Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone,

I'm looking for a Helicomatic Freewheel Cassette. Yes, a freewheel-cassette. It's for my '85 Peugeot Ventoux.

6 SPD, 13-24

I picked up this ride a few months ago and have been using it as my commuter. It's in awesome shape, considering its only two years younger than me. Some of the parts are different than the standard '85 Ventoux which leads me to believe it was an early/later model. Anyway, I wanted to replace the chain and with that, I would like to replace the freewheel-cassette as well because of the love factor (cassette-chain mating) involved.

So far, I've found one on the internet which looks good (although gold). But, I was wondering if anyone has an extra laying around (I wish) or knows of a vendor which may offer it at a lower cost.

Appreciate it.

If any questions, let me know.

- Ken


Edit: Here's a picture for fun.

 

·
road bike resurrector
Joined
·
302 Posts
What does a Helicomatic look like? I have a metric ass-ton of vintage stuff collecting dust.
 

·
duh...
Joined
·
9,658 Posts
you better snag that one fast before somebody else does
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,108 Posts
I remember those, didn't Maillard make 'em. Very popular on Peugeots etc in mid 80's. V V rare. Buy the one you've found and start looking for another on ebay france or italy.

I liked those Peugeots! Lets see a few more detailed pix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, I took everyone's advice and bought the one I found on eBay. Yea! And lucky for me, the second time I checked it, the price had dropped $10. Now, I need to find the tool to remove it, bah.

The Helicomatic hubs are Maillard.

Tomorrow I'll take out the camera and see if I can't get some more pictures up.

After riding yesterday on my CAAD7 a few miles, I am now a HUGE fan of steel. The roads off of my apartment complex are stripped because they are about to put on new blacktop. (So, imagine a comb taken over the street.) Anyway, I about broke my wrist trying to commute and was so glad to get back home for my Peugeot.
 

·
road bike resurrector
Joined
·
302 Posts
Italian Steel FTW

Never seen a helicomatic before. Very interesting design. I have a Maillard 700 Compact here and a Suntour Perfect.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,060 Posts
I have a helicomatic tool I use for its bottle opener function. You should snap that up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Beautiful bike.

I don't believe I've seen one of those freewheels before, but I agree Ebay France would be the place; I've had Campag stuff from ebay.it that doesn't show up on .com even when the worldwide button's clicked.

Wonder why that is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
TWB8s said:
I have a helicomatic tool I use for its bottle opener function. You should snap that up.
Yea, I have my eye on a few that are on eBay. Honestly, I'm sure the bottle cap end will get more use than the freewheel side. Ha

Most useless tool ever?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
I've got one with a much larger spread. Like, 15-28T or something silly like that. I was just going to trash to whole sha-bang 'cuz Sheldon claims they're crap.

From his website:

"The Helicomatic was a nice idea on paper, but poorly executed. These hubs are losers...persistent spoke breakage problems...prone to bearing problems as well...The cones tended to wear rapidly, and replacement cones are no longer available to fit these hubs."
https://sheldonbrown.com/velos.html

I'm sure you could have found this yourself, but here's a French-bike-resto page from Sheldon:
https://sheldonbrown.com/kunich.html

And a decent Peugeot ident page:
https://www.geocities.com/randyjawa/Peugeotdifferences.html

Here's a couple of Peugeots from the same era that I recently MonsterCross'd. The black one's french (and came with the Heliomatic) and made from Carbolite and the Red one was made in Canada by Procycle and features a Reynold's seat-tube.




Sorry for the hijack. I Really like yr bike. Those stripes give so many options for colour coordinating.

C.
 

·
Arrogant roadie.....
Joined
·
4,232 Posts
Considering the rarity and the poor reliability of these hubs, I'd suggest that the right thing to do is to replace the hubs with something that :
a) don't break, and
b) have parts available.
 

·
Militant commuter
Joined
·
881 Posts
I was going to add that Helicomatic hubs were standard equipment on some Treks in the 80s, but Curb Destroyer beat me to it!

The hubs aren't all bad...if you take care of them and don't weigh too much, spoke breakage isn't the big deal that others claim it to be. I rode a Helicomatic rear wheel for 12 years without any problems...and nary a broken spoke.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Just an update (and more to discuss)...

So, I did get the same Freewheel-cassette that originally came on the bike. Also, I purchased the tool to remove the cassette on eBay last night. That said, I've been working with my LBS on this whole endeavor and their "vintage-retro" guy was in today who had the tool to remove the cassette (which is great cause less wait = more riding). But, now that the new clean cassette is on, I have decided to go ahead and give the whole bike a good cleaning.

As far as the hubs go, they have been very smooth for me. I read the same info that Sheldon has on his website about the hubs being problematic. But, the guys at the LBS actually would have preferred this hub back when because of the fact that the bearings are on the outside of the hub versus inside. This made the axel stronger with better support. Supposedly a time when axels snapping where an issue.

Read more here...
http://www.yellowjersey.org/helico.html

Otherwise, I think this wheels are hand built anyway which might have an impact on their quality over the years. I'm not familiar with John Kovachi, but they're apparently built by him. I spotted the sticker on the front rim while I was browsing the details of the bike. Anyone know Kovachi?


Edit:
Btw, I'm 160lbs, so I don't think my weight will be too much of an issue on the reliability of the hubs, axels, spokes, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Peanya said:
You plan on putting bar tape on those bars?
Definitely. That will probably be my last step though, after all the cleaning and adjustments. Trying to figure out which color though. Yellow, orange, red are obvious choices. But, maybe a honey color instead to match the hoods?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
I have an 83 Trek 560 that had Helicomatics and Suntour blue line components when found, I took the wheels off immediately, lol. Being that I had a couple of other Peugeots around, I needed spares. I recently bought a very large box of bike parts, and incuded is a very clean Helicomatic hub and cassette that looks almost new. Bad part is that it's a 14/28 IIRC. If I have time tomorrow evening I will check it out and let you know. One other annoying problem with Helicomatics, are the ridges in the tips of the teeth. Installing a chain other than the original, the sideplates can get caught in the ridges, and you're pedaling but going nowhere. I rejoice when I find a bike that has Non Helico
Maillard hubs, lol.,,,,BD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
theFE said:
Definitely. That will probably be my last step though, after all the cleaning and adjustments. Trying to figure out which color though. Yellow, orange, red are obvious choices. But, maybe a honey color instead to match the hoods?
Original color was white, in padded vinyl. You can get it from probikekit.com with free shipping from the UK. It's about $10 cheaper (or more) than your local bike shops price on any brand:D. I usually buy it in bulk for upcoming projects.,,,,BD

And yep, the cassette is a 13 or 14/28, sorry. It's pretty flat here, so I also prefer 13/23 or 24 when I can find them.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top