October 04, 2011 5 Comments
In the life of a wheel fanatic, there can be many high points. Every build, hell, each ride is a reward. But once in a long, long while something very special comes around. Curtis Odom's hubs are such a treat.
Curtis has left a career of CAD design and returned to his roots in cycling. He plans a series of hub models at the very highest aesthetic level. The first to be born is a pair of track hubs with whopping, 91.5mm flange diameter and drilling decoration not seen since the glory days of Madison Racing; reminiscent of brands like Prior and Airlite.
Curtis hasn't settled on price, perhaps about $400 for a pair. This series is all with 32 spoke holes. I was so excited to see someone who shares my passion for hub possibilities. It's been three years since the 38th anniversary pair by Phil Wood, hub fashionista's have been suffering sensory deprivation!
The occasion is plenty of reason to resuscitate a project I shelved back in 2003. I visualized a bicycle sculpture consisting of a classic wheel, wood rim of course, mounted in an artistic stand. The base was 3/8" stainless plate and the single upright arm is 3/4" bar. Welded together, satin polished, the perfect prop for a timeless wheel. Trouble was, I could not find a hub to match this setting.
Ta dah! Curtis's hub looks perfect. Spin the wheel and the brilliant reflections of polished spokes and hub make for a dancing delight to the eye. Marcel Duchamp would be charmed. I have 8 of these bases and propose that they find homes. Base + wheel = $685, and I'll number and sign each one. Would look nice in an elegant library or office lobby, eh? The great part, you could unbolt the wheel and ride it any day.
More news of Curtis's upcoming hub offerings is coming. In the meantime, write me to buy a set. There must be a bicycle out there with the visual strength to support such wheels. You can count on a few of these finding their way to the Handbuilt Show in Sacramento this year (Mar 2-4, 2012). Any builders listening?
Comments will be approved before showing up.