Diamant GDR Done

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I have an old East German Diamant track Frame. Diamant is now owned by Trek, Trek ownership made possible by the fall of the Communist Block. The story I got was that this frame was stripped in order to make a complete bike for the Bulgarian Bicycle Museum. Both the one in the museum and the frame I have were supposedly originally owned by Dimo Angelov (Bulgarian 1000 meter sprint specialist in the 50s and early 60s) and the frame was put up for auction on eBay by the Bulgarian Bicycle Museum (if such a thing exists). They even showed a picture of the restored bike supposedly in the museum. It's reputed to have a glorious history with many East Block records and wins. Makes a nice story but I have no documentation and I'm sure it is BS. Anyway, it was cheap as the BB was ferociously stuck. I got it for way less than a vintage track fork. It took many weeks of soaking, heat, pounding, daily ultrasonic vibration and it was still stuck. A bench vice and using the frame for leverage got me nowhere, it kept popping out of the heavy duty bench vice. The whole work bench would move, twist and heave. I was afraid of rounding it so I took it to the LBS and they took turns for a week letting different young, strong mechanics try it with the correct tool. It finally came loose. I was ready to weld square tubing on the BB and use that as a wrench. The fork paint is drying in my shop and will be brought inside tomorrow to put by the heater. It won't dry fast enough at 40F at night. I'm pretty sure I have everything I need to assemble it. I want different track wheels but I have a good set to use until I get what I want. I'm thinking of using everything track except I don't want a fixed gear bike. I'm thinking about using a BMX single speed freewheel. For brakes I have a 1920s set of German bolt on center pull units as the frame has no holes for mounting brakes and I don't want to drill any. That's about it for the concept. As soon as the fork is dry I'll start assembling it. I hope it goes fast and easy. The headset will take some head scratching as the original cups were rusty and new ones didn't fit right. Commie junk specs. The stuck BB was more of a headache than many bike builds already so one can hope for Karma. Diamant is a common brand, all different countries, German, French, Dutch and Belgian and maybe others. All different brands and not related to each other. Kinda weird. When I bought it I didn't realize how expensive vintage track frames are and just bought it because it looked cool and was cheap. It's a little big for me by road size measurements , especially since you usually use a smaller track frame than comparable road frame. I hope it's not too huge for me. Dimo below.
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Anyone ever run into a threaded headset that wasn't one inch or one and one eighth inch? This commie bike has an over sized fork tube and the headset cup openings in the head tube are slightly over sized from one inch. The original headset was messed up so I threaded the fork tube to one inch and will shim the cups in the head tube. If this doesn't work I'll have to weld on a new fork tube. Vintage track forks are very expensive so I don't want a replacement. I could use one of my vintage road bike forks. Anyway, I'm trying to save the original fork and make it fit the rest of the world standards. I messed up my fork paint with the padded breaker bar when I threaded the fork tube. I'll have to wait until the shims are installed to see if it binds when steering.
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Oct 28, 2018
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I have an old East German Diamont track Frame. Diamont is now owned by Trek, Trek ownership made possible by the fall of the Communist Block. The story I got was that this frame was stripped in order to make a complete bike for the Bulgarian Bicycle Museum. Both the one in the museum and the frame I have were supposedly originally owned by Dimo Angelov (Bulgarian 1000 meter sprint specialist in the 50s and early 60s) and the frame was put up for auction on eBay by the Bulgarian Bicycle Museum (if such a thing exists). They even showed a picture of the restored bike supposedly in the museum. It's reputed to have a glorious history with many East Block records and wins. Makes a nice story but I have no documentation and I'm sure it is BS. Anyway, it was cheap as the BB was ferociously stuck. I got it for way less than a vintage track fork. It took many weeks of soaking, heat, pounding, daily ultrasonic vibration and it was still stuck. A bench vice and using the frame for leverage got me nowhere, it kept popping out of the heavy duty bench vice. The whole work bench would move, twist and heave. I was afraid of rounding it so I took it to the LBS and they took turns for a week letting different young, strong mechanics try it with the correct tool. It finally came loose. I was ready to weld square tubing on the BB and use that as a wrench. The fork paint is drying in my shop and will be brought inside tomorrow to put by the heater. It won't dry fast enough at 40F at night. I'm pretty sure I have everything I need to assemble it. I want different track wheels but I have a good set to use until I get what I want. I'm thinking of using everything track except I don't want a fixed gear bike. I'm thinking about using a BMX single speed freewheel. For brakes I have a 1920s set of German bolt on center pull units as the frame has no holes for mounting brakes and I don't want to drill any. That's about it for the concept. As soon as the fork is dry I'll start assembling it. I hope it goes fast and easy. The headset will take some head scratching as the original cups were rusty and new ones didn't fit right. Commie junk specs. The stuck BB was more of a headache than many bike builds already so one can hope for Karma. Diamont is a common brand, all different countries, German, French, Dutch and Belgian and maybe others. All different brands and not related to each other. Kinda weird. When I bought it I didn't realize how expensive vintage track frames are and just bought it because it looked cool and was cheap. It's a little big for me by road size measurements , especially since you usually use a smaller track frame than comparable road frame. I hope it's not too huge for me. Dimo below.
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Was it this bike?
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More problems. It has a Russian spindle. Again no western equivalent for total length or offset. It has the British standard threads and spacing as it is marked B 68 (I'm hoping that is right). The nearest I can come is to get a 120 mm and reverse it. I can't find a symmetrical BB that will do any better. The left will be further out than standard and the right will be a little long when reversed. I'll have to see if the chain line is OK as it's obviously a single speed. Double nuts! Crazy commie bike. Probably why it was so cheap, eh? Live and learn. My advice is don't buy an old commie bike unless it's all there, in good shape and you really can't live without it. Anyone ever done this reversal on a cottered crank?
 
