Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 52 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
TL;DR: Buy Onyx Hubs, if you have an issue, listen to Dan. Oh, and as a buddy in bike-shop business used to say - Custom Bike, Custom Problems.

For those with nothing better to do than listed to a story in which I hemorrhage money and learn to hike my bike: Grab a beverage, pick out your favorite easy chair and prepare for me to provide you perspective on how few issues you’ve had with your bike in the past year.

I purchased a 2020 Enduro Expert – came with Roval Traverse Carbons. Some of the best wheels I’ve ridden, until they weren’t. They’re light as anything I’ve ridden, spun up quick and took a solid beating under my heavy-ass. The Achilles heel, the GARBAGE DT 370 hubs. Doing a tech climb up a rock face in my local trails (laguna beach), it felt like my chain fell off; I looked down to find everything in tact BUT, I could spin the pedals forward by hand, off the bike. Some trail disassembly, I found I’d stripped the drive ring from the hub shell so I Aaron Gwin(ed) my way out.

Brought the bike into the shop from which I bought it and, as I was dead-center in the “Bikepocalypse”, the replacements would take months. Oh well, I had zero confidence in these wheels anyway. Figured I would sell them when they arrived and use the anticipated proceeds to buy my “dream” wheelset.

I looked at Hope, Chris King, and Onyx. I had great luck with Hope in the past but was looking for something with better engagement. After weeks of research and a couple calls to Chris King and Onyx, I pulled the trigger on the Onyx set from Colorado Cyclist. Onyx Vespers in Candy Red, NOX Farlow Rims (Enduro Carbon Layup), DT COMP black butted spokes, Brass Nipples, 32 - 3x for the build.

As these would take months as well, I threw on my backup HUNT Enduro Wides to hold me over. Finally, the Wheels showed up.

1940505


1940515


1940516


They felt good at first but the stoke was pretty high. After a while, they felt spongy. I can't explain it other than it felt like they had a certain wind-up to them. I did some research to find others complaining of a "rubber chain" feeling on the Vesper. I was bummed, spent good money to get instant engagement with a “wind-up” that was more irritating than any pawl system I’d ridden.

I get on the phone with Dan at Onyx. He said it doesn’t sound right. Put the front wheel against the wall and press down from the 3 o’ clock position to see if the sprag was slipping. This test revealed just how spongy the hubs were to me but there was no notable slipping. I was going to take them apart and clean the sprags/drive ring to ensure I was getting the most out of the hub. Note, Dan told me when I purchased the hubs that the 1.5 Sprag setup in the Vesper should be fine but he recommended the classics to be sure. I bought the Vesper as my buddy who is also 230lbs loved his.

I digress. I pull apart the assembly and clean everything with isopropyl alcohol and reassemble. Similar result… Meanwhile, my warranty Roval wheels show up with 350 hubs. Damnit… Had I known they were going to upgrade me, I would’ve rocked the Hunt until the Roval showed up. Oh well, ship has sailed. Sold the Rovals and kept on the Onyx train.

Next ride (Chutes in Santiago), I hit a step-down in the middle of the trail and, upon landing, everything locks up and my rear end skids to a hault. WTF. Chain sucked into the wheel, cut spokes, destroyed rear triangle, bent derailleur hanger… Another walk-out. I send the pictures to Dan, he recommends I send him the wheel to look over and offers to replace the hub-shell at his cost even though the failure is no fault of his. I know the lead time on these things so I take it to my LBS for an inspection and they tell me I am fine to rebuild, so I do.

1940506


1940507


1940509


I get my hands on a new rear triangle (thanks, Specialized!) but it’s black… Now I have a red bike with a black rear triangle. Time for an Element 6 custom paint job to maintain my frame warranty since the wheel rebuild at my LBS is going to take 8 weeks thanks to COVID shop backup. I designed the paintwork and drop off the frame at Element6 and wheel at my LBS.

In the meantime, I grab a Road-bike for night-rides through winter. Gross…

Wheel is done, bike is done, I build it up and take it out. It’s beautiful but the rear wheel feels… off.
1940510


I don’t dare take it back to my LBS, their lead time was crap. Instead, I invest in wheel building tools to ensure I’m not left without again. $600 later, I’m set. I test the spoke tension and it’s all over the map. Throw the wheel on the stand, fix it (first time, took me hours to even it out and get it true/round). Everything’s peaches.

