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Hi-E hub "maintenance" & Campy Skewer locknut resistance

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Hi-E hub "maintenance" & Campy Skewer locknut resistance

Old 06-21-16, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
...I ended up finding a decent pair of straight lever Simplex QR skewers on a trashed set of wheels at the dump. While not the lightest, they look good and get the job done on my '71 Paramount.



Originally Posted by 3speedslow
^^ Sorry, but in the pics, which are these ? Which rims are the Hi-E laced to?

Thanks.
"...which are these?" The Hi-E hubs??? The Simplex skewers??? I'm not certain what you are asking.

The rims are Faimme red label tubulars. I'm running 28mm Schwalbe Ones. Hate the label but love the look and ride.



Originally Posted by steelbikeguy
my recollection regarding the first generation Hi-E skewers, it was recommended that a curved "notch" be filed into the upper face of the rear dropouts, so that the hub axle would largely be held in place by the notch. That never struck me as a great solution, but if you are determined to use a very light QR such as the single-sided wingnut type, I guess it was tolerable.

Harlan did update the QR design to a version with a protruding feature, and you were supposed to use a tool to create a mating recess in the dropout. Perhaps this is the type of QR that you had?
Here's the literature that I've got that briefly describes the QR and tool....




Steve in Peoria
Thanks for posting this flyer notice, which explains why they don't work. If any one has the special Hi-E Tool, let's try to work a deal so you end up with my skewers.
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Old 06-21-16, 07:27 AM
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Sorry Bob,

English is my first language too! You answered my question tho', Simplex skewers.

Thanks
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Old 06-26-16, 12:08 PM
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Ran across a 1980 Hi-E brochure today. It looks like #210 Updating was a service they were providing, which included the reaming of the drive side of the rear hub for the ability to slip the bearing in and out? I hope you can read this -- I don't know how to make part of it larger. It's the upper right page.
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Old 06-27-16, 05:05 PM
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Thanks @Ol Danl. I can't read that brochure. Any chance you can try again? Maybe your printer is one of those all-in-ones with scanner capability. Failing that, I would be willing to pay postage both ways and scan the entire brochure. Thx...
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Old 06-28-16, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Ol Danl
Ran across a 1980 Hi-E brochure today. It looks like #210 Updating was a service they were providing, which included the reaming of the drive side of the rear hub for the ability to slip the bearing in and out? I hope you can read this -- I don't know how to make part of it larger. It's the upper right page.
Ol, Danl, I'm having the same issue and can't read it due to the focus and size. Another possibility would be to take closer pictures of each side or even 4 pictures, with 2 for each page.

I agree as well with smontanaro that it would be fantastic to have the entire brochure scanned. I'd be willing to place it on my website for everyone to access.
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Old 07-17-16, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by smontanaro
I think I'll put these on my Atala so I can see how it does with tubulars, and move the clincher wheels with Phil hubs it has to a frame I'm building up for Ellen as a city bike.
Still working on the city bike, but I grabbed the Atala with the Hi-E wheelset to toodle around town for a bit this afternoon. This was the first time I'd been on it since swapping wheelsets. It seemed quite peppy when accelerating. I figured it was just a tailwind, but decided to compare the two wheelsets when I got home. The difference was (I think) significant. The Phil set had 36H hubs, Super Champion clincher rims, and Pasela PT 25mm tires. The Hi-E set had 32H/36H hubs (as Steve mentioned, a super low flange set he called "time trial"), a Super Champion Record du Monde rim up front and a Fiamme Ergal rim in back. Both wheels sported Continental Competition 22mm tubular tires. The Phil set weighed 1.495/1.979 kg (3.474 total). The Hi-E set weighed 1.016/1.580kg (2.597 total), a difference of almost two pounds.

