Onyx Vesper Hub Problems

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Posted: Jul 19, 2020 at 0:36 Quote
I just received my new NOBL TR37 wheels after almost 2 months of waiting and I opted for the Onyx Vesper hub option in fluorescent orange and right out of the box I noticed some issues.

For starters I noticed that the lock collars holding the hub assembly together are really loose and could slide off quite easily. I discovered this the hard way after hand tightening the cassette and carrying the assembly to my car to go get the right cassette tool to torque it down. As I was carrying the wheel I tilted it slightly and watched in horror as my brand new cassette fell from waist height onto the hard pavement. Initially I thought the cassette lock nut must have come undone but upon further inspection I realized the hub had fallen apart and the only thing holding it together was a little slip fit ring. After playing around with the assembly I realized that the ring on the other side (Which has a bolt to cinch it down) was also really loose even though the bolt was fully cinched.

I've never owned hubs that have had this issue before, I literally had to hold the wheel completely vertical to prevent the "lock" rings from sliding off either end when the wheel is off my bike. I'm wondering if anyone else has had similar issues with Onyx hubs?

They seem to be kind of low quality overall which is not what I'd expect considering the high cost. I'm going to contact NOBL on Monday to see what my options are in terms of fixing the issue or getting a replacement.

Posted: Jul 20, 2020 at 0:09 Quote
I would warranty them if I was you, I had some issues with my Onyx hub a few years ago but your issue sounds completely unsafe, I wouldn't use them at all until you have spoke with Onyx.

Posted: Jul 20, 2020 at 7:06 Quote
Danzzz88 wrote:
I would warranty them if I was you, I had some issues with my Onyx hub a few years ago but your issue sounds completely unsafe, I wouldn't use them at all until you have spoke with Onyx.

I found a forum on a different site with a lot of information about these vesper hubs. Apparently the end caps coming off is a common issues because Onyx designed them for "easy servicing" and they are relying on small O-rings as the sole retention feature. Easy servicing kind of goes out the window if you have to take the rear wheel off for a trailside repair and your cassette falls in the dirt, your sprags get dirty, or you lose your end caps in my opinion. Overall it's kind of just a poor design so I don't think getting a warranty replacement will solve the problem unless they make updates.

I guess I should have done more research before placing the order. I might be stuck with them.

Posted: Jul 21, 2020 at 16:46 Quote
CorBillionaire wrote:
Danzzz88 wrote:
I would warranty them if I was you, I had some issues with my Onyx hub a few years ago but your issue sounds completely unsafe, I wouldn't use them at all until you have spoke with Onyx.

I found a forum on a different site with a lot of information about these vesper hubs. Apparently the end caps coming off is a common issues because Onyx designed them for "easy servicing" and they are relying on small O-rings as the sole retention feature. Easy servicing kind of goes out the window if you have to take the rear wheel off for a trailside repair and your cassette falls in the dirt, your sprags get dirty, or you lose your end caps in my opinion. Overall it's kind of just a poor design so I don't think getting a warranty replacement will solve the problem unless they make updates.

I guess I should have done more research before placing the order. I might be stuck with them.

Like many hubs, the new Vespers work using just friction to hold everything together while not under the compression of a rear axle. This is not unlike Hope, I9, DT, and many many others, except they seem to require less friction tp pull apart. This is not a safety issue while they are on the bike, but I can se why it might be a pain in the butt when the wheel is off the bike and something drops off...like your cassette, into the dirt. The older classic hubs were a lot more secure. I did notice the axle ends on the last set that passed over my bench has a little locking bolt on the axle ends - running changes perhaps? First set I saw with them, and I have two other sets in house currently without, that are older as well as a number of other sets that have gone out the door so far this summer.

Regardless of this nit, they are pretty fantastic hubs in use. I don't think you should regret ordering them at all.

Posted: Jul 21, 2020 at 20:07 Quote
privateer-wheels wrote:

Like many hubs, the new Vespers work using just friction to hold everything together while not under the compression of a rear axle. This is not unlike Hope, I9, DT, and many many others, except they seem to require less friction tp pull apart. This is not a safety issue while they are on the bike, but I can se why it might be a pain in the butt when the wheel is off the bike and something drops off...like your cassette, into the dirt. The older classic hubs were a lot more secure. I did notice the axle ends on the last set that passed over my bench has a little locking bolt on the axle ends - running changes perhaps? First set I saw with them, and I have two other sets in house currently without, that are older as well as a number of other sets that have gone out the door so far this summer.

Regardless of this nit, they are pretty fantastic hubs in use. I don't think you should regret ordering them at all.

From the few rides I have had on them I do enjoy the instant engagement and the silence. But I've also dropped my cassette juggling the wheel and the frame while trying to line up the cassette and rotor so to me that con kind of outweighs the pros.

I watched a few servicing videos for I9 hubs and I believe the end caps at least had a light press and required a special tool to pull off so they should be more secure. It seems the vespers are designed with a slip fit and then O-rings act as the retention feature. My hubs do have a cinch bolt on one of the end caps but even with it fully cinched there's still clearance to the shaft and the O-ring is the only thing holding it on.

I'm in contact with Onyx right now and I asked them if it would be OK to use a retaining compound to hold the end caps on. I'm still waiting on a response.

Posted: Jul 22, 2020 at 9:08 Quote
I9 work the same way, with o-rings to secure the caps, but I think they have tighter tolerances and also the main seal is different which adds a bit more friction to keep the freehub body in place. Same concept though. For what it's worth, I have had at least one I9 hub pass though here that was the same, would not stay together unless it was under compression.

Again, I have Vespers too, and while they operate the same when you take them off the bike, they are not an issue in use. I'm just careful when taking my wheels off.

