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11 Best Mountain Bike (MTB) Hubs (Reviewed Nov, 2020)

Whether you are an avid and expert mountain biker or someone who is new in the mountain biking world, you have to admit that having the best bike is essential to your biking experience. And one of the important parts of your mountain bike is the hub. It determines everything from how smoothly the wheels turn and torque to how efficiently power is transferred to the wheels. Therefore, getting the perfect hub for your front and rear wheels is of great importance. 

Now, that we understand the significance of mountain bike hubs, we need to understand what it is and how it works. The hub is located at the center of your bike wheels. It is attached to the rim of the wheel with the help of spokes and an axle is inserted through the hub to keep the wheel intact. This allows the wheels to spin freely and as fast as possible. The hubs on the front and rear wheels are not the same. The front hub is basically a tube that consists of bearings, an axle, and a rim or disc brake mount depending on the brake system of your mountain bike. The rear hub, on the other hand, includes all that and also a ratchet and freehub.

There are many factors to keep in mind when looking for your new hub. Factors such as bearing type, materials, axle type, and many more are crucial in delivering optimum performance to your mountain biking escapades. Making a decision about your new hubs while keeping track of all these factors can seem impossible. That is why we wrote this article to help you make a trouble-free decision. Before writing our suggestions and reviews we have tested the hubs ourselves and also read through countless first-hand customer reviews in order to provide you with the best and most popular mountain bike hubs available today. Therefore, if you are building a new mountain bike and looking for the perfect set of hubs to match them or just planning on upgrading your current hubs, go through our list of mountain bike hubs and you will find what you are looking for.

Before we jump into the list, we want to show you the overall best hub that we came across. This will save you the trouble of reading the whole article. Through our research, we have found that the DT Swiss DT 240S is the best mountain bike hub available in the market right now. And that is why we have chosen this product as our “Overall Best Choice

DT Swiss DT 240S

Premium quality and lightweight hubs made with patented technology | Overall Best Choice

The DT Swiss DT 240S front and rear hubs are the best hubs we discovered through our thorough research. Engineered with great skill and patented technology these hubs will make you stand out from the crowd. These lightweight hubs are equipped with industry-leading hub engagement and star ratchet freewheel technology to offer you fast and superior performance in action. Also, the high-quality bearings and materials ensure that these hubs were built to last. It is also worth noting that the front and rear hubs are quite well suited to each other and perform really well together. Although this premium quality product is a bit expensive, we can assure you that it will be absolutely worth it.

  • Model No. : 240S
  • Brand: DT SWISS
  • Hub material: Aluminium
  • Weight: 220g
  • Axle Fixing method: Quick Release or Thru Axle
  • Axle_Length: 100mm (Front), 135mm (Rear), 142mm (Front)
  • Axle_Diameter: 10mm (Front/Rear), 12mm (Front), 15mm (Front),
  • Bearing: Precision, Quad-Bearing with a stainless steel cartridge
  • Brake Type: 6-bolt or Center lock disc brake
  • Spoke holes: Front – 28H, 32H, Rear – 32H

 

In the following table, we’ve listed the best mountain bike (MTB) hubs in the market:

HubWhy we recommend this
SHIMANO HB-M525 Front Hub for MTBLightweight. Durable. Affordable
SHIMANO Deore XT Front MTB HubAffordable. Reliable.
SHIMANO Deore Front Bicycle FreehubHigh-performance. Low maintenance. Budget-friendly
SRAM 716 X7 Front HubTop-quality. Lightweight. Superior performance
DT Swiss DT 350 MTB Rear HubHigh-end. Built with patented technology in Switzerland.
Hope Pro 4 Rear Disc HubHigh-quality. Exclusive design. United Kingdom
Shimano Deore M525A Rear HubGreat quality. Budget-friendly. Reliability.
Hope Pro 4 Rear Disc HubHigh quality.
SHIMANO HB-M820 Saint HubSuperlight mountain bike hub.
DT Swiss 240S MTB Rear HubPremium quality. Lightweight. Patented technology | Overall Best MTB hub
Onyx MTB Rear HubDurability. A smooth riding experience.

11 best mountain bike (MTB) hubs you can buy today

We have found the following mountain bike hubs to be the best ones available right now. Our list includes the following bicycle hubs.

We have made a comparison table for you so that you can compare all the products on our list and see which mountain bike hubs are right for you. The comparison table consists of all the specifications of the products from our list.