The Hi-E wheelset was lighter in every way possible other than skewers (both have Campy flat skewers), so it's a bit unfair to tout this as a Phil/Hi-E bake-off, but it was impressive how much weight difference there was.
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Old 07-17-16, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by smontanaro
...snip.... The difference was (I think) significant. The Phil set had 36H hubs, Super Champion clincher rims, and Pasela PT 25mm tires. The Hi-E set had 32H/36H hubs (as Steve mentioned, a super low flange set he called "time trial"), a Super Champion Record du Monde rim up front and a Fiamme Ergal rim in back. Both wheels sported Continental Competition 22mm tubular tires. The Phil set weighed 1.495/1.979 kg (3.474 total). The Hi-E set weighed 1.016/1.580kg (2.597 total), a difference of almost two pounds.

The Hi-E wheelset was lighter in every way possible other than skewers (both have Campy flat skewers), so it's a bit unfair to tout this as a Phil/Hi-E bake-off, but it was impressive how much weight difference there was.
That is good! Of course, comparing clinchers to sew-ups is not fair, but it does speak to the general differences between clincher and sew-up configurations.

I'm planning to bring my Raleigh Team up to Chicagoland for the next C&V gathering. It is set up with a front wheel with a Hi-E hub (although the more general hub with a medium flange), and it has a Hi-E QR on it. This is the one that is really a one-sided wingnut. I'll have to pull it out and let you handle it, just so you can appreciate how minimal it is (both in weight and clamping force). I've been using this one since the 70's and have no qualms about using it at all.

My Raleigh Team is set up as my weight weenie bike, and the rear Campy QR has alloy replacements for the end nut (on the right) and the cam housing (or whatever it is called... on the left). They do let me leave a lot of steel behind. The bike also has a Phil titanium BB, and a Brooks Swift with a titanium frame... gotta love titanium!!


Steve in Peoria
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Old 07-18-16, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy
That is good! Of course, comparing clinchers to sew-ups is not fair, but it does speak to the general differences between clincher and sew-up configurations....

Steve in Peoria
Speaking of comparisons between clinchers and tubulars and wheelsets, I had one yesterday----

I went riding with a buddy. He was on his modern full Campagnolo equipped Cannondale (hubs, shifters, etc. and clincher tires). I was on my '71 Paramount with Hi-E hubs and Schwalbe One 28mm tubulars (pictured above).

This was the first time I had ridden the Hi-E-Fiamme-Schwalbe Tubulars with another rider.

Well, when it came to rolling down hill, I took off and it was as if he was dragging a sled behind him! We are pretty close in weight so that should not have been a factor. Even when he could still pedal (he had 52-11 gearing compared to my 50-14), he could not hang with me coasting.

I was amazed by these wheels with these tires! Now I only wish I could have kept up with him when climbing.
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Old 12-21-16, 06:25 PM
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I finally overhauled a gritty Hi-E hub that has been languishing in my parts bin. It took me a while to figure out how to get to the bearings. The "trick" is the little serrated end is simply a press-fit cap on the axle. I put one end in a vise and twisted the other end with a pair of vise grips until it loosened. You can then pop it off with a thin screwdriver. Once the end cap is off, the flat metal washer/end cover will slip off revealing the bearings. At first you will see a plastic seal to the bearings. Using a thin exacto blade, carefully remove the seal to expose the bearings.



At this point, rather than remove the pressed in bearings, you can clean the bearings. I used the help of an ultrasonic cleaner with kerosene, followed by scrubbing with a clean toothbrush, and a couple repeat rounds with the ultrasonic cleaner. Let dry, and then repack with fresh grease.



The grooved/serrated end caps were rather worn and had lost some of their bite. I took a worn out chisel and sharpened the grooves again.





In my misguided efforts to originally service the hub I had tried pounding on the axle end to force out the bearings. This resulted in an axle that was no longer centered. To correct this, I made a wood brace for the hub shell, and then put the hub assembly back in the vise and tightened down on the axle until it was moved back into position. This step also had the effect of removing some tightness, and the hub immediately spun more smoothly. I then press fit both of the end caps back onto the axel.





And I just finished building up this weight weenie wheel set. 1468 grams for the set including skewers, not bad for 36 spoke wheels!


