Large Flange Hub



with Maynard Hershon and Earle Young


Maynard: Tamar and I went to an evening gathering of cyclists, mostly veteran riders. Several got up to address the group, making comments that were not intended to be provocative. We were all supposed to nod our heads in agreement: "You bet."

One guy said that every ride involving two men at some point becomes a race. Do you believe that?

He further (and he was not the only one) praised fit, gifted riders who could and did drop their riding buddies, even their spouses. Left them to finish on their own.

Both of those statements were met with general approval, even laughter. I couldn't get over it.


Earle: I thought it was just Madison. When I was a newspaper guy, I was away from cycling, barely rode at all and never in a big group. Literally, one organized century between 1989 and 2002. I managed a metric century in about 5 hours.

When I moved to Wisconsin, I committed myself to riding more. I dropped 25 pounds or so riding the rolling hills on my fixed gear, then got out a geared bike. I found the newsletter and ride schedule for the local club and was interested. 

I finally went out on a B class ride with the club, because the start and finish were close to home, and found myself in a lower category race instead of a congenial ride. Nobody was really working together. There were gaps all over the place and squirrelly bike handling seemed to be the rule. As soon as the group got back together, somebody would attack. This was no fun at all.

I thought I had just picked the wrong club. I did not realize that the whole sport had changed in the years I was getting fat and lazy. 



road squirrel.



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Grand Cru



Curtis Odom logo

Introducing the Clubman Wheel ($999 plus shipping)

Earle Wheels is proud to announce their new partnership with Curtis Odom Vintage Bicycle Parts to deliver beautiful, high-performance custom wheels to our customers. Curtis makes some of the coolest and sturdiest components in the business. His high flange road and track hubs with their unique patterns are made from the highest quality aluminum with optional stainless steel components. They add a stylish touch to your ride without sacrificing quality.

"Modern bicycles in many ways get better with every generation. This does not mean that they get better looking, fact is they have not. My vision is to bring back the beauty of iconic bicycle parts from the past and to do this with modern technology and manufacturing processes. - Curtis Odom"


Clubman Hub with spokes

To celebrate that spirit and our new partnership with Curtis Odom, we are proud to introduce the Clubman series of wheels. Built on Curtis’s incomparable ultra-large flange Clubman hubs, the first of these wheels are presented with Velo Orange PBP rims and Wheelsmith 2.0-1.7-2.0 mm butted stainless steel spokes and Duristan nipples.

These stylish wheels are also built to be used for decades, then rebuilt at moderate expense. For those of us whose sponsors won’t buy $2,750 carbon wheels, these wheels area sensible investment with Campagnolo or Shimano cassette body and 130 mm over-locknut dimension. Please check our Contact page for details on how to order from Earle Wheels or call us at 608-220-0348.


The Background

curtis odom clubman hub

Between the wars and just after World War II, British cycling clubs established a tradition of social recreation. Groups organized for sportingand recreational rides of a less competitive nature than races. Later, in the United States, seriouscyclists gathered their friends and riding partners into some pretty large touring clubs, some with thousands of members and multiple rides scheduled every weekend. Riders in these clubs, especially the British clubs, would have a single do-it-all bike. By the 1930s, several brands of bicycles offered a “Clubman” model. Meant to be a working bike, the geometry would be more relaxed than a full-on racing bike, the clearances would be large enough for big tires and there would be the capacity to mount fenders and a rack. This would be the road bike “for the rest of us.” One of the things that distinguished club riding was the variety of events, from loaded tours to time trials. The way to get one bicycle to do all of those things was to have different sets of wheels to match different conditions.

Curtis Odom's complete catalog of hubs and parts are available by special order through Earle Wheels. Please contact Earle for details and current availability.


Notes from Cirque 2013


Le Cirque du Cyclisme 2013

Clubman wheel at Cirque 2013It was a very good show at Cirque du Cyclisme this year. We sold a pair of wheels, took in some new orders for builds, and got a lot of good comments about the Clubman wheels built with the incomparible Curtis Odom hubs. Earle Wheels is happy to offer the Clubman as part of their new partnership with Curtis Odom.

The wheel building class went very well with numerous attendees and observers. We plan on expanding the schedule and curriculum to better serve our audience. Look for us at future bike shows, including the Philly Bike Expo this year on Nov 9 and 10.


As usual, the crowd at Cirque was a great group of people. Other highlights from this year's show included:

  • the swap meet, even with the rain
  • the salute to the Baltimore Bullet, Bobby Phillips
  • hooking up with Jim Merz and Johnny Coast for their framebuilding sessions
  • all the beautiful bikes and accessories
  • having my beautiful daughter Eileen along to help me with the show.

More pictures are posted below. Thanks again to everyone for their interest at this year's show and we hope to see you at a future show or class.

Clubman wheel with hub detailsSetting up the tent for Cirque 2013Bike bling from Cirque 2013

        Photos from Cirque du Cyclisme 2012 credits - Maile Neel.        Curtis Odom Clubman photos courtesy of Michael Graves.
  Photos from Cirque du Cyclisme 2013 credits - Eileen Young
           © Earle Wheels - all rights reserved.