Viscount bicycles!!

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

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Bendo » 10 Mar 2011, 11:54am

Another three in a row...

Here's some more logo work, as requested. The colour's not precise, just draft versions. I could do a Sebring one but I don't have the Sebring logo handy in HR.

b
Image Attachments
viscount-trusty-retouched.jpg
viscount.jpg

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

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby busaste » 10 Mar 2011, 2:03pm

Bendo wrote:Another three in a row...

Here's some more logo work, as requested. The colour's not precise, just draft versions. I could do a Sebring one but I don't have the Sebring logo handy in HR.

b


Great work!!!!

I want one. When are they up for sale?

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

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby busaste » 10 Mar 2011, 2:41pm

Bendo wrote:One thing I just noticed is that the Aerospace Sport in the picture has the chromoly fork. I hadn't realised that the aluminium fork (see how I didn't use the term "death fork"? hehe) was only standard on the Pro. The Sport pictured also has Maxy cranks like mine but I wish I could see the chainrings. It looks like it's got the three pin where mine has the five pin. It also has centre-pull brakes (Viscount? Dia-Compe?) where mine came with sidepull Weinmanns. And by the look of that rear derailleur it has the long reach Titlist, not the racing Crane rear mech.

I'm always amazed by how many differences there were in factory spec components for the same bike. I wonder why that was. Like Busaste I wish I could find someone who used to work for Viscount-Trusty... b


I know a huge amount about Lambert and Viscount having spent the last few years researching the former companies history, models, etc. I am trying - within the constraints of family, work, etc. - to get it all together in written form. It is a fascinating story (especially to a Viscount nerd like me), so fascinating in fact that I could not commit all of it to paper as I lack the financial means to defend myself in court should a libel case be brought against me. Also, there is so much BS and misinformation on the net about Viscounts and Lamberts that something HAS to be done. So, watch this space.

Regarding your post Bendo I hope this helps:

a) "I hadn't realised that the aluminium fork (see how I didn't use the term "death fork"? hehe) was only standard on the Pro".
It was standard on the Aerospace Pro, GP, Grand Sport and Supabike.
Well done for dropping the 'death fork' tag. The alloy fork has never killed any one. The mark 3 design is strong and probably never will...
b) "It looks like it's got the three pin where mine has the five pin".
Viscount only used 3 pin Sugino Maxy cranks. 5 pin cranks are an aftermarket fitment. Having said that it is just possible that the odd bike may have left the factory with a Maxy 5 pin crank (see below).
c) "It also has centre-pull brakes (Viscount? Dia-Compe?) where mine came with sidepull Weinmanns"
The CP brakes were designed by Lambert and made for them by a midlands casting firm. Although I say "designed" they were heavily inspired by Weinmann 999s! The recess in one of the CPs, a la Weinmann, originally had a 'Lambert' sticker (white lettering on a blue background) which later changed to Viscount (check out the pictures of my 99% original red Aerospace Sport on this forum to see what I mean). Weinmann sidepulls were never fitted to Aerospace bikes made up till 1979.
d) "And by the look of that rear derailleur it has the long reach Titlist, not the racing Crane rear mech"
The 1975 - 77 Aerospace Sport was fitted with a Shimano Tourney GS RD. Originally it was intended to be a small jockey Shimano 500 for a 14 - 28 freewheel but this was changed as Viscount wanted the Sport to have all round - club ride, race, tour, commute - every man (and woman!) appeal hence the use of a Shimano 'skip tooth' 14 - 34 (or 32) freewheel and a long jockey RD.
e) "I'm always amazed by how many differences there were in factory spec components for the same bike"
Chronic parts supply problems and big sales made it almost impossible to maintain the same parts on each model within the range. This led on occasions to the use of a non 'standard' part appearing on a model. I know of one Aerospace Pro for example that left the factory with a Suntour RD rather than the ubiquitous Shimano Crane.

In Viscount's heyday of the USA "ten speed racer" boom at least one container of 400 bikes a week was shipped out there. Shame it all went pear shaped in the early '80s.

