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…
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.
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.
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.