Viscount bicycles!!

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Bendo
Posts: 292
Joined: 3 Nov 2010, 10:10am

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Bendo » 27 Sep 2012, 2:51am

onewheelgood wrote:Hi all, another lurker here. I've just accquired a Viscount Sebring Mixte to do up for my daughter, who said she wanted a classic type bike for her 21st. It has Shimano 600 gears with stem mounted levers, SR Apex cranks and stem, Shimano Tourney centrepull brakes and Weinmann levers. Wheels and seatpost are steel. The stickers all say 'Made in England'. I've searched around and I haven't found anything about the ladies Sebring anywhere - so can any of you knowledgeable people tell me anything about this?


Image


This is lovely. Again, I know nothing, never seen one before either, but this one could be worth a bit of time and ££ I reckon. My VA Victor came with steel rims and it became a much better bike when I fitted it with alloy rims. Not only due to the weight saving, which was significant, but also to the increased stopping power. One problem with steel rims is that when it's wet the brakes no longer stop the bike, they only slow it. Rather a problem in traffic, that.

If you do go alloy, the wheels will need to be 27" (ISO 630mm), with a rear hub of 126mm width. In other words an old 5 or 6 speed screw-on freewheel hub, same as what the bike has. A new pair of rims would be best of course, but that can get pricey. Finding a secondhand but serviceable wheelset is probably a better option. I know quite a few people who have done major restos of Peugeot mixtes: porteur bars, Brooks saddle, etc. Here's one example: http://commutercycles.com.au/bikes/restorations/ (scroll down to see the Peugeot)

It's about time someone did the same with a Viscount! b

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

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Bendo » 27 Sep 2012, 2:40pm

...an example of what you could with the wheels would be to get some hubs like these:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NOS-Boxed-Suzue-Aluminum-Alloy-Hubset-36H-w-Skewers-/271051255496?pt=Cycling_Parts_Accessories&hash=item3f1be9eec8#ht_2082wt_1080
and then get them laced to pair of these:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/260983762140 (make sure you get the right number of holes though!)
It would be a bit of an expense, but then you'd have a great mixte, with period correct parts, and slightly higher spec than it came out of the factory. b

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

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby busaste » 28 Sep 2012, 6:14pm

WineCaster wrote:Hello Forum!

I've been lurking about this forum for some time now and have come to this thread with a question:

In my search for a lightweight and cheap road bike frame to convert into a fixed gear, I came upon a Viscount V-3000 GS. I got the bike for $31 and everything seems to be original. Shwimano components. I cannot find ANYTHING on the net about this model, except here in this thread (page 36) mentioning that it's a "rare" model.

I had plans to strip and paint (customize) this bike as to create my own fixed gear.. plus I don't like the light blue color of this Viscount. So I'm wondering if this bike is worth cleaning and selling.. or should I just proceed with my plans?

Image
Image
Image

Thanks!


The bike is worth cleaning and KEEPING!!!!!! The 'V' range bikes were Viscount's final 'hurrah' in the USA before concentrating almost entirely on the UK. Rare bike.

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

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby busaste » 28 Sep 2012, 6:35pm

onewheelgood wrote:Hi all, another lurker here. I've just accquired a Viscount Sebring Mixte to do up for my daughter, who said she wanted a classic type bike for her 21st. It has Shimano 600 gears with stem mounted levers, SR Apex cranks and stem, Shimano Tourney centrepull brakes and Weinmann levers. Wheels and seatpost are steel. The stickers all say 'Made in England'. I've searched around and I haven't found anything about the ladies Sebring anywhere - so can any of you knowledgeable people tell me anything about this?


Image


The Sebring was always the top bike in Viscount's 'cooking' range of bikes that sat below the Aerospace models. Sebrings first appeared in '75 as part of the Viscount International range and were sold in the US and over here (UK). The frames were largely made in Taiwan although there was some experimentation with awful Spanish frames (soon dropped!). The frames are made from 'gas pipe tubing' but don't let that put you off as they are well made and strong if a bit on the heavy side. Lugwork is nice if a bit basic.