Goldie
Posts: 77
Joined: 16 Jun 2010, 9:03pm

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Goldie » 10 Mar 2011, 7:01pm

There are some brilliant posts in this thread of late. I love the Design article. Busaste, getting something into print is a great idea - the Viscount story definitely deserves an airing.

Apologies in advance for posting another link to an ebay auction, but this Pro has been on three times, starting at £299, £199 and now £99. Somebody please buy it! I don't need another one, but I'm finding it increasingly hard to keep away from the "Bid Now" button :shock:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Viscount-Aerospac ... 41576fb347

The same basic inability to not want to buy things with Viscount written on them as just resulted in a very yellow and blue Viscount Alamo making its way to my bike cave, and I've still got to keep money in th piggy bank for that white Tony Doyle replica... I'll stick some pictures up when it's feeling a bit better :D

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

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Bendo » 12 Mar 2011, 10:32am

Well I'm saved from overindulging in Viscount purchases by virtue of my lack of proximity to most of the sales.

BTW does anyone know the provenance of this curious Aerospace Pro (assuming it's the pro as it has the Aluminium fork)? It has a decidedly French flavour with a really beautiful TA crankset and equally tasty Huret front and rear mech.

http://www.retro.net/db/images/Viscount_Bicycle/37422/

b

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

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby busaste » 12 Mar 2011, 6:24pm

Bendo wrote:Well I'm saved from overindulging in Viscount purchases by virtue of my lack of proximity to most of the sales.

BTW does anyone know the provenance of this curious Aerospace Pro (assuming it's the pro as it has the Aluminium fork)? It has a decidedly French flavour with a really beautiful TA crankset and equally tasty Huret front and rear mech.

http://www.retro.net/db/images/Viscount_Bicycle/37422/

b


The bike is a collection of none standard parts which have been fixed to a 1976 Viscount Aerospace Sport frame. The fork is not one from the Aerospace Pro, GP, etc. range as the rake is too shallow. TA cranks, Huret gears, sidepull brakes, brake levers, small flange hubs, saddle, handlebar stem, etc, etc are all none standard after market fitments. In other words, it's a 'bitsa' but in my humble opinion a very nice one!

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

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Cusqueno » 12 Mar 2011, 10:12pm

Hi everyone! I have just realised that I can register for the CTC Forum without being a CTC member. Duh!!

I'm a long-standing Viscount nut having bought an Aerospace 400 new in 1981. This has the lugged Aerospace (Cro-Moly) frame and came with Shimano hubs & Mavic clincher rims, Dura Ace FD and Shimano 600 RD. The chainset, stem and BB were SR, Weinmann levers and 605 sidepulls. I used it for commuting to college and occasional trips to France. It was stored for many years and only used occasionally but came into its own when I started cycling to work a few years ago. Unfortunately it developed a crack across the BB shell (no, I'm not starting a Death Shell story) and is currently retired.

At the moment I use a largely original, but tatty, late Aerospace Pro for day-to-day travel and have a beautiful Aerospace 600ex for best. The 600ex has the lugged Aerospace frame and came with (perhaps surprisingly in view of Viscount's tendency to mix 'n' match components) a full 600ex gruppo; apart from 3ttt bars and the ubiquitous Zeus Olimpic 64 pedals. I also have a late-ish red Aerospace Sport. This came with Shimano components, but I have substituted mainly Viscount-branded bits. Also a gold Corsair Wayfairer (Aerospace) frame.

This discussion has not branched off onto Lamberts, but perhaps I should mention that I have a Lambert Professional from (probably) 1973, with the fillet brazed frame, virtually original, and a gold-plated Professional Grand Prix frame with most of the NOS parts to build it up. This is one o the very early (1972?) lugged frames.

