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Why did high flange road hubs disappear?

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Why did high flange road hubs disappear?

Old 10-13-11, 08:41 PM
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Why did high flange road hubs disappear?

I'm asking this here because I'm looking for a history lesson, I like the idea of high flange hubs in terms of stiffness. They're still used in track applications(I've seen a few modern track-only use bikes with high flange hubs), why not for road bikes?

Just wondering because I was in a dangerous place, namely Phil Wood's site, because I was feeling silly and wanted to build some high zoot wheels for my Motobecane, and was thinking high flange hubs and a mild aero rim could be really cool... Apparently they don't make such a hub!
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Old 10-13-11, 08:46 PM
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I don't know the answer for sure, but I read some place that Shimano did some test proving the the low flange makes a stiffer wheel. But I really love my Suze ProMax high flange track hubs. They have color changing holograms on the sides.

The finished wheels thay are on are quite stiff.
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Old 10-13-11, 08:52 PM
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Good question, I've often wondered the same thing.
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Old 10-13-11, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by BattleRabbit
I'm asking this here because I'm looking for a history lesson, I like the idea of high flange hubs in terms of stiffness. They're still used in track applications(I've seen a few modern track-only use bikes with high flange hubs), why not for road bikes?

Just wondering because I was in a dangerous place, namely Phil Wood's site, because I was feeling silly and wanted to build some high zoot wheels for my Motobecane, and was thinking high flange hubs and a mild aero rim could be really cool... Apparently they don't make such a hub!
Suzue Classica. The only way I can afford these is if I buy them from a rich blind drunkard.
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Old 10-13-11, 09:10 PM
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There's no real difference in wheels built with low vs. high-flange hubs by any objective measure. Once a wheel is built, it's the tension on the spokes that holds it together, and a "better" wheel will have higher and more evenly distributed tension among the spokes.

That being said, I, too, like high-flange hubs. I like them enough that I created a high-flange Shimano cassette hub from a Deore XT disc-brake hub by machining off the disc lugs and polishing the shell:


It ended up looking somewhat like the 600EX high-flange cassette hub from 30 years ago: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/shimano1982/pages/24.html

Other modern cassette hubs with high flanges:

Electra Ticino: https://store.electrabike.com/eSource..._/_750051.aspx



Suzue Classica: https://store.somafab.com/sucl10rohu1.html



And for the Campy-philes, you can hunt down a FH-00TD hub from the early '90's: https://www.velobase.com/ViewComponen...m=110&AbsPos=0

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Old 10-13-11, 09:17 PM
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to answer the OP: fad. People stopped buying high flange
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Old 10-13-11, 09:32 PM
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High flange….. Those were days. If you raced crits back when, it was the hub to have.

When thief/s ripped off my good bikes out of my garage at the start of this summer they left behind my 30 year old high flange race wheels I had hanging overhead. I can, and did replace the bikes; I could never replace my old race wheels.

Mmmmm, I think my tires have seen better days


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Old 10-13-11, 09:33 PM
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The size of the flange doesn't affect stiffness. That's a myth that many have perpetuated.
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Old 10-13-11, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
The size of the flange doesn't affect stiffness. That's a myth that many have perpetuated.
Not a myth, a theory that mere mortals can't quantify.

I admit I can't tell the difference. But I do love high flange.
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Old 10-13-11, 09:46 PM
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Back in the '70's, but I hung out with a guy who had worked as a pro team mechanic, following the USA race circuit.
He told me the Campy "line" was that the low flange hub made a more resilient wheel.
I guess it was more marketing than fact, but I thought it made some sense, on some esoteric level.
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Old 10-13-11, 09:52 PM
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Doesn't the high flange create a severe spoke angle at the flange? Might have trouble getting 3x or 4x with high spoke counts.
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Old 10-13-11, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott
Doesn't the high flange create a severe spoke angle at the flange? Might have trouble getting 3x or 4x with high spoke counts.
Nah, 3 and 4 cross are the common high flange build, 4 cross being somewhat older.
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Old 10-13-11, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
The size of the flange doesn't affect stiffness. That's a myth that many have perpetuated.
That's what she said! With that said...

