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  1. #1
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    Onyx Racing Hubs - The best of all worlds, fast engagement, strong, durable

    I wanted to start a clean thread about Onyx Racing hubs, but first some tech talk:

    In terms of "what drives a hub", these are the primary groups:

    Ratchet and Pawl (Ex: Hope, SRAM, Shimano, Hadley)

    Star Ratchet (DT Swiss, Chris King*)

    Tech resource: How Things Work: The Freehub Body - Dirt

    Roller Clutch (True Precision Stealth): FAQ | True Precision Components


    Sprag Clutch (Onyx Racing):
    FAQs
    Sprag clutch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I discovered Onyx Racing hubs while looking for strong hubs to run on a fat tandem. Tandems are very hard on hubs, the combination of team weight, frame flex, and high torque tend to trash bearings and tear up pawls.

    Admittedly, Onyx Racing has the worst website imaginable, but don't let this dissuade you from taking a look at what they have to offer: a strong hub with nearly instant engagement.

    I have posted comments on the Onyx Racing Hubs to other threads, so I'll copy them below: King Hubs vs Oynx Racing Hubs

    "Our hubs are 15 x 150/12 x 170, built on Scraper rims, running Trax fatty 3.25, on a Ventana Jefe Tandem. We chose these hubs because tandems are very hard on rear hubs due to issues with extreme flex and torque.

    So far we have taken ten hard rides on a tandem; these rides have included Moab slickrock, numerous hill climbs on single track, and lots of rolling single track, and a bunch of fast descents on ugly terrain. We (I) tend to pick terrain that most people would not consider tandem friendly. My wife just follows along without complain as long as I don't dump her

    The slickrock riding is really a great test for a tandem hub because there is no tire slippage; as a result the hub is taking all of the torque without relief or cushion. We rode most of the trails at Klondike including Baby Steps, UFO, etc... which had more drops that I choose to count, and the hub is as good as new.

    To put our limited ride count on this hub in perspective, a single tandem ride equates to two or three as much abuse as you'd get from a solo bike because the torque of two riders is so much greater than a single rider, not to mention frame twisting.

    So far this hub is great, it is super smooth, super quiet, and engagement is nearly instantaneous. The only concern I have heard voices with this type of hub is contamination from wet conditions (Mikesee). Supposedly the seals are really good on the Onyx; I think some guys are using them for snow biking in AK. Again, this would be one of those issues that come out over time, so riders in wet areas should take this with a grain of salt.

    The Onyx hubs come with a one year mechanism/five year hub body warranty, but of course using a warranty for a failure takes your bike out of commission. I believe you can replace the core if the hub internals get damaged, but I don't know for sure.

    I like the Onyx hub enough that I'll be using the same wheel set for my Mutz and when I build a wheel set for my Atlas; it will be on Onyx hubs.

    The engagement is so good with Onyx that it really has to be experienced. I can only compare it to riding a Muni (unicycle), where the only slack in the engagement is from the chain. The rear hub also seems to have gotten fast, i.e. it spins forever compared to a ratchet hub.

    I think the weight and price on an Onyx hub are commensurate with the what you get. If you want a less expensive hub or a lighter weight hub, then there are many to choose from including Profile.

    As far as I know, the only hub to comparable to the Onyx, is the True Precision Stealth made in San Diego, it has a slightly different mechanism, it was also developed in conjunction with BMX. The Stealth is not available in 170/190."
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Onyx Racing Hubs - Sprag Clutch vs other types of Engagement-kimg0851.jpg  

    Onyx Racing Hubs - Sprag Clutch vs other types of Engagement-kimg0849.jpg  

    Onyx Racing Hubs - Sprag Clutch vs other types of Engagement-kimg0848.jpg  

    Onyx Racing Hubs - Sprag Clutch vs other types of Engagement-kimg0838.jpg  

    Last edited by Nurse Ben; 06-02-2015 at 09:38 AM.

  2. #2
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    Anyone want to add wet weather feedback?

    Just got our second set for a 29+ build, pics to follow:

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    Nurse Ben, have you messed w/ the pre-load on your rear hub? I have the drive side cap threaded on finger tight. Any more and it starts to drag. Any thoughts? I'm tempted to loc-tite it on.

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    The preload is from the disc side, the retainer has an allen head bolt, loosen it to tighten prevent side to side movement of the hub body on the axle. The hub ends should slip in and out, like a Hope, at least the disc side one does.

    And yeah, there is a tad bit of drag when I snug up the rear, kinda feels "friction", but the front is fine, so it probably has something to do with the mechanism.

    Finger tight is good, that's what I've been doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by natron5000 View Post
    Nurse Ben, have you messed w/ the pre-load on your rear hub? I have the drive side cap threaded on finger tight. Any more and it starts to drag. Any thoughts? I'm tempted to loc-tite it on.

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    not the prettiest thing is it? i imagine they will do some more straight forward colours? mind if i ask how much that bad boy set you back?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cunningstunts View Post
    not the prettiest thing is it? i imagine they will do some more straight forward colours? mind if i ask how much that bad boy set you back?
    I think they will do about any color you want. Laser etching too.

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    anyone reckon why they don't have their mtn bike hubs on their website???