There were 3 versions of the Sebring. The early International Sebring had a steel chainset and fully painted forks. The wording for the frame stickers is unlike anything else in the Viscount range. The next version (yours) had half chromed forks (the best one in my opinion because it had a really nice frame and a bit of chrome is always nice) and the gear change levers on the bar stem. The final 1978 version made at the Potters Bar factory had fully painted forks, a wet finish paint job and gear levers back on the down tube.

What set the Sebring apart from rival bikes made by Raleigh, Dawes, etc. was the component quaity and absurdly low price. The gears were the superb Shimano 600. Many of the other parts were high quality SR and Shimano jobbies. I started my Viscount hobby (errr, obsession) with a red Sebring in December 1978. I did everything on it and loved it to bits. Great bike and sooooooo cheap too. There really was nothing else like it at the time for the money. Perhaps its closest rival was the Falcon Black Diamond.

Mixte framed Sebrings were not big sellers so rarity is guaranteed. I think the wheels on yours are not the original ones as they should be bolt on Shimano large flange hubs. Everything else including the saddle looks to be as it was in 1975 - 76. The mudguards and rack were not factory fitted.

Keep it, polish it and enjoy!!

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

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby busaste » 28 Sep 2012, 6:46pm

Goldie wrote:Well, I've just been to pick up my new Viscount frame, and it belongs to a late Aerospace 600EX. It looked silver in the pictures, but it is actually a rather eye catching metallic lilac. It has the Viscount logo cast into the fork crown and - standing it next to my mid seventies Aerospace Pro - a much steeper head tube angle, straighter fork legas and shorter chain stays. I''ll stick some pictures up once it's had a clean.


The 600EX was voted 'International Bike of the Year' back in the day. An absolute classic bike. The frames were made by Viscount at their Potters Bar factory. Nice lugwork, Aerospace tubing, Shimano 600 parts, light weight, ooooohhhh, lovely. Here is one in its prime:

LV5.1.jpg

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Sooper8
Posts: 801
Joined: 20 Aug 2012, 7:53am
Location: Midlands

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Sooper8 » 4 Oct 2012, 4:15pm

Did anyone here buy this one that sold on eBay yesterday?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/320990550646? ... 500wt_1182
Image

Just my frame size and looked nice but I didn't anticipate someone else wanted it so badly and was willing to go above £200...

Jem
Everything you love,everything meaningful with depth & history,all passionate authentic experiences will be appropriated,mishandled,watered down,cheapened, repackaged,marketed & sold to the people you hate

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

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Bendo » 5 Oct 2012, 2:42pm

Sooper8 wrote:Did anyone here buy this one that sold on eBay yesterday?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/320990550646? ... 500wt_1182
Image

Just my frame size and looked nice but I didn't anticipate someone else wanted it so badly and was willing to go above £200...

Jem


And someone wants £195 for this...
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/VISCOUNT-INTERNATIONAL-COLORADO-GT-VINTAGE-LAMBERT-RACE-TOURING-BICYCLE-/261106084069?pt=UK_Bikes_GL&hash=item3ccb22a8e5#ht_3345wt_1150
It has got a genuine air pump though.

Aaaah! What have we done?! b

Indeboat
Posts: 121
Joined: 4 Oct 2012, 5:59pm
Location: Derbyshire

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Indeboat » 5 Oct 2012, 7:45pm

Hello All on the Viscount thread / or is it War and Peace.

I have been viewing and reading the stories and info for some time now, a couple of weeks ago a bought a mid 70’s Aerospace Sport from a dealer local to me.
It’s not in bad condition but lots of original parts replaced with more modern parts.
All brakes replaced with Shimano side pull Exage, brake levers Shimano RX100.
Crank/pedal set Stronglight 80.
Wheel rims are Weinmann , hubs are Maillard.
All the bolt’s with the V on them are missing.
The good thing about the bike is it rides great.
The frame also is in good condition, paintwork good.
I will add some pictures later.
With so much of the bike non-standard I started looking for another more complete bike.
The Sport will be ok for local shopping trips ect.

Now everyone is nice and calm and friendly I have a small confession to make. :oops:
Sorry Sooper8 but it was me who won the Aerospace Pro.

