Better Hubs, was Re: [CR]1970's French Hubs

Example: Production Builders:Peugeot

Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2004 18:38:09 -0500
From: HM & SS Sachs <>
Subject: Better Hubs, was Re: [CR]1970's French Hubs

I'm sure we've gone around about the topic of what makes better hubs, and I appreciate the most recent conversation, too. Leaving out cartridge-bearing hubs for the moment to focus on cup-and-cone units, for what it might be worth here are my thoughts - as a non-engineer.

1) ground cones rule. The Campy Record series cones were finished, as far as I can tell, by grinding and polishing, instead of by lathe-cutting. My understanding is that this yields much better longeivity in stressed bearings, and would correlate what I "feel" about all the wheels I've serviced. But, this is anecdotal only. I think I've seen some ground French races, but would not swear to it. 2) Concave cones win big. I'm not sure if it is the better contact, or something else, but I consistently find that cones with concave surfaces can be more accurately adjusted than those with flat faces. I think it's that Campy thought hard about the contact angle between ball and cone, and the result is that there is some latitude for adjustment of the cone separation before looseness is perceived.

(But, I sure do love my Harden and Phil hubs, with no cones to pack).

harvey sachs mcLean va =============== In a message dated 2/20/04 11:30:22 AM, writes:

<< Normandy Competition, Maillard Competition (probably the same hub updated

after Maillard bought Normandy), and Maillard 700 are all pro quality and

were used by pro teams. Campy fans will say Campy NR was smoother - maybe a

little, but I can't tell much difference. There were also lower models just

marked "Normandy" or later "Maillard". These aren't the same quality, but

still work very well if properly lubricated and adjusted. English thread

began appearing on French-made hubs in the early 70's, although the same

hubs continued to be made with French thread also probably into the 80's.


Jerry and List,

The Maillard 700 Professional series have cones very similar to Campagnolo NR/SR. The bearing races appear quite similar as well, and I cannot tell a difference in smoothness between them and Campagnolos. I can tell a difference bewteen the 700's and other Normandy/Maillards, which do not have cones similar to Campagnolos.

Of course I think the sealed bearing hubs of Pelessier; Maillard/Spidel; Mavic; Phil are smoother still.



Chuck Brooks
Malta, NY