[CR]Viking on ebay and its lugs

(Example: Production Builders:Cinelli)

To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
From: Tom Hayes <hayesbikes@mail.nls.net>
Subject: [CR]Viking on ebay and its lugs
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002 19:02:21 -0400

Related to the previous discussion of the Viking road racer on ebay, I received the following message from a person named, Norris Lockley, that I thought might shed some light on the discussion about what kind of lugs are on the Viking.



First of all the frame, with its mudguard eyelets is a "Road-Path" model, a type very commonplace in the UK in the 50s and 60s. The clearances were usually greater than those on the dedicated track only models to enable mudguards and a brake (usually front only) or occasionally brakes to be fitted. This type of bike was often a double purpose one and was used with a fixed gear on the road in winter, to give better control on icy road than a bike with a freewheel/ gears. As for the lugs, I have to admit that I WAS THAT EBAYER who, for my sins, advised the seller that the lugs are Oscar Egg ones and not Prugnat as she had stated. I have read all the various contributions on this debate so far, and notice all the rebutals of my claim. Nevertheless I still maintain that they are Oscar Egg models. I'm sure that someone in the group must have the full Nervex catalogue from the 50s. I have, and have checked out all the 40+ Serie Legere patterns. Not one of the "feature cuts" as Nervex called the head-tube design matches that of the Viking lug, nor do any of the "nozzle cuts" i.e. the cut-outs on the top and down tube pipes. Mark Bulgier suggests that the lugs look like "the fifth one on the top row" on the CR/France/Nervex site. The "twirl" in that pattern, No 38, is much larger than the twirl on the Viking's lugs. No 38 was often used by a well-known British builder in the late 40s and 50s - Holmes of Welling (Kent) - because the twirl looked like an "H". The lug set was also occasionally used by WR Morris on some of his more standard frames. He also used a much plainer design of Oscar Egg lug from time to time. Why am I sure that the lugs are Oscar Eggs? Well... way back in 1953 I ordered a massed-start frame from the Leeds builder "JRJ" , none other than Bob Jackson (John Robert Jackson) at his first workshop in Harehills, Leeds, just down the road from the last shop he owned before he sold out in the late 80s.. only to make a come-back later on. I had a choice of lugs.. and chose Oscar Egg "Super Champion" ones with just the same cut-outs as the Viking's. My brother still has that frame. The lugs were imported into the UK by Arthur S Waltho, of Manchester. When I started helping a frame-builder about three years later, we cut a lot of our own lugs, but offered, in the mid-price range, a selection of Oscar Egg lugs, including the one on Ebay. Remarkably I still have, some 48 years later, the tracings I made from the drawings in the Waltho catalogue. The range was nowhere near as comprehensive as Nervex, but did contain both plainish cut-outs and more fancy ones with plenty "windows". As I recall the "Viking" Oscar Egg design is either 2IT or just 2. Additionally I have in my collection of frames an early - 1953/4 Whittaker and Mapplebeck ( the fore-runner of PENNINE CYCLES) massed start frame. That too has the same model Oscar Egg lugs. I also have an early Rotrax with the same set-up. Fortunately I also have six original OscarEgg lugs original decals just in case I ever get round to refurbishing any of my "stable".

Tom Hayes
18585 Munn Road
Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44023