I have a few other suggestions you might try but I'm hesitant to list them here as they definitely won't be warranty approved. You can reach out via PM if you like.

Posted: Jul 22, 2020 at 13:23 Quote
I've had Hopes and Giant hubs do the same with the weight of the cassette being enough to detach the freehub from the body. DT's will come off easy if you bump them too hard as well. Once on the bike they all work as designed.

Posted: Jul 23, 2020 at 6:14 Quote
I recently built up a set of the I9 Hydras. As @privateer-wheels said. they do have a higher tolerance and that main seal definitely makes them not simply slip open. I'm not sure what tool your referring to, definitely don't need one to remove the freehub.

If warranty doesn't work out (which I definitely should) You can grease the Hydras to be pretty quiet, or I'd look at the quiet project 321s.

Posted: Jul 23, 2020 at 6:40 Quote
privateer-wheels wrote:
I9 work the same way, with o-rings to secure the caps, but I think they have tighter tolerances and also the main seal is different which adds a bit more friction to keep the freehub body in place. Same concept though. For what it's worth, I have had at least one I9 hub pass though here that was the same, would not stay together unless it was under compression.

Again, I have Vespers too, and while they operate the same when you take them off the bike, they are not an issue in use. I'm just careful when taking my wheels off.

I have a few other suggestions you might try but I'm hesitant to list them here as they definitely won't be warranty approved. You can reach out via PM if you like.
I've never looked closely at the Vespers, but if somebody knew a machinist, could they drill and tap the end caps to use a nylon grub screw? I get the warranty comment, but buying a couple extra spare end caps could eliminate warranty denial worry and nylon wouldn't leave evidence.

Posted: Jul 24, 2020 at 18:27 Quote
Shnoztastic wrote:
I recently built up a set of the I9 Hydras. As @privateer-wheels said. they do have a higher tolerance and that main seal definitely makes them not simply slip open. I'm not sure what tool your referring to, definitely don't need one to remove the freehub.

If warranty doesn't work out (which I definitely should) You can grease the Hydras to be pretty quiet, or I'd look at the quiet project 321s.

They used an "extractor rod" to remove the cap on the Hydras but after rewatching the video the tool seems a little unnecessary as it just helped grip the end cap but the cap didn't appear to take much force to pull out. I guess easily removable hub drivers are a common design now. I'll just be more careful moving forward. I plan on getting a bike rack so I don't have to take the rear wheel of so frequently.

Posted: Jul 24, 2020 at 20:24 Quote
Yes for bike rack! Or a different vehicle lol. Having to take the front wheel off to throw it in a hatchback is no big deal but pulling off the rear wheel would be a nuisance.

My Dt wheel freehub is relatively secure but I have had the experience of having everything fall in the dirt while trying to put a tube in mid ride. I just make sure now to always mount the left side of the tire first so the cassette is up when I go to get the right side of the tire on.

Posted: Jul 24, 2020 at 23:08 Quote
CorBillionaire wrote:
I just received my new NOBL TR37 wheels after almost 2 months of waiting and I opted for the Onyx Vesper hub option in fluorescent orange and right out of the box I noticed some issues.

For starters I noticed that the lock collars holding the hub assembly together are really loose and could slide off quite easily. I discovered this the hard way after hand tightening the cassette and carrying the assembly to my car to go get the right cassette tool to torque it down. As I was carrying the wheel I tilted it slightly and watched in horror as my brand new cassette fell from waist height onto the hard pavement. Initially I thought the cassette lock nut must have come undone but upon further inspection I realized the hub had fallen apart and the only thing holding it together was a little slip fit ring. After playing around with the assembly I realized that the ring on the other side (Which has a bolt to cinch it down) was also really loose even though the bolt was fully cinched.

I've never owned hubs that have had this issue before, I literally had to hold the wheel completely vertical to prevent the "lock" rings from sliding off either end when the wheel is off my bike. I'm wondering if anyone else has had similar issues with Onyx hubs?

They seem to be kind of low quality overall which is not what I'd expect considering the high cost. I'm going to contact NOBL on Monday to see what my options are in terms of fixing the issue or getting a replacement.

Onyx hubs do one thing well. They are VERY strong compared to hubs of a more traditional layout. The build quality is "mehL," the engagement is spongy and the paint is garbage. But they hold up to abuse that other hubs just cant.

That said the end caps coming off is pretty normal for most hubs as they are usually only held on with the pressure of an o ring. I wouldn't sweat it too much.

Posted: Jul 27, 2020 at 13:10 Quote
Maybe you mean physical impacts and stuff they hold up to but my Onyx In had started feeling stiff after about 6 months to a year, used typical lithium bike grease that the bike shop recommended and noticed my friggin axle was fusing to the hub, didn't have that happen anywhere else using the grease. Then after a while it went spongy like you said sometimes feeling like it missed engagement or even if it did engage instantly it feel like the chain was made out of rubber. The silence was cool for a bit especially when biking through rough areas trying not to be noticed as much but tbh normal hubs just sound cool, you meet up with your buddies using Hope hubs at the bike park and realise it adds some drama that just makes the bike more fun. The main problem with the onyx though is the weight, use one of these and a tough heavyish rim and the rear wheel feels like a sack of potatoes, I felt my rear end was super biased in weight and you could feel it when hitting square edge hits.

Posted: Jul 27, 2020 at 14:12 Quote
Vesper hubs weight pretty much the same as CK hubs. They are a good bit lighter than the classic hubs.

Posted: Oct 25, 2020 at 17:42 Quote
Anyone had issues with Onyx Vesper hub causing the rear cassette to bind up (not spin freely) while backpedaling? Brand new hubs and when the rear axle is torqued (~12nm) the hub completely binds up. Works fine when not torqued. Also the binding is not constant - part of the friction during rotation is more noticeable at certain points in the stroke.

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