Viking Children’s Bikes

by Guthrum on June 27, 2011

Viking Children’s Bikes

I have just been collating some photographs to post to the site shortly.  One very interesting one is a photograph of the Viking stand at the Earl’s Court Cycle Show in 1948 or 1949.  It shows some children’s bicycles which I am used to seeing in later catalogues, but I had no idea that Viking sold them this early.  It seems unlikely that Viking made these cycles themselves – more likely that they were made by the Co-op and branded Viking.

Viking’s offering of these bikes makes one wonder what their corporate strategy was – to become a major player, a sort of mini-Raleigh, offering a bike for everybody, or to make a few extra pounds for themselves and their dealers by offering a broader product range at very low additional capital cost?  I suspect the latter because their emphasis was undoubtedly on the lightweight and racing market with their sponsorship of a road racing team and their line of handbuilt racing frames and complete bikes.

Back then, most people bought their bikes at the local bike shop, so offering a full range would encourage both dealer and customer loyalty.

I would really like to know what their production and sales figures were during these years.  Unless some kind reader has all the answers, I shall need to do some research as time permits.

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