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My Russian-framed frankenbike.

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My Russian-framed frankenbike.

Old 04-15-13, 02:49 PM
  #1  
shurin
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My Russian-framed frankenbike.

Last spring I found a discarded Russian road bike. Missing saddle, seatpost, rear brake; frame painted over 2 times, squashed rear triangle, some small dents on top tube, stem and fork ruined when at some point somebody tried to remove the former with a sledgehammer. As usual for HVZ (Harkov Velosipednoi Zavod - Bicycle Factory of Harkov), very little aluminum used - only rims for tubular tires, handlebar, brakes and brake levers, shifter levers; all covered with white powdery aluminum oxide. Hubs, stem, cranks, derailers solid, heavy steel with some rust. These bikes weight around 14 kg (31 pounds) in original condition. As an oddity, front brake was Italian Universal 68. Rear dropout stamped with number "61", which should indicate year of production. You get an idea what an original bike looks like here (1986 version, but very little changes - mainly lugs and decals): https://www.flickr.com/photos/dareram...57631721022653

Since the bike was in such a bad shape I never thought of restoration. I discarded everything except the frame and the Universal brake, also kept original derailer and shifter for "museum".


Note that even pulley wheels are steel!

At first I thought going single-speed/fixed gear and doing it on cheap. After spreading out the rear triangle to 126 mm I got a friend-of-a-friend to sandblast the frame, then painted it with spray paints. I slowly started to gather various parts from local bike shops - got a used chromed fork, Brooks B17 and whole new headset, bottom bracket, seatpost, cranks with a single 44T chainring and other small parts. While still thinking about wheelset, handlebar etc, a friend gave me an old incomplete road bike with a too big frame for both of us, but with nice vintage Shimano 105 group, wheels, stem and handlebar , so decided to use these (except the cranks - neither black or silver, but white, they look totally off on my selected color scheme). Lastly I got a new, narrower drop bars to suit me better and pedals with toe clips, also a cheap Cateye computer and aluminum thermal bottle for added bling. What remains to be done is to get 50/34T 110 mm BCD chainrings and add front derailer/shifter.


I call it "Kimalane", which means bumblebee in Estonian, but is also a wordplay on verb "kimama" which means "to speed; drive/ride very fast" The name kind of floated up and sticked when finished painting.

More pics (including some I took while cooking an ersatz Proofide) here: https://picasaweb.google.com/1057095...97456/Kimalane
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Old 04-15-13, 03:05 PM
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jrecoi
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Have you tried stripping the anodizing or powdercoat off the Shimano cranks? There are guides to do that, and then polish the cranks down to aluminium.
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Old 04-15-13, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jrecoi View Post
Have you tried stripping the anodizing or powdercoat off the Shimano cranks? There are guides to do that, and then polish the cranks down to aluminium.
Polish the cranks down? He said russian, not polish. :-)
Nyuk nyuk.
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Old 04-15-13, 05:43 PM
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Those steel derailers are really something else! Thanks for sharing and enjoy your new bike.
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Old 04-15-13, 08:10 PM
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Why am I not seeing the pulley wheels with any teeth? Are they just worn down?

Anyway, the upgraded bike is pretty neat... is it a lightweight frame?
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Old 04-15-13, 09:09 PM
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Interesting bike! I like this Russian made item:


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Old 04-15-13, 10:55 PM
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Good job getting your "Start Highway" bike roadable, shurin. What does it weigh now with all the modifications?
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Old 04-15-13, 11:09 PM
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The DR seems to be a Russian made copy of a mid to late 60's Campy. Which seems to fit with your info it could have been made well into the 80's.
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Old 04-15-13, 11:14 PM
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I think this is cool. Thanks for posting.
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Old 04-15-13, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Why am I not seeing the pulley wheels with any teeth? Are they just worn down?

Anyway, the upgraded bike is pretty neat... is it a lightweight frame?
Many early derailleurs were toothless or had one toothed guide pulley and a smooth tension pulley.

Huret Svelto...



Huret Jubilee...



Images courtesy of disraeligears.co.uk
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Old 04-16-13, 02:45 AM
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shurin
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Originally Posted by jrecoi View Post
Have you tried stripping the anodizing or powdercoat off the Shimano cranks? There are guides to do that, and then polish the cranks down to aluminium.
I thought about that, but there are some reasons why I don't want to:
1.) Removing them from BB was a pain. Due to being hasty and careless I actually stripped a good portion of the extraction threads in the crank
2.) 52/42T chainrings are quite useless for me on that 7-speed cassette (13,14,15,16,17,19,21T). 42T covers most of my range, making 52T only usable for those rare and short descents. And no real climbing gears. The end result would not be much better than the 44T single chainring I have now. The terrain I ride is mostly flat, but 30 km south and it gets hilly - short, but sometimes rather steep ascents and descents. 50/34T seems more suitable for me - plenty high gears to get to 50...60 km/h at descents, plenty low gears to take 200m 10% climbs.
3.) I have a vision of a green bike with 26" wheels, wide range cassette and white cranks, saddle and bar tape on bullhorns...

What does it weigh now with all the modifications?
Around 10.6 kg (~23,5 pounds). Could get to 10 if I replaced that Brooks with modern racing saddle, get lighter tires and lightweight clipless pedals. The frame itself weights around 2 kg (~4,4 pounds) so not superlight but OTOH an entry-level aluminum road frame is only a few hundreds grams lighter.
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Old 04-16-13, 12:22 PM
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It looks like they copied a Peugeot, right down to the Mafac shaped brakes. Any idea what kind of tubes its made from?
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Old 04-17-13, 05:14 AM
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shurin
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Copying great things from the West was kind of a trademark of Soviet industry, especially for non-military cars and electronics. Sometimes the copies were better than originals on paper (the engineers were good), but the quality of workmanship and raw materials were often not satisfactory. And I'm not even going to talk about bureaucracy and scheming higher-ups in the party (Soviet moon flight program was a prime example of that). Part of the problem was also that all the good stuff went for the army, civilian applications had to do with second grade.

As for the tubing, I guess no-one knows what they are, except maybe some veteran worker of the Harkov factory, but good luck finding him. Probably some fairly thin-walled chro-mo.
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Old 04-17-13, 10:13 AM
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Update. Just did a fairly short, 25 km, ride to check out all the quirks and bugs. Caught up with a guy from LBS, chatted a bit, took turns to pull each other into near headwind, after a while at an intersection he turned left to do a longer ride, I turned right to take advantage of (very) slight descent and tailwind to check out gearing. On the plus side 44T chainring and 13/21T cassette is enough for flatland, hit 45+km/h in the highest gear (absolute maximum 52 km/h). On the minus side the chain rubs the seatstay near dropout while in 13T sprocket and applying power (but there is about 1 mm free space between them while stationary). So now I need to move the wheel ~1 mm to the left and maybe redish, or just add 1 mm spacer to the right side and deal with slightly wider OLD. Both of these operations need a chainwhip, which I'm going to hunt down tomorrow (so far I have dealt only with freewheels). Thinking about going with the latter, I'm lazy
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Old 04-17-13, 11:31 AM
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Cool stuff I had an xb3 come through a while ago early 60s by the looks of it awesome lugs on it very very unique crankset and all chrome!! If it were any bigger I would have kept it
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