Last edited by gaucho777; 12-22-16 at 06:52 AM. Reason: correcting auto-correct
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Old 12-21-16, 06:43 PM
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Also, btw, here is an example of a horizontal dropout Speedewell Ti in this case) prepped for the Hi-E hub By the original owner to avoid slippage. Ti frames are particularly prone to rear wheel slippage.

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Old 12-22-16, 05:48 AM
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That is amazing that the axle interface with the frame/fork dropouts is a simple cap! @gaucho777 thanks for posting these pictures. First Flight Bicycles in NC, which bought out the remaining inventory of HiE, has different sized axle spacers for the rear hubs. They never posted any pictures but now your pictures help. I wonder if HiE made a tool to grab the serations?

Another C&V mystery solved! Thank you.
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Old 12-22-16, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by smontanaro
On a whim, I bought a wheelset with Hi-E hubs recently. The rear is a 36H hi-lo hub, the front is one of those extra-small flange 32H hubs. They came with Campy flat skewers. I have a couple questions:
  • The front hub doesn't spin well. It's quite stiff. I exchanged a couple emails with Jeff at First Flight Bikes who bought Harlan Myers' remaining stock from his estate a few years ago. He confirmed that to properly service/rebuild the hub, I'll need to remove the hub flanges, as they have a lip which prevents the bearing cartridge from being removed. That would necessitate a complete teardown of the wheel, something I'm not keen to do right now. For the moment, I've just dribbled a little oil into each side, letting it sit for awhile, in hopes that will soften up the grease a bit. Assuming that frees things up a bit, will that do anything bad other than perhaps shortening the life of the bearings somewhat?
  • The front skewer is a regular Campy flat skewer. In taking it off to dribble oil into the hub, I noticed there was no resistance in the nut, so vibration could potentially lead to loosening. It's one of those conical shaped quick release nuts with the D-ring. Can I just squeeze the D-ring with some pliers to push the softer material back in where it will engage with the threads on the skewer?
With the age of those hubs, it's not unreasonable to think the bearings are just past it, which means you should just replace the bearings, whatever that takes.
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Old 12-22-16, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
First Flight Bicycles in NC, which bought out the remaining inventory of HiE, has different sized axle spacers for the rear hubs. They never posted any pictures but now your pictures help. I wonder if HiE made a tool to grab the serations?
It might be worth contacting First Flight, but with Jeff Archer's sudden death a few months ago, it's not clear how involved they will continue to be with that project.
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Old 12-22-16, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan
With the age of those hubs, it's not unreasonable to think the bearings are just past it, which means you should just replace the bearings, whatever that takes.
It turned out to mostly be old grease. Good idea or not, I dribbled a bit of oil in there to dissolve the grease a bit, then let it sit a couple days. After that, the hub spun more freely. As Steve Kurt observed, to properly service the style of hub I have, you need to disassemble the hub (unlace the wheel, then remove the flanges from the barrel). After servicing, you have to get it put back together with the proper half-step offset between the holes in the two flanges. (Might not be a big deal with my super low flange TT front hub. Probably more important for the rear.) ISTR either Jeff Archer or another person with Hi-E experience indicating that it wasn't all that uncommon to simply cut off the curves to allow bearing access without disassembly. I decided not to get that drastic. Later Hi-E hubs came without the lip.
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Old 12-22-16, 01:22 PM
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@smontanaro, good info. I hadn't considered the need to realign the offset spoke holes on a full hub reassembly. I had initially tried to remove the flanges using a couple wood braces around each flange, but was unsuccessful so just cleaned and repacked the existing bearings. Did you ever learn how the hub flanges were removed from the shell? Did Harlan make a specific tool for this? Interesting idea to cut off the lips. For now I'm happy enough to stick with my approach and service the bearings in place rather than replace, but still curious for future reference.
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Old 12-22-16, 02:28 PM
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Alas, no. My Hi-E brain dump is complete.
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Old 12-23-16, 10:28 AM
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Hi E wheel set with Hi E rims (For display only!!!) Front wheel with skewer weighs 16.5 oz (468 grams) Rear 21 oz (596 grams) :-)
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Old 12-23-16, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by gaucho777
....

does it count as a thread hijack if I just want say how much I love the Cyclone derailleur with the black anodizing on the upper and lower parts of the body??
Thanks for sharing the photo!

