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Hi-E

Old 01-04-22, 05:25 PM
  #51  
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Hi-E wheelset on Teledyne Titan at River City Bicycles

Hi folks, figured I'd post these here. This Hi-E wheelset is hanging on a Teledyne Titan on display at River City Bicycles in Portland, OR. These might be of special interest because they appear to have a slightly different construction type than most of the other rims.




In my collection I've got a set of the early 36h hubs, low flange front and high flange rear, with the stickers instead of engraving. 120 spaced. The front was radially laced and the rear was radial on the non-drive side, kinda neat.

(One of the stickers is upside down so looks like I'm stuck with a left-hand drivetrain lol)

And I just recently got myself a 28h front hub for a 1988 titanium bike that I'm slowly building up as a lightweight build. Now I need a 28h rear hub, and really light rims (I'm a small gal). Thinking about Mavic Argent 7s. Or, heck, if I ever found a pair of Hi-E rims, well that would really be something...
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Old 01-04-22, 07:07 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by 3dvvitch View Post
Hi folks, figured I'd post these here. This Hi-E wheelset is hanging on a Teledyne Titan on display at River City Bicycles in Portland, OR. These might be of special interest because they appear to have a slightly different construction type than most of the other rims.

<...snip...>
.....Or, heck, if I ever found a pair of Hi-E rims, well that would really be something...
back in those days, I built up a front wheel with the standard Hi-E front hub and one of those tubular rims. I recall it being very light, but I didn't have a lot to compare it with. Still, a rim that was made from aluminum sheet, folded over, and then riveted at the joint didn't inspire the same confidence as a Super Chamion model 58 clincher rim! I wasn't able to ride tubulars much, and ended up getting rid of the rim, which I sorta regret now. I'm still using the hub, though, and it seems to be doing fine.

The Hi-E sales literature in the early 90's claimed that the weight was 250 grams, and had the disclaimer "failure is safe, but may occur at less than rated loads". Harlan was an engineer, so I wonder what the rated load was supposed to mean? The load at which the spokes all ripped out of the rim simultaneously??



Steve in Peoria
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Old 01-05-22, 12:11 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by 3dvvitch View Post
This Hi-E wheelset is hanging on a Teledyne Titan on display at River City Bicycles in Portland, OR.



(One of the stickers is upside down so looks like I'm stuck with a left-hand drivetrain lol)
Funny that you noted the Hi-E sticker being upside down on your rear hub - note the photo above shows the inner jockey wheel cage plate of the RD is also mounted upside down

DD
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Old 01-05-22, 03:41 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by 3dvvitch View Post
Hi folks, figured I'd post these here. This Hi-E wheelset is hanging on a Teledyne Titan on display at River City Bicycles in Portland, OR. These might be of special interest because they appear to have a slightly different construction type than most of the other rims.
Yes, they are made differently from other rims. Most rims start as straight extrusions that are cut to length, rolled onto a circle, and pinned or welded closed. Hi-E rims start as aluminum sheet, cut to width, folded into a box shape, seam riveted, rolled into a circle and pinned closed.
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Old 01-05-22, 04:56 PM
  #55  
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The original front skewers had dangerously failure-prone aluminum axles. Sometimes weight weenieness is overdone.
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Old 01-05-22, 05:49 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
The original front skewers had dangerously failure-prone aluminum axles. Sometimes weight weenieness is overdone.
When did the skewers use aluminum shafts ("axles"?) ??

I' bought mine in the 70's, so maybe they changed since then?
This is what I've got now: They have stainless shafts, or some other alloy that doesn't seem to corrode.



Looking at the marketing literature from the 90's, it does look like Harlan offered a version with an aluminum shaft. I stand corrected!
That does seem particularly ill advised.



