Huret - Dérailleurs Tour de France

Derailleurs Tour de France image 1 main image

This rather natty pamphlet details Huret's range sometime in the late 1950s. Handwritten on the cover is "Allvit Gear 80/- end January". The Huret Allvit is not shown on the brochure - so this implies that it was expected to be introduced in the January after the brochure was issued. The Huret Allvit was introduced in France in 1958, so, perhaps, might have become available in the UK in January 1959. I am guessing this leaflet dates from 1958.

The brochure shows a pair of derailleurs: the Huret Tour de France (costing 25 shillings) and the Huret Special Louison Bobet (costing 42 shillings and sixpence). There are two striking features of this:

  • Firstly there is the incomprehensible madness of French branding. Huret's great rival, Simplex, had launched a derailleur called the Simplex Tour de France in 1948. Throughout the 1950s the Simplex Tour de France was almost certainly the world's best selling derailleur. It was everywhere. Huret had responded by launching a derailleur called the Huret Competition in 1949. Throughout the 1950s the Huret Competition was probably the world's second best selling derailleur. So what did Huret do? Sometime in the mid 1950s they rechristened the Huret Competition as the Huret Tour de France. Now the world's best selling and the world's second best selling models had the same model name. It's as if the town of Roquefort, the village of Camenbert and the region of Brie all handily decided to change their name to 'Cheddar'.
  • Secondly, there is the pricing. The Huret Tour de France is certainly a fairly simple piece of equipment - so its price of 25 shillings seems comprehensible. The Huret Special Louison Bobet is conspicuously more complex, with its chain tensioning apparatus. It is also notably more upmarket with very lush chrome and drilled pulley wheels. Presumably Louison himself also got a cut of the selling price. All this makes the price of 42 shillings and sixpence vaguely understandable. But the Huret Allvit, for all its new parallelogram technology, seems more than a little steep at a fulsome 80 shillings - nearly twice the price of the Huret Special Louison Bobet, a derailleur that had been used to win the Tour de France as recently as 1955.

  • Publisher: Huret
  • Country: France
  • Date: 1958?
  • Derailleur brands: Huret
  • Derailleurs: Huret Tour de France, Huret Special Louison Bobet