As you might be aware the man selling it owned this for the last 37years.
All standard as bought from his local shop in Peterborough in 1975.
Spec is as follows.
Viscount brakes.
Lambert levers
Viscount hubs
Mavic Monthlery Legere tubular rim on the rear, with what would seem to be stainless spokes.
Mavic “Record du Monde de L’Heure”Tubular on the front with stainless spokes,
Shimano Titlist front mech.
Suntour Cyclone rear mech.
Regina GS corse cassette, 14,15,16,17,18 ( Flat land/Time trial?)
Viscount chain rings.

Unfortunately the paint seems to have suffered from to much love, prior to laying the bike up for 25years the owner sprayed everything, this seems to have affected the clear covering to the paint, plus his attempts to remove the decals at some time this has damaged the paint to.

I am in the process of removing parts and cleaning, pictures to follow.
I have also contacted “The Image Works” at Ilkeston (only 7Miles up the road from me) for a set of decals.

Only thing that i think i will have to change is the cassette , might have been ok in and around Peterborough and the flat fens but it's just a little bit more hilly in Derbyshire :wink:

Oh, buy the way, it also has its original pump. :)

Hope everyone will still speak to me.

User avatar
Sooper8
Posts: 801
Joined: 20 Aug 2012, 7:53am
Location: Midlands

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Sooper8 » 6 Oct 2012, 7:58am

Indeboat wrote:
Hope everyone will still speak to me.


Indeboat,congratulations! No hard feelings.... I really wanted that one. Mainly because of the frame size,more than the condition.
Gotta admit I am envious of you. And I suppose I should say sorry for pushing the price up on you. I think there was another bidder went up high too?

I'm pleased that someone here got it. Keeping it in the 'family' anyway...

Hope you really enjoy it mate and if you get sick of it or it's too small for you let me know and I'd be happy to buy it off you.

Cheers

By the way, I see you are not far from Ilkeston. I'm down in Burton On Trent. I used to work in Derby. If ever you're out and about in Derbyshire on your bike let me know and we'll meet up for a shandy?
Everything you love,everything meaningful with depth & history,all passionate authentic experiences will be appropriated,mishandled,watered down,cheapened, repackaged,marketed & sold to the people you hate

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

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby busaste » 6 Oct 2012, 10:07am

Indeboat wrote:Hello All on the Viscount thread / or is it War and Peace.

I have been viewing and reading the stories and info for some time now, a couple of weeks ago a bought a mid 70’s Aerospace Sport from a dealer local to me.
It’s not in bad condition but lots of original parts replaced with more modern parts.
All brakes replaced with Shimano side pull Exage, brake levers Shimano RX100.
Crank/pedal set Stronglight 80.
Wheel rims are Weinmann , hubs are Maillard.
All the bolt’s with the V on them are missing.
The good thing about the bike is it rides great.
The frame also is in good condition, paintwork good.
I will add some pictures later.
With so much of the bike non-standard I started looking for another more complete bike.
The Sport will be ok for local shopping trips ect.

Now everyone is nice and calm and friendly I have a small confession to make. :oops:
Sorry Sooper8 but it was me who won the Aerospace Pro.

As you might be aware the man selling it owned this for the last 37years.
All standard as bought from his local shop in Peterborough in 1975.
Spec is as follows.
Viscount brakes.
Lambert levers
Viscount hubs
Mavic Monthlery Legere tubular rim on the rear, with what would seem to be stainless spokes.
Mavic “Record du Monde de L’Heure”Tubular on the front with stainless spokes,
Shimano Titlist front mech.
Suntour Cyclone rear mech.
Regina GS corse cassette, 14,15,16,17,18 ( Flat land/Time trial?)
Viscount chain rings.

Unfortunately the paint seems to have suffered from to much love, prior to laying the bike up for 25years the owner sprayed everything, this seems to have affected the clear covering to the paint, plus his attempts to remove the decals at some time this has damaged the paint to.

I am in the process of removing parts and cleaning, pictures to follow.
I have also contacted “The Image Works” at Ilkeston (only 7Miles up the road from me) for a set of decals.

Only thing that i think i will have to change is the cassette , might have been ok in and around Peterborough and the flat fens but it's just a little bit more hilly in Derbyshire :wink:

Oh, buy the way, it also has its original pump. :)

Hope everyone will still speak to me.