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    Quote Originally Posted by cunningstunts View Post
    anyone reckon why they don't have their mtn bike hubs on their website???
    No. Check out the FB page.

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    What do they charge for their disk hubs

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    Here you are:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/cukva6gr79...heet.xlsx?dl=0

    They will be on my Smoothest Rolling Bike

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by natron5000 View Post
    No. Check out the FB page.
    And this is why I will never be a customer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007 View Post
    And this is why I will never be a customer.
    Seriously dude, that shitty website is killing me when I am riding on their hubs. Knowing that they are interwebs bogus really ruins the sweet, sweet smooth and silent rolling with unbelievably instant engagement. What was I thinking when I picked up the phone and talked to their friendly, helpful and knowledgeable makers before ordering? Easily the best hubs I have ever ridden, but I should toss them because of that tragic web experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VonFalkenhausen View Post
    Seriously dude, that shitty website is killing me when I am riding on their hubs. Knowing that they are interwebs bogus really ruins the sweet, sweet smooth and silent rolling with unbelievably instant engagement. What was I thinking when I picked up the phone and talked to their friendly, helpful and knowledgeable makers before ordering? Easily the best hubs I have ever ridden, but I should toss them because of that tragic web experience.
    Seriously, Dude.

  16. #16
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    I have an Onyx rear hub that I'm going to building up next week...can't wait!

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    not to put too much emphasis on a website, but theirs is just so bad it seems hard to imagine the same people can make a brilliant piece of engineering. now with that out of the way, is there a top retailer for this brand of hub? certainly nothing here in Canada. who should i go to for more details and ordering?

  18. #18
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    Allen Stark
    Onyx Racing Products
    320-310-7887
    allen@onyxrp.com
    sales@onyxrp.com
    Onyx Racing Products - Contact Us

    This is fairly comprehensive for build details. https://www.dropbox.com/s/wexdcsc73w...pecs.xlsx?dl=0

    Contact direct for custom options like color and conversion parts.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cunningstunts View Post
    not to put too much emphasis on a website, but theirs is just so bad it seems hard to imagine the same people can make a brilliant piece of engineering. now with that out of the way, is there a top retailer for this brand of hub? certainly nothing here in Canada. who should i go to for more details and ordering?
    Universal Cycles. They have them in stock and were pretty good about answering my questions.

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    That excel list is interesting. There are far more options than I thought they had.

    I'm this close (> <) to ordering a rear hub for my road bike. I think the buzz of the King is a good thing for the crowded trails around here but a silent road bike would be fantastic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    I think the buzz of the King is a good thing for the crowded trails around here but a silent road bike would be fantastic.
    I am in no way trying to sway you away from Onyx in any way, but unless you have ridden King hubs recently...they really aren't very loud imho. My buddy on Hopes and my I9's are at least twice as loud as my King hubs w/ SS fh body.

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    I've been on King for a while. Mine was fairly quiet for the first year. It seems to get louder every time I clean it and re-lube. I also just switched to the xtr 9000 cassette and I swear it amplifies it even more.

    After briefly trying an onyx a few weeks ago, it hasn't been a question of wanting one, it's which bike I'll buy one for first. While I want instant engagement for trails, I think noise is a benefit to others. Plus, I'm really regretting using a dt 350 for my current road wheels. It feels clunky and sounds like crap.

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    My road bike is 135 with disc, so I think I'm getting their CX hub when they are available. The cx hub uses a slimmer shell and one and a half doohickies versus the mtb hub which has two doohickies - so, lighter weight. Excuse the technical jargon

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cunningstunts View Post
    not to put too much emphasis on a website, but theirs is just so bad it seems hard to imagine the same people can make a brilliant piece of engineering. now with that out of the way, is there a top retailer for this brand of hub? certainly nothing here in Canada. who should i go to for more details and ordering?
    LaMere is an Onyx dealer.
    LaMere Cycles Custom Carbon Bicycles

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    QBP is also an Onyx dealer. But no info on the website yet.
    Quality Bicycle Products | Every Butt on a Bike

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    CK is a great producer, but their hubs aren't even in the same league with Onyx.

    If CK made a hub design like Onyx, I'd buy them!

    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    I am in no way trying to sway you away from Onyx in any way, but unless you have ridden King hubs recently...they really aren't very loud imho. My buddy on Hopes and my I9's are at least twice as loud as my King hubs w/ SS fh body.

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    Yeah, why would you want talk to a real person, send texts back and forth, or receive emails. I'd much rather have a high tech website and order without ever interacting with a human.

    They are so smooth and engage so fast, once you roll a hub like Onyx, there's no going back.

    But hey, don't take "our" word, you all just keep rolling CK and all those pawl hubs, it won't hurt my feelings

    I'm building a third set for a 26 x 4" winter wheel set, kinda struggling with colors, I have gold and red, so perhaps I'll go with silver or black...wait, why not a zebra?!

    As to prices, I get a discount for helping out a buddy in his shop, but they are around the same price as Hadley or CK.

  28. #28
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    Sweet looking hubs, great to see some actual innovation in the market for this type of component. I'll consider these for sure but wish they were lighter and less expensive. The Hope Pro 2 evo 40t I run on all my bikes have always been reliable and at 200g less weight and over $200 less provide a pretty compelling weight, performance, dollar ratio.
    Michael

    Ride on!