I have started a blog, mainly talking about my experiences riding and reparing Viscount & Lambert bikes - see http://viscount-lambert-bikes.blogspot.com/ You might also be interested in the photos of Viscounts posted on Flickr. There is a group - see http://www.flickr.com/groups/1119963@N21/

Happy pedalling.
Cusqueno

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

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Bendo » 13 Mar 2011, 9:52am

Welcome Cusqueno, good to have you here! I reckon this thread almost deserves sub-forum status! :D

I have an Aerospace Sport which is currently being powder-coated to match the original red, with chromoly forks already electroplated. I'm collecting an array of NOS parts to bring it back to "better than original" condition (!). Since I loathe drop handlebars it was never going to be a Concourse d'Elegance resto job, so I'm taking some liberties (a bit like the Frenchy Aerospace above). My theme is "period Dura-Ace", extending the use of these beautiful components from the derailleur to other parts of the bike. Not quite the full group-set but close perhaps.

My Sport came with 5-pin Sugino Maxy crankset (not aftermarket as I bought the bike from the original owner). Although this is in pretty good nick for 35 years faithful service (one replaced left crank and one replaced 48T chainring) I'm replacing it with a black series Dura-Ace crankset: the black stripe on the crankarms is a visual reference to the Viscount crankset on the Pro.

The original high-flange hubs (which one helpful LBS in the early 90s urged me to ditch) have been lovingly re-laced to new double-wall rims. The only thing I wish I could find were some of the Viscount-branded nick-knacks: headstem bolt and skewers mainly. Pedals too would be nice, but I'm happy with how MKS still make quill pedals of almost identical design. b

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

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby quiksilver » 13 Mar 2011, 9:54pm

I definetly want a T shirt and a copy of the Viscount book :D The viscount thread now sits at 15 pages, it really should be a sub forum!

Darcus
Posts: 32
Joined: 5 Jan 2010, 5:31pm

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Darcus » 14 Mar 2011, 1:15am

Im getting my aerospace 400 back on the road soon, its been in my bedroom for ages, it'll be mostly retro parts, mostly original, mine came with non death forks, and SR crankset with standard BB, weinmann 630 sidepull brakes, 27" rims, altus gearset, SR stem.....with a few news bits , got some imported red tires from the us, racing saddle new white bartape and colour coded cable outers, its going to look great, (but not retro) .
Itll be for sale when its done.......

D

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

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Bendo » 14 Mar 2011, 2:03am

quiksilver wrote:I definetly want a T shirt and a copy of the Viscount book :D The viscount thread now sits at 15 pages, it really should be a sub forum!


Working on the first idea. Will definitely purchase a copy of the second.

Perhaps we should have our own little Viscounty (ouch!). Imagine a Viscount forum where the mods could ban members for using the phrase "death-fork"... :lol:

b

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quiksilver
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Location: Cornwall & London

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby quiksilver » 14 Mar 2011, 7:16pm

The next thing is a Viscount meet, where do we all live?

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

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby busaste » 14 Mar 2011, 8:44pm

quiksilver wrote:The next thing is a Viscount meet, where do we all live?


I'm up for that! I live in Chorley, Lancashire but will happily travel to meet shed loads of Viscount owners.

How about we meet at the former Aerospace factory along Oxford Road in Bilston? The factory is still there. Not great scenically though!

I'm happy to meet any where.

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

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby Cusqueno » 14 Mar 2011, 10:34pm

Hi. I share Bendo's enthusiasm for the 1970s Dura Ace group set. Viscount must have been an early adopter, fitting Crane (1st. gen. Dura Ace) RD's and sometimes DA FDs, when Shimano were trying to break through into the market dominated by French & Italian components. Rumour says that there was a Pro produced with a full DA gruppo - anyone seen one of these? Later on, in 1981, a rather lovely 'Team' bike is shown in a catalogue with all Dura Ace components (I have this picture but cannot up-load it from this computer). Did any of these make it from the factory?

I live in London so a Viscount meet in the south would be good. Does Busaste know if there's anything left of the Potter's Bar factory?

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quiksilver
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Location: Cornwall & London

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Postby quiksilver » 15 Mar 2011, 7:23am

Most of the time I am in London or north Kent, but would be willing to travel north for a Viscount themed meet. Of course the Potters Bar factory would be great for me as its only about a 30 minute drive away, slightly selfish I know. But I am definetly up for a Viscount gathering, just need someone to name a time and place.