Minnesota-based hub manufacturer Onyx might be best known for its instant-engagement BMX race hubs, but more recently the company has released cyclocross hubs that we’re anxious to try. However, that review will likely be a bit further delayed, as the company is redesigning its patented sprag clutch to make freehub body swapping a cinch.
Last month at Interbike, Onyx’s Shannon Hansen displayed a new and improved version of their sprag clutch that reportedly simplifies manufacturing, lighten the rear hub, and improve durability. The new design is also compatible with DT Swiss star-ratchet freehub bodies.
Onyx’s current generation freehub bodies are integrated with the steel body that the sprag clutch rolls on. With that design, switching freehub bodies exposes the clutch to contamination and usually requires a new axle.
The new design machines the star ratchet into the clutch’s stainless steel body, allowing it to stay in place whenever the freehub body is removed. The new design makes the hubs compatible with any DT Swiss star-ratchet freehub body, including the soon-to-come Shimano 12-speed MicroSpline standard.
The product will launch in Spring 2019—maybe at Sea Otter.
Onyx also has a new “anti-notch technology” star-ratchet Shimano/SRAM freehub body for its DT Swiss compatible hubs. Onyx inserts what look like steel paperclips into a lightweight aluminum freehub, promising to guard against dreaded cassette notching. The stainless steel inserts are user-replaceable and will retail for approximately $10 a set. We’ve seen similar steel bite guards on FSE’s freehubs and the now-defunct American Classic freehubs.
The new freehub will be available early in 2019. The price is TBD.
Hansen noted that the redesigned sprag clutch and the “anti-notch” freehub will be important for consumers wanting to use their hubs on performance and high-wattage e-bikes.
For those who are looking for a wheelset to match their frame or kit, you’re in luck. There are over two million hub configurations/colors that Onyx already offers, and the updated product will also feature such color combinations.
More info: onyxrp.com
Photo: Gallery Onyx Sprag Clutch and Anti-Notch Freehub