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    Looks like the website is down as of now.
    But can someone please tell me where they are made?

    Thank you
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    Avid is spelled wrong, there should be an 'O' in there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by acer66 View Post
    Looks like the website is down as of now.
    But can someone please tell me where they are made?

    Thank you
    The hubs are made in Minnesota, and the sprags and bearings are sourced from Germany.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by VonFalkenhausen View Post
    The hubs are made in Minnesota, and the sprags and bearings are sourced from Germany.
    Danke Herr von Falkenhausen.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Avid is spelled wrong, there should be an 'O' in there.

  33. #33
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    It's not entirely about durability and silent running, the real performamce benefits are in the immediate engagement and frictionless coasting.

    Once you ride these hubs, there's no going back, ratchet hubs will feel annoyingly slow.

    I'm starting my third Onyx wheel build this fall, just need to pick a color. I'm thinking silver with red streaks, or maybe red with gold streaks, or ...

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    How do get these custom color combos I see around? Do they just make random cool batches and if you happen to be on the spot at the right time you're stoked? Or do the have a custom order procedure for an up Charge? Looking through thier Facebook photos reveals some insane color ways that I would love get ahold of for my build

    Sorry for the thread drift

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    We stock over 20 different colors. If you have a specific color you'd like to match we can help with that also, usually there is no up-charge. Send us an email sales@onyxrp.com or give us a call at 800-328-8896 option 2.
    Thanks!

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    Do they have a SS hub with 142x12 axle? Is it a real "one piece axle" or just end caps on a 135? Also what is the free hub body made of?
    These are the main reasons I went with Hadley SS hubs for my SS Sir9. A real 142x12 one piece axle and a Ti free hub body. Obviously not the Hadley website,lol.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardmtnbiker View Post
    Do they have a SS hub with 142x12 axle? Is it a real "one piece axle" or just end caps on a 135? Also what is the free hub body made of?
    These are the main reasons I went with Hadley SS hubs for my SS Sir9. A real 142x12 one piece axle and a Ti free hub body. Obviously not the Hadley website,lol.
    I remember them posting a hub with a short freehub body for SS and DJ use that was available in 142/12 axle, just call them up and I am sure they would be happy to give you all the details, I had all my questions answered in great detail when I was preparing to order my set. I believe all their freehub shells are steel for the strength required to properly support the Sprag drive system. They are stout hubs.

  38. #38
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    Any word on how user-serviceable these are?

    I'm having a new wheelset built and am considering these vs. I9 Torches vs. DT 240s. Leaning toward the DTs, due to how dead simple they are to work on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Love Commander View Post
    Any word on how user-serviceable these are?

    I'm having a new wheelset built and am considering these vs. I9 Torches vs. DT 240s. Leaning toward the DTs, due to how dead simple they are to work on.
    Here is a couple quick videos on the complete tear down of our mtb hubs. We'll be posting new videos to our youtube channel soon.

    Part 1: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8jmnh0np95...b1of2.mov?dl=0

    Part 2: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ncp17s91ca...b2of2.mov?dl=0

    Any other questions just hit us up!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Gerhardt View Post
    Here is a couple quick videos on the complete tear down of our mtb hubs. We'll be posting new videos to our youtube channel soon.

    Part 1: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8jmnh0np95...b1of2.mov?dl=0

    Part 2: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ncp17s91ca...b2of2.mov?dl=0

    Any other questions just hit us up!

    Have you tried these in cold weather?? I mean like -20C cold. What were the results?
    Can you substitute the grease/oil for the sprag with any other (thinner) oil/grease for cold weather use or will they only work with one kind of lube?

    I have a TP that I've done about 15000km on, and at about 10000 the mechanism looked brand new, I could not see evidence of any metal to metal contact at all. and that surprised me.

    What type of alu is used for the shell? If I sent you a piece of Ti could you build me a hub with a Ti shell (6al4v)?
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    Have you tried these in cold weather?? I mean like -20C cold. What were the results?
    Can you substitute the grease/oil for the sprag with any other (thinner) oil/grease for cold weather use or will they only work with one kind of lube?

    I have a TP that I've done about 15000km on, and at about 10000 the mechanism looked brand new, I could not see evidence of any metal to metal contact at all. and that surprised me.

    What type of alu is used for the shell? If I sent you a piece of Ti could you build me a hub with a Ti shell (6al4v)?
    No issues in extreme cold weather. We recommend the use of Kluber LDS 18 Spec A greaase, very light coating. Less is more in this application. The grease limits are

    • Upper Heat Range 120 deg Celsius
    • Lower Heat Range -50 deg Celsius


    We use a 7075 material on our shells, we are not tooled up for the Ti!

  42. #42
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    Eyeing these and trying to work out whether to go with the 12x142mm for my existing frame and hope boost dies.

    So in theory if you have a 12x142mm Onyx rear hub and in the future the only frame options that interest you have boost spacing can you convert your hub with a new axle and hub shell (a la Chris King)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by OriginalDonk View Post
    Eyeing these and trying to work out whether to go with the 12x142mm for my existing frame and hope boost dies.

