[CR]Viking Severn Valley

Example: Framebuilders:Alberto Masi

From: Hughethornton@aol.com
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 17:01:29 EDT
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Viking Severn Valley

I have just acquired a Viking Severn Valley which I think is about 1960, maybe a bit earlier but not much later, with original paint and half-chrome forks and stays. I believe that the Severn Valley was Viking's top of the range production bike, only surpassed by the made to order Professional frame, which was otherwise essentially the same specification -- Reynolds 531 butted tubes, forks and stays and Nervex Professional lugs.

Whereas the top, and even second, tier Continental bikes of that time would have high quality groupsets and sprint wheels and sew-ups, the Viking, and most other British production bikes, came with ordinary equipment and 27" wheels. Even worse, many top quality British bikes came with a boss for a lamp bracket on the right hand fork blade. I cannot imagine why anybody would want to deface a bike and spoil its clean lines with one of these things. Is this a peculiarly British aberration? I don't recall seeing it on lightweight bikes from anywhere else.

I would much appreciate it if anyone could help me date my bike. The frame number is 151932 stamped under the bottom bracket and it has Campagnolo dropouts; tubing and lugs as above and a rear bridge cable stop for centre-pull brakes. The 531 decal is the pre-TI type. None of the current equipment is original, so does not help dating.

Hugh Thornton
Cheshire, England