Re: [CR] Actually using a Helicomatic

(Example: Framebuilding:Tubing)

Date: Sun, 29 Mar 2009 15:29:54 -0400
From: "Harvey Sachs" <>
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Cc:, 'Classic Rendezvous' <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Actually using a Helicomatic

Now, Jerry, I'm not guilty of practicing mechanical engineering, much less mastering it, but I did study strength of materials and stuff way back in the late Paleolithic (when real men were blacksmiths). If I translate what you wrote, it sounds like "Helicomatic is OK if you don't stress it and rarely use it." But, I think we all know enough to infer that even a light guy would probably not be wise to choose it for a cross-country adventure. Heck, once upon a time we had a 14 mm Lyotard Berthet pedal get loose in KY or WV, where there were no 14 mm pedals of any kind, and no pedal taps. Ever let your spouse know that she had a few hundred miles to go with a pair of radiator clamps holding her pedal together? :-)

I think the Helicomatic tells a great story. At the time, it was cutting edge, but in hindsight it was just an expensively made but poorly designed detour on the way to real "free-hubs." So, I keep one for show-and-tell for the hard core bike porn fanatics, but why do I keep a batch of spare cogs and retainer rings?

harvey sachs mcLean va +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Jerome & Elizabeth Moos wrote:
> I hear the horror stories about Helicomatic, but I've never had any trouble with

them. No flange failures, no broken spokes, no worn out bearings. I think a

lot depends on rider weight. At 162 lb, when in decent shape,

I'm not large by American standards, so maybe I'm just easier on equipment

than a 200+ lb rider. Maybe the other thing is that I ride all my bikes,

so no one gets ridden excessively. So maybe for a 220 lb rider who puts

in 10,000 km per year on a single bike, Helicomatic is not a good design,

but for me it's just fine.


> Regards,


> Jerry Moos

<snip old stuff>