I love high flange hubs for the aesthetic if nothing else. Look at the pretty SA drum hub you just built to that CR-18 to validate that.
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Old 10-13-11, 10:09 PM
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4X is what I've seen as the common lacing on HF...mostly Fuji

However, I've read that HF and 4X builds a more "supple" wheel, whatever that means.

I just like the way they look.

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Old 10-13-11, 10:19 PM
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Why did high flange road hubs disappear?
Supply and Demand or was that Demand and Supply? Oh whatever, just buy up all the highflange hubs, cause a market spike and someone VO will VO start VO making VO them VO.

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Old 10-13-11, 10:19 PM
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They do look nice.

But no. It's not an immeasurable difference. There is no difference. The myth is based on the idea that a longer spoke makes it more resilient, as if you're stepping on a diving board in the middle. But you're not. The spoke is tensioned from end to end, not in the middle. It's not esoteric, it's imaginary.

And large flanges don't make it harder to have tangential spoke patterns. I just laced up a large flange hub to my rim, with 36 spokes and 4-cross.
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Old 10-13-11, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
They do look nice.

But no. It's not an immeasurable difference. There is no difference. The myth is based on the idea that a longer spoke makes it more resilient, as if you're stepping on a diving board in the middle. But you're not. The spoke is tensioned from end to end, not in the middle. It's not esoteric, it's imaginary.

And large flanges don't make it harder to have tangential spoke patterns. I just laced up a large flange hub to my rim, with 36 spokes and 4-cross.
The larger circumference of the spoke hole circle on the flange
puts a little more distance between the holes....which may or
may not contribute to a stronger flange.

High or low, flanges on alloy hubs are pretty strong IMO.
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Old 10-13-11, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills
That being said, I, too, like high-flange hubs. I like them enough that I created a high-flange Shimano cassette hub from a Deore XT disc-brake hub by machining off the disc lugs and polishing the shell:

Jeff, do you have a pic of this hub you modified? I'd REALLY love to see it.
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Old 10-13-11, 11:07 PM
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Hi-flange was killed by the gram counters. Smaller hubs, thinner spokes, fewer spokes, and you have a lighter wheel. Will you put more power down on a hill with a high flange or low? Can you fell the difference in weight if the weight is at the center of the wheel and not effected by centrifical force. I have always thought that the Campy stars and the Suzue classis are super cool. I never see them at a good price.
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Old 10-13-11, 11:11 PM
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Just a note...

I have a single rear of this HF Sunshine Pro-Am sheriff star hub:


Courtesy of VeloBase...

If anyone has an odd front...oh boy, no telling what I might trade.
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Old 10-14-11, 12:15 AM
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I love high falootin hubs. I wish more (affordable) were being made today.
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Old 10-14-11, 12:27 AM
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1). They weigh more.
2). They cost more to produce.
3). They do not provide any measurable advantage other than they look neat.
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Old 10-14-11, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by khatfull
Just a note...

I have a single rear of this HF Sunshine Pro-Am sheriff star hub:


Courtesy of VeloBase...

If anyone has an odd front...oh boy, no telling what I might trade.
So sweet.

I have a similar problem in that I need a rear to match up with a Zeus High flange hub and the reason I do points to an issue with high flange hubs that you rarely see with low flange... cracks in the flanges.

The Zeus gigantic hubs were prone to this.

Sad... because they don't get much prettier.

The 4x and a more supple wheel is baseless... if you build a wheel right a 4x will be as stiff as a 3x or a 2x.
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Old 10-14-11, 01:24 AM
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Courtesy of VeloBase...

Oooh!
I didn't know they made such a hub, learned something new today.
I love the look of high flange as well. At least they are making a comeback in the mtb components.

They are rare to come by out here. :-\

a few of mine...


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Old 10-14-11, 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
They do look nice.

...But no. It's not an immeasurable difference. There is no difference...
I'd like to see your analysis of this.

What if the hub were nearly as large in diameter as the rim, and spokes had nearly zero length?

Originally Posted by balindamood
3). They do not provide any measurable advantage...
I fully agree, when considering measurements of the wheel as a complete system, which is the only reasonable thing to do.

Last edited by old's'cool; 10-14-11 at 02:40 AM. Reason: sin-tax
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