You may think Atomik Carbon is all about the rim, but they’re always looking at the wheel as a complete package. And if the hub is the part that’s slowing you down, they want to figure out a way to make it better. There is a lot made about high engagement hubs. In many situations they can be a benefit to your riding. But they also tend to have a lot of drag. So much so that a number of companies like Atomik are beginning to look to lower drag solutions for the road to save those precious watts…

Utilizing magnets that gently pull two ratchet rings together, Atomik says they are under lower tension than a spring which still provides positive engagement but lower drag. The system provides 36 points of engagement or 10°, which is a little sparse for mountain where you may need a quick pedal kick, but on the road it should be just fine. And based on the demonstration Atomik had set up with the exact same wheels but two different hubs, it’s clear that the magnetic drive hub spins with less resistance – especially considering the standard hub was actually fitted with better Japanese EZO stainless bearings while the mag drive hub was running standard. Expect to see these hit the road this fall.

On the wheel side of things, Atomik had their newest mountain bike option, the AM35. Featuring a 35mm external and 28mm internal carbon rim with a 3.5mm thick hookless bead wall, Atomik says they really stressed durability over weight with these. That still works out to 460/480g per rim for 27.5 or 29″.

About a month out from production, the wheels will sell for $1350 per set with DT Swiss 350 hubs and Sapim Race spokes and brass nipples. Rims are also available for $435 each and come with your choice of 13 decal colors.


  1. Atomic Laboratories was given a cease and desist from Atomic Skis years ago. They changed to Atomlab. It’s just a matter of time before the same happens to these guys.

  2. This doesn’t make a ton of sense. Engagement force is engagemen force, no matter how you generate it. If the magnets create lower drag, they’re doing it by producing less force. If less engagement force is adequate, why not just install a weaker spring that generates the same engagement force as the magnet?

    • Attraction force of magnets is proportional to the distance, just like spring force is proportional to compression.

      So when the plates are separated but sprung, force on the plates increase, which act on the ramped teeth to resist turning. When moved further from magnets the attraction force decreases. This is working off the assumption that you need a certain amount of force when fully engaged and the plates are fully meshed.

  3. Where’s this problem of high drag freewheeling coming from? I have both 24t and 48t drive rings in various White Industries hubs and you can’t tell the difference between the two in terms of drag. The engagement is faster and audibly different, but drag? Mmm, no. They spin more freely than any King I’ve owned though, so there’s one I guess. Industry 9 60t drive rings are also very low drag for that many teeth. Heck, even those cheapo Bitex hubs that everybody rebrands are running 6 pawls and tons of teeth. No problems there either. So, err.. What’s the deal?

    • Do you want to shave .86 seconds off your TT time or not, bro? I mean, do you even race??

      All kidding aside, there is no issue with drag on any decent hub I’ve ever used. DT Swiss 350s, Hope, Sram 900, Industry Nine, White Industries.. none of those have ever left me yearning for ‘less drag’ in the freehub. I’ll agree, engagement can be noticeable, but drag?? Unless the ratchets/pawls have been lubed with sand, I think most folks are fine with the nominal drag present.

      But such is the way things go in a saturated industry–you have to try to set yourself apart, I get it. Those 480g carbon hoops for $435 have my attention though! Making a mental note to check up on those come time for the next wheel build.

    • Once someone writes that there’s a problem, the nocebo effect takes over as soon as that problem’s read by Bikerumor readers. And once that happens, a Kickstarter is born.

      Like P.T. Barnum purportedly said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

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