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Lambert Bicycles

On this page: 58cm Lambert Super Sports 15-speed

Lambert bicycles were built in England the 1970s. Made out of thin-wall straight-gauge chrome-moly steel tubing, the bikes were incredibly cheap, $129.00 in 1972. Even accounting for inflation, the price was quite modest. The bikes were also very light, weighing only 19 pounds with tubular tires.

Early on, the Lambert firm made many of the bikes' components, including the crankset, brakes, rear derailleur, handlebar, stem and sealed bearing pedals. The firm marketed the Lambert as "The World's First Aerospace Bike".

Lambert ad

Here's a Lambert ad from June, 1973

The first Lamberts were made in the old Viking factory in south London and were lugged. Later bikes were filet brazed.

The bike had one serious problem: the aluminum fork with a steel steering tube held together with a rivet. The forks did occasionally fail. When Lambert became insolvent, it was acquired by the Yamaha Motorcycle Company. Yamaha did a recall of the aluminum forks and renamed the bikes “Viscount”.

Yamaha shuttered the Lambert/Viscount factory just couple of years after buying it.

Important: Our bike has a Tange steel replacement fork.

58 cm Lambert Super Sports 15-speed bicycle. Used, $1,000.00/each

58cm seat tube, 57cm top tube, 165mm head tube.

Lambert specs

Lambert specifications from a 1972 ad in Bicycling magazine.

The story of our Lambert bike:

The bicycle is completely overhauled. There is no component on this bike that has not been completely taken apart and re-lubricated/retro-fitted.

I discovered a missing bearing in lower headset race. I used a keyed headset spacer and hanger for the keyway on the replacement fork instead of the original French style. The stem binder bolt is a 7/32" Allen wrench fitting.

I stretched front derailleur spring to shift down to the inner chainring properly.

I reamed the seat tube and found an appropriate seat binder. 

I cleaned the chainrings with 18 spacers of three different sizes, and 6 micro-thin washers. I installed a new Connex 808 chain, but I could not use the master link as it would catch on the chainrings.

I built Normandy high-flange wheels with DT 14g stainless steel spokes and Weinmann Concave 700c rims and installed new Soma Even Flow 23c tires on them. 

The frame had been spread to 130mm, requiring a longer axle and spacers for the vintage Normandy hub. The spacing required a 2mm spacer behind the Maillard 5-speed freewheel to allow the Shimano 500GS derailleur to extend to the innermost cog. Then I discovered the 500GS derailleur could not accommodate a 34-tooth cog! The bike is fitted with a Maillard 5-speed 14/17/20/24/28 freewheel.

I attempted to use a 2mm spacer on the fixed cup of the bottom bracket to extend the crankset to enable the front derailleur to pull the chain off the middle ring to the inner. I then discovered the push-rod front derailleur would not travel outboard enough to push the chain from the middle to the outer ring. I tried to install a spacer behind the spring of the front derailleur, only to find that the spring could not compress enough to push the chain to the outer ring. With some trepidation, I resorted to stretching the spring, which succeeded.

I kept the original cables – love the ball end straddle brake caliper cables – but deliberated on replacing the housing. The original unlined white housing was marred, but my selection of white housing was more of an electric white. Since someone had wrapped the bars in squash yellow, I found that some vintage Dia-Compe BRS housing was a near match. I taped the TT clips as well as the downtube shifter bracket to prevent corrosion between them and the frame.

The original brake pads were Fibrax in red, using aluminum holders designed to have replacement pads inserted.  Someone had replaced the rear pads with holders not designed for replacement pads and the squared Lambert nuts were missing. I used pads that had aluminum holders, keeping one pair of original Lambert nuts, and found some nuts that resembled them to attach the other pair of holders. I also used the original straddle cable hangers, though someone had reversed the cable routing and caused a crease in the front of the plate. With a cutout for the routing of the brake cable, it’s pretty obvious how they should have been routed. The replacement fork had a different shape than the original fork, and when replaced, the same spacers were used to mount the front brake caliper. I replaced them with spacers that fit the shape of the replacement fork.

The saddle had a corner tear, which I re-glued. It has an expansion bolt, which I discovered that if not secured with tension, it would allow the seating washer to fall off and the nose of the saddle to disengage. I am pretty sure one could lift the saddle from the ends of the rails and re-cover it. It might require some steam applied in fitting a new cover to it such as used in upholstery shops.

