Onyx Racing hubs fat bike road bmx color (2)

Imagine a hub that offered instant, infinite, and silent engagement all with extremely low drag. Sound too good to be true? Then you need to check out the hubs coming out of Onyx Racing Products. All of the hubs are manufactured in the United States out of their facility in Minnesota which is probably one of the reasons they’ve been able to make their hub work. Instead of the roller clutch that a few manufacturers have tried in the past, Onyx hubs use a sprag one-way clutch which gives the hub all of the above features. The catch? The tolerances have to be extremely tight. So tight that when they successfully created their first bicycle hub using the sprag clutch, the company that created the clutch visited them to see how they did it since many other companies had tried without success.

While their roots are in BMX, Onyx has expanded to offer just about every hub you could think of, including road and fat bikes. Get the details next…

Onyx Racing hubs fat bike road bmx color (3)

Onyx Racing hubs fat bike road bmx color (6) Onyx Racing hubs fat bike road bmx color (5)

A sprag clutch is similar to a roller clutch, but instead of allowing each piece to roll freely, the cam shaped pieces lock into place when rolled in the opposite direction. Free wheel and the cams barely brush the inner surface of the hub shell, held down by the spring, but pedal and the cams lock into place instantly where ever they are. The other crucial difference is that according to my engineering friends who know a lot more about this stuff than I do, the more torque you place on a roller clutch, the more force is exerted on the hub shell. The sprag doesn’t work in this way, which should mean the absence of cracked hub shells and much lighter overall weight.

Depending on the application, Onyx hubs run one, one and a half, or two sprag clutches which offer increased torque capacity. Each hub features a labyrinth seal to keep the sprag running smoothly and uses a stainless steel driver sleeve. The BMX hub model above also features their new alloy single speed cog which is machined from bar stock and be hardened and ceramic coated. Expect to see a teflon infused stainless cog in the near future as well.

Onyx Racing hubs fat bike road bmx color (7) Onyx Racing hubs fat bike road bmx color (4)

Onyx Racing hubs fat bike road bmx color (1)

With the introduction of their CX hub that will be available soon, Onyx has hubs for just about every market which all include a 5 year warranty. Hubs are available in 9 standard anodized colors and 6 standard powdercoat options, with custom colors also available for a $60 up charge and a 3 week lead time. Expect pricing to be on par with Chris King level hubs.

onyxrp.com

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Anon
Anon
7 years ago

I like clear plastic hub shells

phella
phella
7 years ago

Heavy and outrageously expensive. Hopefully some wealthy folks will purchase lots of these so the prices drop, but thats doubtful as they are considerably heavier that already proven quick engagement hubs like the DT240.

Diego
Diego
7 years ago

weight?

JBikes
JBikes
7 years ago

I used roller clutches in industrial installations. Very neat. Always wondered if someone could make the concept work in a bicycle installation given the cost (i.e. tolerances) and weight constraints.

Anyone know what lubricant is used? I’d think a light oil would be required.

Shanghaied
Shanghaied
7 years ago

@JBikes – Shimano Alfine hubs use roller clutch, but this is different though.

I wonder what the weight is, the clutch mechanism looks heavy though.

Saris Mercanti
Saris Mercanti(@saris)
7 years ago

@Phella

I have two sets of DT240 hubs. While they’re ulta reliable and super easy to work on, I’d be very hard pressed to called them “quick” engaging. I believe stock they used to be 18 POE, now it’s up to 36, although you can order a 54T ratchet ring. Compared to Kings, i9s, Hadleys, or Onyx hubs, that’s paltry.

Collin S
7 years ago

For those interested, I found out exactly what a roller clutch is: Here is a quick video: Fast forward to about 30 seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjR7dimpSJA

C dub
C dub
7 years ago

Phelps I’m with saris on this one. 240s, although solid, long lasting a overall wonderful hubs, they don’t match up to a truly quickly engaging hub. Crucial for bmx, MTB, CX – road not as much in my personal experiences, at least not compared to other disciplines.
I’m interested to hop on a pair. Hopefully they’ll be around at sea otter

JBikes
JBikes
7 years ago

@ Shang – understand these are sprag clutches, but they are similar tech nonetheless. I guess grease may be fine as it probably just increases drag minimally.
Its also amazing how much torque bike components must take. Most cyclist can easily push more torque into a hub than many car engines can produce.

briderdt
7 years ago

Didn’t Hugi do this in the 90’s?

