Spares for France

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
wjhall
Posts: 57
Joined: 1 Sep 2014, 8:46am

Spares for France

Postby wjhall » 1 Sep 2014, 8:53am

One of the children is about to depart for a short cycle camping tour of Brittany on a Claud Butler dating from 1980, which is in daily use, something she has done several times before. As usual, I have drawn a 27 inch (28-630) folding spare tyre from store ready for issue, to cover the probability that this size is not readily available in rural Brittany. I also have a spare rear axle. Would I be paranoid to suggest taking this as possible cover for the well known stress raiser on the traditional freewheel design? Or is that kind of axle readily available in France?

WJH

Brucey
Posts: 35626
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Spares for France

Postby Brucey » 1 Sep 2014, 9:19am

I would take the axle and the correct freewheel remover along. Just like in the UK, you will likely find that French LBS's vary in both their ability and willingness to deal with bikes running older style parts.

You probably have a maillard hub in there if the wheels are the originals. Axles are not that hard to come by but they have a habit of letting go at exactly the wrong moment. A few oz. of weight in the bag can at least take a considerable burden off the mind.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

beardy
Posts: 3382
Joined: 23 Feb 2010, 4:10pm

Re: Spares for France

Postby beardy » 1 Sep 2014, 9:23am

Is she capable of changing the rear axle at the roadside?

If not then she would have to go to a bike shop and wouldnt they have suitable axles available? as the threads are mostly the same (I know at least two different threads exist on rear axles).

Have you considered "upgrading" the bike to 700C so it can have a stronger cassette hub and use more common tyres or isnt it ridden enough to justify this? You could do just the rear wheel but then you need access to two different size replacement tyres.

Whether or not they carry a spare axle could depend on the all up weight (luggage and rider) and the expected distance to be ridden.

LollyKat
Posts: 2886
Joined: 28 May 2011, 11:25pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Spares for France

Postby LollyKat » 1 Sep 2014, 11:01am

Back in the 1970s-80s-90s (and in my case today) many of us happily toured with camping loads using screw-on freewheels. It never occurred to me to take along a spare axle. I can see that gorillas might have to but unless she is taking a huge load and/or is a very strong and/or heavy rider, it would be overkill IMO. However she could consider taking a freewheel remover in case she breaks a spoke and the LBS doesn't have a remover.

wjhall
Posts: 57
Joined: 1 Sep 2014, 8:46am

Re: Spares for France

Postby wjhall » 1 Sep 2014, 1:02pm

Thank you for all the comments, I think I shall offer the axle, but not be too concerned if the offer is declined.

A little further research shows that the part can be bought online in France (1), in fact seems to be part of a range including the current longer lengths. Being a little old fashioned I have not yet taken a modern hub apart. However I had to order my spare from the local shop in England, and French bike shops are quite far apart in the countryside. A few years ago I found it impossible to get the right thread and length axle for my own bike, but concluded that the ball to cone interface was standard, and just bought the correct length Weldtite part.


I think a road side repair may not be possible, but a field repair at some place where there is no risk of having to chase ball bearings across the grass verge should not be difficult, failing that at least you can pay a shop to put the part in, even if they do not stock it.

Thank you for the reminder about special tools, unfortunately the freewheel is the Regina two slot type, and has long been designated for bike shop or destructive removal when it wears out, to be left on until then. It has been regreased a couple of times without removing the block.

I tend to regard a broken spoke as something that can be dealt with temporarily by adjustment, whereas, although you can ride a good distance with an axle held together by the QR (this has happened to me), I understand this can cause frame damage.

It is difficult to know what to provide for, I tend to assume the minimum possible, in fact would still not think of a spare tyre as needed for the UK, although I suppose immediate availability of 27 inch tyres, even 32-630, may no longer be common in the English countryside. Anyway last year she made a cardboard tyre boot that got somebody elses's 700C 40 km to a bike shop! There is also the factor of the bike being in use for regular commuting, bikes in regular use tend to break things when you least expect it, usually just after you thought you had checked everything and declared it perfect.

Upgrading to 700C tends to knock on to other things, for example drop out width, and be expensive, so as it is rather a nice bike, our plan is to leave it as it is until things become impossible to get, which will be some considerable time, as we do have a set of spare wheels.

WJH

(1) http://www.hubert-cycles.com/lang-en/mo ... 45164.html

Gearoidmuar
Posts: 2167
Joined: 29 Sep 2007, 7:35pm
Location: Cork, Ireland. Corcaigh, Éire má tá Gaeilge agat.

I speak from experience..

