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 Post subject: French Headset/Fork
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:46 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:58 am
Posts: 12
I've got a motobecane frame and I've got some questions about headset/fork compatibility.

As far as I know, the headset is a french headset so the diameter and threading is difference (I think). Does this mean I can't replace with a standard 1inch threaded (or indeed 1inch threadless) headset and furthermore, am I restricted to only using forks with french threading on the steering column?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:36 am 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 1:29 pm
Posts: 10798
Location: Manchester, UK
AFAIK, if you replace the both forks and headset you can fit either standard 1" or French items in the frame.

If interested I have a French fork and headset available.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:25 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:19 am
Posts: 2093
Location: Sheffield, top city
the pitch of the threading is the same, but the french fork is a slightly smaller diameter steerer. I don't know how you feel about this, but BITD when i ran a motobecane, I fitted a standard english steel tange headset to the frame by wrapping the fork column in electricians insulation tape and then threading on the headset after. The extra "padding" on the thread did the trick and I ran it problem free for years. A bit of a bodge, but it worked for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:23 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: Lost in Translation
pigman wrote:
the pitch of the threading is the same, but the french fork is a slightly smaller diameter steerer.

Strictly speaking, the pitch is close but also different. French standard parts always use metric threads. A BSC steerer at 24tpi is about 6% larger in pitch than the French 1mm standard. In practice, combined with the smaller diameter of the French steerer, the difference is small enough to allow the bodge you described to work.

As always, Sheldon Brown is a great reference:

http://sheldonbrown.com/velos.html


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:23 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:21 pm
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Location: Lost in Translation
Tonyandthewhale wrote:
As far as I know, the headset is a french headset so the diameter and threading is difference (I think). Does this mean I can't replace with a standard 1inch threaded (or indeed 1inch threadless) headset and furthermore, am I restricted to only using forks with french threading on the steering column?

As Dead Rats rightly says, both headset and steerer must match - either one standard or the other - but either standard will work in a French frame. So if your fork is French, you need a French (metric) headset (unless you use the bodge pigman described). If you plan to fit a BSC fork, you need a BSC headset.

Do check before deciding how to proceed though. Later French frames and forks often have BSC threads. By the late eighties, French threads were dying out.


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