The Project

In all the hundreds of posts since this blog started, the aim of it, such as it is, has become lost. Of course it is  about interesting bikes with (mostly) steel frames. But it is mainly about the bike that is still was in pieces awaiting its rebirth.

My Viscount Aerospace Sport, c.1975, made by Viscount-Trusty of Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, sometimes called "the Sport" or "the VA Sport".

Originally it looked something like this:

Although it's rear derailleur was one of these:

and it's front crankset was this:

Back in 1987 it looked like this:

Then in February 2011, like this:

and this:

The forks were the first things to get "restored":

but the electroplating company did this:

to this bit:

and now the headset locking ring does this:

When I told the electroplaters about it, the nice man gave me one of these:

and said, "Just go."

In the meantime, I found one of these, a VA Victor, the sensible older sibling of my bike,

which kept me happy while my bike was being fixed.

I had decided that because of the rather unusual presence of first generation

on my bike, I would restore it with as many of those original components as I could find.

This became a bit of a fetish and led me to discover this bike:

which was like my bike's glamourous older sister who made everyone else feel inadequate because she was not only beautiful but smart and kind and really good at sport.

Finally the paint-work was finished, after 5 months.

It was the wrong colour

but after 5 months I wasn't going to send it back. Now there was just the problem of new forks 

and new wheels to be laced onto these hubs

Then one day I got a call and it was done.

this was as far as it as built up when I got it back from Jesse

then I put it together slowly

and slowly

the seat post needed some 0.06mm brass shim as the set tube had mysteriously expanded by 0.2mm
it stayed a bit proud until I could set the seat height

one mystery was the DA side-pull calipers
These were the same model as the Supabike
but you can see here don't have Buckley's of 
ever reaching the rim, even at the lowest reach

rear were fine.
what to do?

then I studied the Supabike spec sheet again and noticed an important detail:
the bike used the cast aluminium forks.
I checked by putting a 27" wheel in one of my own Viscount aluminium forks
and then mounting the brake caliper.
it met, but only just.
so I went back to the brochure shot and voila

they also had the pads at the lowest reach.
I will run the bike one day with these forks.
for now it has the chromoly ones that Jesse so beautifully renovated

in the end the only things from the original bike were...

the frame and the DA front derailleur

built up and ridden
red track grips while I decided what to use
shim still proud on the seat post
no decals yet

except for the all-important DA decal
which I knew would always go at the bottom of the seat tube
reverted to the DA centre-pull calipers which were able to reach

held my breath
and attached the original decals
the silver head badge different to the original bike but same as the Supabike
didn't fuck it up too badly either

much as I liked the plain red frame
it looked more complete now with its decals

one of the last things to be done
attach the smooth 35mm Honjo mudguards
that had been waiting for 6 months

no Supabike, let alone VA Sport
had ever come with mudguards
and some feel that English bikes should only sport

but I think the smooth Honjos look simple and
gentlemanly enough to be suitable
as well as eminently practical

next to its sibling Victor
apart from the head tube lugs on Victor
identical frames in tubing and geometry

took 30mm off each end of the bars and added
shellacked red cloth bar tape with cork stoppers.
have since removed the tape from between brake caliper
and head stem

the bike pretty much as it looks today

took it on a local group ride
out of 30-something bikes
was one of only three metal bikes
two of which were aluminium.
got left behind mainly through my lack of training.
perhaps the rear cluster could be a wider range for the Eltham hills
need something lower than 42-24 for a 1:3 gradient.
but otherwise she rode like a dream

some recent mods - removed half the bar tape
never used the section between levers and stem

clamp on bidon cage
for those serious rides

fancy foto with bottle