Steve in Peoria
(okay, now back to the Hi-E stuff, which I also love!)
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Old 06-18-17, 02:39 AM
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I just picked up a pair of 36 hole Hi-E hubs in a "lot of miscellaneous crap" eBay purchase. Got a high flange rear and a small diameter "micro" front with an original skewer. The rear isn't marked, but the front has the Hi-E logo lightly engraved on it. They don't look like they've ever been laced up.

The rear is 120mm OLN and the aluminum "adapters" don't have the knurled ends that most hubs seem to have. It has French threading - the Atom 13t-18t freewheel that came with it spun right on. Fortunately I realized, before I threaded it all the way on, that I don't have an Atom freewheel remover. I'm not sure an Atom freewheel remover would even fit over the adapter, so I don't know what freewheels might work with the hub. The bearings are like butter, though the grease seems a little stiff.

The front hub bearings are rough, maybe due to too much side load, since the OLN measurement is about 98.5mm. It has steel axle end adapters, and I guess I'll try to figure out how to take them off or at least back them off.
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Old 06-18-17, 11:10 AM
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those little time trial front hubs were advertised as being light duty and not for routine use, but would certainly be fun for a special vintage weight weenie bike!

I seem to recall some discussion about disassembling the Hi-E hubs... maybe the Classic Rendezvous google group?? It would be worth doing some searching. My hazy memory says that everything is pressed together, so in theory, it should be possible to tap a few things and get some of the load off of the bearings.

It's good to see that you've got the Hi-E front skewer. These avoid putting a compressive load on the bearings, which customers were warned about (again.. according to my hazy memory). Using a conventional QR skewer was a no-no.

good luck!

Steve in Peoria
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Old 06-18-17, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy
those little time trial front hubs were advertised as being light duty and not for routine use, but would certainly be fun for a special vintage weight weenie bike!

I seem to recall some discussion about disassembling the Hi-E hubs... maybe the Classic Rendezvous google group?? It would be worth doing some searching. My hazy memory says that everything is pressed together, so in theory, it should be possible to tap a few things and get some of the load off of the bearings.

It's good to see that you've got the Hi-E front skewer. These avoid putting a compressive load on the bearings, which customers were warned about (again.. according to my hazy memory). Using a conventional QR skewer was a no-no.

good luck!

Steve in Peoria
Steve - Thanks a million for the reference to the CR Google group. I found instructions with pictures for disassembling the TT hub. I think I can rebuild the hub with the tools I have. At least I know what not to do i.e. just try to take off the axle adapters.

I would like to build a lightweight tubular wheel set. The only bike I have with 120mm rear spacing is a Peugeot UO-8 I picked up for $7.95 at a thrift store a while back. I also have an old Raleigh Record frame that I could reset to 120mm. The UO-8 is virtually all original, including the plastic bar tape and maybe even one original tire. The Simplex Delrin FD was cracked, but I found a replacement at my favorite LBS, Oak City Cycling Project. My only hesitation is that I weigh in around 215#, so I'm not sure how the hubs would hold up.
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Old 06-18-17, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by tcpasley
Steve - Thanks a million for the reference to the CR Google group. I found instructions with pictures for disassembling the TT hub. I think I can rebuild the hub with the tools I have. At least I know what not to do i.e. just try to take off the axle adapters.

I would like to build a lightweight tubular wheel set. The only bike I have with 120mm rear spacing is a Peugeot UO-8 I picked up for $7.95 at a thrift store a while back. I also have an old Raleigh Record frame that I could reset to 120mm. The UO-8 is virtually all original, including the plastic bar tape and maybe even one original tire. The Simplex Delrin FD was cracked, but I found a replacement at my favorite LBS, Oak City Cycling Project. My only hesitation is that I weigh in around 215#, so I'm not sure how the hubs would hold up.
glad to provide help! I'm using a Hi-E hub and QR that I bought back in the 70's. While there are limits on the stuff, it can do quite well when used within its spec.

