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An antique bicycle crankset is an essential part of a bicycle's drivetrain. Here is a general description of its function and characteristics:

Function :

The crankset is the part of the bike where the pedals are attached. It transmits the force exerted by the cyclist on the pedals to the chain, which then transfers this energy to the wheels to move the bicycle forward. Basically, the crankset converts the rotational motion of the pedals into the rotational motion of the rear wheel.

Features :

1. Cranks:

These are the metal arms attached to the crankset where the pedals are attached. They are usually made of steel or light alloy and can vary in length to suit the rider's preferences.

2. Tray(s):

The chainrings are the toothed discs attached to the crankset. They can vary in size (number of teeth) to provide different speed options. Older bikes may have a single chainring or several, depending on their design and intended use.

3. Bottom bracket:

This is the set of bearings that allows the crankset to spin smoothly. In old bicycles, these housings were often cartridge or cup and cone. They were usually housed within the frame of the bicycle.

4. Support arm:

On many older crankset models, there are support arms that connect the cranks to the bottom bracket to provide greater rigidity and stability when pedaling.

5. Protection:

Some older cranksets may have special guards to prevent the rider's clothing from getting caught in the moving parts.

6. Materials:

Old bicycle cranksets were generally made of steel, aluminum or light alloy. They were often designed to be sturdy and durable, although sometimes less lightweight than modern versions due to the materials used at the time.

These features depend on the specific crankset design and may vary depending on age, manufacturer and type of bike. Antique bicycle cranksets can come in a variety of styles and configurations depending on the era in which they were made and their intended use.