1 P E D A L S H A F T S
Some mopeds with external pedal shafts, and separate pedal and motor chains, have one of the crank arms permanently attached to the shaft and sprocket. With those, to get a new sprocket-side arm you have to replace the shaft-with-arm.
Some mopeds with external pedal shafts, and separate pedal and motor chains, have no crank arms permanently attached to the shaft and sprocket. With those the sprocket-side arm can be replaced.
More on this parts topic, later…
2 F R E E W H E E L S
Some mopeds have one drive chain and some have two. Two-chain mopeds, with both a motor chain and a pedal chain, have freewheels, like most bicycles. The freewheel is the rear pedal sprocket that spins free and goes “click click click” in the reverse direction, but locks up solid in the forward direction. The freewheel allows the pedals to be stationary even when the rear wheel is moving forward. The moped brands with right-side freewheels are Puch, Peugeot, Motobecane, Batavus, Sparta (Foxi), Hercules (Sachs), Piaggio (Vespa), Honda (PA50), Kreidler, KTM (Foxi), Kynast, Flandria. There are two brands with left-side backward freewheels, Jawa and Benelli. All of the other moped brands do not have external freewheels, but instead have a freewheel mechanism inside the engine unit.
The freewheel screws on and tightens with pedaling. Once it is tight, a special tool is required to remove it. The tool fits into slots in the freewheel center. Some low-end modern single-speed bicycle freewheels do not have removal slots. Those cheap kinds can be removed by destroying the freewheel. To remove a freewheel destructively without a removal tool, the freewheel is first disassembled, where all the little balls and clickers fall out, and then the inner hub is unscrewed in a bench vise or with a pipe wrench.
Most freewheels go on the right side of the bike and thus have right-hand thread, but Jawa and Benelli ones go on the left side of the bike and have left-hand thread.
Original and Replacement Freewheels
no. freewheel make country bike make part # teeth thread price original on
16a Sunlite xxxxxxx Taiwan xxx replacement 0000 16T 1.375″- 24 $15
16b The Best Wheel France xxxMotobecane 60483 16T 1.375″- 24 $25 Solex
16c Esjot xxxxxxx Germany Hercules 9000300401 16T 1.375″- 24 N/A Sachs Westlake (P1)
16d Atom xxxxxxxx France xxx Sparta 00. 055051 16T 1.375″- 24 $25 Sparta Foxi
16d Atom xxxxxxx France xxx Peugeot xxx39026 16T 1.375″- 24 $25 Peugeot (optional)
16d Atom xxxxxxxx France xxx Motobecane 16057 16T 1.375″-.24 $25 Motobecane 7
16e Ocean xxxxxxx Italy xxxxx Piaggio 000114531 16T 1.375″- 24 $25 Piaggio Ciao, Si early
18a Atom xxxxxxxx France xxx Peugeot 00017550 18T 1.375″- 24 N/A Peugeot 102, 103
18a Atom xxxxxxxx France xxx Batavus 00049020 18T 1.375″- 24 $30 1976-77 Batavus VA
18b The Best Wheel France xxxMotobecane 15244 18T M34.7-1.0 $50 70’s MB with MB hubs
18b J Moyne xxxxX France xxxMotobecane 15244 18T M34.7-1.0 $50 Wards Riverside (AV88)
18b The Best Wheel France xxxMotobecane 15244 18T M34.7-1.0 $50 50’s-60’s Motobecane
18c Ocean .xxxxxxx Italy .xxxx Piaggio 00 103631 18T 1.375″- 24 $25 Piaggio Bravo, Grande
18d Velo xxxxx Czechoslovakia Jawa xxxx070040 18T M35 -1 LH $35 1970-83 Jawa 28, 207
18e Sunlite xxxxxxx China x.xxxreplacement 0000 18T 1.375″- 24 $15
18f The Best Wheel France x.xxxreplacement 0000 18T M32 – 1.0 $13 unknown application
20a The Best Wheel France xxxMotobecane 14298 20T 1.375″- 24. N/A 70’s MB with Leleu hubs
20a The Best Wheel France xxxMotobecane 14298 20T 1.375″- 24. $20 1978-81 MB with mags
20b Atom xxxxxxx France xxx Batavus 00049019 20T 1.375″- 24 $30 Batavus HS50,Starflite
20b Atom xxxxxxx France xxx Peugeot 00000586 20T 1.375″- 24 $30 Peugeot (optional)
20c Esjot xxxxxxxx Germany x Kynast 00000586 20T 1.375″- 24 $22 Flying Dutchman
20e Sunlite xxxxxx China xxx xreplacement 0000 20T 1.375″- 24 $16
23a Atom .xxxxxxx France xxx Puch 3492410230 23T 1.375″- 24 $20-$30 Puch (all models)
Freewheel threads: Like with pedal threads there is a common size and an uncommon size slightly smaller.
The common size is 1.375″ – 24, which equals 34.92 – 1.06 mm. Most modern bicycles worldwide have this ISO (International Standards Organization) standard freewheel thread type.
The uncommon size is M34.7 – 1.00, which equals 34.70 – 1.00 mm. This “French” thread type is on vintage bicycles from France, Belgium, Spain or Switzerland, and on Motobecane mopeds with Motobecane-made hubs.
