Spank Announces New Hex Drive Hubs

Mar 5, 2020
by Spank Industries  

PRESS RELEASE: Spank Industries

Available in matt black anodized full alloy body and freehub (with a reinforced steel spline on HG freehubs, and a steel freehub version for e-bike), the new Hex Drive Hub from Spank Industries brings you a high engagement (3.5°) hub with oversized bearings and advanced seal system for durability and low maintenance.

Available with HG, XD and Microspline alloy freehubs, Spank have also announced an ebike dedicated steel freehub across all three platforms to pair with the Hex Drive Hub.

Two mountain setups are available, namely 28H Straightpull Boost (ideal for Enduro and Trail), 32H J-hook Boost & non-Boost (perfect for DH, Freeride, All mountain and Trail). A Gravel specific 28H J-Hook is also available.

Front hubs weigh in from 147g at $99.00, while rear hubs start at 300g for $199.00.

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We have been at the leading edge in rim, handlebar, pedal and stem design for over a decade, investing significant time and energy in developing proprietary designs. Quality control, performance, and reliability matter so much to us that we established our own factory to make them ourselves.

Over the years, we’ve invested in every detail in rim manufacturing, earning us a top three position consistently for the past few years in leading industry and consumer polls for most wanted rim. The time had come to offer our customers a high performance and excellent value hub to compliment our award winning rims.

Responding to the requests that riders want it all — from light weights for pedaling up mountains to high engagement for instant pickup, we set to work on developing a hub that addresses the needs of today’s demanding mountain biker — the Spank Industries Hex Drive hub.


102T / 3.5º ENGAGEMENT

The new Hex Drive rear hubs employ a huge ratchet ring with 102 teeth. Six independent pawls, each with 3 steps, work in unison to create 18 points of contact with the ratchet ring per click. The result is an almost instant pick-up of just 3.5º, with unparalleled security against slippage under torque. The benefit in riding terms: no unwanted lag in your crank between pedal strokes, more efficient pedaling on technical sections and climbs, quicker, almost constant power to the pedals, and the 18 points of contact result in higher strength and better reliability.

For the riders who subject their bikes to abusive conditions during the wet winters, and likewise for those with intense or prolonged exposure to fine dust conditions, we added an advanced seal system to reduce contamination. Oversized bearings further increase durability while maintaining the lighter weight of alloy. The benefit: low maintenance and easy service.

In addition to the seal system, the pawl cap design has the added advantages of; keeping your pawls in place during maintenance (no more crawling on the workshop floor with a magnet looking for lost pawls); seals the pawls to prevent contamination during service and maintenance, and finally; also has the benefit of damping the volume of your high engagement hub - the sound we all love, but a little quieter is a nice bonus!

A unique flange design on the hub reduces dish requirements on the wheel build, meaning that the spoke tension on the drive side and non-drive side of the wheel is more evenly matched than many other hub designs on the market today. The benefit for the rider comes in a more consistently tensioned, therefore stronger, wheel.

HEX HUB Drivers

Keeping things simple and easily adaptable, Spank Industries offers interchangeable Hex Drive Freehubs for HG, XD and Microspline platforms.

The Gravel Hex Drive Hubs are also available in XDR fit as well as for HG road setups applicable to Gravel.


The new Spank Hex Drive Hubs are available in:

32H J-Hook (DH / Freeride / All mountain / Trail)
28H Straightpull (Enduro / Trail)
28H J-Hook (Gravel)
Steel freehubs available soon for ebikes

Every element of the hub was scrutinized, including adaptability. All hub adapters feature a universal fit, meaning that all HEX rear hub adapters will work with all three freehub types (XD, HG & Microspline). Furthermore, all HEX front hub adapters are symmetrical and therefore interchangeable from left to right side. The advantage to you - no more scrambling for extra adapters and added costs if you change from HG to Mircospline or XD for example. The adapters that came with your original freehub will universally fit any other Spank Hex Drive freehub.

A standard set of adapter options is included in the box as extras with all Spank Hex Drive Hubs, meaning that you can adapt your hub to almost any rear dropout or suspension fork set-up that is common on the market. For set-ups a little less common, spare adapters can be purchased separately.

