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  • The inch pitch block chain in 20th century track racing
    chain wheels of this gearing system It thus determines the commensurate length of the alternating links and blocks of the matching chain As applied in cycling the standard internal width of the open links of the block chain was 3 16 This differed from the half inch pitch roller chain transmission system on which the links measured â internally but subsequently diversified becoming 3 32 for derailleur gears Clearly therefore the block chain and roller chain transmission systems as applied to bicycles were totally incompatible Tangibly a switch from one to the other required a complete change of the chain the rear cog and the chain ring Less visible however were other fundamental differences that its use brought to the practise of track racing Of the machines on the CL website fitted with block chains the Sibbit transmission spec is listed as 21T chain wheel x 7T cog on the Fossett Peacock Carlton Flyer 27 x 7 on the other Carlton 23 x 7 with a 9T spare sprocket and on the Ephgrave 27 x 7 To modern cyclists familiar only with half inch pitch chains these numbers will make little sense However doing the maths using the British formula reveals these machines to have gear ratios of 81 0 104 2 88 7 69 0 and 104 2 respectively What this points to is that classic trackies who used the block chain system were obliged to think and talk about gearing in a distinctive way In short the gearing lingua franca of these trackmen differed from that of other cyclists and served to set them apart But much more than an alternative gearing language was involved The block chain system impacted on actual gearing options and gearing choices because of the practicalities involved in using it See Appendix B for an inch pitch block chain gear chart Ephgrave No 1 track machine with inch pitch transmission Detail shot of Ephgrave transmission with 27T TA chainring and 7T rear sprocket giving a 104 gear measured the UK way This is well illustrated by an account in the autobiography of the legendary post WWII British trackman Tommy Godwin In this he writes of the British track team which raced in South Africa early in 1948 He describes the team s activities on the eve of an international track omnium against a South African team in the city of Kimberley celebrated as a diamond mining centre Situated at high altitude Kimberley had a large c 550 yards outdoor track at the De Beers stadium with a fast cement surface Legend has it that it also contained local diamond bearing sand Godwin writes about the British team in Kimberley as follows Prior to the meeting we became keen on making record attempts Lew Pond achieved 29 seconds for the standing start quarter mile South African Record On Friday we all agreed to go for the quarter mile flying start TT Ian Scott went first with 25 3 seconds then Alan Bannister with 24 7 Pond next equalled this time and finally Godwin in only his second attempt at the flying quarter achieved 24 5 beating the top two Bannister decided to go again with a gear raised from 92 to 96 and equalled Godwin These times beat W J Bailey s record of 24 8 seconds set up at Herne Hill in the early 1900 s T Godwin The Tommy Godwin Story p 79 Bill Bailey was world amateur sprint champion 1909 1911 and 1913 Alan Bannister was an accomplished match sprinter who went on to partner Reg Harris on the tandem at the 1948 London Olympics at which they won the silver medal To anyone familiar with the block chain system Bannister s decision to raise his gear by four inches from 92 to 96 would come as no surprise What Bannister must have done was to change from 24 x 7 92 6 to 25 x 7 96 4 In other words he changed his chain ring for a larger one However the increase of one tooth in the inch pitch system is equal to an increase of two teeth in the half inch pitch roller chain system What this points to is that relative to the half inch pitch chain the inch pitch system restricted gearing options This obliged the rider to think very carefully about gear choices and to plot the most appropriate gear within the practicalities of the parameters set by the block chain system Since a change in the size of the chain ring has less of an effect on the overall gear ratio than does a change in the rear sprocket size it follows that trackmen in the classic era were more likely to change the sizes of their chain rings than of their rear sprockets But this in turn had further technical implications In the first instance the classic track rider thus needed a block chainset with detachable rings Furthermore the bolts attaching the ring to the right hand crank needed to be easily accessible In addition once removed from the crank ideally the ring should be able to clear the attached pedal toeclip assembly Various solutions were developed by chain wheel manufacturers to resolve these problems the three arm crank being one But since trackies and especially sprinters demanded very rigid chainwheels they tended to prefer five pin cranks However these were often characterised by limited access to the fixing bolts An interesting solution to this problem is evident in the design of the Harris Plattner Raleigh seen in the image below Under its bottom bracket is a chiselled slot which allows easy access to the five pin fixing bolts attaching the ring to the crank But the technical implications of the block chain system did not end there Since a difference of one tooth on the block chain system was equivalent to two teeth on the roller chain the tension of the block chain invariably needed careful adjustment when gear changes were made