HubsPreviewMaterialWeightBearingAxle typeAxle length
Shimano MTB Hub HB-M525 (F)SHIMANO Front Mountain Bicycle Hub - HB-M525 (Black - 36H)Anodized Aluminium245gCup and ConeQuick Release108 mm
Shimano Deore XT (F)SHIMANO HB-M756L XT Front Disc Hub (36H Front 6-Bolt Disc)Aluminium239gCup and ConeQuick Release108 mm
Shimano Deore HB-T610-L (F)Shimano Deore T610 32h Front Hub BlackAluminium108gCup and ConeQuick Release108 mm
SRAM 716 X7 (F)SRAM X7 Front Hub 6 Bolt Disc 32 H 100 Old 15mm Axle - BlackAluminium170gSealed CartridgeThru Axle100 mm
DT SWISS 350 MTB (R)DT SWISS DT 350 MTB 32X142X12MMta 6B 8-10S Rear HubAluminium277gPrecision, SS Sealed cartridgeThru Axle135mm, 142 mm, 150mm
Hope Pro 4 (R)Hope Pro 4 Rear Disc Hub 32H 12x142mm BlackAluminium300gSealed SS CartridgeThru Axle135mm,142 mm
Shimano Deore M525A (R)Shimano Deore M525A 32h 11-Speed 6-Bolt Disc Rear Hub, Black (not compatible with 11-Speed road cassettes)Aluminium435gCup and Cone loose ballspokeQuick Release135 mm
Hope Pro 4 Boost (R)Hope Pro 4 Rear Disc Hub 12 x 148mm for Boost, XD Driver, 32h, BlackAluminium311gSealed CartridgeThru Axle148 mm
Shimano HB-M820 Saint (R)Shimano FH-M820 Saint Hub (32H Rear 10x135 CenterLock Disc)Aluminium202gCup and ConeThru Axle110 mm,
135
mm
DT SWISS 240S (F & R)DT Swiss Rear 6B DT 240S MTB Hub, 32 x 135 x 5mm, BlackAluminium220gPrecision, SS Sealed cartridgeQuick Release100mm(F), 135 mm(R), 142mm(F)
Onyx MTB (R)Onyx MTB Rear Hub: XD 12x148mm 32 Hole 6-Bolt Disc BlackAluminium447gCeramic hybris Sealed CartridgeThru Axle148 mm

1) SHIMANO HB-M525 (Front Hub): Lightweight and durable hubs at a very affordable price

SHIMANO HB-M525 Front Hub Mountain Bicycle

  • Model No. : HB-M525
  • Brand: Shimano
  • Hub Material: Anodized Aluminium
  • Weight: 245g
  • Axle Fixing method: Quick release
  • Axle Length: 108mm
  • Axle Diameter: 9mm
  • Bearing: Cup and Cone bearing
  • Brake Type: 6-bolt disc brake
  • Flange diameter: 70.6mm
  • Flange distance: 59.2mm
  • QR Skewer Length: 133mm
  • Spoke holes: 32H, 36H

Features & Considerations
  • Brand value: Shimano is very well known in the bicycle industry for bicycles, wheels, hubs, and every other bicycle component you can think of.
  • Lightweight: The hub will deliver optimum performance without adding any extra weight to your mountain bike.
  • Reasonable price: Great quality hubs are available at a reasonable price that makes it stand out from other similar products.
  • Strength: The cup and cone bearing system are well built and make the hub strong and solid.
  • Exactly as advertised: Customers claimed that this product matched exactly to what they saw online. Therefore, what you see here is what you buy.
  • Durability: These hubs are very durable and will you last for years without the need for replacement.
  • Color: This hub is only available in black.

Some Weaknesses
  • The bearings may feel a bit sturdy. It is advised to grease them properly for better riding experience.

Shimano is a brand that makes it to any list of best bikes or biking components and our list is filled with Shimano hubs today. That is because they are some of the best ones out there. Shimano HB-M525 is one of the most affordable hubs in the market. Made with anodized aluminum and weighing about 245g, it has the perfect weight for an activity such as mountain climbing. It will not weigh your bike down nor will it make it too light to hold strong on hilly terrain. The cup and cone bearings are of great quality and will give you a very smooth experience. To put it simply, you cannot go wrong with these hubs. So if you need a replacement for your old and weary hubs and you don’t want to spend too much, this Shimano hub is the way to go.

SHIMANO HB-M525 Front Hub Mountain Bicycle

SHIMANO HB-M525 Front Hub Mountain Bicycle

2. SHIMANO Deore XT (Front): Affordable and reliable bicycle hub that provides a smooth experience and easy maintenance

Sale
SHIMANO Deore XT Front Mountain Bicycle Hub - HB-M756-L

  • Model No. : HB-M756L
  • Brand: Shimano
  • Hub Material: Aluminium
  • Weight: 239g
  • Axle Fixing method: Quick release
  • Axle Length: 108 mm
  • Axle Diameter: 10 mm
  • Bearing: Cup and Cone bearing
  • Brake Type: 6-bolt disc brake
  • Flange diameter: 70.6mm
  • Flange distance: 59.4mm
  • QR Skewer Length: 133mm
  • Spoke holes: 32H, 36H

Features & Considerations
  • Large flange design: A larger flange results in stiffer wheels because the spokes are shorter.
  • Angular contact bearing: The high-quality cup and cone bearing has angular contact which reduces friction in the wheel and decreases the chance of getting damaged.
  • Bearing races: The hub is equipped with Borozon treated bearing races which lessen the effect of friction and enables smooth rolling.
  • Affordable price: Priced slightly higher than the previous Shimano hub, the Deore TX is also very affordable.
  • Quick-release: Hubs with quick-release axle fixing methods are easy to use and maintain as wheels with quick-release mechanisms can be removed from the bicycle frame and replaced without using tools.
  • Color: This specific hub is only available in black.
  • Accessories: This package includes a quick-release skewer along with the hub.

