Huret - Ensemble Tour de France

Ensemble Tour de France image 1 main image

This elegant leaflet, from the late 1940s, has a number of interesting features:

  • First, you can't help but love the Huret logo. At the end of the Second World War Huret had launched a pair of 'piano wire' derailleurs (one of which is the Huret Course Compétition shown here) that were largely constructed of tempered steel rods. It was a stroke of graphic genius to adopt a logo that is the word 'Huret' as if constructed from these rods.
  • Second, the Huret Course Compétition derailleur is shown here being operated by a twin lever, with a second cable controlling the chain tension. You could also operate the identical derailleur with a single lever and fit a spring at the rear of the derailleur to provide chain tension. This is the format of the example in my collection.
  • Thirdly, and as ever with Huret (and Simplex), there is the issue of product names. The derailleur shown here is usually referred to as the Huret Course Compétition. The description of the derailleur on the second page is 'Campétition'. But the leaflet is titled 'Ensemble Tour de France' with no mention of the words 'Course' or 'Compétition'. God save us!
  • Finally, the back page briefly describes Huret's famous wing nuts for wheel axles. It describes them as being made of Duralumin or aluminium bronze. At the time Duralumin was the fashionable high strength aluminium alloy (mainly aluminium with a dash of copper) and exacly what I would expect. But aluminium bronze is an interesting option - mainly copper with a dash of aluminium (rather than with a dash of tin as in normal bronze, or a dash of zinc as in brass) - I have always associated its use with marine environments.

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Huret Course Competition derailleur thumbnail