Since cleaning bikes is a chore none of us enjoy, ease of maintenance was a priority. Removing end caps and the freehub doesn’t require tools to remove, and can be done by hand, making the Hex Drive hub incredibly easy to service and maintain.

A full range of service parts such as bearing and pawl kits are available. Spare adapters and freehubs (Microspline, XD & HG) are available now, as well as torque caps for front suspension running torque cap standard. And for the ebike community, from June 2020, 'Electric Plus' standard steel freehubs will be available for Hex Drive hubs , also across all platforms (XD, HG & Microspline).

26-inchers, dirt jumpers, pumptrack regulars and even BMX'ers can rejoice! Spank couldn't come to market with a new hub without taking care of our core singlespeed fans! No more conversion kits and ghetto fixes. Alongside the launch of the Hex Drive Hubs, Spank also releases it's new SS-DJ Hub. Available now with an 11T cog, 12T & 13T cogs are also available separately. Naturally, this one is bombproof!

Besides the laundry list of features, we also highly optimized the weight, making HEX very competitive with hubs almost twice the price. Hex Drive just might be the best hub for the money with rear hubs coming in at $199 and the front listing for $99 MSRP.

Yoann Barelli has been conducting R&D testing on the new Spank Hex Drive hub since July 2019. Specifically using the 28H straight-pull version with XD freehub, Yoann's testing grounds have been varied in his preparation for the 2020 Enduro World Series. Test riding in both wet and muddy conditions in BC, Vancouver as well as dry and dusty terrain in Mexico, Yoann has put the new high engagement Hex Drive hub through it's paces and is feeling very confident about the ride performance benefits.

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If you need a rider who can hit four seasons and 50 conditions in a week to put product to the test - Geoff 'Gully' Gulevich is the man. Gully may just be the most prolific and diverse adventure mountain biker in the game today. Follow his "Gullyver's Travels" blog and you will be exposed to a vast array of locations, trails and conditions all around the globe on a month-to-month frequency. Predominantly using his 29" enduro rig for his globe-trotting trail adventures, Gully needs to be prepared for just about any conditions on a trip, and needs to do this on minimal equipment logistics. That means he needs: reliable, durable, lightweight, adaptable, and high performance.

Since July 2019, Gully has been test riding the new 32-hole J-hook Spank Hex Drive Hub with Spank's Microspline freehub for Shimano 12-speed. Hear what Gully has to say about what's driving him!

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So what drives the undisputed Queen of the Enduro World Series? Hex Drive, that's what. High engagement for almost instant pick-up and power to the pedals is what Cecile Ravanel demands racing the EWS circuit every year. With no time to lose, and no wheel replacement permitted on the EWS race series, it's also critical that Cecile has a robust hub she can rely on, without the weight penalty that usually accompanies durability. Spank Industries delivered for Cecile. See what she has to say about the hub that is "Perfect for the races!"

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2019 South African Men's Elite DH Champion (and regular fest series free rider) Theo Erlangsen, has been test riding the earliest R&D sample of the new Spank Hex Drive Hub since June 2019. He has used the same rear and front hub, without a single change-out or service, on all his UCI DH World Cup races of 2019, as well as several fest series dirt jump events. Having just ridden Sam Reynolds' DarkFest event in Stellenbosch (best known for the 90-foot gaps the boys are clearing on the jump line), and placing 2nd (he lost his chain on his final run) in the first DH Race of the South African Mountain Bike Championships in February this year - on the same hub-set he has been testing since June last year - it's safe to say that if it's bombproof for Theo, it's bombproof for you!

See what Theo has to say about his 32-hole J-hook Hex Drive Hub with XD freehub.

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Has Spank Industries just launched the best value for money hub on the market?

Mike Randol, the owner of TheLostCo bike shop in Bellingham, Vancouver USA, seems to think so.

We sent Mike a set of the new Spank Hex Drive front and rear hubs to lace up to a set of Spank 350 rims and put these new high engagement hubs to the test.