Some Weaknesses
  • Be careful when installing the hub. Incorrect installation can cause misalignment of the hubs to the wheel.

Just like our last product, Shimano does not disappoint. Shimano perhaps has the most popular hubs, especially in the affordable range. The Deore XT is just what you need for your mountain biking needs. Weighing almost 240 grams, it will get you through any type of terrain. It is just as strong as it is durable and the large flange design allows for a much stiffer wheel. This is because the spokes are shorter.

Also, this hub has angular contact bearing which absolutely sets it apart. The angular contact bearings reduce friction in the wheel which allows for a much comfortable ride. It also reduces the change of damage to the hub. On top of all this, the quick release axle makes this hub even more convenient as it allows ease of use and replacement. Get this hub on your front wheel to have a much more relaxing mountain biking experience.

SHIMANO Deore XT Front Mountain Bicycle Hub - HB-M756-L

SHIMANO Deore XT Front Mountain Bicycle Hub

3) SHIMANO Deore Front Bicycle Freehub – HB-T610-L: High-performance bicycle hub that requires low maintenance and is budget-friendly

SHIMANO Deore Front Bicycle Freehub - HB-T610-L

  • Model No. : HB-T610L
  • Brand: Shimano DEORE T610 Series
  • Hub Material: Aluminium
  • Weight: 108g
  • Axle Fixing method: Quick release
  • Axle Length: 108mm
  • Axle Diameter: 10mm
  • Bearing Cone: Cup and Cone bearings
  • Brake Type: Rim brake
  • Flange diameter: 48.4mm
  • Flange distance: 71.6mm
  • QR Skewer Length: 133mm
  • Spoke holes: 32H, 36H

Features & Considerations
  • Brand: Shimano is known to deliver excellent and reliable products to its faithful riders.
  • Bearing performance: The angular contact cup and cone bearing are stronger than sealed cartridge bearing due as it is able to move lateral and vertical loads efficiently to offer smooth rotation and long-lasting performance.
  • Low maintenance: Double contact sealing gets the job done perfectly. The sealing maintains the level of grease on the hub while also preventing contamination. Thus, requiring less maintenance by the rider.
  • Low rolling friction: The bearing races come highly polished straight front the factory and provide very low rolling friction, therefore offering great performance.
  • Budget-friendly: These effective hubs are priced quite reasonably and definitely worth the money! 
  • Light shifting: Offers light shifting from MTB 10-speed.
  • Size Availability: The package is available in both 32H and 36H spoke hole sizes.
  • Accessories: The Deore HB-T610L hub has a quick release axle and comes with a light aluminum alloy quick-release skewer.
  • Color: These fantastic hubs are available in black.

Some Weaknesses
  • It can only be used in combination with a V-rim brake.
  • Some customers have complained about a grating sound coming from the hub when riding the bike. However, it is something that can be fixed at your local bike shop.

 

The Shimano legacy continues. This front wheel hub was built for trekking bicycles with rim brake systems. Great for any type of mountain biking experience, it provides strong and reliable performance, thanks to its bearing system. The top quality double contact sealing and angular contact bearing really take its performance to a whole new level. That coupled with the superbly polished bearing races and the low price is everything you can really ask for on your mountain bike hub. Built with aluminum and weighing just over 100 grams, the Deore HB-T610L is really an example of what Shimano as a titan in the bicycle industry can achieve without the use of fancy materials and components. So if you are looking for a new front wheel mountain bike hub that will not burn a hole in your pocket, this is your best bet.

SHIMANO Deore Front Bicycle Freehub - HB-T610-L

SHIMANO Deore Front Bicycle Freehub

4. SRAM 716 X7 Front Hub: Top quality and lightweight mountain bike hub that exhibits superior performance

Sale
SRAM 716 X7 Front Hub

  • Model No. : 716
  • Brand: SRAM
  • Hub material: Aluminium
  • Weight: 170g
  • Axle Fixing method: Thru Axle
  • Axle Length: 100mm
  • Axle Diameter: 15mm
  • Bearing: Sealed cartridge bearings
  • Brake Type: 6-bolt disc brake
  • Flange diameter: 58mm
  • Flange distance: 54.6mm
  • QR Skewer Length: N/A
  • Spoke holes: 32H

Features & Considerations
  • Lightweight: This front hub is very light and will barely add any extra weight to your mountain bike and offer a better climbing experience for you.
  • Build quality: Built with aluminum, the hub is stiff and durable.
  • Bearing performance: This front hub comes with sealed cartridge bearing which allows just the perfect amount of friction that provides protection for the hub. The sealing is great too as it keeps the hub greased and prevents any mud or water from entering the hub.
  • Radial lacing: This hub supports radial lacing the spokes with the wheel which reduces weight and maximizes performance. It is important to keep in mind that the radial lacing voids the warranty of the manufacturer.
  • Thru-axle: It has a thru-axle fixing method therefore you don’t have to worry about your skewer loosening when you are climbing mountains or going downhill with your bike.
  • Color: The front wheel hub comes in black with a white SRAM label.

Some Weaknesses
  • This front hub is priced a bit higher than its competitors on this list.
  • It is only available in 32H size and in color.

