8 Best Hubs For Mountain Bike 2021


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Hubs-For-Mountain-Bike

You may have a gorgeous and expensive bike frame but it’s good only as long as you have the best hubs for mountain bike. The hub forms the central part of the bike’s wheels (both rear and front), and it connects to the wheel’s rim through spokes, allowing the wheel to spin on bearings.

The type of mountain bike hubs you use will determine whether your wheels make a buzzing noise while spinning or stay silent as you catch up your riding mates from the behind. Besides the noise, the quality of hubs also decides how far the pedals turn before the rear wheel begins to spin.

As a bike enthusiast, you already know that the front and rear hubs differ widely. The front hubs typically constitute a tube that has an axle, a disc brake mount, and bearings. The rear hubs on the other hand include freehub and a ratchet that vary in design and performance based on brands. 

If you are in the market looking for the best hubs for mountain bikes, you will need to consider five important things – materials they are made of, bearing type, disc mount standard, axle type and rims.

Those who are in a hurry to get new hubs, our team has done the research work for you based on the factors mentioned above. We have reviewed numerous front and rear hubs to come with a list of top 3 products in both categories, with their detailed review. 

Read on to find our complete review and if you don’t have the time to read until the end, we suggest the SHIMANO front and rear hub for anyone who doesn’t want to take chances with quality. For others who want good aesthetics along with quality performance, we would recommend the attractive-looking Talisman DC4 Dual-Ano 6-Pawl Disc MTB Hub Set.

Front Hub

The front hub comprises of a tubular body (mostly made of metal) with a set of bearings at both ends. They may be loose ball-type bearings or the cartridge-type ones that press in like a single unit. The axle may be either secured to the frame using quick-release clamps or bolts, depending on the type of bike.

#1. SHIMANO Front Mountain Bicycle Hub – HB-M525

The Shimano HB-M525 Front Hub is one of the well-designed and a good value disc-compatible front hub that comes with a standard 6-bolt disc rotor fitting. It works best with the Deore hydraulic as well as mechanical disc brake systems.

The low-friction Borozon treatment for bearing surfaces enables a smooth action and long bearing life. We love the low-maintenance design that comes with only a single contact seal to keep water and mud away. The product is available in 32 and 36 hole drillings and comes with a 9 mm steel axle and light alloy quick release.

Product features and specifications

  • Weighs 0.5 pounds
  • Disc Brake Compatible: yes
  • Six-bolt ISO disc mounting surface
  • Double contact sealing
  • Super polished bearing races
  • Over Locknut 100mm
  • Axle Length 108mm

Conclusion

The biggest advantage of working with original Shimano components to build or upgrade your mountain bike is that they deliver optimum performance and maximum longevity. Overall, we feel this is a well-designed and precisely built front hub at a reasonable price.

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#2. SRAM 716 X7 6-Bolt Disc 32H 15x100mm Front Hub

This is a high quality sealed bearing front hub available in both modern and traditional configurations to fit with different types of mountain bikes. It features a steel axle with aluminum end caps and steel knurled contact surfaces for optimum performance.

SRAM has always been spot-on with quality and we can see it evidently in this beautifully designed product that exceeds our expectations. The users must bear in mind that radial lacing can nullify the manufacturer’s warranty.

Products features and specifications

  • Measures 5.1 x 5.9 x 5.1 inches
  • Weighs 170 gram
  • Hub Drilling 32 hole
  • Front Axle 15mm Thru x 100mm
  • Hub Brake Compatibility 6-Bolt Disc
  • Spoke type J-Bend

User/ Customer reviews

Most users are impressed with SRAM’s commitment to quality and good customer service. Most bikers feel that the product is just as advertised and meets their requirements perfectly.

Conclusion

The overall build and design of the SRAM 716 spells quality and helps you assemble or upgrade your mountain bike as per your preference. Overall, we feel this product offers a good price to performance ratio to the users.

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#3. Talisman DC4 Dual-Ano 6-Pawl Disc MTB Hub Set

This mountain bike front and rear hub set from the house of Talisman comprise of a 6061 dual-anodized body with 7075 freehubs splined, suitable for SRAM XD or Shimano 10. It features a 5-degree engagement to ensure quick acceleration and a unique ‘click’ sound.

The rear axle disassembled without the need for tools for easy maintenance and comes backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty. There are two extra-large, dual-sealed cartridge 6902 bearings at the front and four at the rear side.

Made from aluminum alloy, the hub set is both lightweight and durable at the same time to sustain a rigorous training schedule and riding tough mountainous terrains. We are impressed with the special design that ensures springs are fixed over the nuts and don’t get lost easily.

