Monday, 2 April 2012

That Old-Time Religion

If it was good enough to win the Tour of Britain, it's good enough for me!  Looking at the lugwork at Bespoked Bristol, it just made me happy about the Viking.  The Severn Valley was a top frame for them in the 1950s, and Viking was at one point a huge producer.  Some useful history about the brand has been put together at the Classic Viking Cycles web site, if you're interested.  Looking at the site is one of the little joys of playing with old bikes.  The serial number on my frame is AW241.  Now, the 'A' prefix was included on a few bikes built circa 1958-1959, although no other bike with 'AW' appears in the registry.  There is no information as to what the prefix indicated, and the prefix system stopped right about then as well.  There is another Severn Valley very close to mine in details (carved Nervex Pro lugs, fluted seat stays, Campagnolo ends) that has a totally different series number on it.  and Severn Valley frames built ostensibly before and after mine used all sorts of different numbering systems.

So when and where was mine built?  Tough call.  1958 most likely, probably in Wolverhampton.  In any event, looking at the frame as I have been removing paint (my lord, this enamel had to have been put on with a trowel), the work on the joints of the frame seems pretty remarkable:

Top headtube lug detail.  Nice clean edges, not a splash of bronze to be seen.

More of the same at the other end.

My favorite part on the frame, the fluted stay ends.  

And a top view.

The brake bridge, nicely molded into the frame

Long slot Campagnolo ends.

Has anybody seen this style of pump peg before?  The little squared-off pillow ends are 
quite lovely.  Finding a pump to fit them is going to be a grind, but I may have one . . .

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