I took advantage of the recent snow to take some new photo’s of my Chater-Lea path racer, which dates from about 1905. The cross frame design was borrowed from Raleigh and made under license from them by Chater-Lea, according to contemporary adverts in ‘Cycling’. Nice details include the extraordinary handlebars which are definitely original. I can’t really see the advantage over drop bars but you can tuck your elbows in for a more ‘aero’ shape! Similar design bars are fitted to Graeme Obree’s home made bike ‘Old Faithful’ on which he beat Moser’s hour record in July 1993. The Chater has a huge 28 inch frame and the top of the seat tube is considerably higher than the top of the head tube, like somewhat more modern Lo-Pro bikes. It is fitted with a Chater-Lea chainset with removable chain ring. When I bought the bike a few years ago it was fitted to a home training machine from the same period, which I later acquired. The fittings bolt onto the end of the axles and the pressure of the roller on the tyre can be adjusted by means of rotating the long handle to the left. Works well but is very noisy and not too kind on tyres!
Click on photo’s for larger scale images
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