1940513


1940514


The more time I spend on the wheels, the more I grow to dislike the “rubber chain” feeling. I ordered a set of Raceface R31 wheels to swap out the Onyx and confirm it’s the hub I’m feeling, it’s not in my head. I shoot an email to Dan and let him know I am giving up on the hubs – Not asking for anything. I work for an American manufacturing company and told him I’d want to know if a customer gave up on my “premium” product. He replies with one final plea to get the hubs/wheels back.

As I had traded them out, I had nothing to lose. I strip them of the rotors and 2 bolts are seized. One successfully ez-outs, the other I drill into the hub shell. Of course, this is on the FRONT that had nothing wrong with it. Not, I’ll need to replace both hubs. Saga continues… I shipped them back to Dan. In the meantime, a few rides into my custom paint job, frame snaps at the seat-tube/top-tube junction. Fantastic; $1,000 paint job down the toilet, Specialized warranties the frame within a week with a raspberry SWORKS. Awesome service but renders all my red kit parts worthless.

1940512


Dan received the wheels and confirms “contamination” in the rear clutches. He wants to warranty the wheel. I tell him to do whatever he wants as they wouldn’t match the new frame anyway so I’ll be selling them. After a quick conversation, I tell him I want to upgrade to the classic hubs in black and I’d bear the cost of the upgrade – nothing but the “contaminated” clutches were his problem after-all. I brace for another $800-$1,000 hit on this damn build.

A couple weeks later, the wheels show up at my shop. No call, not email – nothing. Black, classic hubs, front and rear, new spokes – perfectly built. I couldn’t believe it. Out of pure Stoke on the service and because I’d spent $600 on wheel building tools/spokes to maintain this “lifetime” wheelset, I threw them back on.

I am thrilled – the Classics have a TOUCH of wind up but nothing compared to my original issue. To be fair, there was an issue with my Vespers so I can’t speak to how they should feel but I couldn’t be happier with my Classics. Engagement is instant and I am back to descending in silence. To be fair, I loved my R31 wheelset but have grown to hate any/all hub noise. I still have them and may keep them as backups BUT, I’m back on the Onyx bandwagon. Dan’s service has been top-notch. Communication was slow, but that’s to be expected with the volume of inquiries everyone’s suffering at the moment.

Aside from the gun industry, I’ve not received this level of service. To have new hubs, front and rear, that exceed the cost of the originals I purchased, laced and shipped on Onyx’s dime all because I never took him up on his offer to look at my rear wheel has me floored. I’ll be Dan’s customer for life; ironically, I think he wants nothing more than for me to go away.

And of course, (who doesn't love a happy ending?) how the bike sits today:
1940511
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Pretty sweet upgrade by specialized too
Honorable mention to Specialized for sure. They handled the wheel, rear triangle and frame no questions asked. After the last issue, i was so fed up i was going to swap to a Raaw madonna but they had the new frame to me in 1.5 weeks with a new rear shock and headset. Thrilled with their service as well. They got me the wheels and rear triangle when supply was SUPER short too. Built this one up as I'm a believer in their lifetime warranty as, apparently, I am the one that utilizes everyone's' warranty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
TL;DR: Buy Onyx Hubs, if you have an issue, listen to Dan. Oh, and as a buddy in bike-shop business used to say - Custom Bike, Custom Problems.

For those with nothing better to do than listed to a story in which I hemorrhage money and learn to hike my bike: Grab a beverage, pick out your favorite easy chair and prepare for me to provide you perspective on how few issues you’ve had with your bike in the past year.

I purchased a 2020 Enduro Expert – came with Roval Traverse Carbons. Some of the best wheels I’ve ridden, until they weren’t. They’re light as anything I’ve ridden, spun up quick and took a solid beating under my heavy-ass. The Achilles heel, the GARBAGE DT 370 hubs. Doing a tech climb up a rock face in my local trails (laguna beach), it felt like my chain fell off; I looked down to find everything in tact BUT, I could spin the pedals forward by hand, off the bike. Some trail disassembly, I found I’d stripped the drive ring from the hub shell so I Aaron Gwin(ed) my way out.

