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OMG, we've started and I haven't...

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These were my five Romet Jubilats, only one of them is marked up as that, while the Zenit is the one of the far right. You cannot see much, except everything around the handlebars - including the three cables.
 
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A year or so ago I bought three folding bikes, all Romet Jubilats, all rescued from the scrapyard. Romet was the main bike factory here in Poland back during the communist era, and kind of survive today as a name owned by some bike company - but whether they still build bikes here in Poland I do not know or even care.

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Yay - three Jubilats!

Whatever, you can still see and find the old Romets here in the countryside, and buying these meant I had five Jubilats to play with. By far most produced were single speed, coaster brake models, but there was this rare 3 speed derailleur version - the Zenit.

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My Zenit

I changed the tires, handlebars and saddle, then rode it all last summer.

The Plan

I need to straighten the frame as it is slightly bent at the back, probably from the time it was scrapped. Next I want to chop the front fork tube on the frame so that I can fit a better front fork. The current fork is cheaply made, and I want to take this machine off road a bit. For the same reason I want to exchange the three speed hub for a six speed one.

Other stuff will happen, but I am not sure just what just yet.
 
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kingfish254

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Strange to see a 3 speed derailleuer setup. Cool start with your JubiRats!
 
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Strange to see a 3 speed derailleuer setup. Cool start with your JubiRats!
Yes, I was surprised too when I heard about them. What I discovered is that they are a 5 speed hub with no first or fifth speed gear fitted, and I suspect weaker springs on the limit adjusters so that they can be screwed in further.
 
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What we have here is the bare, freshly modified Zenit frame with a new BB, the latter of which I am less than happy with. Plus a box of the smaller bits that I removed and my trusty, emergency big hammer.

Anyways, it was made in Romet's small-bike factory in Kowalewo, some time in the later 1980s, early 1990s.

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The BB is the kind of thing you find on cheap bikes, plus a sleeve to get it to fit in the rather large diameter hub. I bought them from a usually reliable bike shop here, but I cannot say that I am much in love with the fit. Originally it had a hub with separate bearings, plus three-piece cranks and spindle off a larger bike, but the factory making such things closed down two years ago.

A work in progress.

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The Jubilat/Zenit has an old-style long tube to hold the fork in place, while the fork itself is a rather cheap object that has minimal welding to hold it together. One of my other Jubilats had a much better fork, but whoever rebuilt it applied brutish strength to the whole task such that there is a slit worn into the fork stem. The answer was to cut the tube short and fit the fork from another, more modern bike.

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See the length of the original Jubilat fork tube...

Other than that I straightened the frame at the rear. It was my first ever attempt, and I did manage to dink one of the upper stays. I cannot say I was amused, but neither was I saddened because it was a learning process.
 
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Ulu

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So this is a Soviet era folding bicycle, huh? The only Soviet machinery we ever see here is the Kalashnikov & they well appreciated, especially the ones from Poland.

I’ve seen such folding bikes around here, but they are all Chinese made. In fact I saw one for sale recently that looks so much like the Zenit, I now wonder if there was some cultural exchange going on.
 
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So this is a Soviet era folding bicycle, huh? The only Soviet machinery we ever see here is the Kalashnikov & they well appreciated, especially the ones from Poland.

I’ve seen such folding bikes around here, but they are all Chinese made. In fact I saw one for sale recently that looks so much like the Zenit, I now wonder if there was some cultural exchange going on.

Yep, certainly very late/post Soviet for this one, but I can't remember the build date on mine without looking. I also don't know if they sold the designs to a Chinese company or whether a Chinese company is just building classic 1970 designs, as the post-1989 era is a complex one for Romet... :bigsmile:

I do sometimes see Ukrainian bicycles around, the guy who owns the local village store has a fairly immaculate one, and I am currently stripping the rear wheel that I found off one in the attic of one of our barns.
 
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So today I got to work.

I laid out pretty much everything I plan to fit to this bike, as long as I don't switch to Plan B.

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Note that the 20" wheels here are off/for another project.

See, a table full of things, all well used, all pretty much needing some work. Maybe even a lot of work. Some may say even a ton of work. Some may even be right.

Some of the stuff has already been fitted in a past life. Some things are actually original fittings. Some should not be there at all (that front brake, duh).

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Here is a close up of the initial BB problem - this end screws in too far, and I am thinking of inserting a tube in there, between the bearings, so that the bearing this end is closer to the pedal. The bit I just cut off the front yoke may be just the right size, if I can shorten it accurately.

