Czech Republic

Czech Patent 116,453 - Favorit PWB main image Czech Patent 204,105 - Favorit main image Czech Patent 219,086 - Favorit main image
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I have a distant memory of some of the better local amateur cyclists going to Eastern Europe (usually Czechoslovakia) in the late 1970’s and/or early 1980’s to compete in cycle races. The Eastern Bloc racing scene was ‘amateur’ and so friendlier to the British way of thinking than the aggressively commercial racing circus in Western Europe. Four guys, with no foreign language skills and very little money, would pile into a battered blue Hillman Hunter with one orange door, lash their bikes on top and optimistically disappear over the horizon into an unknown world.

When they miraculously returned every available space in the car would be filled to the brim with Barum tubular tyres - all supposedly bought for the lowly price of a single pair of worn Levis and a fistful of Biro pens. At the very bottom of the boot, underneath a mountain of Barum’s, would be a Wolf Biermann LP and a couple of alien derailleurs - free gifts that had been thrown in by the happy seller. The Barums would be easily (and profitably) sold around the local cycling clubs, the LP would be played once and then forgotten - and the derailleurs? Well, they would be treated as a bad joke. I, on the other hand, thought they looked rather interesting, and dreamed that they were a glimpse of a utopian new world of bicycle components hidden from us forever. I suspect they were Favorits.

I also suspect that the story of Czech derailleurs is the story of Favorit.

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