Maxi-car hubs are the stuff of legend, 60,000 or 100,000, or more miles without need of a rebuild. These are the hubs that came on the very very best bikes from Herse, Singer, and the other great constructeurs. They are still sought after by tandem riders for their strength and by randonneurs for their reliability and longevity.
The holes in the drive side of the rear hub are like keyholes, allowing a broken spoke to be changed without removing the freewheel. The axles are oversize, like Phil Wood axles, and simply don't break.
But unlike Phil Wood and other quality hubs, Maxi-car used annular bearings designed for not only up-and-down loads, but for side loads as well. Then they encased them in a labyrinth of seals. It's been estimated that there are twice as many machining steps required to make a Maxi-car hub as, say, a Phil Wood hub.
As with so many hand machined products, Maxi-car hubs simply became too costly to manufacture and the company was unwilling to spend the money required to develop a cassette hub. The company still exists and they still make hubs, but now they are made for wheelchairs. Here is a page with more information.
The pair shown here are NOS from one of the very last production runs in the mid to late 1990s. They are going on VO randonneuse #1 .
Here's a fun Maxi-car article.
08 January, 2007
Posted by Velo Orange at 1:58:00 PM