Phil Wood


“Phil Wood & Co. was founded in 1971 to produce maintenance-free hubs for cyclists. At the time we manufactured the world’s first production sealed bearing bicycle hubs. As the demand for better products grew, we developed components and items that enhanced the use of cycling and wheelchair products.”

“…The original production hub set consisted of a basic front and rear hub. “

“We produced the first sealed crank bearing cartridge system (circa 1971)…. “

” Phil Wood & Co. produced the first production sealed bearing pedal. It was the first pedal to receive formal approval by the California Highway Patrol. (Not currently in this years production).”

Updated 4.17.2011

March 18, 2010

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News

Phil Wood Passes Away

Phil Wood, the man responsible for innovative sealed hubs, bottom brackets and other bicycling products, died this week on his farm in Baxter, Iowa. He was 84.

He started the Phil Wood Company in 1971 as primarily a hub maker, though he offered other components. He sold the business in 1991.

Peter Enright, the current president of the Phil Wood Company remembers “He was complaining to Spence Wolf (Famous proprietor of the Cupertino Bike Shop) about why no one offered a sealed bearing hub and Wolf told him to make his own hub. A little while later he asked Spence how many he should make. It took Spence a bit to remember what he was talking about. He said make 50 hubs and the business was launched.”

Phil WOOD "CHP" Pedals

Vince Connelly provided additional photos.

The Phil disc brake.

A Phil brake as used on the front of a custom McLean (USA) racing tricycle

“The brake operates a lot like an automobile clutch. A splined driver threads on to the hub. That in turn drives a splined friction disc. The body on the brake is a backing plate and a pressure plate. The cable actuating arms rotate cams that in turn cause four radially spaced lever arms to move the pressure plate against friction disc and backing plate.”
“The disc floats on the splined driver. There are 4 adjusting screws that move the pressure plate closer to the disc to allow for friction disc wear. The brake assembly slides over the hub axle and is held in place by a rubber “O” ring that seats in the groove in the hub axle. A reaction arm contacts the frame and serves to function the same as the reaction arm on a coaster brake. The brake is somewhat tricky to adjust but once mastered it functions well. The friction disc was made from an asbestos material. Since the use of asbestos is no longer available the discs are no longer available. A suitable replacement materials had been found, and along with the high cost to manufacture it has since been discontinued.”

Rodney Moseman