Helyett Musette Bag

This musette is a stunner!  The name has been beautifully created with ribbon sewn onto the gorgeous blue-green bag.  The bike manufacturer Helyett had a long and successful run as a cycling team from 1932 all the way to 1961.

The Helyett company was founded in 1919 by two Picard brothers, in Sully-sur-Loire, with another factory near Orleans, and named after the heroine of the operetta Miss Helyett, whose image adorned many of the head badges affixed to Helyett bicycles. The company started out making cycle parts but was soon making complete bicycles and, by 1926, motorcycles too.

In 1932 the company started sponsoring a cycle racing team with Hutchinson as co-sponsor, as they were almost continuously through to 1953 and a few of the subsequent years, the last time in 1961 when the team sponsors were Helyett – Fynsec – Hutchinson.  The last Helyett professional team was the Saint-Raphael – Helyett team of 1962 when Jacques Anquetil gained his third Tour de France victory.

In 1962 the Orleans factory was sold to Robert Griffon for the manufacture of Griffon bicycles and in 1966 Helyett was merged with Gitane and subsequent Helyett bicycles became “badge-engineered” Gitanes – some even carrying the Gitane logo on the fork crown.

The Musette: A Simple Cloth Bag and Icon of Cycling

We see riders wrapped in spare tubes with goggles firmly in place, carrying the unmistakable fabric food bag from bicycle racing’s earliest photographs. This simple but vital musette bag takes its name from the nose-bag often seen hanging around horses’ necks.

Getting food and water to riders has always been a tricky but crucial part of racing.  In the early days, to supplement what a rider could carry in a musette, bars and cafes were often raided by riders leaving bills for race organizers to settle later. Formal feed zones were introduced to racing in 1919, but riders still had to stop to take on provisions from large tables. By the 1950s, the random cafes and tables of food began to be replaced by team staff on the side of the road handing off the musettes to riders who did not need to stop and risk losing valuable time. As cycling technology advances, with innovations like radios and wireless shifting, the proven and straightforward musette bag remains a vital method to get food and drinks to riders in the peloton.

In the early days, musettes were not available for fans to purchase.  They were highly prized and collected, especially when a favorite brand or race was featured.

Size: 11.5 x 9.25 inches ( 29 x 23.5 cm)

Please Note: Bag does have some fading and discoloration.

This item is one of a kind; please look carefully at the photos to determine the condition.

SKU: XT-1065 Category: Tag:


This item is one of a kind; please look carefully at the photos to determine the condition.