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Old 11-14-11, 06:53 PM   #1
SteveSGP
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Viscount/Alan barn find

So I ran across these earlier in the year and finally made a deal on them.

The one I wanted most was the Viscount Aerospace, it appears to be 100% original right down to the death fork and I'm planning on doing it up for my son.











And the Alan, I really only got it for parts as it has a damaged head lug. With any luck the Alan fork will end up on the Viscount.





Along with these I also got a decent Novara with forged drop outs and a set of really sweet NOS Shimano calipers.

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Old 11-14-11, 07:00 PM   #2
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nice score, too bad about the Alan. you don't see many of those old Alan 'cross bikes these days. I like that Viscount, I saw one for sale a year or so ago and really had a hard time not buying it.
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Old 11-14-11, 11:24 PM   #3
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Pull the fork on the Viscount and check for a cross-pin at the crown. The "Death Forks" were unpinned, the pin went in to correct the deficiency.
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Old 11-14-11, 11:27 PM   #4
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If I found myself a Viscount with a death fork, I would ride it. I have a feeling that the danger wasn't that great.
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Old 11-15-11, 12:06 AM   #5
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Nice Viscount, seems like it was lightly used. It seems rare to find the plastic badge in tact on those Middlemores saddles, so that is a big plus. I think someone might have added those safety lever extensions. My aerospace pro does not have those and I haven't seen Viscount brake levers with them before.

The hubs are my favorite of the Viscount branded parts. Don't feel intimidated by the pressed in bottom bracket bearings, they are a standard size and replacing them is pretty straight forward.

I'm not positive but I think the Black/Silver Aerospace Pro was the tubular model and the Blue/Silver had clincher rims.
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Old 11-15-11, 12:09 AM   #6
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Not to mention the pedals being simply the finest things ever produced by man. Every bit the equal of the T.A.s.
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Old 11-15-11, 12:14 AM   #7
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If I found myself a Viscount with a death fork, I would ride it. I have a feeling that the danger wasn't that great.
plus you kinda get a rush riding it, you never know what could happen!
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Old 11-15-11, 12:28 AM   #8
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Not to mention the pedals being simply the finest things ever produced by man. Every bit the equal of the T.A.s.
I feel luke warm about the pedals. They have lots of long roller bearings, which is kind of cool but difficult to service. There isn't any way to adjust the bearings either so there is a little bit of play in the pedals. I'm no expert but I would say the aluminum cages looks good, but a little rough. They also came with quick release dust caps, guaranteed to fall into a gutter halfway through your ride.
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Old 11-15-11, 06:30 AM   #9
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Thanks for the responses guys, I was wondering about the pinned fork and if it did indeed fix the issue so I guess I'll find out shortly.

My son has already decided he wants to keep the tubular rims so he's going to have to save up for tires, as for the brake levers, they are badged as Lambert levers so I guess I'll have to look more closely at the turkey levers and possibly remove them.

Overall I'm really pleased with it, it's dirty but overall in great shape.
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Old 11-15-11, 06:43 AM   #10
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I'm not positive but I think the Black/Silver Aerospace Pro was the tubular model and the Blue/Silver had clincher rims.
Actually, the brochures indicate that the opposite is true.
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Old 11-15-11, 06:47 AM   #11
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Order some tubulars from Yellow Jersey as they have the 3 tires for $50. That's cheaper then what it would cost to buy two decent clincher tires and some tubes and you still get spare along with it.
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Old 11-15-11, 06:50 AM   #12
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I bet that the levers were added by changing out that pivot. You can see your levers have a red pivot like you find on dia-compe levers. My viscount levers have a blue pivot, which yours probably had originally. If you can find one without the threaded hole for turkey levers, that's probably all you need to convert them back.

Heres mine:
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Old 11-15-11, 06:58 AM   #13
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^^^

+1 we did that to the Dia-Compe and Weinemanns on the Schwinn Le Tours my wife and I owned in the late 70's, pre International days for me.

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Old 11-15-11, 08:19 AM   #14
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My understanding is that the pinned fork was just pinning the cast aluminum fork
to the steel steerer tube. I do know the first ones had no pinning.
nice example here: http://www.classicrendezvous.com/Bri...bert_fork.html

That said I had an Aerospace Pro and commuted on the death fork with no incidents.
however I'm not so sure I'd do the same thing now.

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Old 11-15-11, 08:25 AM   #15
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Here is an article on the three different versions of the "Death Fork".

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Old 11-15-11, 10:12 AM   #16
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Here is an article on the three different versions of the "Death Fork".

That's fantastic, So mine "should" have the best of the three forks already.

It's funny how one particular story gets spread around and distorted over time, kind of like the Vitus 979 and it's rumoured lug speration. My son has a 979 and the frame looks virtually perfect and shows not the first sign of any lug bonding issues.
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Old 11-15-11, 10:21 AM   #17
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I ride a Viscount Aerospace and they never make a lot of money here in the UK. I always think Aerospace's are one of cyclings greatest undiscovered secrets.
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Old 11-15-11, 11:01 AM   #18
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I ride a Viscount Aerospace and they never make a lot of money here in the UK. I always think Aerospace's are one of cyclings greatest undiscovered secrets.
I have to ask, original alloy fork on yours?
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Old 11-15-11, 11:13 AM   #19
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A Space Pac will still outlive any Vicount....or 979.....or Alan, for that matter!
Sorry about that Alan, I guess the frame's toast?

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Old 11-15-11, 11:29 AM   #20
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A Space Pac will still outlive any Vicount....or 979.....or Alan, for that matter!
Sorry about that Alan, I guess the frame's toast?

Chombi
Space Pac? Do tell.

I'm guessing the Alan beyond repair, it's possible a skilled aluminum welder could repair it but that's far beyond me and apparently Alan no longer repairs frames and even when they did the cost of shipping it for repair often outweighed the value of the frame.

I'm tempted to post it on E-bay with a VERY clear description and pictures and just see what it brings, if anything.

It's sad because those Alan frames are just so pretty and it's very, very light.
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Old 11-15-11, 11:45 AM   #21
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My son has already decided he wants to keep the tubular rims so he's going to have to save up for tires.
A work ethic and and an appreciation for the finer things in life. You clearly doing an excellent job raising your son!

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Old 11-15-11, 12:25 PM   #22
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A work ethic and and an appreciation for the finer things in life. You clearly doing an excellent job raising your son!
Thanks, we're working on him.

He's gone through about ten road bikes in the last year, I usually allow him to upgrade from one to another when new ones come through the garage and I sell off his old ones and do require him to pay for some of his own parts.

He's a pretty good kid overall but he is also a 13 year old so he can be a bit difficult at times, pretty sure we all were at that age though.
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Old 11-15-11, 12:46 PM   #23
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Why not just DIY pin & bond the so-called death fork? Just do what the OEM did to later editions.
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Old 11-15-11, 12:50 PM   #24
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Sorry about that ALAN. You these forks have a reputation for being deathy too ?
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Old 11-15-11, 04:46 PM   #25
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I have to ask, original alloy fork on yours?
I have fork version 2. I closely inspected them while I had it stripped down. It would be fairly difficult for them to shear off, can't say the same for version 1 though!
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