Bicycle Quarterly: Derailleurs of the World – Huret Apr 26, 2018

Jan from Compass and Bicycle Quarterly takes us on a look through the “Derailleurs of the World – Huret” book, with some incredible insight. If you like to nerd out on vintage bikes and components, head to the Bicycle Quarterly blog for more.

  • Matthew Handscombe

    I don’t collect old bike stuff, but if I did: Jubilee derailleurs. All. the. Jubilee. Derailleurs.

    • Ha! I can see that. They look like a sea creature!

  • I owned an early version jubilee derailleur set. Original equipment on a Raleigh competition from ‘76 that I purchased at a garage sale. Don’t understand what the fuss has always been about. It was certainly lighter in weight compared to a Campagnolo or simplex SLJ from the same era. But beyond that it was just a derailleur. Plus the way it was engineered was odd. Made servicing it, especially replacing the pulley guide wheel rather difficult. Plus the Huret mount was proprietary like the simplex, and to use one on a Campagnolo dropout you’d need a now very hard to find adapter. I do regret selling that frame though, because those Capella lugs were fantastic.

    • Jan Heine

      In the early days of derailleurs, every maker had their own hanger, which was bolted onto the dropouts of a derailleur-less racing frame. So each maker had their own shape, threading, etc. That continued when the hangers became part of the rear dropouts – each maker used their own spec for retro-compatibility.

      It was only in the 1970s that the Campy hanger spec became the de-facto ‘standard,’ which led to the problems you describe. It took the French makers a bit too long to acknowledge that Campy was setting the standard, and that they had to follow!

      As to servicing, the Jubilee allowed adjusting the play in the pivots via locknuts – unlike most derailleurs that just get more sloppy over time. Many mechanics at the time didn’t understand how the locknuts worked – there were no service manuals! – and so they just left off the ‘extra’ nuts and slammed the screws until they were tight. Then the derailleurs no longer worked properly. It’s the same issue that VW Beetles faced: They were different, and mechanics at the time didn’t understand them.

      • I know the history well enough, but I appreciate the response. Still doesn’t change the fact that it’s an annoying proprietary mount. Especially considering that the Huret mount is very similar to the Campagnolo mount. I only bring it up because a lot of people buy the jubilee without realising they can’t mount it, or pay absurd eBay money for one with the rare adapter. Or god forbid they take a file to the dropout mount, as was also done with simplex mounts. And with all that, at least as far as my worthless opinion goes, it doesn’t look or perform any batter than a Campagnolo or simplex SLJ, much less an early shimano crane or Suntour. But I do admit it looks nice.