I’ve uploaded another repair video to youtube: overhauling a French bottom bracket video tutorial. I hope this is useful and can provide some easy visual steps to how best service your vintage bottom bracket.
Notes and Tools
I only used two tools for this overhauling:
- Park Tool HCW-17
- Large Adjustable Wrench
I left the drive side ( non adjustable cup ) on in this overhaul, because they can be very difficult to remove and the job doesn’t have to be done with both cups removed. In other words, I wanted to show the easiest way to overhaul a bottom bracket with the simplest tools.
I used Park Tool bike grease which I think is good quality. I also think it’s a good idea to change the ball bearings when overhauling your bottom bracket, you can buy 24 1/4″ balls for just 1.60 with free shipping here. You’ll need 22 bearings, 11 for each side.
Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to find dedicated tools these days for Stronglight and other French bottom bracket cups. Indeed, finding original tools for any vintage bike is becoming increasing difficult. A C spanner would be ideal, as the cups can be often seized on and an adjustable wrench can end up rounding the flats on the cups after multiple attempts. Of course, it would be ideal to take both cups out and clean them, it just depends on how much effort is going to be involved in removing the drive side cup.
To get the right chainline, please see my page on spindle lengths.