re: [CR]Hi-E Help??

Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 10:37:11 -0100
From: "Harvey M. Sachs" <>
Subject: re: [CR]Hi-E Help??

Eric Elman wrote with notes and questions on Hi-E hubs. I like them, but they are not w/o "idiosyncracies." Let me see if I can help with his questions. Eric's description: Front: low flange, all silver flanges and center, "Hi-E" etched in center, 16h per side. Rear: High flange (almost 3"), all silver flanges and center with "Hi-E" etched in center, threaded for a freewheel, 126mm, 24h on drove side and 16h on other.

EE: So, are these early hubs or recent hubs, about what year? I've seen a set with black centers so assume thses are older? HS: I assume earlier. I have some from the 1970s, but the 126 is slightly later than the 120s we have, I'm sure. I've never seen black centers.

EE: Is the hi-flange rear uncommon as I've never seen another? HS: I don't recall ever seeing either a low-flange rear or a hi-flange front.

EE: Why a hi-flange rear and low front? HS: No torque on front wheel, Harlan Meyer (designer/owner) advocated radial fronts. Thought - I gues, that HF gave better ability to transfer torque in the back.

EE: Why 16/24h on the rear and how would that be laced up to a 40h rim? HS: 16/24 was designed to get even spoke tension, given dishing that increases tension on drive side. Use 16 radials on left, and 24 on the right. Ah, more subtlety: Use 4x length spokes for "pulling" (counterclockwise direction from hub to rim) and 2x length for "static" spokes.

EE: These are very light - are they durable and good to use for an everyday bike or are do they lack durability and should only be used for races? HS: There were two different front hubs (at least). Front barrel <20 mm diameter is the "time trial" hub, recommended for lighter riders. My wife used hers (with superlight rims) routinely for years till she stopped riding except the tandem.

EE: How do/did they compare on cost & quality to say Phil hubs and campagnolo Record? HS: Your HiE hubs have one weirdness about them. Like Phil, they use cartridge bearings. Unlike Phil, you have to unlace the wheel to pull the end cap/flange to replace the bearing, if it ever fails. I've never had to replace one, but don't have near the mileage on them that we have on some Phils.

As for quality, leaving artistry out of it, and being a bit heretical, the Campy Record hub is a fine example of great 1920s design. Great races, great finish, fine angled flanges and countersunk holes. Phil and HiE are, in my opinion, much better hubs. Larger diameter axle for more stiffness and potential for less weight, cartridge bearings for long life and good performance, and equally good or better spoke seating.

Seeing as they are so obsolete and hard to work on, I would be willing to trade something of equivalent value, perhaps some Normandy sports... :-)

harvey "heretic" sachs mclean va

Thanks in advance, Hi-E(ric) Hi-E(lman) Somers, CT that had an earthquake this morning at 6:53am