 

Now it’s time to move on from Shimano and look into some other well-known brands. Priced a bit higher than the other front wheel hubs in this list, the SRAM 716 X7 6 bolt disc brake compatible hub should definitely be considered when buying a new hub. Weighing only 170 grams, the hub is super light and will not add any extra weight to your mountain bike. This is a huge advantage as a lot of mountain bikers complain about their hubs weighing them down. This hub also offers solid build quality and bearing performance. Built with aluminum, this SRAM 716 comes with a sealed cartridge bearing which offers the perfect level of friction to protect the hub and is also good at keeping the hub in perfect shape. Therefore, a strong hub with long-lasting abilities and serviceability, what more can you ask for.

SRAM 716 X7 Front Hub

SRAM 716 X7 Front Hub

# Rear hubs:

5. DT Swiss DT 350 MTB Rear Hub: High end bicycle built with patented technology in Switzerland

DT Swiss DT 350 MTB Rear Hub

  • Model No. : 350
  • Brand: DT Swiss
  • Hub material: Aluminium
  • Weight: 277g
  • Axle Fixing method: Thru Axle
  • Axle Length: 135mm, 142mm, 150mm
  • Axle Diameter: 12mm
  • Bearing: Precision, Stainless Steel Sealed Cartridge
  • Brake Type: 6-bolt disc brake
  • Flange diameter: 58.0 mm
  • Flange distance: 53.9 mm
  • QR Skewer Length: N/A
  • Spoke holes: 28H, 32H

Features & Considerations
  • Brand value: DT Swiss is a famous European brand, well known all over the world for their superior products. It is a brand you can trust.
  • Manufactured in Switzerland: This impeccable product is made in Switzerland, thus ensuring high-end quality and craftsmanship.
  • Patented Technology: These supreme hubs consist of a patented freewheel system, that provides highly accurate star ratchets, that ensures superior performance and reliability. It also allows ease of repair and maintenance.
  • Bearing performance: The DT 350 consists of high-end cartridge bearings that offer low friction due to the single-sided sealing.
  • Strength and durability: Its weight and large diameter give it strength and longevity.
  • Hub engagement: The large number of engagement points (36 to be exact) allows the rider to enjoy a hassle-free and flawless ride.
  • Lightweight alloy axles: Built to endure all the loads and heavy riding a mountain bike hub goes through.
  • Color: The rear hub is only available in black with its model number written in white label.

Some Weaknesses
  • This superior rear hub comes at a very high price. So it is not for someone who is on a tight budget.
  • It is only available in one color.

 

DT Swiss is the epitome of premium brand and product quality. The DT 350 expresses that completely. It is a high-quality aluminum hub that features proprietary technology that makes this product stand out in such a competitive field. As mentioned before, the star ratchet system technology provides top of the line performance that will catch your attention on the very first ride. These hubs are an example of just how much change a good hub can bring to your bike. The ride will feel comfortable and give you more control. The hub also shows great resilience and will last you years. DT Swiss also has a “no tools” concept which allows you to fix or adjust your bike easily on your own. Also, the hub engagement on this rear hub is quite exceptional. It has 36 points of engagement which allows the rider to have the best experience ever. Weighing about 277 grams, this hub has an extensive diameter which gives it the strength and durability it needs to last a long time while providing the best performance all the way. This hub is perfect for any type of mountain biking activity and also good enough for cross country riding. Lastly, although it comes at a high price, the DT Swiss is worth every penny.

DT Swiss DT 350 MTB Rear Hub

DT Swiss DT 350 MTB Rear Hub

6. Hope Pro 4 Rear Disc Hub: High-quality bicycle hub built with an exclusive design in the United Kingdom

Hope Pro 4 Rear Disc Hub

  • Model No. : Pro 4
  • Brand: Hope
  • Hub material: Forged 2014 T6 Aluminium Billet
  • Weight: 300g
  • Axle Fixing method: Thru Axle
  • Axle Length: 135mm, 142mm
  • Axle Diameter: 12mm
  • Bearing: Stainless steel sealed cartridge bearings
  • Brake Type: 6-bolt disc brake
  • Flange diameter: 57.0 mm
  • Flange distance: 52mm
  • QR Skewer Length: N/A
  • Spoke holes: 24H, 28H, 32H, 36H

Features & Considerations
  • Manufactured in the United Kingdom: The well-known brand, Hope is situated in the UK. The Hope Pro 4 was built in Barnoldswick, UK and therefore ensures that the hub was built with impeccable effort and technology, and also proving the product to be reliable.
  • Exclusive Design: High-quality design that achieves performance and also gives a great look to the rear hub.
  • Increases spoke flange diameter: This allows the use of shorter spokes that allows the wheel to be stronger, more sturdy, and even more durable.
  • Bearing quality: The stainless steel bearings on the Pro 4 makes the hubs run smoothly and also makes them long-lasting. On top of that, the bearing type is a sealed cartridge which further enhances the performance of the hub.
  • Hub engagement: It has a 44T ratchet ring and a 4-pawl drive system that gives way to a faster engagement system.
  • Versatile: The hub can be easily changed to 10mm Thru-Bolt x 135mm or  12mm Thru Axle x 135mm. Thus, allowing more flexibility for the rider.
  • Color: This hub is available in black with a white PRO label.