If I had not left it in Lublin.

Luckily the Zenit version of the classic Jubilat frame has a 3-speed rear hub instead of being single speed, so the chain alignment is less of an issue. Anyway, I have a 6-speed gearset in one of those bags.

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Well I could fit the classic front brake, but why would I want to when I have the parts to build other types that are less likely to lock the front end up in the muddy, wooded environment around here? A disk brake would be nice, but I am not going to make that kind of budget available, so it will be whatever I can find in the parts bin.

Plan B is to fit the cardboard tank and seat from the previous build-off, but I think that will be a better option for the next time around. Instead I will paint stuff, which usually is a satin black that eventually goes matt, but here I am thinking I need to make a choice that looks good on the frame. Maybe red, maybe not.
 
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Thinking about the painting issue even more - if I lose the Zenit badges then everyone will assume that it is a Jubilat. I might have to keep the Zenit badges in situ (yeah, right...) or find new Zenit badges (hah!) or make my own (hmm...).
 
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In the last week or so, progress has been outstanding.

On other things, progress on this project has been at a standstill.

This is good, as it is easy to rush in, build something within a month or so and then realise that there are still several months until the finish. I don't want to spend time putting things on my bike, then replacing many of them, but to build the bike once.

Today I started on the rear brake, which needs a service and a paint job. The colour will be satin black instead of slightly rusty chrome, so that I can touch it up at any time, and do the same to whatever brakes I put on the front. I took some pictures, but since I left the phone up the warsztat (workshop) and at the moment I am just waiting for my work day to finish, they can wait.

I have been back to Lublin, and now have the segment I chopped off the top of the fork tube, ready to see whether I can make a spacer for the BB out of it.
 
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20210619_10114660ce1e3175.jpg
20210619_11403760ce1ef92b.jpg


Here's a pic of euro bottom bracket with the threaded end removed from center sleeve. I have shifted the spacing of the sleeves to move the spindle from side to side to even out crank arms.

Insert an aluminum shim between the center sleeve and the outer threaded end.

Hope this makes sense.


Before, crank is very close to chainstay
20210619_11501160ce207e65.jpg

After shifting the spindle to non drive side, the crankbarms are even distance to chainstay
20210619_11322160ce1fac17.jpg
 
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Here's a pic of euro bottom bracket with the threaded end removed from center sleeve. I have shifted the spacing of the sleeves to move the spindle from side to side to even out crank arms.

Insert an aluminum shim between the center sleeve and the outer threaded end.

Hope this makes sense.


Before, crank is very close to chainstay
View attachment 195494
After shifting the spindle to non drive side, the crankbarms are even distance to chainstay

Eeek... I have not fitted the crank arms yet, so I don't know how close they will be to the chainstays! ;)

I like your idea, it is MUCH better than mine - which was to use part of the fork mount that I cut off as a spacer inside there. I can see that I need to visit my local agricultural tool and parts supplier to get some big washers, hopefully to fit without too much trimming.
 
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Since I have to start somewhere, and I have mown the huge amount of grass we have, finished trimming the dead wood of the fruit trees (for which I had to wait until they started leafing to figure what was dead or living) and a ton of other stuff, I have decided to begin with the rear brake.

What could be simpler, one may ask, it is just a rear brake. The Romet Jubilat frame is a folder designed in the late 1960s with a standard brake on the front wheel and a coaster brake on the rear. When they decided to produce the Zenit model of it, with derailleur gears, they needed to add a brake to the rear. It was a difficult time for Poland, it was the 1980s, the end of Communism, and even buying food meant queueing, so suddenly slipping a brake and gear change cables to the rear wheel was kind of brave but underfunded. It worked in the way things work, but now some 30 years later it is time to make it all work better.

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The first stage was to strip it all down, check for wear, botches and breakages. I know that I need to find a better spindle for the brake - it is too short to fit at the front and too long for the rear mount. If I cannot find one the right length, I will need to find something that is a better fit than the current aluminium spacer.

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All mostly prepped for painting. I would have liked to remove the rubber from the brake blocks to paint the frames, but it would be too difficult to bend the frame to get the rubber out, and then back in.

The little aluminium spacer to the left of the spring is the spacer block that I need to replace.

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Front and rear brake levers - I have already had to repair one of those lever springs, the adjuster bolt is seized in one and has been replaced crudely in the other - and if you look carefully the cable slot and the cable hole are much bigger for the lever on the right than the one on the left. The latter has meant that I had to temporarily fit a washer to the cable to keep it in place.

