Onyx Vesper Rear Hub [Rider Review]

Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.

Don't like loud hubs, but still want that higher engagement that loud hubs have? Onyx hubs use a Sprag clutch system that is instant engagement and is SILENT. Our friend Alex just laces his wheels with a pair. See what he thinks!Onyx Vesper Hub Rider Review


I've always been one to challenge the status quo... In college, my Automatic Transmissions instructor always wondered why bike hubs have to "click" to engage teeth so you could pedal. Indeed the idea of a freehub is great but could be made better with a different system. This is that better hub. A sprag clutch is what this hub uses, and it makes you nothing short of a stealth ninja on the trail. It is truly a unique experience to only hear the tires on the dirt and be able to respond exclusively to that noise of traction when "shredding the gnar" (as the kids say). I ride a lot of tech, usually blue or black depending on how pathetic I'm feeling and this hub never disappoints. I'm only 8 months into this hobby, and can honestly say it made my riding better. Anyone in the KC area knows we have great tech features and a lot of variety, this hub does it all in a unique way that truthfully makes the bike a joy to ride. Infinite engagement (No seriously, it engages anywhere in the 360-degree rotation... 290POE? Pathetic... this hub has thousands more POE because there are no pawls.) I can take small micro bites in tight rock formations or between rocks that would make your crank arms shiver that I simply could not do, even with a "normal" high-engagement hub. It makes your shifts easier to smooth out, and don't worry about the "sponge" that some people have mentioned, It really makes the experience better and is perfectly normal for a Sprag style clutch.

It also is less harsh on your chain and cassette/chainring while still being rock solid on those punchy uphill climbs or features.

Very confidence-inspiring, and most of my riding buddies are jealous after riding it despite them being part of the "loud hub brigade".

Onyx Vesper Hub Rider Review

On the install, I did have to make sure the cassette was properly tightened and thread locked as it came loose the first ride, my fault, not the hubs. It uses a special wire reinforcement feature that allows for an aluminum freehub body on the HG driver and is serviceable by replacing just the wire inserts (cheap replacement when worn!). If I had the money and wasn't riding on a cassette that was only 4 months old at the time, I probably would have gone with the XD driver, but this is an innovative solution to the weight problem that plagues most HG drivers and adds serviceability. Luckily in the future, if I go the XD route with a new cassette, Onyx sells the freehub separately.

Onyx Vesper Hub Rider Review

I doubt I'll use it much again, quality is top-notch, and fit and finish are great, but Onyx supported me through the install with an actual person on the phone multiple times and is industry-leading when it comes to their 10-year warranty. Worry-free, which is what biking should be.

Final Thoughts

Want the most free-spinning free hub out there? Move over "other brands"; thisDon't want your buddies to know you're right behind them? Get that asthmatic breathing taken care of and they won't hear you. one takes the cake.
Gear junkie, that has gotta be different from every other annoyingly buzzy bike on the trails? This hub is for you. (Cue cheesy "American Beer" commercial anthem from the 00's).

Get it, lace it, love it."

Onyx Vesper Hub Rider Review

November 10, 2021

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