Sorry to have been slacking a bit on this series, but my other shop internet duties take precedence over the blog posts. So I am coming back to the topic with a good one! This bike is an early 1960’s Helyett Speciale in fantastic original finish with period correct componentry. It  is a prime example of a bike that would have been ridden in the Tour De France in the 60’s.
     It is built with Reynolds 531 tubing with the French decal, which I always liked. Jaques Anquetil’s face graces the elaborate seat tube decal. He was one of the classic champions of the era and is regarded as one of the best ever. The typography of the down tube and top tube decals is amazing in my opinion, they remind me of Daniel Rebour’s style of illustration. Nice head lugs with a lot of shore line and window cut outs, gold lug lining throughout. Original paint which at this point has aged to a nice warm cream color. One of my favorite head badges is affixed to the head tube. The serial number of 61270 is stamped on the rear non drive side of the Simplex drop out. a neat little detail is the rear pump peg, pretty unique.
     The componentry is also top French quality of the period. Rear derailleur is a Simplex JUY export 61. See the photo for the unique mechanism for adjustment in the parallelogram. Front derailleur is a Simplex LJ 23 (second version). The first version had a riveted badge where as this one has a decal.  Simplex Shifters with nice wingnuts, braze on style. Early Stronglight 49D cranks with T.A. adapter and professional criterium T.A. chain rings in half step gearing. Cool acorn nuts for attachment. The hubs are Exceltoo Super Competition model, which were a little known French company that made nice hubs.Simplex skewers with intact wingnuts and the very rare white boots in great shape. Early Mafac Duralforge brakes and Mafac levers with pristine half hoods. Pivo bar and stem combo with the T.A. cable guide, always a nice touch. Stronglight P3 headset and Ideale no.88 saddle round out the build. Also of note is the Ideale seat clamp which has the tabs for the toe strap to go through and attach a tubular tire under the seat. I have never seen this version before, any info?
     This bike is in the permanent collection and we are proud to be its care taker, enjoy!


4 thoughts on “Cool shop bike: Early 1960’s Helyett Speciale

  1. Great to see, brings back memories for me. I used to ride an early 1960s Helyett Speciale, model Andre Darrigade. It was emerald green, with white panels, with Mafac, TA, Simplex etc. I loved it, and would really like to find another. Some hopes!


  2. Hi Rob
    Just read about your love of the Helyett Speciale Bike.I have a 1959 helyett speciale that i have owned from 1959.Its in superb condition although I have changed a few of the original components.Its on Campagnolo grand sport gears and the double chain rings have been changed.I am willing to sell this bike to the right person.If you are interested I could send you photos and a more comprehensive description if you are interested in buying.
    Regards Terry Unsworth
    Lancashire UK


  3. I had a couple of those Ideal saddle clamps in the '60's. They were great for being able to get the saddle angle just right using the two bolts riding in the curved slots. The 'flats' of the clamp were 'knurled' rather than 'grooved' as in a normal clamp so you aren't restricted to the pre-ordained angles.

    The gear adjuster system on these early Simplex parallelogram mechs was so simple. It also appeared on the first Prestige all-plastic mech, som much simpler than the grub screw method.

    A nice complete period bike.


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