Is This An Early Viking Frame?

by Guthrum on August 7, 2012

Early Viking Frame?Just added details of a frame which is believed to be a pre-war Viking.  Unfortunately I have nothing to compare it with, but there are some similarities with post-war Vikings, but then a lot of differences too, as you would expect.  I am hoping that someone will recognize features from this frame and be able to give an informed opinion as to whether it is a Viking.  This is always the problem with frames that were produced without head badges – after they have been repainted a few times, there is no longer any trace of what they were when they started life.

You can see more of the frame HERE

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Menu Getting Unwieldy

by Guthrum on July 11, 2012

The menu at  the top of the page has been getting rather unwieldy.  You select a topic which usually opens a drop-down menu and frequently each item on that drop-down menu opens another drop-down menu which may run off the bottom of your screen and be awkward to use.  I am in the process of eliminating that second layer of  drop-down menus, so for example, if you want a specific catalogue, hover your pointer over CATALOGUES ETC, then click on CATALOGUES in the drop-down menu, which will open a page on which you can select the catalogue you want to view.  Previously, you would get a drop-down list of those catalogues on the main menu, but no more.

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All-Size Junior

by Guthrum on June 21, 2012

Viking All-Size JuniorI was very excited to have been sent some pictures of a Viking All-Size junior from the mid-1960s.  I have never seen one of these bikes outside a catalogue illustration and have yet to see one in the flesh.  But these photographs give a very good impression and this particular example must have looked absolutely splendid when new, and certainly very cute.  The pictures are HERE

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1955 Severn Valley Pictures Uploaded

by Guthrum on April 26, 2012

I have at last assembled my 1955 Viking Severn Valley following renovation of the frame.  I was in a bit of a hurry to get it together now that we are getting some decent riding weather (occasionally), so I fitted some newer parts to get it on the road.  I am generally quite pleased with the result and look forward to many happy miles. Now on to the other Vikings. I have pretty much assembled all the bits to build up my early Tour of Britain frame to the same spec as Ian Steel’s tour-winning bike and I am getting there also with parts for my Master SS and 1951-ish Severn Valley. The Master SS has great original finish but the other two are in a terrible state.  They will all be built up as road-racing machines in the Viking spirit.  It is rather sad that frames become separated from their components, but I guess that in many cases, the original bits have worn out and been thrown away.  Still, it is quite possible to identify components that would typically have been fitted to these bikes “in the day”, so as to be period-correct.

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Gnutti Cotterless Cranks

by Guthrum on April 4, 2012

The Viking race team used Gnutti cotterless cranks starting in the 1952 season (see advertisement).  Ian Steel’s 1951 Tour of Britain victory was won on Stronglight Competition cottered cranks as far as I can tell.  Any way, I came across an interesting tidbit in Michael Barry’s blog, albeit from a few years ago, in which he talks about the woes of steel cotterless cranks.  To quote from his blog:

“Race leader Ken Russell very nearly lost the Tour of Britain in 1952 when his Gnutti crank came loose on the last stage into London. Belgian rival, Marcel Michaux saw his plight and offered Russell his bike. Russell finished on the Belgian’s bike and retained his yellow jersey.”

My 1955 Severn Valley is reputed to have had Gnutti cotterless cranks when it was new, subsequently replaced by Stronglights. I never got the story behind the switch, but maybe this is it.  But to be fair to Gnutti, I did buy a bike with those cranks but a wrecked frame – I wanted some of the parts and wanted to dispose of the rest, including the cranks.  But, not having the correct extractor, there was no way I could get the cranks off, so securely were they stuck on the shaft. Ended up selling them with the remnants of the frame. Another thing about them that threw me for a while was that the crank to spindle attaching screws are differently threaded – one LH thread, one RH thread.  I am not aware of any other cotterless cranks that did that.

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