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130-year-old Chater-Lea adds crankset to its line

Published September 14, 2020

A version of this article ran in the September issue of BRAIN.

LONDON (BRAIN) — Chater-Lea, which began making bike components in 1890, was reborn last year after being mothballed for more than 30 years. This summer the reborn UK-based manufacturer launched a new crankset to match the pedal it introduced last year.

Both products are heirloom quality, made in the UK, and are favored by a handful of custom bike makers and aficionados globally. The products are sold online and through a handful of custom builders; U.S. builders Chris Kvale and Pratt Frameworks have recently spec'd Chater-Lea's pedals on some new builds.

Andy Richman, who relaunched the brand in 2019, told BRAIN that about half its sales are in North America. Richman is a UK citizen who lives in the U.S., where he is a partner in a brand-building company.

After acquiring the Chater-Lea assets a few years ago, he scoured old drawings and photos of Chater-Lea products and hired a designer. The company works with a variety of British contractors to get the products built.

Other than the CL monogram that collectors have coveted for decades, the new products are all new designs, Richman said.

"We have a small design and engineering team based in the U.S. and U.K. whose backgrounds cover bicycle component design through to designing pieces of F1 cars for Mercedes, Ferrari and the like. The project brief was to take the original iconic design and make it something that would work equally well on a retro-rebuild or a modern titanium or steel bike from one of today's finest custom builders."

Chater-Lea released its Grand Tour pedal at Bespoked, the UK's handmade bike show, last year. The pedal features a polished stainless steel cage and body, a lifetime warranty and a 250-pound (about $325) price tag. This summer the reborn company released two crank models; Richman said they are the brand's first new crankset design in more than 50 years.Chater-Lea introduced its pedal earlier this year.

The Grand Tour 46/30 is a sub-compact double alloy crankset that retails for 595 pounds (about $775).

The 170mm-length-only crank is compatible with JIS square-taper bottom brackets and works with chains up to 11-speed. It started shipping in early August.

Chater-Lea also plans to release a single-chainring version, with 36- or 40-tooth options. Prices and availability of the single is to be announced. More information:


The new Chater-Lea crank comes in single or double chainring variations.

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