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Some Soviet junk I have.

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Some Soviet junk I have.

Old 01-11-21, 04:58 PM
  #26  
jon c. 
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Fun to see. Thanks for posting.
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Old 01-11-21, 05:08 PM
  #27  
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Not junk at all. I love my Kharkov stem, and the Plain champagne rear derailleurs especially.

thought of decking out my Favorit with stuff but it is pretty costly.

Love the cranks as well.
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Old 01-11-21, 10:56 PM
  #28  
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These are awesome. I've decided that my next build is going to be a classic Soviet bike. I'm guessing the frame will be tough to find though.
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Old 01-12-21, 12:44 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
I have that first derailleur on my Champion. Site is great but not every Kharkov rear derailleur is listed there. And there are the high end ones that were made by CKTB - a subdivision in the HVZ plant. Plus there were tons of different front derailleurs made by HVZ as well.
Ural plant also made rear derailleurs, they are pretty decent in quality, better than most HVZ ones, altough bicycles made there are cheap commuters.

There is a pretty good site called veloretro.ru, not every bicycle is 100% original or correct on there, but it gives a pretty good idea how stuff looked like.

And i wouldnt buy one uncomplete, or atleast with the headset and bottom bracket, altough you can force a british threaded bottom bracket in there. Headsets on these are special and nothing from the west fits. Those so called special orders( like my Meteor) can have italian or french threading on the bottom brackets. Everything is in metric on these usually, pedal threads and even ball bearings. I have not found any sources for bicycle size metric ball bearings.
For road bicycles i wouldnt get anything below the Start Shosse, they atleast use some special alloy water tube as a frame, so they are on the lighter end. My Champion as pictured weighs in at 10.5kg or 23-24 pounds, it has the same tubing as Start Shosse.
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Old 01-12-21, 07:32 AM
  #30  
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I've been to the XB3 factory in Kharkov several times in the early 2000s. There are lots of stories I can tell about these experiences. We are involved in a charity project to provide pastors with bicycles in Ukraine. The XB3 company was able to provide a few hundred bicycles for us in 2000. In order to complete the order, they had to get a down payment so they could pay the city to turn the electricity back on. In prior times they had made up to one million units a year to be distributed throughout the former USSR countries. That year they said they had made 350 - and our order made up the bulk of those numbers.

There was a sign as I entered the complex saying that the company was 75 years old. That means it started around 1925. In the far corner of the complex was an interesting bicycle museum. Kharkov is a big industrial city in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border. It was designed by the Soviets to be a manufacturing center. The company takes up an entire city block and consists of 4 huge buildings. It is enormous. And of course when I was visiting it appeared like nothing was going on. Sometime in 2001 or 2 the company was sold to private investors. I was able to convince Shimano Europe pay to them a visit. They had remembered that one of the bicycles I had made won a Shimano Showcase competition at Interbike so they listened to me about the market for bicycles in Ukraine. All the parts for their bicycles were made on site (except the tires). Their quality just couldn't compete with parts coming out of Asia. That meeting between Shimano leaders and the XB3 executives was the most interesting meeting I have witnessed in my life.

I've made friends with a couple of amateur framebuilders from Kharkov. They believe the factory is closed now. I had invited one of them to visit the little frame and repair shop where we now make bicycles for our project near Kyiv. Students that have taken my framebuilding class in the States can go over for 2 or 3 months and build the frames we now use to make the bicycles we provide. It is an opportunity for them to refine their skills. In this case I spent an afternoon showing a couple of Ukrainian amateur builders how to accurately put on a rear triangle and we have stayed in touch.
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Old 01-12-21, 09:56 AM
  #31  
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Great fresh post and info. Cool story on the factory.

I have a couple USSR/Russian related things. A XB3 track frame I built up with some cool spare parts. Also, one of those controversial Specialized bottles with Gorbachev's face on it and his birthmark is the Specialized logo.
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Old 01-12-21, 10:21 AM
  #32  
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Great stuff, I imagine that the quality from some of these factories was much better than at others, reminds me of my rather primitive early-70's CZ motorcycle but which was of fairly uniform high quality even by western standards.

I once came across a really fine leather saddle in an early-90's Ebay auction, made in Czechoslovakia, which appeared to exceed western standards and which I regret to this day not bidding on. Wish that I could remember the brand, someone on this forum probably bought it lol.
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Old 01-12-21, 10:31 AM
  #33  
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Thanks for posting your bicycles. Appreciate the practical approach to do their best with what they had. Similar to USSR small arms of the time. Basic, sometimes crudely finished, but effective and got the job done. Don
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Old 01-12-21, 11:20 AM
  #34  
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Here is my XB3 bicycle hanging up in my shop. I got it with the help of a Classic Rendezvous buddy in Germany from a Russian immigrant. Its neighbor on a nearby hook was a bike I made in 1980 for a friend that also lived in Niles. That same year he took it to Hawaii to do the Ironman. He said he came off the bike 5th overall but faded to 17th by the end of the run. He said the heat got to him. it is still exactly as I delivered it to him. I had cut out his combined initials in the down tube lug and bottom bracket shell. You can just barely see it under the lamp arm. Sadly he got MS and couldn't use the bike anymore and later his 100 year old mom called me to tell me he died.

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Old 01-12-21, 03:16 PM
  #35  
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I used to ride a Tourist XB3 bike when I was growing up in Ukraine. Our dream bikes as kids were Start Shosse because those were "real" race bikes that some of the older folks had.
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Old 01-12-21, 04:08 PM
  #36  
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Very interesting stuff, I particularly like the Moskva 1980 unit. What part of the former 'evil empire' are you located in?
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Old 01-13-21, 01:15 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by VtwinVince View Post
Very interesting stuff, I particularly like the Moskva 1980 unit. What part of the former 'evil empire' are you located in?
I am from Estonia.
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Old 01-13-21, 02:54 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Great stuff, I imagine that the quality from some of these factories was much better than at others, reminds me of my rather primitive early-70's CZ motorcycle but which was of fairly uniform high quality even by western standards.