Postby Gearoidmuar » 1 Sep 2014, 1:13pm

A broken axle, not spotted in time because of quick release DOES lead to frame failure, to wit cracking of rear dropout or chainstay. It happened to me a few times in the old days. OTOH I've never ever not once, at all, broken an axle in a cassette system. Get rid of that rear hub!

beardy
Posts: 3382
Joined: 23 Feb 2010, 4:10pm

Re: Spares for France

Postby beardy » 1 Sep 2014, 1:27pm

With my old Claud Butler, it was nothing more than slipping the wheel in and adjusting the brake blocks position.

Down tube non-indexed levers can cope with anything. It would be equally easy to return the 27" wheels.

I am not saying you should do it or that it will be that easy on all bikes but it may not be as difficult as you fear either. The 531 steel frame just pulls apart as you insert the wheel to cope with the slightly wider axle spacing.

If you practice now that could be in mind as a (final resort) way of dealing with a wheel failure in France, just buy a new (700C) wheel and slip it in.

LollyKat
Posts: 2886
Joined: 28 May 2011, 11:25pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Spares for France

Postby LollyKat » 1 Sep 2014, 2:21pm

Yebbut the brakes might not reach....

beardy
Posts: 3382
Joined: 23 Feb 2010, 4:10pm

Re: Spares for France

Postby beardy » 1 Sep 2014, 2:27pm

True and the pads had to be spaced out to keep the centrepull arms parallel and effectively longer.

If you have a 700C wheel knocking around these things can be checked before laying out any money.

Brucey
Posts: 35626
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Spares for France

Postby Brucey » 1 Sep 2014, 5:11pm

wjhall wrote: .... A few years ago I found it impossible to get the right thread and length axle for my own bike, but concluded that the ball to cone interface was standard, and just bought the correct length Weldtite part....


if it didn't convert itself to a heap of shrapnel in short order, you got lucky. The ball to cone interface isn't always standard and I have seen plenty of ruined hubs where a weldtite axle had been used; caveat weldtite axle -fitter....

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ANTONISH
Posts: 1590
Joined: 26 Mar 2009, 9:49am

Re: Spares for France

Postby ANTONISH » 2 Sep 2014, 9:19am

I note you are intending to give your daughter a folding tyre for a spare. This would require a clincher rim - are you sure that the existing 27 rims are clinchers or old HP?

TonyR
Posts: 5390
Joined: 31 Aug 2008, 12:51pm

Re: Spares for France

Postby TonyR » 2 Sep 2014, 3:03pm

A radical approach is to not carry anything but the essentials and use the current capability to deliver anything anywhere in 24hrs instead. So keep the axle at home and if the one on the bike breaks, you can get the spare there by courier the next day. I've gone one further in the past and just ordered online what I needed when I needed it.

Psamathe
Posts: 10430
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Spares for France

Postby Psamathe » 2 Sep 2014, 3:52pm

TonyR wrote:A radical approach is to not carry anything but the essentials and use the current capability to deliver anything anywhere in 24hrs instead. So keep the axle at home and if the one on the bike breaks, you can get the spare there by courier the next day. I've gone one further in the past and just ordered online what I needed when I needed it.


Bit off-topic (sorry), but for touring to areas outside Western countries when people say "stick to 26", I have always wondered given how and required 700c spares could be purchased from the UK and UPS'd somewhere. And if in some remote area in SE Asia or S. america, waiting for expedited UPS (or similar) is not likely to be a massive issue given you are probably not on a 2 week holiday and a few days downtime is probably a good thing anyway. So is the 26"/700c debate for less western countries a bit on a non-debate given the worldwide coverage of many courier companies ?

Ian

TonyR
Posts: 5390
Joined: 31 Aug 2008, 12:51pm

Re: Spares for France

Postby TonyR » 2 Sep 2014, 4:06pm

Your problem is more likely to be your credit card company blocking your card because goods have been ordered on a UK CC and billing address for delivery to a dodgy country. Not usually a problem in France or other major European countries.

wjhall
Posts: 57
Joined: 1 Sep 2014, 8:46am

Re: Spares for France

Postby wjhall » 4 Sep 2014, 4:43pm

The tyres had been tested with the rims concerned, which are hooked.

Proceeding from discovering that a 10 mm axle could be used in place of a 9.5 mm to proposing that all axles are interchangeable at the cup/ball interface probably was rather a sweeping judgement, although I prefer to think of it as lucky to discover this, but careful in checking that it did actually fit. Given that bicycles of this type from that era do have a lot of very similar parts I suggest it is always worth considering if the original length / diameter combination are impossible to get. If an axle appears to fit and run smoothly is this a sufficient check or are there factors that could destroy the bearing even if it seems to fit and run?

The weakest point of 1980s touring bikes seems to be the wire carriers, despite fairly light camping loads we have had a couple come home with field repairs using bits of wood, and been subsequently replaced by tougher modern racks, but bits of wood will get you a long way...