The bike obviously had had the old lock and chain hanging from the seat rails at one time, as the seat stays had lots of chips.  Revelon’s Plum Attraction #762 fingernail paint was a near match!

The wheels are quality wheelbuilds with mirror spoke assemblies.

Crankset is 170mm - 32/42/52

Lambert bicycle

Side view of a rare bicycle. This must be from some of the very first Lambert production because the frame is lugged.

Lambrt bicycle

From the front.

Lambert bicycle

Another front view.

Top Tube cable clips

The rear brake cable is secured with Lambert's traditional-style top tube cable clamps. If you look carefully, you can see we put a protective liner between the clamp and the frame.

Left rear dropout

The left rear dropout and the Atom quick-release. The front wheel has a Lambert quick-release skewer.

Lampbert Super Sports

The seat stays that were scratched with a lock and cable. You can see what a good match the Revelon Plum Attraction #762 fingernail paint is.

Lambert Coat of Arms

The Lambert coat-of-arms decal on the seat tube.

Lambert downtube decal

The downtube decal.

Lambert bicycle

The seat tube tubing decal.

Lambert tubing decal

The rest of the tubing decal.

Lambert Super Sport

The bottom bracket shell is faced.

Replacment Tange fork

The steering tube of the replacement Tange fork.

Lambert bar and stem

Side view of the Lambert bar and stem.

Lambert handlebars

Close-up of the Lambert handlebars

Lambert bar and stem

Front view of the Lambert bar and stem.

Lambert brake lever

One of the Lambert brake levers

Lambert brake lever

Close-up of the front brake lever.

Lambert brak elever

Here's the rear brake lever.

Lambert front derailleur

The front derailleur seat-tube clamp

Lambert crankset

The Lambert crankset and Lambert push-rod front derailleur. Note the bike still has its Lambert crank arm fixing bolt.

Shimano 500 GC rear derailleur

The Shimano 500 GS rear derailleur

Lambert front brake

The Lambert front center-pull brake.

Lambert rear brake

The rear center-pull brake.

Lambert downtube shifters

The Lambert downtube shifters

Lambert crankset

The Lambert crankset looks a lot like a T.A. Cyclo Touriste. This crank has 170mm arms and 32/42/52 rings.

Lambert crankset

Just the right crank

Lambert crankset

The back of the right crank.

Lambert left crank arm

The Lambert left crank arm

Lambert crankset

The back of the left crank arm.

Lambert seat post

Lambert made a close copy of the Campagnolo Record seat post. This is the Lambert post that will come on the bike.

Lambert seat post

The back of the Lambert seat post.

Lambert seat post

Side view of the post

Lambert seat post

The seat post's saddle rail clamps.


The Lambert saddle that goes on that Lambert seat post.

Lambert saddle

The other side of the saddle

Lambert saddle

The saddle from above.

Lambert saddle

The saddle flipped over.

Lambert saddle

The saddle's tension bolt. The saddle is designed so that it can be recovered. We are pretty sure one could lift the saddle from the ends of the rails and re-cover it. It might require applying some steam in fitting a new cover to it, such as used in upholstery shops.

Lambert front hub

The front Normandy hub.

Lambert front wheel

The front wheel still has its Lambert quick-release skewer.

Weinmann rim

The Normandy hubs are laced onto Weinmann concave clincher rims. Very strong & lightweight.

Weinmann rim

And made in Belgium.

Soma tire

The wheels come with Soma Even Flow 700 x 23c tires.

Shimano 500 GS rear derailleur

The Shimano 500 GS rear derailleur we installed on the bike.

Shimano rear derailleur

The back of the Shimano 500 GS derailleur

Shimano 500 GS rear derailleur

The back of the Shimano derailleur

Shimano 500 GS rear derailleur

And the Shimano 500 GS derailleur from the front.

Maillard 5-speed freewheel

Here's the Maillard 5-speed 14/17/20/24/28 freewheel we installed on the bike.

Maillard freewheel

Side view of the freewheel

Maillard freewheel

The back of the Maillard freewheel.

Lambert bicycle

The Lambert on our workstand. The bicycle is completely overhauled. There is no component on this bike that has not been completely taken apart and re-lubricated/retro-fitted.

Lambert front derailleur

For example. Here's the front derailleur part-way through being overhauled.

Top tube cable clamps

We didn't want the top tube cable clamps to injure the finish, so we went to a lot of trouble to line the clamps.

Lambert bicycle

Getting the stem ready.