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Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 16 May 2012, 10:28pm
by busaste
Drake wrote:Hi,
What a pleasure it's been reading most of the contributions on this thread (got to page 10) .
I'd never heard of Viscounts before reading this thread,but what an impressive beautiful machine it looks . l should imagine just sitting on one would bring a smile to your face,let alone riding it .
Did i read (please excuse me if i've got this wrong) earlier that Yamaha took over Viscount . If that was the case,then what happened next . Did Yamaha still continue producing .
And the information relating to the light steel tubing used for the for the frames was very interesting . Is it still used by any frame builders these days .
I suppose i'm considered a bit of a dinosaur these days because i prefer steel frames to aluminium or composite,both of which have never floated my boat .


Yamaha NEVER owned Viscount. They had a contract with Viscount to import and distribute the bikes in the USA. That's all.

To be honest, Yamaha did not renew the contract with Viscount when they had the chance to. I suspect that they could see the impacts of the demise of the 10 speed racer boom looming on the horizon and bailed out. It turned out to be a shrewd business move. It was a disaster for Viscount though!

The frame tubing - Phoenix 1027 and Phoenix 101- was used by Falcon (VERY few people know this) and a few small English specialist frame builders e.g. Norman Fay. Sadly Phoenix tubing has not been around for many, many years. Perhaps there are stashes of it lying around in workshops somewhere? Would be nice if it was used to build new frames. I would buy it!

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 18 May 2012, 12:46pm
by ACM911
Firstly let me make it clear this is not a disguised attempt to sell. I have a Viscount Aerospace Pro + Shimano and it weighs in at 11kg, it needs new tubs and some TLC but it’s basically a sound bike. I bought it about 25 years ago for £40 and have used it on about ten occasions in all that time. My garage is now in need of a clear out so I have decided to advertise it on ebay but am a little unsure of its value. Dollar prices on ebay are surprisingly high; much much higher than I was expecting. so what I need is some realistic advice on what would be a sensible GBP price to open the bidding.

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 18 May 2012, 7:07pm
by busaste
ACM911 wrote:Firstly let me make it clear this is not a disguised attempt to sell. I have a Viscount Aerospace Pro + Shimano and it weighs in at 11kg, it needs new tubs and some TLC but it’s basically a sound bike. I bought it about 25 years ago for £40 and have used it on about ten occasions in all that time. My garage is now in need of a clear out so I have decided to advertise it on ebay but am a little unsure of its value. Dollar prices on ebay are surprisingly high; much much higher than I was expecting. so what I need is some realistic advice on what would be a sensible GBP price to open the bidding.


A lot depends upon condition and the originality of the parts. Could you post a picture? It would help a lot. Aeropsace Pros vary considerably in price. Minters with original parts have gone for up to £235. Rougher ones £40. Everything inbetween depends on how much someone wants it, proximity of buyers, whether a fixie fan has his/her eye on it, etc.

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 18 May 2012, 8:50pm
by ACM911
Thanks for taking the time to respond. Here is a picture but it does not show the bike at it's best as I haven't had time to clean it up. To the best of my knowledge all parts are original, can you tell from the picture if it has forks of a later standard later than the "death forks" fitted?

Image

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 18 May 2012, 9:08pm
by busaste
ACM911 wrote:Thanks for taking the time to respond. Here is a picture but it does not show the bike at it's best as I haven't had time to clean it up. To the best of my knowledge all parts are original, can you tell from the picture if it has forks of a later standard later than the "death forks" fitted?

Image


Okay here we go. You have the original death fork there. The pump, wheels, saddle, pedals, toestraps and chainrings (jolly nice TA Criterium) are not original. Not sure about the toeclips. Everything else seems to be original. The bike looks to be a 1977 model. The seat tube is missing its Viscount 'shield' badge. The freewheel should be a 5 speed 14-24 Shimano jobbie. The wheels look laden with potential. If they are Campag hubs then that really ups the stakes. I hope they are!!!

The black paint indicates that it was a clincher tyred model. The bikes with tubs came with silver/blue colours

Condition is very good. A full strip, clean and polish would really get it looking good. Can't tell how good the chromed parts are.

As for an ebay start price, I would go no lower than £90 (assuming bearings/tyres are good and wheels true). Whether the bike will sell is anyone's guess. Viscounts are unpredictable beasts from a selling point of view. Anything can happen: no bids or £150 in the bank!!

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 18 May 2012, 9:39pm
by ACM911
Once again thanks for taking the time, your comments and analysis are much appreciated, I'll be checking the wheels first thing in the morning.

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 19 May 2012, 12:40pm
by ACM911
A couple more pictures, (still not had time to clean yet) and questions.

Image
Do you recognise these hubs?

Image
What features identify these as "death forks"

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 19 May 2012, 10:46pm
by busaste
ACM911 wrote:A couple more pictures, (still not had time to clean yet) and questions.

Image
Do you recognise these hubs?

