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Onyx Hubs

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
6,739
4,616
Yakistan
My friends have them. They are silent and seem to work well. My friends who own them are heavy boys. My understanding is the hub design originally started at Chris King but got shelved and some employees picked it up and started their brand as a BMX hub and grew it from there.
 

jdcamb

Tool Time!
Feb 17, 2002
18,905
6,969
Nowhere Man!
I am looking for Hubs that are not break the bank expensive. Nonproprietary in design and of a good quality. Easy to service and maintain. With good parts availability should they need service. That I can feel good about recommending. I run Chris Kings and servicing them is a pain in the ass. I-9's are cool. Just way to temperamental and a proprietary design nightmare. Thier customer service is faulty. I feel they are not worth the trouble. How is Onyx as a company to deal with?
 

Nick

My name is Nick
Sep 21, 2001
22,427
11,233
behind you, don't wait up.
Onyx is super high quality, but arguably the most proprietary design out there. Is anyone else doing a sprag clutch??

* edit, super, not sorry
 
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rideit

Bob the Builder
Aug 24, 2004
19,317
8,705
In the cleavage of the Tetons
DT’s might be the easiest to service, IMO. Basically no tool disassembly, maybe occasionally a soft-jaw plier. Unless you are getting into converting 370’s or pawl to star or something. Might also need some bearing pullers.
 

ebarker9

Monkey
Oct 2, 2007
683
130
I have one of the Vespyr rear hubs and it's been great, although the main selling point is the silence/low drag. I haven't had to deal with any warranty/service requests, but I did reach out to the company with some questions about compatibility and they were very helpful.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
19,897
4,046
borcester rhymes
To sexually transmitted infection hacker's comment, indeed I have a set. I do not ride as often as most, but I've had the same set since 2015 without issue. A few years back I converted them from shimano steel freehub to XD alloy. The weight savings was noticeable but otherwise there were no issues and I did it myself with regular tools (allen wrenches, crescent wrenches, angle grinders, JB weld- the usual). The customer service has been top notch when I needed it- they let me know what I needed for a freehub conversion, which was the freehub and a smaller spacer, and I converted my front hub from 20mm to 15x110, which required an axle and that's it. So, the hubs have been adaptable, reliable, and easy to work on, and customer service has been good though I haven't had to deal with warranty on them.

Performance-wise, the front hub is a front hub. It spins. I was able to convert it between two weird standards without issue. The rear hub is where the magic is- they're silent which is a trip if you've never ridden a clutch hub. You hear everything out on the trail, and suddenly loud-ass hubs that your czech friends own are annoying as well (when you hear them once a year). They do really seem to roll better than pawl hubs, but that could be the silence and placebo. The only negative that I have for them is that they seem to "wind up" when you pedal. A normal hub has some free play then 100% engagement. The onyx has no free play, but it has a tiny bit of softness before it truly engages. It translates to a slightly soft feel at the pedals, but I'm not sure it's a performance detriment or perhaps even an improvement if you're not looking to spin the rear wheel up a tricky climb. Either way, I'm quite happy with mine, I paid full retail which is weird for a cheapskate like me, and I wouldn't swap them out to get rid of the softness in the engagement. I adore the quietness.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
80,427
19,773
media blackout
I would second Hadley. not the lightest or the cheapest, but very well built. they do take some odd size spanners for service, but that's all. i have a few sets of their hubs and invested in their tool set (which is high quality like their hubs). my oldest hadley is about 20 years old now. still in use, have never had an issue with it.

all that said, my next set of hubs will likely be onyx for sprag clutch & silence. also in part because the Box Stealth MTB hubs seem to be vaporware at this point.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
16,683
7,609
AK
I have one of the Vespyr rear hubs and it's been great, although the main selling point is the silence/low drag. I haven't had to deal with any warranty/service requests, but I did reach out to the company with some questions about compatibility and they were very helpful.
Pretty sure that mechanism is high drag, since it's basically "dragging" the sprags along the whole time. Totally silent though.

A riding buddy here broke several of the original hubs, but he's a monster and breaks every hub.

