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  1. #1
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    1975-or-so Viscount funny townie build

    I got the bike in original condition from Frank the Welder some time back. Here is how I have it now:

    • 35mm tires
    • TA crank with 42 chainring and 155mm (yes, really) arms
    • S3X 3-speed fixed gear hub, 16T cog
    • mustache handlebars
    • original front brake with Mafac lever


    Gears are too low. I'll replace the cog with a 13t or the chainring with a 52t. But it's interesting how I can stop the bike by shifting down and then resist pedaling. It's easier than with a true fixed gear bike, since the ratio is so low.

    Still have to make changes to make it more comfortable. I might ditch the handlebars. I still haven't learned to appreciate mustache handlebars.

    The tires fit too tightly. I'll probably swap 32mm tires on.


    Pictures













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    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  2. #2
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Tom,

    I like it. If you run smaller tires you could also run fenders and that would be really sweet!
    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

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  3. #3
    no one cares -holiday76's Avatar
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    I like it too Thom. I like that tiny crank. I kinda want to try something that short (twss).
    I prefer emails to private messages - holiday76@gmail.com
    Jack Taylor Super Tourist, Jack Taylor Super Tourer Tandem, Jack Taylor Tour of Britain, Px-10, Raleigh Portage, Carlton Flyer,Fuji The Finest, Bianchi Squadra, Voodoo Cross, Santa Cruz Tallboy, Cetma Largo, Riv Betty Foy (wife's), Gitane 500A Mini Racer (sons).

  4. #4
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I haven't decided on fenders yet. I'm thinking this would be nice for snowy days. Fenders on snow are sometimes good and sometimes very bad.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
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  5. #5
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Cool build, Tom! You never know exactly how everything will play together on these scratch builds, so you get these puzzles to solve -- likely good for the brain. My vote would be for the larger chainring, if you can fit it. (twss)
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Lascauxcaveman's Avatar
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    Ha! Three speed fixie, aluminum Death Fork and a plastic brake lever. Your Viscount is pushing the right buttons for me; except I doubt I'd be able to live with the mustache handlebars, either. What are the zip ties for? Surely you're not relying on them to hold the brake lever on?

    (Also, is that one of the one of the plastic MAFAC brake levers I sent you, or did you already have a stockpile?)
    ● 1971 Grandis SL ● 1972 Lambert Grand Prix frankenbike ● 1972 Raleigh Super Course fixie ● 1972 Peugeot UE-18 Mixte ● 1982 Motobecane Jubile Sport ● 1983 Nishiki Landau ● 1984 Peugeot PH10LE ● 1984 Bianchi Limited ● 1985 Peugeot Vagabond ● 1985 Trek 600 ● 1985 Shogun Prairie Breaker ● 1985 Raleigh Elkhorn ● 1986 Univega Nuovo Sport ● 1987 Schwinn Tempo ● 1996 Kona Lava Dome ● And a Bike to Be Named Later ●

  7. #7
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    It is one of one levers, and it broke it this morning trying to make room for the cable ferrule. The zip ties are holding the ferrule in place. This is obviously not a long term solution. I guess the bad reputation these levers have is earned! But thank you for sending the, anyway.

    The handlebars are super wide, and I think I just don't like wide handlebars. I'll try all-rounder or north road next.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  8. #8
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
    Tom,

    I like it. If you run smaller tires you could also run fenders and that would be really sweet!
    That's what I did with mine, using 25mm tires:


  9. #9
    Death fork? Naaaah!! top506's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post

    The handlebars are super wide, and I think I just don't like wide handlebars. I'll try all-rounder or north road next.
    reversed North Road would be my pick:



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    You know it's going to be a good day when the stem and seatpost come right out.

  10. #10
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I would be inclined to gear it 50/15 or so, for a 90-inch top and a 57-inch bottom, and I would probably add a rear brake, but if I ever were to try fixed gear again, it would definitely be with a Sturmey 3-speed, rather than direct drive. (I like my gears too much to give them up.)
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  11. #11
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    @JohnDThompson, hey, same bike, kinda sorta!

    @top506, I suspect that when I use swept back bars, I like them better when flipped up. Not sure why that is. I don't currently have an upright bike, so I think I'll do that next. Flipped down look better, but that's less of a concern than comfort.

    @John E, that's my plan. 52:16 gives me an 88" top. To be honest, I don't need gears in NYC, as I don't frequent the hilly parts of the city much. The bottom half of Manhattan is fairly flat. I got this hub because it's cool, that's all.

