Of course, the attraction of the Jubilee was that it was the lightest derailleur at the time, and it had a beautiful polished aluminum and chrome finish. People who liked them generally set them up on weight-weenie bikes, and they could be made to shift passably across a corncob cluster. I think that's why Huret came out with the swiss-cheese bis version. What does bis mean, anyway?
I always wondered what it was about the Huret Alvits and Sveltos that made them shift so bad. BTW, isn't Svelto just the coolest name for a French derailleur? I'm sure it got its name from the fact that it was a "svelte" version of the Alvit, even though I think it weighed the same. Anyway, the design of these derailleurs was the only one I can think of before the SunTour V series came out that actually moved the jocky wheel down, at least in the same general direction as the cog profile, as it moved in toward the larger cogs. All the other derailleurs swung slightly up while travelling inward. Still, the Huret units shifted terribly. Many was the frustrated kid who couldn't get his 38 lb. Varsity into that 28 tooth cog, just when the hill got really steep. Of course, the design was also great for bending the hanger when the bike dropped on its right side, waiting to shove the changer into the spokes or getting the chain wedged behind the last cog.
I recall dismantling, cleaning and adjusting the pivots and bearings of my Alvits, but they never shifted well. I attribute most of the bad performance of this entire series of shifters to the fact that the jockey wheel cage shared the pivot with the upper jockey wheel. With the design of most other derailleurs, the action of the parallelogram could be offset by adjusting the chain to a length that would cause the upper jockey wheel to move closer to the smaller cogs and swing away from the larger ones. Compromise was required to accomodate the change in cage position that occured when shifting between the large and small chainrings, but usually one could find a combination of chain length and wheel position that resulted in acceptable shifting. With the Huret units, chain length and wheel position had little impact on shifting. Combined with those ambidextrous cogs used by Atom and Regina in the '70s, one could get some pretty awful shifting. And do you remember those "wide range" Alvits, with the 4" cage? Oh, man, what a dog!
Steve Barner, with a drawer full of that neat old French iron in Bolton, Vermont
> Date: Sat, 08 Mar 2003 16:17:11 -0500
> From: Grant McLean <Grant.McLean@SportingLife.ca>
> To: "Classic Rendezvous Mail List (E-mail)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Subject: Re: [CR]Simplex Derailleurs, 1960's-80's
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> Chuck Schmidt:
> The very first thing I did to my wife's new Raleigh Competition in 1976
> was to remove the Huret Jubilee and replace it with front and rear
> SunTour Cyclone derailleurs from Bikecology in Santa Monica!
> So, if logic follows, why wouldn't you take them off now, and put on dura
> ace sti?
> Grant McLean