~1954 Viking Clubmaster

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ldrcycles
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~1954 Viking Clubmaster

Postby ldrcycles » Mon May 14, 2018 9:17 pm

This is the latest addition to my stable, $150 through Facebook (the freight from Melbourne to Noosa wasn't cheap, but Mrs LDR doesn't need to know about that :) ) I've wanted a nice 50s road bike for some time, and a Viking was also on my list, 2 birds with one stone here.

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It was resprayed by Waverley Sports at some point, and although the paintwork (including pinstriping) is in fair condition they did just spray right over the top of the Viking head badge, and as orange is one of my least favourite colours, I don't have any hesitation about respraying it. No idea on what scheme to go with yet, the 1955 catalogue only mentions "a superb range of Flamboyant, Metallic, or Plain colours, with attractive modern decorations".

The bars and stem look to be original, as is the crank, though unfortunately there's no non drive side arm. I've got a set of cottered cranks on an old roadster in the shed that should be suitable with some elbow grease. Original spec was GB Coureur brakes rather than the Weinmanns it has, a Brooks B17 (which I can borrow from my Healing), and the Huret Svelto is a later replacement for either an Allvit or Benelux. I really like the Svelto on my Tom Wallace though, and it looks great so it stays.

I'll most likely stick with the Weinmanns as they were available in the 50s (though I wouldn't say no to something more unusual if it turns up at a price I can afford), the priority is the wheels. The originals were Dunlop steel rims with Solite or Gnutti hubs, the ones it has at the moment are mismatched, one might be original but I haven't had a good look yet. At a glance the rims look a bit rustier than I'd like (I'm more a fan of shiny than patina), they may clean up well enough.

On my usual budget of "as near to zero as possible" it's unlikely to approach the quality of Clydesdale Scot's work, but that's the sort of result I'm aiming for.
"I must be rather keen on cycling"- Sir Hubert Opperman.

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Clydesdale Scot
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Re: ~1954 Viking Clubmaster

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Tue May 15, 2018 7:32 am

excellent project!
It seems that there is a generous and passionate supporter of Viking's, so plenty of information on them:
http://classicvikingcycles.com/
and Retrobike forum has some information which may assist:
http://www.retrobike.co.uk/search/index ... 3j461705j6

Once you have given it a clean, more photos would be nice.

Make a list of what components you would like for the project and we can look in our parts boxes.

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WyvernRH
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Re: ~1954 Viking Clubmaster

Postby WyvernRH » Tue May 15, 2018 9:08 pm

Hmm, give us a close up and a c-c measurement of the remaining crank. No promises but I might have a match. That's a good find from Viking's heyday. Probably had a Benelux 4 speed gear originally from the look of the dropout but as the spec in the catalogue says 'or to requirements' so why not the Huret and a 5-speed even if it is a little late-on if you are being anal about it. If the paint cleans up OK you might want to keep it and just re-paint the head badge to show a later period in the bike's life?
IMHO folk these days get too particular about what 'the catalogue' for that year says in these periods. Even in my younger days in the 70's if you went into the Holdsworth shop in Putney and wanted different brakes, gears, crankset or what ever and were prepared to pay a small premium that's what you got. In the 50's/60's this included custom paint jobs. New bicycles were not necessarily cookie cutter items. Often people just bought the frame and fitted what they had from the previous bike, often components from a decade before. Or au-contraire,
pick up an old frame from a club mate and outfit it with full Suntour Supurbe.
So go for it, fit what feels right and ride it :D

Richard

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ldrcycles
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Re: ~1954 Viking Clubmaster

Postby ldrcycles » Wed May 16, 2018 2:46 pm

WyvernRH wrote:Hmm, give us a close up and a c-c measurement of the remaining crank. No promises but I might have a match. That's a good find from Viking's heyday. Probably had a Benelux 4 speed gear originally from the look of the dropout but as the spec in the catalogue says 'or to requirements' so why not the Huret and a 5-speed even if it is a little late-on if you are being anal about it. If the paint cleans up OK you might want to keep it and just re-paint the head badge to show a later period in the bike's life?
IMHO folk these days get too particular about what 'the catalogue' for that year says in these periods. Even in my younger days in the 70's if you went into the Holdsworth shop in Putney and wanted different brakes, gears, crankset or what ever and were prepared to pay a small premium that's what you got. In the 50's/60's this included custom paint jobs. New bicycles were not necessarily cookie cutter items. Often people just bought the frame and fitted what they had from the previous bike, often components from a decade before. Or au-contraire,
pick up an old frame from a club mate and outfit it with full Suntour Supurbe.
So go for it, fit what feels right and ride it :D

Richard


My time trial bike is a good example of making do, 2 rear shift levers, mismatched wheels, and differing brakes, cranks, and derailleurs :) . My aim with the Viking is just to have it "look right", so the Svelto will stay despite being later, as it's just so primitive in appearance :lol: .

