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Archived: Vintage Lightweights







MISC:   About the Northeast Bicycle Swap Meet posted by: VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc. at OldRoads.com on 7/15/2003 at 2:03:30 PM

We've had a number of people ask us about the focus of this year's "Northeast Bicycle Swap Meet" in Bloomfield, CT on August 24th.
YES, it is being held at the New England Musclebike Museum, but NO, it is NOT only focused on Musclebikes. The focus is on ALL types of cycles.

We're also asked if it will be like the Larz Anderson show.
It will be more like a flea market than the Larz show.

Vin - VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc.
http://OldRoads.com







AGE / VALUE:   Star Bikes posted by: Samuel on 7/14/2003 at 11:22:40 PM
Well, first off, since I read a Canadian site, in these boards recently, that I thought was rather good, I found this website, for Malvern Star Bikes, http://canberrabicyclemuseum.info/MalvernStar/Default.htm ;

Cause, I found this site, cause, today, I found, a decent STAR bike but I don't think, it is the same company, still, this seems to be a good bike, with an old Fujiyata Professional Racing Saddle, a leaather racing saddle, thumb shifters on the upright (not drop) handlebars, Crane Shimano Rear Derailleur, some toe clips, but the plastic kind, 27 inch weheels, sort of a color, I thought the gal was putting out a Bianchi at first, but not exactly Celeste Green, but close, weinman brakes, almost looks a bit like a mountain ATB bike as well. Any contributing info on this bike is welcome. Oh, and all I have really, as marking the bike, is just the STAR name, the emblem looks like S all letters in silver, then the T is on top of the A, but they are joined, and to the right of that is an R. So, in a way, Star is spelled in a star shape, seems reasonably light as well. Thanks ALL


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Star Bikes posted by Rob on 7/15/2003 at 12:33:55 AM
I assume you are in Australia...anyway I have heard that the Malvern Star, built, I think, in or around Melbourne, is a bike with a pretty darn good reputation. If the components are mostly original (handlebars, I guess not??), particularly the Crane der., that would impress me. The Crane was Shimano's top racing derailleur in the mid '70's... I've never seen a Malvern, but I can always hope...

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Star Bikes posted by Samuel on 7/15/2003 at 1:37:35 AM
Thank you very much for your time, I am not in Australia, but perhaps, it is from there. For the record, did a quick web search, don't know, if this (http://community-2.webtv.net/starbike/STARBIKESCLASSIC/ ) is linked from old roads, but it should be, the store is called Star Bikes, and seems to specialize in vintage cycles. Well back to this Star bike, it has Araya type rims, on the crank set, about the only wearing down I saw, letters, GT seem to be on it, but I don't think, it is that brand name (meaning GT), cause other letters, seems to be worn off. Actually, I like the Thumb Shifters (Shimano, with like a little half ring in center screw) and Brake Levers, really, cause they seem to be rather antiquated, even if that only means from the seventies. Serial number beneath, and unfortunately, I had to put it in my storage unit almost right away, without my tools, seat post way down, rode it though very cramped, still it seemed nice and I will go back very soon.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Star Bikes posted by Warren on 7/15/2003 at 2:10:56 PM
I keep a registry of vintage Malvern Star frame numbers here in Australia, and have a collection of Malvern Star bikes from 1920's to 1980's. This bike doesn't sound like anything Malvern Star ever produced or imported.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Star Bikes posted by Samuel on 7/15/2003 at 4:49:44 PM
the need for a camera is once again, seen here, but perhaps, someone will come along, who knows these bikes still. Thanks for everyone's time and helpful info on this.






AGE / VALUE:   1986 Bianchi - What Campy Groupo posted by: Tim W on 7/14/2003 at 9:34:23 PM
Weekend Garage Sale find: A full-Campy Bianchi, for a price I'm pretty happy about. The frame is, unfortunately, re-painted in a scruffy, dull red, and I can't find any tubing info. The components are in great shape, but I am used to old NR stuff, and can't identify what grouppo is on this bike. It is six-speed, and seems to be indexed.