    So in theory if you have a 12x142mm Onyx rear hub and in the future the only frame options that interest you have boost spacing can you convert your hub with a new axle and hub shell (a la Chris King)?
    Most likely yes, but the hub will not have the slightly wider flange spacing, so it will not actually be a boost hub. I believe you would also need a brake rotor spacer.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    Most likely yes, but the hub will not have the slightly wider flange spacing, so it will not actually be a boost hub. I believe you would also need a brake rotor spacer.
    A new axle and hub shell should move the flanges out so externally it would be a boost setup. My question is focused on whether the internals would play nice with a new hub shell.

  45. #45
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    If you haven't done it yet, check out their facebook page. New hub porn all the time. I think I need to get a set in red with gold axles and end caps. Nobody in the component world is doing finishes like onyx.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OriginalDonk View Post
    Eyeing these and trying to work out whether to go with the 12x142mm for my existing frame and hope boost dies.

    So in theory if you have a 12x142mm Onyx rear hub and in the future the only frame options that interest you have boost spacing can you convert your hub with a new axle and hub shell (a la Chris King)?
    To change from a 135/142 spaced hub you would need to send the hub back to us for a shell and axle swap. Everything else in the hub is the same assuming you have the 142/12 end caps on. Our trade-back program would allow a model-to-model swap at 75% off, plus additional parts. So retail on the rear hub is 445, less 75%, leaves you 111.25 to change out the shell (includes servicing) and 60 for a new axle.

  47. #47
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    Great info. Thank you Jim.

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    I finally pulled the trigger for an Onyx rear 12x142 hub..AMAZING!

    Nice and smooth. I don't like loud hubs...the silence is golden.

    The weight is NOT and issue.

  49. #49
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    After two rides on my Onyx hubs, I couldn't believe how much they make even the best hubs feel like department store level product. The instant engagement is so instant that the only play you can feel is in your chain! And then they're completely silent and roll really fast.

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    Any long term usage feedback info fellas?

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    Quote Originally Posted by verrocchio100 View Post
    Any long term usage feedback info fellas?
    After 6 months of hard MTB riding on East Coast, still spin forever and not one problem. So smooth!! Now Jim when will they get lighter? 100g or so!!

  52. #52
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    No no no. There's no making them lighter. I'd actually prefer them in an even heavier version. Totally approve the idea about titanium shells, too.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgw7000 View Post
    After 6 months of hard MTB riding on East Coast, still spin forever and not one problem. So smooth!! Now Jim when will they get lighter? 100g or so!!
    Hopefully never.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  54. #54
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    My 190x12mm thru is approx. 560grams with steel shimano/sram freehub. Going to use it for my Fatboy but wondering if I should get end caps to convert to 190QR or look for drop-down thru-axle for more stiffness. Judging by threads here, should be a big enough market for someone to produce a thru-axle because the Fatboy needs a very stiff hub for us 200+ lb. riders. My Hope QR hub is just barely holding on.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by verrocchio100 View Post
    Any long term usage feedback info fellas?
    I have been on them for roughly a year now and am still a huge fan.

    The real test for me is having them on my fatbike and having my little boy sitting behind me on the kiddie seat. Lots of weight, lots of stress and lots of traction! Hubs are still perfect and have never skipped a beat.
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  56. #56
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    While I don't have Onyx hubs, I know several that do, and they love them. I have read of several tandem riders with Onyx hubs, and I can't possibly think of a bike that would place greater demands of its hubs. That should be a testament of their qualities.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    While I don't have Onyx hubs, I know several that do, and they love them. I have read of several tandem riders with Onyx hubs, and I can't possibly think of a bike that would place greater demands of its hubs. That should be a testament of their qualities.
    My local shop that has sold many sets of Onyx hubs with Derby rims, 0 problems with everyone loving the silent wheels. I was the first since I introduced the shop owner the Jim G. of Onyx. Jim is a very passionate about his hubs and passion drives only the best parts and guality that go into making Onyx so special!! Seems everyone now knows Onyx.

  58. #58
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    A buddy of mine toured Onyx and helped assemble the rear hub I now have on my fat bike. I am the (mtbr named) unofficial durability tester for fat bike rear hubs, so if I cannot break them...rest assured they will be fine for 99.99999% of the people in the world.

  59. #59
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    Seems the same as the already existing True precision silent hub.
    Stealth MTB Rear Hub | True Precision Components

    would be interested in a light al mountain" version
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  60. #60
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    The mechanism is different. Onyx uses a sprag clutch, True Precision uses a roller clutch. I suggest you read the first post of the thread.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20.100 FR View Post
    Seems the same as the already existing True precision silent hub.
    Stealth MTB Rear Hub | True Precision Components

    would be interested in a light al mountain" version
    Totally different type of clutch system. Roller clutch vs Sprag clutch. There are some great vids on youtube showing how they are vastly different.
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  62. #62
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    Some of the other notable differences include Metric sized bearings in Onyx vs Imperial sized ones in TP, and better sealing in Onyx vs TP. At least as compared to TP generation S2.

    A very important advantage of DJ/SS Onyx over TP Poacher is the HG splined driver body vs using proprietary cogs.


    (This is coming from a long time user, and fan, of TP Poacher S2. I'm extremely spoiled with the silence and the instant engagement, and guys at TP rock.)