Image
What features identify these as "death forks"


The hub might be a Pelisser - French made and nice quality. The wording on the skewer should help to confirm the hub maker.

Put a magnet on the fork and it will fall straight off. That'll be aluminium for you. I've seen so many death forks I can recognise them instantly! The drop outs, fork blades and crown are cast in one piece out of aerospace grade aluminium. Very nice it looks too. The chromoly steerer tube is pressed into a spigot which screws (Loctite on the threads) into the fork crown. Two pins are driven through the spigot/steerer tube for extra strength although you could argue that these create unnecessary stress risers.

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 19 May 2012, 11:35pm
by ACM911
I'm sure you're right about the hubs, although not shown in the picture there is a made in France legend on the hub.

Re the forks (sorry to labour this) I read this article on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29548699@N ... 119963@N21 and if I understood it correctly all three designs used aluminium forks but only designs 1 and 2 have been associated with failures. The third design has a threaded steel insert. Does the knurled feature shown in my picture suggest that these forks have a threaded insert or is this rotational grip required for some other purpose?

Thanks.

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 19 May 2012, 11:42pm
by Goldie
My Aerospace Pro is up on the workstand at the moment. When I spin the back wheel on the stand and let it revolve with the the freewheel block stationary, the freewheel block oscillates. Does this sound like a bent axle? And if so, does anyone have a replacement hollow axle (or a reccomendation as to where I can pick up one new)?

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 20 May 2012, 9:24am
by busaste
Goldie wrote:My Aerospace Pro is up on the workstand at the moment. When I spin the back wheel on the stand and let it revolve with the the freewheel block stationary, the freewheel block oscillates. Does this sound like a bent axle? And if so, does anyone have a replacement hollow axle (or a reccomendation as to where I can pick up one new)?


Just done the same on my Viscounts - they ALL do it. I wouldn't worry. I suppose with a rigidly fixed freewheel, a bit of movement is needed?

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 20 May 2012, 8:45pm
by busaste
ACM911 wrote:I'm sure you're right about the hubs, although not shown in the picture there is a made in France legend on the hub.

Re the forks (sorry to labour this) I read this article on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29548699@N ... 119963@N21 and if I understood it correctly all three designs used aluminium forks but only designs 1 and 2 have been associated with failures. The third design has a threaded steel insert. Does the knurled feature shown in my picture suggest that these forks have a threaded insert or is this rotational grip required for some other purpose?

Thanks.


Your forks will be the mark 3 version. If you look at the bottom of the fork from underneath you will see the solid spigot. As for breakages, yes there were a few. Having spoke to Viscount employees who dealt with this problem at the time it seems that they were all on bikes that had been bumped up and down pavements or ridden on rough ground. The knurled feature is a bearing race.

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 20 May 2012, 10:12pm
by ACM911
busaste wrote:
ACM911 wrote:I'm sure you're right about the hubs, although not shown in the picture there is a made in France legend on the hub.

Re the forks (sorry to labour this) I read this article on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29548699@N ... 119963@N21 and if I understood it correctly all three designs used aluminium forks but only designs 1 and 2 have been associated with failures. The third design has a threaded steel insert. Does the knurled feature shown in my picture suggest that these forks have a threaded insert or is this rotational grip required for some other purpose?

Thanks.


Your forks will be the mark 3 version. If you look at the bottom of the fork from underneath you will see the solid spigot. As for breakages, yes there were a few. Having spoke to Viscount employees who dealt with this problem at the time it seems that they were all on bikes that had been bumped up and down pavements or ridden on rough ground. The knurled feature is a bearing race.


Thanks for the clarification.

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 21 May 2012, 1:22pm
by UofMWolverines
Quick question; I am looking for new tires for the Viscount that I posted about earlier (the V-3000 GS). Problem is that I don't just want pure road tires-- I will be doing mostly road biking, but would also like it if they would hold up in gravel and maybe even slightly bumpy paths too. Any recommendations for a sort of 'hybrid' tire? I don't want too thick of tires either though since that would destroy the look a bit. Thanks so much for your guys' help on everything so far!

Re: Viscount bicycles!!

Posted: 21 May 2012, 2:04pm
by Bendo
There's not much in the way of tyres in 27" (ISO 630) these days. I'm assuming that's the kind of wheel your Viscount has. If so, the most common size around is 27x 1&1/4 inches. 1.25in translates as almost 32mm, which is a respectably wide tyre by road bike standards, but not so wide as to ruin the look of your bike. It also depends on what you bike's frame will be able to fit. On an Aerospace frame, because the chain-stays are relatively thick and have no "pinch" on the inside near the chain-stay bridge, the widest they can fit is 1 & 1/4 anyway and that's only with about 1mm to spare on either side (any buckle in the wheel or even a badly seated tyre and you've got rubbing!). Your frame might have more clearance, you'd have to check. My favourite tyre is the Panaracer Pasela Tour Guard.

OTOH if your bike has 700C wheels then the world's your oyster.

b