As interesting as the Campy Only website is, I can't find anything there to help me clearly identify the grouppo.
Doesn't Campy put any grouppo identifiers on their components? How do I know what I have? Any ideas?


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   1986 Bianchi - What Campy Groupo posted by Rob on 7/14/2003 at 10:40:14 PM
Here's another site: http://www.classicrendezvous.com/Italy/Campy_Derail.htm

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest if it's a 1986 bike, it will likely be Victory or Triomphe...probably the latter...

Here's a photo of a Victory; I couldn't find one of a Triomphe. I would search around a bit to see what you can find, apparently the difference between the Victory and Triomphe is a bit subtle...the Victory is the better one. I have several Victories sitting in a parts box...at least I'm about 90% sure they are Victories and Triomphes...):

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3616930193

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   1986 Bianchi - What Campy Groupo posted by Rob on 7/14/2003 at 10:42:17 PM
I meant to say, "...90% sure they are Victories and NOT Triomphes..."

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   1986 Bianchi - What Campy Groupo posted by Tim W on 7/14/2003 at 11:54:40 PM
The picture on e-bay looks right, but from pix of Victory and Triomphe on the "Campy Only" site, the two models look very similar. I assume that either is a good derailleur. I would like to convert this bike into a courier-style urban warrior. Anyone have any ideas about moving the shifting up onto the bars? I suppose neither old Shimano or Suntour 6-spd 'thumb shifters' would work on a Campy derailleur. Any thoughts?

By the way, for the 'retro purists', I have lots of lovelier bikes that I wouldn't think of moving the downtube shifters on. This bike should be on the road, and getting the shifters on the bars seems to be a basic need for most people for whom I fix up bikes.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   1986 Bianchi - What Campy Groupo posted by Smitty on 7/15/2003 at 2:48:48 AM
Go to Campy only web site then to history find campy time line move over to 1986 and then down to bottum you will find very good pics of vic and tri groupos . Look very close these two groups share no major parts. The vic grp I think is very under rated . The leisure rear del will even synrco (self trim) when used with a regina america freewheel and yellow insert (6 spd). The victory grp is ugly even a die hard campy geek like me can not stand it.
It is posible you nave a C record grp if it does not look
like these but close, all three grps had smoothed polished look and no markings about grp.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   1986 Bianchi - What Campy Groupo posted by Tom on 7/15/2003 at 12:21:37 PM
I doubt you have C-Record, as it vastly different from Victory or Triomphe, particularly the Delta centre-pull brakes and the crankset where with only four spider arms (as the fifth mounting hole is on the back side of the crankarm).

However, there are numerous differences between Victory and Triomphe. The simplest is the drilling of Victory brake levers, which is not present on Triomphe. The Triomphe crankset also has a slight hourglass shape of the spider arms (i.e slight outward flare at the top), whereas the Victory are pure trapezoids. The Victory pedals have more tapered platforms than the Triomphe, which are noticably more round. Victory brakes do not have the rubber grommet on the adjuster barrel that the Triomphe models have. The Victory hubs have a knurled ring on the hubs' quick release adjuster, that Triomphe does not have.

There are several other minor differences which are not as easy to spot. If you reference the Campy Only photos, the above noted differences should become readily apparent.

    1986 Bianchi posted by John E on 7/15/2003 at 2:32:11 PM
If you MUST have upright bars, then consider mountain bike bar extensions to provide additional grip positions, and use an old set of Shimano or SunTour thumb shifters in friction mode.

My strongly preferred alternative for a commuting bike is drop bars and SunTour ratchet barcons.

   RE: 1986 Bianchi posted by Tim W on 7/15/2003 at 9:40:00 PM
I suspect I have the Victory grouppo, from the info you have all shared (which sounds like a good thing). I had fogotten that I have a set of Suntour barcons. This is probably the bike that they have been waiting for, and I can stick with drop bars. Thanks for all the help.






