[CR]Phil Wood and other alternatives to Campy


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Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002 14:34:08 -0700
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
From: Jan Heine <heine@mindspring.com>
Subject: [CR]Phil Wood and other alternatives to Campy

It is too bad that in the old days the true alternatives to Campy weren't widely available in this country.

Maxicar hubs come to mind - with proper bearings to take the side loads that occur in a bicycle wheels (no play in those bearings), axles that don't bend or break (unlike Campy) and multiple labyrinth seals on the bearings (I have seen numerous hubs older than 50 years that have never been overhauled and still run smooth). Of course, they are history, too.

Why didn't Phil copy the hubs or use the same bearings? I can only guess it was cost (Rebour mentioned in ca. 1947 that the bearings alone cost more than an entire conventional hub) - or lack of knowledge about bearing technology? Maybe he'd never seen a Maxicar hub? Considering that they were around, I suspect he looked at one and decided that it would cost a lot more to make one...

On the other hand, after having replaced the rear axle on the Tipo hub on my Alan rain bike for the umteenth time, I'd be tempted by a Phil rear hub to avoid that hassle. I know it is dropout flex that contributes to the problem, but a properly designed hub doesn't break axles no matter what.

Jan Heine, Seattle