Viscount bicycles!!

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
busaste
Posts: 365
Joined: 1 Mar 2008, 10:18pm

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby busaste » 20 Mar 2011, 8:36pm

quiksilver wrote:Thanks Busaste, I noticed it had pump pegs where as my other Sebring frame has no trace of them. I think its gonna take a few tins of Coke and a lot of tinfoil to get the new one cleaned up. I am hoping to have it on the road a bit sharpish so will probably go with whats on it already rather than seek original parts. and it looks like a 5 speed too, which is what I was after. Its even the same colour as my fixed conversion!


My first Viscount was a Sebring. I got it back in 1978 and it was a total revelation for me. Lightweight, impossibly beautiful to look at and so good to ride. I went EVERYWHERE on it. Sadly it got stolen in 1983 which still annoys me even now. Still, the memories and pictures (see below) live on.

I have an Aerospace Sport with brazed on pump pegs. Yet other Sports did not even come with a pump!!! It keeps us all on our toes...

Steve's Bike.jpg
Image Attachments
Steve's Bike 2.jpg

busaste
Posts: 365
Joined: 1 Mar 2008, 10:18pm

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby busaste » 20 Mar 2011, 9:07pm

I have a Viscount Aerospace Sport 22" frame for sale. Paint could be better and the fork's chrome has bits of rust. BUT, it comes with a new original Viscount Aerospace Sport/Viscount frame stickers and Viscount bottom bracket spindle and sealed bearings.

The price is £27 plus postage.

I'm selling it because it is too small for me. High resolution pics available if needed.

DSCN1311.JPG

User avatar
quiksilver
Posts: 275
Joined: 13 Apr 2009, 9:38am
Location: Cornwall & London

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby quiksilver » 21 Mar 2011, 7:21am

I recall being at school in the late 70s and finding an old bike frame on a local tip, it had layers and layers of paint on it. It sat in my dads garage for years waiting to be restored but never did. He had a bit of a clear out and threw it away sometime backin the early 90s :-( Not that I think it was a Viscount or anything but your story of having your bike stolen back in '83 reminded me of lost items from our past. I wonder still now what that frame was that I had? Hopefully it was just a crappy old BSA and not something special.

Bendo
Posts: 292
Joined: 3 Nov 2010, 10:10am

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Bendo » 21 Mar 2011, 10:34am

Wow, those Sebrings had some nice bling on them. The one for auction in Sydney went for $130 and finished with 26 bids, which is pretty fierce for an ad that had two crappy pics and was pick up only. The owner said it had Shimano 600 derailleur, SR stem and cranks and Ukai (?) hubs. Pics attached FYI. b
Image Attachments
sydney sebring 2.jpg
sydney sebring.jpg

User avatar
quiksilver
Posts: 275
Joined: 13 Apr 2009, 9:38am
Location: Cornwall & London

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby quiksilver » 21 Mar 2011, 1:35pm

The more we talk about Viscounts on this thread the more material ends up on the net about them. Thats probably helping to push up the price worldwide. I checked that one out on Ebay Australia over the weekend myself Bendo.

Bendo
Posts: 292
Joined: 3 Nov 2010, 10:10am

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Bendo » 22 Mar 2011, 10:18am

True, but without the net I would never have learned where to buy stickers! (and other bits). b

Cusqueno
Posts: 144
Joined: 12 Mar 2011, 7:31pm

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Cusqueno » 23 Mar 2011, 11:03pm

quiksilver wrote:A quick check of Google maps and Streetview seems to show that Cranborne Rd no longer exists :(


Looking a bit further afield on the map I found a Cranborne Road in Potters Bar EN6, but the full Post Code does not point to it. This isn't unknown. Either search on Cranborne Road, Potters Bar or search on EN6 3JS and look around 1km due west, on the other side of Potters Bar Golf Course. The road starts about 500m NW of Potters Bar railway station. The southern end looks residential but the north end (which bends round in a loop) is an industrial estate. Incidentally, there is a company listing for VISCOUNT CYCLES LIMITED (Registered No 01585666) on Cranborne Road, listed in about 1981 (but now dissolved). I did not realise that there was a company known simply as Viscount Cycles without 'Trusty' or Yamaha.