So the French freewheels are slightly smaller than the rest of the world, 34.7 instead of 34.9. That small amount does not matter as long as the bike is pedaled gently. But it does matter when the pedals are pushed very hard. Then the loose fitting threads on the wheel hub can strip out, a disaster.
It is difficult to tell which thread type a hub has, by measuring the thread tops with a calipers. The 34.92 thread hubs measure 34.65 to 34.7. The 34.70 hubs measure 34.55 to 34.6. On some hubs the tops of the threads are worn down and measure less. So a standard thread might seem like a French thread type. Because of this, it is better to put away the calipers and use “feel”.
When the freewheel and hub have the same thread type, the freewheel screws on easy, yet has no looseness. Looseness is felt with fingertips pulling and pushing the freewheel center side to side. When a 34.92 freewheel is on a 34.7 hub, the center of the freewheel can move 0.22 mm. Here is a video of that. That looseness or “wiggle” is felt. The same is true for any threaded thing. When a bolt fits a nut, it screws on easy and yet does not wiggle.
All of the freewheels in Myrons Mopeds inventory were measured by feel. For each bike model listed above, a sample rear wheel with original freewheel was measured directly by feel. The freewheel was removed. It’s threads were checked by screwing onto both a French and a standard hub. The wheel threads were checked by screwing on both a French and a standard freewheel.
Result: None of the hubs or freewheels had French thread, except Motobecanes with Motobecane-made hubs. Wow!
These are actual Motobecane rear wheels from Myrons inventory. All except one came from Los Angeles area bikes.
model xx rim x hub xx freewheel xxx teeth thread
40XXxxX thin MB xx none xxxxxxxx 18T French
40XXxxX thin MB xx none xxxxxxxx 18T French
50XXxxX wide MB xx none xxxxxxxx 18T French
50XXxxX wide MB xx none xxxxxxxx 18T French
50XXxxX wide MB xx The Best Wheel 18T French
Model 7X 16″ Leleu x none xxxx x xx xxx standard
50VXxxX wide Leleu x none xxxx x xx xxx standard
50VXxxX wide Leleu x The Best Wheel 20T standard
50VXXxx wide Leleu x The Best Wheel 20T standard
50VLAxx mag silver x The Best Wheel 20T standard
LeMoped mag gold xx none xxxxx xx xxx standard
LeMoped mag gold xx The Best Wheel 20T standard
Result: All Leleu-made hubs have standard freewheel thread 1.375″-24, even those for Motobecane. All Motobecane-made hubs have French thread M34.7-1.0. All Motobecane-made “6-star” mag wheels have standard thread, but it is tapered and begins with French thread, so that either type of freewheel can be used.
How to tell: The best way to tell if a 1970’s Motobecane moped rear hub is Motobecane-made (and therefore French thread) is visually. There is an prominent M logo on the freewheel side. There is no step on the freewheel side, instead it slopes gradually. The flanges go farther out from the spoke holes. So from 100 feet away, viewed from the side, the Motobecane-made hubs appear larger than Leleu-made hubs.
All two-chain rear hubs or wheels, on mopeds from the 1970’s and 80’s, have standard freewheel threads, except Motobecane-made hubs on 1950’s -60’s and some 1970’s Motobecane mopeds.
A standard thread freewheel fits a French thread hub and works fine when pedaled normally. Only when a strong athletic person pedals very hard, the hub threads can strip off, requiring wheel or hub replacement.
1950’s – 60’s Motobecane: Many models, maybe all, had French freewheel threads M34.7-1.0. In the 1960’s the parts manuals specified the thread. One example, shown at right, is for Motobecane AV88 and Motoconfort AU88. It lists the 18-tooth 15244 freewheel as having M34.7-100 thread.
The French freewheel thread cover up: It is very odd that, after 1976-77, Motobecane had two different freewheel threads, but they hid that fact. Instead they made the teeth different, 15244 (French thread) was 18 teeth, and the newer 14298 (standard thread) was 20 teeth. The Motobecane America parts manuals list both freewheels without explanation. There does not seem to be anything about freewheels in the Parts or Service Bulletins. The physical freewheels do not say the thread. The actual parts labels do not say the thread either. As a result, this cover-up has caused confusion and mystery for 39 years (1978-2017).
3 P E D A L C H A I N S
4 P E D A L C H A I N T E N S I O N E R S
5 P E D A L S H A F T B U S H I N G S
16.0 x 20.0 x 19.9 no lip $2.50 Tomos 200166, special bronze
16.2 x 20.1 x 19.0 w/ lip $5.00 Puch 349.142.0051, white plastic, for Maxi
16.2 x 21.0 x 15.9 w/ lip $5.00 Vespa 102875, black plastic, for Ciao
16.1 x 21.2 x 16.5 w/ lip $6.00 Batavus? , black plastic
16.1 x 21.3 x 18.7 w/ lip $5.00 Buzzetti 0168, black plastic, for Puch Magnum
16.2 x 25.6 x 15.5 w/ lip $5.00 Vespa 141737, black plastic, for Bravo, Grande, Si