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 Post subject: Re: Helyett speciale
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:35 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:01 pm
Posts: 145
Location: Brandon, Suffolk, UK
I have just finished restoring a Helyett Speciale to original spec (or as close as I can get) This frame was one of those sold by Helyett (they had an office in Willesden, NW London) around 1960 and I am certain these were made specifically for the UK market as it has a British thread bottom bracket. Frame has to go back to the stove enamellers for clear coats now that I have added the decals and lined the lugs.Then I can build it up.

Looking forward to riding this one. The build quality is OK but not top notch in my opinion, certainly I have other frames that are brazed & fettled better than this one. However, they are not so common and since Anquetil won the TDF 3 times on one of these (or so I understand ?), it is an interesting machine.

Photo is poor quality. I will try to get some better images when I am here in daylight (weekend) and will post them.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:22 am 
Newbie

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:42 pm
Posts: 6
Attachment:
File comment: After the respray
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Nice Job.
The frame was indeed made for the UK market. The model number is H57 UK and had BSF threading.
You are right about the quality too. The BB was not properly faced on my frame and the fluted top of the seat stay was poorly finished. It was a good lively frame though.
One small point - the UK version did not have the Reynolds 531 sticker on the fork - only on the seat tube.
Where did you get the decals? I had my frame resprayed back in the 60s and was sent decals from the importer - Evian GB limited, who also sold all the Stronglight, Simplex and Mafac parts.
I always wanted a matching track frame but could not find one, so had a Rotrax frame made in the Helyett colours. That one I still have.
Billcycle


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 Post subject: Re: Helyett speciale
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:52 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:01 pm
Posts: 145
Location: Brandon, Suffolk, UK
As luck would have it, the stove enameller called me today so this has gone for clear coat. I collected a bunch of frames that i have been waiting for - 3 x Claud Butlers, I x Allin plus 1 x Holdsworth. 2 frames need decals etc 3 frames now ready to build up

As to the Helyett (frame number 59339 - amazingly a chap up North sold 59338 not so long ago !), I tried to put together correct period parts as far as I could. The decals are freely available on Ebay and are excellent value. I think that i had to go to Greg at Cyclomondo to get the Nervex decal.

Parts to be used:
Stem : Pivo - with the triangular TA cable tidy
Bars : AVA
Brakes : Mafac Dural Forge centre pulls (got lucky with these as I even managed to get hold of white half hoods.
Headset : Stronglight - I have a V4 - and others - nor decided yet
Bottom Bracket : Again I have a choice but the frame had a Bayliss Wiley when acquired
Chainset : This had a Williams 5 bolt crankset with a TA adapter and double chainring - I have a several very nice Stronglight sets (type 53, 54 - competition, 49D alloy) so I am, spoilt for choice
Saddle : Ideale (found a period one almost as new)
Wheels : Normandy Competition Hubs 36/36 with M M Atom skewers - with Super Champion clincher rims - probably Regina or maybe Moyne 5 speed freewheel
Gears : This was difficult as the correct Simplex mech is horribly expensive (if you can find one), so I have opted for a period Huret TDGF set up with cable operated front mech. I do have Simplex equipment including a 'clanger' front changer but this frame came with brazed on fitting for twin downtube shifters - so I have gone with that.

So - whilst not quite what Anquetil would have used, still (hopefully somewhere near period correct) will be interesting to see how this rides. Frame should be back before Xmas so i should be able to try it in the New Year.


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 Post subject: Re: Helyett speciale
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:53 am 
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:42 pm
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Location: West Yorkshire
This is my all time favourite photo of Jacques Anquetil in the '57 TdF fighting back on the Galibier after being dropped due to a puncture (I think!). He was only 23 at the time but the expression on his face makes him look a good deal older!

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French national team jersey, Helyett frame, steel stem with his favourite AVA bars, rod front changer, Stronglight alloy cranks. Look at the road surface! And the well behaved crowd. Photo taken from the TdF special issue of 'Sporting Cyclist' magazine and no photographers name so I can't give an acknowledgement. I virtually read the print off the pages those old mags when I was a lad!