Looking forwards to the pictures. The Image Works sell the frame stickers you need: top tube 'Aerospace Pro', down tube 'Viscount' and seat tube black/white/silver stripes. If you are bothered about your Aerospace Pro's originality I would swap your rear derailleur for a Shimano Crane. The rear freewheel cluster was originally a Shimano 14-24 jobbie.

It was good to hear that you bought an Aerospace Sport in a local bike shop. How often does that happen 30+ years after they were made?!

Indeboat
Posts: 121
Joined: 4 Oct 2012, 5:59pm
Location: Derbyshire

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Indeboat » 6 Oct 2012, 8:29pm

Hello Busaste
Thanks for the reply,I have already ordered the decal set from Ilkeston,have you thought of having some decals prepared for other Viscount models?
I ask as the Sport is missing the "Aerospace Sport" and it could do with a complete new set on it.
Thanks for the info on the rear cassette, just won a N.O.S. Shimano 14-24 from #bay.Looking for a Shimano Crane mech.
So far only managed to clean up the wheels,they shine up great, new tubs recieved today.
What is the original colour of the Pro? is it silver and blue with slight metalic content? Or grey and blue ?
The frame is coming up ok ,but it will need a new paint job, to do it justice,not yet though.


Hello Sooper8
Thanks for the nice words, i am actualy closer to you than you think,i am just on the border of Leicestershire and Derbyshire,Shardlow.
It would be nice to meet up on the Viscount's.
Maybe somewhere between us?.

Has any one thought of having a mass Viscount meet? :wink:

Thanks both.

Indeboat
Posts: 121
Joined: 4 Oct 2012, 5:59pm
Location: Derbyshire

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Indeboat » 7 Oct 2012, 11:19am

Hello Sooper8
Just to make you feel a bit better about the bike,it had been listed as a 53cm frame,it is actually 23".
Which is my size,the 53cm would have been some what too small for me.On viewing the bike the size was right for me.
It was a lucky day for both of us.

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

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby busaste » 7 Oct 2012, 1:44pm

Indeboat wrote:Hello Sooper8
Just to make you feel a bit better about the bike,it had been listed as a 53cm frame,it is actually 23".
Which is my size,the 53cm would have been some what too small for me.On viewing the bike the size was right for me.
It was a lucky day for both of us.


Viscount's Aerospace frame measurements were always slightly odd due to the longer than average length of seat tube above where the top tube joins. I've usually found a frame listed as 22.5" actually measures aound 23". A 24.5" usually measures out at 25".

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Sooper8
Posts: 801
Joined: 20 Aug 2012, 7:53am
Location: Midlands

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Sooper8 » 7 Oct 2012, 7:32pm

Indeboat wrote:Hello Sooper8
Just to make you feel a bit better about the bike,it had been listed as a 53cm frame,it is actually 23".
Which is my size,the 53cm would have been some what too small for me.On viewing the bike the size was right for me.
It was a lucky day for both of us.


That does indeed make me feel a whole lot better. 23" is an inch too big, my leg is virtually straight at the bottom on a 23", ok for 10 mins but just unpleasant after that.
Glad it was right for you. I bet you are going to just love it!

Shardlow isn't far at all - I will let you know when I am over that way, and a big Viscount meet up sounds a great idea!
Melbourne, Ticknall, Staunton Harold - all somewhere between here and you and decent cycling too. I like nipping up to Foremark Resevoir in the summer- it has some quiet man made sandy beaches and a little cafe.

ps Anyone with a 20-22" Viscount for sale, just pm me.

Cheers
Everything you love,everything meaningful with depth & history,all passionate authentic experiences will be appropriated,mishandled,watered down,cheapened, repackaged,marketed & sold to the people you hate

Indeboat
Posts: 121
Joined: 4 Oct 2012, 5:59pm
Location: Derbyshire

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Indeboat » 8 Oct 2012, 10:24pm

I would like to use my Aerospace Sports for touring/camping.
The gearing is good for this use,chainrings Stronglight 48,36 and freewheel 14,28.
Would the frame be upto carrying the load?
It would be a light weight tent and sleeping bag + bits and bobs.
The wheels are Maillard large flange hubs,Wienmann 27"rims.
Has anyone used a Viscount for touring?
Thanks.