DISRAELI TRIVIA

Favorit

Favorit derailleur (2nd style) main image Favorit PWB touring derailleur main image Favorit Special derailleur (1st style) main image

Awaiting developments...




The history of Favorit (and Union and ESKA) may go something like this. In the late 19th century the hub of the Czech bicycle industry formed in the city of Cheb. The Cheb museum website indicates that a company called Premier may have been making bicycles in Cheb from around 1880. There is a claim on Velobase that Favorit celebrated their 100th anniversary in 1974 indicating that Favorit, or possibly its forebear - Premier, was established in 1874. Cheb is very close to the Czech/German border, and is a mere stone’s throw from Chemnitz, the epicentre of the early German bicycle industry and home of Diamant. Cheb is also one of the main cities of what was once called the Sudetenland, where in the early 20th century, despite being part of Czechoslovakia, German was the dominant language and, arguably, the dominant culture. This seemingly simple sentence describes complexities which have led to untold suffering, death and destruction - you just can’t beat a spot of nationalism for fueling vicious idiocy.

In 1911 two employees of Premier, called Swetlik and Kastrup, formed a new bicycle manufacturing company in Cheb called Elite. They soon changed the name to ESKA (made up of the phonetic versions of the first letters of their surnames ES and KA).

In 1922 ESKA opened a factory in Rokycany, near Plzen, home of the famous beer. This plant originally branded its bicycles as Tripol.

At the end of the Second World War the government of Czechoslovakia nationalised all bicycle factories that had German investors - and this included both Premier and ESKA, which were possibly merged into one company called ESKA. This merged company may also have used the Union brand. In 1953 the operation in Rokycany may have been separated from the main ESKA company and then, in 1954, adopted the Favorit brand.

Although Favorit made a full range of different bikes, their signature models were the high quality racing bikes that they made for the Czech national team, particularly for the Peace Race (which was sometimes referred to as the Eastern European equivalent of the Tour de France).

In 1959 ESKA and Favorit appear to have merged again, although both brands were retained.

In 1996 it appears that the whole Czech bicycle industry was privatised. Favorit seems to have been bought by one Josef Kozumplik, an allegedly dodgy geezer who seems to be widely detested by contributors to many Czech web sites. It’s as if Arthur Daley had bought Raleigh (but then perhaps he did). Like Raleigh, and perhaps inevitably, Favorit seems to have decided to close its Czech factories and to import complete bikes from the Far-East. Favorit seems to still exist but is referred to on one web site as ‘undead... (the) zombie among Czech cycling brands’. A marketing slogan to die for.

Turning to derailleurs, Favorit did use western components (notably Campagnolo), but they also manufactured their own brand of components. As far as I know there were at least five generations of Favorit deraillers:

  • They started in the 1950’s adopting the Union design and echoing the Renak and Optima models produced in the DDR.
  • In 1964 Favorit introduced the PWB model, a steel derailleur somewhat reminiscent of a Campagnolo Record, but with distinctive design features.
  • In 1971 they introduced the Special, a plastic and aluminium derailleur that used the geometry of a Campagnolo Nuovo Record but, again, was its own design.
  • In 1980 Favorit introduced an all plastic variant of the Special.
  • Finally there is the Favorit FX model, which looks like a Taiwanese copy of a Shimano Tourney - but branded with the Favorit name.

Finally there is no avoiding the similarity between the plastic version of the Favorit Special and the Walter.

Unlike many Eastern European parts, Favorit derailleurs have their own particular style, with real attention paid to aesthetics. They are one of my favourite brands!


see also Czech Trademark # 151,621 1954

see also Czech Trademark # 151,621 1954

Czech Trademark 151,621 - Favorit thumbnail


see also Czech Trademark # 151,622 1954

see also Czech Trademark # 151,622 1954

Czech Trademark 151,622 - Favorit thumbnail


see also US Trademark # 631,209 1955

see also US Trademark # 631,209 1955

US Trademark 631,209 - Favorit thumbnail


see also US Trademark # 631,210 1955

see also US Trademark # 631,210 1955

US Trademark 631,210 - Favorit thumbnail



see also Czech Patent # 116,453 1964

see also Czech Patent # 116,453 1964

Czech Patent 116,453 - Favorit PWB thumbnail


see also ESKA Favorit - instructions 1967

see also ESKA Favorit - instructions 1967

ESKA Favorit - instructions 1967 scan 1 thumbnail


Favorit PWB - Montageanleitung 1967?

Favorit PWB - Montageanleitung 1967?

Favorit PWB - Montageanleitung scan 1 thumbnail


see also ESKA - Návod k obsluze a údržbě jízdního kola 1970?

see also ESKA - Návod k obsluze a údržbě jízdního kola 1970?

ESKA - Navod k obsluze a udrzbe jizdniho kola scan 1 thumbnail


see also Czech Patent # 152,002 1971

see also Czech Patent # 152,002 1971

Czech Patent 152,002 - Favorit Special thumbnail


see also Czech Patent # 155,936 1972

see also Czech Patent # 155,936 1972

Czech Patent 155,936 - Favorit thumbnail




see also Czech Patent # 204,105 1979

see also Czech Patent # 204,105 1979

Czech Patent 204,105 - Favorit thumbnail



see also Czech Registered Design # 13,282 1980

see also Czech Registered Design # 13,282 1980

Czech Registered Design 13,282 - Favorit thumbnail


see also Czech Patent # 219,086 1981

see also Czech Patent # 219,086 1981

Czech Patent 219,086 - Favorit scan 1 thumbnail



see also Czech Patent # 261,268 1987

see also Czech Patent # 261,268 1987

Czech Patent 261,268 - Favorit thumbnail



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