AGE / VALUE:   White Simplex stuff posted by: Warren on 7/14/2003 at 6:46:28 PM
So when was this gear made...and is it any good?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=420&item=2183665343


     White Simplex stuff posted by John E on 7/15/2003 at 2:36:32 PM
It looks like mid-1980s to me. It is probably adequate, but almost any slant planograph rear derailleur should outshift this one.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   White Simplex stuff posted by Tom on 7/15/2003 at 9:56:55 PM
I agree with John, mid to late 80's, as there appears to be an index mechanism on the right lever. Also, this date fits with the blocky style similar to the Campagnolo 980/Triomphe/Victory lines and the colour treatment similar to the Shimano Sante and Suntour Ole lines. Some of the coloured parts don't look beefy enough to be resin, but if it is I would expect the group to be low end. When Simplex abandoned the mid-range delrin derailleurs they retained it on their low end. This could be a development of those derailleurs.

All the above is conjecture, but what I can state as fact, is that I have seen this derailleur (or one very similar to it) in a red and white colour scheme! I had a quick look for the website but couldn't find it again!






FOR SALE:   More cycles posted by: VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc. at OldRoads.com on 7/14/2003 at 6:44:29 PM
We've added more cycles to our "Bikes For Sale" page (the link is at the top of this page). Plus we've posted a Maserati road bike on Ebay (item number: 2183831270)

Keep Riding.
Vin - VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc.
http://OldRoads.com







MISC:   Good news -- update posted by: Keith on 7/14/2003 at 1:08:29 PM
Here's the latest:

Hurray! Good news! We CAN make a difference!

This is from the TrueSport News website: http://truesport.com/Bike/2003/news/idiotupdate.html
==================
The following is an email from Lois Cowan - Co-owner, Century Cycles

Due to a flood of e-mails, phone calls and letters, Clear Channel Communications and WMJI-Majic 105 in Cleveland have agreed to help correct the wrongs that their broadcasts caused last week.

Negotiations are underway and Clear Channel has agreed to a number of items revolving around:

- Running Public Service Announcements on all six of their stations in the northern Ohio market.
- Donating a substantial amount of money toward local bicycling causes.
- Helping with programs and events such as Safe Routes to School and public safety education.
- Supporting and promoting the America Bikes agenda with national and local politicians.
- Public apologies from those DJs who offended all of us with their anti-bicycling comments.

AS OF TODAY, FRIDAY JULY 18th, WE CAN STOP E-MAILING COMPLAINTS ABOUT THEIR REPREHENSIBLE BROADCASTS.

Station management and the DJs understand that what they said was wrong. They are in the process of making things right, but for them to focus on turning things around we need to free up their computers.

Thank you for your quick response. It's great to see freedom of speech used in a positive way.

Please forward this to anyone that you may have sent the original Call to Action to so that the word gets out. If you are the administrator of a webpage or see the original Call to Action still posted on a webpage, please post this update as soon as possible.

Lois Cowan
Century Cycles
33351 Aurora Rd
Solon, Ohio 44139
440-519-0006




    Good news -- update posted by John E on 7/14/2003 at 2:39:31 PM
Thank you and congratulations, Lois, Keith, and everyone else who took the time to communicate with Clear Channel Communications and/or the FCC. The morals of this story are: 1) Individuals and grass-roots efforts CAN make a BIG difference. 2) Never underestimate the power of public opinion.


Happy Bastille Day, everyone! Go Lance and Team USPS!

   RE:MISC:   Good news -- update posted by Rob on 7/14/2003 at 5:20:33 PM
Excellent!! And I hope you don't have to 'hold their feet to the fire' to make them follow through once the feel the pressure letting up... As I've said before drivers in my area, Vancouver, are, for the most part, quite respectful of cyclists, but there are enough idiots around to keep one alert. This relatively benign local situation didn't happen because our citizens are so wonderful, or the laws are much different...heck, the 'hot button' issue around here is young 'street racers' in Honda Civics and other such 'kid cars' mowing down pedestrians...to my knowledge no cyclists have been nailed yet...

