The 1958 Huret Allvit was a milestone in derailleur history. It was the first parallelogram derailleur designed for the mass market. With its wacky parallelogram geometry and its pulley cage pivot concentric with the guide pulley, it made a real attempt to provide a decent change over 14 to 28 tooth freewheel.
In its various guises the Huret Allvit was the first derailleur to break into the all important American market for leisure bicycles. Despite this historic role, I always disliked it. It weighed a ton, its adjustment screws were all over the place and most of all it had too many flat plates joined by too many dodgy pivot bolts. In British weather it either rapidly loosened off and became horribly imprecise or it rusted solid.
Of all the variants of the Allvit, this first one is the version that I find easiest to forgive. I like its complex, techie, look, and sins that would be unforgivable in 1978 seem to be merely charming weaknesses in 1958.
One of my ‘derailleurs that changed the world’.
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