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How common was 32H hubs?

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How common was 32H hubs?

Old 09-09-20, 12:14 PM
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1987
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How common was 32H hubs?

How common was 32H hubs for road cycling back in the days. I am mainly interested in 60s, 70s and 80s (and the beginning of 90s)?

On eBay 70s Campagnolo Records 32H hubs are kinda rare (not counting "buy it now" listings), a little bit more common for 80s. And in real life 32H Record hubs are even rarer.

Locally I think almost all vintage bikes that I've seen has been equipped with 36H, except a few bikes ridden by professionals.

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Old 09-09-20, 12:30 PM
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Back in 1992 when I was building up a bike I ordered some Ultegra 8sp wheels from Performance Bike and they took forever to show up; couldn't get an answer as to what was going on. I grew impatient and ordered a set from Colorado Cyclist that promptly arrived. I did eventually get the Performance order and was talking to a mechanic at a bike shop, asking if he knew of anyone that might be interested in buying them (they were 32H). He told me nobody would want them because 28H was the new thing.

Well, the reason I told that story is because of the road bikes I now have in 2020, most of them have 36H wheels. I know wheel weight is rotating mass but seriously, hold 8 spokes in your hand and tell me you are going to be faster, etc. when comparing 72 to 64. Sometimes I ride strong and sometimes I don't - it has nothing to do with a few spokes in my wheels.

In case you hadn't noticed, I'm not a fan of wheels with just a few spokes. If I can pick up a good set of wheels I don't pay any attention to 36 vs. 32.
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Old 09-09-20, 12:38 PM
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Quite a few of them seemed to pop up in the 1980's on road bikes, and some of the current Electra hybrids have 32h rims.

As for C&V examples, Raleigh ran 32/40 (front/rear, *NOT* laced) as early as the 1930's. They changed to 36/36 in 1973.

-Kurt
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Old 09-09-20, 12:40 PM
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In the 70's, 36 spoke gear was the most common - by far. 32 holes became more common in the 80's, and by the 90's, with stiffer, higher profile rims, it became the 'standard'.

The other consideration is that 32 spoke vintage stuff (rims and hubs) are far more desirable and saleable to both vintage collectors and riders.
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Old 09-09-20, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by 1987 View Post
How common was 32H hubs for road cycling back in the days. I am mainly interested in 60s, 70s and 80s (and the beginning of 90s)?

On eBay 70s Campagnolo Records 32H hubs are kinda rare (not counting "buy it now" listings), a little bit more common for 80s. And in real life 32H Record hubs are even rarer.

Locally I think almost all vintage bikes that I've seen has been equipped with 36H, except a few bikes ridden by professionals.
Not very. 36H was de facto standard. Anything less was for special TT wheels, or maybe race day wheels. Of course there was always that guy that had 28h wheels with a front radial and rear crow's foot, or something like that.

In the very early 80s, the European pros started drifting towards heavier rims (e.g. 400g SSC) with 32H, instead of lighter rims with 36H. There was a time lag as usual for the new cool thing to cross the pond, but the trend eventually caught on in NA. By the late 80s that had become dominant in the US as well.
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Old 09-09-20, 01:10 PM
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1985, my Italian racing bike came with 36 F&R.
1985, the sew-ups I bought for criteriums were 32/28.
I remember 32s were pretty common for a long time... up until boutique wheels started to get popular.
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Old 09-09-20, 01:48 PM
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Subjective answer: When I was racing back in the 80s, it was pretty common to have 36H training wheels, and 32H racing wheels (sometimes 28H in front if you were a lightweight or weight weenie). 32H wheels were less common in the 70s than the 80s, but still not what I would consider obscure/rare. I can't speak for the 60s.
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Old 09-09-20, 02:01 PM
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32h was fairly common on British lightweights in the 1950s and 60s, but only for the front wheel, and often used in combination with a 40h rear.
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Old 09-09-20, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Not very. 36H was de facto standard. Anything less was for special TT wheels, or maybe race day wheels. Of course there was always that guy that had 28h wheels with a front radial and rear crow's foot, or something like that.

In the very early 80s, the European pros started drifting towards heavier rims (e.g. 400g SSC) with 32H, instead of lighter rims with 36H. There was a time lag as usual for the new cool thing to cross the pond, but the trend eventually caught on in NA. By the late 80s that had become dominant in the US as well.
I guess I'm kind of "that guy". 28 hole radial front with Alpina aero spokes and alloy spline drive nipples. Rear is normal 28 hole 3x. Only crow's feet are in the mirror.
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Old 09-09-20, 03:58 PM
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32 spoke wheels arrived mostly on top tier Italian bikes in the 70's.
They were around, but rims were not that well stocked.
36 was of course most common and 28's more common than I would have thought.
40 hole rear for touring bikes and tandems.
later 48 rear for tandems.
I was away then returned to work in a bike shop in mid 80's
with the Araya aero clincher and Specialized Turbo tires, 32 hole became a race or training spoke count wheel.
36's were training wheels unless you bought used.
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Old 09-09-20, 07:45 PM
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Quite common.
Always when you had a 28h or 36h rim.
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Old 09-09-20, 08:36 PM
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I still remeber having 32H wheels for the first time in the mid 80's and I felt like I was tempting fate with them, thinking that they will asplode, the first little bump I ride them over........
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