Over the years there has been a lot of work put into public awareness, and pressuring, often tiresome municipal councillors to approve designated bike routes...and the public awareness compaigns do need to be kept up...the "June is Bike Month" campaign, for example.

It's easy to take all this for granted, but I think this is a good time to thank those people who over the years have made the effort in my city, and in all the other cities in North America...






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Joponen Kids Bike posted by: Skyler on 7/14/2003 at 3:25:45 AM
I realize this is probably not the correct forum, for this, so I apologize in advance. I picked up a kids bike today at a swap meet. I usually collect 70's road bikes but this bike was odd enough to interest me. Talking to the seller, they said it is from Finland and they purchased there in 1978. I thought maybe someone would know about these bikes, becasue I found nothing but one picture in a search of the net. Strangely it has 14" tires, does anyone know of a source for 14" tires? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Skyler







VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   cassett posted by: mark on 7/14/2003 at 3:20:52 AM
do you have to have a special tool to take off the cassett on a bike rim thank you


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   cassett posted by Gralyn on 7/14/2003 at 11:40:16 AM
Yes,
It does depend on what type of cassette you have. The older vintage has several different types - each requiring a different type tool. I'm not familiar with the newer types. Check Sheldon Brown's articles - that's probably the best place to determine which type you have and which tool you need.

     cassette posted by John E on 7/14/2003 at 2:41:24 PM
To remove a typical freehub cassette, one need to obtain the appropriate lockring removal tool. Once the lockring is unscrewed, the cogs should slide off their splines.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   cassett posted by gary m on 7/16/2003 at 3:54:33 PM
use a standard shimano freewheel tool most of the time. some use threaded cogs, needing a chain whip.






AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Super Course Mk II posted by: John Langford on 7/13/2003 at 6:02:36 PM
I have acquired a Raleigh Super Course Mk II 10-speed,Red and White, serial #WS4003477(1974?). Approx. 22 in. stem height with Reynolds 531 horizontal decal, also has Carlton decal on stem and Carlton Race Proved Workshop on front forks. Nervar Sport 52/42 crank. Normandy R47 74 hubs 14/28, release levers Maillard MM Atom. Pedals are Atom Cibie. Huret stem shifters and derailleurs. Brakes are Weinmann center pull, front 610 Vainqueur 999, rear 750 Vainqueur 999. Handlebar stem is GB with Carlton white hard plastic sleeves near brake levers, also has thick black spongy handle grips. Wheels are 27in x 1 1/4 in 36 spoke, the rear wheel is stamped Sturmey Archer on the center plate. Tires are Tai Yung High Pressure 32-630 Nylon Pyramid HP 90. Rear Bor Yueh bike rack, looks original. Seat is Brooks Champion Standard B.17. My ex-wife bought it for $100 about 5 years ago. I do not have the time to enjoy riding it and we are thinking of selling it. I would appreciate any help in assessing it's potential sales value. I have seen a few postings that mention $125, but I do not want to put it on e-bay unaware of it's true potential value. Thank you for your possible help.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Super Course Mk II posted by Ken on 7/14/2003 at 5:57:21 PM
John, your SC MkII is probably not worth a lot more than you have in it. While it's a very nice bike, it's not real high in the line and there are quite few of them. If the finish is pristine, that makes a difference of course. From your description, yours is pretty much original, although I bet it came with handlebar tape, not foam. You can look at catalog pages at http://retroraleighs.com/ which now benefits from the wisdom of Sheldon Brown.






AGE / VALUE:   Fuji Regis posted by: Gralyn on 7/13/2003 at 4:49:07 PM
Anyone ever heard of a Fuji Regis? I have one - 25" frame, steel rims, maybe 2030 tubing, Dia-Compe brakes, Sun Tour. Looks to me a lower-end Fuji....maybe from about mid-to-upper 70's. I believe it has Sugino crank arms....but steel (cheap-looking) chain rings. Any good sources for old Fuji catalogs? I also have a Fuji Del Ray, and a Special Road Racer.







VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   flying o posted by: mark on 7/13/2003 at 3:34:37 PM
i have a matching set of flying o 10-speed bikesbut they have no rims could you please tell me what size of rims are supposed to be on it 26s or 27s. thank you


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   flying o posted by JONathan on 7/15/2003 at 6:08:11 PM
A 10 sp.? Wild guess is 27", however...there is a way to tell for sure. If you have a 27 inch wheel, place it in the forks and see if the rim can match the brake pads. Try the LBS, they can tell for sure which size will workout best. I have not observed many 10 sp. bikes with 26 inch wheels, except some 60's entry-level 10 speeds; as if they were a gradual progression from 3-sp. bikes with predominant 26 inchers.
I have some 26 inch, 5-gear freewheel wheels for a purpose that I have yet to discover. The other option is the 700C, which is close to 27 inch size. I'd just spec. the bike at the LBS, where they will be happy to fix you up with a set of wheels...if they even have them. Good luck, JONathan
Note: There are 28 inch wheels, too, as the rare exception...rarer than 26 inchers around here (N. Ca.).






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Sekine Ariba posted by: Tom on 7/12/2003 at 9:43:56 PM
Here's a sad postscript for all the Canadian Sekine-philes who fondly remember this marque from their 70's heyday.

Earlier to-day, my family visited Kingston, Ontario to do some shopping. During lunch I spotted a forlorn looking lightweight that was chained to a bikestand and decided to have a look at it while the kids were finishing their burgers. To may dismay, it turned out to be a Sekine Ariba. The frame was hot pink, in enamel no less! The decals for the brand and model names were in a gaudy blue and yellow. The once proud Sekine headbadge had been replaced by a decal, which consisted of a blue "S" superimposed on a yellow triangle, with the name Sekine beneath it. There were no other decals on the frame to indicate tubing (undoubtedly inexpensive steel) or country of manufacture. Hubs were steel, though there was quick release, on the back. It was 12 speed. The derailleurs were Suntour, though the model name had rubbed off. The rear derailleur's cage appeared to be nylon, or some other plastic. The friction shift levers were stem mounted. Cranks were LESCO, with aluminum, cotterless arms swaged to a stamped, steel spider. Brakes were Chang-Star aluminum sidepulls. Curiously, the brake levers had rubber hoods, with safety levers.

Overall, the components and graphics gave me the impression of being a late 80's / early 90's department store bicyle. It was very sad for me to see how far this once respected maker had fallen.







AGE / VALUE:   CCM Catalina posted by: Dave on 7/12/2003 at 3:14:30 PM
Would anyone have any information on a CCM bicycle called a catalina ie when they were made and for how long.It looks to be 1960's and has an odd frame. Also would anyone have an old cleveland headbadge they would like to part with? Thank you.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   CCM Catalina posted by Mike on 7/15/2003 at 8:34:26 PM
Odd frame how? Do you have any pictures of it? What equipment does it have?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   CCM Catalina posted by Tom on 7/15/2003 at 10:09:52 PM
Dave, you are probably correct about it being a 60's model. I bought my first CCM lightweight in '72 and worked in a shop carrying that line in '74 and '75. Most of the models from those years are etched into my my brain, even the touring models with the upright bars, but I can't say that I recall a Catalina. As Mike states, maybe a picture might release a flood of old memories. The graphics (particularly the head badge/sticker) and components will help date it.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   CCM Catalina posted by Dave on 7/16/2003 at 9:38:25 AM
Thank you for the replies.I'm afraid I am unable to post a picture.The frame is I guess what you would call cantilever.The headbadge is just the vertical ccm type although it is thicker than usual and embossed.There is a decal on the seat tube,ccm with a crown above and below the letters.I know a photo would be better but I hope this helps. thanks again.






MISC:   Traveler Origins posted by: Rob M. on 7/12/2003 at 6:10:51 AM
I don't this is exactly vintage, but does anybody know where a mid 80's Schwinn Traveler would have been made? The headbadge says Chicago but I doubt if it was manufactured there. FYI...seril # is J64249.

