31 March, 2008

NOS Nervar 50bcd Cranks

We found a small box of Nervar cranks in the proverbial, and literal, dusty warehouse corner. They are almost like TA Pro-5-Vis cranks, but there are a few differences:

  • They use common 22mm dust caps and extractors
  • They have a slightly wider tread and so work better with chainguards.
  • They cost $77 less than the TA version! The finish is almost as nice.

A few caveats, These are old so there may be a tiny bit of shop wear. Not all of them have original dust caps. When the ones with original dustcaps are gone, you'll get plain silver caps. All are British thread, but some have been re-tapped from French and so don't have the little "BSC" stamp on the back. They use the same chainrings as TA cranks. 170mm length only.

We've also added to our selection of tires and started stocking 110/74bcd chainrings. We'll have even more tires and rings soon.


Anonymous said...

i have these nervar cranks and they work great. kudos on the find.

those 'silver' vittoria cross tires look great. i wish i had a 700 bike just for those.

any news on the hetre grand bois tire?

David said...

Hey, he stole my comment: those Vittoria look super-stylish, they'll be my next 700c tire.

If you want to carry a 26 (559) tire for cruiser/cargo bikes, Schwalbe's Fat Frank comes in a cream color that looks aces.

I know, not your market, but it looks so good on the Retrovelo bikes

Anonymous said...

Are you going to carry 700x30mm Grand Bois again?


seaneee said...

Had a set as well. I ended up having to polish mine because of a bad finish, but then ended up looking pretty sweet. Filled the 'fluted' area with flat black. Came out really nice. Sold them to a friend who put them on his carlton path with an ASC:


Anonymous said...

Ditto on the cream "Fat Franks"!
I'm considering building up a 26" (559) bike just to use those tires.

Anonymous said...

its interesting that er, tires are such a fetish. i mean, whole bikes to use certain bikes. personally, my bridgestone mb-1 didnt look right until i found some nos specialized grey tires for it. when i worked at a shop, i would take home everyones barely used tires (they wanted new ones i didnt recommend it), so i have huge hooks filled with different tires. also interesting: i find my self biased against certain tires based aesthetics (tread shape, logo, etc). ridiculous.

i wonder if those vittoria tires are a light grey or a middle 'wheelchair tire' grey. if so, um, not so hot. nothing against wheel chairs, but that grey is not a warm, light grey, but more like battleship/walmart bathroom grey.

that tread pattern is hot though, not unlike the 28mm tufo cross tire, which incidentally comes in red with a black sidewall.

on the nervar cranks: the finish is crud, but the simichrome does a good job of making them look 96% as good as the TA cyclotouriste, although they dont even come close to the TA zephyr, perhaps second only to superbe cranks.

Velo Orange said...

We are not going to carry Grand Bois tires in the future. They have an exclusive importer and are now difficult/impossible for us to get in any quantities. They also insisted that we sell them at their full retail price, which is not compatible with VO's pricing policies.

The good part of this is that it's motivating us to speed up work on VO tires. I've spoken with three tire manufacturers now and am waiting for samples and price info.

Regarding the Vittoria tires, they are a light silver-gray, not the color of wheelchair tires. They really do look cool and are going on the first VO Pass Hunter.

The finish on the Nervar cranks is very nice, just a little less polished than the TA cranks. 30 minutes with Simichrome would make the finish indistinguishable from TA's.

BTW, I think Schwalbe has those white tires in 700c, but I'm not sure if they are sold in the US yet; I need to call them.

seaneee said...

vittoria has been making limited quantities of white tires in 700c. But they have been $$$ to say the least.

Anonymous said...

RE; VO tires;
I'd love to see a true 700x38 (or even a 40) with file/slick/minimal tread, tan sidewall and no puncture guard at VO pricing. Yes, we have Paselas but there is room for another refined option that won't break the bank.

Anonymous said...

Chris, thanks for the heads up on the Grand Bois tires, I will switch brands for my next set. I really liked the 30mm version but it wore like crazy for the price which they just raised again. Now all I need to find is a 700x25 or 28mm tire to switch to.


Anonymous said...

I love checking your blog every few days to see what is new, thanks! I have a variation of the Vittoria Randoneurs. They are 37c without the reflective stripe. Riding in Chicago, I have only gotten one flat. I think the Kevlar bead is great should you want to carry a spare tire for when you pedal around the world through the Himalayas. They have about two thousand miles on them and the tread is fine, though the surface has small cracks. I am putting together my green Heron Wayfarer and am thinking Continentals would look nice aesthetically because of the color of the sidewall.
Actually, I would love a pair of tires that are natural colors, such as in the Golden Age of Bicycles book. If anyone knows of any that are currently available, I would love to know of them. Thanks!

yankee_dollar said...

I have a follis with these cranks-from a police auction. The bike was $17 but I had to stand in the cold for five hours...

Anonymous said...

I bought a set of these and used a bit of Simichrome polish on them--not that they were bad looking at all--and they really took on a nice luster. Very deluxe looking, and seemingly a stronger arm than a lot of TA and Stronglight arms I have seen that are narrower and less sleek looking.

systemBuilder said...

These are early 1970's Nervar cranks. While i agree they are a great item, after you have finished polishing them, I highly suggest that you might want to wax them completely, both to keep the finish from dulling, and most importantly, to make it easier to remove dirt from the middle-part of the crank arms.

Nervar Star (full-spider) versions of this crank were used on the first Raleigh Team Pro bikes, and the riders complained mightily that the middles got dirty and stayed dirty.