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Classic Lightweights UK
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Chater-Lea components 1932 

Author Peter Underwood


Steve Griffith recently let me have a Chater-Lea components catalogue dated 1932.  There are some interesting pieces in it so I have extracted those pertaining to lightweights.  It may help with dating early components, especially as my knowledge of pre-war bikes is very sketchy to say the least.The catalogue also lists 'Company-built' frames which can be custom-built.

They also mention the cross-over drive which they introduced in 1927, claiming a definite advance in the design of tandem frames as a result.

chater32-15-comp
Frame building parts : Front ends and pump pegs

chater32-3-comp chater32-4-comp

chater32-8-comp chater32-9-comp

chater32-2-comp chater32-5-comp

chater32-6-comp chater32-7-comp

Chainwheels and tandem drives

chater32-1-comp chater32-13-comp
Left: Solo bottom bracket and chainset with 5/16" ball bearings. Early models were two-arm with a third bolt to rear of crank
as shown here. Some people are not sure which way to insert cotter pins. The catalogue shows the head of the pin leads over the top when rotated.
Available in 6½", 6¾" and 7" lengths. Chainrings were available for ½" or 1" pitch chains.
Right: Chater chainset fitted to eccentric bottom bracket. It can be difficult to adjust the chain tension using the eccentric rotation.
To assist, this model had a hole bored in the eccentric to take a rod. The arm of the chainset can then be used with the leverage from the crank
to make fine adjustments to the chain tension before locking the eccentric with the twin bolts below the shell.
The rod, of course, is then removed and the hole plugged.

chater32-14-comp
Above: Another use of holes and rods. Here a temporary peg is fed through the hole in the crank which registers
 with the adjusting holes in the cup. The lock ring can then be loosened and the cup adjusted by moving the crank
before re-locking. This avoids having to remove the chainset which on a solo bike would be a single crank allowing adjustment in situ.

chater32-11-comp
Above: As well as this tandem 'double' conversion, Chater also produced a narrower spacer which could be used to build a
3/32" double chainset for use on a solo.
chater32-16-comp
Left to Right: Chain peg, mudguard eye, steel wingnut, duralumin wingnut, duralumin wingnut with rotating collar,
track nut in steel with rotating collar