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Williams crank and chainring identification

Posted: Friday 12th June 2020

Author: Steve Griffith

This guide has been produced because:

  1. Williams are wrongly in my view judged by their base model the C34. Would we judge Brooks by the B5 or Campagnolo by the Valentino gear?
  2. It can be difficult to identify different models and because their advertisements before 1955 are often Professor Eddywilly cartoons, which although are amusing are not helpful to identification.
ModelDateRing SizesPCDDetails
C2830's44,46,48C34Pre-war only same cranks but different chaining design Marked 410207
C34Late 20’s to 6232-60 even.
Inch pitch 16-30
88mmMost common model. Swaged on ring arms. Chainrings flanged on outside only. Production stopped in 1962 but chainrings continued to be made until the end of the 60's. Fluted version 1s 4d extra in 1962. Single and double fluted made. Sleeved fitting 1s 8d more expensive in 1962. Cranks in three options: square, half-round and fluted.
D3430's to mid 60'sOuter as C34 but inner 6-pin fitting to outer ringC34Tandem version
SC31mid 30's to end of 50'sNo PCD as one ring is fixedTandem fixed inner-ring, outer detachable 6-bolt fitting

54 to early 60s44 46 47 48 49 50

3/32 & 1/8
C34Triangle ring pattern designed to allow easy chainring removal, i.e. without taking off pedal. Same cranks as C34 sleeved only.
C100054 to early 60s32-48 evenC34Described as club racer set, lighter cranks and rings than C34, weight with 46t, 756g
C1032Early 50's to 6144-52 evenC34Double: square screw fixing of both rings (version of C1000). I think the 32 stands for 3/32 chain.
C120039 to 6744-54 including odds 47 & 49 no's116mm continental size. Open-claw designThe top model
6¾ only. Fluted cranks top quality forged right crank one piece. Rings driven by bosses on ring not chainring bolts, better design than Chater-Lea. Both sleeve and screw ring fitting. Weight with 46t, 700g
C123254-mid 60'sAs above 3/32 onlyAs C1200Double version of C1200
LC123254-mid 60's46-54 including odds 47 & 49
3/32 only
C1200 Double sleeve fiting to crank. Inner ring six screw bolt fitting to outer.Different ring design and wider crank arms (like C34) than C1200. The 32 stands for 3/32 chain
LC120061 to late 60's44-50As C1200Replaced the C34. Fluted 6¾ only. Wider chainring arms than C1200 swaged on. Sleeve fitting only.
B100Late 30's to early 70's26 to 56 also inch pitchBSA 5 pinPlain cranks base model. With fettling interchangeable with TA
B1100Mid 30's to late 40's 44, 46, 48BSA 5 pinCranks as B100 rings without inside flange
B109Pre-war44, 46, 48B100Dureel ring, weight with 46t 560g. Same cranks as B100
30's to 60's
54 to late 60's
44, 46, 48n/aFixed ring version, chainring design as per model letter, e.g. F45 as C45
62 to mid 70'sMinimum 42 made by Williams but interchangeable with TA minimum 26. Also adaptor - see below5 pin as TASplined b.b. made by TDC (poor quality). High quality cranks, all alloys. Benefit over Gnutti splined is that no need for special tool to remove cranks. 6 ¾" only. The only British cotterless crank made in any quantity

*PCD: pitch circle diameter.  Diameter of circle joining the centre of the crank bolt holes also known as BCD, bolt circle diameter.

Other products
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)

Williams steel 5-pin inch-pitch chainset
Williams steel 5-pin inch-pitch chainset

Chainring 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
SD semi-detachable
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.

Thanks for reading

Posted: Friday 12th June 2020

Author: Steve Griffith

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