In 2004 or so, Corey Benson and I decided to build the world’s lightest mountain bike. Corey had recently shipped a Moots YBB worth a grippy grundle, and UPS had lost it. It was insured, and so suddenly Corey was sitting on a fat wad of cash. After spending a decent amount of it at on Pork ‘Wings’ and Buffalo Trace at Guido’s, we hatched a plan to out weight weenie the weight weenies. Alas, a series of compromises lead to the bike being heavier than it should have been. I wanted all rim brakes, he wanted a front disc brake, and so on. It turned out to be 14.1 lbs or something like that. The raddest parts of the bike were the cranks and brake levers. Both were made by the Italian company Extralite.
Masters of the CNC machine, Extralite made and makes some of the lightest bike parts out there. Looking at their website, it looks like Extralite is locked into 2005, with it’s dated design. Make no mistake, the products are ultra techy, and have been in constant refinement since that time.
Extralite makes a bunch of hubs, and while we can get ya any of them, the traditional J Bend hubs are our favorites. The mountain J bend hubs come in a number of configurations, from quick release to 100 / 142mm to Boost spacing, in 28 or 32h.
A rear Extralite hub weighs less than an Onyx front hub. Engagment is fast. They’re not super quiet. The engagement system is like a super paired down version of the DT star ratchet. It’s simplified, in a good way. All the wearable parts are replaceable, and it’s easy to do so. You can microadjust the bearings, something only a handful of nice hubs let you do. This is done with the wheel on the bike, which is fast and convenient.
Who are these hubs for, and who are they not for?
For: Riders under 200lbs who don’t plan on doing heavy loaded touring, or riders under 160lbs doing bike packing. Riders who are looking for a very light, high quality hub that don’t mind replacing the ratchet when it wears down. Great for gravel racing, bike packing races, anywhere weight is a concern.
Not for: Folks who will gripe about having to adjust bearings every year. Folks who break parts on the regular. Riders who like to spend time in the air.
Do yourself a favor and pair these hubs with CX Ray spokes and light rims. We like the Spank Flare rims or the Velocity Blunt SS with these.
15x100mm front, 28h, Black ONLY
12x142 Shimano HG Rear or XD Driver w/ 36 points of engagement, 28h, Black ONLY