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Thread: russian cycling

  1. #1
    SteveP is offline vSalon Legend
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    Default russian cycling

    interesting read here
    inrng : tinker, tailor, cyclist, spy

    i well recall the early days when the russians would trade athletes for colnago frames...
    lech piasecki was traded for 50 colnago bicycles if i recall correctly.
    the red team used colnagos forever in the day.
    always trades, never hard currency.

    i'll take a little politics with my bike racing please.

  2. #2
    rwsaunders's Avatar
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    Default Re: russian cycling

    Reminds me of the story of a hockey player being traded for a team bus...

    Tom "Bussey" Martin recalls strange trade - NHL.com - Off the Wall

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    Moke is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: russian cycling

    We used to get Barum ( like Tufo) tires from the Czech dudes at the American races. They brought over bunches to help defray expenses.

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    Default Re: russian cycling

    There's a dude that lives down the street from me who used to ride for Russia, many years ago. He still rides today and is of the hardman mould comapared to all the other princesses that ride around here. He coaches and does a blog on which recently he told of what it was like to ride in Russia at the time. We have been trying to get him to write a book about it as some of the stories he lets out on the local road forum are amazing. Anyway a link to his blog, very interesting.......

    Is it worth living for?
    "Even my farts smell like steel!" - Diel

    Sean Doyle

  5. #5
    TRuss is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: russian cycling

    I'll trade you a Russian for a Colnago right now. I work with two of them! They're great guys but I'd really love a nice Colnago.

  6. #6
    Human Epic Jolt is offline One of a kind Vsalonista
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    Default Re: russian cycling

    laptop tax is the only thing ive heard about. and that was from a guy that merill lynch told to stop putting his money up his nose and buy himself a wardrobe. (he was a non coke user).

  7. #7
    Human Epic Jolt is offline One of a kind Vsalonista
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    Default Re: russian cycling

    Quote Originally Posted by Human Epic Jolt View Post
    laptop tax is the only thing ive heard about. and that was from a guy that merill lynch told to stop putting his money up his nose and buy himself a wardrobe. (he was a non coke user).
    that conversation was carried via World Phone. He told me.

    well, at least half of it.

  8. #8
    RIHans's Avatar
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    Default Re: russian cycling

    Pucci knows...

    Russians, Italians...Nobody got a sweet deal there? Gotta wait for Eckimov's autobiography

  9. #9
    R.Liverman's Avatar
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    Default Re: russian cycling

    This thread and Devlin's linked blog are sweeettt.
    There is water at the bottom of the ocean.

  10. #10
    Shinomaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: russian cycling

    Were these Russian guys traded to race pro in Italy, or into restaurant service, or prostitution or what?

  11. #11
    SteveP is offline vSalon Legend
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    Default Re: russian cycling

    race pro. geeez

  12. #12
    Shinomaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: russian cycling

    Cool, my girlfriends dad sometimes trades black beef cows for stuff.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: russian cycling

    A handful were allowed to turn pro for western teams before the sporting world was really integrated. But very, very few Russians. But Olaf Ludwig and Konychev were guys were were super talented and could have done better had they been allowed to turn pro at a younger age. Same with Tchmil and even Abdujaparov. But among that group only Konychev is Russian. There was always speculation that Sergei Sukhoruchenkov was as good as Hinault and Lemond in that era but was past his prime when he was allowed to turn pro.

    Ekimov is best known to US riders as Lance's lieutenant but he also was sort of sold or 'released' to the western world of cycling but when he was young was definitely developed under the old Soviet system.

    Soukho


    Ekimov early days.

  14. #14
    Shinomaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: russian cycling

    I remember Olaf Ludwig, what an animal.

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    NikolaiR is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: russian cycling

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveP View Post
    interesting read here
    i well recall the early days when the russians would trade athletes for colnago frames...
    lech piasecki was traded for 50 colnago bicycles if i recall correctly.
    I'm not sure not if any Russian was ever traded for Colnago frames. The first ever, and the last, pro deal made between a Soviet Cycling federation and a Western entity (Alfa Lum) was of an undisclosed amount. The riders were paid US$900 per month. Once they learned how much everyone else was paid, they all left as soon as their contract was finished. At the time, at the end of 1990 that is, no one could stop them anyway, the country was just about to collapse, there were bigger problems to deal with than trying to keep some cyclists in check.

