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I've got a very old bicycle from the xUSSR days in my garage (outside UK atm). I'm not sure what year / model it is, to be honest...

I've been commuting to work (8.5 miles each way) almost every day since last summer on a Pinnacle Stratus hybrid, and eventually the idea of using an actual road / track bike to ride to work becomes more and more appealing :D

I know that the chain / gears / casette will most likely have to go. Wheels will be replaced and so on.. Seems like the only thing left will be the actual frame.. So in the end - will this still be a good idea, or am I just going to lose money in the end? How much should I expect it to cost?

As I said - I don't have the year/model but I've got some photos of it here: http://imgur.com/a/JqFX0

What do you all think?

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To my eyes, it looks very similar to 10-speed road bikes from the 70s or 80s that I see in the US all the time. It looks like you could easily put wider tires on if you wanted a more comfortable ride. A lot of people fix up old 80s 10-speed road bikes. Some pictures of the other side of the bike would probably help, as well as some pictures of specific components (derailers, chain, gears, cassette, shifters). –  freiheit Feb 19 '11 at 16:47
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This isn't really an answer, so I'm posting it as a comment... It really depends on the price of the components you get to replace the old ones. For example, you can spend $30 on a single lightly-used generic wheel at your LBS/ebay, or you can spend $150+ on a brand-new one. Do all your math beforehand. One thing I will also point out is the condition of the paint/frame is critical in determining cost/labor of restoration. Re-painting a frame is either expensive if you have a shop do it ($200ish or more) or time-consuming if you do it yourself (stripping paint by hand, masking, priming, etc.). –  Jason Plank Feb 19 '11 at 18:41
    
@freiheit well, I think most of the current parts are so old that I'll most likely replace them with new parts... especially the brakes! But at least I know it's not something otherwordly or stupid, thanks :) –  Artiom Chilaru Feb 19 '11 at 20:29
    
@jason that's a very good tip.. I'll check eBay for basics like the wheels, and I guess I'll try repainting it myself. I've seen some instructions ages ago, and I'm not new to diy, so should be a fun weekend project :) –  Artiom Chilaru Feb 19 '11 at 20:30
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It's strange that it is labeled as "Made in USSR" in English. –  WTHarper Dec 13 '12 at 3:25
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2 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

You have asked two questions.

  1. Is it feasible? Yes. Yes it is. As has already been said, many people rebuild old frames like this with newer parts to create unique rides. I don't know much about xUSSR bicycles, but I would guess that a lot of the parts are copies or near-copies of popular nonUSSR components. To my eye, this looks like a knock-off of an early-80's Japanese road bike. Maybe it is. You'll find out when you start taking it apart and learning what the thread pitch is on the bottom bracket, etc.

  2. Is it silly? Also yes. But does that matter? I do a lot of things because they are silly. Rebuilding this bike can cost as much or as little as you like. Chances are, you will "loose" money on it. Did you pay anything for it to start with? If you are considering doing this, is working on bikes a form of amusement for you? (It is for me). I would consider the cost of rebuilding this bike minus the value of the finished product to be the actual cost of a fine piece of entertainment. And really, if you put some decent components on this bike (and it fits you), you might have a pretty sweet ride with a low >>BLING<< value. Nobody's going to pick this bike to steal from a rack of thirty bicycles. Just lock up next to the 2011 Cervelo--nobody's going to steal your bike, even if it's all Ultegra.

There are two answers.

If this frame were sitting in my garage and the geometry was such that I thought I would like riding it, I'd probably set it up as a fixie--run it around town for a while. Later on, I might get a hair up my butt and put a derailleur and a new crankset on it--make it into a totally different bike. It's a nearly blank canvas--have fun with it!

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Wow.. really. Thanks :) This answer is as pleasing as it is exactly answering the questions I had in mind (even if I couldn't word my ideas properly). While working on bikes is not a form of amusement for me right now, I'm pretty sure I would enjoy working on it, and trying to restore it! –  Artiom Chilaru Feb 22 '11 at 22:40
    
Also, the point about making it a fixie first, and possibly later on adding a derailleur is absolutely brilliant. I love it so much, I'm going to do exactly that! You're a marvel, thanks a lot :) –  Artiom Chilaru Feb 22 '11 at 22:41
    
Thanks for the feedback, Artiom. I have found rebuilding bikes to be both a joy and a frustration--through usually I look forward to it. I consider the costs involved worth it--if nothing else, I mess up a few old beater bikes and learn my lessons to do it correctly (I hope) on my daily commuter. Problem is that bike frames are a pain to store. You should see my house--too many dagonned frames! Be sure to sell one once in a while! –  DC_CARR Feb 24 '11 at 23:10
    
My friend used to have a Soviet-made Ukraina bike. His mother got it for her 18-th birthday. That family used it as a simple and reliable workhorse for circa 30 years. Finally it got stolen in early 2000s, while it was standing in front of our high school. –  Tadeusz A. Kadłubowski Mar 15 '11 at 12:01
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The exact model is Start Shosse from Kharkiv Bicycle factory (ХВЗ Старт-шоссе) Wikipedia link about factory.

This particular bike was a dream of many soviet youngsters, but in reality it is not anything special, as Soviet Olympic team rode on Colnago bikes.

It is quite popular trend here (in Latvia, ex USSR member country) to make a fixed gear bike from that cheap frame. Other parts are not of very good quality and sometimes it is very hard to find fitting spares from other manufacturer.

There is no special reason to keep that frame, as other vintage frames could be a better choice, but there is nothing wrong with it either.

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Ahh, that's very good to know. Thanks for the heads-up! –  Artiom Chilaru Mar 15 '11 at 11:42
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protected by freiheit Aug 16 '13 at 17:10

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