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/extras/inch-pitch-block-chain.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Bottom brackets - Chater-Lea and others
    BB The insides of this are threaded and the bearing cups which thread in on either side have a shoulder which locks onto the ends of the BB The frame BB shell may well have a hole drilled to take a retaining bolt which screws into the barrel this locates the BB unit and stops inadvertent turning Right Unit BB with cups slightly unscrewed hole is to line up with grease nipple Click for larger image Bottom bracket axle BW Baylis Wiley 14 was for double and BW 15 for single chainsets Some bottom bracket shells for the serious collector A pair of the genuine Claud Butler cups and lockring on this early Claud Butler Anglo Continental frame One of the bugbears of bottom brackets is the fixed cup which can be next to impossible to release Here in the UK there is a Jackson tool which bolts onto the cup with a washer underneath and the nut is tightened with a long spanner for purchase As the nut tightens it will release the cup with its left hand thread The tighter the cup is then the more pressure is put on by the nut Now you need to get the cup off the tool but there are flats on the opposite end to lock the assembly in a vice and so be able to release the nut washer and cup I also use the tool for putting this cup in I secure the flats in the vice and tighten the nut over the cup If there is too much resistance then the whole thing will undo Time to clean out the threads Which reminds me ask your resprayer to clean the threads if you don t have a tool with which to do this Even a very small amount of paint can cause severe problems Above Jackson tool with threaded cup in place Click for larger image See also Bottom Bracket Lengths by Steve Griffith Chris Hutchinson adds yet more in the effort to understand bottom brackets Years ago 1977 with limited budget and 5 16 Chater parts in an apparent limited supply I converted a tandem to 1 37 solo axles using sleeves then available from the Tandem Club I don t know who made the tandem but it was bought from ex clubmate Colin Warren who was working as a gas fitter in the conversion of Bethnal Green Fire station to a Buddhist retreat This first tandem passed to another Redbridge CC member and since 1982 we have owned a 1939 Claud Butler with Chater brackets headset chainsets and pedals I have a post war 2 arm chainset and bracket on a solo too I spotted first that you mentioned using three 1615 axles in solo s I assume but in your preceding lines you had not mentioned the part I have a 1931 Chater catalogue and I looked there first and later some Holdsworth Aids finding some variation in the part numbers you quoted Part numbers

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/components/bottom-brackets.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Airlite hubs
    take a thicker axle presumably as the 5 16 axle would be very weak when drilled out Ray Booty always used an Airlite small flange Q R in the front wheel only on his road path machine On the rear of course he would have had had fixed or occasionally a Sturmey gear Raleigh contract you see If you are using thicker Q R front axle you may find it a little too large for some of the older fork ends this problem can easily be solved by filing flats on the hollow axle if you are nervous about that then the fork ends have to be filed out Colin Lines points out that although the front Airlite QR hubs had a fatter barrel and axle he remembered that in the early fifties he had fitted some Gnutti QR axles and skewers straight into a pair of Airlites with 5 16 front axle Amir Avitzur sent these images of the various barrels and flanges used to create the range Airlite made Front and Rear barrels as shown in this barrel photo They used rear barrels for both front and rear hollow axle hubs to allow for QR shaft hence more front flange variations would be expected The combination of flanges and barrels show the wide range of Airlites available not just fixed and geared as it is easy to imagine Here are some of the more unusual Airlite hubs One of the rare pre war riveted Airlites a front As you can see the large drilled flange instead of being pressed onto the barrel is riveted to a small flange which is pressed onto the barrel They were also produced as a tandem specific hub A Pair of the rare quick release Airlite hubs advertised on ebay These were produced

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/airlites.html (2016-02-09)
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  • British Hub Co. - Solite hubs
    Photo Gallery Ride calendar Links to related sites British Hub Co Solite hubs Peter Heinemann Peter has complied this collage which shows off the Solite hubs on top of a British Hub Co Ltd advert from 1936 For clarity the