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:17 pm
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I had a Helyett Special in the 1960's. I purchased the frame from Ossis Jackson in Nelson Lancashire who was the local stockist of road frames and eqipment. His shop was like Aladins cave. The frame was powder blue and he also had a metalic green one withe chrome fork ends. Sadly could not afford the green one at the time. The shop closed on Mr Jacksons death around the 1970's but reopened about 15 years ago when there was an old fully built Helyett special on display.i wonder is this the bike being talked about in the posts?.


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 Post subject: Re: Helyett speciale
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:16 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:01 pm
Posts: 145
Location: Brandon, Suffolk, UK
The green colour was Helyett own. One of the British manufacturers (may have been Holdsworth) offered 'Helyett Green' as an option such was the interest in Anquetil winning the TDF so many times. I would imagine that these machines are sought after in France. They very seldom come up for sale though Hilary Stone had one some time ago and as mentioned a frame sold on ebay a few years back (someone in France paid a lot for it - about GBP600-). Great photos ! I have added one also of Anquetil on his Helyett


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:10 pm
Posts: 1047
I probably don't know what I'm talking about, since a) I'm not French, and b) I was still doing toilet-training while Anquetil was winning Tours de France, but it seems to me that the Helyett star waxed and waned with Anquetil's career. I cannot think of another example of a marque which disappeared off the radar so swiftly with the retirement from involvement of the rider associated with it, although there are probably other (earlier?) examples. For that reason the green Helyett is I guess immediately and uncomplicatedly evocative of the early sixties, unlike the Merciers, Peugeots, Lejeunes, etc., which continued through the sixties and into the seventies in their trademark colours.


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 Post subject: Re: Helyett speciale
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:29 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:01 pm
Posts: 145
Location: Brandon, Suffolk, UK
Almost certain that Helyett were taken over (bought out ?) and then merged with Gitane which explains why Helyett disappeared. Bear in mind that Helyett was named after a French (of Hungarian descendancy ?) opera star which may not have been keeping with times in the 60's !
Gitane started in '63 - so it fits. Ironic really since Gitane means a 'gypsy woman' (I think)

This courtesy of the Classic Factory Lightweights website :

Jacques Anquetil won three of his five Tour de France victories riding for the Helyett team, before switching to Gitane in 1963 and winning again. Other great riders also rode for Helyett (list of the more notable ones to be added).

In 1962 the Orleans factory was sold to Robert Griffon for the manufacture of Griffon bicycles and in 1966 Helyett was merged with Gitane and subsequent Helyett bicycles became “badge-engineered” Gitanes – some even carrying the Gitane logo on the fork crown.


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 Post subject: Re: Helyett speciale
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:42 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:42 pm
Posts: 5344
Location: West Yorkshire
Cracking picture of JA above. Interesting to see that - I think - he appears to be using Campag pedals rather than a product of the Evian/Simplex etc. group.

A lot of other Fench bike brands seemed to disappear from the main Pro peloton (eg Rochet, La Perle) once the national team TdF formula - and hence the regional French teams - was done away with.


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 Post subject: Re: Helyett speciale
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:49 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:01 pm
Posts: 145
Location: Brandon, Suffolk, UK
Still waiting for the Helyett frame to come back (nearly 4 months late !). However, I plan to collect next week and when built up I will post some photos on here. It seems that the frame number is the last 3 digits - the first 2 digits (59) are the year of manufacture. I acquired the frame minus the headbadge in January 2017 (I think) for the paltry sum of 25 quid (it was not in great shape with patches of rust). The seller had pulled of the head badge as it was just a non descript piece of stamped out alloy, but when asked he found it in his scrap bin and sent it to me. I was able to apply a decal over the top and then replace it on the frame. I had trouble finding correct period Huret shifters (with butterfly tensioning nuts) and have decided to use Stronglight 49D cranks. I will see how I get on with this but at 23" it is a tad big for me , so I may sell it when done (I think that there will be a good market in France) We shall see


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