The emergence of the new bicycle in the middle of the last century caused a stir among the population. Citizens lined up to buy the first folding model with excellent technical characteristics. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Soviet brands could not withstand competition from Western companies. But the Kama passed the test of time, remaining popular and sought-after two-wheelers. The line is represented by mountain, road, city and other models designed for all ages.
History of Kama bicycles
The manufacturer of the famous Soviet two-wheelers was established in 1939 on the basis of the evacuated Vladimir factory of gramophones. The plant, located in Perm, produced ammunition for the front, after the war – gramophones, since 1956 – bicycles. Since that period, the Kama plant traces its history. A successful folding design with a rigid tilting frame, comfortable saddle, spring-loaded clamps appeared in 1977 and consumers immediately liked it. Not only urban dwellers, but also rural dwellers could use the reliable vehicle.
Despite the high price at the time (98 rubles), every teenager dreamed of receiving a “miracle bike” as a gift from his parents. The first copies were produced under the unpretentious name “V-815”. Later the improved bike was named “Kama”. Since 1991, the machine factory was reconstructed in the software “VELTA”. Today the brand belongs to the company “Ural-Trade”. Under the old brand, the legendary two-wheelers are produced using modern technologies and materials. Suppliers of component parts are well-known foreign manufacturers (e.g., Shimano).
Soviet Kama bikes
Originally, the folding bicycle was intended for teenagers. Wheel size allowed to ride from the age of 8 years. Later, women’s models of bright red color appeared. Word of the universal innovation quickly spread throughout the former Soviet Union. The “Kama” was used by the adult population. The rugged construction allowed riding on any roads, and its simplicity caused no problems with disassembly and assembly.
Modern Kama bikes
Over the 50 years of the brand’s existence, the construction and material of the frame components have not changed much (except design). For example, the wheelbase, the number of cogs, frame height. Sturdy bikes on 20-inch, 24-inch wheels can withstand any load. Modern designs with a steel frame are equipped with reinforced rims and reliable brakes.
The line of universal Kama is represented by folding road, mountain, high-speed, adult and children’s bikes. The manufacturer is constantly refining the bikes with the latest technology.
Universal bikes compared to other mountain models are considered the most budget-friendly and easy to care for. Hardtails replace the shock-absorbing components with standard frame triangles, which are made of durable steel. Speed bikes with disc brakes are designed for riding on city trails and off-road.
The line is represented by several models:
- Kama 2006D (number of speeds – 6), 20018D (18-speed transmission).
- Two-pods are characterized by a more complex design, high tire strength (diameter – 24 inches), Shimano brakes, Sunrun equipment.
In the class of sports bikes brand presents universal models with similar technical characteristics (Kama 2640 and 2650). Features of road two-wheelers:
- The frame of durable steel alloy;
- 26-inch wheels;
- 21-speed transmission;
- racks, cameras, carriages, cassettes are made by foreign companies.
Bikes designed for long touring trips on paved roads are used to participate in competitions.
City bikes are represented by a single model (except folding designs).
Features of the Kama 28SP bicycle:
- lowered steel frame;
- reliable frame components;
- 6-speed transmission;
- equipment Quando;
- Accessories (fenders, trunk, chain protection, etc.)
The classic of the brand is characterized by reliability and compact design. Frame collects and unfolds in seconds, makes it easy to transport the bike in any transport and store even in the closet. The range is represented by many models (for example, Kama 24, SP F200 Luxe, F300, F600 and many others).
- Single frame component (made of steel);
- wheel size: 20-24 inch;
- one gear;
- reinforced steel rims;
- protection of a carriage;
- V-break system.
Folding models cannot withstand a lot of pressure, so they are not suitable for long off-road riding and performing tricks. They are designed for measured riding on asphalt.
Children’s and teenage models
The history of the Soviet manufacturing plant began with the production of teenage bicycles. Until now, children’s bikes are popular among the population. The models are designed for preschoolers, elementary school children, boys and girls.
For teenagers are made 6-speed bicycles with 20-inch wheels, brakes Japanese manufacturer (Kama 2020). For younger students are designed model Kama 1417, 2017.
Dimensions and weight load are calculated taking into account the age of the child.
Pros and cons
A decade of testing has revealed the main advantages of Kama bicycles:
- low price in comparison with modern models;
- durable frame;
- compactness of design;
- easy to assemble;
- a wide range of folding bikes;
- striking design.
- Parts and build quality are typical disadvantages of budget bikes.
- Insufficient choice of mountain bikes brand.
- The absence on the market of models designed for women.
- Rejection of branded accessories, which you have to buy on your own.
The main features of the practical and durable Kama bike:
- The base of the model (smaller than the famous “Ural”) is 1000 mm;
- wheel size 406X40 mm (analogue – 20 inches);
- sloped steel frame height of 460 mm;
- small size when folded (310 x 770 x 980 mm);
- bike pitch – 4.95 m;
- number of teeth: 15-48;
- height-adjustable swivel handlebar type;
- hinged wear-resistant lock for folding and unfolding;
- spring shock absorbers on semi-rigid leather saddle;
- improved brake system;
- easy transportation and storage;
- protective fenders on the wheels, reflectors.
The only disadvantage of “Kama” is considered weight – 14.5 kg.
Tuning of Kama bicycles
The desire to improve the appearance or technical characteristics of the two-wheeler unites enthusiasts around the world. The older generation wants to reanimate the bike of their childhood. Young people are trying to radically remake the Soviet bike and create an individual style that attracts the attention of others. For some cyclists it is a hobby, for others it is a professional activity.
Tuning Kama models often causes problems (other than simple work: painting the frame, replacing the wheels, etc.).
The main difficulties:
- Finding Soviet-era spare parts;
- Lack of necessary parts in stores and on the market;
- modern analogues do not match the old threads;
- You have to perform complex turning operations;
- the restoration of the Kama takes a lot of time.
Thanks to craftsmen, the appearance of the two-wheeler, its characteristics and now are not inferior to many modern models. This is confirmed by numerous photos posted in social networks.
Tips for choice
Bicycle Kama – not a suit or dress, which can be replaced at any time. Most bike enthusiasts buy a two-wheeled vehicle once and for a long time. Practical tips can help you buy the “right” bicycle.
- Pay attention to the appearance of the model. If you do not like it, then the bike is not suitable.
- Think about what roads you plan to ride (asphalt, dirt, off-road).
- It is worth bearing in mind that the Kama is not designed for high season mileage.
- Regardless of the type of bike (children’s or mountain bike), it is necessary to pick up on the growth.
- The vehicle is available with a folding frame and easily adjustable handlebar.
- The saddle should be comfortable, the frame of which is upholstered with soft tires.
- Choose a hinge-type lock, which will affect the good rigidity of the frame.
- For those who want to lighten the weight of the Kama bicycle, we recommend buying lightweight rubber right away.
- Pay attention to the model of shifters. On Kama set Shimano and SRAM.
- Allocate money for the purchase of accessories.
- Mountain bikes are sold without fenders. Buy protective gear against rain and mud.
- The company’s lineup is periodically updated. Find out the year of manufacture of two-wheeled transport, which in technical parameters may differ from its predecessors.
Kama – a bicycle with a large margin of safety. Amateur cyclists are convinced: strong, durable, unpretentious in care models are not inferior to modern bikes neither in reliability, nor in speed.