Having said that... the TT front hub that you've got is designed for relatively lightweight folks.
Here's a 1992 "catalog" page that describes the weight limit at 150/180 pounds. Not exactly sure why Harlan used two numbers for the limit.




I'm not sure exactly which model of rear hub you've got, but it's probably more appropriate for your weight. Bear in mind that the Hi-E hubs don't tolerate a lot of clamping force from the QR, so it should be used with a vertical dropout. Otherwise, you run the risk of having the axle slip forward in a horizontal dropout.


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Old 06-18-17, 10:16 PM
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Steve - thanks again. I used an arbor press to easily remove one flange, as per the instructions from the CR Hi-E group. With the flange off, the bearings were perfectly smooth. I just pressed the flange back on, being careful to not go too far with it. The bearings stayed perfectly smooth. I think if the flanges are pressed in too far, there is an internal spacer tube that contacts the sides of the bearings and causes interference that mimics bearings going bad.

As for the weight rating, 180# is my goal weight, so getting to use that front hub will be an incentive to make that goal. As for the rear hub, it's a a Hi-Hi, so it should be fine even at my current weight. I'm not sure what is meant in the catalog where it says "6 degree" or "4 degree" flanges - maybe that refers to the spoke angles w.r.t the axle.

I wonder how many French threaded rear hubs Hi-E made. Ever seen another one?
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Old 06-19-17, 11:14 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by tcpasley
Steve - thanks again. I used an arbor press to easily remove one flange, as per the instructions from the CR Hi-E group. With the flange off, the bearings were perfectly smooth. I just pressed the flange back on, being careful to not go too far with it. The bearings stayed perfectly smooth. I think if the flanges are pressed in too far, there is an internal spacer tube that contacts the sides of the bearings and causes interference that mimics bearings going bad.
congrats! Always love to hear about maintenance experiments that work out well!

Some of Hi-E's literature hinted at the internal details, which matches with what you've found.
Here's one page that shows a bit of what is inside...






Originally Posted by tcpasley
As for the weight rating, 180# is my goal weight, so getting to use that front hub will be an incentive to make that goal.

As for the rear hub, it's a a Hi-Hi, so it should be fine even at my current weight. I'm not sure what is meant in the catalog where it says "6 degree" or "4 degree" flanges - maybe that refers to the spoke angles w.r.t the axle.

I wonder how many French threaded rear hubs Hi-E made. Ever seen another one?

Taking weight off of the engine is a well proven technique to make bikes faster, so I wish you luck with your goal! Getting to use some weight weenie toys is just another motivator!

Speaking of the front hubs... I did find a page that mentions the admonition to use a Hi-E skewer and avoid excessive compressive force that could damage the bearings...




I'm still scratching my head about the 4 and 6 degree flanges. Based on the drawings on some of Hi-E's literature, it might be that the whole flange was machined to be 4 or 6 degrees away from the usual 90 degrees perpendicular to the axle. Or maybe it was just the edge of the flange where the spoke holes are located??





Steve in Peoria
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Old 06-20-17, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by tcpasley
The rear is 120mm OLN and the aluminum "adapters" don't have the knurled ends that most hubs seem to have. It has French threading - the Atom 13t-18t freewheel that came with it spun right on. Fortunately I realized, before I threaded it all the way on, that I don't have an Atom freewheel remover. I'm not sure an Atom freewheel remover would even fit over the adapter, so I don't know what freewheels might work with the hub. The bearings are like butter, though the grease seems a little stiff..
On further examination, it turns out that the rear hub is NOT French threaded. I did thread the Atom freewheel on a bit, but I guess I chickened out before it started binding up. I verified 24 tpi threading with a DNP freewheel. French threading didn't make a lot of sense.
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