Onyx Racing Product is a US bike hub manufacturer, located in Minnesota. The brand has its strong roots in BMX-racing, which carried over quickly to nearly all other bike disciplines imaginable. Today, Onyx Racing product’s lineup consists of models designed to BMX, MTB, Gravel, Fatbike, Lefty forks, and almost everything in between.
All of the Onyx Racing Products models are done in house, with the exclusion of the sprags which are made in Germany – a part we are going cover with more detail later on. Keeping the production inside the company from start to finish enables Onyx to do fast prototyping whenever needed, very strict quality control, and the option to customize every hub according to the customer’s specs.
The choice of colors is nearly breath-taking. Everyone will find a color that matches even the wildest and most imaginable build! The color options range from traditional anodized versions to tricky powder-coated ones. Onyx also offers an option to have your own laser engraving in the hub shell! For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Pretty looks from the outside aren’t by far the only feature the Onyx Racing Products have going on! The looks matter very little if the function of the hubs isn’t on par with that. Onyx hubs will roll smoothly and with very, very little friction and drag – thanks to the hybrid-ceramic bearings* and unique sprag clutch freewheel mechanism.
If you want to learn more about the debate when it comes to steel vs. ceramic bearings, read the excellent article from Zerofrictioncycling.co.au below.
Note that the hybrid-ceramic bearings are provided as a stock option with the Classic MTB hub and BMX hub lines. For Vesper hubs, hybrid-ceramic bearings are an update choice.
Self-developed freewheel technology
In the heart of an Onyx hub is a unique freewheel structure that is based on a sprag clutch technology. It is a mechanism that spins freely in one direction but engages in very high force when the direction of rotation is reversed. The densely packed sprags themselves are shaped like figure 8 which allow the rotation in one way but wedge themselves towards two cylindrical surfaces when the pressure is applied to the pedals, therefore engaging the freewheel mechanism.
Moving images are worth more than a thousand words in this case. See the excellent video made by Onyx below.
Sprag clutch gives several advantages over other freewheel mechanisms. Some of the most notable are:
- Instant engagement! This is what Onyx hubs are known for! A feature of the sprag clutch is that it gives an instant engagement when force is applied to the pedals. The POE number is therefore close to infinite.
- Silent operation. There are no springs, pawls, or anything similar which makes a sound. Therefore, the Onyx hubs are completely silent, enabling riding in a true stealth-mode.
- Low-maintenance and reliability. As stated, the sprag clutch mechanism does not use springs or any other parts that tend to fatigue or wear out over time. As long as the hub is kept clean (which is very easy, thanks to the excellent seals and tolerances), the hub will keep doing its business without a hitch!
- Low drag & friction. The sprag clutch mechanism does not have any parts that are in contact to the spinning hub parts when coasting. If there’s no contact, there’s very little friction as well. See the video below as a demonstration of this.
More of a scientific take on the matter can be found from the article done by Noblewheels.com. A study done in 2006 by Duke University showed that Onyx hubs had the lowest rolling resistance of all the hubs measured. Some of the manufacturers included in the test were Chris King, DT Swiss, Profile Racing, and Hope.
Wide Product Line
The width and depth of the Onyx product line are impressive. When all the models and possible color combinations are included, the number of possible configurations adds up to 2 100 000 – yes, you read it right, over two million! Some of the features include.
- Spoke count: 24-36 (depending on the hub model).
- All axle standards.
- All freewheel standars:: Shimano HG, Sram XD(R), and Shimano Micro Spline. The stainless steel version of the Shimano HG freehub body is approved to be used in single speed or gearbox applications, therefore removing the risk of the cog digging itself into the freehub body.
All of the main hub categories are covered in detail below.
Onyx’s line of MTB hubs got recently a much-awaited addition in the form of Vesper model! The new model packs all the features Onyx hubs are known for but in a lighter package. By machining all of the excess material from the hub shell and using lighter internals, the weight of the rear hub alone has been trimmed down on average by 136 grams.
