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Viscount death fork

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Viscount death fork

Old 07-22-20, 09:34 PM
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Viscount death fork

Hi all,

Going to look at a old Viscount bike next week wanted to see if it had the infamous death fork. Can someone link my gallery in a comment so its easier to view? If it is the death fork can someone link me a replacement or is there any collectors looking for one? Also I read about pressed BBs (ball bearings?) on these bikes, can someone also link an economical replacement for me? Anything else I should look for on this bike when I go look at it? I think I can get it for $20 so I can be a little forgiving on condition to a point.

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Old 07-22-20, 09:55 PM
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Those forks were made with three different details at the steerer/crown juncture. The forks look identical on the bike except looking up at the underside of the crown. Some are smooth aluminum across the top. Others have the hose for a steerer and you may see the steerer. If it is smooth,it's the real death fork. Don't ride it. None are good forks but the ones with the steerer holes are far better.

I had the smooth version and paid. You don't want anybody you remotely care about to go through what I did. (I used to wonder how they did that "blind:" juncture as an engineering student. I knew from sophomore materials that you would NEVER machine an aluminum plug to the inside of the steerer; They did. I've seen the broken plug with my own eyes (months after coming out of the coma).

Cannot help you with the best fork, but that knowledge is out there, You'll probably see it in the next few replies.

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Old 07-22-20, 10:59 PM
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Not sure where you’re located but in most cities you can get quality vintage bikes for under $100 on Craigslist and OfferUp. I wouldn’t go for the viscount just to then go through the trouble of sourcing a separate fork and then having a frankenbike without really good reason.
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Old 07-23-20, 12:08 AM
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It may be a good deal depending on the inflated state of the used bike market during this strange time. Certainly you can't go wrong for $20 if there's at least one usable part on the bike that you can sell off to make back your money! I mean that's stupid-cheap.

Have you read Sheldon Brown's thing on Lambert/Viscount? He's a fountain of information.
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Old 07-23-20, 12:30 AM
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I like my Lambert well enough to have kept it since 1982. It came to me with the original Version 1 death fork (the really deadly one) and the replacement Tange steel fork warrantee replacement, which incidentally weighed a couple ounces less than the aluminum one, and is the one I've always used with it. There's no reason to use the death fork if you're actually going to ride the bike, as opposed to just displaying it.

It's a good idea to weigh all the usual factors: Is it your size? Nothing bent or cracked (cf: the filet brazed head tubes on some Lamberts)? What else you need to change on it? Etc.
● 1971 Grandis SL ● 1972 Lambert Grand Prix frankenbike ● 1972 Raleigh Super Course fixie ● 1973 Nishiki Semi-Pro ● 1980 Apollo "Legnano" ● 1984 Peugeot Vagabond ● 1985 Shogun Prairie Breaker ● 1986 Merckx Super Corsa ● 1987 Schwinn Tempo ● 1988 Schwinn Voyageur ● 1989 Trek 400 ● 1989 Bottechia Team ADR replica ● 1990 Cannondale ST600 ● 1993 Technium RT600 ● 1996 Kona Lava Dome ●

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Old 07-23-20, 05:39 AM
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Don't ride any Viscount/Lambert with any version of the aluminum fork.

From the Sheldon Brown page on Viscount/Lambert bikes:

Yamaha purchased the Viscount in 1978 or so and promptly recalled every cast aluminum fork ever sold on a Viscount or Lambert, replacing them with a chromed steel Tange fork.

More about the Yamaha recall.

Contact Yamaha for instructions on receiving the replacement steel fork.
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Old 07-23-20, 05:44 AM
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I’ve replaced the cartridge BB bearings on a couple of these, and in one case the spindle, too, as the original had some cases of snapping off at the circlip groove. I wonder of one of the threadless YST or Vélo Orange BB units would work as they’re probably a better solution than struggling with the original components.
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Old 07-23-20, 06:34 AM
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If you can not source locally I have the Tange replacement for a smaller frame, can't recall but was 54ish and the pressed BB with even spare bearings for it. I bought the bike for the DA group and wheels, the frame was cut up as it had a sharp deep dent in the TT
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Old 07-23-20, 05:52 PM
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If a magnet sticks, you have a new fork...
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Old 07-24-20, 07:39 AM
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I have two Viscounts with the alloy forks that I have been trying to sell. Now I doubt I ever will.

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Old 07-24-20, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by billnuke1 View Post

If a magnet sticks, you have a new fork...
As does the nice Tange fork crown. Lambert and Viscount forks did not have fork crowns.
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