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I am traveling to Russia in a few weeks, would like a bicycle souvenir.

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I am traveling to Russia in a few weeks, would like a bicycle souvenir.

Old 05-04-14, 05:28 AM
  #1  
ricklp 
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I am traveling to Russia in a few weeks, would like a bicycle souvenir.

I would love to bring home a Russian frameset.

Are there any interesting Russian road or Cyclocross bikes?

I have owned many Lada Niva's. They were rough everywhere, but absolutely ruled off road. The got decent fuel economy as well.

I say this to show what I am hoping for. I suspect that it won't be pretty, but would likely be surprisingly pleasant in some utilitarian way, maybe even excel in some area's.

Any Russian's have inside info they could share?

Maybe meet for coffee or vodka?

Thanks,

Rick
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Old 05-04-14, 06:27 AM
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The only name I know of is Takhion.

- Saw a nice one hanging in a garage once during my active flipping days, but alas it was not for sale. HERE is some more info/pics on the brand.
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Old 05-04-14, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
The only name I know of is Takhion.
IIRC, the Takhion bikes were made in Kharkov, which is now part of the Ukraine, and all that entails.
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Old 05-04-14, 09:22 AM
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I remember the "Sputnik" models imported to the US in the 1960s, but those might have been from Kharkov, as well.
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Old 05-04-14, 11:39 AM
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XB3 dominated over there for a few decades. Kharkov built (yes, Ukraine, maybe soon to be Russia?) but is mostly considered a Soviet-era bicycle. All levels from "Sport" to "VeloSuper", and the most common "Sputnik". To my knowledge, everything from lugs to dropouts to tubing were all done in-house.
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Old 05-04-14, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ricklp View Post
I have owned many Lada Niva's.

Any Russian's have inside info they could share?

Reminds me of an old joke. Do you know how to double the value of a used Lada - fill it with gas.
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Old 05-05-14, 11:17 AM
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If you don't find a frame you like, you can always look for some Russian or Ukrainian derailleurs.
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Old 05-05-14, 12:00 PM
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Maybe you can get a bell with some great Soviet era image on it?
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Old 05-05-14, 07:00 PM
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I've been hankering for an AIST bike as of late. Not because of some sort of super high quality, but because it's made in my homeland of Belarus. Currently in the process of finding out if it's possible to purchase just a frame. As far as I can tell, they have dealers in the Russian cities of Samara and Pskov, if those are anywhere near where you'll be traveling.

FYI: AIST is the modern incarnation of MMB3, or Minsskiy Motovelozavod (Minsk Motorcycle and Bicycle Factory). I had an MMB3 branded folding bike as a kid, which is in fact still in production by AIST (https://aist-bike.com/gorodskie/173-334.html). Perhaps you'd have luck finding a used MMB3 bike wherever it is that you're going, I'm pretty sure I recall my granddad having a road bike (called shosseinye instead of road over there) from MMB3.

Last edited by awfulwaffle; 05-05-14 at 07:09 PM. Reason: Add MMB3 info
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Old 05-05-14, 07:14 PM
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This odd Kharkov Ukrainia found it's way over here somehow and turned up at a car flea market... It ended up coming home with me.

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Old 05-05-14, 08:00 PM
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I suspect the Soviet team used mostly Italian bikes for training and competition, and the local tackle wasn't so impressive.....but tough rugged bikes built like Kalashnikovs, Schturmoviks and Urals??......
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Old 05-05-14, 08:42 PM
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Buy Salut or Kama if you find one. They were extremely popular (I grew up riding Salut - not in Russia but ex Soviet republic). Things we did to these bikes as kids/teenagers and they survived.
Both were folders, Salut had ~24 wheels, Kama had ~20.
Kharkov made track frames were very cool, some were made of Reynolds tubing (if I am not mistaken). Also (again - if my memory serves me right) - some Italian framebuilder (Santini?) was building bikes for Soviet Olympics team for 80s games. As I recall there was some connection through Fiat and Italian communist party
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Old 05-06-14, 04:44 AM
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Or look for cool old wrist watches…
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Old 05-06-14, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Or look for cool old wrist watches…
Nice! "СПУТНИК" ("Sputnik") watch: the satellite on the second hand orbits the earth on the watch face.
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Old 05-06-14, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by mongol777 View Post
Also (again - if my memory serves me right) - some Italian framebuilder (Santini?) was building bikes for Soviet Olympics team for 80s games.
Sannino.

One of the cool bits in American Flyers was that the Russian team actually did have Sannino bikes. Unfortunately the Russian character, Belov, looked nothing like a bike racer.
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Old 05-06-14, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Sannino.

One of the cool bits in American Flyers was that the Russian team actually did have Sannino bikes. Unfortunately the Russian character, Belov, looked nothing like a bike racer.
IIRC, the Russian "Belov" character was given the ugliest looking white plastic helmet in the planet to wear during the race scenes.......just perfect for a racer from the then "Evil Empire".
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Old 05-06-14, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mongol777 View Post
Also (again - if my memory serves me right) - some Italian framebuilder (Santini?) was building bikes for Soviet Olympics team for 80s games. As I recall there was some connection through Fiat and Italian communist party
Raymond Fletcher's C.N.C. (Comptoir National du Cycles) shop in Paris handmade many pro frames for Soviet riders in the 1950's - 1970's.
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Old 05-06-14, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
IIRC, the Russian "Belov" character was given the ugliest looking white plastic helmet in the planet to wear during the race scenes.......just perfect for a racer from the then "Evil Empire".
Looks like an old skateboard helmet.



I know one of the guys who was an extra for the bike race scenes. He said the Belov actor was a jerk who was always by himself and smoked between takes.
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Old 05-06-14, 03:07 PM
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Saw this one the other day on CL. Looks like a nice conversation piece. Have not seen it in person, though.

https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...445582438.html
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Old 05-06-14, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Or look for cool old wrist watches…
I was about to say the same exact thing!
Look for watches that use the 3133 chronograph watch movement.
They are quite desireable and are shooting up in pirce.
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Old 05-06-14, 06:21 PM
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https://velomasterclass.ru/category/velosipedy-v-sssr/
You can browse soviet built bicycles here, and probably find craiglist type ads with google search of the model names.
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