Depending on the exact model (axle standard, freehub type etc.). the Vesper rear hub weighs in Boost-size around 400g and the front hub around 200g.
Classic models are equipped with ceramic-hybrid bearings as standard. The same type of bearings can be updated to Vesper with an additional price of 110€/hub. Ask for more information when placing an order!
Hubs are available in all axle standards and sizes imaginable. Some of the most common ones are listed below.:
- Boost (148mm) and Super Boost (157mm)
- QR 135mm
- Torque Cap compatibility in the front
- Cannondale Lefty compatibility
- If you did not find what you were looking for, get in touch at email@example.com
Naturally, all of the freehub standards are available:
- Shimano HG.
- Sram XD and XDR
- Shimano Micro Spline
Onyx’s roots are deeply embedded in BMX Racing and the foothold is strong as ever. First of all, Onyx was one of the first BMX hub manufacturers to bring ISO 6-bolt compatible models to 20-inch bikes. Currently, the lineup consists of models from expert-sized bikes all the way to Pro XXXXL and beyond.
Ultra SS Disc -series is available in 10, 12, 15, and 20mm axle diameters. The choice of front hub axle diameters is nearly as broad 10, 15, and 20mm. Summary of BMX hub models.
- Pro series. Hub models are compatible with disc or rim brakes. Shimano HG freehub standard.
- Ultra and Ultra Disc series. Even more robust construction compared to Pro series. Onyx Driver freehub and cog standard.
- Ultra SS and Ultra SS Disc series. Similar to Ultra ad Ultra Disc, but with 12, 15, and 20mm axle diameters. Onyx Driver freehub body and cog.
- OHM series. Designed to junior and expert bikes. Centerlock disc standard, Shimano HG freehub standard..
Fatbike hubs are based on the Classic MTB line. For now, the hubs are only available in Shimano HG and Sram XD freehub standards. Shimano Micro Spline freehub compatible models will be available later in 2020. The available axle widths are:
- Front – 135, 142, 150, and 170mm.
- Rear – 170, 177, 190, and 197mm.
Road, Cyclocross and Gravel
Riders with drop bars can also enjoy the benefits that the Onyx hubs bring to the table. These hub models – especially the Vesper lineup – is lightened to the last gram without sacrificing function or durability. The available freehub standards are Sram XDR, Shiman HG, and Campagnolo Campy.
The available axle standards are:
- Front – 100mm QR, and 100×12 mm thru-axle.
- Rear – 135mm QR, 135x12mm, and 142×12 mm thru-axle.
On top of already extensive offerings, Onyx has a variety of specialty hubs to meet every need imaginable. Some of these include:
- Single-speed hubs, i.e. Cam Zink signature model.
- Track hubs.
Ordering, Pricing, and Shipping
Ordering is simple. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org including the following information:
- Hub model (preferably with a link).
- Spoke count.
- Axle standard.
- Freehub body type.
- Disc mount standard.
- Hub body color.
- Widget color.
Estimated delivery times are 2-3 weeks, depending on the situation and queue on the manufacturer’s end.
Shipping is done throughout the EU area. Worldwide shipping is also an option. Ask for more details, if interested. Prices are as follows, including shipping in the EU area:
- Classic, front/rear – 245€/560€
- Vesper, front/rear – 245€/560-590€ (depending on the freewheel standard)
- BMX Pro, front/rear – 210€/495€
- BMX Ultra Disc, front/rear – 210€/535€
- BMX Ultra SS Disc, front/rear – 210€/595€
I Want to Know More!
If you want to learn even more about Onyx Racing Products hubs, see the articles listed below.
”Priced in the mid-$400s and up for a rear hub, Onyx makes what many would consider a luxury option. We’re believers in the benefits and ride quality of their sprag clutch system, and in our experience things have proven truly worthy in the long run. Here’s a big thumbs up from Vital MTB!”