From first impressions, to ease of build, adaptability, service and maintenance insights, Mike highlights the benefits of the new Hex Drive hubs on the trail and in the workshop and reaches the conclusion that these may just be the very best performance, adaptability and lightweight combined hub sets available in the market right now - at the incredible price of just $99.00 for front hubs and $199.00 for rear hubs.

Available now in the USA at as well as all major Spank stocking dealers and stores.


“Electric +” Test Standards & ASTM Classification EN/ISO test requirements ensure a minimum level of safety in the bicycle industry. Our more extreme Spank Internal Test Requirement, doubles EN/ISO testing severity, as a Spank minimum for all our products. E-MTB is the newest and fastest growing segment of our sport. The E-MTB upgrade component market is emerging as an important part of the global bicycle market. Electric Mountain Bikes and their components are subjected to higher loads, higher speeds, and longer riding times than the average sport MTB. It stands to reason then, that components aimed at this market should be subjected to higher test standards relative to their intended use.

For this reason, Spank has developed our “Electric +” test standard for components recommended for the assembly of Pedelecs (max 25km/hr), which works in conjunction with the ASTM classification, or intended discipline of each product. As a member of ASTM (the American Society of Testing and Materials), Spank Industries assigns an ASTM classification level to all our products.
Spank “Electric +” test standard for E-MTB components increases the applied loads in fatigue, impact, and static load testing, and run to destruction, qualifying all components within an ASTM cla​ssification. Products recommended for ASTM 4 & 5 levels are suitable for E-MTB use, within their relevant ASTM conditions/discipline. EN/ISO standards, Spank internal standards, and “Electric +” standards, are all tested in both in-house test labs, and regularly correlated within 3rd Party Test Labs such as SGS.


  • 43 13
 I like a “universal” solution, but if the hub works for 142,148, and 157 spacing, you can be sure you are getting zero of the claimed benefits of boost or super boost. The flanges should be as wide as possible. Plenty of other companies have done this same lazy adapter method. Not calling out Spank specifically.
  • 41 11
 That indicates that the claimed benefits may not be that beneficial...
  • 8 1
 better to take 'claimed benefits' with a pinch of salt. And I mean industry wide. No worries, people who don't taco their true boost wheels won't taco these neither, at least not because brazing angle.
  • 24 0
 The adapters are universal for the normal, boost and super boost. The hubs are different for normal, boost, and super boost as per their labeling
  • 4 14
flag speed10 (Mar 5, 2020 at 16:45) (Below Threshold)
 @solarplex: really? How do you adapt a 157 hub to work on a 142 frame?

I hope your right and I’m misunderstanding. Please show me that to be the case, and then down vote me to hell.
  • 12 0
 @speed10: I think you misunderstood. There's 3 different hub sizes. Boost 148/141, 142/135, 157/150. The adapters can be used on any of the hubs but you still need the right hub for your bike
  • 3 0
 @speed10: So there are multiple hub shells and not a universal one that can be converted to all sizes.

You can see it clearly here:

You can see the hub is available in 3 configurations 135/142, 148 and 150/57
  • 3 0
 @speed10: i think the word adapters is throwing you off. “Endcaps” is the proper term.

