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  1. #1
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    Did I pay too much for a 1970's Viscount?

    Just wondering if anyone out there knows the value of a 1970's Viscount. I bought one for $60 yesterday (complete with the aluminum "death fork", which I intend on replacing). All the parts are original, including the aluminum rims and the hard-as-rock saddle. I don't know the exact year...1976 or so, I'd guess. It's very lightweight and in good condition. Yet I can't help but wonder-- did I pay too much?
    Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Chrome Freak Rabid Koala's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say you paid too much, if the bike is complete and in rideable condition (death fork notwithstanding!).

    I don't know if you have seen this or not, but here is a link to Sheldon Brown's site: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lambert.html

    Enjoy your new ride!

    P.S. Pictures are always nice, too......

  3. #3
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Nope.

    Any decent road bike in good working order is worth $60 and more, especially if it fits you well and you like the way it rides. I'm in the middle of overhauling, cleaning, and re-assembling a thrift-store found Viscount right now, and they seem to be pretty nicely built bikes. I especially like the look of the drive-side crank....lotsa bling when it's polished up, and all the circle cutouts are way cool!

    Mine's not "stock" though - it has the replacement chrome fork, platform pedals, and barcons. The barcons have now been replaced with DT shifters, and I'll probably put toe-clip pedals on it when it's finally assembled and ready to ride.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the feedback!

  5. #5
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    Good luck with your Viscount overhaul, bigbossman.

    And thanks for the Sheldon Brown link, Koala.

  6. #6
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    $60 is OK. That was my first real bike. I think I paid the exorbitant price of $175 in '77 for it. The BB has pressed in sealed bearings that seize, but you can get replacements from any bearing supply store. Mine were about $16 for the pair.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  7. #7
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaba
    Good luck with your Viscount overhaul, bigbossman.

    And thanks for the Sheldon Brown link, Koala.
    Thanks - I'd be done by now and posting pics if it weren't so d@mn hot in the garage! We've been having a bit of a heat wave here - lots of pool time, not so much bike building time.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

  8. #8
    Chrome Freak Rabid Koala's Avatar
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    Ditto to what bigbossman said! We are having a heatwave here, too. I got out early and overhauled the BB on my new Gitane, then gave it up for the day. I'll do the headset another time!

  9. #9
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rabid Koala
    Ditto to what bigbossman said! We are having a heatwave here, too. I got out early and overhauled the BB on my new Gitane, then gave it up for the day. I'll do the headset another time!
    Yeah - I wanted to finish the Viscount, but the only way I was gonna get a ride in today was if I went early. Up at 6:30am, out at 7, hit the road and did a quick 30 miles. Got back at just after 9am and it was already too hot to work in the garage so I jumped in the pool and floated for a while....

    Took a shower, took the family out for lunch, hit Performance for knick-knacks, and went to see "Nacho Libre".

    Later this afternoon, it cooled off enough to do a bit of wrenching. I finally finished the Viscount, save taping the bars. I'm waiting on some thin bar tape.

    Interesting thing I noticed about the Viscount wheel bearings - similar to the BB bearings, they are pressed-in bearing units.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

  10. #10
    Senior Member Herneka's Avatar
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    The Viscount is the first road bike i bought. I think paid $15 or something for it, and, so far, it's gotten two of my friends hooked on road cycling. If it still fit me, i'd still be ridding it.

  11. #11
    Chrome Freak Rabid Koala's Avatar
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    I remember when Lamberts first came out, and a LBS not too far from home was going to sell them. He had a lot of literature on them but no bikes. Of course, after reading all the literature with all the talk about aircraft tubing and insanely light weight, I desperately wanted one. The price was right, too. They were very reasonable in cost for the weight.

    Like most other things I lusted for as a kid, I never got a Lambert. Or a Schwinn Krate, or that hot blonde either.

    Maybe one of these days I'll stumble on to one. I'd still buy it, and after 30+ years it would look better than the blonde.

    On the positive side-the way I rode as a teenager coupled with the death fork could have been a disaster.

  12. #12
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Back in the late mid 70's I went to LBS determined to buy a bike. Now when I
    would get ready to purchase something I'd research it (audiophile leftover) so I read
    anything I could. I knew weight was important, italian steel was expensive etc.
    I go to the shop, in my price range I'm shown entry Bianchis, Somas, Nishikis you know, good
    bikes not terribly light.
    Then this Silver and Black bike leaning quietly against the wall catches my eye. . .
    "what's that?" I say? Salesman says "that is an insanely light bike, It's like a $700 bike
    for less than $250". . . Sold I said.
    Mine wasn't totally stock, had Mavic Module E rims, and Suntour Cyclone drivetrain.
    After getting rid of the rock hard, heavy Lambert saddle (replaced with an Avocet)
    removed reflectors, put on Ultra6 freewheel and chain the bike was well into the
    sub 20 pound range.
    I loved it, whippy frame and all.
    one day I'll find another of those Aerospace Pros.