    The backlash of the hub is a bit disconcerting, but I'll probably get used to it.

    Paging @Velognome: do you still have your S3X hub on your Raleigh Competition?
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
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  12. #12
    Senior Member inkandsilver's Avatar
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    Cool bike! But when I read "funny townie" I thought maybe you had built something like this:

    funny-townie.jpg
    197X Raleigh Grand Prix (beater) -- 1977 Centurion Semi-Pro (all-arounder) -- 1987 Schwinn High Sierra (dropbar conversion) -- 1996 Trek 930 (MTB) -- 2011 Jamis Coda (supercommuter)

  13. #13
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Heh.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
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  14. #14
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    Looks very nice! Not so funny, really!
    1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson), 1973 Wes Mason, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter

  15. #15
    Senior Member Iowegian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inkandsilver View Post
    Cool bike! But when I read "funny townie" I thought maybe you had built something like this:

    funny-townie.jpg
    Classic.

    PS, nice build Tom. I have a Viscount hanging in the basement and this is inspiring....

  16. #16
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    What brand are the bars? They appear to have the same bluish cast as the steel Nashbars that I just replaced because there was no comfortable position for me. The replacements are Cinelli Priest and I like them so far.

  17. #17
    Senior Member mharter's Avatar
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    I like that setup. I sometimes thought about trying that style of bars and could never bring myself to part with regular north road style bars. The same is true for the fixed 3 speed hub. I am not adventurous enough!

    Nobody asked if those are death forks yet. I assume they got retrofit at some point if they were.

  18. #18
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    @Grand Bois, you are correct. They are the Nashbars. Is the Priest also a mustache handlebar?

    @mharter, I'm told this is version 2 of the fork and thus not a death fork.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    The Priest is unique in that it's an upright bar designed to take road bike levers. They look cool flipped, but then the Cinelli logos are upside down. They are in big demand by the fixie crowd, especially in the UK. The clamp area is 26.4, so you have to either pay too much for a Cinelli stem or pry open a 26.0.

    They've been replaced by the black Valencia.

    VeloBase.com - Component: Cinelli Priest
    Last edited by Grand Bois; 08-20-14 at 04:56 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member rgver's Avatar
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    I like what you have done with it, the biggest surprise in the thread is that it took 6 comments before "death fork" was said.
    heres my Viscount in its latest configuration, the tires I got a brand new pair of Pro Race 3 but in yellow and I'm never one to turn my nose up at free brand new tires, even if they're yellow

    Last edited by rgver; 08-20-14 at 08:00 PM.

  21. #21
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Some time ago, I sawed the handlebars shorter. I also put a bar-end bell on it. Nice sound but not loud enough. It will do.

    Yesterday, I rebuilt the wheel with a regular old fixie hub, so it's now a one-speed. I had my fun with the 3-speed and don't want it any more. I passed the S3X hub to another bikeforums member.



    I really like the way it rides. I rode it 10 miles yesterday. It feels really light and lively. I pumped the 32mm Pasela tires to 65/70. The ratio (52/19) is 74 gear inches, which is great for me. The 66-inch gear was too low. I seem to like my cadence, and my speed is keyed off that. I'm not sure what it is, but I guess it's around 90 rpm. It made me move slowly with the low gear. Now that it's a little higher, I move faster, around 15 mph.

    On Monday, before the 3-speed-to-1-speed conversion, I rode the bike with 30 psi in the tires! It didn't bottom out, and it felt luxuriously smooth, though I suspect it slowed me a little. If it did, I didn't really perceive it, so I'm going to try it again now that I have converted it in an attempt at an almost side-by-side comparison.
    Last edited by noglider; 11-05-14 at 08:02 AM.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  22. #22
    Wherever I may roam....
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    That bike looks great Tom. Almost makes me want to get mine back from Zaphodbeeblebrox or whatever his handle is on here
    Emails are quicker.... RobvanI-81@hotmail.com

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  23. #23
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Thanks. @RobE30. It weighs 23 pounds with the Dynamo hub and headlight. Nice.

    I need to put on a stem that is shorter in height and longer in reach. I also need a brake hanger with a QR mechanism. I think I have these items in my bins.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  24. #24
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    My kind of townie.
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
    Everything in life is about bikes. Except bikes, bikes are about power.

  25. #25
    Senior Member vqstaphbeard's Avatar
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    Cool!

    Definitely experiment with lower pressures. 65-70 sounds too high depending on your weight.
    Virgil Q Staphbeard

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