Viscount bicycles!!

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
utedeej
Posts: 15
Joined: 24 Sep 2013, 12:33am

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby utedeej » 4 May 2015, 1:30pm

Well, I've finally finished the Viscount Superbike, and this is pretty much a copy of a post that I put on the Bicycle Network Australia forum - Retro Biking topic. I got this bike a couple of years ago off a bike mad mate down here in Canberra, but don't have any history.

It is known as the Viscount Race Bike I believe and colloquially as the Viscount Superbike - mid 70s era. The strip down was a real labour of love, because I had to use paint stripper to remove the clear coat which had yellowed over time and now had some rust spots coming up under it. I was extra careful so as to not put the paint stripper on the decals, so they are still original and in pretty good condition. There are still some spots where you can see the clear coat, but I quite like that.

I also replaced the sealed bearings which wasn't all that difficult surprisingly. I've attached a photo of the bottom bracket spindle also, which I was surprised to find was a Shimano.

Have just finished the build so no ride yet, but will get one in on the weekend. Anyway to the all important components and photos.

Frame size - 61cm c-c seat tube, 57cm c-c top tube and 18.5cm head tube.
Frame weight - 2006 grams
Fork weight - 910 grams
Handlebars - Milremo Renforce
Stem - Milremo
Seatpost - Milremo
Saddle - Milremo
Shifters - Shimano Dura Ace black first generation
Front derailleur - Shimano Dura Ace black first generation
Rear derailleur - Shimano Crane (Dura Ace) black first generation
Brake calipers - Shimano Dura Ace black first generation
Brake levers - Shimano Dura Ace black first generation
Chainset - 170mm Shimano Dura Ace black first generation
Pedals - MKS
Bottom bracket - Shimano spindle, replaced with 6003-2RS bearings
Hubs - 36 hole Shimano Dura Ace black first generation
Rims - 36 hole Velocity Twin Hollow
Tyres - Vittoria Zaffiro 27 x 1 1/8

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Sooper8
Posts: 791
Joined: 20 Aug 2012, 7:53am
Location: Midlands

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Sooper8 » 4 May 2015, 7:06pm

Oh my word! That is something!!!

Great work.
I love the photo's - shot for shot of the original brochure. Genius!

I'm guessing you are in a very exclusive club with that? Maybe only one of one of those, actually on the road?
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

drossall
Posts: 4680
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 10:01pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby drossall » 4 May 2015, 11:42pm

Lambert calipers on offer. In fairness I should mention that I do know the seller, but he doesn't know I'm posting this - I just thought you'd all be interested :D

utedeej
Posts: 15
Joined: 24 Sep 2013, 12:33am

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby utedeej » 5 May 2015, 12:09am

Sooper8 wrote:Oh my word! That is something!!!

Great work.
I love the photo's - shot for shot of the original brochure. Genius!

I'm guessing you are in a very exclusive club with that? Maybe only one of one of those, actually on the road?


Thanks, she has scrubbed up well and i'm pretty happy with how it all fell into place. Not on the road yet though, I will take it out for a maiden ride this weekend.

sprockit
Posts: 37
Joined: 30 May 2013, 8:58pm

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby sprockit » 6 May 2015, 8:34pm

utedeej wrote:Well, I've finally finished the Viscount Superbike, and this is pretty much a copy of a post that I put on the Bicycle Network Australia forum - Retro Biking topic. I got this bike a couple of years ago off a bike mad mate down here in Canberra, but don't have any history.

It is known as the Viscount Race Bike I believe and colloquially as the Viscount Superbike - mid 70s era. The strip down was a real labour of love, because I had to use paint stripper to remove the clear coat which had yellowed over time and now had some rust spots coming up under it. I was extra careful so as to not put the paint stripper on the decals, so they are still original and in pretty good condition. There are still some spots where you can see the clear coat, but I quite like that.

I also replaced the sealed bearings which wasn't all that difficult surprisingly. I've attached a photo of the bottom bracket spindle also, which I was surprised to find was a Shimano.

Have just finished the build so no ride yet, but will get one in on the weekend. Anyway to the all important components and photos.

