I’m an experienced bike mechanic and an enthusiastic bike rider. I’ve worked in a few local bike shops and can say I’ve a good touch setting things up.
But if there’s one thing that has always baffled me is how many people prefer or rather choose their hubs based on how loud they are.
Of course, back then, loud hubs were the trend. I understand nothing was better than the zzzzzzz of the Profile Hubs. It was awesome.
Initially, the idea of owning loud hubs was also to let other riders know you’re passing, especially in crowded spaces.
But after owning them for a while, I don’t like anymore. I’m now a happy owner of a silent Stealth Hub by Precision Component. I don’t know whether it’s just me, but I prefer shouting “coming through” instead and saying hello to other riders.
Today, I prefer to hear the sound of my tires grinding and the scrabbling of pebbles as I ride.
And make no mistake, for years, the biking community has fallen into the trap of thinking that only the loud hubs were better built and engineered.
While that may be true for some loud hubs, there’s no arguing that some silent hubs are also designed with reliability and performance in mind.
Of course, you can always “silence” your hubs with some extra grease and maintenance.
But either way, I’m not here to start a debate; I know bikers are a highly opinionated bunch.
I aim to share how to level up your performance with the best bike hubs.
In my opinion, bike hubs are probably the most important part after the bike itself. While they often come as an afterthought, the wrong pair of hubs means you’re more likely to break your spoke holes and bend your rims.
While cheap components can hold up well in other parts of your bike, the hubs aren’t one of those.
Based on my experience, I’ll share with you some of my favorite BMX hubs and share my experience using them.
Plus, if you’ve time, you can go through my comprehensive buying guide later to help with the selection.
Table of Contents
The Best BMX Hubs For The Money
#1 Profile Elite Bike Hub - EDITOR'S CHOICE
After a thorough review and research of the best hubs, I settled for the Profile Elite Bike hub.
Out of the many reasons, I choose the Profile hubs because of the brand name and reputation.
See, Profile has been in the market for quite a long time, and they’ve made a name with their quality production and manufacturing.
The Profile Elite Hubs rank highly in their list of the best hubs for BMX.
They’ve been in the market for seven years now, and while it’s normal for me to review aged products, this hub is different.
It’s a unique product that excels on different fronts and will level up your performance.
At the heart of the Profile, Elite BMX Hub is an ultra-drive system consisting of six pawls mated with a 68-step ratchet ring.
One of the benefits I noticed with this system was the instantaneous engagement.
Unlike my previous generic hubs, which proved difficult to use on the arduous terrain, Profile hub one did help with the more technical climbs, especially in the hilly terrains.
Secondly, the system has so many points on it, and I was pleased with the power it gave when leaving corners.
Simply put, the hub didn’t fail to provide the gas needed, and any pedal movement transferred plenty of power for great performance.
When riding, I couldn’t help but notice the Profile hubs were loud. Yes, it came with the distinctive zzzzzz sound, which Profile likens to “Furious Wasp.”
While I’m not a big fan of the loud hubs, I’ve to admit I liked this one. Yes, it meant that everyone noticed me passing by, but if I forget my bells, everyone should hear me passing in plenty of time. On top of that, it didn’t affect the performance in any way.
Speaking of Profile’s performance, I’m impressed with its overall compatibility.
See, the original Elite hubs would only accommodate the 10mm axle size. In most cases, BMX riders had to use an adapter to fit the larger dropouts.
But with the new iteration, Profile has expanded its hub range to include 15, 20, and 15mm bolts. I’m happy because I can now take the full benefits provided by the larger hub axle and frame dropouts combo.
On top of that, this hub is also versatile enough to accommodate different race configurations. I love it because I can use it not only on freestyle bikes but on any BMX bike.
Meanwhile, Profile’s ride performance is ultra-smooth, with minimal rotation before engagement.
I can’t really fault the hub even when I was racing. I didn’t experience any drag through the pawls, and the overall engagement was seamless.
Durability was also on point and simply bomb-proof.
In the several months I’ve been using this hub, I’ve not experienced any crash or wear. The pawls look tired, though, but are still going strong and as expected.
I’m also not concerned with the extra heft of the hubs, as plenty of riders are. It’s only a few grams, and in my opinion, the hubs are really one of the things you want to build stout for durability.
Overall, the Profile Elite hubs are a great purchase for any BMX build.
