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I managed to pick this Viscount bicycle up from my local scrapyard along with a 1987 women’s BSA bicycle. Both of these bicycles work. The Viscount has a sticker on it saying triple champion 1981 so I presume that is the year the bicycle was made. Does anyone have any information about the company or the bicycle? enter image description here

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Based on my research with a little work and a possible fork replacement you have a nice riding bike.

It is difficult to read the label on the top tube given the blurry picture (I suppose it could be my eyes) but that should be the name of the model.

Viscount bicycles were made for about 10 years. The produced a variety of models at various price points and quality levels.
sheldonbrown.com

In the 1970's an English "ærospace" company built, under the names "Lambert" and "Viscount", surprisingly inexpensive, very lightweight bikes made with "ærospace" tubing. Now, that, in itself is not as impressive as it might sound since the aerospace industry specs a pretty wide variety of steel tubes for different applications.

The tubing used was straight-gauge chrome-moly steel; the Viscount version of the bike had a detailed sticker on the seat tube detailing the type of tubes used, throwing in a few references to military specs, etc. Lambert Bicycles were later called "Viscounts" after the company was purchased by Trusty in 1975 or 1976.

The bikes were built with a fork design that earned the name "Death Fork"

The bikes (both Lamberts and Viscounts) came with a cast aluminium (aluminum) fork which was pinned to a steel steerer tube. Early production didn't even have the pin. This fork was the main problem as it had a tendency to snap off the steerer tube with predictably unfortunate consequences to the rider.

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. enter image description here

Lambert & Viscount Bikes Blog

Despite successes in various races and being named as bicycle of the year in 1980, the marque seems to have disappeared completely by 1982 or 1983.

The Lambert & Viscount Bikes blog is very extensive with links to other resources.

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  • Right - sounds like its time for an urgent magnet test on the fork to see if its steel or aluminium all over ! Great find !
    – Criggie
    Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 5:39
  • The bike has no other stickers apart from the viscount ones and the one on the seat tube. The bike luckily does have steel forks because I had heard about the death fork and tested it with a magnet. It is a good bike for riding especially for the fact that it was free and the wheels were given to me Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 19:28
  • @MatthewBunting In the picture it looks like there is pink/red writing on the top tube just behind the head tube.
    – David D
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 19:33
  • Unfortunately that only says Viscount. The only different sticker is one on the seat post that says “Viscount high tensile tubing” Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 21:05
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Had one of these in the mid seventies. Went round Europe for three years, no problems apart from a pedal that snapped off. The pedal spindle is undercut for the needle bearings, which weakens it. Originally the alloy fork in the UK was drop forged and heat treated in keeping with the "aerospace" tag. When it went to the USA they tried to save money by substituting a cast alloy fork which was weaker all round. I would ride one today, with the drop forged UK fork. Crack testing kits are cheap. Check the fork, pin it if needed. I would get rid of the pedals, because of the spindles and maybe get a new shaft made for the sealed bearing crank with perhaps wire circlips. The grooves cut for the stamped circlips look like they weaken the shaft. Or find another way of locating it. I still have the original round holed chainset almost unused. I fitted a Shimano Dura-ace chainset as I wanted to mess around with the gear ratios. The crank had to be machined by a toolmaker to bring the shimano chainset back closer to the frame. From memory it was moved about 3-4mm by machining a bit off each flat. The toolmaker said there was a 1/2 degree difference in taper angle as well. Think I ended up witha 13,14,15,16, 18,21 and 52 40 on the rings. It gave two almost separate ranges. Normally they overlap. Used to cycle up Mt Ventoux each year, up the steep side through Malaucene. Set off from Cavaillon where I worked at about 5 in the morning went through Carpentras, and usually got there about 9 in the morning just as the cafe opened. Had to zig zag across the road in places going up, and keep an ear open for the odd bike coming down, very quickly.

(It might have been a 23 tooth on the back. It was a "to hell with it gear" for when it was really steep.)

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Drop by here - lots of info and helpful members https://viscountandlambert.boards.net

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My wife bought me a VISCOUNTZ AEROSPACE PRO as surprise birthday present in either 1978 or 1979. I half recall it came direct from the factory in Coventry, and, knowing me, she ordered a bike that had to be built by the customer. I had a front fork disaster in the early 1980s (I took out a front crown!) but when the bike was repaired I rode a couple of the stages of the TdF in 1986 a few months after the Irish cyclist Roche narrowly beat the Spaniard Delgado.

I had the largest frame size available (can’t recall the exact size) and as I got older (and less flexible - and shorter with age) I found it hard to mount and dismount safely - especially in an emergency.

So, having owned the bike for well over 30 years, I ended up giving the bike to a neighbour’s teenage son who was interested in ‘classic’ racing bikes.

The article brought back very happy memories. Thank you!

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