Classic Lightweights UK
A Guide to Williams Crank and Chainring IdentificationAuthor: Steve Griffith
This guide has been produced because:
Right - The Williams C34D (Double) basic chainset
*PCD: pitch circle diameter. Diameter of circle joining the centre of the crank bolt holes also known as BCD, bolt circle diameter.
A rare 1931 C28 chainset (image Peter Heinemann)
Adaptor to fit 5 pin TA/AB77 cranks and take 151 PCD chainrings (Campagnolo's original design until 1967 when they changed to 144 PCD).
Alloy 151 PCD chainrings 44 to 56.
Both above products introduced 1962
Williams accepted special orders. This included rings up to 64t, special chainring design and bevelled edge cranks.
Pre-war special flush fitting cotterpins and dureel fixed sprockets
Cranks made in non-gearcase clearance (NGCC) also made in gearcase clearance (GCG)
Right- Williams steel 5-pin inch-pitch chainsetChainring fittings
Until 1954 all Williams cranks used the screw square bolt method of attachment (also used by BSA). With the introduction of the C45 a larger splined hexagonal sleeve fitting was introduced . The main reason for this switch was the latter was far easier to accommodate double chainrings, which were becoming more widespread. Well into the 60’s Williams continued to offered cranks with the original square bolt fitting."Williams the conquerors of transmission troubles" (long running strap line to advertisements, a pun on William the Conqueror)
Abbreviations used by Williams in their literature:
B 5 pin BCSA type rings
D for tandem as prefix of double chainring as suffix e.g. C45D
F fixed ring
LC fluted and sleeved fitting for doubles
NGCC & GCC none and gear case clearance, C34 offered in both versions
J joggled fixed ring made by stamping no flange cheapest quality
All products are either marked E.B.W. with the sword trademark in the middle and/or stamped Williams (on cranks). The latter is etched very lightly into chrome surface only.
C1232 outer ring marked: RD874905
C45 rings marked: REGDAPPDFOR
Alloy adaptor is marked: regd 909182 (the patent number).
Alloy 151 PCD rings: regd 908786
Year of manufacture is marked on the cranks and rings, usually below the sword (only exception the alloy rings and adaptor). This is usually on the inside of the ring and inside of crank near the cotter pin. This is one of the most useful guides to dating a bike providing the cranks and/or chainring is original. See the Williams component dating table.
Majority of Williams cranks were available in 6½" and the C34 in 7". Exception was the LC1200 and C1200 only in 6¾.
In the late 70's production was taken over by Nicklin who made a greatly reduced range based around the C34. Nicklin were a trade competitor from before WW2, their products were of the C34/B100 standard and not held in regard by club cyclists. They were a major supplier for mass produced British manufacturers e.g. Raleigh, Dawes, Falcon etc They had made a fluted version of the C34, the N34 since 1963 when Williams ceased production of this model. Part of the Williams factory in Smethwick, Birmingham still stands today but is derelict.
© 2007 Classic Lightweights