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As the levers are a bit beat up, I am going to sand them down a bit and paint them, but for that I need some paint designed for plastic to go on first as the undercoat.

That is as far as I have got, it is more like a restoration than anything else at the moment, but that will change.
 
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Since I live in a small village far from any decent bike supplies, repairing stuff is an important part of what I do for my own bikes and those used by other people who live here. The nearest town is some ten miles away, but what the bike shop offers there is limited, especially if you have to deal with older bikes. I tried to repair a puncture in an inner tube for someone, but it was within an inch or so of the valve and the tires were so thin and worn that the chances of it working was slim - especially when I saw how he inflated the tires with the valve at 45 degrees...

So while I was stripping the brake levers on my bike before repainting them I found that the return spring in one of them had lost one end - so I put it in the vice and used some careful bending to restore it. Of course the spring tension will be slightly higher, but that is better than having to buy a pair of levers to get a matching set.

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Here is something else that is a perennial problem - gnarly ended brake and gear-change cables. I generally only buy new cables for the rears, and then reuse the old rear cables for the fronts or the rears of smaller framed bikes, and then reuse the old front cables for the side-to-side cable on top of certain types of brakes. This cable, though, is at the end of the road.

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I still need to find a decent tool here to chop the outer cables - but I suspect that I might have to build a frame to hold them while I cut them with one of my two powered tools - the jig saw. Here is my main brake box, with the prepped inner cables stored in little bags.

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The box gradually fills up, then some things get used while I break some down for different uses. The brake on the top was formerly the front brake on this bike, but I still need to remover the brake blocks. It is still in quite good condition for a thirty year old bike, with very little rust, so I expect that the bike spent most of its time in someone's shed or basement. The caliper will fit any of my other Romet Jubilats or Wigrys, but I cannot see it being used elsewhere these days.

So progress is pleasantly slow, but at least I know that the sundry items will be good for many more years.
 
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Some more progress has been made -even though I seem to spend more time mowing our grass than doing anything on my bikes.

This is the kind of brake I am thinking of putting on the front, on a fork that was designed for an earlier type of brake that was still later than my side-pull cantilevers. Two steps forward in braking technology for the bike, but they need a repaint. I should have a black set around somewhere, because I don't remember using them on anything else.

Anyway, can you see the adjusters, one fully in and the other fully out? The cable was a wiry mess as well, such that I only kept the sheath.

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After I took the rear brake apart and cleaned it up, it was time for some undercoat. I usually use red if I am going to paint something black.

Anyways, now that they are no longer reflective it is easier to see where they need some filing to take away the rough edges. There is plenty of time for that as fitting the brakes is a long way ahead. Usually I don't go any further than painting them, but every project like this is an opportunity to go one step further.

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I also selected the gear change lever, and stripped that down for cleaning and painting. The lever is much like those I am using for the brakes - plastic, does the job, but a little beat up, so I added that to the pile of brake lever parts as jobs to be done.

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I have collected three rear derailleurs, and although all three are of different ages and makers, they all share some components that could be swopped around, particularly those chain wheels. I cannot remember what this came off, but the least it needs is a good clean up and those derailleur wheels replaced.

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Below you can see it semi-disassmbled, and I am beginning to wonder whether the adjusters have the range for the six-speed hub I plan to fit. I do still have the derailleur from the same bike the six speed hub came from - part of a cheap bike that had cheap front and rear 'suspension', weighed a ton and had finally smacked into something that had bent the front 'suspension' forks. As the bike was so rough and had no name I refer to it as 'pigdog', and leave the frame and forks lying against the wall of my garage in Lublin.

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I did not actually purchase pigdog - I took it in part exchange for a Romet Jubilat folder that I had restored and mildly tweaked. I thought it was a bargain, as pigdog had parts that I could use and the person I did the exchange with was one of wifie's closest friends, work colleague and, in the distant past, school friend. She has blocked veins and desperately needs more exercise, so the Jubilat was a great exchange for her son's former 'bicycle'. The wheels and six-speed hub were given as direct swop for one of my neighbours who needed to get his bike back on the road, and then eventually I managed to make a tool adequate to removing the unbelievably tight hub after I broke my cheap vice in Lublin trying to do so. The aluminium rims are now on last year's project, while the hub and gears will be on this year's.

So, since these chain wheels are well'n'truly toast, and the adjuster might not give me the full range, I might need to fix pigdog's...
 
