Kharkov - instructions
for B541, B553 & track bike

Kharkov - instructions for B541 B553 & track bike - front cover main image

What does this instruction book tell us about Kharkov derailleurs?

  • The picture on page 15 is clearly of a Kharkov copy of a Campagnolo Gran Sport - a derailleur that I have called Kharkov (1st style).
  • Page 26 shows the part numbers for rear derailleurs (I am guessing that ‘rear derailleur’ translates as ‘переключатель передач задний’). It lists different part numbers for the B541 model and the B553 model - implying that there might be two different models. The B541 has a 4-speed freewheel whereas the B553 has a 5-speed freewheel - so they may have different derailleurs - although both run 3/32” chain.
  • Finally there is the picture on the rear cover - which appears to show a derailleur where the tension pulley sits above the guide pulley - somewhat in the style of a Simplex Tour de France. I initially dismissed this as simply being an unclear drawing - but I have since been sent some rather indistinct photos of a Kharkov bike which appears to have exactly this kind of set up.

And what’s with the weird-looking identical twins cycle touring on the front cover?

Browse associated derailleurs.

Kharkov derailleur (1st style) thumbnail