Stronglight cups apparently have only 36mm across-flats dimension, but yours looks like the older 38mm across flats.


Last edited by dddd; 10-26-22 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 10-26-22, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by juvela
-----

the cup which is in there exhibits the Stronglight code for BSC/"English"

would expect a 1977 to have a metric/"French" threaded shell

possible someone may have forced that cup in there or rethreaded the shell

Stronglight fixed cup thread codes/markings:

BSC: two rings and eight flats

metric: one ring and eight flats

Italian: one ring and eight flats or one ring and two flats

CH; no rings and eight flats

---

"nothing can stop you now cause you are the __________"

-----
Thanks, I had seen that info but was confused because this looks like three rings. So if someone had changed it to bsc, I would unscrew clockwise? If someone did that, I wonder if I even want to mess with it.
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Old 10-26-22, 11:01 AM
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-----

yes, if it is BSC it would unthread clockwise

when you get it out you can make some measurements of both the fixed and the adjustable side

find it puzzling...


-----
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Old 10-26-22, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by dddd
A 12-point socket in the 1-1/2" size will grip four the octagonal 38mm cup flats solidly, allowing massive torque to be applied in a controlled fashion.

I find such large sockets at thrift stores and pawn shops who inventory boxes of tools and sockets. New ones aren't that expensive either.

Note that I also tried the 1-7/16" size socket but it was far too small to go in the Stronglight cup.
A 12-point 38mm socket is harder to find but is perfect.

Not typically necessary, but it might be good to "square" the end of the socket (using a belt sander, file or grinder) if the there is a deep bevel at the socket's opening.

Some slightly newer Stronglight cups apparently have only 36mm across-flats dimension, but yours looks like the older 38mm across flats.
good to know! will give it a shot
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Old 10-26-22, 11:17 AM
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puzzling indeed. and i suppose this french threaded bb i bought isn't going to work.
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Old 10-27-22, 07:27 AM
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Just a thought, but if it turned out to French, right hand threaded, someone may have used "Loktite" on it to keep it from backing out.
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Old 10-27-22, 07:50 AM
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I'm starting to think it's better not to mess with this bb and leave the cup in place. It's likely english based on those circles, which means someone may have forced it in a french threaded bb.

So I either track down a longer spindle that would work for a triple crank or just keep it double. Maybe I'll just have to find another french frame to use this bottom bracket and triple crank on. And I thought I was done with french frames!
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Old 10-27-22, 08:33 AM
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-----

a) something is clearly not right there. as things sit cup might work loose with use or it may not be properly aligned if for example it were cross threaded.

b) removal will permit examination and measurement

c) if threads have been damaged one solution would be to ream and tap to Italian

d) Stronglight did not offer spindles for 70mm shells so they made the walls of their Italian dimension bottom bracket cups one mm thicker than others

e) in order to preserve the OEM chainline you would want to place a 1.0mm spacer behind the Italian dimension fixed cup prior to mounting
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Old 10-27-22, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by dukeofearl
Confused on whether this is right or left threaded. On a 1977 PX10LE, so thinking it's french threaded. But it won't budge. Going to return the 38mm wrench I bought, this is something like 37.5. Going to try the Sheldon method next but want to be sure I'm turning it the correct direction.

Normally I would just leave it and use as is, but already bought a french threaded sealed bb with longer spindle for a triple crank. Maybe I should forget it or look for a longer spindle.

The fixed cup has three circles in it. These indicate something but I haven't been able to find the info.

Originally Posted by juvela
-----

a) something is clearly not right there. as things sit cup might work loose with use or it may not be properly aligned if for example it were cross threaded.

b) removal will permit examination and measurement

c) if threads have been damaged one solution would be to ream and tap to Italian

d) Stronglight did not offer spindles for 70mm shells so they made the walls of their Italian dimension bottom bracket cups one mm thicker than others

e) in order to preserve the OEM chainline you would want to place a 1.0mm spacer behind the Italian dimension fixed cup prior to mounting
Originally Posted by dukeofearl
I'm starting to think it's better not to mess with this bb and leave the cup in place. It's likely english based on those circles, which means someone may have forced it in a french threaded bb.

