We focused on mid range and better quality European bikes at our shop in the 1970s, mostly French and Italian makes. We carried Gitanes until around 1976 when they became almost unavailable plus way overpriced.
From 1974 until about 1977 Gitane used the Huret "honeycomb" rear dropouts on at least 2 US models. During the same time period they used them on "most" of their mid to better quality European models.
There was a dearth of mid range European made bikes in the US in the mid 70s. In 1976 and 77 we started buying up all of the better quality NOS left over European made Bike Boom bikes we could find.
We got in a shipment of French made Velosolex bikes (the moped maker). We bought all the bikes the importer had in stock. There were several mid range bikes that had these Huret honeycomb rear dropouts!
Also as I mentioned in an earlier post, I saw a British made mid range Dawes bike with these dropouts.
They were so radical looking when they first appeared that most bikies were turned off by their appearance. We had trouble selling the Gitanes and Velosolex bikes that had them.
Today these dropouts look a lot more interesting but back in they day anything that didn't look Campy was well, campy! ;-)
The question of pedigree on these dropout has been kicked around a lot. It seems no one wants to claim responsibility for these batards (proper French word for one of illegitimate birth)
Who know who actually manufactured them? Within the past year I ran across an authoritative source that attributed them to Huret but as in many things manufactured in post WWII Europe, "there are no chins in the family"! IE, a few companies made most of the forged steel dropouts for the big name component manufactures.
Chas. Colerich Oakland, CA USA
Jerome & Elizabeth Moos wrote:
> I used to think these were Huret, but I've become convinced by past discussions here that they were Gitane's own DOs, though they might have been manufactured for Gitane by Huret. Never seen them on any other marque of bike. They may have been used on Interclub as you say, but they were also used on the Tour de France - I have one such TdF. Not sure the claimed advantages of this design, but they are pretty cool looking.
> Jerry Moos
> Big Spring, Texas, USA
>> Date: Saturday, December 19, 2009, 8:23 PM
>> Lane Wilkinson asked: "Does anyone
>> have information on the "honeycomb" style
>> rear drop outs that are used on some of
>> the 70's era Gitanes? Who made these drop
>> outs? Were they used on specific models?"
>> As I recall, these exceptional looking dropouts appeared on
>> the Interclub model, which was just below
>> the Tour de France. Three tubes 531, might even
>> have been straight gauge 531, and Huret derailleur. The
>> dropout was specific to Huret, I'm pretty sure.
>> I'm sure somebody else knows more.