Nice frame busaste. Almost worth it just for the BB.

There isn't really an answer to the likelihood of the price of Viscounts rising the more we talk about them. The alternative (as far as I can see) is not to talk (or even to rubbish the bikes) or to operate a sort of secretive cartel to rig the market and keep general prices down. Not very attractive ideas. The prices are rising a bit, from a very low level, and have a way to go before reaching Hetchins / Rene Herse heights. It cuts both ways since more knowledge about the bikes might avoid people being ripped-off by the odd unscrupulous vendor (for instance describing a Taiwanese Viscount as 'Aerospace').

oldnick
Posts: 14
Joined: 26 Mar 2011, 4:14pm

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby oldnick » 26 Mar 2011, 5:18pm

I'd be real obliged for any info' and a value for this one as I'm going to sell it, probably on ebay.
It's totally original, even the tyres have never been changed. My brother purchased it new around 1980 and hardly used it. I purchased it from him around 1983 and rode about 50 miles on it. It has spent most of it's life stored in my garage. It isn't mint but very clean for its age. Whats on the various components is (I'm not bike savvy so I hope the description is clear enough):
Brakes are Shimano Torneau with little black levers to open them from the rim, Shimano on levers and Shimano Dee 50 on pulls.
Hubs are marked Shimano VIA ED, wheels are marked (original oval stickers) Aluminium Rim, SHURMANN, 27" x 1 1/4", West Germany. Tyres are Michelin Speed.
Cranks are marked SILSTAR with SR SAKAE on the end caps. Chainwheels are marked SR. The pedals are marked W Germany. Rat traps are French with Record on black leather straps.
Gear selectors are marked Shimano Altus LT, selector levers Shimano.
Handlebars are marked ITM Special with Viscount on end caps. The part they clamp in is marked SR.
The frame is marked 'Hand made in England' with various stickers including Grand Prix on the front of the crossbar.
It is a twelve speed with frame number 56253.
Image Attachments
valiant bike 001a.jpg
valiant bike 004a.jpg
valiant bike 006a.jpg
Last edited by oldnick on 27 Mar 2011, 1:43pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bendo
Posts: 292
Joined: 3 Nov 2010, 10:10am

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Bendo » 27 Mar 2011, 7:11am

Lovely bike in excellent nick, thanks for posting pics. I don't know that much about the whole Viscount marque, and my interest is mainly in the older Aerospace frames. However it's interesting that it says "Made in England". I thought that by the 80s Viscount was owned by Yamaha and was making all its frames in Taiwan. Maybe I've got the history wrong and it was only the cheaper bikes... I'm sure the others here can set me right. b

oldnick
Posts: 14
Joined: 26 Mar 2011, 4:14pm

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby oldnick » 27 Mar 2011, 10:46am

He may have purchased it in the late seventies, I can't remember exactly when. I do remember my brother telling me it was made of aerospace bar when he purchased it. The dealer made a big thing about it. I just spoke with him and he confirmed it was sold as an aerospace. He reckons he might still have the purchase invoice, he's going to look for it.

busaste
Posts: 365
Joined: 1 Mar 2008, 10:18pm

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby busaste » 27 Mar 2011, 7:47pm

oldnick wrote:He may have purchased it in the late seventies, I can't remember exactly when. I do remember my brother telling me it was made of aerospace bar when he purchased it. The dealer made a big thing about it. I just spoke with him and he confirmed it was sold as an aerospace. He reckons he might still have the purchase invoice, he's going to look for it.


Nice bike!