Frame size - 61cm c-c seat tube, 57cm c-c top tube and 18.5cm head tube.
Frame weight - 2006 grams
Fork weight - 910 grams
Handlebars - Milremo Renforce
Stem - Milremo
Seatpost - Milremo
Saddle - Milremo
Shifters - Shimano Dura Ace black first generation
Front derailleur - Shimano Dura Ace black first generation
Rear derailleur - Shimano Crane (Dura Ace) black first generation
Brake calipers - Shimano Dura Ace black first generation
Brake levers - Shimano Dura Ace black first generation
Chainset - 170mm Shimano Dura Ace black first generation
Pedals - MKS
Bottom bracket - Shimano spindle, replaced with 6003-2RS bearings
Hubs - 36 hole Shimano Dura Ace black first generation
Rims - 36 hole Velocity Twin Hollow
Tyres - Vittoria Zaffiro 27 x 1 1/8

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That, Sir, is the ultimate Viscount bicycle - the absolute pinnacle of the pyramid!

faster
Posts: 2
Joined: 10 May 2015, 9:45pm

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby faster » 10 May 2015, 11:36pm

New here from the USA great site. This viscount I bought new in 1975 or 76 many of miles on it 59 now and plan on riding again. Some before and after pictures just replaced the cables and tires and found a new seat for it. Have a look.

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kylecycler
Posts: 662
Joined: 12 Aug 2013, 4:09pm
Location: Kyle, Ayrshire

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby kylecycler » 11 May 2015, 4:17pm

That's a real beauty, and well done for getting back on the bike! :) I'm not from the USA, just a wee village in Ayrshire, Scotland, but I scanned a Viscount advert from the May 1976 issue of the American car magazine Road and Track, always intended to post it here but never got around to it. You might have seen it before, or even have a copy, but I thought the rest of the folks on here would be interested too. The Viscount in the advert looks very similar if not identical to yours. Away back in the day I guess it might even have been what inspired you to buy the bicycle - when we get older we forget what it used to be like to dream.

(Click to enlarge):

viscount usa (Large).JPG

The blurb reads:
Holding down the weight of a 10 speed is a tough engineering job. That's why a typical "light-weight cycle" sold in the US can easily weigh 36 to 42 pounds and often more.

Shown above is an un-typical cycle. The Viscount Aerospace Pro. British craftsmen used exotic aerobatic aircraft alloys (like chrome molybdenum fuselage tubing) and high precision machining techniques to hold the weight of our 19 1/2 inch frame down to a sleek 22lbs 7oz.

Can 14 to 20 pounds make a real difference? Ask your legs and lungs. That's when riders on heavy 36- to 40-pounders really feel it.

By contrast, the competition-light Viscount is super efficient. For high acceleration. And smooth hillclimbing as you pass the tired riders of over-weight machines. And that's the whole point: no-sweat ease of motion.

Whether you ride for fun, transportation or exercise - remember, we took it off so you could get it on.

The difference is heavy. Prove it to yourself today with a test ride.


[Aerospace Cycles - Distributed by Yamaha]

You gotta love some of the language - "no-sweat ease of motion", "we took it off so you could get it on" and "the difference is heavy"... Only the Americans could come up with stuff like that (don't take that the wrong way!). :D

Brucey
Posts: 36756
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Brucey » 11 May 2015, 5:13pm

faster wrote:New here from the USA great site. This viscount I bought new in 1975 or 76 many of miles on it 59 now and plan on riding again. Some before and after pictures....


Nice bike.... but....

OK, this is important.... have you checked your fork??

According to some internet sources the MkIII aluminium fork is 'safe'

http://viscount-lambert-bikes.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/about-those-lambert-viscount-death.html

But according to others (including Yamaha who were US importers for Lambert/Viscount bicycles)

http://sheldonbrown.com/lambert.html which includes the fairly unequivocal

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD A LAMBERT OR VISCOUNT BE RIDDEN WITH THE ORIGINAL CAST ALUMINUM FORK!!!!!!!!!


they are not.

I am in the latter camp. I have in my possession a broken MkIII fork that has pretty clearly suffered a fatigue failure through the large steel bolt that was meant to be 'OK' in this fork version.

In the USA, Yamaha recalled all versions of the cast aluminium fork in 1978 and replaced them with a Tange steel fork.

I would not feel happy riding a one of the original forks, even a MkIII version.

Sorry...! (don't shoot the messenger...!)

