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Truppenfahrrad X2 Restoration


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 Here's the story, and the work I had with the restoration of two german military bicycles.

In October of 2017,  I got a tip from a friend of mine, who had seen two old rusty bicycles while he was out hiking in the nearby area. The bicycles was located in a old outhouse wich was about to collapse due to old age and lack of maintainance. My friend is a collector of  bajonets, daggers, swords and such - and he gave me a tip, as he suspected that the bicycles could be German bicycles from the war - due to the emblem on one of the bicycles. It said WKC Patria. He pinpointed the spot to me on a map, where he had seen these bicycles.
The red ring, shows where he had seen them. The white line is a road. and the blue line is a trekking path, where nothing on wheels can go or access.

For any bicycles to get there is the only possibility to ride them across the lake in wintertime, when the lake is frozen. Other than that, they will have to be transported by boat, or carried trough some tricky terrain along the hiking trek.

 

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I instantly knew where this place was, as this is in the area where I grew up. It is an old farm, where nobody has been living since 1979. And I know the family who owns this farm. It is currently owned by an uncle of a childhood friend of mine.
So I gave my friend a call and told him about this, and he gave me the phonenumber to his uncle.
I then called the uncle, and told him about how a friend of mine had spottet the two rusted bikes in the outhouse, and that I would be very interested in having a closer look at them, and maybe buy them from him if this was the right stuff.
Long story short. My friends uncle invited me to the farm the following weekend, to have a look around and coffee and cakes.
He told me that the outhouse where the bicycles was located, was scheduled to be torn down, as it was in so poor condition that it could be a hazard to anyone daring to go inside. The roof had partially collapsed, windows was broken and the dorr had fallen off its hinges. He told me that he had started to empty the outhouse for trash already, but the two bicycles was still in there. And if I wanted them, I could have them free of charge, if I only removed them from the property. Hermod (the uncles name) is 64 years old. And he told me that the bicycles has been standing there more or less forever  - he could remember them standing there, when he was a child in the 1950's.
So after a long talk about the farms history and several cups of coffee, we ventured down to the beforementioned outhouse to have a look.

And this is what I found:

 

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I instantly recogniced the characteristic german military luggage-carrier on one of the bicycles, and knew what I had struck. Althou a bit rusty,  this was gold

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Desert Rat

What a great account Bjorn...

and so wonderful to find, ok it needs work but to actually find something so very special, and rare .....I congratulate you as a very lucky man...!!!

We hope on MCN that you will show us the  - Before - and After Images - when it has been completely restored by you!

Great Images, Superb Item and Many Thanks for Showing Us!

Best wishes....Desert Rat/ Ian

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Thanks guys.
Well, first I had to get them home. Quite a job actually - the lake was not yet frozen, so I had to carry them about one kilometer from the old farm, to the road where I had parked my car.
I got them home, brought them inside and took some pictures of them and studied them closer. The bicycles was far from complete, but I soon discovered that they were both of german military issue.

Here is the Patria WKCIMG_8236.thumb.jpg.8a4ff60a95684bf9d94e745b17d48702.jpg

 

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Original Pallas gepäckträger, military issue luggage carrier:

 

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The frame of the bicycle had the WKC symbol embossed, and the year of production. ( ONLY military Truppenfahrräder has got the year of production stamped into the frame. ( The serialnumber of the frame is on the opposite side)

 

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And notice that the original wehrmacht tool bag is sstill clinging on to the frame. These toolbags has got a special construction and shape, and are not found on any civillian bicycles.

 

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Desert Rat

Lovely item, but have you got the complete bike ie - handlebars, saddle etc that will complete it? Maybe you can if possible find these somewhere, I don't know....But I would like it hung in my office on the wall as it is....Superb.

Great images and a great find.

Best to you ..... Desert Rat/ Ian

I said you was an ol biker - including push bikes......now you proved you are. Time to buy a Harley, you would look the "Man" on it....!!!

Edited by Desert Rat
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All in good time, fellows 🙂
I did ask and look around and there are more stuff laying around at the farm. The guy who owns it is a very nice guy, and we are keeping good and friendly contact.
There is a good chance that I can get some more treasures from there in time. I'm not stressing about, as I have other projects (and family) going.

 

Anyway, the second Bicycle, I had to spend some time searching about, until I found the decicive answer to what type it was, as it was missing it's original emblem.
But the large A in the lantern bracket solcved the mysterie after some time.
It is an Achilles bicycle, made in Ober Politz, Czechoslovakia (annected by Germany in 1938)

 

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This bicycle had the Wehrmacht type detatchable handlebars, front brake and the original saddle still present.

 

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And it had even more.
After searching and reading just about everywhere about the Truppenfahrrad, I learned that there was no truppenfahrrads wich were delivered trough waffenamt offices, and so there was no original Truppenfahrrad that should have any waffenamt markings.

Well this one does.

It has the serial number in one side of the frame undernieth the seat, but on the other side, there is a "40" denoting 1940, and a waffenamt mark.

