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Viking: when heritage meets high-tech

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8 Jan 2019
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This feature was produced in association with Viking

Founded in Wolverhampton in 1908, Viking was originally a bicycle repair shop but owner Alfred Victor Davies – formerly a railway worker – soon started building his own frames.

By the 1930s, Viking was already established as one of the leading names in British bike manufacture and after the end of the Second World War, under the leadership of Alfred Davies’ son Reg, the company grew from producing 800 bicycles a year to more than 20,000 per year at its peak in the 1960s.

Sales were partly driven by the Viking Road Racers team, which became hugely successful riding the Viking Master Series SS and Severn Valley lightweight racing bikes, with notable victories including the Tour of Britain four times in the 1950s.

The firm had 1,250 dealers across the country, selling mostly to club riders, before diversifying into children’s bikes.

Alas, the company ceased trading in 1967 and the brand went through a long and troubled period until it was finally rescued in 2015 by Indian firm Hero, one of the world’s largest bike manufacturers.

With its headquarters established in Manchester, the new owners sought to breathe new life into this classic marque and set about developing a new range of bikes that were truly fit to wear the Viking badge.

After two years of development, the new range was unveiled in May 2018 and the Viking name is once more gracing some highly desirable bikes….

Who are Viking bikes for?

The new Viking range includes city, touring and road bikes. From the Viking Urban Myth, a stylish singlespeed with a handsome chrome frame designed for a nippy, no-nonsense ride around town, through the Viking Cross Master, a versatile modern steel-framed bike designed for mixed terrain on weekday commutes and weekend adventures, to the Viking Race Master, a lightweight dynamic frame built of 3K carbon fibre with racy geometry for a perfect blend of comfort and speed.

Viking is part of the Insync family, aimed at the family and leisure market, along with the Riddick, Ryedale and De Novo brands.

Insync recognises that cycling offers similar health benefits to yoga, relaxing the body and mind to bring you in sync with your surroundings, improving your mental and physical wellbeing, strengthening the immune system and encouraging happiness and health.

Key features

From traditional Reynolds steel tubing, reflecting the heritage of the brand, through to the latest 3K carbon fibre, Viking bikes are built with the best quality materials.

Designed in the UK to suit the needs of British riders, they feature modern geometry for a compliant and comfortable ride, yet with stiffness where it is needed for efficient power transfer and sharp, lively handling.

Shimano components

Viking bikes are competitively priced but there are no corners cut when it comes to components, with full Shimano groupsets featured across the range, including brakes and cassettes, so you can be sure of slick, reliable performance at all times.

Classic styling

The new Viking range celebrates the brand’s history with minimal retro graphics for a contemporary urban look.

The frame is adorned with the classic Viking logo and head tube badge, along with a badge naming Viking’s four Tour of Britain wins in 1951, 1955, 1958 and 1959.

Great prices

Being owned by one of the world’s biggest bike manufacturers means Viking bikes enjoy economies of scale in production, which can be passed on to you, the purchaser, in the form of impressively affordable price tags.

With prices ranging from £299 to £1,699, these could easily pass for much more expensive models.

• Viking bikes are available to buy online and from all good independent dealers. For more information on the full range, visit insyncbikes.com