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People specialize in French bikes to be "different" than others because of the proprietary components. People are impressed by this. My idea is people would be double impressed if someone did commie bikes as their specialty. Triple impressed if the person lived in the U.S.. I might be on to some unique hipster thing here!:39: I don't know.
 
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Mercier?[/QUOTE

It's not French. The tubing, seat post, and stem are too big. The BB is not righty tighty on both sides like French and Italian BB. I have 2 French road bikes and have owned others. I'm not a fan of French, Raleigh, or Schwinn as they are deviant. Now at the top of deviant bikes is the commie ones. You can buy parts for the others but no luck sourcing commie small bits. The occasional Diamont fork and crank comes up but the other stuff I don't see.
 
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My advice is don't buy an old commie bike unless it's all there, in good shape and you really can't live without it.
I've been messing around with old Soviet, GDR, and Polish parts whole my life. It's not THAT bad, you just have to do a lot of improvising.

Like me, with turning this piece of junk:


Into this:


The only things left are the frameset, parts of headset & stem. You just need to approach them like they truly are - sturdy & heavy pieces of slav technology.

The problem with your headset might have been caused by a change in the size of the headtube from imperial standart to metric.

Also about the BB axles - i did a lot of experiments with putting the axles in the wrong direction, and, yeah it works. Remeber, the most important part is the chain line - everything else is just cosmetics :giggle:
 
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I've been messing around with old Soviet, GDR, and Polish parts whole my life. It's not THAT bad, you just have to do a lot of improvising.

Like me, with turning this piece of junk:


Into this:


The only things left are the frameset, parts of headset & stem. You just need to approach them like they truly are - sturdy & heavy pieces of slav technology.

The problem with your headset might have been caused by a change in the size of the headtube from imperial standart to metric.

Also about the BB axles - i did a lot of experiments with putting the axles in the wrong direction, and, yeah it works. Remeber, the most important part is the chain line - everything else is just cosmetics :giggle:

JUST COSMETICS!
pic-1-lada-the-nokia-of-cars-231551.jpg
 
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I've been messing around with old Soviet, GDR, and Polish parts whole my life. It's not THAT bad, you just have to do a lot of improvising.

Like me, with turning this piece of junk:


Into this:


The only things left are the frameset, parts of headset & stem. You just need to approach them like they truly are - sturdy & heavy pieces of slav technology.

The problem with your headset might have been caused by a change in the size of the headtube from imperial standart to metric.

Also about the BB axles - i did a lot of experiments with putting the axles in the wrong direction, and, yeah it works. Remeber, the most important part is the chain line - everything else is just cosmetics :giggle:
The Wagant gravel grinder is one of the most interesting builds.
 
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I've been messing around with old Soviet, GDR, and Polish parts whole my life. It's not THAT bad, you just have to do a lot of improvising.

Like me, with turning this piece of junk:


Into this:


The only things left are the frameset, parts of headset & stem. You just need to approach them like they truly are - sturdy & heavy pieces of slav technology.

The problem with your headset might have been caused by a change in the size of the headtube from imperial standart to metric.

Also about the BB axles - i did a lot of experiments with putting the axles in the wrong direction, and, yeah it works. Remeber, the most important part is the chain line - everything else is just cosmetics :giggle:
Yeah, it's metric. Seems ok with the rethreading and shims. Good to know my reverse axle idea is not completely wacky
I'm thinking I'll have to buy several spindles to find one that works.
 
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Like me, with turning this piece of junk:


Into this:


The only things left are the frameset, parts of headset & stem. You just need to approach them like they truly are - sturdy & heavy pieces of slav technology.

The problem with your headset might have been caused by a change in the size of the headtube from imperial standart to metric.

Also about the BB axles - i did a lot of experiments with putting the axles in the wrong direction, and, yeah it works. Remeber, the most important part is the chain line - everything else is just cosmetics :giggle:[/QUOTE]
That turned out real nice, what rim size? What tire some did you get on it?
 
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Well, we got 4 months almost to the day between days that were above 31 F. Today is the anniversary of last years first snow storm. It's cold out, upper 30 and low 40s F. This is going to have an effect on my fork repainting. I did hone out the fork tube and seat post tube and file the opening in the stem clamp to make it wider. The diameter of the original Elsinor track stem had a bigger clamp area for the handle bars so it needed have the space enlarged so it could clamp tighter. I still needed to wrap two layers of soft aluminum from an old dryer vent around the bar clamp area. I hope to have better wheels before winter.
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