Some Weaknesses
  • The PRO 4 has a distinctive sound when it runs. Most users don’t have any complaints, however, it is something to consider if you are not a fan of a slight buzzing sound.
  • It is available in only one color.

The Hope Pro 4 is the proud and successful successor of the very popular Pro 2. Hope worked relentlessly to outperform its old model and they were successful to do so. Pro 4 is better enhanced and built to beat its predecessor. The sleek-looking hub weighs about 300 grams and is built with forged aluminum billet. It has stainless steel sealed cartridge bearings which are some of the best that industry has to offer. If that all is not enough, the Pro 4 has an excellent hub engagement system with a 44T ratchet ring and a 4-pawl drive system. This was a massive improvement from the previous Pro 2 as a lot of users complained about it. And so, Hope listened to their consumers and built a better and faster engagement system, perfectly equipped to handle the challenges of intense mountain biking. 

The hub is also quite adaptable as riders can convert the thru-axle to their choice in order to suit their respective mountain bikes. And last but not least, this hub has a larger flange diameter that increases its lifespan and stiffness, giving the biker more control when riding. So the bottom line is that this brand has a lot of experience in this field. They have tried and tested every material and technology available to deliver a well-rounded product to their customers. Therefore, we can come to the concussion that Hope’s well built and dependable mountain biking rear hub is worth the money.

Hope Pro 4 Rear Disc Hub

Hope Pro 4 Rear Disc Hub

7. Shimano Deore M525A Rear Hub: Great quality and budget-friendly mountain bicycle hub that ensures reliability

Shimano Deore M525A Rear Hub

  • Model No. : Deore M525A
  • Brand: Shimano
  • Hub material: Aluminium
  • Weight: 435g
  • Axle Fixing method: Quick release
  • Axle Length: 135mm
  • Axle Diameter: 10mm
  • Bearing cone: Cup and Cone, Loose BallSpoke Bearings
  • Brake Type: 6-bolt disc brake
  • Flange diameter: 70.6 mm
  • Flange distance: 57.1mm
  • QR Skewer Length: 168mm/173mm
  • Spoke holes: 32H, 36H

Features & Considerations
  • Bearing performance: The cup and cone bearing system is effective in reducing resistance and also increasing the hub’s lifespan.
  • Highly polished bearing race: The smooth and dazzling surface is effective in providing a very low friction rolling ability.
  • Double contact sealing: The double contact sealing keeps the hub greased in perfectly while also preventing contamination such as mud, water, or any other type of liquid or small bits from entering the hub. This not only keeps the hub clean but also saves the rider from high maintenance.
  • Quick-release: The axle fixing method on this Shimano hub is of the quick-release type. It is made out of light alloy and as we all know, quick-release axles are easy to use and replace.
  • Budget-friendly and reliable: The Shimano hub offers the best of both worlds by being strong, long-lasting, and also having an affordable price tag.
  • Color: The rear hub comes in black with a white Shimano Deore label.
  • Accessories: This package comes with a light aluminum alloy quick release skewer and adjusting nut.

Some Weaknesses
  • This specific model is not compatible with 11-Speed road cassettes.
  • It is only available in one color.
  • It is a bit heavier(435 grams) than its competitors on this list.

The Shimano Deore M525A is yet another amazing hub that will not cost you 200 dollars or more. It offers all the top-notch features and characteristics without the hefty price. The aluminum hub with cup and cone precision-machined bearings is resilient to friction and is very durable according to many customer reviews. The polished bearing race also helps in gaining low friction rolling ability. The axle and freehub are made of steel and the QR skewer is made of light aluminum alloy. Although all this makes the hub slightly less light, it handles really well on mountains and rocky terrain. 

A potential downside may be that this hub is a bit on the heavier side. However, that does not prevent it from performing at its absolute best. The hub feels great when you are riding and will not stop you from climbing mountains or going downhill when you are on your MTB expeditions. As a matter of fact, it can actually be taken as an advantage as the extra weight will give you a more sturdy feeling when you are on your ride.

This rear hub is not for professional mountain biking. However, it can endure any type of regular mountain biking activities. It also gives a nice sound when you are riding it and a lot of existing customers seem to love that about it. It is a well built, reliable, and reasonably priced Shimano rear hub that will help you meet your mountain biking goals.

Shimano Deore M525A Rear Hub

Shimano Deore M525A Rear Hub

8. Hope Pro 4 Rear Disc Hub: High-quality hubs that were built with impeccable engineering and technology

Hope Pro 4 Rear Disc Hub

  • Model No. : Pro 4 Boost
  • Brand: Hope
  • Hub material: Forged aluminum billet
  • Weight: 311g
  • Axle Fixing method: Thru Axle
  • Axle Length: 148mm
  • Axle Diameter: 12mm
  • Bearing: Stainless steel sealed cartridge
  • Brake Type: 6-bolt disc brake
  • Flange diameter: 57 mm
  • Flange distance: 57mm
  • QR Skewer Length: N/A
  • Spoke holes: 28H, 32H, 36H