The paintwork is ok, but there are a few large chips with rust showing, and if the brake bridge needs to be replaced it will need some painting anyway. I'm not one to get hung up on original paint unless it's in very good condition, and this is a respray anyway. I'm looking forward to stretching my painting abilities on this one.

Clydesdale Scot wrote:excellent project!
It seems that there is a generous and passionate supporter of Viking's, so plenty of information on them:
http://classicvikingcycles.com/


I've spent quite a bit of time going over that site since I got the bike, that's where I found the original specs.

The front hub is a BH Racelite on a wide Araya rim, the rear is a steel Exceltoo with a Rigida rim. The rims may clean up alright, and I'll see what I have in the shed to get a better match. No sign of a matching rear Racelite on a quick ebay search but we'll see.

I'll continue stripping and cleaning it tonight.
"I must be rather keen on cycling"- Sir Hubert Opperman.

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ldrcycles
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Re: ~1954 Viking Clubmaster

Postby ldrcycles » Wed May 16, 2018 8:37 pm

Complete strip down thwarted by the worst stuck cotter pin I've ever had :evil: . It's been a while since I've dealt with cottered cranks, I'd almost forgotten how much I hate them! Time and patience will take care of it.

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Freewheel is ok, but could do with a proper service. I've never opened up a freewheel before, so will try to find someone willing to do it as the Cyclos are apparently tricky to work on.

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Unusual fork ends.

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I forgot to measure the crank arm, here's hoping it's a 170 or longer as I find 165s unrideable.
"I must be rather keen on cycling"- Sir Hubert Opperman.

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Clydesdale Scot
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Re: ~1954 Viking Clubmaster

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Wed May 16, 2018 9:41 pm

Cotter pins are something I grew up with. Just part of life.
But now I have a very serious cotter pin press that Dave (the long-term owner of the EA Boult) made for me. Modelled on the Bikesmith design but fed on steroids.

Freewheels are doable. I judge things on 'would I try that?'
Using a very informative thread on Bike Forums [now rendered unusable due to the stupidity of Photobucket] I tackled a 3 speed Cyclo which was seriously 'catching'.
It worked fine after a full strip down and rebuild. Surprised myself.
If you want, I can try to rebuild that thread as some of the photos appear in Photobucket.

Don't get too worked up by the crank arm length. Most are going to be 6 1/2", and like the width of the handlebars, it is part of the feel of the older bikes. And the brakes that don't really work like modern brakes, and the gears which are a bit limited. And the lightweight that isn't really a lightweight (by today's standards), and the length of the bike. All different to a modern carbon fibre frame with a modern groupset.

LG
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Re: ~1954 Viking Clubmaster

Postby LG » Thu May 17, 2018 9:16 pm

I'd suggest making contact with the fella on the classic vikings website, he is quite interested in gaining serial numbers for the registry. I had a good electronic chat with him when passing on the details of mine.

Freewheel disassembly (well the re-assembly part) is fairly fiddly, occasionally frustrating and if your not careful an easy way to lose internal parts. I've done about a dozen and would regard it as a useful exercise, and a good way to learn patience, ingenuity and lateral thinking for re-assembly. If you don't have the right removal tool or damaged notches, it's also the best way to remove a freewheel from a hub.

Looks like a nice project by the way.
LG = Low Gear

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Clydesdale Scot
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Re: ~1954 Viking Clubmaster

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Sat May 19, 2018 10:29 pm

I have been asked to put together a 1953 Viking Ian Steel with most of the original parts.
Should be enjoyable chasing up the minor items.
It belonged to the grandfather of the current owner, so its full history is known.
The frame has been repainted but the original decals have been retained and is in flamboyant red, the original finish.

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ldrcycles
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Re: ~1954 Viking Clubmaster

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:37 pm

Just a quick note to say I got the frame back a few weeks ago from Dave Weir (a framebuilder on the coast) with the rear end straightened and brake bridge replaced, for far less than he really ought to charge. That's about it for the moment though as I'm flat out record chasing, so unlikely I could have it ready for this year's Noosa Strade Bianche. Better to wait a while and do it well.
"I must be rather keen on cycling"- Sir Hubert Opperman.

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