[CR]re: my first Favorit? / something more than proletarian--Chevy Impala?

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From: <"tom.ward@juno.com">
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2005 03:26:31 GMT
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]re: my first Favorit? / something more than proletarian--Chevy Impala?

Don, and other interested readers:

I suppose it's pronounced "fah-vo-reet", which makes it sound like something that Slim Gaillard ("o-rooney", "oh-voutie") would ride--reet, petite, and gone. Or would that "V" sound like "W"...anyway:

Regarding the Favorit: yes, it is, in a way, a "mere" bike boom machine, if one is looking at it all from a hierarchical point-of-view (and we so often do)--but several rungs above the bottom, and possibly more. The Favorits I have seen are solid rides with a lot of interesting, charming facets in the details. If you love that postwar jet-age aesthetic (basically fifties / early sixties, but extending yes into the seventies)--and I hope we all respect it at least, as it's where we come from--there is plenty to like in a Favorit. The one I owned is still with a friend of mine, is mustard gold metallic, and beats a UO-8 by virtue of alloy rims as stock equipment. Has nice 'Favorit' sidepulls. I like the script logo, and as it's a vertically organized concern the name is all over the place. They seem to have made virtually everything in-house. The shift levers were very groovy, and everything worked quite well on the bike--though I must note the rear derailleur was an apparent change out (to Huret Alvit). I think the bike weighs in the mid-twenties, including an Esge rear rack. I always wanted to balance it out with one on the front, and I put fenders on it, but it was sporting enough that it looked right stripped down, too. The frame logos contain a lot of red (against silver foil), so I lined the lugs in red before passing it on to a grad student friend in his thirties who is not a bikenut, but appreciative of the old stuff. It's a nice sedan of a bicycle, and not without glamour; okay, it's a "business coupe". Not everything has to be 531 and a thoroughbred, right? For me it's like the appeal of an unusual manual typewriter (another old tool you *could* still use on occasion) from behind the Iron Curtain, or something from the old automotive sphere that's sedate yet sporting, like (for our British friends) a Ford Cortina or Rover V-8: deluxe enough yet everyman to a degree at the same time--with the extra twist here that it's from old Central Europe, a place with plenty of mystery and mystique over the centuries, but a curious forced "fellow-traveling" with / into modernity.... I wouldn't doubt but that the Favorit was pretty desirable in its country of origin, at the time; possibly one of those items you had to get on a waiting list for--and possibly these were competitive in Warsaw Pact / Balkan racing. Anyone have knowledge of that, or more perceptions to add? I've done my best, but someone else must know more, if only the past and present shop owners.

Tom "just wordy enough" Ward New York City, where I suspect there was a Favorit dealer as I've seen a few on the street

P.S. Someone was selling Favorit frame-fit pumps on eBay within recent memory. It seems they (Fav.) were like Schwinn or Raleigh, offering a complete range down to accessories.

>Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2005 18:00:01 -0700 (PDT) From: Don Wilson <dcwilson3@yahoo.com> To: Classic Rendezvous <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org> Subject: [CR]My first Favorit?

A thrift store has a old ten speed Favorit with drops and a full Favorit grupo (really, I'm not kidding). It says made in Czechoslovakia. Anyone ever hear of a Favorit?

It might also be known by the name Rapido Favorit. The head badge says Rapido (Skoda-Jawa Co., Montreal). The rest of the bike is, however, emphatically stickered with Favorit. No sign of 531 tubing, but the lugs are kind of fancy in a Peugeot Uo-8 kind of way.

The entire bike looks licensed from some French company. The Favorit center pulls look like Mafacs Racers. The Favorit brake levers look like Mafac levers. The Favorit front derailleur looks like a Simplex. The Favorit rear derailleur looks like a metal Simplex. The Favorit chainwheel with cottered cranks looks like a million other French bike boom bikes.

Alas, the pedals are gone, so I can't date it by reflectors. And the purple metal flake paint looks a little too new for early seventies. Maybe the commies were behind the curve in Czechoslovakia and still producing 60-70s bikes in the late 70s.

Again, anyone know anything about these critters. I want to say no to this bicycle in the worst way, but...my greatgrandpa was from Prague and I've always felt I ought to have a Czech bike. Someone tell me this is another piece of crap bike boom bike of no significance whatsoever and that I should skip it.

Don Wilson Los Olivos, CA

D.C. Wilson 805.688.8696 dcwilson3@yahoo.com