Features & Considerations
  • Reliability: This new hub is well known to be very durable and it handles well in any kind of condition. Customers have reviewed it to be even more reliable than the previous Pro 2, 3 and the standard Pro 4 models.
  • Larger spoke flange diameter: The Pro 4 Boost has a larger flange diameter than its predecessor, Pro 4. This makes the hub stronger, more sturdy, and even more durable than before.
  • Manufactured in the United Kingdom: The well-known brand, Hope is situated in the UK. The Hope Pro 4 was built in Barnoldswick, UK, and therefore ensures that the hub was built with impeccable effort and technology, and it is a product of authentic workmanship.
  • Hub engagement: The Pro 4 Boost has a 4 Pawl ratchet system with 44 tooth engagement. This means that it has over 10 percent more locking points than the Pro 4 and has free travel of just 8.2 degrees.
  • Wider body: It has a wider body than the previous model and that has significantly boosted the performance of the hub and enables more precise bike handling.
  • Compatibility: Hope has improved on the freehub and it is now compatible with 11-speed cassettes.
  • Convertible: As with all of Hope hubs, the Pro 4 Boost can easily be changed to different freehub and axle measurements.
  • Color: This Pro 4 Boost hub is available in black.

Some Weaknesses
  • The remarkable product is available at a high price. 
  • Weighing at 311 grams, it is considered as a heavy hub.
  • This specific product is only available in black.

 

Hope is one of the most popular brands in the bicycle community. This is because they strive for excellence. They release every product into the market after years of extensive research, testing, and development. Even after releasing a product, they take their customers’ reviews seriously and look into how they can improve their products. And that is exactly what happened with the Pro 4 Boost. 

After Hope achieved massive success with Pro 4, they looked into how they could further develop the product and they released the Pro 4 Boost. The boosted version is said to be way more reliable, stiffer, and able to provide an even better overall experience. It has a taller flange diameter which increases its strength and durability. It has an improved hub engagement facility which is equipped with a 4 pawl ratchet system with 44 tooth engagement. This gives the hub a 10 percent increase in locking points than the previous version and ultimately making the engagement speed faster. It also has a wider body when compared to Pro 4 which gives more control to the biker and also enables the bike to become stiffer. The stainless steel sealed cartridge bearings are of the highest quality and aid the hub in performing really well. All the other components of the bike hub were manufactured, inspected, and tested at the Barnoldswick factory in order to ensure first-class quality.

Hope Pro 4 Rear Disc Hub

Hope Pro 4 Rear Disc Hub

9. SHIMANO HB-M820 Saint Hub: Superlight mountain bike hub that ensures strength and high performance

SHIMANO HB-M820 Saint Hub

  • Model No. : HB-M820
  • Brand: Shimano
  • Hub material: Aluminium
  • Weight: 202g
  • Axle Fixing method: Thru Axle
  • Axle Length: 110mm, 135mm
  • Axle Diameter: 10mm, 20mm
  • Bearing Cone: Cup and Cone bearings
  • Brake Type: Center lock disc brake
  • Flange diameter: 59.6 mm
  • Flange distance: 61.6 mm
  • QR Skewer Length: N/A
  • Spoke holes: 32H, 36H

Features & Considerations
  • Lightweight: Weighing just above 200 grams, this is a superlight aluminum rear hub that won’t weigh you down.
  • E-Thru: This is Shimano’s thru-axle system which requires no tools. The thru-axle delivers the perfect combination of lightweight and stiffness. And since it does not require any tools it is also easy to use and repair.
  • Bearing type: The cup and cone bearings are stronger than sealed cartridge bearings as they offer much smoother rotations and longevity.
  • Angular contact bearing: The bearing consists of angular contact which reduces friction and damage faced by the hub. So this hub is fast and also the sealing prevents mud and water from entering. The hub is also very adjustable and allows for easier maintenance and serviceability.
  • Center lock disc brake system: This type of braking system is less susceptible to error or malfunction and is also quite simple to install.
  • Front and Rear: It is available for both front and rear hubs.
  • Color: It is only available in black.

Some Weaknesses
  • Some customers have claimed that the locking nut of the hub gets loose sometimes.
  • Some users have also complained about the bearings getting locked.

 

This hub is in a higher price range than the other Shimano products on this list. That is because it is made of the best materials and offers very high performance. The superlight hubs include angular contact cup and cone bearings which are highly resistant to friction and prevent any type of wear to the hub. This hub is very well built and its robustness can be seen when you take the bike out on the mountains.

The axle fixing method on the hub is of the thru-axle type. But it’s not just any thru-axle, this is Shimano’s very own E-thru which follows the “tool-less” concept meaning it provides ease of repairing and maintenance. The E-thru is made up of steel and so it is light in weight while also being highly rigid. Perfect for gravity mountain biking activities, the Shimano HB-M820 Saint Hub is one of the top hubs in the market.