My voice gets hoarse yelling at hikers, so I like my hubs to make some noise.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
16,683
7,609
AK
DT’s might be the easiest to service, IMO. Basically no tool disassembly, maybe occasionally a soft-jaw plier. Unless you are getting into converting 370’s or pawl to star or something. Might also need some bearing pullers.
I think this is wrong, the freehub bearing requires a special tool AND when you try to remove the spline ring holding the bearing in, the process is known for breaking the tool. This one is an absolute bitch to get at. Yeah, the DTs are like 80% serviceable, but that last 20% is in bat-shit-crazy-land. You are basically referring to the hub bearings.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
19,897
4,046
borcester rhymes
I have heard of some breakage, but I think it's rare to find a hub that has never broken and if you're the kind of guy that destroys things, then you'll destroy anything. My understanding is the vesper hubs gave up some robustness and reliability in favor of somewhat lighter weight. That could be a good way to go if you are a lighter or less aggressive rider.

As for drag, that's simply not true. In the stand, these hubs spin forever. Whether it matters on the trail is unknown, but if they weren't so heavy, I would persue a set for my road bike too.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
16,683
7,609
AK
As for drag, that's simply not true. In the stand, these hubs spin forever.
I find that's a lot more of a function of how heavy your tire is or how large your wheel is (rotational mass). My fat tires "spin forever" on any hub...but the same hub on my 27.5 mountain bike spins significantly less. has to be objectively compared.
 

ebarker9

Monkey
Oct 2, 2007
683
130
i've heard the one way bearing in the stealth hubs is supposedly slightly lower drag.
I could imagine that. I don't know if those were available when the previous comparisons were done. I think it was some kind of Formula SAE or one of those human powered vehicle teams that had looked into it, but I can't seem to find it now. I'm slow regardless of hub choice so I don't really care about drag, but I really like the silence.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
17,217
15,427
Canaderp
Shimano hubs would probably be the best fit for your requirements - lower cost, durable and there are no real proprietary components (or they can at least be serviced at literally any bike shop). BUT they all have center lock rotor mounts so nope...
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
80,427
19,773
media blackout
Shimano hubs would probably be the best fit for your requirements - lower cost, durable and there are no real proprietary components (or they can at least be serviced at literally any bike shop). BUT they all have center lock rotor mounts so nope...
the one knock against them is that they still use loose bearings. while theirs are among the best, once the races in the hub shell are pitted you have to replace the entire hub.
 

StiHacka

Compensating for something
Jan 4, 2013
21,212
12,171
In hell. Welcome!
DT 370s are shit and unserviceable without special tools that are $$$. Hadleys work for me well (my 10yo hub that I bought for a 135x12 TA frame now lives in my 148x12 boost wheel), I just replace the pawls spring once every few years, but I would consider the Vesper if I was to invest in a new rear hub.
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
12,885
9,768
I know Hopes aren't super flashy, but I'm still riding on a wheelset with Pro 2's that I bought in 2009.

I'd like to give the Onyx a go at some point though. I like the idea of the silence, but similar to others a loud hub helps with hikers.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
80,427
19,773
media blackout
I know Hopes aren't super flashy, but I'm still riding on a wheelset with Pro 2's that I bought in 2009.

I'd like to give the Onyx a go at some point though. I like the idea of the silence, but similar to others a loud hub helps with hikers.
yea but you need air horn hubs given the number of hikers with ear buds. at least that's the case where i live.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
16,683
7,609
AK
yea but you need air horn hubs given the number of hikers with ear buds. at least that's the case where i live.
The ones that get me are when I'm ringing a freaking bell, with a Hope hub, I call out, and they say "OMG, I THOUGHT YOU WERE A BEAR!". Yes, a bear ringing a bell with angry beez speaking english.
 

HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
5,013
3,093
I know Hopes aren't super flashy, but I'm still riding on a wheelset with Pro 2's that I bought in 2009.

I'd like to give the Onyx a go at some point though. I like the idea of the silence, but similar to others a loud hub helps with hikers.
I think my Sytace hub is the loudest hub I have heard aside from a Profile, turned out I was too fat for the quiet freehub so they sent me an eardrum assault version.
For a 250g hub it has been reliable, but they only make straight pull hubs now. Changing a cassette is torture because of the aluminium body, I'm too fat for that so I've gone back to profile.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
19,897
4,046
borcester rhymes
I know Hopes aren't super flashy, but I'm still riding on a wheelset with Pro 2's that I bought in 2009.

I'd like to give the Onyx a go at some point though. I like the idea of the silence, but similar to others a loud hub helps with hikers.
I've considered adding a bell, but keep in mind that your wheels are still going to be crushing twigs n shit, and typically you will see them first so you can just give a yell