Product features and specifications

  • Measures 6.5 x 3 x 8.5 inches
  • Weighs 0.9 pounds
  • 6-pawl drive mechs
  • 6061 dual-anodized body
  • Tool-free rear axle disassembly
  • 32h and seriously lightweight
  • 2 oversized, dual-sealed cartridge

User/ Customer reviews

Most bike enthusiasts feel this hub set is perfect to build a strong and sturdy wheel capable of taking on any type of road. Some users are in love with the gorgeous and glazing dual-anodized body that lends an attractive appearance to the bikes.

Conclusion

This dual-ano hub set is just what you need to add more power and aesthetics to your mountain bike. The installation part is easy and the product comes backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty. All in all, the Talisman DC4 is worth the money you spend on it.

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#4. Novatec Mountain Bike Hubs Kit

When you need a hub set to build a new mountain bike from the scratch or upgrade an existing one, we recommend the Novatec hubs kit. Available in a gorgeous bright red color, these hubs enhance the overall appearance of the bike and offer the smoothest quick release for a great performance.

The hubs’ 28 engagement points are designed to give users a smooth and enjoyable ride with engagement setting in every 12 degrees if the wheel revolution. While there are other hubs with higher engagement points, we consider it one of the best because we could not find any at this price point.

The manufacturer has strategically placed the price point in a way that it is slightly higher than the low point but lower than many other MTB hubs out there. We also love the fact that the hub weighs only about 401 grams making it one of the lightest and most decent hubs you can find.

Product features and specifications

  • Measures 3.2 x 6.3 x 12.2 inches
  • Weighs 0.88 pounds
  • Spoke Holes 32 for both hubs
  • Sealed Bearings 2 in the front hub
  • Sealed Bearings 4 in the rear hub
  • Made in Taiwan
  • One year warranty for both

User/ Customer reviews

Mountain bikers who were earlier skeptical of the hubs set found it to be well-built, solid, and convertible too. Most users find the engagement decent enough and the steel splines highly durable on the freehub. A few customers have said the only complaint they have is that the hub is made of aluminum material.

Conclusion

Novatec brand enjoys esteemed value as the high-end product of Joy Industrial CO. LTD and it delivers outstanding performance. They not only deliver good engagement but also ensure a smooth roll on the surface. Overall, we feel this great looking hub kit is well worth the price.

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Rear Hub

Most of the mountain, road, and BMX rear hubs feature a freewheel on the drive side. This is a splined metal tube made of aluminum or steel. The cassette or sprocket slides into this tube and the spring-loaded pawls make a clicking sound. Here are some of the best rear hubs we recommend.

#1. Onyx MTB Rear Hub

If you are looking for a compatible rear hub for your mountain bike, we recommend the Onyx MTB Rear Hub. It is well-engineered and machined to sustain the tightest tolerances in different types of terrains. Made in the USA, this hub uses sprag internals for enhanced strength, infinite points of engagement, and low rolling resistance.

Equipped with ceramic hybrid bearings, the Onyx hubs provide a break from the noisy hubs that almost sound like a rattlesnake on a quiet trail. So, you get to enjoy a silent experience on your mountain bike as you explore new and exciting trails.

The sprag-clutch in the place of a traditional pawls makes use of a non-rotating sprag that locks instantly when it’s turned in the opposite direction. Often used in high load applications such as car transmissions and helicopter rotors, it works great for a rear bike hub.

Product features and specifications

  • Measures 10.2 x 4.4 x 3.6 inches
  • Weighs 1.34 pounds
  • Heat-treated stainless steel driver
  • Ceramic hybrid bearings
  • Aluminum Hub Shell
  • Titanium bolts
  • Extremely low rolling resistance
  • 5 year limited warranty

User/ Customer

Most users are extremely happy with their purchase that perfectly fits with the wheels without any hassles. Users have also reported how quiet the bike rides after the installation, creating a big difference from before. People are also impressed with the price point, which makes them an affordable bicycle component when building a bike.

Conclusion

The biggest reason behind the popularity of Onyx hubs is their instant freehub engagement, making them a great choice for bike-packing or technical mountain biking. When you want the ultimate biking experience with sounds of nature around you, the Onyx hub is the right choice.

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#2. DT Swiss DT 350 MTB Rear Hub

Manufactured in Switzerland, the DT Swiss DT 350 is a well-known brand in the mountain bike community. It comes with a patented star ratchet system that performs extraordinarily even under stress and stays durable for several years.

This rear bike hub is ultra-lightweight and comes with a more wide-ranging diameter to enhance durability and strength. Their biggest standout feature is the number of engagement points because the hub engages in every 20 degrees to give you a smooth ride.

The DT 350 MTB hub is a perfect fit for both service and upgrades to make the bicycle more fit for mountain biking. When used as a bike upgrade component, it helps in bringing down the engagement to 10 degrees. Even though this upgrade calls for additional expenses, there is a big difference in performance post the installation.