SHIMANO HB-M820 Saint Hub

SHIMANO HB-M820 Saint Hub

10. DT Swiss 240S MTB Rear Hub: Premium quality and lightweight hubs made with patented technology | Overall Best Choice

DT Swiss 240S MTB Rear Hub

  • Model No. : 240S
  • Brand: DT SWISS
  • Hub material: Aluminium
  • Weight: 220g
  • Axle Fixing method: Quick Release or Thru Axle
  • Axle_Length: 100mm (Front), 135mm (Rear), 142mm (Front)
  • Axle_Diameter: 10mm (Front/Rear), 12mm (Front), 15mm (Front),
  • Bearing: Precision, Quad-Bearing with a stainless steel cartridge
  • Brake Type: 6-bolt or Center lock disc brake
  • Flange diameter: 57 mm
  • Flange distance: 53.4 mm
  • QR Skewer Length: N/A
  • Spoke holes: Front – 28H, 32H, Rear – 32H

Features & Considerations
  • Brand value: DT Swiss is a famous European brand, well known for its world-class precision and quality. It is a brand you can trust.
  • Patented Technology: These supreme hubs consist of a patented freewheel system, that provides highly accurate star ratchets, ensures superior performance and reliability. It also allows ease of repair and maintenance.
  • Bearing performance: Both the front and rear hubs come with quad bearings with stainless steel cartridges that have very good load and speed ratings and offer great rolling characteristics. Also, the bearings are resistant to corrosion.
  • Double flange seal system: The contact-free double flange seal system is very effective at keeping water and dirt out of the hub.
  • Hub engagement: An industry classic hub with quick engagement with a smooth and hassle-free drive system.
  • Durability: DT Swiss is a premium brand. Like any other premium brand, they make their products with great precision and quality. Therefore, these hubs are very strong and will last for years to come.
  • Weight: Both the hubs are very light and are perfect from mountain biking.
  • Front and Rear: The DT 240S is available for both front and rear wheels.
  • Color: Both the front and rear hubs are available in black with a red label.

Some Weaknesses
  • There are no straight pull spoke options.
  • This premium product comes at a premium price.
  • A rear hub of such high quality should have more hub engagement points.

 

The DT Swiss DT 240S hubs are the benchmark for the most high-end hubs in the world. Built with world-class engineering and technology, these hubs are as good as it gets. The proprietary DT Swiss freewheel system with precise star ratchets provides top-notch performance. Thanks to this technology, the bearings provide less friction, the light-alloy axles can take on more load and the system is able to transfer torque at a very minuscule weight. These hubs are also very reliable as they are stainless steel cartridges and resistant to corrosion and the double flange seal system keeps out all the water and dirt, preventing the hub from getting damaged. All this makes both the front and rear hubs last very long.

The hubs are also quite light which is an added bonus. Normally, with such fantastic features, you have to compromise on the weight but DT Swiss startled the entire bicycle community by providing all those features on such a light hub. Also, just because these hubs are high end and have sophisticated features does not mean that you have to always take them to the bike shop for maintenance and repair. These hubs require no extra tools which are a trend a lot of companies are following right now. They are very easy to maintain and you can fix any casual errors all by yourself. 

The DT 240S front and rear hubs are perfect for cross country, trail, gravity, and other mountain biking activities. So if you are looking to upgrade your mountain bike hubs, a couple of these will be more than perfect and will offer you trouble-free mountain biking experience for years. Those who are looking for the front hub can click here.

DT Swiss 240S MTB Rear Hub

DT Swiss 240S MTB Rear Hub

11. Onyx MTB Rear Hub: Built with an incredible design to ensure strength, durability and a smooth-riding experience

Onyx MTB Rear Hub

  • Model No. : MTB Rear Hub XD
  • Brand: Onyx
  • Hub material: Aluminium
  • Weight: 447g
  • Axle Fixing method: Thru Axle
  • Axle Length: 148mm
  • Axle Diameter: 12mm
  • Bearing: Sealed Cartridge
  • Brake Type: 6-bolt disc brake
  • Flange diameter: 60 mm
  • Flange distance: 61.07mm
  • QR Skewer Length: N/A
  • Spoke holes: 32H

Features & Considerations
  • Silent riding experience: The sprag clutch instant hub engagement on the Onyx hub offers a smooth and silent ride experience as opposed to the usual loud and cranky ones.
  • Hub engagement: The popular instant engagement system also allows for a faster acceleration for you to swoop through the mountains.
  • Low maintenance: The aluminum rear hub with the thru-axle fixing method is very well built and requires very low maintenance as the sealed cartridge keeps all types of contamination outside.
  • Bearing performance: Ceramic hybrid bearings reduce friction for less rolling resistance and makes way for a much enjoyable riding session.
  • Incredible design: The hub looks amazing and will look even better on your mountain bike. It has a very bold and modern design which will definitely make a few heads turn.
  • Color: This superb rear hub is available only in black.

Some Weaknesses
  • This is the most expensive mountain bike hub on our list.
  • It is also the heaviest mountain bike hub on our list.

 

The Onyx mountain bike rear hub is truly a premium racing product. This hub is machined from 7075 aluminum to provide strength and durability of the highest standard. The bearings on the hub are made of hybrid ceramic which is stronger and lighter than the other steel bearings available in the market. This ceramic hybrid bearing is highly adjustable and can be made as tight or loose as you choose. However, what makes this device truly unique is its hub engagement. The hub engagement consists of a sprag clutch mechanism which allows instant hub engagement under power and instant disengagement for coasting. Also, this engagement system allows for a completely silent ride and will not disturb you with loud buzzing noises that other hubs make. So you can enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings when you go on your mountain biking adventures. This is possible because the sprag clutch mechanism uses a non-rotating sprag which automatically locks up when turned as opposed to the usual pawl system.