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Old 01-05-22, 06:28 PM
  #57  
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I worked at Bikecology 1972 to 1974 when Hi-E stuff first came out. They had a big aluminum shaft recall back then. This was the first wave of weight weenie wars, and drilium was the rage, as well.
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Old 01-05-22, 08:11 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Yes, they are made differently from other rims. Most rims start as straight extrusions that are cut to length, rolled onto a circle, and pinned or welded closed. Hi-E rims start as aluminum sheet, cut to width, folded into a box shape, seam riveted, rolled into a circle and pinned closed.
Certainly! But these hi-e rims also seem to have a different rivet pattern than most other Hi-E rims as well.
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Old 01-06-22, 04:57 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
I worked at Bikecology 1972 to 1974 when Hi-E stuff first came out. They had a big aluminum shaft recall back then. This was the first wave of weight weenie wars, and drilium was the rage, as well.
Both aluminum shaft and steel shaft skewers were offered at the same time.
And a front wheel track version with two wrench flats.
I have an aluminum front with the wing rod. A display item.

Rich Hammond (aka Captain America) broke one on his Geoffrey Butler in 1974. wasted the fork. he was quite pleased that the Builder could make him a replacement, essentially identical even the same color.
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Old 01-06-22, 07:58 PM
  #60  
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Riveted frame


Early HI-E Cosmopolitan
Harland worked in the avaition industry and they like to rivet everything. He gave this Lady Cosmopolitan to my friend and I have been slowly getting it back into riding condition.
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Old 05-30-22, 11:53 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by hazetguy View Post
I'll update my portion of this thread.
Super long story, condensed: the Hi-E stuff I pictured came from First Flight/Mombat. They did not have an auction, Jeff's son was basically selling off what remained in an effort to essentially be done with it all. He sold some items on eBay and facebook, but a lot of it was sold in person. I happen to live a couple hours from where Mombat was, so it was relatively easy for me to make multiple trips to buy stuff (in quantity). A few other people bought stuff, but I feel like I wound up with a good portion of parts from there. Eventually, Jeff's son got rid of "everything" and moved out of NC.

Some of the Hi-E items pictured above were sold on eBay and here.
A good portion of the skewer rods and other misc skewer pieces are in Colorado, being put to use or being used for small run reproduction for mtb application.
About 99% of the remaining items I pictured above were sold and are in Massachussetts, again, being used or small run reproduction of things, with possible remaking of items in the future.
The "Hi-E unknown" chainrings are for Dan / Ed cranks, a fairly "rare" and "uncommon" lightweight manufacturer from eastern Pennsylvania, long out of business. I still have a large pile of them, but they are basically dead stock and I can't give them away.
I know that all the parts went to good homes, where they will at least have a chance of being used, rather than languishing in my basement (and it's really nice to have all that room again).
I did keep a few small bits and pieces as a reminder of the parts stash, and for "historical" purposes.
hey do you know if the hubs went back in to reproduction?
many thanks
rog
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Old 05-31-22, 05:34 AM
  #62  
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Hmph! Nobody else has a pair of Hi-E pedals?



I also had a pair of Hi-E wheels back in the day. The rear had hi-lo flanges and the drive side had more spokes. Different.
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Old 05-31-22, 05:58 AM
  #63  
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hey do you know if the hubs went back in to reproduction?
not that i am aware of.
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Old 05-31-22, 10:39 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by rogw View Post
hey do you know if the hubs went back in to reproduction?
many thanks
rog
there was an attempt to assemble some seats from remaining inventory at one time.
the inventory shifted between hands 2? 3? Times. Then nada.

I gave up following the trail.

the pedals were an interesting idea, actually all of his ideas were interesting
the all aluminum front skewer was downright scary.
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Old 05-31-22, 11:06 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
....
the pedals were an interesting idea, actually all of his ideas were interesting
the all aluminum front skewer was downright scary.
I keep forgetting about the aluminum skewers, i.e. with an aluminum shaft, but that is a rather extreme design. Harlan did seem to like to push things to the limit, and possibly beyond. I wonder who sold him liability insurance?
I still have some old Hi-E sales literature, and one of them does mention aluminum QR skewers...




I do still own and use a couple of first generation skewers with the steel shafts. They always struck me as about the most minimalist design that would still be safe. By comparison, the Campy Record QR of that era was a boat anchor.... albeit a boat anchor that was going to securely hold the hub in the dropouts under any circumstance.


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