I would like to remove the bottom bracket from an old french peugeot race frame. I believe the frame was built in 79 judging by the decals and stamp on the bb.

The bottom bracket and spindle at the moment will spin, but feel very dirty and sounds gritting so I want to take it apart to clean/regrease.

I'm almost certain its a french bb and not swiss based on the info on from cyclespeugeot.com.

I'm about ready to start this but have a few questions.

  1. From what I have read, I only need to remove the left adjustable cup to service the BB?
  2. The left adjustable cup will be left threaded so will need to turn clockwise to undo?
  3. Is the lock ring also left threaded? It has an outer diameter of 47mm and i'm currently struggling to find a locking ring tool to fit.

I'm trying todo this properly as it seems getting a new or used french bb is not going to be worth it and I might as well get another frame.

If it helps, here are a couple of pictures:

enter image description here enter image description here

  • If you can get a fingernail into a thread (which it appears you can with this BB) then you can tell which way it's threaded. If your fingernail "unscrews" as you rotate your hand counterclockwise (anticlockwise for you Brits) then it's a right hand thread. Basically your fingernail should "unscrew" the same direction you'd unscrew the lockring and cup. Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 22:02

3 Answers 3


Usually one only needs to remove the left cup to service the bottom bracket. With Fench/Italian BBs the right cup is usually so tight it's not worth even trying (I personally attempted two times but never succeded EDIT. I also managed to damage a Park Tool BB remover, worth 15 quids...)

The left cup is always right threaded, in any case the lockring must have the same thread orientation of the cup.

As for the oversized lockring, I have had a good rate of success using adjustable pliers, just hold them tight enough so to avoid losing grip.

Finally, it's always worth repairing, or at least trying to!

  • 2
    If all else fails put a large screw driver in one of the notches in the lockring and tap it with a hammer.
    – mikes
    Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 10:25

I just recently wrangled with a very difficult bottom bracket on a '73-'74 era Puegot. There was no way that lockring was coming off, until of course I tried a few things. After lots of "PB Blaster" and no success, then a mix of acetone and light oil (I used power steering fluid) I finally used an old trick I've learned long ago: brake fluid.

I placed the bike frame on the floor laying down and placed a rag underneath and poured a liberal amount of brake fluid over the lockring. I then allowed this to sit about two weeks and did one more pour-over in that time. I was working a lot of hours so my temptation to touch the thing was minimal.

Then my final stage of the plan: I got a pair of Stilsons (ie, a Stilson wrench, monkey wrench, plumber's wrench) and went to work. I placed the bike back in the stand, if you don't have a stand, have an assistant to help with holding the bike frame steady against the force of your turning efforts. The Stilson was large and so I could adjust the opening of the top and bottom large enough to get a grip on the lock ring. With the long handles and also the heft of the tool helping, I was able to turn the lockring with little effort!

Might I add that after I removed the lock-ring and then finally the cup, it was apparent after I started cleaning both up that someone might have used a thread-lock to keep the assembly from coming undone. This will contribute to your problem if done and this is where chemistry (solvents and such) comes in handy as well.

  • Some threadlockers loosen with heat. Did you try applying a gentle heat from a hairdryer or hot air gun? An open flame would generally be too much and is not advised.
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 3:03

I had the same issues with my "72 and '75 Peugeots, although I'm sure this isn't related to just them. The second answer is about what I did and worked better for me. I liberally used WD40 and a cheater on my wrench.

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