    PS.
    There are also differences between TP and Onyx in how axles, hub shells, and driver bodies carry loads, and other, smaller ones, but none of these make either choice better or worse for the end user.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by verrocchio100 View Post
    Any long term usage feedback info fellas?
    I have 9 months on mine and they are still as smooth and silent as day one. Excellent hubs.

  64. #64
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    Nobl is providing wheels using Nobl branded hubs which are made exclusively by Onyx. This is for anyone wanted to buy a factory carbon wheel with sprag clutch technology.

    https://noblwheels.com/products/27-5-33mm-wheelset

  65. #65
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    One thing I don't like is how loose my XT cassette fits on the fh body. Almost like the fh body is about 1mm too small in diameter.

  66. #66
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    drench it in loctite.
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    drench it in loctite.
    Come on man, be reasonable. Just wrap some duct tape around it. I can't remember any notable fit issue with mine, no tape or loctite was required, I am running a Garbaruk extender with 7/10 of an XT cassette. It spins happy and true, but there does seem to be a lot of leeway in the industry. I have had combinations of parts that would barely go together and others that were disturbingly loose but never one that caused a problem once assembled and torqued up.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    drench it in loctite.
    How about I drench you in loctite...not talking blue stuff either!

  69. #69
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    Doing that will hardly make your cassette fit tighter on the freehub though.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derp View Post
    Nobl is providing wheels using Nobl branded hubs which are made exclusively by Onyx. This is for anyone wanted to buy a factory carbon wheel with sprag clutch technology.

    https://noblwheels.com/products/27-5-33mm-wheelset
    Whoa. At current exchange rate their canuckistan price works out to $1382 US. I like to roll my own but thats not bad at all.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    Doing that will hardly make your cassette fit tighter on the freehub though.
    But it will make my pants tighter in the front.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    Whoa. At current exchange rate their canuckistan price works out to $1382 US. I like to roll my own but thats not bad at all.
    I know! Thankfully the US dollar is strong right now compared to our Loonie, For you guys at least. There are some good deals to be had.

  73. #73
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    I have two Onyx rear hubs, both on fatbikes. One is 177mm, the other is 217mm. I ordered these from Onyx because my all-time favorite hubs, DT Swiss, weren't (at the time) available in 177 or 217.

    The bike with the 177 rear hub is ridden unloaded, on techy day rides. The bike with the 217 is often ridden loaded on overnighters and multi-day trips. Can be anywhere from 50 to 80# when loaded as such.

    I've never really noticed anything about the 177 hub, other than it is so quiet that I've spent more time fine-tuning the rear brake on that bike than any brake, on any bike, ever before.

    The very first ride on the 217 hub was a multiday desert bike/boat trip. The bike was easily 75#, maybe more, and I had another ~20# on my back in water and camera gear. And I immediately noticed something odd about the hub: sponginess, or very soft engagement.

    In other words, if I apply both brakes and press down on the pedals, while the wheels don't move a millimeter, the cranks will rotate forward and the cassette will rotate forward. An alarming amount, actually.

    Make sense? The amount that the pedals can rotate as the cassette is also rotating is boggling. Something like 45-50 degrees before it finally firms up and stops moving. This is not 'free play'. Windup would be a better word.

    And, as we were crossing a vast chunk of desert landscape without benefit of trail, road, or bike shops along the way, I started to get really paranoid that something had been misassembled inside this hub. My bad for taking it immediately onto a 'deep' trip without even a short shakedown ride, but there I was. Worried that it was going to implode or explode and leave me with at least a 60-mile walk out, I started walking the steeper climbs. This is where the sponginess was most notable -- steep grade, good traction, heavy bike. Felt like the pedals were giving way a bit and then bouncing back at me on every stroke.

    I soft-pedaled and walked through every notable climb on this 5-day traverse, then when I got home I emailed Onyx to ask how to remove this sponginess from the hub.

    And to my surprise they said it was normal.

    Uhhh, what?

    Here's a quote from our email string:

    "First of all, a sprag clutch is always engaged, even when not pedaling your bike actually.

    This is what contributes to the true instant engagement. If you chose to drive your bike forward (without brakes), it would instantly do so. As more torque is put into the system, sprag clutches “wedge” or “standup” even further to deliver more torque to the system. This is what you are seeing when preventing the bike from moving forward and applying torque to the cranks."


    I understood what he was saying but I still struggled with the idea that my hub was supposed to feel this way. Do other people not notice this? It feels, to me, like something is broken, or bent, or otherwise not right with the hub.

    I asked for some clarification, and the next reply I got was:

    "You would never feel this if you were riding or allowing the bike to move forward. But is the case where you are up against a wall or have the brakes applied, you will see the sprags wedging further or standing up to handle the torque applied."

    And that's the kicker -- I felt it *immediately* when I laced this hub, and I feel it on every climb when I'm in either of my two easiest gears. Like there are rubber bands effecting the engagement.

    I've gotten used to lots of weird things on bikes over the past few decades. As long as they don't fail outright, quirky bits can enrich the riding experience.

    But this feel? This might be a bridge too far for me.

  74. #74
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    Yes there is some springiness with a sprag hub when standing still, but moving you would never notice that because it has no negative impact on your riding. That springiness goes away while you're moving and translates to instant engagement. It actually has "deadened" my bike but in a good way. Like, there is zero noise and the drivetrain is damped against the clang of a regular pawl system. All I can hear now are the knobs of my tires and that's a beautiful thing.