Lars TB
Lars TB
7 years ago

Who wants DT-Swiss when you can have something really special?!!!

KT
KT
7 years ago

I am testing a prototype version and it is the best hub I’ve ever ridden. I was skeptical at first, especially since it weighs so much, but the instant engagement and no drag more than makes up for it. It really sucks when I switch to a different bike without this hub on it.

Collin
Collin
7 years ago

Umm, why did my comment get deleted. I posted a short youtube video that actually explains what a Roller clutch is. I’m an engineer and I even had to do a little googleing to figure out what it was. I’m a big BikeRumor fan, but to delete comments that are actually useful is pretty ridiculous.

Kristi Benedict
Admin
Kristi Benedict(@kristibee)
7 years ago
Reply to  Collin

Collin, Any comment that contains a link is held for moderation until we can check it. It’s up now.

erik
erik
7 years ago

Stealth Hubs has been around for a while and are THE hub of reference in BMX. They use a roller clutch, a bit heavier, but silent and instant engagement and damned near unbreakable…. they also dont cost much more than other premium options.. $415 for a rear.

Mike b
Mike b
7 years ago

Stealth Hubs out of Santa Barbara Cal has already done this and their not all that heavy. The designer Sean Callihan a friend of mine and ex BMX champion is the developer of that hub, and he works for True Precision which is soon coming out with a trick S4 design soon. That’s the hub to get.

craigsj
craigsj
7 years ago

“Most cyclist can easily push more torque into a hub than many car engines can produce.”

Haha, that’s a good one. 😉

Missed the weights…

Bikeracer
Bikeracer
7 years ago

It’s a Sprag clutch, not a roller clutch that stealth uses, far less drag! No other company is using this technology. Rolls almost identical to a front hub, I’ve seen them in person.

JBikes
JBikes
7 years ago

craigsj
Let’s say an average male cyclist weight 180 lbs. They are on 175mm cranks. Let’s take a popular xx1 dt – 30t chainring, 42t cog. That is about 145 lb-ft at the hub just by standing on the crank in “granny gear”

Granted, a lot of modern cars have torque outputs well about this, but a large percentage don’t. The very popular Corolla and Civic 4-cyl have peak torque figures of less than 130 lb-ft.

Matt
Matt
7 years ago

I had the chance to test on of their hubs for roughly 400 miles. It was incredible. All around, it was a great experience with solid engagement. The silence of the hub is pretty cool considering that I’ve been riding relatively loud free hubs my entire life. Long descents were really cool.

Tandem Guy
Tandem Guy
7 years ago

Collin S posted a video of a roller clutch. This hub contains a SPRAG clutch. Check the video here, scrub forward to 0.45 seconds: http://youtu.be/Fsp3fm4KHs0

substance
substance
7 years ago

I’ve been testing these hubs since the early prototype stages and I can assure you that these are different from anything else that has instant engagement. A sprag is different from a roller clutch. The part that the sprag actually grabs must be made of an incredibly hard steel so while its a bit heavier, you don’t have cassette cogs digging into the cassette body. The hub is also the center of rotation so weight there doesn’t matter as much.

If you’re going to freak out about weight, these aren’t for you. But if you want a hub that is dead silent, engages instantly, is easy to service, and doesn’t have a soft aluminum cassette body that cogs dig into, this is the option.

goridebikes
goridebikes
7 years ago

For the love of god please bring this to production with a clear hub shell, I will buy this for obscene cost if it will not shatter on the first ride!

Travis West
Travis West
7 years ago

Building my third set of these. Weight is about the same as an XT hub set. No lag, No drag and trick! Nothing like it in the industry – and I’ve built my share of wheels.