Thanks,
Rob


   RE:MISC:   Traveler Origins posted by Gralyn on 7/12/2003 at 10:40:39 AM
I've seen some Travelers...maybe late 70's or early 80's - and it says "made in Taiwan" somewhere on the bike (the head badge says Schwinn Chicago). I have a couple of mid-80's Travelers - but on the frame sticker - it says 4130....Made in USA.

   RE:MISC:   Traveler Origins posted by Eric Amlie on 7/12/2003 at 2:24:53 PM
The earliest the ten speed Travelers were probably made in Japan by either Panasonic(National) or Bridgestone. The ones with the USA stickers were probably made at the Greenville Mississippi plant, and later yet were brom Taiwan. This is the case with the LeTours which were the next step up the line so it probably is true of the Travelers also.

   RE:MISC:   Traveler Origins posted by JONathan on 7/13/2003 at 5:38:19 AM
The "Traveler" from either Giant or Merida are Taiwanese derivatives. Mine has 4130 butted frame tubes, Sugino cranks and Weinmann "Vainqueur 999" brakes. They make great touring or commuter bikes. I used mine everyday for almost this whole year without any repairs required. The frame rides real stiff, too. I think they are a "best buy" bike. You won't regret using it, if that's what you are asking. It has one of the cleanest built frames of any schwinn I've come across. The brakes don't fade and I can lock it up real easy, which is saying something for a 220# rider going 30 mph. SunTour components place the date around 1980. ARx rear der. shifts real good, too. My '77 "Le Tour II" Panasonic can't touch the "Traveler" for all-weather cruising. THe non-stock, hp Conti's make a big difference in ride, too. High flange, heavy duty alloy wheels were stock.
Fix it and ride...it is worth upgrades in wheels and tires...JONathan

   RE:MISC:   Traveler Origins posted by Ron on 7/14/2003 at 1:51:29 AM
I read somewhere, that on the later imported Schwinns, that the key to the year is stamped on the headbadge. There should be a four digit number, the first three are the day of the year, and the last digit is the year. You have to figure out the correct decade.
My wife's Traveller has 1058, making it April 1988. It has a "Tru Temper, Made in USA" decal on the seattube, and Shimano SIS downtube shifters. The brakes are Dia Compe, but the front doesn't match the rear, so I don't know if they are original. It came with Weinmann rims and Schwinn 27x1 1/8 tires. I put flat bars and a wide gel seat on it, and my wife thinks it is light as a feather compared to her old Collegete 5 speed.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Traveler Origins posted by JONathan on 7/14/2003 at 6:24:03 AM
Thanks for the date-code. My "Traveler" is 1983, if the code is correct. Based on componentry, I'd say so. There is one muttish feature, which is the Shimano stem shifters, when all the rest is SunTour. May have been added on. Dia-Compe is Weinmann in design. My brakes have "Schwinn Approved" on the caliper, but they match "Vainqueurs" in all respects. The brakes are excellent. Glad you have one running. They are exceptionally stable bikes on the road. I can't recall anytime when it behaved poorly. The prototypes were developed on a very good track, probably by experienced riders providing feedback to the engineering dept. I can keep up with all the "funny bikes", except the ones pushed along by hardcore racers. Alloy cranks with 52/42 steel chainrings are very durable. Oil and air is all that "Traveler" requires...that and a good hose down once and a while. If you have pushed a "Collegiate" around and get on a "Traveler", you gonna fly! Cheers, JONathan

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Traveler Origins posted by JONathan on 7/14/2003 at 6:41:22 AM
Ron, the True Temper tubing is a lot like the old Ishiwata stuff that is "seamless" tubing made from sheet-steel seamed tubing. Strong and fairly light. Like I said; those "Travelers" are unsung heroes.