I once came across a really fine leather saddle in an early-90's Ebay auction, made in Czechoslovakia, which appeared to exceed western standards and which I regret to this day not bidding on. Wish that I could remember the brand, someone on this forum probably bought it lol.
A friends Dad had a CZ way back in the day. It was a brutal machine, fast, heavy and a huge handful for a skinny early teen, great fun.

Not to mention, Maico, Bultaco, Jawa, AJ's, Penton, Husky, Can Am etc, etc and so many more that laid the ground work for those that came after.

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Old 01-13-21, 07:37 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by geeteeiii View Post
I am from Estonia.
Did Estonia produce any bicycles in those years or is it making any now ?
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Old 01-13-21, 08:36 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Andrey View Post
Did Estonia produce any bicycles in those years or is it making any now ?
Pre WW2 we had alot of small shops that assembled bicycles with their own name, mostly from german and british parts. There were some companys that made their own frames i think, most known and biggest being Saar & Co. I think they even had a licence to manufacture the famous torpedo hub. They were all simple commuter everyday bikes or even commercial cargo bicycles/tricycles. I dont know of any racing models.
Here you can check some of them out:
https://www.velomuseum.ee/en/Origial_S_1939_ENG
During soviet times we didnt produce anything to my knowledge and nowadays we have Viks and Classic.
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Old 01-13-21, 10:44 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
I still have this one in my treasure chest. I love its blue collar charm:

Hehe you got the rear bolt, but i got the original pulleys



btw here is some soviet junk in the small exclusive Cycle Exhibition of the "Deutsches Museum" (German Smithsonian)





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Old 01-13-21, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by martl View Post
Hehe you got the rear bolt, but i got the original pulleys
Actually, mine say "XB3", so I have been assuming so far that they are original. Not sure what to think now. Offering those in "Colorama" doesn't sound like a Soviet-compatible concept to me.



Originally Posted by martl View Post
btw here is some soviet junk in the small exclusive Cycle Exhibition of the "Deutsches Museum" (German Smithsonian)
Wow! Looks mint. And gorgeous, I might add. Thanks for posting it.

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Old 01-13-21, 11:30 AM
  #43  
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That orange one is nice, from the early to mid seventies. Russians call them muddy versions, due to the slack geometry and large clearences. The one on Doug`s is a late 80-s model, this has same geometry as the blue olympic version i have.

Those aluminium body XB3 derailleurs arent actually that common here, they usually all came with the steel version. Both jockey wheels are correct though. They usually came on the very late 80-s or early 90-s HVZ bicycles.
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Old 01-13-21, 12:00 PM
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Heh i dont know about the pulleys, mine is apparently unused and those white pulleys are very crappy quality - lots of play and the material doesnt scream durability.... i take @geeteeiii's opinion

has this been shown here? not soviet, but from the east german GDR/DDR brother state. Crude copy of a - nuovo record maybe? the shifters are obviously raw stock, to be finished by the lucky owner. NIB
including a manual, a set of stickers and a typewriter written mini sheet of paper with the adresses of all 7 dealers retailing them when the 5 y<ear plan allowed.





before you ask: yes that is written upside down and its a feature, not a bug.



"Polygraph" was a "Kombinat", a soviet after-war style state run conglomerate of former industries. Their main business was printing presses - Similar to Textima, who made the track cycles for the DDR natrional teeam, their main business was industrial sewing machines and looms.

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Old 01-13-21, 12:27 PM
  #45  
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A Tectoron Super Record!

Very cool stuff. Thanks for sharing it, @martl.

Originally Posted by martl View Post
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Old 01-13-21, 12:59 PM
  #46  
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I remember seeing some of these components on "Austro-Daimler" bicycles long ago. Tectoron derailers could be found on early "Ted Williams" Sears bicycles. Of course the "Tectoron" logo was burnished off...
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Old 01-17-21, 09:01 AM
  #47  
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I photographed some more soviet stuff i have laying around that might be interesting or was requested.
Derailleurs:

Close up of the one on the Champion.

Early one on the left, quite uncommon. Right one is the most common one, i have a few of these.

Ural factory derailleur, this one shifts the nicest, it had plastic pulley wheels but i replaced them with HVZ steel ones as they have proper bearings and arent as flimsy.
Cranks:


Early crank arm with early chain ring. Later crank arms look basically the same, only the "flute" not separate as shown.

Extremely late tourist cranks, i belive 1990+. Very light and actually pretty stiff, but quality of casting and machining is poor. Chain ring is also HVZ. I have a alot of 144bcd HVZ chain rings, they are pretty good quality in terms of wear.
Stems:


Very early HVZ "Harkov" road bike stem. These are pretty rare.

I belive this is a so called Special Order stem that came on Champion Shosse/Sports.

Requested early Tourist/Sputnik stem. I also noticed that its cracked from this photo.
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Old 01-17-21, 09:08 AM
  #48  
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Saddle:


Most common road bike saddle.

Early saddles had slightly different hardware on the adjuster.
Tires:


Clincher Tourist/Sputnik/Sport tire

Nos 600X30 tubular, i have a few of these, but sadly only this one hold air. Never been mounted.

Thread on the 600X30

Also found this thing:


Nos, common accessory.
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Old 01-31-21, 06:19 AM
  #49  
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Made some nicer pictures of the Meteor with the new fork.

Also found a original track hub for Meteor, not useable on the street due to lack of lockring.

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Old 01-31-21, 10:37 AM
  #50  
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My stem...

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