High Wheel - 50", J. KOHOUT – Smíchov, Prague

Model:   Champion Bicycle

The bicycle is quite complete. It is in beautiful condition and has the typical style of the Smíchov factory. Many of the components are denoted by the production number. Stamped numbers on bolts and nuts, cranks and a great many small components can also be considered to be a typical characteristic of these bicycles.

The restoration made Jaroslav Vožniak who works for National Technical Museum in Prague and who restored 90% bicycles for this museum. The photo documentation from progres of restoration will go with.

Extraordinary nice and original machine.Suitable for museum display or immediatelly  rideable bicycle.

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Part number
circa 1885

The famous success of Josef Kohout and the second place for his brother František in Vienna races in 1882 led to the name of the Kohout bicycles. From 1883, they were designated as the Champion Bicycle in all materials. This was a good commercial idea, where the success of riders was to promote sales of bicycles. According to our estimates and in relation to the number of bicycles manufactured each year, bicycles with production number 200 and greater can be considered to be Champion Bicycles. It should be added that the bicycle with production number 650 is the lowest known example on which an oval brand name plate first appeared with a stamped cockerel (kohout = cockerel in Czech).  The stamped text reads "Champion Bicycle, J. Kohout Smíchov". Simultaneously, this label is not on all subsequent known bicycles, but only on those with numbers 699, 707, 752, 764, 771, 833, 839, 864 and 872. We didn’t manage to link any reason why some bicycles have labels and some do not. The labels were attached to the head of the front fork. Global manufacturers only rarely placed labels on their machines. Thus, it is now frequently difficult to determine the manufacturer of a particular bicycle. Even collectors and globally renowned experts are frequently at a loss. There are exceptional moments when a group of experts from around the world stand confused over a bicycle.  Each of them has a feel of the fork, backbone and handlebars, someone measures the axles and then they all shrug their shoulders. The most common defining features are the type of bearings, manner of attaching the handlebars, the fixing of the spokes in the wheels and then only intuition. None of this applies to Kohouts. With very few exceptions, all the bicycles are labeled “J. KOHOUT SMÍCHOV” on the backbone and some even have the mentioned label on the front fork.