Unusual elliptical chain ring

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dnc1

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Apr 1, 2016
2,022
53
Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK
A friend recently found this, any ideas anyone?
This first photo shows it in 'as found' condition.....
IMG_20190919_195817_492.jpg


It's marked 'ELAN', in a typeface that screams French to me.....
IMG_20190919_190331_908.jpg


20190919_190237.jpg


IMG_20190919_195813_491.jpg


The adaptor plate allows it to fit on these 'Williams' cranks.....
IMG_20190922_200421_665.jpg


IMG_20190922_200418_076.jpg


Thanks in advance for any help/info.
Darren.
 
Last edited:

Jesse McCauley

McCauley Cycle Works
Mar 5, 2013
2,108
Richmond, Virginia
The two different ages of metal scream composite object to me. That is my 1c, not enough insight for 2.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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dnc1

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Apr 1, 2016
2,022
53
Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK
Thanks @Jesse McCauley.
It's definitely much earlier than the Williams chainset, that adaptor was obviously made up later to allow it to fit on a British machine at some time.
Perhaps because the original French chainset would have had a different axle diameter and wouldn't fit on a British bicycle.
My friend found the William's cranks that match the adapter plate yesterday.
 

dnc1

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Apr 1, 2016
2,022
53
Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK
Thanks @juvela, I thought 20s/30s French origin but couldn't find an image.
My friend will have to look for some Terrot cranks now.
Stirling work sir!
 

dnc1

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Apr 1, 2016
2,022
53
Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK
From the last two photos, it suggests to me that you can position the apex of the ellipse in several positions in relation to the driving crank arm?
Curious!
 
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juvela

I live for the CABE
Aug 2, 2014
1,263
Playa del Rey, United States
-----

Here is one on a Cycles Delly machine of slightly later.

Delly badge property of Schmidely.

%22ELAN%22 elliptical c:w on Cycles Delly machine a) .jpg

%22ELAN%22 elliptical c:w on Cycles Delly machine b)  .jpg .jpg


Cycles Delly headplate  .jpg


SCHMIDELY transfer, maker of Cycles Delly  .jpg




Delly & Terrot were both located in Dijon.

Perhaps maker of "ELAN" c/w's domiciled in same area...

-----
 

juvela

I live for the CABE
Aug 2, 2014
1,263
Playa del Rey, United States
-----

c/w's appear to be made to mount to a standard 116mm BCD three-arm chainset

wondered as to meaning of marking "FR8ET"

evidently the ELAN folk did no ha' an ampersand in their stamping die set so they employed a small numeral eight in its place...

finally dawned on me dull "braine" that the whole marking should read "Brevete FR & ET" ... translation: "patents France and Foreign"

(not the sharpest tack in this or any other box)


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juvela

I live for the CABE
Aug 2, 2014
1,263
Playa del Rey, United States
-----

Closeup views of cleaned set remounted to Terrot -

closeup of Terrot chainset cleaned a)  .jpg


closeup of cleaned Terrot chainset b)  .jpg


View of cleaned drive complete -

cleaned drive assembly, complte, Terrot  .jpg

[the little j-shaped thingy above the chainset is an oiler(!)]

Chainwheel mounting and usage instructions from "ELAN" :

%22ELAN%22 elliptical c:w instructios  .jpg .jpg
 
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blackhawknj

Look Ma, No Hands!
Nov 29, 2016
37
70
Plainsboro, United States
Interesting. There was some interest in elliptical/out of round chain rings in the early 1980s, I recall one woman member of my club said they helped to eliminate knee discomfort. IIRC people found out they could not be used with a derailleur and their benefits were "greatly exaggerated".
 

bikejunk

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Nov 1, 2014
702
56
passaic NJ
My 1893 Columbia had an elliptical sprocket and yes back in my racing days in the 1980s we had Bio-pace elliptical sprockets . 1951 C.W.S they supposedly give you a mechanical lever action advantage over a round chain ring - I found the messed up my perfect circles in a sprint
 

juvela

I live for the CABE
Aug 2, 2014
1,263
Playa del Rey, United States
-----

Here upon the puddle's occidental margin we have had some aftermarket non-round chainwheels offered from time to time.

One recalled from the mid to late seventies era was the Durham. For several years there each time an enthusiast opened a cycling periodical there would be a mailorder advert from Durham.

Theirs were done in dural. One problem for these cottage industry operations was the decision as to what drillings to offer. Since they were done on a small scale more than one drilling option would shoot up the overhead...

Here are two models of Durham's from BITD -

for three-arm 116mm BCD:

https://flic.kr/p/izaUfd
https://flic.kr/p/iy6rrX
for five-arm 144mm BCD chainsets:

Durham Elliptical c:w 144mm BCD, five-arm  .jpg


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dnc1

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Apr 1, 2016
2,022
53
Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK
My friend is in the process of fitting it to a bare steel '30s Hercules sports bike, I'll post pictures when I have them.
I came across a few of those 'Durham' chainrings @juvela, whilst searching for info on the Elan example.
Interesting that this idea keeps recurring through the ages. As @bikejunk implies above, a probably very sound idea on paper that proves less so in actual use,
By the way @bikejunk, do you have any photos of the version in your 1893 Columbia?
I'd like to see that.
 

Cowboy in NC

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 12, 2017
827
59
Dunn, NC
I had a similar skip tooth sprocket years ago---sold it on Ebay. Someone here on the Cabe bought it- because they posted a picture of it . It was called a "Rock-o-Matic Rocket Sprocket, circa the 1940s. " Maybe they will see this and repost or maybe someone will look it up.
God Bless,---Cowboy
 
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