Large flange road hubs.

Rapparee87

Retro Guru
Thinking back to when I started road racing in the early 80s as a young teen. Quite a few others who raced had wheels with large flange hubs. They were so common I didn't think much about it at the time.

What I'm curious about is why they were so common on road wheels of the time and earlier? Was it because they were more rigid? They just faded away then, as when I stopped racing in the early 90s they were non existent.
 
Way back when I raced in the 70's, my TT and track wheels were large flange. Theory was the spokes were shorter making for a rigid wheel for energy transfer. Often with tied and soldered spokes. Not sure where my radial spokes fitted in :)

My road race wheels were small flange, more flex in the spokes and therefore more comfortable for hours in the saddle.

Complete boll**** probably. But kept Eric Suffill in a job lol
 
It's easier to build a wheel with large flange hubs, particularly if your eyesight isn't quite what it was.

Also the hub shows itself off a lot better on the bike, so there's something in it for the shop and the customer!😃

Let's face it, on a period race bike which would you rather have?
And which would you rather build?

Machine wheelbuilding and weight saving probably brought the end.
 
Thanks for the replies. I liked how they looked actually. Nobody who raced back in the day turned up to a race without having everything gleaming! Everything is black nowadays if course 😭
 
The only real problem with large flange currently is the stupid amount of money the good ones go for on Ebay.

I was rebuilding a 1961 Holdsworth Cyclone last year so it pretty much had to have large flange,
but I did find some cheap early Nuovo Tipo and they look damn fine.
I also hate black bikes (in general).

Nuovo Tipo 1253 + Mavic Monthlery Pro tubular

IMG_0002.3.jpg
 
The only real problem with large flange currently is the stupid amount of money the good ones go for on Ebay.

I was rebuilding a 1961 Holdsworth Cyclone last year so it pretty much had to have large flange,
but I did find some cheap early Nuovo Tipo and they look damn fine.
I also hate black bikes (in general).

Nuovo Tipo 1253 + Mavic Monthlery Pro tubular

View attachment 835961
Amber Wall tyres would lift it further. A lovely build.
 
Large flange hubs in good condition are still cheaper in real terms than they were new.
Its just we've got used to everything else being cheaper (mass-produced, made in the far East, and painted black - it's a lot cheaper to paint than it is to polish)
 

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