Kharkov - instructions for B33

Kharkov - instructions for B33 - front cover main image

This instruction book sports one of the classic Kharkov front covers. On one side is a picture of a basic bike in a rural Ukrainian idyll. The other side features a more cosmopolitan model in front of the Derzhprom (Palace of Industry) Building in the city of Kharkiv. The Derzhprom Building was, arguably, the supreme expression of Constructivist architecture and was stunningly modern when it was built in 1926. Strangely both pictures appear to feature aeroplanes in the sky - whether this is a residual memory of German bombers or a look forward to a Utopian time when air travel is commonplace is not clear. Or perhaps they are not aeroplanes at all, but are massive Stakhanovite Soviet seagulls more than capable of traversing the many hundreds of miles from the Black Sea to Kharkov.

So much for the cover, what does this instruction book tell us about Kharkov derailleurs? Page 12 describes a pull-chain derailleur that appears to have two pivots only one of which is sprung (like a Cyclo Benelux). However the pulley cage shape is rather reminiscent of the Simplex 543. I have never been fortunate enough to have seen a physical manifestation of this derailleur - but hope springs eternal!