UPDATE: Shortly after posting this story the family of Phil Wood contacted BikeBiz to clear up some inaccuracies and also to offer this tribute to the industry legend.
Hub-maker Phil Wood passed away this week, as reported by Bicycle Retailer.
Wood died of pancreatic cancer on March 14th 2010 at his daughter's home in Roseville, California. He founded Phil Wood & Co in 1971 to create maintenance-free hubs for cyclists, manufacturing the first production sealed bearing hubs and bottom brackets.
Phil Wood company president Peter Enright said: “I feel so lucky to have talked with him about a week before he passed away, and he mentioned again that he was so lucky to sell the business when he did.
“We talked off and on over the years, usually to catch up on news about his friends in the bike business. But he was quite happy to return to the farm after selling the business to help raise his granddaughter.”
Enright explained the significance of Wood’s impact on the market: “He was complaining to Spence Wolfe about why no one offered a sealed bearing hub and Wolfe 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.”