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Some more progress has been made -even though I seem to spend more time mowing our grass than doing anything on my bikes.

This is the kind of brake I am thinking of putting on the front, on a fork that was designed for an earlier type of brake that was still later than my side-pull cantilevers. Two steps forward in braking technology for the bike, but they need a repaint. I should have a black set around somewhere, because I don't remember using them on anything else.

Anyway, can you see the adjusters, one fully in and the other fully out? The cable was a wiry mess as well, such that I only kept the sheath.

aKyelzzdSMfdDBhpqtfxqJEuvmxgzdwjKvDa08hBlhXnHEOEBdu-EN6be_VesrD21WIGBVB7umULiuVPBIwNFJqddI9V-oa_IkwnaUAbRtwiljrGLVr_n7GtJ37DsHK7zRFwHAkgZxPy1sCOn1R1ESmPbd8KrdJK-zG_66LP48uNHmvvIVTiUk2DiQ0luOq5Jh-yV8g-uKmXCp5e9ouXLiwWqr_oNbHFoQgDfOHuzrYXErjSfi2R6qEu3S4YNcLGowrKilPiA1jhOOlFYm42ki6d4hTltzSIUzBkJHLspFsXnyJWmOs2DrBgQmG-a9cgHSKJ4jEpUNfOGGLtmVAxEAS4DSCVwGltV3dhp6at4B0o_WFzic0hfwmKRzXBhySsNzWBbQidEdOIyWAOvZpB4AO-NtmYRztYE0yRVN6x-UmuXrGqWU-ciA1yb1ieGv4tcIERe2EfCI0p_TMGUOWssZqQrck7g4s561WYX9vcvECfMCEFFN5IfJs0Vg3RLxsgQ_iUfFSKGaTBSjkM9lSTQkGMDn-8eSWC0CFbQLJNJVaRAkxIzcdNEzqw_X8Qim-RVIvM9v53OOhy9Xp0zUaomb0d2JDl-lKotevhKcLko7Gbs_tulXxtYy4Em_C9JCYt0xq-JvjeCWeOtJ4zWd-F8RFMTTgqpvQZ97ZFdqeFLhVL8X1lFAsGyK3qoiAs0Ma7UyjSDrQ8uKp9abQ1vSWsYlEXYMhd7tGbMQmvWZCa_nhb5BzdggBjmEn5RSOB=w999-h955-no


After I took the rear brake apart and cleaned it up, it was time for some undercoat. I usually use red if I am going to paint something black.

Anyways, now that they are no longer reflective it is easier to see where they need some filing to take away the rough edges. There is plenty of time for that as fitting the brakes is a long way ahead. Usually I don't go any further than painting them, but every project like this is an opportunity to go one step further.

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I also selected the gear change lever, and stripped that down for cleaning and painting. The lever is much like those I am using for the brakes - plastic, does the job, but a little beat up, so I added that to the pile of brake lever parts as jobs to be done.

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I have collected three rear derailleurs, and although all three are of different ages and makers, they all share some components that could be swopped around, particularly those chain wheels. I cannot remember what this came off, but the least it needs is a good clean up and those derailleur wheels replaced.

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Below you can see it semi-disassmbled, and I am beginning to wonder whether the adjusters have the range for the six-speed hub I plan to fit. I do still have the derailleur from the same bike the six speed hub came from - part of a cheap bike that had cheap front and rear 'suspension', weighed a ton and had finally smacked into something that had bent the front 'suspension' forks. As the bike was so rough and had no name I refer to it as 'pigdog', and leave the frame and forks lying against the wall of my garage in Lublin.

I did not actually purchase pigdog - I took it in part exchange for a Romet Jubilat folder that I had restored and mildly tweaked. I thought it was a bargain, as pigdog had parts that I could use and the person I did the exchange with was one of wifie's closest friends, work colleague and, in the distant past, school friend. She has blocked veins and desperately needs more exercise, so the Jubilat was a great exchange for her son's former 'bicycle'. The wheels and six-speed hub were given as direct swop for one of my neighbours who needed to get his bike back on the road, and then eventually I managed to make a tool adequate to removing the unbelievably tight hub after I broke my cheap vice in Lublin trying to do so. The aluminium rims are now on last year's project, while the hub and gears will be on this year's.

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So, since these chain wheels are well'n'truly toast, and the adjuster might not give me the full range, I might need to fix pigdog's...
Something didn't work with the pics.
 

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