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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kylecycler
Posts: 662
Joined: 12 Aug 2013, 4:09pm
Location: Kyle, Ayrshire

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby kylecycler » 11 May 2015, 7:15pm

Oh, well. There's nostalgia for you. :( Safety first, though - I remember reading about that now on Sheldon's site, but I forgot which bicycles it was about. I'm still stuck with a 26 TPI fork with my old Carlton (the frame in the avatar) and no headset, but I've since sourced a 24 TPI Tange fork off of a Falcon, and that might be the answer for me. Not safety-related in my case, but the Viscount would still be a lovely - safe - bicycle with a replacement fork.

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Sooper8
Posts: 791
Joined: 20 Aug 2012, 7:53am
Location: Midlands

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Sooper8 » 11 May 2015, 9:35pm

Faster! I'm loving your before and after pictures. Great work! I always love a background story to a bike too.
Here's a link to some decals that are a 'must have' for any Viscount owner
http://www.redbubble.com/people/nanseik ... ign=banner

You even have the original toe straps!

Interesting little bar bag. Was that of the same era too?

Check out this forum over here- I think you'd like it
http://viscountandlambert.boards.net/

Kylecycler - Yes, great advert. I love the 'we took it off so you can get it on' catch phrase; a great example of 70's advertising blurb
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

faster
Posts: 2
Joined: 10 May 2015, 9:45pm

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby faster » 12 May 2015, 12:55am

Thanks for having a look. I checked the forks and the stem is steel so I'm thinking it is the third fork or the best of the three but will check it closer. The bag on the seat is a cannondale that I bought at the same time as the bike. Also still have some of the paperwork the owners manual (1976) , sales pamphlet and my old glove. I use to have riding shoes but there long gone.

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Brucey
Posts: 36756
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Brucey » 12 May 2015, 9:06am

FWIW if the third style of fork fails by fatigue, it will do so in a place where you would not be able to easily detect the crack beforehand.

Essentially there is a shoulder in the steel plug where the piece transitions from the screw thread to a larger diameter that fits the rest of the steerer. If there is a crack at this point you would only be able to detect it by disassembling the fork, (by heating and then unscrewing the steerer assy from the crown) cleaning and then dye penetrant testing the exposed surfaces.

Clearly these forks don't break too often (by comparison with the earlier style) but equally clearly they can and do break at this point. It has been suggested that Yamaha recalled all the aluminium forks (including the 'safe' MkIII fork) simply because that way there would be no confusion. I beg to differ; there is a nasty stress concentration in a (routinely) uninspectable location on the MkIII fork and this is where they break. I think Yamaha did the exact right thing.

Note that any fatigue failure comprises three phases; initiation, propagation, and fracture. If the propagation phase was definitely going to take a long time then you could (say) inspect once a year and ride safe between times. However in this part, I doubt that is the case. In the failed fork I have it appears that the fatigue crack was not that large before fracture occurred, i.e. the propagation time could have been relatively short.

As before, don't shoot the messenger....... but the Sheldon Brown site's advice is spot on IMHO.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

sprockit
Posts: 37
Joined: 30 May 2013, 8:58pm

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby sprockit » 12 May 2015, 10:41pm

Faster, your 'old' bike has polished up very nicely - now get yourself out and re-kindle the flame!

Stevevw
Posts: 14
Joined: 12 Nov 2008, 8:54pm
Location: Herts UK

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Stevevw » 13 May 2015, 9:22pm

HELP NEEDED PLEASE.
I need a tapered bottom bracket axle for the Viscount that I am supposed to be riding at L'Eroica. Has anyone got one I can have I am getting desperate now. Will be using 1st gen Dura- Ace chainset.

Thanks Steve

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Sooper8
Posts: 791
Joined: 20 Aug 2012, 7:53am
Location: Midlands

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Sooper8 » 13 May 2015, 9:31pm

Stevevw wrote:HELP NEEDED PLEASE.
I need a tapered bottom bracket axle for the Viscount that I am supposed to be riding at L'Eroica. Has anyone got one I can have I am getting desperate now. Will be using 1st gen Dura- Ace chainset.

Thanks Steve


That was unlucky timing Steve - one just 20 mins ago went on eBay.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VISCOUNT-AERO ... true&rt=nc

I don't often see them for sale.
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