So I either track down a longer spindle that would work for a triple crank or just keep it double. Maybe I'll just have to find another french frame to use this bottom bracket and triple crank on. And I thought I was done with french frames!
If that cup is flush, aligned ok on the inside you maybe ok to leave it. The 12 point socket can not work out if cup is seized and it rounds off the corners before it comes loose, very hard to secure it to not slip and "flattening" the open edge is a must IMO. Sheldon's method is long standing tradition but can damage the inside of the cup, especially if it slips at all.

Here's my method that has never failed, including a PX-10 awhile back that was the same as here, BSA DS cup forced in, got it out, restored the threads and put a correct Stronglight cup in FTW.

This setup often employs a 2 or 4ft cheater, again, it has never failed and like commented above it can crack it loose both ways, once it does you just make sure you're going the right way and carry on.

And yes the wrench is going the wrong way in the pic.




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Old 10-27-22, 01:42 PM
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Nice rig merziac !!! Is there a model number for that wrench that fits these french 37.5mm bb's?

I never would have noticed anything wrong with the bb or even thought of replacing it if I hadn't gotten the idea to install a triple crank, which then led me to get a sealed bb with longer spindle. I probably would have just left the fixed cup in, cleaned and regreased. I'm building up two pugs right now and back to figuring out what goes where. I feel like I've thought about these bikes way too much!
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Old 10-28-22, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by dukeofearl
Nice rig merziac !!! Is there a model number for that wrench that fits these french 37.5mm bb's?

I never would have noticed anything wrong with the bb or even thought of replacing it if I hadn't gotten the idea to install a triple crank, which then led me to get a sealed bb with longer spindle. I probably would have just left the fixed cup in, cleaned and regreased. I'm building up two pugs right now and back to figuring out what goes where. I feel like I've thought about these bikes way too much!
Tx man, I used the normal fixed cup Sugino wrench as it was a BSA cup. A very good Cresent can be used but it is a challenge even with the trap. I would try the 38 you have with the trap, it can make it work so long as it stays trapped securely and you have enough leverage and lean in with confidence.

A big factor is holding the frame or bracing it against the ground securely so it stays put while you get after it and apply force straight on at right angle without any twisting.
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Old 10-28-22, 10:27 AM
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My plan was to use the sealed bb with longer spindle, with this stronglight 99 crankset. However, I did just come in possession of this shimano/takagi triple crank, with this spindle (next to the og ta spindle). I'm guessing that I could not use this spindle/crank with the stronglight bb because of the different length of the center section? Wondering if there's some leeway with this type of bb.

I'm planning now on putting this on an 81 super competition (stronglight swiss bb) that had no original components, will be suntour cyclones, superbe brakes...



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Old 10-28-22, 10:42 AM
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Back in about 2010, I wanted to remove a fixed cup on my crashed Le Champion.
Tried a number of approaches most listed above.
I added another step, heat. Not on the shell but on the Sheldon brown fastener so the heat propagate from the center out through the cup. That did the trick. No paint was damaged event though the frame was bent up.
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Old 10-28-22, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by dukeofearl
Going to try the Sheldon method next but want to be sure I'm turning it the correct direction.
Is the cup in reasonable condition? I've seen a cup that partly cracked through under the balls, and the broken edges were digging into the BB shell making it hard to turn.
If you're not sure whether it's a LH or RH thread - can you see the end of the thread in the bracket shell on that side? Otherwise turn it alternately in each direction with increasing force until something happens.
When all else fails, weld a chunk of steel onto the cup, hold it in a vice - the combination of heat and leverage will usually shift even the stubbornest cup.
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Old 10-28-22, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by dukeofearl
I'm guessing that I could not use this spindle/crank with the stronglight bb because of the different length of the center section? Wondering if there's some leeway with this type of bb.
I don't think that will work. Unless you can find a substantially thicker/longer NDS cup, it will likely disappear in the shell, and not leave enough threads for the lockring.

My suggestion would be to use the original spindle with a compact double. That Stronglight 99 or other 86 BDC crankset would work well to make a 48/30 combo or similar.

Here's one I put together for mrs non-fixie. 49/32, I believe. She loves it, and finds it much easier to use than a triple, especially since she prefers friction shifters these days:

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Old 10-28-22, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie
I don't think that will work. Unless you can find a substantially thicker/longer NDS cup, it will likely disappear in the shell, and not leave enough threads for the lockring.

My suggestion would be to use the original spindle with a compact double. That Stronglight 99 or other 86 BDC crankset would work well to make a 48/30 combo or similar.

