Re: [CR]Helyett Randonneur on French Ebay - Item 320263783867

Example: Framebuilders:Norman Taylor

From: "ternst" <>
To: "sandranian" <>, "Mitch Harris" <>
References: <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Helyett Randonneur on French Ebay - Item 320263783867
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 12:26:37 -0700
cc: Rendezvous Classic <>

It should be fairly obvious that all French companies made 650 bicycles. 27" was an Anglo-American size and only made because our market was so big and the companies enjoyed the revenue. 700 was the standard full size and 650 for the riding properties it had, that 700 did not. That's why 700 and the tubular tires were the same and we we the big$ 800 pound gorilla who ran the show. Finally we wised up and started leaning to the 700, 650 never did really catch on. Now that most of our bikes are made overseas it's a moot point. Those US companies still making bikes here have now joined the world intead of being odd man out in the bike world.
Ted Ernst
Palos Verdes Estates

----- Original Message -----
From: "sandranian"
To: "Mitch Harris"
Cc: "Rendezvous Classic"
Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 11:42 AM
Subject: Re: [CR]Helyett Randonneur on French Ebay - Item 320263783867

>I didn't even catch that. Shame on me! I am unaware of any Gitane which was
>built with 650 wheels (with the possible exception of the kids bikes).
> Stephan Andranian
> Costa Mesa, California, USA
> Mitch Harris <> wrote:
> Except for the 650B wheel size, the frame looks identical to my 1975
> Gitane and others I've seen. Brake bridge details and other small
> things match up. The fork rake shape looks just like a mid 70s Gitane
> too.
> Did Helyett lisence the name after 1962?
> Did Gitane ever make a 650B bike? I know Peugeot did.
> Could this be a 650B conversion? The Raid brakes with super long reach
> are useful in conversions since a mid 70s Gitane would already have
> lots of brake reach--my Mafac Racers (on 1975 Gitane) are adjusted
> fairly high in the caliper stirrups for 700C wheels so Raids might
> allow 650B on my frame. From the angle of the side photo I can't tell
> if the chainstay looks like the deep BB drop of a 700C Gitane or not.
> Would Helyett have used braze-ons instead of clips/clamps for top
> tube, shifters, and bb cable guides?
> Mitch Harris
> Little Rock Canyon, Utah, USA
> On Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 11:28 AM, sandranian wrote:
>> The pictures aren't the greatest...but it certainly does appear like a
>> mid-70s bike. The green appears to be the same that Gitane used in the
>> mid70's, but I cannot make out whether or not there is gold pinstriping
>> around the lugs, which would be there if it was a Gitane (with the
>> original paint job).
>> The fact that the seller does not take detailed pictures of the bike
>> (including the decals) is not good....
>> Stephan Andranian
>> Costa Mesa, CA USA
>> "Scott L. Minneman" wrote:
>> Norris,
>> The components puzzle me, but the frame sure looks like a rebadged
>> mid-70s
>> Gitane...the geometry, the fork, the lugs, and the spiderweb dropouts
>> are a
>> direct hit (maybe even the color).
>> Scott Minneman
>> San Francisco, CA, USA
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Norris Lockley []
>> Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 7:46 AM
>> To:
>> Subject: [CR]Helyett Randonneur on French Ebay - Item 320263783867
>> First of all, my apologies for outing this bike to the Lisst, after
>> the a
>> uction has finished, and the bike is now destined to go to Japan.
>> However I only noticed it shortly before the auction was due to close
>> and,
>> with the seller living quite near to where I have my house in France, I
>> dec
>> ided to have a bid or two. Again it was not straightforward..and it took
>> se
>> veral minutes before I decided to risk my money.
>> The principal reason for my uncertainty about the bike is that it looks
>> as
>> though it has existed in a time warp. The Helyett company, based at
>> Sull
>> y-sur-Loire, not far from Orleans where the seller lives, closed down in
>> 19
>> 62. However this Helyett frame has the skeletal rear drop-outs found on
>> fra
>> mes from the mid-70s, and Prugnat long-point windowed lugs that I don't
>> rec
>> all seeing on the wholesalers' lists in the early 60s. Same goes for the
>> fo
>> rk crown.
>> It's an odd-looking bike...the frame looks more like a racing frame that
>> a
>> randonneur..just look at that fork rake (for a 60s bike?). Some details
>> of
>> the frame's build quality can obtained by enlarging the photos..and it
>> appe
>> ars to be quite a decently constructed frame. So why would any serious
>> comp
>> any put steel 650 rims on such a bike and a TA chainset with rings for
>> road
>> racing..although the cranks are 165mm for touring.
>> After playing at Sherlock Holmes for ten minutes or so, I thought that I
>> ha
>> d the I slammed a couple of bids until it became evident that
>> th
>> e Japanese opposition was keener on the bike than my meer curiosity
>> could m
>> anage.
>> If anyone out there would like to interpret the origin of this
>> frame..and w
>> hy it is like it is...I would be pleased to hear from that I
>> can c
>> heck my theory out.
>> Norris Lockley, Settle
>> =0A=0A=0A