Personally, I think it is the epitome of a crit hub and for sure BMX. Nobody would here you attacking them or cutting inside in a turn.

I have found dealing with Christiansen/OnyxRP to be a great experience. It’s just a great mix of people I’ve talked with so far and they are more down to earth than a lot of the boutique brand companies I call on. ( -8

Ripnshread
Ripnshread
7 years ago

For this application a sprag clutch is superior to a roller as long as you can get more sprags into the hub than rollers and ramps. More sprags, faster engagement and more surface area for the sprag to contact vs a roller and ramp and thus the thinner/lighter you can make the outer surface/race. In my experience roller clutch hubs have been really heavy when compared to something like a Chris King. The inner and outer “races” have to be thick to deal with the torque and pressure produced. And while many makers like to espouse “infinite engagement” a roller or sprag requires some distance to engage. Its just not easy for us to measure because they are not telling us the engagement length.

Ripnshread
Ripnshread
7 years ago

If you look closely at these hubs they have offset the sprags for a faster engagement. Nice.

substance
substance
7 years ago

it doesn’t matter that the sprags are offset. I have an older version that only has one sprag and the engagement is absolutely immediate. While a sprag may require some distance to engage its so quick you literally can’t see it.

steve
steve
7 years ago

Ripnshread- the offset sprags don’t change the engagement, only how long the sprag takes to wedge, as there is not teeth and pawls both rows engage at the same time. The double row is to just increase the torque load capability.

McClain
McClain
7 years ago

We had a neon-yellow powder coated prototype at our shop, not yet built before I left for my current stint in China. I picked it up off the Mechanics shelf out of curiosity, and was immediately surprised at the engagement. It was surprising. It made no noise, and it is literally instant. I spun the free hub body less than one degree (as little as i possibly could!) before engaging, and it didn’t move. It was definitely over 500g though, 6-bolt disc, 28h.

That being said, rotational weight at the center makes a lot less difference than at the rim/tire.

Timothy
Timothy
7 years ago

Machine Tech did this 20+ years ago, & those hubs were a joy to ride. Unfortunately, while a roller clutches tight tolerances are easy to machine, they wear fairly quickly in a hub application, and slippage is fairly painful and expensive. Eventually, after several years production (and many revisions), Machine Tech came up with a spline ring drive… which Chris King copied when MT went back into machining aerospace components.

While I’m excited of the possibility of a modern MT hub, having racked my nads on the TT and ruined a $750 hub and wheel build in under a season has me on the fence.

Maxx
Maxx
7 years ago

Why does it read like there is plenty of viral marketing in the comments here ?
Please, if you have so called access to these products, do clearly identify yourself and how you’re related to the product.

Otherwise, people like me will have to assume that you’re but marketing personnel disguised as innocent web surfers leaving comments. Since this is the web, – Pictures or it didn’t happen.

Mike D
7 years ago

My first question: durability? If such exacting tolerances are needed to make this thing go, how long before wear becomes an issue? Are they serviceable?

Second question: What does the 5 year warranty cover?

I’m really excited about this tech though! Looks like a great, USABLE improvement so long as the durability is there. [I’ve worked on CK stuff–and now that I have, you couldn’t pay me to ride their hubs]

Marc
Marc
7 years ago

We have been fortunate to test these hubs for the past 4 years in BMX and in MTB’n, and there is nothing subliminal about anything here. It is a new product that is trying to offer something completely different. In the age of carbon this and titanium that at OUTRAGEOUS price points, I don’t think this technology is out of line. This is an AMERICAN company Creating American jobs making a product for a an industry that is supposed to be about fun and pushing the limits. If you want to know more about how they work and why, just ask ONYX. We are fortunate to have companies like Chris King, Profile Racing, i9, and ONYX these days. BUT the last I checked, the first bicycle didn’t have full XTR, i9, and ENVE hoops…

