Early Viking Tour of Britain

by Guthrum on February 10, 2012

Viking Frame #189A few days ago I mentioned the frame I bought from Vintage Bike Cave. I have now taken some pictures and looked into it a bit more.  The first thing was to resolve the frame number – 189 or 681. From the rear dropout, it could be either, but the stamping on the steerer is a lot clearer and looks like 189.  The clincher for me was that my record of frame numbers shows that frames with pure numbers are in chronological order, and this is clearly a fairly early frame because it used to have a rectangular brass head badge – to my mind dating it 1950 to 1952.

Ian Steel's ToB Winning BikeThe frame has Nervex Professional lugs, indicating that it is a Tour of Britain frame.  I have no record of any other model using Nervex Professional lugs until the Severn Valley acquired them in the late 1950s.  It also looks very similar to Ian Steel’s bike  shown in the British Pathe still on the left with respect to seat stays, pump pegs and brake bridge.

I also think it is a Tour of Britain frame based on the fact that it has a pure numeric number, and so far my records show that all ToB frames have these numbers, almost everything else has a letter in it or an O prefix (with no indication yet whether it is a letter or a zero), until the advent of the 6-digit numbers under the bottom bracket in the 1960s.

The reasons it might not be a Tour of Britain are that it does not have reinforced pump pegs or a reinforced rear brake bridge, but both of these may be later additions to the ToB spec.  I do not have a 1952 catalogue to check.  As usual, any information will be very welcome.

Here are some more detailed pics.  They show that the frame was refinished some time ago and is in need or refinishing now.  I plan to do that as soon as I can get a handle on the correct transfers for it:

#189 Head Tube#189 Bottom Bracket#189 Seat Cluster 1#189 Seat Cluster 2#189 Rear Brake Bridge#189 Front Dropouts#189 Fork Crown#189 Nervex Professional Upper Head Lug#189 Lower Head Lug#189 Left Rear Dropout#189 Steerer Tube

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Previous post:

Next post: