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What the Heck (Colney) is it?

Old 10-03-16, 09:01 AM
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What the Heck (Colney) is it?

Hi all, found this vintage bike in France. Probably built in 1978/79, beautiful orange colour and special gear on it. As far as I know it was built by a small manufacturer: Heck Colney, who only used the best (French) parts of that era. So here we go: Super Vitus 971 frame, serie extra legere (superlight) double butted; Sakae SR world custom steering and TTT pen; Hatta Swan ballhead; Simplex prestige Super LJ derailleur; MAFAC Racer brakes (#419) plus handles (perforated), MAVIC module E 700c wheels, Stronglight/Spidel crankset and blades (model 105ter), Stronglight competition nave, Maillard course centers, AFA 'Christophe special' clips, Soffatti professionale sadle, JPR saddle pen, fork Haubans-Bases Fourreaux. I have cleaned the bike, oiled it and now it is at the bike shop for new tires (Vittoria rubino orange), new cabling (white), new ribbon on the steering (white) and a couple of things more. Who has more information about this French bike building shop? I can find very, VERY little about it. It is a delight to have this lady in the house. I will post pictures.
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Old 10-03-16, 09:08 AM
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Pictures of the Heck Colney
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Old 10-03-16, 09:12 AM
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More pictures. Comments appreciated!
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Old 10-03-16, 10:03 AM
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Thanks very much for posting this fascinating cycle.

BTW Soffatti saddles are of Spanish manufacture.

Machine displays quite an interesting mix of fittings.
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Old 10-03-16, 10:08 AM
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Cool.
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Old 10-03-16, 10:37 AM
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I LOVE the pantographed pennyfarthing on the fork crown! Very neat find!
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Old 10-03-16, 11:11 AM
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Thanks for the reactions! And yes, the pennyfarthing caught me! I'd never seen it before anywhere.
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Old 10-03-16, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
Thanks very much for posting this fascinating cycle.

BTW Soffatti saddles are of Spanish manufacture.

Machine displays quite an interesting mix of fittings.
Yes, Soffatti is Spanish, I discovered. This one is made of leather. I'm slowing bringing it back to life... with TLC.
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Old 10-03-16, 11:21 AM
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Last bunch of pics. Who knows more about Heck Colney...?
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Old 10-03-16, 11:23 AM
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As regards the unique combination of fittings -

Is it clear to you that cycle was fully assembled by the maker, or do you think some or all of the assembly may have been done by the owner?
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Old 10-03-16, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
As regards the unique combination of fittings -

Is it clear to you that cycle was fully assembled by the maker, or do you think some or all of the assembly may have been done by the owner?
Interesting question! As far as I could understand (I'm Dutch, not French...) the bike was fully assembled by the original maker like this, not (later) modified by the (two) owner(s). I have this indication, because the French owner/seller told me he got the bike from a good friend, who "had it made" and gave it to him "to get in running order again", for which he never found the time. My luck...
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Old 10-03-16, 11:34 AM
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I've never heard about Heck Colney in France. I suspect it's a rebadged bike from its owner's name.

The logo on the fork head was used by Jean-Claude Dezé, a constructor settled in Blois (Cher, France) who continued for a while the Lyjack's business before building bikes under his own name.




More informations (in french, sorry) here Forum Tonton Vélo ? Afficher le sujet - Lyjack
and there Histoire ....de cadreurs, tubes et raccords
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Old 10-03-16, 11:43 AM
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That is some information! But nonetheless: pictures of Heck Colney exist, like this one in Strasbourg: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nhbikes/16275643199/
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Old 10-03-16, 12:02 PM
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Sorry, I sent my post before reading the previous last ones ...

So it might be a Helck Colney frame, a builder from the east of France (Bavilliers near Belfort) rebuild with a Dezé fork ...

The Betty badge doesn't seem original too ...
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Old 10-03-16, 12:07 PM
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Yes, this was my guess too. A manufacturer with the name Heck Colney, from Bavilliers near Belfort. That could well be, as I bought the bike in this region. However I couldn't find any info on this bike-builder.

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Old 10-08-16, 04:25 AM
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NEWS! With quite a high WOW factor. Mr. Heck Colney has retired from bike building, but he did build bikes for 40 years! Because there was no follow-up for his business, he had to close down. But the real news is: he was a mechanic with Tour de France! And he built some very, very nice bikes with only the best parts for that time. He must have known what he was doing, seen his wide experience with Tour the France... and the race-bikes he built were 'on the basis of technical demands' allowed to participate in races. I wonder if...? Well, history unravels bit by bit. It would be wonderful to one day meet Mr. Colney himself, to thank him for his beautiful work of art he has delivered. I love this bike. Still waiting for it to come back from the bike-shop. I'll keep you posted!
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Old 10-08-16, 04:27 AM
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By the way... in the year my bike was probably built (1979, seen the year imprinted in the rear derailleur), the Tour the France was won by Bernard Hinault (Renault-Gitane) in 103hr 6min 50sec. Second was Dutchman Joop Zoetemelk (Miko-Mercier) on 13min 7sec. The Dutch and biking... yeah!
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Old 10-21-16, 02:10 PM
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Bike is back from the shop. Very happy. She has her new shoes on: Vittoria Rubino in orange. Cabling and steering redone in white. I have been busy today with retouching the tiny scratches on the body with specially made-to-colour paint. Tomorrow it's time for the finishing touches. I found a matching airpump, beautiful bell (**ping**) and saddlebag for emergency utensils. The lady will be ready to ride next week. She has missed the road for too long.
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Old 10-24-16, 02:59 AM
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Took the lady out for a ride yesterday afternoon. It was quite sunny and it took me some time to figure out how to 'get into the clips' but I eventually managed. For everything there's a first! This bike hadn't been used for quite a few years, so I gently tried out the derailleurs. I can tell you: this lady knows how to fly!! It's incredible that such 'old' technics still work so exceptionally fine in 2016. The gears clicked into place like a warm knife in butter and I had a hard time trying to hear any noises coming from 'down there'. Not one worrying sound! She cornered beautifully, took up speed like a modern carbon-composite thing and talked to me: 'What do you think? You like me?' Well, Heck, let me put it this way: you can stay as long as you like!
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