Brought the bike into the shop from which I bought it and, as I was dead-center in the “Bikepocalypse”, the replacements would take months. Oh well, I had zero confidence in these wheels anyway. Figured I would sell them when they arrived and use the anticipated proceeds to buy my “dream” wheelset.

I looked at Hope, Chris King, and Onyx. I had great luck with Hope in the past but was looking for something with better engagement. After weeks of research and a couple calls to Chris King and Onyx, I pulled the trigger on the Onyx set from Colorado Cyclist. Onyx Vespers in Candy Red, NOX Farlow Rims (Enduro Carbon Layup), DT COMP black butted spokes, Brass Nipples, 32 - 3x for the build.

As these would take months as well, I threw on my backup HUNT Enduro Wides to hold me over. Finally, the Wheels showed up.

View attachment 1940505

View attachment 1940515

View attachment 1940516

They felt good at first but the stoke was pretty high. After a while, they felt spongy. I can't explain it other than it felt like they had a certain wind-up to them. I did some research to find others complaining of a "rubber chain" feeling on the Vesper. I was bummed, spent good money to get instant engagement with a “wind-up” that was more irritating than any pawl system I’d ridden.

I get on the phone with Dan at Onyx. He said it doesn’t sound right. Put the front wheel against the wall and press down from the 3 o’ clock position to see if the sprag was slipping. This test revealed just how spongy the hubs were to me but there was no notable slipping. I was going to take them apart and clean the sprags/drive ring to ensure I was getting the most out of the hub. Note, Dan told me when I purchased the hubs that the 1.5 Sprag setup in the Vesper should be fine but he recommended the classics to be sure. I bought the Vesper as my buddy who is also 230lbs loved his.

I digress. I pull apart the assembly and clean everything with isopropyl alcohol and reassemble. Similar result… Meanwhile, my warranty Roval wheels show up with 350 hubs. Damnit… Had I known they were going to upgrade me, I would’ve rocked the Hunt until the Roval showed up. Oh well, ship has sailed. Sold the Rovals and kept on the Onyx train.

Next ride (Chutes in Santiago), I hit a step-down in the middle of the trail and, upon landing, everything locks up and my rear end skids to a hault. WTF. Chain sucked into the wheel, cut spokes, destroyed rear triangle, bent derailleur hanger… Another walk-out. I send the pictures to Dan, he recommends I send him the wheel to look over and offers to replace the hub-shell at his cost even though the failure is no fault of his. I know the lead time on these things so I take it to my LBS for an inspection and they tell me I am fine to rebuild, so I do.

View attachment 1940506

View attachment 1940507

View attachment 1940509

I get my hands on a new rear triangle (thanks, Specialized!) but it’s black… Now I have a red bike with a black rear triangle. Time for an Element 6 custom paint job to maintain my frame warranty since the wheel rebuild at my LBS is going to take 8 weeks thanks to COVID shop backup. I designed the paintwork and drop off the frame at Element6 and wheel at my LBS.

In the meantime, I grab a Road-bike for night-rides through winter. Gross…

Wheel is done, bike is done, I build it up and take it out. It’s beautiful but the rear wheel feels… off.
View attachment 1940510

I don’t dare take it back to my LBS, their lead time was crap. Instead, I invest in wheel building tools to ensure I’m not left without again. $600 later, I’m set. I test the spoke tension and it’s all over the map. Throw the wheel on the stand, fix it (first time, took me hours to even it out and get it true/round). Everything’s peaches.

View attachment 1940513

View attachment 1940514

The more time I spend on the wheels, the more I grow to dislike the “rubber chain” feeling. I ordered a set of Raceface R31 wheels to swap out the Onyx and confirm it’s the hub I’m feeling, it’s not in my head. I shoot an email to Dan and let him know I am giving up on the hubs – Not asking for anything. I work for an American manufacturing company and told him I’d want to know if a customer gave up on my “premium” product. He replies with one final plea to get the hubs/wheels back.

As I had traded them out, I had nothing to lose. I strip them of the rotors and 2 bolts are seized. One successfully ez-outs, the other I drill into the hub shell. Of course, this is on the FRONT that had nothing wrong with it. Not, I’ll need to replace both hubs. Saga continues… I shipped them back to Dan. In the meantime, a few rides into my custom paint job, frame snaps at the seat-tube/top-tube junction. Fantastic; $1,000 paint job down the toilet, Specialized warranties the frame within a week with a raspberry SWORKS. Awesome service but renders all my red kit parts worthless.

