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Thread: What is it?

  1. #1
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    What is it?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Phil-Woo...QQcmdZViewItem

    what's the gear on these tandem hubs?

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    My guess is that it works with the disc brakes that Phil Wood made.

    I found pictures here: http://www.classicrendezvous.com/USA/phil_wood_main.htm.

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    Senior Member bentbaggerlen's Avatar
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    Yep, thats the old Phil Wood disk brake hubs. Great if your building up a reto. And if you are I have 1 complete NOS brake, a small collection of parts and three NOS disks.... Can't blame me for trying..

    The person that listed the wheel set also has a brake up for auction, he hit the nail right on the head when he If he said "if you're feeling brave and/or lucky, check out my auction of the Phil Wood vintage mechanical disc brake to use with these wheels." But at the time (1970's) this was the best disk brake available for bicycle use. And the wheel set was top of the line at the time as well
    Bentbaggerlen
    "When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking." - Arthur Conan Doyle

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    Some friends of mine were seriously injured (and almost killed) when the Phil disc brakes on their tandem failed on a steep downhill. I believe they received a sizable settlement from Phil Wood.

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    Check out Sheldon's page on this brake, http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_p.html#phil. It was made out of asbestos and could fail suddenly and with no warning. From the write-up it sounds like the disc was prone to cause the failure. The replacement discs may fix this problem.

    "Formerly, Phil Wood also made pedals and one of the first disc brakes ever designed for bicycles. These products were less successful than those mentioned above. The disc brake, in particular, is considered quite dangerous by some. They were prone to fracture of the disc, which would cause abrupt, total brake failure, with no warning. There are no parts available for the disc brakes. They were designed an asbestos-based disc, and the use of this material for brakes is no longer legal. "

  6. #6
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Phil stuff was/is great!
    Yes, there were some issues with the Phil disk brake and it was later discontinued.
    Did use non-disc Phil 36H hubs on our 1977 custom Assenmacher tandem + the Phil Wood platform pedals.
    Put 67,000 miles on those and they spun better/smoother than any hub of its time. Second owner of our tandem still raved about the great wheels/hubset.
    Put 80,000+ miles on those Phil pedals. Ruined one of those pedals by bashing it on a-then-novel speedbump going from the US into Mexico at Nogales, AZ (yes we were pedaling 90 degrees OOP). Sadly by then, Phil no longer made these great light/sealed bearing/touring platform pedals.
    That'll make a great wheelset for someone into vintage bikes/tandems!
    Pedal on TWOgewther!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  7. #7
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    I'm afraid I'm gonna have to differ on Phil Wood stuff, but I'm an ornery contrarian anyway.

    Back in 1977, I used Phil Wood hubs and a Phil Wood bb on my fixed gear winter bike. I went to Simon Fraser University at that time, and every day I'd ride that bike up to the top of Burnaby Mountain where SFU was located to attend classes.This is a climb of 1,200' in 3 miles, about 6 to 8 percent grade, on a fixed gear of around 66 to 70 inches. Now Burnaby is located next to Vancouver, British Columbia, where it rains a lot. Also, in the winter, it will snow maybe once or twice, with the snow staying on the road for a few days, it goes below freezing periodically, so they tend to salt the roads on those days, and it rains the rest of the time. I remember coming home on dark evenings, the road covered in snow, the rear wheel locked and sliding most of the way down the hill. Not fun, but it develops great bike-handling.

    So in the winter of 76-77 (give or take a year), I destroyed a set of Phil Wood hubs and bb. I sent them back to Phil, they returned with new bearings, I promptly rebuilt the wheels and reinstalled the bb, and a month later the bearings in the hubs were again shot. I could move the rim about an inch.

    I got a note from Bern Smith saying he was perplexed; they test their hubs underwater without failure. All I could figure was that they used very clean water and they didn't put any load on the hubs. I developed a theory about US-made parts: Most of the companies are based in sunny California and they just didn't have any clue that people actually rode bikes in the rain and snow or on salted roads.

    I think that even Shimano (sunny Japan) and Campanolo (sunny Italy) are somewhat ignorant of the demands placed on their equipment. Around that same time, I broke six cranks (both Shimano & Campag) from riding them in the typical Vancouver winter without washing them off after each ride. The road salt would impregnate the aluminum of the cranks, so a few months later, the cranks would become weakened enough to snap.

    Now, for my part, I admit I wasn't helping matters. I didn't wash off the bike with dishwasher detergent after coming home each day, and my climbing style at that time involved rocking the bike side to side, which is not the kind of load radial bearings are designed for (I now climb and accelerate with the bike vertical - very little rocking).

    Still, I was so turned off by Phil Wood stuff that I haven't bought anything of his since then, and I do what I can to dissuade others from buying Phil stuff. So take that, Phil and Bern!

    - L.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bentbaggerlen's Avatar
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    All of the Phil stuff I've had has been good, but every thing will fail at some point. I've also had bearings fail but I just ran down to the local bearing house to pick up new ones. I would love to find a pair of the Phil platform pedals.

    The disk brake and parts I picked up at a swap meet just because they were nice looking (and cheap) I never intended to use them on a bike.
    Bentbaggerlen
    "When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking." - Arthur Conan Doyle

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