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Kharkov Sputnik posted by: francois poisson on 7/12/2003 at 3:32:32 AM
I would appreciate any information leading to some clarification on a bike I picked up last year. It is a blue Russian lightweight touring bicycle featuring white fenders, mustache style handlebars, and a three speed derailleur. The derailleur looks like an old Campy although it is of some inferior metal and the brakes look like Mafac Racer knock offs. It also has what turns out to be 700c size wheels and a headlight with a generator on the front. My russian friend tells me the writing on the main tube says Sputnik. Now here's the interesting part. I was told that this bike was one of maybe two dozen brought over to the USA by Nikita Kruschev in the late 1950's as a gift for several farmers in Iowa who sent grain to the Soviet Union during the grain embargo of this period. I love this bike and it is a joy to ride, (the odometer on the front wheel only had 320 kilometers on it when I received it, it now has close to 1000), I would never sell this bike no matter what the value but I am wondering could this story possibly be true? Is there any way of finding out more information on this event? Is there anyone out there with any expertise on Russian built bikes who could possibly at least date this bike for me? Thanks in advance for any information you might have.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Kharkov Sputnik posted by Jimbo Jones on 7/12/2003 at 7:10:30 AM
For what is worth I have heard that story before. Think it was a bike on ebay. Wouldn't doubt it because of that. Seemed that it was a 60s bike though. Was blue with white decals.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Kharkov Sputnik posted by brandt on 7/14/2003 at 2:25:51 AM
The Russian bikes, a long story, they came to the US around 1972. At that time a man up in Kennsett, Iowa (I live in Iowa also) imported 1000 bikes from the Soviet Union. 500 ten speeds and 500 of the three speeds like yours. This was during the early seventies bike boom, so he had no trouble selling the 10 speeds through various bike shops in the region. However, the three speeds were odd enough that they didn't sell well at all. I bought one from him in 1974. I thought they were a neat bike, so I convinced my father to buy some for his bike shop. He bought ten but had alot of trouble selling them too. I think he still had 2 or 3 new in the box yet when he sold the business.
I stopped in Kennsett during RAGBRAI in 1987 and visited with the man, Allen Bratrud. At that time he only had two Russian bikes left, one 10-speed and one 3-speed , which he was keeping. His warehouse had burned down a few years before with about 200 3-speeds still in it.

So your bike is not from Kruschev, but is one of very few left, if you consider all of the original 500 that have probably gone to the scrapyard over the years. I have also heard the Kruschev story too. I you check for a serial number on the right rear lug, it will probably start with 72. I thin this refers to the year the bike was built, which is way after Kruschev's 1950's visit to Iowa.

By the way, the serial number on mine is 72r 134484, what is yours? I am also interested where you are located and where you found the bike. I'm curious have far these have migrated from central Iowa. Also, if you are interested, I have extra owner's manuals.

      Kharkov Sputnik posted by John E on 7/14/2003 at 2:54:11 PM
In the U.S., Sputniks are probably rarer than [Austrian] Capos, which were imported in similar quantities 12 years earlier.

What I find particularly interesting about the Kharkov bicycles is that their components look 10 to 15 years older (in style and engineering) than their 1972 vintage would indicate. The Russians had superb metallurgy for military applications (submarines, missiles, etc.), but much of their mechanical design engineering consisted of copying others.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Kharkov Sputnik posted by francois poisson on 7/17/2003 at 2:06:45 AM
Thanks, guys, for all the info. You are all correct and I am wrong. Yes, the bike did come from eBay last year and I bought the Kruschev story hook, line, and sinker. But, you know what, I got what is really quite a beautiful bike that is in like new condition at a decent price. So it doesn't have historical value (or probably any collectible value either)it is still the favorite bike of my small collection. In fact I just finished a very nice 15 mile ride on it tonight and it couldn't have been more comfortable. (It could be lighter!) I love its Russian weirdness, trying so hard to be light and fast looking like those western European bikes but still, basically, a tank. I like the attitude. "Beautiful Loser" as Bob Seger once said. It did come from Iowa and the serial number is 72r136776. Brandt, thanks for taking the time to send along such in depth information. I would really enjoy a manual for the bike as long as its not too exorbitant, I'm on a short leash lately as far as bicycle related spending is concerned, if you know what I mean. Thanks again to all of you for the info. It was greatly appreciated.