It does have the 'Aerospace' frame tubing albeit joined with lugs rather than the low temperature fillet brazing of the earlier 'Aerospace' models e.g. Aerospace Pro, GP, Sport, etc. The frame was made at the Potters bar factory. It was the none Aerospace/Columbus frames which were made in Taiwan. These frames used ordinary 'gas pipe' tubing BUT they were well made, strong and reliable if a tad heavy.

Valuing a Viscount is very difficult. Prices are all over the place as the market does not know what to make of them. Nonsense about death forks, cheap alloy parts, Lambert engineering, etc, etc. has not helped. Early Aerospace Pros fetch the biggest prices but even with these I've seen them go for £75. There are a few Viscount collectors out there but they tend to go for the early stuff and it has to be mint too.

Viscount frames do seem to be increasingly popular with the 'fixie' fraternity. If you have one on eBay at a time when a couple of fixie fans are looking for a good Viscount frame then the price could go sky high as a bidding war breaks out. You just never know.

Any way, from my experience, mid range 1980s Viscounts like yours tend to fetch somewhere between £40 - £100. You would need a bit of luck for the latter price but that's the beauty of eBay I suppose; all sorts of things can happen!!

By the way, I wish to state this important fact for Viscount fans: YAMAHA NEVER OWNED VISCOUNT. I've read a fair few times that Yamaha bought out Viscount but it is completely untrue. Yamaha wouldn't have touched the company with a bargepole!!! I suspect that with hindsight, Yamaha probably regretted being Viscount's USA distributor. The 10 speed racer boom collapsed in 1976/7 after which they couldn't shift Viscount's from the massively overstocked warehouses. Then there was the pointless, ill advised fork recall in 1981. You think they would have learnt from the Lambert debacle.

Try selling it on the CTC forum first at a price you want. Miles cheaper than eBay and it would go to a 'proper' cyclist!!!!

Happy selling.

Bendo
Posts: 292
Joined: 3 Nov 2010, 10:10am

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Bendo » 28 Mar 2011, 1:20am

Thanks Busaste. I think I'm finally getting a picture of Viscount history in my head.
I agree about listing the bike here. You're as likely to get a good price as anywhere. Otherwise eBay with no reserve and a minimal opening bid is sometimes a good way to engender interest that can turn into a last second (literally) bidding war.

Or keep it and you've got a beautiful ride. :D b

User avatar
quiksilver
Posts: 275
Joined: 13 Apr 2009, 9:38am
Location: Cornwall & London

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby quiksilver » 28 Mar 2011, 8:13pm

I would keep it.

DannytheLuddite
Posts: 11
Joined: 27 Aug 2009, 3:06pm
Location: London

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby DannytheLuddite » 28 Mar 2011, 9:55pm

My Aerosopace Sport has sealed bearings that are an interference fit in the bottom bracket shell. Does anyone know whether the shell can be threaded to take a modern sealed bearing cartridge?

Background: I managed to find a NOS 8speed chainset to replace the worn SR APEX chainset that was put on the bike many years ago, but found out too late that it is designed for a 110mm spindle. The original spindle is about 122mm, but I didn't realise until I'd removed the old chainset and tried to fit the new one.

oldnick
Posts: 14
Joined: 26 Mar 2011, 4:14pm

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby oldnick » 29 Mar 2011, 12:50am

quiksilver wrote:I would keep it.

Thank you all for the replies. The knowledge here is fantastic.
I think I will take your advice. I will buy a pair of new tyres for it, clean and oil the chain and chain wheels and try to use it for a couple of evening pleasure rides a week. I haven't ridden it for twenty+ years but still remember enjoying the very few rides I had. Reminded me of when I was a school kid and also what it must be like to have a heart attack. The first ride, I got half way up a hill, stopped by a farm gate and hung over it trying to get enough air in to my lungs. By the third ride, I could get all the way up that hill without a problem. Trouble was on the return, some idiot car driver nearly knocked me off and I never rode it again. Let's hope I have better luck this time. Thanks again for the help.