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Probably not a Viking frame ID help please

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Probably not a Viking frame ID help please

Old 06-17-20, 02:23 PM
  #1  
Leoh69
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Probably not a Viking frame ID help please

I acquired an old bike a few weeks ago, mainly for a few parts that I thought might be handy on another project.

At this point I will apologise for the lack of pictures, but as a newbie here I can't post any just yet. So sorry about that. The lack of pictures is my excuse for such a lengthy post, as I've tried to give as much information as I can

I couldn't really tell what the bike was, it looked a bit like a 1970s Viking (like the superstar in a 1977 catalogue I found on classicvikingcycles site) but with some parts changed out - in fact possibly a total parts bin build. This included GB Maes bars (with scalloped ferrule), Weinmann centre pulls, Sugino cranks and Raleigh branded Huret rear derailleur at the rear and Suntour at the front.

Anyhow, before I started to remove bits I thought I'd see if it could be made serviceable - it transpired that it required little more than air. I rather enjoyed the ride, so rather than use it as a donor I thought I'd look at it in more detail and do a bit of research.

At which point I realised the frame doesn't look much like the 70s Viking bikes that it originally appeared to be. So is it what it was badged as, or is it something else?

Some salient points that might help shed light on its identity:
The lugs are Nervex type 45
The tubes Unknown - seat tube diameter around 27mm.
Bare frame (221/2 inch) weighs 1960g (20g more than my 211/2" Severn valley).
Dropouts look to be pressed steel, the rear being reminiscent of Osgear dropouts
Derailleur cable stop has a neat brass adjuster
Head badge holes at a gnats whisker under 50mm (these were hidden under the 70s Viking sticker)
Frame(?) number on NS rear dropout is 160, Nervex name and number on BB - don't think there was a frame number (but I could check again if someone can give me a good reason to scrape the paint off).
The forks are what I assume are replacements by Tange,
Gear cable guide braze-on, on top of BB, is a small pulley, 10mm diameter.

I've Googled plenty, but haven't found anything that matches. Closest is probably a 50s Rotrax - but the badge holes are wrong for this (lugs and cable stop are right though).

The more I think about it, the more I think that someone in the distant past decided to respray an old frame blue and stick a set of 70s Viking stickers on it. When I finally managed to remove the above mentioned pulley, I found a smear of candy red paint on the inside of the pulley mount.

Have I reached a dead end? Is it indeed a Viking, but I've somehow missed something obvious? Or does somebody out there recognise it instantly? I guess getting some pictures up would help - in the meantime if anyone can suggest a direction for my research, I would be very grateful.
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Old 06-17-20, 02:36 PM
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You can create an "Album" in the site's "Gallery", and one of us will post the pics to this thread, as we do fancy mysteries, and photos.
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Old 06-17-20, 03:06 PM
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Sounds like a plan!
the pics are in an album called 'probably not a Viking frame' - is this sufficient for you to post them up, or is there something else I need to do?
thanks for your help
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Old 06-17-20, 03:36 PM
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Picture Assistance













https://www.bikeforums.net/g/album/18208840

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Old 06-17-20, 03:54 PM
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Thanks for that machinist 42 - so any thoughts on the mystery?
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Old 06-17-20, 05:46 PM
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The Oscar Egg dropouts I have seen had both a vertical and horizontal option for clamping the axle. This one has the "axle guide" fang feature but only horizontal clamping, so I don't think it's an actual Osgear dropout. It will still work fine if you choose to build with an Osgear derailleur, though. However, the cable guide atop the chainstay indicates the bike was using a dropout-mounted derailleur, not an Osgear.

By the way, Osgear was simply the trade name that Constrictor chose when selling the derailleur in the UK. The "real" name of the derailleur was Oscar Egg Super Champion.

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Old 06-17-20, 06:14 PM
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Yes, definitely doesn't look like a genuine Osgear, it just seemed the easiest way to describe them in the absence of pictures. I am puzzled by them though, as I can't find anything similar - yet there must be a reason why someone thought the spikes would be useful with a dropout mounted derailleur - is it simply the axle guide feature you mention?

im thinking the frame is too late for Osgear, my current guess would be late fifties to mid sixties. Sound about right? I'm doubtful a positive ID is possible on so little, but if I can get enough pointers about date then I'll be able to eventually build it up with relatively 'correct' components. Well, that's the plan today, anyway.
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Old 06-17-20, 08:23 PM
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Did Viking survive into the 70's? I thought they folded in the mid 60's.
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Old 06-18-20, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Did Viking survive into the 70's? I thought they folded in the mid 60's.
According to https://classicvikingcycles.com/ it closed up shop in 1967
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Old 06-18-20, 11:37 AM
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Those headlugs are beyond distinctive. Somebody knows not just brand but who built this.

My guess would be late 40s or early 50s. The frame weight is very unusually low for a bike this size and vintage. A special bike and you will identify. Might try the classiclightweights site.
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Old 06-19-20, 05:09 AM
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The head lugs are indeed distinctive - I think it was these which first had me cotton on this wasn't the 70s Viking the stickers made it out to be. I followed the head lugs (Nervex type 45) for a while and found a couple of candidates, but there was always something not right. I also spent a long time hunting the equally distinctive not-quite-Osgear dropouts, with no success. Then I had a breakthrough - I looked for frames with the roller on top of the BB - and found (drum roll please) ... A Viking. Or more precisely, reference to the roller / pulley in an early 50s Viking catalogue, on a Mileater. Looking at more examples of Mileaters I found Nervex type 45 lugs. But Mileaters have plain gauge 531 tubes, whereas my frame is (I'm moderately confident) butted tubing, based on the weight and 27.2mm seat tube. So then I look at the Viking 'Ian Steel' - now we get butted tubes, type 45 lugs and a roller. Again, a 'but' arrives when it comes to frame numbers - Ian Steel frame numbers have letter prefix, whereas I only have a number. Hmmm - oh, wait a minute - the Viking Tour of Britain has no prefix, lugs, roller etc. Dropouts still bugged me though, and then I stumbled across an old eBay listing for a Mileater with the exact same dropouts...but different lugs. oh, and the head badge holes match the second of the Viking head badges.
so, where does this leave me? Well, I started this thinking it wasn't a Viking, just some other frame that had been resprayed and randomly decorated with 70s Viking stickers. I think I was put off the scent by the lack of Nervex professional lugs and the plain tops to the seat stays. Now I've found enough examples of Viking bikes with too many similarities to ignore - I'm pretty convinced it is a Viking frame from the early fifties, although precisely which model is still a bit foggy. If anyone has been patient enough to read my potted research summary, and has a view on whether I'm on the right track or not, I'd love to hear from you!
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