Onyx hubs alloy freehub body shimano sram xd super light replacementIMG_4296

Onyx hubs have been getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. They’re made in the USA, offer instant and infinite engagement, and most important (for some) – they’re silent. If they have one drawback for most people, it would have to be their weight. Between the sprag clutch system and building the hub shell strong enough to withstand the force from the sprags, their hubs are typically heavier than the competition. But they’re about to get a lot lighter…

Onyx hubs alloy freehub body shimano sram xd super light replacementIMG_4294

By moving to alloy (the specific aluminum wasn’t mentioned) freehubs, both Shimano and SRAM XD hubs stand to lose a substantial amount of weight. According to Onyx, their original freehub bodies were already way over built, so bringing in lighter freehub bodies was a natural progression. Their goal for the new alloy bodies is 1 million test cycles which is higher than the actual standard for testing, and Onyx says they were undergoing testing as we spoke meaning they’re almost there.

The XD freehub is already pretty light, but shedding 45g isn’t too shabby.

Onyx hubs alloy freehub body shimano sram xd super light replacementIMG_4293

The big winner is the Shimano freehub which stands to lose a whopping 75g.

Onyx hubs alloy freehub body shimano sram xd super light replacementIMG_4291

However, we all know what happens to aluminum freehub bodies with split cassettes – the teeth dig into the softer splines and create freehub carnage. To prevent that, the new freehub uses stainless steel inserts which will be pressed into the faces of the splines. Production hubs will have the inserts pressed in so they won’t fall out, but they will still be removable and replaceable. Onyx expects the new freehubs to be available in late June, or July and will sell them for $100 including the outer bearing for all of their hubs.



  1. Even after the weight drop a 142×12 XD hub would still be 125g heavier and $60 more than the equivalent I-9 Classic. For a front and rear set they’d be 173g heavier. I’d really like to try a sprag clutch but that’s a lot of extra weight to haul around.

    • I have Onyx hubs on my 429SL and my Vault. They are fantastic. The weight is in the hubs so you won’t even notice the slight increase. The silence completely changes your MTB ride. So nice just hearing the dirt under your tires. I’ve had several sets of I9 wheels and although I loved them I grew tired of bearings being toast after 6 months or less. I had a set of DT hubs that I rode for 4 years and never touched. The I9 bearing issue was a problem for me.

      • True you won’t notice the weight when it comes to climbing, but your suspension will feel it. The more weight in your rear end regardless of where it’s located will affect your suspension. The lighter your rear end the better your suspension can perform. I’m all about super light hubs for that reason. Weight is my only issue with these hubs. Knocking 42g out of the xd driver isn’t that great considering it’s still heavy, but I still want to try one. Price is the only thing holding me back now.

  2. Onyx hubs suck! No one buy them, but me so I can sneak up on you!

    Seriously after rolling their hubs for a month the coasting is still magical. Some sections of trail have coasted up to people who are still pedaling! That is seriously impressive!

  3. I think the silence would be great for road…but in the woods I like to have something to let the equestrians, bears and cougars know I’m coming. Idk if it helps but, it helps me.

  4. I just had a pair of road wheels (Onyx Hubs, Sapim CX Ray Spokes, HED Belgium Plus Rims) and I cant believe how wonderful they feel. I just went on my first ride on these hubs and all I could hear is the chain as it rotates over my cassette. It’s amazing how peaceful a ride can be when the nose it cut out. I know so many people love the loud buzz sound, but imagine no sound except nature. And the way they roll and engage when pedaling is just as remarkable.

    • Lol. If you are coasting then the chain isn’t moving on the cassette, and if you are pedalling then you won’t hear the freehub noise, Onyx or no Onyx.

    • When you are pedaling doesn’t matter what hub you are running, you won’t hear any freehub noise Onxy or no Onxy, just pure plain placebo effect LOL

      I guess after spending that sort of silly money on something, you ought to feel it’s good and justifiable….

    • You guys are being a little hard on the guy.

      What he says isn’t false, the only noise made is chain noise (and tire noise). Chain noise being louder than freehub noise is a very different sensation. Your bike is noisier when pedaling instead of when coasting.

  5. So when you are coasting, you can hear the chain going over the cassette?
    That’y impressive seeing as the chain isn’t moving over the cassette.
    I presume that you could also hear your old tick tick freehub while you were pedaling….

  6. The quiet of these hubs coasting along a ridge road at 4000 feet with a view of the pacific on one side, and the inland valley and opposite peaks on the other is worth a little weight… after a tough single-track climb especially…

  7. Piece of junk for geeks that like to waste some time and cash. Used mine for 3 months before parts of the clutch fail to work as intended, send to a couple of mechanic but due to the weird design of the hub, none manage to give a solution. Absolutely terrible customer service as its been 2 months since this (deleted) spoil on me, zero response from their customer service.

    There are tons of reliable, much lighter weight, tested and proven hub out there. (deleted)

  8. YS1976:
    I build many wheels using Onyx hubs. I love building. Jim at Onyx will respond to me at 2am because he is always working on these wonderful hubs. It isn’t surprising the simple wrenches at your LBS couldn’t triflow it back together.
    A review like yours with anecdotal evidence leads me to believe you are full of it.

  9. There isn’t a hub manufacturer on the planet that doesn’t have failures. And Onyx doesn’t sell wheel sets so somebody built those for you and they should be the ones taking care of your warranty. Onyx doesn’t do customer direct, dealer only. Pardon the skeptical eye but your story is lacking.

    • i’m pretty sure onyx does a ton of consumer direct. if my hub failed i wouldn’t talk to my wheel builder, I’d talk to the hub manufacturer.

      But what do you mean by “parts of the clutch fail to work as intended?”

      a sprag is pretty simple and it either works or it doesn’t

  10. got to wonder ho they got around American Classics patent with the steel splines for the Shimano freehub….might want to look into that.

  11. Best hub ever. The weight has never hold me down, its in the middle of the rotation where it is has the most minimum impact or even nil impact. I would take the weight over the robustness anytime.

  12. A bit heavy for the xc whip, but these will be my next rear hubs on the big bike without a doubt.

    Esp if NOX offers them as a hub option on wheel builds.

    Christmas is coming!

    • I believe NOX does offer them as a build. Both sets of mine were built local with NOX rims. One set for the MTB and one set for the road bike.

  13. im just going to throw this in there…. my novatech is lighter, cheaper, and ofc has had a steel insert in the freehub since forever. yet its a brand thats known to be a “cheapo”
    makes onyx look a little bad.

  14. Yes Boose but your novatech hubs are sh*te there cheap because the bearings are garbage I have 3 sets of these hubs on my cross bike all laced to carbon rims and 5 sets of bearings have been used so far and the engagement in the freehub is shocking but they’re light and cheap as chips,you get what you pay for and I’m more than willing to buy some onyx hubs because the instantanious engagement would Make It worth it by itself

  15. Building my fourth wheelset, yes, #4, with Onyx hubs, all sets have exceeded expectations for durability, speed, engagement, and zero maintenance.

    Onyx is very quick to provide personal, professional service, even on the weekends!

    YS1976 is a lying sack, any hub issues would be handled in hours with a simple call.

    Onyx is very stand up company. You get what you pay for!

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