Same part number end caps for all hubs, normal, boost, superboost, hg, xd, micro spline.
  • 3 0
 @CousinGunner: @solarplex: @oregontradesman: Hey guys, thanks for setting me straight. The link was helpful and I did misunderstand the information in this article. Perhaps it wasn’t presented in the most crystal clear way. Glad to know I’m getting all the advantages from my boosted hubs. Wink
  • 3 0
 @speed10: my Hope's do 135, 142 and 148 so I guess it's possible.
  • 2 5
 @fartymarty: yes, all hubs with IS brake mount can be converted to boost. BTW, in case nobody has heard yet. there is no benefit to boost other than if you have a frame to accept silly wide tires (above 2.6 - 65mm actual width) you need boost to achieve any decent chain line. That is because there is no room between the chainring and the tire, so you need wider chainlines 51-54mm which already suck wth 148mm width and warrant use of 150/157. which brings me to announcing that the great thing about boost is that if you grind down the sockets for the hub axle to pop into when installing the wheel, you can fit 150mm hub...
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: But the cassette moves 3mm towards the outside and the disc is not in the right place anymore I think.
  • 1 1
 I think putting the flanges on 157 hubs as far apart as possible makes no sense. With current rim designs we don't need stiffer wheels. It is much better to use the additional space in order to design the left and right hub flanges symmetrical to the hub center. This grants identical spoke tensions left and right and solves a much bigger problem for people who ride hard: Spokes coming loose. Then you wouldn't need to use locking nipples or threadlock inside the nipples anymore.
  • 1 1
 @likehell: depends on brake mount. Doesn’t work with Frames that have PM but works with many post mountS. Cassette doesn’t matter much. I mean off course it doesn’t always work or rather works rarely Smile but sometimes it does.
  • 2 6
flag WAKIdesigns (Mar 6, 2020 at 3:50) (Below Threshold)
 @mirskeinereingefalln: agreed. It doesn’t that’s why Super Boost + is such bollocks. For that sole fact I’ll never get anything from industry nine Who started this stupidity. If they, a wheel Manufacturer, doesn’t understand basic principles of whee building, then I don’t want to find out what else they don’t understand.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Well this comment is 100% incorrect.
  • 1 2
 @TransmitSound: huh? Regular 157 Super Boost has flanges centered. That was the original point of making the 150 aside of improving chainlines for 83BB. At least in case of hope. That gives an even spoke tension thus strongest possible wheel from spoke tension perspective. Now Super Boost Plus slides drive side flange as far as possible making the most inbalanced DS/NDS tension ever conceived. It’s rather simple...
  • 8 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Your hubris is incredible. The name Super Boost was coined by Pivot, basically as a joke. 150 spacing had been around for a long time. I-9 may have been a early adapter to 157, but to think a small wheel company somehow manipulated frame manufactures into adopting a new standard is ridiculous. For anyone out there who thinks Waki knows more about the "basic principles of wheel building" than the team at I-9, I've got a bridge to sell you.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I should have been more clear. I9 did not invent Super Boost. I'm pretty sure you know that wheel manufactures are responding to the frame builders.
  • 2 6
flag WAKIdesigns (Mar 6, 2020 at 7:01) (Below Threshold)
 @Satanslittlehelper: Pivot together with I9 made super boost plus. Difference between Super Boost (previously just 157DH) and Super Boost Plus is NDS flange location. Industry Nine was the first company to make the SB+, as wheel maker they should know better.

Bye. And a friendly f*ck you, have a nice weekend.
  • 2 1
 @TransmitSound: mind elaborating on why you think it makes more sense to move the flanges further apart from eachother instead of making them symmetrical?
  • 1 0
 @mirskeinereingefalln: it's pretty simple, a wider bracing angle makes for a stronger wheel. There is no massive discrepancy in tensions as suggested.
  • 1 1
 @Satanslittlehelper: yes there are. Same as with every asymmetric rear hub no matter what width. The 60mm flange distance of a 157 hub with symmetrical flanges makes for a perfectly fine bracing angle. Then they can be laced to 1200N on both spoke sides instead of something around 900N/1200N.
That wheel will hold up much longer than a superboost one if both don't have secured nipples for fast enduro/dh riders.
  • 2 0
 @mirskeinereingefalln: Offset drilling of the rim takes care of that.
  • 1 1
 @Satanslittlehelper: that reduces strength while (or) increasing weight (a lot) in the worst possible area
  • 1 2
 @Satanslittlehelper: except their own rims are not assymetric, in fact very few are and you are using this argument as an attempt to get away with your lousy logic. In such case I am going to throw Cannondales offset swingarm at you as a proof that one can have a strong wheel without introducing a new lame ass standard. 157DH currently Super Boost is the best hub standard for Enduro chain lines where most of the grind occurs on upper cogs. It also provides best spoke angles.

