Re: [CR] Maxi-Car Hubs

Example: Racing:Jean Robic

In-Reply-To: <03cf01cbbf46$4632c760$d2985620$@org>
References: <03cf01cbbf46$4632c760$d2985620$@org>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2011 21:39:55 -0800
To: "Mark Petry" <>, <>
From: Jan Heine <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Maxi-Car Hubs

At 3:51 PM -0800 1/28/11, Mark Petry wrote:
>In 2002 I received a brand new built for me Alex Singer bike from France, it
>had all the candy, including the vaunted Maxi-Car hubs.
>Spinning the axles between my fingers, they felt "grindy" - like a cheap
>I spent quite a lot of time messing around with them, and then finally threw
>in the towel and built up a set of wheels with Phil hubs, which are on the
>bike to this day.

After you sold the hubs to George Gibbs (disclosing the "problem," of course), I got to work on them. The problem was simple - they were adjusted too tightly at the factory. After adjusting them correctly, they have been doing stellar service on George bike ever since.

Maxi-Car hubs are not easy to work on unless you know how they work. The bearings are pressed onto the axle, so they do not adjust like other bicycle hubs. They are more in the realm of automotive parts than bike parts. Simply unscrewing the locknuts doesn't get you very far, and some home mechanics then try to pry out the bearings (as you would with a cup-and-cone hubs), and distort the (now difficult to find) labyrinth seals... which almost ruins the hubs. Re-shaping those seals isn't easy - I had to do it once. So if you have a Maxi-Car hub, don't pry at it if you cannot figure out how to disassemble it.

A full history of Maxi-Car and overhaul instructions were published in Bicycle Quarterly Vol. 2, No. 4.

With the right tools, changing the bearings in a Maxi-Car hub takes 15 minutes, and it's required about every 50,000-60,000 miles. Broken axles are rare, and you don't need to overhaul them, just adjust a tad when they develop play every 20,000 miles or so.

If any listmembers have surplus Maxi-Car hubs, please let me know! ;-)

Jan Heine Editor Bicycle Quarterly 2116 Western Ave. Seattle WA 98121

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