Page 13 of 186

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 23 Jan 2011, 2:12pm
by Goldie
I had my Frankenstein's Monster moment with the Viscount on Friday night, with the bike up on the work stand, spinning the pedals and watching the back wheel turn and then working it up and down through the gears:

Image

Image

Image

These're the new down tube and seat tube decals that Busaste kindly supplied me with. The frame looks spot on now these are on.

Image

I've chucked on the old Brooks B17 that the Viscount came to me with, which is looking a lot healthier following a ton of proofide and shoe polish. Still waiting for Father Christmas to deliver the new saddle. My first go at doing the rear brake cable was rubbish - this is attempt number two, which looks right and stops the wheel from spinning ok :D

I just want to make sure the gears and brakes are as good as I can get them, and then it'll be road test and photos time.

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 23 Jan 2011, 5:18pm
by busaste
Wow, the Pro is looking good!!!
Can't wait till it is finished!!
More pics please.
Here's some of one of my Pro's.
DSCN0829.JPG

DSCN0827.JPG

S6300025.jpg

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 27 Jan 2011, 1:00am
by Darcus
Hi there, viscount fans, Ive had this hanging from my bedroom ceiling for ages now,I'm going to get it up and running this summer at some point.....bought it from the guy who took these photos of it near Bath, Ill put some pics up when its nearer completion!

http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=111393

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 27 Jan 2011, 9:32pm
by Goldie
Ahh, I wondered what happened to that! I was umming and arring about buying it for what felt like ages. Glad to see it's gone to a good home. Of course what I'd really still like is the pearl white KP Crisps sponsored team replica, which is the grown up version of my first ever racing bike...

Busaste, your Pro looks amazing - what on earth did you do to get your spokes that clean? I've worked through pretty much the entire repetoire of metal cleaning products in the cupboard and just got a dull grey colour...

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 28 Jan 2011, 10:37pm
by busaste
Goldie wrote:Ahh, I wondered what happened to that! I was umming and arring about buying it for what felt like ages. Glad to see it's gone to a good home. Of course what I'd really still like is the pearl white KP Crisps sponsored team replica, which is the grown up version of my first ever racing bike...

Busaste, your Pro looks amazing - what on earth did you do to get your spokes that clean? I've worked through pretty much the entire repetoire of metal cleaning products in the cupboard and just got a dull grey colour...


I nearly went out of my mind polishing the spokes! I used fine grade Scotchbrite saturated in Solvol Autosol to scrub off the layer of grime and corrosion. After this was cleaned off I then polished the spokes with a soft cloth and more Solvol Autosol. Doing 72 spokes like this is hard work on the fingers and very time consuming. Can't say I enjoyed it either! After doing this I then set about doing the spokes on my Aerospace Sport! It is worth it in the end because they come up like new. Still, I appreciate that this kind of madness is not for every one!

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 1 Feb 2011, 10:37am
by Bendo
Hi all

This is my first post and I must say I'm loving this thread. Busaste, it's great to read your posts and find out so much about Viscount bikes.

I have two Viscounts, both red.

The first one, an Aerospace Sport I bought from the original owner. I knew him when he bought the bike new. My brother bought a Peugeot 10 speed a the same time and I was amazed how much lighter the Viscount was by comparison even back then (since realised that my brother bought the Peugeot with all steel components, incl. wheels... urgh!). I've ridden that bike since 1985. The bottom bracket has been reamed and threaded to take standard BB sets. Currently the frame is stripped and waiting for a new paint job. And it's my favourite bike. Ever. Too.

The original components still on that bike are: Sugino Maxy crankset, Shimano Dura-Ace gears (Shimano Crane rear mech), Weinmann side pulls brakes, Viscount branded high-flange sealed bearing hubs.

The other bike I bought about 6 months ago was one I haven't seen anywhere on the web: a Viscount Aerospace Victor. Same red paint job as the Sport. Same frame geometry. Only difference is the head tube has lugs joining it to the top and down tubes, all other joins are fillet brazed, like all the welds on the Sport. Curious mix of components too: five speed Shimano Positron gearing (early index shifting via a handlebar mounted lever with dual push-pull cables), steel wheels and crankset, Weinmann side-pull calipers. Seems like it might have been the "commuter" model of the Aerospace range seeing as it had the sweep handlebars for a more upright riding position.

Here's the Victor in its recent single-speed, coaster brake incarnation.

b

PS - Love those Panaracer Pasela tyres. The only quality tyre I could find in 27 x 1 1/8 with a gumwall.

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 1 Feb 2011, 8:15pm
by busaste
Bendo wrote:Hi all

This is my first post and I must say I'm loving this thread. Busaste, it's great to read your posts and find out so much about Viscount bikes.

I have two Viscounts, both red.

The first one, an Aerospace Sport I bought from the original owner. I knew him when he bought the bike new. My brother bought a Peugeot 10 speed a the same time and I was amazed how much lighter the Viscount was by comparison even back then (since realised that my brother bought the Peugeot with all steel components, incl. wheels... urgh!). I've ridden that bike since 1985. The bottom bracket has been reamed and threaded to take standard BB sets. Currently the frame is stripped and waiting for a new paint job. And it's my favourite bike. Ever. Too.

The original components still on that bike are: Sugino Maxy crankset, Shimano Dura-Ace gears (Shimano Crane rear mech), Weinmann side pulls brakes, Viscount branded high-flange sealed bearing hubs.