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/components/bh-solite.html (2016-02-09)
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  • BSA hubs
    of war and during post war economic booms In the 50 s for example after acquiring the Triumph Motorcycle Company they had become the world s biggest motorcycle maker In 1957 they sold their bicycle division to Raleigh In their heyday BSA made a wide range of bicycle parts Their components had a well earned reputation for durability and reliability and were priced likewise Their cranks for example were a

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/components/bsa_hubs.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Campagnolo BB Axles
    width of 70mm for a road double chainset with total width of 120mm 36 x 24 35 x 1 and 1 370 x 24 are the available threadings for Italian French and British bottom brackets destra destra indicates two right hand threads whereas destra sinistra is the UK s right left hand thread 65 68 70 and 74 are bottom bracket shell widths UK is usually 68 This affects the width of the bearing surfaces on the axle and some Italian bottom bracket cups are narrower which adds to the confusion if you are making up a bracket set from odds and ends See comment from Harvey Sachs below in italics mentioning thick cups Maybe he was building up a frame with 70mm bracket shell using an axle for 68mm shell and thus needed the thick cups By 1968 the overall widths for the road axles had reduced to 112 113 and 117 and cups with 5mm increased threading were available On later axles SS denoted road no idea why the extra S There was also C for cyclo cross axle triple ring If you are smart you can use the overall width of the axle as a guide for rear hub sprocket position for a fixed wheel set up For fine tuning Campagnolo later produced lock rings in three thicknesses to prevent that ugly situation of lots of thread showing beyond the lockring The provision of cups with extra thread plus lockrings of three thicknesses show that I am not the only one to struggle to find the correct combination Get it wrong and it can be impossible to get a lockring on or at the other extreme have too much thread showing beyond the lockring Michael Maher from Charleston USA points out that there is a superb technical piece on Campagnolo BB and axles on pages 5 7 of Campagnolo Record News technical bulletin Winter 1982 83 Many thanks for this it is the most comprehensive article I have seen on this subject http www campyonly com history record news record news vol 1 2 pdf In a recent discussion on Campag bottom brackets on Classic Rendezvous Harvey Sachs asked After cleaning everything I tried to reassemble with a Campag thick cup BB set I hard Right cup fine left very tight Every Campagnolo cup I tried was very tight Mark Bulgier replied English BB cups are all made to the same nominal size but vary within the tolerances for the English BB thread standard Campy cups are among the largest maybe the largest and therefore the tightest fitting So you need the BB shell threads cut on the large side of the range for Campy cups to thread in easily It could be that even if your taps are sharp they may not make a thread that will be an easy fit for a Campy cup If that s the case you may need to take it to someone that has real Campy taps or a reasonable

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/components/campag-axles-comp.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Campagnolo QR on FB hubs
    FB Frateli Brivio manufactured a hub which was identical to the Campagnolo Gran Sport hub and both were available for a time with either marking Both are identified by the extra radius of smaller lightening holes see image on right of GS without QR it was available with or without FB both small and large flange continued on with solid spindle versions until they linked up with Simplex and used

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/components/campag-fb-comp.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Chater Lea
    block chain One of the early two arm Chater Lea fluted chainsets fitted with the very rare Chater Lea double chainset On these cranks the third bolt is into the back of the crank This conversion is achieved with a Chater alloy spacer two rings and longer bolts The alloy spacer is manufactured in two thicknesses used here is the thinner for a 3 32 double conversion The thicker version was for use on tandem drive Sometimes the outer ring has to have the inner flange removed to allow the chain to lift from the inner ring Chris Grange has written an informative piece on Chater adaptors For a period Chater produced these very fine round cranks shown here with Chater pedals The round cranks were introduced at the London Cycle Show in 1948 They were not as strong as the fluted cranks and so were not suitable for sprinting on the track 50s riders do claim that they were prone to breakage but I haven t had any problems with them The fluted cranks were used by many riders on the track but another favourite for sprinters was the BSA 5 pin chainset which was very rugged Some of

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/chaterlea.html (2016-02-09)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-10-21