First Look! Absolute Black’s Magnetic New Black Diamond Mountain Bike Hubs

absolute black black diamond mountain bike hubs with magnetic pawl

Just after showing off his new Delrin 12t jockey wheels for SRAM’s 11-speed mountain bike derailleurs, Absolute Black is giving us a special preview of his new Black Diamond hubs before their coming out party at Eurobike.

The outer shell gets a machined, polished and angular finish, but it’s the insides that are the real story. These complete hubs are renderings, but the finished freehub body will be made of hardened tool steel to be ultra durable and prevent cassettes from digging in. They’re spaced for 11-speed (10-speed compatible with spacer), or opt for the XD driver for 11-speed SRAM cassettes and save 5g.

Tool steel is real, but it’s what’s inside that that’s really got us geeking out…

absolute black black diamond mountain bike hubs with magnetic pawl and hardened tool steel freehub body

The hub is driven by 26 teeth laid out in a “star ratchet” format, and one side of them are cut directly into the freehub body. Facing it is a solid ring with the other 26 teeth backed by a full circular rare earth magnet. Another magnet is bonded to the inside of the hub, which pushes the inner drive ring against the freehub body’s teeth to create engagement. That inner ring is the only moving part. No little pawls. No springs. And fewer total parts in all.

Absolute Black’s founder Marcin says the system has a worldwide patent (they’re licensing it) and has been tested and raced successfully for eight years. It also requires minimal maintenance, can be wiped clean by hand and holds up to mud, water and debris exceptionally well.

absolute black black diamond mountain bike hubs with magnetic pawl and enduro bearings

Huge 17x30x7mm ABEC 5 Enduro low friction bearings with graphite retainer cages keep it rolling smoothly – Four in the rear, two up front. An external bearing preload nut in both hubs keep bearings in proper position for fastest rolling, and they’re protected by low friction labyrinth seals in both hubs.

absolute black black diamond mountain bike hubs with magnetic pawl

Designed for trail and aggressive Enduro, the weights tell us they’ll be great for cyclocross, too. Claimed weights are 138g for front (15mm thru) and 268g for rear (142 x 12 11spd).

Available for order in about 3-4 weeks, pricing TBA.


34 thoughts on “First Look! Absolute Black’s Magnetic New Black Diamond Mountain Bike Hubs

  1. The more I look at those the more enthralled with them I become. Who distribute Absolute Black in the USA? I want to sell them in my shop

  2. I like this minimal-parts take on the Star Ratchet design. Even the standard DT Swiss iteration of that has been running smoothly for me over many years. It’s also being used by SRAM in their new mountain line. I like the simplicity of magnet actuation as opposed to a spring, and definite props for going with tool steel on the freehub body. Wear on those engagement teeth with anything but tool steel would’ve had me wondering about the service life – But these look rad!

    Not sure how this is similar to Kappius aside from the magnetic pawl actuation. I’m pretty sure Kappius has 8 traditional pawls in phase 4 configuration, a little different than Star Ratchet with its splined engagement rings (But then again wasn’t his goal was to move load-bearing bearings as far outboard as possible for better strength? Probably not as easy with Star Ratchet). I don’t know if different methods of applying engagement are patent-able insofar as what sort of spring they use…

  3. Just when I thought DTSwiss and King had created the summit of rear hubs… that faceted shell design is looking better and better, Like a shiny black diamond, stunning

  4. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Tune uses the same engagement System (star ratchet and magnetic actuation) in some of its lightest XC models.

  5. Can none of you read? It clearly says there is a worldwide patent on the design and Absolute Black are licensing it. No need to ‘check trade marks’ or ‘wonder if they licensed it’.

  6. @Luiggi

    Tune showed a few designs years ago including the Dezibel MTB hub with magnets in the freehub body, never released it commercially though.

  7. “An external bearing preload nut in both hubs keep bearings in proper position for fastest rolling”

    That sounds like an immediate fail. Both wheels with a preload option I have (Easton, Mavic) I would not buy again only and only because of the preload.

  8. Why a magnet instead of a spring? A spring works just as well, and it does not attract small metal parts that will never ever go away from the mechanism.

  9. What problem does this solve? If it means quicker engagement and more points of contact, then great. But in 20 years of riding, I’ve never had a pawl fail. Sure they might get sticky, but preventing that only requires annual maintenance. Soul-Kozak has magnetic engagement.

  10. That “tool steel” freehub body is really old news. Shimano uses steel (yes, tool steel) freehub bodies on all of it’s freehubs below Dura Ace and XTR. The reason most other makers use bodies of Al or Ti is strictly weight savings.

  11. I like what I hear sooooooooooooooooo much! Sounds like an awesome product… on paper at least. Real world use will tell if it holds to its promises. Since there is an 11sp -non XD- version, does it mean that one could retrofit a 10sp SRAM or Shimano + a OneUp or Wolftooth cog w/o having to remove 1 of the cogs? That would be so great and would make for the best budget 1×11 conversion we could get our hands on!

    Cheers to all, ride hard but safe.

  12. bikermark hit it with the freehub system, this design belongs to Soul Kozak and they’ve been making the magnetic steel version for quite a few years with good success though the brand just never seemed to catch on in the States.

    The hubshell itself looks like a flanged version of the Alchemist stealth.

    @jeff, no it’s not silent. In fact it’s very loud.

  13. I’d love to see these for fat bikes. 170 and 190 rear with through axles, 135 front with through axle with spacers to go to 150 for a Bluto fork.

  14. Uh, go throw a magnet in the dirt and tell me what it looks like after. No amount of grease is going to keep those particles at bay, especially from a “rare earth” magnet. If the teeth can stand up to the wear from whatever garbage gets sucked in, let alone the wear from each other when the inevitable build-up of particles prevents them from fully engaging, I will be thoroughly impressed.

  15. Looks great. I wonder if there is any noise/friction when coasting. There’s a company in Brazil that just came out with another design that completely disengages when coasting and is there for completely silent. I will order a set very soon. Here’s a site in Portuguese with photos. and a youtube couldnt find anything in english, strange..

  16. @Brian – did you manage to order the ? Unfortunately i dont see option of ordering hub only (as they dont offer any wide 29 rims).

Leave a Reply