    I was told that Onyx hubs were tested to something like 4 or 5 million hard torque cycles and there were no failures? It was a crazy high number.

  75. #75
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    I don't know how much the total amount of your rig is with you on it, but I am guessing mine is 295lbs max. I don't haul anything, other than my fat a$$ up hills. I did notice the issue you are talking about with the brakes applied while pushing down on the cranks, and I remember nurse ben talking about this. But I cannot say that I have noticed it at all while riding. Because our trails are wet now, I have been riding a lot of deer trails..which means lots and lots of tight, quick, low speed action, fallen tree type of riding (deer don't consider us mtbr's when constructing a trail I guess). I have also done some very steep climbs. I cannot say I have every felt any softness while riding, but I am kinda numb to such things I think....others might be able to tell.

    I was able to lift my front end and climb just fine, and it felt no different than my I9.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derp View Post
    Yes there is some springiness with a sprag hub when standing still, but moving you would never notice that because it has no negative impact on your riding.
    I've already said that I do notice it. Right from the get-go on my very first ride, and increasingly on every ride since.

    Perhaps I should be the one that determines what impact it has on my riding, and not you?

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I've already said that I do notice it. Right from the get-go on my very first ride, and increasingly on every ride since.

    Perhaps I should be the one that determines what impact it has on my riding, and not you?
    I think you chould keep going after ONYX on this (and possibly dont pay as much attention to what fanboys are saying - deal direct with the manufacturer - they seem pretty solid).

    Is it possible to weight up the other hub you have and see if you can get a similar feeling?

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007 View Post
    I think you chould keep going after ONYX on this (and possibly dont pay as much attention to what fanboys are saying - deal direct with the manufacturer - they seem pretty solid).

    Is it possible to weight up the other hub you have and see if you can get a similar feeling?
    Onyx has said it's normal. The question is whether I can get used to it.

    No other hub in the shop feels this way.

  79. #79
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    I've ridden some technical climbs with mine, where basically I'm stalled for a moment with all of my weight on the pedal and pulling up hard on the bars, and have never noticed any slipping. I'd assume just a few degrees would be noticeable similar to what a spinning tire is like in this situation. I'm only 160 pounds though on a 2.2 tire so probably not near as much torque as your case.

    I'd hope Onyx would work with you since you have 2 of their rear hubs and can't replicate this with both.

  80. #80
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    mikesee, have you looked inside the hub?

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I have two Onyx rear hubs, both on fatbikes. One is 177mm, the other is 217mm. I ordered these from Onyx because my all-time favorite hubs, DT Swiss, weren't (at the time) available in 177 or 217.

    The bike with the 177 rear hub is ridden unloaded, on techy day rides. The bike with the 217 is often ridden loaded on overnighters and multi-day trips. Can be anywhere from 50 to 80# when loaded as such.

    I've never really noticed anything about the 177 hub, other than it is so quiet that I've spent more time fine-tuning the rear brake on that bike than any brake, on any bike, ever before.

    The very first ride on the 217 hub was a multiday desert bike/boat trip. The bike was easily 75#, maybe more, and I had another ~20# on my back in water and camera gear. And I immediately noticed something odd about the hub: sponginess, or very soft engagement.

    In other words, if I apply both brakes and press down on the pedals, while the wheels don't move a millimeter, the cranks will rotate forward and the cassette will rotate forward. An alarming amount, actually.

    Make sense? The amount that the pedals can rotate as the cassette is also rotating is boggling. Something like 45-50 degrees before it finally firms up and stops moving. This is not 'free play'. Windup would be a better word.

    And, as we were crossing a vast chunk of desert landscape without benefit of trail, road, or bike shops along the way, I started to get really paranoid that something had been misassembled inside this hub. My bad for taking it immediately onto a 'deep' trip without even a short shakedown ride, but there I was. Worried that it was going to implode or explode and leave me with at least a 60-mile walk out, I started walking the steeper climbs. This is where the sponginess was most notable -- steep grade, good traction, heavy bike. Felt like the pedals were giving way a bit and then bouncing back at me on every stroke.

    I soft-pedaled and walked through every notable climb on this 5-day traverse, then when I got home I emailed Onyx to ask how to remove this sponginess from the hub.

    And to my surprise they said it was normal.

    Uhhh, what?

    Here's a quote from our email string:

    "First of all, a sprag clutch is always engaged, even when not pedaling your bike actually.

    This is what contributes to the true instant engagement. If you chose to drive your bike forward (without brakes), it would instantly do so. As more torque is put into the system, sprag clutches “wedge” or “standup” even further to deliver more torque to the system. This is what you are seeing when preventing the bike from moving forward and applying torque to the cranks."


    I understood what he was saying but I still struggled with the idea that my hub was supposed to feel this way. Do other people not notice this? It feels, to me, like something is broken, or bent, or otherwise not right with the hub.

    I asked for some clarification, and the next reply I got was:

    "You would never feel this if you were riding or allowing the bike to move forward. But is the case where you are up against a wall or have the brakes applied, you will see the sprags wedging further or standing up to handle the torque applied."

    And that's the kicker -- I felt it *immediately* when I laced this hub, and I feel it on every climb when I'm in either of my two easiest gears. Like there are rubber bands effecting the engagement.

