Grand Bois recently introduced their new high-flange cassette hubs. They combine classic appearance with modern performance. The aesthetics of the new Grand Bois hubs are inspired by the classic Maxi-Car hubs. Like the originals, they feature large flanges and red anodized dust shields.
The holes in the flanges are centered between the spoke holes. This makes the flanges stronger and looks nicer. As a result, 32-hole hubs (left) have 8 holes in each flange, whereas 36-hole hubs (right) have 9.
Inside the new hub shells, the Grand Bois hubs are the same as before. That means they are typical high-end Taiwanese cassette hubs, with four cartridge bearings, an oversize aluminum axle and an aluminum cassette body. Two cassette bodies are available, one compatible with Shimano/SRAM (8-, 9-, or 10-speed), the other with Campagnolo (10-speed). Aluminum shields and rubber O-rings (on the rear only) protect the bearings from contamination. The hub shells are polished, but not to a mirror finish. When you look carefully, you can see the machining traces.
The hubs also come with typical Taiwanese quick releases. Frankly, I am not very fond of them. The cutout in the lever is crudely done, and the D-ring on the nut has no function and flops around. On classic Campagnolo quick releases, the D ring was a spring that pushed on the skewer and locked the quick release adjustment in place. The new quick releases have a nyloc insert for that, but then why bother with the D ring at all? Fortunately, it is easy to replace the quick releases.
It would be nice to say that these are the best hubs ever made, but I believe that claim is still held by the original Maxi-Cars. Their double labyrinth seals and adjustable cartridge bearings ensured decades of service. However, original Maxi-Cars are almost impossible to find, and there are no good freewheels available to go with them.
If you are looking for a modern cassette hub with classic appearance, then the new Grand Bois hubs are a welcome alternative. More information is here.