Marc
Marc
7 years ago

Mike , they are so simple to work on, THOUGH wear to the actual drive mechanism is non-existent. Normal wear and tear on the bearings would be expected as with any hub, but the sprag or driver are a non-issue. We have one hub that was used for 3 years with not one service…we are trying to kill it and the driver just rolls for days with perfect INSTANT engagement every time. If anyone in the Colorado front range wants to dissect one contact me I’d be glad to share. They are super fun…. spokesNspines@gmail.com

Alex
Alex
7 years ago

I think it is not good idea to use sprag clutch in the rear hub.
1) Weight of rear hub will be about 400-500g.
2) Price will be not less then 500-600$ for rear hub.
On the market you can find already approved hubs with much lower price for example DT 240 or second hand CK.
It is not true that sprag clutch don’t force on the hub shell. In the youtube you can find video of sprag clutch.

Simenf
Simenf
7 years ago

I’m very willing to give this a try! Proven tech, new application. Me like!

jen
jen
7 years ago

i dont care about the insides, but ill pay good money for some clear ones 🙂

phella
phella
7 years ago

I have seen a price list and it had $650 attached to MTB rear hubs with 12×142 rear axle. Weight was 420g for the rear alone. The weigh I could live with, but someone prove me wrong about the price.

Travis West
Travis West
7 years ago

I promise, first 1/2 mile on these hubs and you will forget about the price!

They are not replacement hubs, but a significant upgrades and ultra performance!

American company, American jobs.

The quality of the product is ultra pimp, and they aren’t having any break-in issues nor axles loosening after the first ride or two like the others mentioned.

brakelessnicloas
brakelessnicloas
7 years ago

only if there wasnt holes in the hub shell? and how are the bearings? sealed? replaceable? or some enduro bs?

Tywin1
Tywin1
7 years ago

A weightier hub doesn’t matter as its center mass, as others have said. For BMX they’re perfect, if they could be lightened for road/MTB they’d be even better. The clear shell is just to show the internals, it’s not a production configuration, AFAIK. They’re all alloy.

They’re not roller clutch, seems like a few of you have misread. The engagement is instant no matter where you coast and then engage to. After many years of hubs with a certain degree of movement before they can engage again, it’s kind of unreal.

Built up a set of them in our shop a few weeks ago so we immediately started Googling the brand, and to be honest the website could do with a bit more information. 🙂

Geoph
Geoph
7 years ago

These hubs are the best money can buy. The bearings spin forever and the engagement is instant. I’m amazed at how much faster I am on my favorite rides with these hubs. If you want to take your riding to the next level these hubs are the ticket. Thanks Onyx for making me a believer.

Stephen
Stephen
7 years ago

G’day Guys,
Interesting thread and appreciating its old, can anyone help me calculate how much torque a kid would apply to a hub, JBikes maybe?
Max 50kg
140mm cranks
33T / 12-17T rear

My email address: s.coff@ovi.com

Dave
7 years ago

I’m getting a set, they have a trade up program!! A great small company, could be the best hub in the world. I will see!!

Ben
Ben
7 years ago

I am getting a set for a tandem. Assuming they work as advertised, this will be the hub to beat for high torque applications. It’s heavy, it’s expensive, but walking is not always an option.

craigsj
craigsj
7 years ago

“craigsj
Let’s say an average male cyclist weight 180 lbs. They are on 175mm cranks. Let’s take a popular xx1 dt – 30t chainring, 42t cog. That is about 145 lb-ft at the hub just by standing on the crank in “granny gear”
Granted, a lot of modern cars have torque outputs well about this, but a large percentage don’t. The very popular Corolla and Civic 4-cyl have peak torque figures of less than 130 lb-ft.”

I guess if you get to choose the gear ratios for the rider and the engine then you could come up with an occasional pathological case where the two are comparable. I was not aware that the “very popular” cars you mentioned constitute “many” car engines, though.

Torque is just a number we manipulate through gearing. Power is the important measurement. I think everyone understands that every car engine dwarves the output of any cyclist. Put the output of that very popular Corolla engine directly onto the BB of your bicycle and see how long the drivetrain lasts. 😉

Also, JBike, you might want to check your math again. 145 ft lbs is wrong.

Mikee
Mikee
6 years ago

Want. Bad.