1950s Viking

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

1950s Viking

Postby LG » Fri May 11, 2012 12:23 pm

I picked up this bike from the tip shop a few weeks ago. It was the only bike with drop bars there, and I nearly overlooked it on account of the repco saddle & stem shifters.

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Anyway, I appear to have purchased a 1950s Viking racer frame. The only original parts appear to be the airlite front hub laced to an early weinmann rim & the alloy mudguards. I've been trying to ID the model, but the lug pattern appears diferent from viking models detailed on the classicvikings web site. If anybody has an idea what the lugs may be that information would be most appreciated.
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by BNA » Fri May 11, 2012 6:24 pm

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Re: 1950s Viking

Postby Torana68 » Fri May 11, 2012 6:24 pm

nice find! looks like it was candy green so would be 1955 to 1960 ish?
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Re: 1950s Viking

Postby LG » Fri May 11, 2012 8:14 pm

Mid 50s is a good guess. I'm not convinved it was originally green though, there is red paint on the steerer tube and some green has also been slopped onto the edges of the head badge & headset. I've been in touch with the operator of the classic viking web site and this badge was usually on their quality Severn Valley & Mileater models, but they're meant to have Nervex professional lugs. This one takes a 26.6 seat pin and is most likely plain guage reynolds tubing. The Severn Valley is built with butted 531, so it rules out that model.

It also has a screw adjustable cable stop for the rear derailleur on the chainstay and a brilliant little design where the rear brake cable stops are integrated into the top of the pump pegs which is neat. It was obviously a reasonable quality ride in it's day.

There's a number of decals available for old Vikings which is good news, just need to ID the right one.
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Re: 1950s Viking

Postby Torana68 » Sun May 13, 2012 6:25 pm

arent they nervex legere lugs? the Pros were for race bikes, I think :D
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Re: 1950s Viking

Postby LG » Mon May 14, 2012 12:58 pm

Probably and thanks for that, although the pro lugs made it onto some pretty cheap peugeot's in the 70s. I can't see a specific legere set which matches these, but you're more than likely correct as there are quite a few diferent models.
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Re: 1950s Viking

Postby WyvernRH » Mon May 14, 2012 3:30 pm

LG wrote:Probably and thanks for that, although the pro lugs made it onto some pretty cheap peugeot's in the 70s. I can't see a specific legere set which matches these, but you're more than likely correct as there are quite a few diferent models.


They might be Haden 'Firefly' lugs? The fork crown certainly looks Haden. I have a Holdsworth with Firefly lugs, I'll check it out when I get home. Interesting F/R dropouts, possibly Cyclo? I would also say mid-late 50's.
Have you seen these pages?
http://www.localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk/Museum/Transport/bicycles/Viking.htm
http://classicvikingcycles.com
Cheers
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Re: 1950s Viking

Postby LG » Mon May 14, 2012 8:21 pm

Thanks Richard, I knew you'd have some relevant info on these classic British bikes :wink:. Much appreciated if you could check the lugs on your holdsworth.

Yep, seen those sites. I passed on the serial number and photos of the lug details to the classic viking website administator. Seems like there's a fair few information gaps in relation to these cycles, and these lugs don't appear to have been commonly used on the Viking's he's seen. As mentioned, it looks like this bike may be a Mileater (awaiting confirmation) and will be undergoing a full restoration, albeit a slow one.
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Re: 1950s Viking

Postby LG » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:32 am

Finally made the time to do some work on this bike. Stripped the green paint and matched new paint to the original overspray on the steerer tube. Interesting, while it was bare frame I found where on old cyclo shifter boss had been removed. I will use a clamp on shifter, so didn't bother with a modern replacement.Decals from Lloyds. Headbadge has been repainted and I've even had another try at lug lining :lol: . Once the top coat has cured in a few weeks I'll start putting it together with the parts I've assembled so far. Have a cyclo Benelux RD, will probably use a huret shifter as I don't have a matching cyclo, stronglight 49D cranks, brooks saddle, GB bars, not sure what stem yet, the original LF airlite front hub and an odd rear till I find a match, brakes - still looking for some GB, but will use some universal as a fill in.
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Re: 1950s Viking

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:00 pm

That's gorgeous! Great work :D .
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Re: 1950s Viking

Postby GaryF » Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:16 pm

Another great find. As you say, it could easily have been overlooked.
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Re: 1950s Viking

Postby LG » Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:53 pm

Thanks guys, I'll add some more detailed photos once I get the bike built. Managed to do the clear coat today, so the frame will be sitting beside a heater for a while to harden the paint. I'd tried lug lining once before and gave up pretty quickly. While painting the head badge I found the most appropriate tool for the job was the pointy end of a wooden skewer, which also works quite well on lugs.
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Re: 1950s Viking

Postby LG » Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:40 pm

Slow progress, but managed to get the wheels built last night. Front is the original Airlite hub and weinmann rim now with stainless spokes, while the rear is a Powell hub and similar era 40 hole weinmann rim that came on another tip shop bike about 5 years ago (knew I saved it for a reason). Don't know a lot about Powell hubs other than they look nearly exactly like airlites, were built in Coventry and were apparently one of the most expensive hubs of the day (more expensive than airlites). Next job is to find the now misplaced bag that contains the headset and other small bits and pieces :oops: .
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Re: 1950s Viking

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:28 pm

LG wrote: Next job is to find the now misplaced bag that contains the headset and other small bits and pieces :oops: .


Been there done that :lol: .
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Re: 1950s Viking

Postby WyvernRH » Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:43 pm

Coming together very nicely, congrats!
Quite envious actually, always wanted a Viking as a young lad in the 60's in the UK but chance and location (South London) ended up with me riding Clauds (can't complain really .... :) )
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Re: 1950s Viking

Postby LG » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:31 pm

Yes, I got lucky with this bike, not always the case that bikes you find are in the right size :D . Still in 2 minds with my Coventry Eagle, as it's way too small for me and motivation to work on it might be hard to find.

More progress today, managed to chip the paint for the first time :x , and also found the headset, so the frame and forks are now attached :D . Stronglight bottom bracket is in and 49D cranks with Magistroni adaptor and chainring is test fitted. Huret shifter looks the part from a distance, while it will be interesting to see how the Cyclo RD shifts across the 4 speed Regina block. Stem is a 1970s GB while I try to find a 50s GB hiduminium. Also still searching for GB courier or sport brakes. Need to purchase some tyres and hopefully will be ready for a test ride later this month.
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Re: 1950s Viking

Postby LG » Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:36 pm

After an extended hiatus, rubbish weather here most of today, so more progress has been made. Pretty much a complete bike now, with the addition of an old brooks saddle bag, and silver alloy pump. Just need to install some cloth bar tape and purchase a shifter cable with the right fitting for the huret shifter. Will do some more detailed photo's once it's complete. I have ridden it about 50m as is though :D .
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Re: 1950s Viking

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:54 pm

What I said back in June, it's gorgeous :D .
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