You can keep your mysterious expert Nope short answers to some clueless apprentices...
  • 1 1
 @Satanslittlehelper: healthy discussion going on Big Grin
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Sure thing Chief.
  • 1 2
 @Satanslittlehelper: i get that a lot Smile
  • 2 2
 @WAKIdesigns: there’s that hubris. Again, I-9 didn’t create the standard. They have a single hub shell that’s used for 150 and 157, they don’t have a different super boost + shell and never have. They also use an offset drilled rim on 157 wheels. I like that you think this has anything to with my logic though. I also didn’t say a strong wheel couldn’t be made otherwise, but increasing the bracing angle makes it stronger, period. Remind me, what wheel / hub company is it you own or operate? P.S. - I don’t particularly care if any of it is legitimately better or just marketing bs. I just think you trying to act like some authority on it is amusing.
  • 20 1
 was anybody else expecting 6 sided hub body?
  • 12 0
 That’s some hexciting news.
  • 3 0
 I agree, the article boosted my morale. I don't spank my wheels as hard as Barelli, but their offering is still very engaging.
  • 8 0
 "we set to work on developing a hub" = we licensed a deal to put our logo on kttw hubs?
  • 6 7
 Novatec most likely. Their hubs have always been Novatec up to this point at least. That pawl system looks an awful lot like Novatec's "Synergy" free hub. This isn't a bad thing though, despite everyone assuming that Novatec is a budget hub maker, they actually make a full range of hubs from the $50/pair ebay specials up to $500/pc carbon shell ceramic bearing road hubs. The Spank and Novatec hubs i've used have been completely trouble free. A buddy of mine has the D541sb which has the Synergy freehub system and it might be the nicest hub i've ever had the pleasure of working with. Also trouble free thus far.
  • 7 1
 Novatec has been pure crap for me.
Oem spec on most 2016-17 santa cruz. They all broke instantly. They replaced them with dt.

  • 2 1
 @scoobydoo666: Yeah, that's because they're the crap Novatec hubs. Like I said. You don't find the good Novatecs generally outside of Asia because there really isn't a case for them. For a similar price we can get Hopes, DTs, i9's or even Kings...and every one of those names carries more prestige.
  • 1 0
 @TheRaven: we carry the higher end Novatec Factor hubs, the 601/602 series. Similar pricing to Hope, lower than DT/I9/King/etc. 120 points of engagement, awesome Japanese EZO bearings - same as used in stock P321 hubs. Sealed very well. Reliability is excellent. They offer quite the bang for the buck. And they have boots on the ground in Georgia in the US. Very good bunch of guys. I believe Hunt is using the same hubs in their wheels most recently, but rebranded of course.
  • 8 3
 I'm sorry but reading this article it reminds me a lot of the type of market mumbo-jumbo you find on a supermarket bike advert. The subheadings alone are the stickers they'd plaster the bike in. Could we have less of that please?
  • 7 0
 If they come out with a Yoan Barelli version which comes with a Baggette I’m buying these.
  • 6 1
 I've never cared for the not-so-tangible claimed benefits of the various hub spacings and bracing angles, but always very interested in the very-tangible benefits of interchangeability and compatibility.
  • 5 0
 If you had the pleasure of riding a 2014 Enduro 29 then you may have an appreciation for wider bracing angles. During aggressive cornering it felt like those wheels were going to fold in half. They never did, but it was a terrifying feeling. But I also agree with you on compatibility, where possible.
  • 5 0
 Bellingham, Vancouver USA

  • 7 3
 I'd like to have my parts without writing all over them, thank you!
  • 4 1
 Yeah, those hubs are tatted up.
  • 2 0
 As someone with a sizeable quiver of bikes that are frequently changed up, I have a drawer full of unlabeled hub end caps. So stoked on how the compatibility of Spank hubs and how they're labeled. I'll take long term durability and reliability over prestige any day as well.
  • 8 5
 Silly pawl system. Seems so shitty compared to the ratchet mechanism DT Swiss uses.
  • 11 2
 You mean the 18t ones that come stock in a 350? Lol. Or the 36t or 54t tooth ones they want you to pay 180 CAD for to upgrade your already expensive hubs?

DT needs to get with the times..18T doesn't cut it. I would generally prefer to take advantage of quick pickup in a pawl and tooth, or better yet, a clutch style engagement. But if you must have the star ratchet style engagement, there are better options than DT Swiss.

