Re: [CR] Stronglight 49D cotterless cranks timeline-----"Depose" vs. "Marque Depose"

Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2006 23:28:31 -0700 (PDT)
From: Peter Jourdain <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Stronglight 49D cotterless cranks timeline-----"Depose" vs. "Marque Depose"
To: Jan Heine <>,,
In-Reply-To: <a06230956c14a271e32a5@[]>

Thank you Jan and Mike for your responses and insights. I greatly appreciate you taking the time and for the considerable insights you bring.

It seems it is a much more complex and subtle matter than I had first thought, complicated, in part at least, by the "human element" so everpresent in bicycle and parts manufacturing----inconsistent usages of names, date codes, tools, materials, techniques, etc. Reminds me of the stories I've heard about Gitane and other builders where people on the floor sometimes used "whatever parts were laying around" to construct their machines. Then we get into tricky definitions such as, "What is round, and what is square" in relation to finishing work, etc.

As soon as I start to think I've got some of this bicycle stuff figured out, out rolls another riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. At least in part, anyway. Enough to keep me guessing that my cranks may be older---or younger---than I had first thought.

I would love to see a web page or a detailed article illustrating the various 49D versions and what is known about them.

While I am more interested in what you've said in general about the 49D and its manufacturing hallmarks than I am in my particular little question pertaining to MY cranks, I suspect some detailed photos would help you pass informed judgment on them. If you indulge me, I'll try to post some soon.

Thanks again!

Peter Jourdain
Whitewater, Wisconsin US of A

--- Jan Heine wrote:

> Another pointer is the depth of the impression of

\r?\n> the "Stronglight"

\r?\n> stamp. Earlier ones are shallower than later ones.


\r?\n> For the arm shapes, there are at least three

\r?\n> iterations: Early ones

\r?\n> were rounded on the back, and the pedal hole

\r?\n> surround was rounded.

\r?\n> The rounded pedal hole surround was dropped first,

\r?\n> and the later

\r?\n> cranks were squarish all along the rear.


\r?\n> Jan Heine

\r?\n> Editor

\r?\n> Bicycle Quarterly

\r?\n> 140 Lakeside Ave #C

\r?\n> Seattle WA 98122





\r?\n> At 2:21 AM +0000 10/5/06,

\r?\n> wrote:

\r?\n> >This is a stinky difficult topic which I doubt

\r?\n> anyone has really

\r?\n> >sorted out well. [edit]

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> >There are distinct differences in Stronglight

\r?\n> cranks in terms as

\r?\n> >shape - but those do not always seem to be

\r?\n> consistant from year to

\r?\n> >year either. In general, there seem to be examples

\r?\n> with very deep

\r?\n> >grooves and more rounded shaping that appear to be

\r?\n> both pre-war and

\r?\n> >also evident in the early 1950's.

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> >Late 49D cranks take on a more squarish angular

\r?\n> shape by the late

\r?\n> >70's or early 80's I would guess.

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> >The Stronglight crank came out in about 1935 or so

\r?\n> I believe.

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> >Hopefully someone will have this more nailed down

\r?\n> than what I've

\r?\n> >provided here - but so far I haven't seen anything

\r?\n> convincing yet.

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> >Part of the problem is that Stronglight seems to

\r?\n> have done a lot of

\r?\n> >hand finishing after production so it is fuzzy as

\r?\n> to what was made

\r?\n> >when especially in terms of shape. So if

\r?\n> identifying cranks by

\r?\n> >shape, one may really be sorting out who made what

\r?\n> rather than when

\r?\n> >a given example was made.

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> >Mike Kone in Boulder CO

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> >-------------- Original message --------------

\r?\n> >From: Peter Jourdain <>

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> >> Greetings---

\r?\n> >>

\r?\n> >> I'm sure somebody knows this off the top of

\r?\n> their

\r?\n> >> head----but I would like to know a few things

\r?\n> about

\r?\n> >> the history of Stronglight 49D cotterless

\r?\n> cranks------

\r?\n> [edit]