    I've gotten used to lots of weird things on bikes over the past few decades. As long as they don't fail outright, quirky bits can enrich the riding experience.

    But this feel? This might be a bridge too far for me.
    the only thing that could theoretically cause this is if the clutch was slipping due to wrong grease or similar (too low temps maybe, oil/grease gets too stiff)). Or possibly if the axle/freehub sliding surface (like in a tp construction) was too small. or like in the onyx if the outer tube/shell piece that the sprag will lock too/slide against is too large. Probably only takes a few 0,01mm out of spec to make it partially slip (which is what you are experiencing).

    You have faulty hub imo
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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Onyx has said it's normal. The question is whether I can get used to it.

    No other hub in the shop feels this way.
    I know my Onyx hubs have some "wind up" in them, just not as much as you are experiencing. I wonder if a sprag was missed when it was assembled. You should have 2, I wonder if only 1 was dropped in. Sounds strange.

    Have you taken it apart and seen what the guts look like? Here are some links if you haven't seen them.

    Part 1 https://www.dropbox.com/s/8jmnh0np95...b1of2.mov?dl=0

    Part 2 https://www.dropbox.com/s/ncp17s91ca...b2of2.mov?dl=0
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  83. #83
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    If you feel it in one hub but not the other the conclusion is obv. Are you SURE you felt it while riding, and it wasn't just a placebo effect?

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by dustyduke22 View Post
    I know my Onyx hubs have some "wind up" in them, just not as much as you are experiencing. I wonder if a sprag was missed when it was assembled. You should have 2, I wonder if only 1 was dropped in. Sounds strange.

    Have you taken it apart and seen what the guts look like? Here are some links if you haven't seen them.

    Part 1 https://www.dropbox.com/s/8jmnh0np95...b1of2.mov?dl=0

    Part 2 https://www.dropbox.com/s/ncp17s91ca...b2of2.mov?dl=0
    Even with 1 lockup should be instant instant imo. It might not manage much torque of the long run but initially it should be rock solid.
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  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    If you feel it in one hub but not the other the conclusion is obv. Are you SURE you felt it while riding, and it wasn't just a placebo effect?
    He said its slipping, then its slipping. and it caused by one of the reasons i just posted.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

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    Specialized sucks ass.

  86. #86
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    My tp has been rock solid though. i have no idea what this onyx craze is all about since its pretty much the same mechanism at action here to make it lock up. My tp has been rock solid for 15000km at least. mostly in rain. i need to swap 1 bearing out now but still its quuite good durablility of that hub. didn't do jack sh1t to it for that period. i will swap all bearings though.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    And, as we were crossing a vast chunk of desert landscape without benefit of trail, road, or bike shops along the way, I started to get really paranoid that something had been misassembled inside this hub.
    Paranoid is an unjustified fear. I would place your concerns as justified.
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  88. #88
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    I ride techy chunk most of the time. I also ratchet to negotiate features a lot so I fully use the Onyx as it was intended. Yes, there is a slight, very slight feeling of "softness", but now I never even think about the hub, either it's remarkable quietness or the slightly instant engagement. It just has disappeared form the radar. With my I-9 and 240s I was always aware of the hub, in engagement and/or sound.
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  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    He said its slipping, then its slipping. and it caused by one of the reasons i just posted.
    It is not slipping, I know exactly what he is referring to as I have the same hub. Basically the initial engagement is instant but not locked, and between the time the sprags initially engage and completely lock, there is a soft of spongy feeling (what onyx described as the sprags standing up as more torque is applied). Think of it like a big ol' drag slick on a high horsepower car. Launching off the line the tire is in contact with the ground, but as the wheel spins the tire wrinkles a bit then the car launches. Nothing is slipping, but it isn't a 100% on/off feeling.

    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    My tp has been rock solid though. i have no idea what this onyx craze is all about since its pretty much the same mechanism at action here to make it lock up.
    The TP roller clutch system and Onyx Sprag clutch systems are actually very different. Google both and you will see the achieve engagement in two totally different methods with very different parts. The reason onyx is big in the fat bike world is they will make you whatever size you need, and are a proven bulletproof design by years and years of very abusive BMX testing. Mikesee would not be riding the bike he is right now w/o onyx?

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    He said its slipping, then its slipping. and it caused by one of the reasons i just posted.
    Did he actually say that it was slipping?
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  91. #91
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    i enterpret this as slipping:
    And I immediately noticed something odd about the hub: sponginess, or very soft engagement.

    In other words, if I apply both brakes and press down on the pedals, while the wheels don't move a millimeter, the cranks will rotate forward and the cassette will rotate forward. An alarming amount, actually.

    Make sense? The amount that the pedals can rotate as the cassette is also rotating is boggling. Something like 45-50 degrees before it finally firms up and stops moving. This is not 'free play'. Windup would be a better word.
    jonshonda: i know how both of them works and how they look inside. I still think his hub is out of spec or broken. It should be like 4-5deg at most imo and not 50. and even 4-5 isn't good.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

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    Specialized sucks ass.

  92. #92
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    I overlooked the part where he said 45-50 degrees. Yeah, you've got something wrong with your hub.