    (notice how many of us had Lambert/viscount as first "real" bike? )

    Marty
    Sono piý lento di quel che sembra.
    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  13. #13
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rabid Koala
    Like most other things I lusted for as a kid, I never got a Lambert. Or a Schwinn Krate, or that hot blonde either.
    Duuuude....you lived in SoCal and never got a hot blonde? I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, and you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting 2 or 3. They were a dime a dozen. Hot brunnettes were in short supply though, and I didn't obtain one until well after high school. I married her..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Rabid Koala
    On the positive side-the way I rode as a teenager coupled with the death fork could have been a disaster.
    +1 on that. See my previous posts on how we abused our Varsities.......
    Last edited by bigbossman; 06-26-06 at 11:49 AM.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

  14. #14
    Chrome Freak Rabid Koala's Avatar
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    Duuuude....you lived in SoCal and never got a hot blonde? I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, and you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting 2 or 3. They were a dime a dozen. Hot brunnettes were in short supply though, and I didn't obtain one until well after high school. I married her
    Heh, I got the hot brunette, too. Been married to her 28 years as of last Saturday. Much more reliable than a blonde! BTW-she has relatives fairly close to you in Danville. Nice country up there. A little warm, but nice!

  15. #15
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    Get rid of the straight square bottom brocket and crankset if you intend to ride the bike hard. Those silly cranks always seem to work themselves loose, and those old BB axles have a reputation for snapping. I just converted my Lambert to a sealed tapered BB and modern crankset - alot of sweat but came out OK.

  16. #16
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    The Viscount sealed BB was smmoth but the *&%# spindle was subject to un-expected snapping off on the crank side. I saw at least 2 on the road leaving us with the crankset dangling on our foot by the pedal.

    I threaded the BB (Italian thread) and installed a standard (at the time) Campy BB. No further problems 25 years later.....

  17. #17
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
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    My memories about Lamberts are not good ones, I'm afraid.

    Back in the early 70's at the height of the bike boom, one of my buddies in the Presque Isle Bicycle Club (Erie, PA) opened his own bicycle shop. Dealt Atala and Fuji (first Japanese bike seen in that area). I took a leave from the Schwinn/Raleigh dealer where I worked and went to work for him to assist him in getting started.

    He also took on Lambert (they hadn't come out yet) and had to pay in advance for the shipment of bikes . . . . which never arrived, constant company troubles. He never quite recovered from the financial hit. Of course, my gold one was in the order.

    Finally saw a Lambert the following year (73?) at TOSRV. The guy who rode in was the center of attention, as there were lots of people there who'd put orders down on the bikes, and never saw delivery. For years, I figured that Lambert was just a big scam and never really produced any bikes, then in retrospect I find out they actually did hit the road, but mainly under the Viscount name.

    Syke
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  18. #18
    Chrome Freak Rabid Koala's Avatar
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    He also took on Lambert (they hadn't come out yet) and had to pay in advance for the shipment of bikes . . . . which never arrived, constant company troubles. He never quite recovered from the financial hit. Of course, my gold one was in the order.
    Saved you from the death fork, though......

    One of the LBS's in my area was going to carry Lamberts. He had lots of literature but no bikes. I was all excited about them but had no money. I can't remember if he ever got them. The bike shop opened in about '72 or so, and just closed a year ago.

  19. #19
    WoodBadge NE-VI-1 beaverstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaba
    All the parts are original, including . . . the hard-as-rock saddle.
    Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!
    Is the saddle intact? Are you discarding or keeping? Pls, email me.

  20. #20
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    I always heard about the "death fork" on these but in the mid-late 70s when we bought them we club raced them, jumped, thrashed them and even cross country toured on these forks. (X country tour needed a change in wheels, gearing and associated racks and such). BB was the only mechanical problem.

    I did change the fork (to the chrome Tange) when Yamaha did the recall but still have the original hanging around. I have pondered re-installing it for "old times sake" for neighborhood rec rides. It was quite compliant on road vibes.

  21. #21
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    P.S. Pictures are always nice, too......
    This is my '76('77?) Viscount. The bike is all "original", i.e. the way I bought it new, including the infamous DEATH FORK. The only things that aren't factory are: the rear skewer (which I broke), the seat (I had the original plastic one changed for one with some 'cush for the tush'), the safety levers for the brakes, the foam bar covers and of course the tubes and tires. I doubt I put 500 miles on this thing, when I got back into biking it was too out-of-date. Now I'm just starting to bring it back as a "retro-ride".









    Along those lines I have a couple questions:

    1. Anyone know where I can get a replacement aluminum fork?

    2. Somewhere on the web I stumbled across a site with the old sales lit and specs. Naturally, I didn't bookmark it, and of course now I want to go back but can't find the site. Can anyone redirect me?

    Thanks GT

  22. #22
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    For replacement fork, you can go with chromed steel at a reasonable price. For catalogue, go to http://bulgier.net/pics/bike/Catalogs/lambert/.

    Neal

  23. #23
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    Neal,

    Many thanks. Thats the brochure I was looking for. Regarding the fork: I know I'm being anal, but I'm trying to keep as much of the original look and ride if possible. (Steel might shake my fillings loose.)

    Thanks Again,

    Gary

  24. #24
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Gary,

    I had the replacement Tange steel fork put on my Viscount when
    Yamaha sent them out. It didn't rattle my teeth out or bruise
    my kidneys.
    Contrary to popular thought Steel forks are very compliant, gives a
    nice ride and smooths out the road chatter.

    marty
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    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by garyfdl
    Neal,

    Many thanks. Thats the brochure I was looking for. Regarding the fork: I know I'm being anal, but I'm trying to keep as much of the original look and ride if possible. (Steel might shake my fillings loose.)

    Thanks Again,

    Gary
    Then again, Gary, if that original has lasted this long, perhaps it'll keep on going. And I have a replacement aluminum "death fork" in my basement if you need it!

    Neal

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