Check out Erase hubs, out if Belgium. They are more refined than a DT. Titanium freehub and 60T ratchets stock.
  • 2 1
 @privateer-wheels: Well, 18 and 36t are tried and true, 54t less so.
There are other companies making ratchet hubs (Syntace, Newmen) that are slightly different and incompatible with DT, but DT has huge availability and you can get almost any shop to sell you small parts.
Great thing about DT is that you can find their hubs on lots of good bike builds. For instance Giant Trance Advanced 1 29er cost me 2900 euro and comes with GREAT set of carbon wheels that have DT 370 internals. I upgraded these to 54t ratchet for around 100 euros.

This gave me a wheelset in equivalence to TRX0, or DT XMC1200 (even better due to faster engagement), Roval SL would be closest - wheels that retail for almost what I paid for a whole carbon bike with carbon wheels. You simply can't get close to that by any other company or trying to build your own wheels out of aftermarket hubs and even chinese rims.
  • 1 1
 @msusic: Certainly in a build they have good value. In a custom built wheelset, at least in my opinion, there are better options.

Syntace, and Newman too yes, though I don't know how easy they are to get in North America.

I mention Erase as they are available in North America (I have two sets being delivered today), are reasonably priced, and are better made with more engagement than an upgraded DT Swiss.
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels: 18t or 54t, the engagement between the drive systems is 100% as opposed to a pawl system. I agree, dt could just spec them with (at least) the 36 stock. I upgraded my 18 right off the bat
  • 1 0
And I was referring to strength and reliability over engagement.
  • 1 0
 @Primo123: yes, when engaged, there is much more surface area in contact which certainly helps. That said, there are many good pawl and ratchet systems with very low failure rates these days, and hubs with similar and superior star ratchet designs it's hard for me at least, to go DT.
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels: checked Erase out of curiosity, not a very good deal tbh. The same money wil get you 240s + the 56t upgrade, difference being they're almost 100g heavier than DT...
  • 1 0
 @ismasan: thats 54t upgrade for the DT Swiss, not 56t.

Looking at pricing on Erase, and then at a popular European online retailer for pricing:

Erase 148mm rear hub, 60T, 6 bolt IS
240 euro

DT 240 148mm rear hub, 18T, 6 bolt IS
210 euro

So, Erase is lighter, and cheaper if you consider you need to upgrade the ratchet. Please feel free to post what numbers you were looking at if you are seeing something different?

In Canada, DT pricing is a good deal higher because of local distributors being the middle men. Erase hubs are actually the cheaper alternative. So cheaper, lighter, better engagement, titanium freehub. Also, very thoughtful hub geometry, and, nicer bearing system.

They are a pretty good deal from my point of view.
  • 2 0
 @privateer-wheels: I see now after a deeper check, their website's a bit confusing. gives price and weight for the pair even though the specs seem to be for the rear.
Pretty good indeed Smile
  • 1 0
 @ismasan: no worries!

And yes, they are quite impressive.
  • 1 0
 So the 32H J-Hook can be used for trail, all mountain, Freeride and even downhill, but not Enduro? And the 28H Straightpull is made for both Enduro and trail, but not all mountain? Sounds logical...
  • 1 0
 Handy to replace a straight spoke trailside for enduro...?
  • 3 0
 I mean 10/10 on the sound effects
  • 2 0
 Judging by their pro testers, it seems you have a 50% chance of breaking a bone if you get these hubs.
  • 2 0
 Spank only make really solid stuff in my experience with them. Their rims are amazing. I'm sure these hubs will be good.
  • 1 0
 Super super super bulletproof. So super. So bulletproof, really super bulletproof!

lol Love it, I have a South African friend who talks just like this... "as well"
  • 3 1
 Does it really come with all that shit printed on it. It's almost a book.
  • 1 0
 Looks like atomlab pimplite 102 hub I have one on my hardtail and can say its very good hub Hooe Spank did same thing
  • 1 1
 Thanks Novatec for actually MAKING these! Now let's thing of a cool marketing campaign under our cool sexually-allusive name and claim it's our idea! DONE! Wink
  • 2 0
 Sounds like a Chris King
  • 1 0
 I love SpanK! Fully endorse them!
  • 1 0
 It's still just ratchets.
  • 1 0
 Don't hex my drive!

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