MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"  

FRENCH PROBLEMS - INTRO

SIMPLEX PLASTIC

FRENCH TUBING SIZE

STEM & HEAD SETS

BOTTOM BRACKETS

FRENCH CRANKS

WHEEL HUBS

PROBLEMS - SUMMARY

 

BICYCLES OF FRANCE

 

 

FRENCH WHEELS,  SPOKES & HUBS

Quite a few wheel hubs were manufactured in France, over the years.  Names like Maillard, Normandy, Mavic, Pelissier, Maxicar and, of course, others of lesser fame.  For the average collector/restorer, only the Maillard and Normandy hubs will be encountered, since they are far more common than any other hub, manufactured in France, during the Old School days.

The first concern with the French made wheel hub is freewheel threading.  As mentioned earlier, the French freewheel is designed to fit the threading found on French hubs and the threading is different.  Not only is the threading different but so too is the diameter of the threaded section of the hub.  Needless to say, these differences can create problems for someone who is unaware of the situation.

In addition to the different threading concern for the freewheel, the French, in their infinite wisdom managed to produce a completely different freewheel system when they came up with the Helico Matic rear hub.  This rather unusual hubs featured easy to remove freewheels and were sold complete with their own freewheel removal tool.

The idea was great, however, some controversy surrounds the hub style and tendency to break spokes, thanks to the extra millimetre of dish required to center the rear wheel.  That said, it seems strange that not one Helico Matic fitted wheel has ever found its way into The Old Shed sporting broke spokes.  Is this one of those Old School Velo myths that has surfaced over the years?

Axle threading can be different on some of the more common French hubs.  The Maillard 500 series is one example of a hub that can create threading concerns.  And those concerns will target all axle nuts, as well as the bearing cones which must also sport the correct threading to be compatible with those unusual axles.

If the nuts are special, and the cones are special, is it likely that the collector/restorer will run into accessibility problems?  In a word - yes.  French cones are not all that plentiful and some are not even close to interchangeable with other axles.

Axle sizes and thread counts are many and not only French ones are cause for concern.  Ensure that you have the correct nuts and/or cones for the axle in hand.

French spokes are different also, but in a slightly different way.  As spoke gauge numbers decrease, for most spokes, the thickness goes down.  For French spokes, as the numbers decrease, the thickness goes up.  So, a 14 gauge English, Asian, Italian spoke will measure 2mm and will be comparable to a 13 gauge French one.  However, with the reversed numbering system, a 13 gauge everywhere else spoke will be the same as a French 15 gauge unit.  Confusing but something the builder would be well advised to be aware of.

HUBS FREEWHEEL THREADING

ITEM FRENCH USA ENGLISH ITALIAN
FREEWHEEL 34.7 mm x 1mm

(1.366" x 25.4tpi)

34.92 x 1.058 mm

(1.375" x 24tpi)

34.80 x 1.058 mm

(1.370/1.375 x 24tpi)

35 X 24tpi

(1.378" x 24tpi)

         

NEXT - RESTORATION PROBLEMS SUMMARY

 

 

 

 

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