My only concern with these BMX hubs was the price.
They’re super-expensive, but you get a lot of goodies for the price, including an instant engagement and different configurations for different wheel sizes.
I would highly recommend it.
#2 Profile Z Coaster Freecoaster Hub - Premium Cassette Hub
For my love of the Profile, I’ve added another one from the brand.
Sorry about that, but this is different.
But not that much because it still has the awesome DNA profile of all the Profile’s BMX hubs.
It’s one of my favorite purchases so far, and I love it because it’s one of the most advanced and uniquely engineered products in the market.
The Freecoaster, also known as the Z-coaster, has received a lot of love from the BMX community, thanks to its unique functionality.
It’s one of the few multi-purpose hubs that can double as both a freecoaster and a cassette hub, so it gives riders a huge range of options for performing tricks, different riding styles, and so much more.
Freecoaster is a cassette hub that doubles up as a freecoaster. So, yes, it offers the awesome noise of a cassette hub and the functionality of a coaster.
Of course, I understand some of you may not understand the need for such a hub, but I’ll explain.
Unlike my previous freecoaster, I can use pedal pressure on this hub when performing tricks, thanks to the short engagement time.
Remember, pedal pressure is even more critical for brakeless riding. It helps me to stay balanced at all times, especially when doing the stalls.
With the Z-coaster, I can effortlessly manage to perform the stalls on the rear wheel and, at the same time, coast pedal backwards without worrying much about my legs.
The other benefit of the Z-coaster cassette hub purchase is adaptability.
It’s one of the most versatile units we’ve been around, and I love that I can effortlessly customize it to fit any of my BMX wheel sizes.
I’m pleased with the four engagement lengths that help achieve the right fit when building or upgrading your crankset from scratch.
On the trails, the Z-coaster cassette hub is everything you would want on a set of BMX hubs.
My bikes feel like I’m sliding, and I notice how smooth the sealed bearings roll right away. Plus, the coasting speed seemed to increase.
While the cassette hub may not have plenty of point engagement like our first pick, the 48-point engagement is sufficient to provide the power needed to pedal.
It doesn’t have delay either, and the one we noticed was the chain tensioning, which was ever so slight.
Otherwise, the cassette hub has a nice feel to it, hitting the ground fast. The crips deliver power, inspire more confidence and maximize energy efficiency.
On top of that, the cassette hub is designed with durability in mind. It’ll stand up to the test of time and accommodate the abuses and frequent use.
Overall, the Z-coaster cassette hub is a nice purchase and delivers in every department.
My only concern is the price is a little hard to stomach. But if you’ve the budget for the hub, I’d strongly advise that you go for it. Z-coaster cassette hub worth the money.
#3 Odyssey Hub Rear Clutch V2 - Value Purchase
The Odyssey Rear Hub Clutch V2 is an update of the original Odyssey Hub.
It takes all the incredible aspects of the original and spices it with some new improvements.
I’m pleased with the purchase because it has really unlocked some ability for me.
See, while I was good at performing fakies, I couldn’t go for long distances. This coaster has changed everything now and made things more fluid.
But how good is this coaster?
First thing first, I’m in love with the fit and finish. Everything on this hub looks high quality, and the hub itself feels beefy and is running smoothly.
When in use, I love how well the sealed bearings roll, and after a couple of uses, I feel this purchase was built to last.
Out of the box, this traditional clutch-based coaster performs as I expected.
It eliminates all the problematic elements of the normal hubs. For example, the absence of sealed bearings configuration, 14-mm sturdy axle size, and a drag mechanism design eliminates the need for constant repairs.
The ease of adjustment is out of this world and definitely more convenient. While it took me some time to find the perfect angle of inserting the Allen key, once I did, it became extremely easy to recall adjusting for the second time.
Performance-wise, I couldn’t get enough of Odyssey Hub Rear Clutch V2’s engagement. Yes, it’s nothing like a cassette hub, but it’s decent by all means. It feels spongy, though, but not in a horrible way.
When riding, I noticed that it eased me into the movement, and once I was fully engaged, I appreciated the feel of pedaling hard with a cheap chain.
The slack on the hub is nice, though the experience may differ depending on the gear ratio. But either way, when the slack adjustment is set at max, you get a nice feel to your ride and a nice engagement.
