>Anyone who would design and manufacture a hub as
>beautiful as the Maxi-Car, but require you to
>take a hammer to one side to adjust the
>bearings, is someone I would not hire to design
>me much of anything else.
Other hubs often are not adjustable at all, like
the original Phil Woods. That solves the "hammer"
problem. If they develop play, you live with it.
>Granted, most things that use bearings also use
>press-fitting parts with the bearings, but I
>still prefer the more common screw-on cup/cone
>arrangement for ease of use and maintainence.
Press-fitting a bearing onto a spindle is pretty standard practice. Cup-and-cone bearings are much easier to overhaul, but they also require overhauling much more often, especially since most bicycle hubs aren't well-sealed. So in the end, even if you spend four times as much time overhauling a Maxi-Car ever 30 years, you save time compared to overhauling a Campagnolo hub every 2-4 years.
In between overhauls, all you need to do to Maxi-Car hubs is adjust for bearing play/wear. That usually happens every 5-10 years, and takes 2-3 minutes. If you tighten too much, you need to loosen the bearings, as you describe, with a hammer. (Some of the older Maxi-Car hubs have the bearings slip-fit onto the spindle, but I prefer a press-fit.)
Wait until you get to overhaul a René Herse or Alex Singer bottom bracket! It's far from trivial, and you really need a bearing press and machine some simple tools to press in the bearings. Fortunately, it usually isn't required until the bike is 50-60 years old. Again, 50 years without overhaul is pretty good. If I could order one now, I'd be surprised if I ever had to overhaul it! -- Jan Heine Editor Bicycle Quarterly 140 Lakeside Ave #C Seattle WA 98122 http://www.bikequarterly.com