1950 Viking SN 1143

Circa 1950 Viking SN 1143

Comments:

This bicycle is “as found” and came with mudguards but no wheels. A rear hub was temporarily put in place to show the drivetrain.

Model unknown. There is no model identification and the only catalogue information currently available shows racing models. This is not a racing bike but appears to be a competent club machine or all round sports/touring bike. The 3-speed derailleur with 1/8″ chain is quite typical for the era, whereas a racing bike would normally have had 4 speeds and possibly a double chainring too.

The 1950 date is an approximation, based on the fact that it used to have a rectangular head badge, believed to have been introduced in 1950 and the seat tube “Viking head” transfer is the same as the one on the 1948/49 Master SS frame shown elsewhere on this site, and the design of this transfer is known to have changed circa 1951.

The bike is quite stylish with transfers based on an elongated winged Viking head motif and red flamboyant paint and it would have looked good in the showroom though clearly built down to a price.

The economies in manufacture include the pressed form at the top of the seat stays, relatively simple lugs, plain gauge tubing (albeit Kromo which was good stuff), lack of brazed-on fittings (so that all frames could be manufactured the same but equipped in a variety of ways) and generic crankset. On the plus side are the Simplex Tour de France derailleur and the Burlite brakes which, though not as good as GB, are a cut above the steel brakes that many contemporary bikes would have been fitted with. Alloy bars and stem are a nice touch too. A potential customer might well compare this with a Raleigh Lenton Sports with its steel parts and Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub gear and conclude that the Viking was a much nicer bike. A pity we don’t have price list information to compare.

The parts that came with the frame all appear original, although the chrome finisher over the fork crown may not be – seems to me like an unnecessary adornment and the bike would have looked flashy enough without it.  The brake blocks look to be set to accommodate a 26″ wheel – they are at the limit of their travel so it is probable that the bike would take 27″ wheels.

More Photos: (click on image to enlarge)

Circa 1950 Viking SN 1143

Circa 1950 Viking SN 1143

Circa 1950 Viking SN 1143

Circa 1950 Viking SN 1143

Circa 1950 Viking SN 1143

Circa 1950 Viking SN 1143

Circa 1950 Viking SN 1143

Circa 1950 Viking SN 1143

Circa 1950 Viking SN 1143

Circa 1950 Viking SN 1143

Circa 1950 Viking SN 1143

Circa 1950 Viking SN 1143

Circa 1950 Viking SN 1143

Circa 1950 Viking SN 1143

Circa 1950 Viking SN 1143

Circa 1950 Viking SN 1143