    As to the Leh Piasecki's "50 Colnago frames" deal, although I've never heard of it, it's not such a bad deal if you keep in mind some peculiarities of socialism and its economy. If you're a Westerner, you're probably thinking how lousy this deal is - 50 Colnago frames, say $2,500 (retail) a pop in those days, $125,000 total. You'll be lucky to move them for $80,000, maximum $100,000, right? Wrong. That's not how you'd do it if you were in Poland in those days.

    Each top of the line Colnago frame can easily fetch you 400 Soviet made tubulars. You could easily bring 10-20 frames to a race where more than one Soviet team would race and quickly do a deal. You then sell 400 tubulars at $15-20 a pop next time you're in Italy, France, Belgium or whatever. You're looking now at $6,000 of hard cash per frame or $300,000 in total.

    This is now a sum of money you shouldn't be sneezing at. Of course it would take time to move all those frames but consider this - I spent a few month living in Poland at about the same time racing for a Polish team. My wife and I were easily getting by on $100 per month (food). Average income in Poland at the time was around $200 per month. So even if you move 10 frames per month, you're looking at $60,000 income per month vs $200. Not bad, even for Piasecki.

  16. #16
    lumpy is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: russian cycling

    I had a bunch of those Russian tubulars. Big fat things that barely fit into my Serotta. I got them in Copenhagen in 1991 and I wish I had more. They came unglued, though because they weren't actually sewn up. I have a pair of Polish Pama hubs somewhere that I got from the guys that imported Barums and UFOs in the early 90's. Smoooooth. Russian (well, Ukrainian) cameras are awesome and I always wondered why there weren't more soviet bloc headsets, bottom brackets, etc around. And the photography on the linked blog is fantastic. It's really worth a look.

  17. #17
    NikolaiR is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: russian cycling

    We had only 1 factory that made tubulars (hence, they were unavailable in retail stores, you just couldn't buy them). The sizes were 22 ("naked" for track but were used on the road in time trials as well), 24, 25, 27 and 30. There was also one CX model. 27 & 30 were our winter rubber, 30 in particular was pretty tough, almost no punctures. You couldn't fit them into a Colnago frame. They also made a silk 24, a good quality, light tubular.

    Generally, as a lot of things in Soviet Union, quality fluctuated depending on what was going on at the factory but if the tubular was made the way it was supposed to, it was pretty good actually. Main problems with them were they would be uneven (bumpy), some of them (about 10% from a lot). Rubber was a bit too tough too so if you pumped your wheels for a dry race and then it rained, you better watch out on the corners.

    I've never seen unsawn tubulars. Maybe you were sold an unfinished product? :)

  18. #18
    lumpy is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: russian cycling

    It's hard to tell from my crappy cell-phone picture, but yeah, under the base tape the casing is just glued around the tube, not stitched together. There's no ridge of stitching like most sewups have.

    These were 25s according to the sidewall. And they're a big sewup. 27's and 30's must be huge because these were about the size of the big Barum P-B-W (do I have that right?). Russian tires were pretty lumpy for sure but they rode nicely anyway and were pretty flat resistant. No comparison to something like a Barum for quality, but functional, simple, rugged and cheap - like a lot of the good Russian designs.

  19. #19
    lumpy is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: russian cycling

    I'm struggling with picture uploading right now - I'll try later.

  20. #20
    NikolaiR is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: russian cycling

    Quote Originally Posted by lumpy View Post
    It's hard to tell from my crappy cell-phone picture, but yeah, under the base tape the casing is just glued around the tube, not stitched together. There's no ridge of stitching like most sewups have..
    OK, I see what you mean. No, they were not sewn at all. I know this because I used to repair them when I was a kid. I had to cut the base with a shaving razor, pull the inner tube out, patch it up and then sew up the cut. It worked fine. You could even do more than one repair like this if the tub was still good. The annoying thing was that you would sometime sew up the inner tube to the casing :-) so you had to know what you were doing.

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