The other bike I bought about 6 months ago was one I haven't seen anywhere on the web: a Viscount Aerospace Victor. Same red paint job as the Sport. Same frame geometry. Only difference is the head tube has lugs joining it to the top and down tubes, all other joins are fillet brazed, like all the welds on the Sport. Curious mix of components too: five speed Shimano Positron gearing (early index shifting via a handlebar mounted lever with dual push-pull cables), steel wheels and crankset, Weinmann side-pull calipers. Seems like it might have been the "commuter" model of the Aerospace range seeing as it had the sweep handlebars for a more upright riding position.

Here's the Victor in its recent single-speed, coaster brake incarnation.

b

PS - Love those Panaracer Pasela tyres. The only quality tyre I could find in 27 x 1 1/8 with a gumwall.


Wow! Not seen a Victor for ages. In fact I have only seen 2 for sale in the last 3 years and never seen one 'in the metal'. Built between 1975 - 76 at the Bilston factory it was a direct rival to the Falcon Super-Tourist De Luxe (ask your Dad!). Essentially the same spec as the Falcon right down to the upright SR bars, Maxy cranks, flam red paint, half chrome forks, full length guards, CP brakes, saddle bag, 5 speed wide(ish) gears, etc. The main differences were the magnificent Aerospace frame, Viscount QR wheels (cheapo bolt ons for the Falcon) and the radical Shimano Positron RD. The Positron is a monumentally significant bicycle component - the first proper attempt at indexing. Former Viscount dealers have told me that it was a nightmare to set up though.

The Victor is a truly rare beast as it never sold well despite being cheaper and better than the Falcon. May be fans of these bikes - foolishly - bought the Falcon or splashed out on a Dawes Galaxy?

If I was you I would convert it back to original spec. and savor riding around on one of the UK's rarest bikes. Aaaaah, the glorious 1970s :) ...

Regarding your Aerospace Sport, it is worth bearing in mind that the frames were factory powder coated. A good colour match is easy and it is miles cheaper than a wet finish. Also I have NOS OEM Aerospace Sport frame stickers if you want some.

We should all support Panaracer for making such excellent 27" tyres!!! Michelin and others have all but abandoned us for hideous black walled monstrosities.

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 1 Feb 2011, 8:25pm
by quiksilver
My Sebring is now wearing Panaracers after my Schwalbe blizzard Sports wore out.

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 1 Feb 2011, 8:44pm
by busaste
Here is another Victor.
!BPw1FZgCGk~$(KGrHgoOKjMEjlLmVUyGBJ1RCL(,Yg~~_1.JPG
!BPw1FZgCGk~$(KGrHgoOKjMEjlLmVUyGBJ1RCL(,Yg~~_1.JPG (25.98 KiB) Viewed 1542 times

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 1 Feb 2011, 8:56pm
by busaste
What year was this Viscount Aerospace SE made? It was not 1974, 76, 76 and 78. Any one know for certain? I have never seen one in the metal and it is not in any of my sales brochures. I am baffled by this curious beast. The brazed on seat post pinch bolt housing is early Viscount (it was dropped in '77 in favour of a chromed clamp) yet the components suggest 1978. BUT, it is not shown in my 1978 brochures/magazine adverts. Perhaps it is the last Aerospace model ever produced? In 1979?
Any help would be much appreciated.

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 1 Feb 2011, 11:14pm
by Bendo
Thanks for the info Busaste. You'll be pleased to know I never do anything irreversible to my bikes. And they are all working bikes, not show pieces. Currently the Victor has what I call my "Cambio Corsa" set-up: a six-speed freewheel on the back (from my Sport) with no derailleur. When the Sport frame comes back from the powdercoaters, I'm thinking of returning the Victor to it's original Positron glory. Am learning about indexing from pulling apart an early 90's Gary Fisher MTB and faffing around with those gears but it's a bit fussier than good old friction.

b

PS - I had a bit of a time getting the Paselas (I'm in Aus). Seems the Australian distrib for Panaracer chooses not to import the whole Pasela line. Thank God for Jensen's.

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 2 Feb 2011, 7:02pm
by Goldie
Regarding tyres, I keep finding Conti Gatorskins on ebay in 27 x 1 1/4, which I had no idea even existed. I haven't tried a pair - I've got Schwalbes on my "slow" road bike and Panaracers on my two "fast" ones... but the reputation is good. They have a really dark gumwall: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Continental-Ultra ... 53e4cc64ca

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 11 Feb 2011, 1:17pm
by Bendo
Thought I'd look at the Victor's Positron rear mech more closely and also post some pics. There's not a lot on the net about them. Disraeli Gears has the original manual scanned, which is rather awesome of them. And Velobase have a picture from a Shimano catalogue, but I haven't seen any recent user pics, or any with my handlebar-mounted shifter.

It is the model before the Positron II, which is either called just Positron, or Positron DG-100, depending on who you refer to. It's the only model with two, push-pull cables. From the Positron II onwards, Shimano developed a special, thicker cable that could do both jobs.

Because at that time Shimano thought indexing was probably meant for the unintelligent masses, they made these from steel, as you can see in the pics. b

P1010949.JPG
Shimano Positron Rear Derailleur gear indicator

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 13 Feb 2011, 9:32am
by Bendo
Here are some pics of the reincarnated Victor. This is as original as it gets for me. No way am I putting that crappy steel crankset back on! The Sugino Mighty with drilled 50T chainring is a bit overspec I know, but there's nothing sexier on a bike than a sexy crankset! :P

So here she is with the Positron back on, and full mudguards. And for the record, the Positron works really well. Better than a lot of internet pundits would have you believe. Including a few pics for reference of the "Victor" decal, and the head tube lugs. Enjoy! b

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 13 Feb 2011, 9:35am
by Bendo
Third post in a row. Apologies! Here are the last few Victor pics. b