Hub - Onyx 135mm, 32h
Against all trends, Onyx rear hubs are a thousand percent silent. No high-pitched shrieking clicks to warn others and scare animals. Their total absence of coasting noise is a selling point. They’re quieter, even, than Shimano Deore hubs. It’s a small difference, but if you prefer silent coasting, it’s a plus. Any hub can be made quieter by lubing the internal engagement area with Phil oil or a light grease. It’s beyond the scope here to tell you how to do that.
Another point is smaller still, but kind of neat: Immediate engagement going from coasting to pedaling. This is something you’ve probably not thought of, as is good. But now that we bring it up, you’ll have to at least consider it. Engaging of the driving mechanism or whatever…is instant. It’s like one percent sooner than a normal hub, but in some conditions, it’s noticeable.
To be honest about “engagement,” a normal hub is truly good enough. The Onyx difference, while more than theoretical, is at most barely noticeable.
Another difference, and one related to its silence and instant engagement, is the drive mechanism. A normal hub has pawls that engage a ratchet. One way for coasting, the other for driving/pedaling. Some other hubs have what’s sometimes called a “star drive,” which eliminates the ratchet-and-pawl, and instead uses two toothy discs that interact in a way that allows coasting and driving. It’s stronger than a ratchet-and-pawl rig, but ratchet-and-pawl rigs rarely crap out. They’ve been known to, but it’s rare, and not something you should worry about. We’d recommend not giving it a second thought, while acknowledging that we’re the ones who brang it up, so we’re responsible for your worrying, if you’re worrying. The first hubs with star-drive were DT. Now several have it.
Now, ONYX hubs have a drive mechanism common in machinery, but unique to them in the world of bike hubs: A Sprag clutch. It’s strong, silent, and insta-drive. To hold a bare rear hub (no cassette on it) in your left hand while your right hand turns the cassette body forward (as in pedaling), then applies a backward force to simulate coasting, is to be shocked, flabbergasted, and in awe of what you’re feeling. It helps to have done the same with any other hub in the world. Ten out of ten people will do this and say “whoa…” within three seconds. It’s impossible not to.
Onyx hubs are made in St. Cloud, Minnesota, home of a famous prison. They’re quieter than hubs need to be, drive forward more instantly than anybody can possible use to advantage, and are super strong. If I could make all my rear hubs ONYX by snapping my fingers, I’d be snapping away right now. But they’re really expensive and relatively hard to get without a long wait.
We’re taking steps to increase the chances of short waits. We sell only 32H versions in silver, non-disc type, quick-release style, with well-designed and supported aluminum axles that Onyx assures us won’t break.
These are the most expensive rear hubs we offer or even know about. Our margins are slim. We’re not going to order you custom colors, etc. If you can afford one, go for it. They’re extremely slick and good…says a guy with no experience with them yet. But we’ve done the research, and they have a good reputation.
Shimano 11 speed Hyperglide, steel freehub body, steel bearings