Classic Lightweights UK

Conloy cotterless cranks 

Peter Underwood

(Image from Mick Butler)

These cranks were advertised in the Constrictor Conloy catalogue of 1937, and reading the above it would seem that this was just about the time they were introduced into the UK. The cranks were manufactured by Stronglight who granted Conloy sole rights as agents in the UK. I assume that item No. 10 shown above is the spanner but the image puzzles me - I cannot work out what the threaded part on the 'barrel' of the tool is.

However, Barry Adams says: "It's only a guess but I think the spanner comes apart to release the screwed item which may well be the extractor for removing the cranks from the axle."

Although the Conloy/Stronglight alloy chainsets were on offer here (UK), very few seem to have been used until the mid-fifties when alloy became more acceptable, especially amongst the road racing fraternity.  Before then the material was treated with suspicion as likely to break (not unknown amongst steel cranks one must say - hence the popularity of the strong BSA cranks amongst sprinters).  The predominantly time-trial fraternity were nearly always to be seen with steel cottered cranks with single chainring driving a fixed wheel for many years. Those not racing but touring wouldn't trust these new-fangled ideas either.

In the same catalogue Constrictor were advertising a steel 5-pin crankset made for them by BSA, much cheaper at 14/-, with a weight of 17ozs.

Also listed were Conloy chain wheels with 'K' pattern in size 42T, 44T, 46T and 48T - the 42 sold for 10/- and each size up was an extra 6d.  In addition to this range they made Inch Pitch rings but one had to apply for sizes and price.

To go with the cranks they offered the Boa pedal (made by BSA and also offered as an alternative) and a platform pedal with detachable top, the Asp promised for the near future.  They also advertised the steel BSA rat-trap pedal.

By 1938 they had added a Cobra and New Viper pedal to the range.