XB3 Спорт Soviet track bike

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  • Long time lurker here and only posted a few times but I thought I'd stick some pics up of my daily.

    It's an XB3 Спорт from about 1984-1987 from what I can work out. Made in the Kharkov bicycle factory in Ukraine, which was USSR back then. I think these were Soviet training bikes, a bit like the training bikes they keep at Herne Hill. It's no special steel, not particularly light or heavy but it is sturdy and tough. Clearances are quite tight. Looks like this most of the time except with a brake and a Crosstop.

    I bought the frame in early 2013 and built it up as I worked out what I could and couldn't use, because some of the Russian sizes aren't the same as conventional bike parts. It had a headset and bottom bracket with it which was a relief because these are the bits that are funny sizes. Fork was undrilled when I got it, but I like riding with a brake, so...

    The Russian bottom bracket had Italian square tapers and my track chainset is Shimano taper. The BB shell is English threaded but it's got a right-handed thread on both sides. What I did was took apart two cartridge bottom brackets and pressed it back together onto the axle using just the bearings and centre spacer, then used the two right-hand threaded cups which just slide over the bearings and used a lock ring on one side once I'd centred it. It works well. Neco bottom brackets make this an easy job.

    I also did the headset recently which was a proper ballache. Each time it felt a bit brinelled I'd been popping the cups out and turning them round a bit but it got to the point where it was too rough and I had to do something about it. So here's the score: the steerer has a 26 x 1mm thread instead of the usual 25.4. The headset cups are 30.4mm and the crown race is 27mm. So it's close to a JIS headset. I figured I could use a JIS headset of the same stack height, re-thread the top race and re-use the existing lock nut. The only one I could find in a similar stack height was a Stronglight, so I swapped out the 26.4mm crown race for a 27 and re-threaded the top race which was easy because it's alloy. I centre punched the cups to make them a press fit in the head tube but if I did it again I'd probably shim it with 0.1mm shim.

    Edit: see below - the centre punching wasn't a good fix for the headset and I shimmed it instead.

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  • Cool. What are your plans for the build? Components, re-spray etc..

  • Well it's all pretty budget reliable stuff. Got two sets of wheels I've built, one set are 32h Velo Orange rims on Acor hubs and the others are some late 80s bullet-section 36h Rigida rims on Ambrosio hubs. Andele chainset, Cinelli 1A with Dawes bars and a Unicanitor.

    Two winters haven't done it many favours and it's looking a bit tatty now. I had considered getting it blasted and powdercoated, but I'd want a good match to the gold and I'd need to get some decals made. I found some artwork for them on a Russian forum but the fact is it'll never quite look the same because the originals are painted on.

    It rides great. Out of all the bikes I've had, this is by far my favourite! The mega short wheelbase is hilarious to ride!

  • Yeh it looks like it probably rides.. Very functional - Twitchy but solid. Id like to see full suntour pista.. Subbed.

  • ^Lovely. Those or DA!

    Ok, well the centre punching dodge on the headset cups hasn't worked for long and I can feel them shifting around on braking. Not good and there's an audible clunk from time to time. They'll have to come back out and I'll use some 0.1mm shim. I'm sort of tempted to bin the headset in favour of loose balls, tbh. If there's any misalignment it'll just be taken out by the ball bearings rather than compounded by the multiple cups, tapers and cartridge bearings.

  • Need carbon rims on DA hubs. Suzue is so mainstream.

  • Since I've got to pop the headset cups out again and since it's due some BB bearings and since I'm going to passing Mario Vaz's place weekend after next, I might drop this in for a respray while it's in bits. I'm sort of tempted to drop my other frames in as well while I'm over there.

  • This thread has more useful info in it than anything I could find on the Internet when putting together my Xb3 frame!

    My local bike shop ended up forcing a British threaded bb in, and now the drive side is completely seized in and runs 1mm out. : (

    Will be good to see how this turns out!

  • Urgh, that doesn't sound good. Are you sure they didn't use one of those threadless bb's in there? That's what I tried at first but it was only hanging on with about 3 threads - probably ok with a geared bike but it couldn't take being stood on with fixed gear. If you can get the thread chased if it's not too damaged I can recommend what I've done. It's been in there for two years now and it's great.

    I keep meaning to pull some more pics off my hard disk at home.

  • It just takes bit of patience, brute force and lots of lubrication and you can thread iso standart bb without doing any thread chasing. Just go slowly 2 staps forward, 1 step back style. Common practise with lower end frames and have done it to several myself. :)

    Sport is quite nice frame. Training bikes were Rekord and Meteor.
    Forget about painting it!

  • Double post. Sorry

  • Maybe I misunderstood what Perd meant then. I read it as they'd forced in the left-threaded cup, since it's got a right-handed thread all the way through this bottom bracket, and now it's stuck in there. But I'm not sure how they'd actually manage that without a LOT of grief!

  • I believe a big wrench and mallet was used.

  • Gently file the excess down? I bought a file from home base, used it for five minutes and then returned it

  • I had a go at the headset after work this evening. These are the two cups, you can see where I centre punched them to raise the surface up but it wasn't tight enough and worked itself loose again.

    I dressed the punch marks back down with a file and cut some strips of 0.1mm shim. These cups are 30.2mm and I'd measured the head tube at 30.4mm. Conveniently the shim we had at work was already 10mm wide and I gave it a curl to help it stay in place.

    Home made headset press out of a bit of M8 studding and some offcuts of construction kit stuff.

    Sometimes I'll tap a headset in, but with the shim in there as well it needed to be dead square to hold it all together. I used plenty of grease as well. Amazingly, it went straight in and didn't crease the shim up.

    I don't get to try it out properly until later in the week, but I can't see why this won't work. With the centre punching, the top cup had worked so loose that I could pull it out by hand. Now it's a good press fit and there's nowhere for it to go, so hopefully it won't shift.

    So there we go. Stronglight A9 because it's the right stack height, swap the crown race for a 27.0mm one, re-tap the top race to 26x1mm and re-use the existing lock nut, 0.1mm shim round the cups when you press them in.

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  • Nice homemade Press. I need one of these in my box. Good job.

  • I did exactly the same with a shimmed headset the other week, but realised I could just press it in using my vice (fibre jaw covers of course).

  • That must be a geet big vice! I don't think we've got one here that opens enough to do a headset.

  • 120mm headtube and a mechanics vice.

  • strong work B-)

  • I added some salve. I blame this forum. Additional rat is unintentional though - winter taking its toll.

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  • That looks fun to ride! Love the frame and the rattyness of it. What's up with the brake lever though?

  • It's right on the bend on the risers and it sticks out! That said, it's MUCH easier to stop with my feet now. See how I cope on the roads with the y0 West Side Massive brakeless but I might just try to make an angled shim to bring it in a bit.

  • It's good fun to ride with these risers but I don't think they're for me. In the pics they're pointing up slightly which looks cool but it was killing my wrists. I've turned them down now so they sweep back a bit but they're still uncomfortable and it's made it all too short for me. I think I need some with no bend in them and a 120mm stem, but in the meantime I'm going back to my drops.

  • Some new shoes on my 32h wheels. NOS Gommitalia 700x20c. Way narrower than the Michelin Classics, closer to about 19mm! Might be able to lose a link and bring the back wheel in a bit, but I'll do that when I replace the chain which is way overdue.

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XB3 Спорт Soviet track bike

Posted by Avatar for Jonny69 @Jonny69