View attachment 1940512

Dan received the wheels and confirms “contamination” in the rear clutches. He wants to warranty the wheel. I tell him to do whatever he wants as they wouldn’t match the new frame anyway so I’ll be selling them. After a quick conversation, I tell him I want to upgrade to the classic hubs in black and I’d bear the cost of the upgrade – nothing but the “contaminated” clutches were his problem after-all. I brace for another $800-$1,000 hit on this damn build.

A couple weeks later, the wheels show up at my shop. No call, not email – nothing. Black, classic hubs, front and rear, new spokes – perfectly built. I couldn’t believe it. Out of pure Stoke on the service and because I’d spent $600 on wheel building tools/spokes to maintain this “lifetime” wheelset, I threw them back on.

I am thrilled – the Classics have a TOUCH of wind up but nothing compared to my original issue. To be fair, there was an issue with my Vespers so I can’t speak to how they should feel but I couldn’t be happier with my Classics. Engagement is instant and I am back to descending in silence. To be fair, I loved my R31 wheelset but have grown to hate any/all hub noise. I still have them and may keep them as backups BUT, I’m back on the Onyx bandwagon. Dan’s service has been top-notch. Communication was slow, but that’s to be expected with the volume of inquiries everyone’s suffering at the moment.

Aside from the gun industry, I’ve not received this level of service. To have new hubs, front and rear, that exceed the cost of the originals I purchased, laced and shipped on Onyx’s dime all because I never took him up on his offer to look at my rear wheel has me floored. I’ll be Dan’s customer for life; ironically, I think he wants nothing more than for me to go away.

And of course, (who doesn't love a happy ending?) how the bike sits today:
View attachment 1940511
Great read. I had a set of wheels built by Dave's Wheels in Arizona last month, and he had them back to me in SoCal within 7 days. I had all the parts shipped to him and he was quite quick with great communication during the whole process of a wheel build during these crazy times. I was turned off by the local shops wait times, so I figured I would give Dave a try, and I'm glad I did.
 

·
In Transit
Joined
·
1,034 Posts
The issues with the Vespers have been well documented on this very forum and were enough to sway me towards the Classics again when I was looking a year ago even with the weight hit. Glad that your story had a happy ending though. I still think that the Classics have a touch of wind up on engagement compared to something like an i9 Hydra but the sound of silence makes it all worthwhile in certain applications.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,833 Posts
That's crazy bad luck. I haven't had that many warranty issues with 10 bikes over the past 20 years. Glad Specialized and Onyx took care of you. (And yeah, you ought to think about changing the title to something less negative for Onyx)
 

·
Registered
Talentless dirt-roadie
Joined
·
744 Posts
You left us hanging on the rear triangle, but the photo suggests everything matches, so I guess that too was a happy ending?

I've been very happy with Chris King, fwiw. I was coveting the Vespers for a hypothetical future road bike set of wheels, but this has given me pause...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
There is only 1 hub option for me after destroying several brands = Chris King.
Yeah, i was regretting not going King - used their stuff in my road racing days exclusively without a single issue, ever. BUT, the sounds of silence lured me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You left us hanging on the rear triangle, but the photo suggests everything matches, so I guess that too was a happy ending?

I've been very happy with Chris King, fwiw. I was coveting the Vespers for a hypothetical future road bike set of wheels, but this has given me pause...
Rear triangle blew out as a result of the crappy Specialized 2-piece design.

1940538


They warrantied it with a black one so i had the bike stripped and painted Raw with Red Graphics.
1940543


1940539


1940540


1940541


Oh, and I upgraded to the NSB derailleur hanger.

1940542
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That's crazy bad luck. I haven't had that many warranty issues with 10 bikes over the past 20 years. Glad Specialized and Onyx took care of you. (And yeah, you ought to think about changing the title to something less negative for Onyx)
Agreed - before this, I had never had a single warranty issue in 15 years. I like the title, it'll draw people in when searching but, duly noted.
 
1 - 20 of 52 Posts
Top