Product features and specifications

  • Measures 5.51 x 5.51 x 1.57 inches
  • Weighs 0.6 pounds
  • Patented star-ratchet system
  • Made in Switzerland
  • BRAKE INTERFACE: Disc IS (6-bolt)
  • MATERIAL: Aluminum

User/ Customer reviews

Most mountain bike riders are impressed with the difference in performance they feel after installing this rear bike hub. A few users have warned that the DT350 is expensive than other hubs available in the market, hence this is not the best fit for those looking for a low-cost hub.

Conclusion

The DT Swiss DT 350 MTB is undoubtedly one of the best mountain bike hubs used for cross country riding. They do not come cheap, but in return, they provide a high standard of excellence and value. Overall we feel this bike rear hub is well worth the extra cost you pay for it.

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#3. Industry Nine Classic DH150/157 6B Bicycle Disc Hub

This rear bike hub from Industry Nine Classic forms the heart of your wheelset, and everything else revolves around it. Each bicycle disc hub by this manufacturer is made in Asheville, NC from the start to finish. Every step from turning and milling aluminum to cutting steel for pawls, and in-house anodization involves engineering, design, manufacturing, and assembly done precisely to meet standards.

The Classic mountain hub comes with amazing features that every rider wants, such as the revolutionary 0.52 engagement, intuitive layout, and low weight. It can be installed and services without the need for any proprietary tools.

Besides rear hub, Industry Nine also offers a wide range of options such as disc rotor mounting, axle fit, spoke hole drillings, freehub bodies, and different colors.

Product features and specifications

  • Weighs 0.9 pounds
  • Axle Type 12mm TA
  • Spoke Type J-bend
  • Hub Spacing 157mm
  • Rotor Mount 6-bolts
  • Hub Drilling 32H
  • Shimano, Shimano Micro Spline, SRAM XD

Conclusion

Industry Nine is a well-known brand that uses tried and tested methods while maintaining complete precision to create high-quality hubs. At the price, you get a good looking hub to match the aesthetics of your mountain bike and also improve its performance.

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#4. SHIMANO Deore XT Mountain Bicycle Free Hub – FH-M756-L

Shimano, the international manufacturer of high-quality cycling components need no introduction and our first choice is the Deore XT mountain bicycle freehub. If you are building or upgrading a mountain bike to replace the factory components, this hub seems pretty durable and sturdy.

This SHIMANO Deore XT bike hub is well-built and designed to work with both the 9 and 10-speed cassettes. Talking about performance, the hub is capable of taking a lot of abuse without getting damaged. It also performs great for both mountain bikes used for a daily commute and trail rides.

Shimano meets the quality expectations even at an affordable price. Although not the lightest hub around, it’d definitely cheap and highly adjustable. You will need a few bike tools to do the installation work which is easy and beginners can watch Youtube videos to learn about the installation.

Product features and specifications

  • Angular contact bearings
  • Double contact seals
  • Borozon treated races
  • Large flange design

User/ Customer reviews

Mountain bikers who have installed this Shimano hub at the rear have said that the installation and upgrade were successful, and there were no issues while riding. People also feel that this rear bike hub looks great when fitted and with proper maintenance, it can stay good for long. A few users have also said that the hub is not only handy to use when building a bike but service is also easy.

Conclusion

This is a well-designed and sturdy hub you can use to build a new mountain bike or upgrade an existing one. We are impressed to find that the hub keeps water out of the bearings and comes equipped with the best QR skewer available. At this price, this is one of the best hubs one can afford to buy.

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Related Questions

What are the best types of bearings

You need to look for good-quality bearings that are protected and sealed from dirt and water to ensure long-lasting and healthy hubs. Some of the cheaper hubs may use the cone and cup bearings that comprise of two rings of loose ball bearings. Advanced riders prefer the cartridge bearings for convenience but they are more expensive.

Which materials are most suitable for hubs

Most of the mountain bike hubs (both front and rear) are made of lightweight aluminum alloy although the high-end units made form carbon fiber are also available. The rear hubs meant for gravity bikes steel often use steel instead of aluminum to prevent the softer alloy splines from getting damaged by the cassette under heavy load.

Are the Formula hubs any good

The Formula hubs are considered as the cheap parts usually used for the low and mid-level bikes. These sets work fine and last for a good time until they disintegrate after a certain point.

Why do you get a click sound in expensive bikes

The high-end bikes usually have a freewheeling ratchet in the rear hub and this makes a sharp clicking sound. The bicycles that are specially designed for more power have few but large pawls that make lower frequency sound, but they tend to be loud.

See Also:
How Many Gears Does A Road Bike Have
How Cycling Shoes Should Fit
6 Best Insulated Water Bottle For Cycling

Ken

Cycling is my source of liberation. The love affair started more than a decade ago when I started cycling for fitness and soon it turned into a passion. The adrenalin rush you feel when you grab the handlebars, put on the helmet, and feel the speed in your nerves is unique in itself.

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