The long awaited French threaded bottom brackets have just arrived. That means that you can finally restore that Singer, Reyhand, or Goeland that's been collecting dust in your garden shed. Or look for an inexpensive Peugeot, Gitane, or Urago to turn into a budget randonneuse. In the past you were limited to very expensive Phil Wood BBs or searching E-bay for old stock, now we have the full range of sizes.
Grand Cru bottom brackets have oversize sealed bearings and boron steel hollow axles. The cups are alloy. They includes axle bolts, and weigh about 258gm in 110mm. The taper is JIS. They are available in 103mm, 107mm, 110mm, 113mm, 116mm, and 122mm.
A few notes that may prove useful:
- Most Motobecanes use Swiss, not French BBs, but some top of the line and later models used French. You can tell by checking the direction of the threading. A French BB has right hand thread on both sides. With Swiss it's left hand on one side.
- If you want to reuse your old crank remember that it may be ISO taper, especially if it's an old TA or Stronglight or Campy. You can use a JIS BB, but the crank will sit 3-4mm further outboard; compensate with the BB spindle length you choose. Many old double cranks used 118mm BBs; I find 116mm JIS BBs to be a reasonable replacement.
- French headsets can still be found on E-bay and we may make some in the future. But if you replace the balls and grease regularly those old headsets will last a very long time.