Here's one I put together for mrs non-fixie. 49/32, I believe. She loves it, and finds it much easier to use than a triple, especially since she prefers friction shifters these days:

Yeah I'm definitely leaning towards a double of some sort, though was aiming for a half-step plus granny. I've got a few cranks and chainrings (not to mention freewheels) but will probably be scouring ebay for the smaller 86 bcd rings (or 122 for my stronglight 93), but the odd sizes (anything other than 52/42) are harder to find and more expensive. I'll also need to play around with the gear calculator some more and search for a good freewheel. Had bought a 14-32 6s but hopefully will be able to fit a 7-speed if I keep it double (126mm spacing). Will have to research and probably just try it out. Looking to have some more gearing options.


Originally Posted by grumpus
Is the cup in reasonable condition? I've seen a cup that partly cracked through under the balls, and the broken edges were digging into the BB shell making it hard to turn.
If you're not sure whether it's a LH or RH thread - can you see the end of the thread in the bracket shell on that side? Otherwise turn it alternately in each direction with increasing force until something happens.
When all else fails, weld a chunk of steel onto the cup, hold it in a vice - the combination of heat and leverage will usually shift even the stubbornest cup.
The cup does seem to be in okay condition so I think I'm going to leave it be for now, but will try the heat method if I change my mind!

Last edited by dukeofearl; 10-28-22 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 10-28-22, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac
The 12 point socket can not work out if cup is seized and it rounds off the corners before it comes loose, very hard to secure it to not slip and "flattening" the open edge is a must IMO....
Very often, while these 8-sided cups were installed quite tight at the factory, they are not actually "seized" at all.

Usually though, their shorter flats induce common tools to "cam" past the flat's corners, only two of which are engaged.

I had entertained the thought of making a box-end, 38mm octagonal wrench out of flat stock, but then had the idea to first try finding a 12-point socket in the right size (which could engage four flats). As luck would have it, a more-common 1-1/2" socket near-duplicated the 38mm size needed.

As it turned out, by taking advantage of my breaker bar's pivoting end, the pushing force on the handle could be made to fall in the plane of the cup's flange, discouraging the socket from to tilting off of the cup and then slipping.
In practice, I immediately was able to apply great torque, without even much pushing inward on the cup.
I am recalling that the socket that I bought (used) already had some squaring done to it's open end, which is important when trying to engage the thin edges of the cup flange.
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Old 01-14-23, 11:02 AM
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I got sidetracked with another bike but am back to this one. Now that I've cleaned up the bb, looks like there's some problematic pitting so I'm going to try to get this thing off again.

I plan to buy a 12-point 38mm socket and give it another go. Or might be best to just take it to a bike shop but the one near me couldn't even properly change a tire so don't trust them with something like this. Anyone have a recommendation for a good shop in the Philly area?

And then there's the question of what to replace it with. If this is english threaded, shimano or velo orange sealed bb? And the length - I had purchased a 125mm stronglight spindle for the triple crank, but if I understand correctly, I may need a longer one of the modern design because they're even on both sides?

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Old 01-14-23, 05:26 PM
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By 1977, Motobecane switched to Swiss threading, but I think Peugeot was still French-threaded at that point.
I was surprised and gratified to discover that my 1980 Peugeot PKN-10 was Swiss-threaded, meaning that Peugeot eventually got it right (or should I say, "left"?).
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Old 01-14-23, 09:34 PM
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Yeah theoretically a 77 Peugeot should be French threaded but seems like itís English based on the three rings. Kind of a mystery until I can get it off and know for sure.
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Old 01-15-23, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac
Tx man, I used the normal fixed cup Sugino wrench as it was a BSA cup.
But was that a Stronglight octagonal cup? Those measure 38mm across the flats, while Campagnolo/Shimano/Sugino two-flat cups are only 36mm across the flats, so a Sugino fixed cup tool is unlikely to fit the octagonal cup.
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Old 01-15-23, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
But was that a Stronglight octagonal cup? Those measure 38mm across the flats, while Campagnolo/Shimano/Sugino two-flat cups are only 36mm across the flats, so a Sugino fixed cup tool is unlikely to fit the octagonal cup.
My approach many years back was to file an extra couple of mm from a Sugino fixed-cup tool, making it a dedicated Stronglight fixed-cup tool (I bought a replacement to work on Sugino/Campy etc.).
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