  93. #93
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    Also i think if the actual small "wedges" that stand up in the sprag clutch is machined to the wrong profile or slightly too small or something I guess you could get that same problem too. I think thats highly unlikely though, but possible. if its a 2 doohickey hub its even less likely.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

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  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Did he actually say that it was slipping?
    It was probably really loose spokes due to the amateur that built the wheel.

    Seriously though. I've sampled the onyx hubs twice now, and there is a very very slight squish thing that happened when I backpedaled a little and then applied power quickly in a low gear. It's like your squashing an elastomer bushing a little bit. BUT, whatever that dead zone was in actual degrees, it was still less than my king hub, which is impressive.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    the only thing that could theoretically cause this is if the clutch was slipping due to wrong grease or similar (too low temps maybe, oil/grease gets too stiff)). Or possibly if the axle/freehub sliding surface (like in a tp construction) was too small. or like in the onyx if the outer tube/shell piece that the sprag will lock too/slide against is too large. Probably only takes a few 0,01mm out of spec to make it partially slip (which is what you are experiencing).

    You have faulty hub imo
    It's not slipping. When I tension the pedals as described, you can see the chain load up, and the cassette and pedals start to rotate forward -- and they continue rotating until a certain point (basically when I can't push any harder) and then they stop. There is never a slip in there. When I release tension from the pedals the whole system unwinds and backs up.

    I will try to shoot a video of it, but no camera at work today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    It is not slipping, Think of it like a big ol' drag slick on a high horsepower car. Launching off the line the tire is in contact with the ground, but as the wheel spins the tire wrinkles a bit then the car launches. Nothing is slipping, but it isn't a 100% on/off feeling.
    This is a good way to put it.

    I've never really given a rip about high engagement. I've owned fast engaging hubs and I just never notice it either way. I can ride an 18 POE DT hub one day and a 72 POE King (or whoever) the next, and whatever difference is there just doesn't amount to a hill of beans for me. I am still the weak link in the equation.

    So I didn't buy Onyx because of the hyped up engagement, nor for the silence when coasting. I wanted to try something new, and I did. I was surprised that I hadn't heard more about this spongy feel, because it's infinitely more noticeable to me than any amount (or lack of) engagement.

    And I didn't come here to throw Onyx under the bus. I reached out to them first, and I think I've shared their correspondence in a favorable light. There's nothing wrong with the hub per se, it just didn't match my expectations.

    Maybe others reading this will realize that this feel is *exactly* what they want, because it prevents the tire slipping in steep/loose/low traction situations, or something like that.

    I will continue to ride it, and if I can get used to the feel and it seems like I can trust it long-term for the 'out there' trips I do on this bike, then I'll keep it. If I can't, I'll sell it and move on.

  97. #97
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    I was just out trying to provoke my hub in doing the same. But I got zero movement. I mean zero. I think you have a faulty hub there. Especially if only one of the hubs is doing it. Warranty the hub imo.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  98. #98
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    mikesee, I honestly think you just need to ride it more and NOT concentrate on the pedals. Just ride some of the hardest stuff you can and be honest with yourself with regards to the sponginess. I often get all hyped up over something that isn't a big deal after I settle down for a few days.

    My buddy just barrowed my rear wheel and if he wouldn't have read your comments here, would not have known any difference (when brakes are applied and pushing down on the pedal). We hit some pretty steep hills, had to pop the front up a lot for log overs, and did a nice baby head rock climb. He didn't mention it one time.

    Also, you do realize that 45 degrees is 1/4 of a pedal stroke. You can make the pedal go from 3'oclock to 6'oclock when standing on the pedal w/ brakes locked? I get maybe..MAYBE 20 degrees when standing on it, but honestly cannot feel it at all riding.

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    mikesee, I honestly think you just need to ride it more and NOT concentrate on the pedals. Just ride some of the hardest stuff you can and be honest with yourself with regards to the sponginess. I often get all hyped up over something that isn't a big deal after I settle down for a few days.

    My buddy just barrowed my rear wheel and if he wouldn't have read your comments here, would not have known any difference (when brakes are applied and pushing down on the pedal). We hit some pretty steep hills, had to pop the front up a lot for log overs, and did a nice baby head rock climb. He didn't mention it one time.

    Also, you do realize that 45 degrees is 1/4 of a pedal stroke. You can make the pedal go from 3'oclock to 6'oclock when standing on the pedal w/ brakes locked? I get maybe..MAYBE 20 degrees when standing on it, but honestly cannot feel it at all riding.
    I don't need to concentrate on the pedals to feel it and be weirded out by it. I can be focusing on the view, an upcoming photo op, a conversation with a riding partner -- anything and everything else -- and then there it is, unmistakeable on every stroke as the grade gets steep.

    45 degrees is 1/8 of a crank revolution, not 1/4. As in 45 x 8 = 360. I don't have anyone else here to get down and verify the exact positions of the pedals, but standing over the bike I can push the right pedal from 3 o' clock to at least 5 o'clock, probably a little more, without the bike moving so much as a millimeter.

    I have not had the hub apart yet. No "free" time to do this, largely because other projects are pressing and I have no plans to ride this bike much or far in the immediate future.

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    It was probably really loose spokes due to the amateur that built the wheel.
    I'm not sure if you're being facetious, or what?

    Mike, do you know anything about building wheels?
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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