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Alvit (Huret) derailleur question

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Alvit (Huret) derailleur question

Old 01-03-19, 01:24 PM
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Alvit (Huret) derailleur question

Just rebuilding a Gitane Grand Sport Deluxe and when I got to the Huret Alvit RD I noticed something odd. While the RD is still very dirty, I think it will polish up nicely but the jockey wheels (cogs) are smooth (no teeth). I assumed they were just really really worn, but they aren't. It seems they came that way.

I googled and saw lots of images of Huret Alvit RDs. Some had smooth jockey wheels, some had jockey wheels with teeth and some had one wheel with teeth and one wheel without.

Should I replace the smooth wheels with ones with teeth or leave as is? One would think that teeth would grip the chain better than a smooth surface or is it part of the design?


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Old 01-03-19, 02:17 PM
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At the limit, a toothless pulley may allow a larger largest cog to be fitted. But, in one case where I used a 30t cog with a Schwinn-Approved Allvit, I recall having to grind a bit of metal from the inner pulley cage plate to achieve clearance during shifting to and from the largest cog.
This might also have been due to a large step (6 teeth iir) between the largest two cogs, but I can't be sure of that.

It would seem that when hard shifts are made, that might lift the chain off of the pulley, that a toothed pulley might better keep the chain centered on the pulley, but I can't verify this from any experience using these Huret derailers.

The only other things that I can say from experience about the Huret pullies are 1) that the plastic part is extremely durable, and 2) that replacing the tiny (1/8" iir) balls with Gr25 chromium balls makes for noticeably-smoother rotation.

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Old 01-03-19, 02:39 PM
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dddd - 2) that replacing the tiny (1/8" iir) balls with Gr25 chromium balls makes for noticeably-smoother rotation.

Assuming you replaced with 1/8" or did you move to whole new size when you went with GR25?
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Old 01-03-19, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by WGB View Post
dddd - 2) that replacing the tiny (1/8" iir) balls with Gr25 chromium balls makes for noticeably-smoother rotation.

Assuming you replaced with 1/8" or did you move to whole new size when you went with GR25?
Standard size, which I believe was 1/8".
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Old 01-03-19, 03:07 PM
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Those derailleurs are effective doorstops.

I'd leave the jockeys alone as long as they aren't damaged and spin freely.
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Old 01-03-19, 03:13 PM
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campy gran sport derailleurs (the old ones, not the nuovo ones) have ball bearings and smooth jockey wheels. They were campy's top of the line until 1963 I believe. I guess smooth jockey wheels were a thing back in the day?
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Old 01-03-19, 03:44 PM
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Some British derailers featured a toothed top pulley with a smooth lower pulley.

There might be differences in noise level in some applications between smooth and toothed pullies, and there may have been perceptions that a smooth pulley perhaps offered lower frictional losses.
As well, a seized-up toothless pulley might allow a bike to be still ridden, versus a locked-up pulley having teeth.
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Old 01-03-19, 03:56 PM
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-----

The toothless wheels may hark back to the 1930's when there was a belief that derailleurs were a significant friction source which drained away a rider's efforts.

From a visual selling point at least, a dealer could point to the toothless wheels and suggest that they had less friction...

If you wish to jazz up your rear mech a bit you could get a set with the red plastic tyres as seen in dddd's photo.

-----
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Old 01-03-19, 04:19 PM
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The extinct old 3/32" standard width (5/6 speed chains) typically had side plates which extended significantly beyond the bushings. The teeth weren't really needed. The wheel between the sideplates was enough. It was a common thing for Huret derailleurs to use smooth wheels.

If using a modern chain, I'd suggest swapping the wheels for toothed variety. Modern 5/6/7 speed chains are more similar to the old narrow Sedisport and Suntour Ultra chains than formerly standard width 3/32 chains. If you are using a vintage chain, there's no need; the toothless will work fine.
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Old 01-03-19, 04:50 PM
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My '64 Legnano came with this steel Campy Gran Sport with non toothed jockey wheels. Never had an issue with them in 54 years of riding. Mine does have little flats or indents every so far, but is toothless.



I have cleaned the bike since this photo ... trust me😉
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Old 01-03-19, 04:57 PM
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The Huret Duopar on my Jo Routens is toothless. Works flawlessly.


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Old 01-03-19, 08:23 PM
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Pulleys work fine as they are . Here's my '69 all cleaned up w/fresh grease in pulleys.
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Old 01-03-19, 11:35 PM
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For sure try the stock smooth wheels first. Better than even odds they'll be fine even with modern chains.
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Old 01-04-19, 09:29 AM
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This version has 3 hooks for the tension spring. I have another with the red wheels that on has 2 hooks



Don't play twister, the original was munched. The old was all steel, the rebuild has some white plastic under the pivot casing. It must be newer than original.
My rebuilt alvit works great on my Geminiani, this one is stock for the original 3x5 drive train.
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Old 01-04-19, 01:38 PM
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My first 10-speed was an ORLY TdF purchased at Pep Boys (yes-they usta' sell bikes too) back in '71 or 2. It had the Huret-Alvet rd with smooth jockey wheels. Never had any problems with them and they shifted very smoothly. I miss that bike.
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Old 01-04-19, 02:50 PM
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Bitd

I used those Hurets on my 3 by 3 by 3 (27) speed I built in the late 50s with 1/8" wide chain .. 3 speed hub , 3 cogs , 3 chainrings.

As you see above chains used to have side plates, wider than the rollers , now they only use that on single speed chain.


and so the derailleur pulleys now have teeth ..

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Old 01-04-19, 04:16 PM
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FWIW, the toothless-pulley Huret rear derailers have worked flawlessly on several performance builds of mine, using modern 8 and 9-speed chain, and after being modded for use with standard 6-speed freewheels.

Whatever the teeth do, they don't seem to do much!
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Old 01-04-19, 08:43 PM
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dddd - where are the 1/8in balls? Are they inside the wheel races??

I haven't had time to strip and polish it but I looked up the online diagrams to help reassemble and don't see any bearings

Last edited by WGB; 01-04-19 at 08:50 PM. Reason: Adding
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Old 01-04-19, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----

The toothless wheels may hark back to the 1930's when there was a belief that derailleurs were a significant friction source which drained away a rider's efforts.

From a visual selling point at least, a dealer could point to the toothless wheels and suggest that they had less friction...

If you wish to jazz up your rear mech a bit you could get a set with the red plastic tyres as seen in dddd's photo.

-----
I spent more than a few years hunting down a set of red pulleys in both flavors, toothed and toothless, for a specific build. There were also instances of having only the lower, toothless pulley in red. And I thought I was the only one who noticed....
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Old 01-05-19, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by WGB View Post
dddd - where are the 1/8in balls? Are they inside the wheel races??

I haven't had time to strip and polish it but I looked up the online diagrams to help reassemble and don't see any bearings
You'll see that there are wrench flats on the inner race of the pulleys, for adjusting the ball bearings.

The upper pulley has a male- threaded extension on one of the inner races, has to do with how it is attached and with the long pivot bolt passing through it (it's hollow).
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Old 01-06-19, 07:54 AM
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Here is the diagram Juvela posted on the thread which I rebuilt my Alvit. I thought about doing a complete disassemble, but I came to my senses. LOL those French!


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Old 01-06-19, 08:29 AM
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Another reason to use the OEM pulleys is that they use the less common, larger, 6mm hole and bolt.
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