The only major downside of this hub is the weight. However, if you look at what Onyx achieved with its engagement system and bearings, the heavyweight is a very small price to pay. Onyx delivers on a super smooth performing hub with an instant engagement that no other brand can even come close to. It is an essential bike component that will actually make a difference when you are racing or just riding for pleasure. One ride with this rear hub on your bike and you will not want to go back to your old hub.

Onyx MTB Rear Hub

Onyx MTB Rear Hub


 Buying Guide: MTB Hub

Considerable Criteria before purchasing your brand new mountain bike hubs: Mountain bike hubs explained!

Starting from bearing type to weight, there are too many factors to consider when you decide to purchase new hubs for your mountain bicycle. Keeping track of all these factors can seem a little difficult especially when there are so many options to choose from. So here is a brief description of everything you need to consider in order to choose the best hubs!

Mountain bike hubs

Strength and durability:

I know what you are thinking. We sound like a broken record. We have mentioned this so many times in this article. But it is probably one of the most important things to consider for every part of your bike, not just the hubs. Your new hubs should be strong enough to have a high load capacity and also to be less susceptible to damage and malfunction. Making sure of this will allow you to get a long-lasting hub. A good way to do this is to purchase your new hubs from a well known and expert brand.

Bearing type:

You should also make sure your new hub has bearings of the absolute best quality. Anything less will not last that long and will not be worth it. The hub’s bearing should be sealed and secured from mud and water and should be resistant to damage. If you are on a budget, cup and cone bearings are the way to go, they are solid bearings that offer great performance and they are easy to use and repair. And if the price is not an issue, cartridge bearings offer better quality however they are difficult to repair on your own and quite expensive to replace. Also, you should check what the bearing is made up of. Ceramic bearings are smoother and more resistant to wear and tear than steel bearings, however, steel bearings are the standard and are widely used in the industry.

Brake rotor compatibility:

Your new hub needs to match the brake system on your mountain bike. If your bike has disc brakes then your hub needs to attach to the disc rotor accurately. It will be the same case if you have rim brakes. However, in the case of disc brakes, there are two options: the six-bolt disc brake or the center lock disc brake. Therefore, check your brakes before you purchase a hub.

Rim Compatibility:

The number of spokes on the rim and the hub needs to match. There are quite a few options to choose from including 28H, 32H, and 36H which are the standard. So check your rim before you order your hub.

Rim Compatibility

Axle size (front & rear):

The hubs must be compatible with the axle standard for the bicycle. For hubs with a quick-release fixing method, the usual diameter of the axle is 9mm and the quick release skewer is about 5mm. In most of the new mountain bicycles, manufacturers are incorporating the thru-axle. For thru-axles, the diameter is larger ranging about 12mm, 15mm, or 20mm. The thru-axle is much more sturdy and reliable. 

You should match your rear hubs with the diameter and length of the rear axle. The standard mountain bike rear axle measurements are 135x5mm for a quick release rear hub but mountain bikes for jumping and gravity biking have measurements such as 135×10, 142×12, 150×12, 157×12 and 165×12 for better performance and strength. So ensuring the compatibility of the hubs and the axle standard of the bike is crucial.

MTB Hub engagement:

The engagement on your mountain bike is basically how many clicks sounds the rear wheel makes when you are freewheeling. The cassette of the bike is attached to the hub on a freehub. This contains the spring-loaded pawls which have a technique that allows the hub and wheel to continue spinning freely when you are not pedaling your bike. This technique is the engagement that occurs between the pawls and the ratchet on the hub. The ratchet is a device with angled toothed gear inside the hub. When you are coasting, the pawls click past the teeth and these are the clicks you hear. When you start pedaling, the pawls and the teeth engage to transfer the power to the wheel.

So this is something to consider when you get new mountain bike hubs. A high number of teeth means that your bike will have a greater engagement rate and power will be transferred to the wheel more efficiently. On the other hand, fewer teeth mean that you will have more torque. This is referred to as points of engagement. The greater the number of pawls and teeth, the more points of engagement you will get and vice versa. Having more or fewer points of engagement both has its advantages as I have mentioned. Therefore, it is a trade-off between better power transfer or more torque and which you want more depends completely on you and your mountain biking style.

MTB Hub engagement

Conclusion

Upgrading something as small as a hub on your wheel will bring about a massive change in your mountain biking expeditions. The hub is the powerhouse of your wheel and should be in good shape in order to deliver the best performance possible. The hubs we reviewed in this article are the best ones available in the market today. They are all solid and powerful hubs that have the strength and durability to serve their customers for years to come. 

Discovering the perfect hub which meets all of your mountain biking needs can feel quite exhausting. Trust us when we say that we know how you feel. We hope that this article has helped you understand and given you some insights into what really makes or breaks the best hub. Also, we hope that one of the products we have reviewed will be the right one for you. We wish you all the best to find the MTB hub you desire. Thank you for taking the time to read this article.

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Last update on 2020-11-30 at 03:10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dion Lewis
My name is Dion Lewis.

I’ve been cycling from my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions.

At my college life, I took a part time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally.

Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or a bike gear.

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