 

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Desert Rat

Thanks Bjorn,

This is another great item, to be honest I thought there would be many more German bikes around in Europe as they had thousands made and used, but you are a fortunate man to find these. If you happen to find any SOE items please let me know. As for the bike I would buy it now as said perfect hanging on my office wall...What a treasure!

Best to you & Thanks for the great images....Desert Rat/ Ian

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So there was parts missing from both the bicycles. And I wanted to rebuild both of them.
I scavanged the internet for parts. Sent emails to vintage bicycle collectors in Norway, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Russia.

Original handlebars, wehrmacht model Expresswerke I found and bought from a fellow in England.

 

 

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Original Wehrmacht model Nirona bicycle lamps was found in Germany.
Wehrmacht specifications said that the bicycle lamps should be powered by dynamo AND batteries, as they should be able to take them off the bicycles and use them as handheld lanterns.

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I bought a reprint of the original H.Dv.293 booklet - Das Truppenfahrrad. This booklet is full of information about specifications and importaint information.
A lot has been written in books, forums and communities about the Truppenfahrrad, but along the way of collecting parts for these bicycles, I found that there is a lot of mis-information also. I soon realized, when it comes to finding the right path of how to restore these two properly, I will have to rely on only original sources and photograps.

 

 

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I found a pair of original Wehrmacht reinforced rims for beaded edged tires, new black spokes, both original wehrmacht specification wheelhubs in Germany for the Achilles.
So I have actually learnt how to re-spoke bicyclewheels in the process.

 

 

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And from the battlefields at the eastern front - and a couple of russian fellows who do metaldetecting in russia, and sell bits and pices on ebay, I got parts for the original bracket system, to mount a MG34 on the bicycle frame.
And I thought What the hell - this can be the coolest thing ever..

 

 

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Richard Auld

now that is interesting as I have that cover for the MG34/42 and it came from the same barn as the two A frame assault packs i just posted, I will have to dig it out.

Rich

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Everything was a bit twisted and bent, But I have straightened everything out.

If you find your systemschütz (mg34 cover) be sure to post pitures of it. These are heavily reproduced, and originals are very few and far between.

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Ok. Fast foreward to February 2018. More original parts has been found.
I just had to try to put these things together before embarking on the taking-everything-apart-and-sandblasting.
The wheels that was being prepared for the Achilles, were not put on, but a pair of other civillian wheels.

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Richard Auld

Like I said these came out of the same barn as the assault packs in the 80.s -90,s.

I dont doubt they are easily copied. what isn't?

But back then things were not so copied as today.

Rich

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Richard Auld

Bjorn,

here you go, he gave me one of each item the cover the blue assault pack and a grey/green assault pack. They were all together in a barn for a very long time and I think he got about 10 of each, I always remember a pile of them.

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7th of April 2018.
Everything has been taken apart and sandblasted and repainted in a correct low-gloss satin black paint.
I have found a original bracket and cup for the spare barrelcontainer for the MG34, to put on the Patria WKC bicycle.
New old stock bicyclechains from the 1930's are mounted. I had a hard time locating original vintage austrian Semperit beaded edge tires. These have not been in production in the last 70 years. At the time that I took these pictures, I had located one new old stock tire, and put on the front wheel.

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Desert Rat

Absolutely Beautiful....Bjorn,

I cannot put really into words from the finding of these to your expert reconstruction to a magnificent condition,,,as NEW...Fantastic and my congratulations to you for your Great work...(I know what it's like since re-building my Harley - Davidson Shovelhead.....lots of work, many problems and too much money spent.. but she's a beautiful chopper and sadly ready to sell)

Lovely Images and Many Thanks......You Luck BBBBBBBBB.......IanB/ Desert Rat

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Desert Rat

Beautiful Bjorn,

What a craftsman you are to get this rusty ol bike ..to this perfect standard.....YES I want to buy it to hang on my office wall......£££££££??????

 

Very well done & very best wishes ....you ol biker....Desert Rat/ Ian

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Thank you so much guys. I really appreciate your comments.
It has really been a costly and time consuming job, getting them to where they are today.

 I'm sorry, but I really dont have the time to take on commision jobs. I have my work, my family and I'm expanding the house as well ( I've built it my self ) And I have a few other ongoing restoration projects that I need to finish.

 

The last couple of series of pictures, taken 10th of May 2018.
I have not used a single grain of filler, when restoring the bicycles. They are old and have survived a world war and decades of neglect in the time after. All the rust have been mechanically removed, but the traces of time should still be showing. I have used original parts as far as I could in the process. 

Remember this, from the earlier pictures? It is the very same toolbox that was hanging in the exact same place in the frame when I found it.
All the seams were rotted away, and it was falling apart. The kunstleder has been treated and the everything has been resewn by hand. New straps are added.

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And I have painted matching serial number on the spare barrel container - 4084, same as the Snr. on the MG34

 

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