Re: [CR] ID for Stronglight rings...

(Example: Framebuilding:Tubing:Falck)

From: <>
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 2009 06:12:11 -0500
To: <>
Subject: Re: [CR] ID for Stronglight rings...

The model 63 (in roughly 1963) was the first Stronglight crank set to use the now virtually universal 10 mm bolt sets with the hollow bolts with hex-key (Allen) openings. The mod 57 used solid hex-head bolts and nuts with 7 mm outer diameters.

Many of the mod. 49 chainrings of the earlier 1950s and well into the 1960s also used solid bolts. Some of these chainrings also had what was in fact more traditional cuts for the chainring web pattern, similar to those which were most famously recognized as the mod. 57 "Super Competition" model ring style.

That pattern was really very consistent with much earlier chain rings reaching back to the early 1900s and were quite commonly see on steel single rings of both 1/8 inch and the even wider 3/16' thicknesses - a chain width which was still used for track racing applications even into the 1960s. Here is an example of an early Williams (UK) single steel ring, a model in production from the 1930s through 1950s in the web pattern from which the model 57 pattern double chainsets were really derived:

Here is a 1958 catalogue page from the UK importer Evian which shows an earlier style mod 49d double chainset with the earlier pattern - similar to that of the mod. 57... I would imagine this would have been offered as a "Racing" style (versus Touring) model set-up, so the inner rings were only shown as available down to 44 teeth. In reality, they could have been offered down to 40 teeth - eventually 38t in the later Star pattern which also used the same 122 BCD. /

As Jerry Moos mentioned, the Cyclo Rosa type Touring rings which allowed smaller inner chainrings were still common during the 1950s although they first appeared much earlier. Here is a Rebour image published in the late 1940s:

And, of course the Specialites TA Cyclo-Touriste and Randonneur rings were available throughout the 1950s, and were completely compatible with the 49D crank arms. So, Stronglight seems to have concentrated on the racing applications for their light alloy crank sets.

The more familiar style of 5-pointed Star cut outer rings seen on so very many Stronglight cranks was (I believe) first stratified on the model 63. The 49d rings with this same pattern and with solid chainring connecting bolts may have continued on for some time after the model 63 began to use the hollow bolt sets before this "innovation" [already used by Campagnolo, et al] finally trickled down to use on the more common mod. 49 sets, too. See here some variations of the venerable mod 49d chainring sets in the familiar Star pattern:

I believe the specific inner chainrings which Ted Baer is seeking for a proper mod 57 chainring set would be the earlier style of inner chainring pattern which split into thin forks past the fixing bolts... not the more common star pattern inner rings which exited the bolt holes with a single bar. I've seen some mod 57 sets fitted with incorrect inner "early" and even "middle era" 49D rings (as used with star pattern 49d outer rings) sold with mod. 59 cranksets on eBay. Those sets STILL commanded quite high prices on ebay - in spite of the extremely (and of course increasingly) rare inner rings which a "restoration" of those chainsets would require. The later 49D rings (early star pattern) of course will fit the application, but they really do not look quite right to my eye.

Here is an interesting page which I just uploaded which shows the sometimes overlooked differences between the quite similar looking 49d and 57 inner rings of the very same period. Perhaps this will help distinguish what is sometimes quite erroneously being sold as complete, original, and "correct" model 57 cranksets:

... Well, now that this thread has inspired me... Here is the complete 1958 catalogue which I have just uploaded. It shows showing many of the sometimes unique features of the various components. Some (such as the headsets and bottom brackets) really remained virtually unchanged and were in continuous production for the next 20 years.

Hope this info was useful. I always find it fascinating (and challenging) to ferret out some of the data regarding French components for which there is often little documentation available.