The crank flip-ability is also decent, though not the best. I was under the impression that the hub would flip instantly, but it’s a bit stiff. But once you test-ride it a couple of times and break into it, you’ll love the progress.
While the Odyssey Hub Rear Clutch V2 isn’t expensive, many riders love that it comes with an array of accessories. It offers value for money.
My favorite add-on is the semi-tight-fitting slide on the polymer guard. It offers great coverage, and like the premium Uniguards, it also protects the dropouts.
The 14mm Chromoly bolt sprocket, along with the other hub hardware, is solid.
I thought the 14mm hollow female axle bolts would turn out to be flimsy, but they mean business. Everything else, including the washers, threads, bolts, and drivers, is solid.
Overall, the Odyssey Hub Rear Clutch V2 is a nice purchase. It’s reliable, durable, and comes at a fraction of the Profile hubs.
#4 Black Ops MX-1100 BMX Hub – Best Budget Purchase
I’m pleased with this complete wheel BMX hub.
Black Ops has done a nice job of creating a BMX hub that is exciting and works well.
First, the Black Ops MX-1100 BMX Hub is exactly as advertised. IT comes packaged nicely and in perfect condition.
The hub is smooth and works well on my son’s BMX bike.
One of the draws with this BMX hub is the price.
Unlike the expensive Profile racing hubs, Black Ops MX-1100 BMX Hub is a nice budget replacement for BMX riders looking for an easy and inexpensive install.
And don’t mistake the inexpensive pricing with unreliability or anything.
Black Ops affordable BMX Hub is made of t6 aluminum (aluminum construction), so it’s sturdy and durable. It takes on all the abuses and beatings of rough riding without breaking down or anything.
Installing this bad boy is also a breeze and won’t take much time. It’s effortless, and even if you’ve not done it before, you’ll not struggle a lot getting it on the wheels.
For example, it features sealed bearings that don’t need any adjustment like the cone bearings do.
The performance of this hub is also on point, and I love that it has upped my son’s game.
On the ride, the front wheels feel smooth and solid. Unlike any other hub, it doesn’t feel wobbly and worn like the cone and ball-bearing hubs.
You can’t mount two-disc brake motors on the front hub, but again, that would be useless as this rear hub isn’t set up for mounting a rotor at all. You need a hub designed for that purpose, and your forks should have the fitting of mounting a caliper.
But the good news is, the Black Ops MX-1100 BMX Hub is ultra-convenient and built for BMX bikes.
It’s a true BMX hub, with the lock nuts spaced at the BMX standard of 110mm. So, yes, it’ll effortlessly fit on all your BMX wheels.
Finally, the manufacturing quality of the Black Ops rear hub is impressive for the price.
Not the best theirs is, but the sealed bearings are smooth for a seamless ride performance, and the threads are machined precisely for long-term durability.
My only concern with this hub is the axle on the hub is a bit too short to accommodate chain tensioners. It’s a big shame, considering how good the hubs are.
But overall, if you need an inexpensive replacement that will outdo your previous hub, you can’t really go wrong with the Black Ops rear BMX Hub.
#5 Eastern Bikes Freecoaster BMX Hub – Simple BMX Hub
I bought the Eastern Bikes Freecoaster to switch out a coaster on my son’s BMX bike and it worked perfectly.
We love it because it’s simple to install and use, yet, it makes for an enduring freecoaster hub.
Performance-wise, it ticks on all the boxes and will help you pull off the tricky freestyle tricks while rolling backward.
Ideal for the adventurous dirt jump rider, this free coaster hub can rack thousands of miles without an issue. It’s a durable option that will outlive your bike’s frame and take on all the abuses like a champ.
While remaining durable, Eastern Freecoaster provides the perfect platform for managing and enhancing your stunts.
For example, riders benefit from a couple of sealed bearings that support the axle and a nice positioning that minimizes the overall drag.
When riding Eastern Freecoaster, you’ll notice how seamless your paddling becomes and how the hub’s geometry helps with an improved lateral stiffness on the wheels.
Setting this free coaster hub is also a breeze and won’t take much effort or time.
The slack adjustment is nice, and I’m pleased with how well the freecoaster hub converts into a cassette hub, depending on your riding style.
My only concern was how the slack sometimes tries to skip out, but it’s nothing biggie because my son is still riding strong.
Another issue was how the slack is excessively small, but my son has gotten used to it over time. In fact, he takes it as an advantage over other freecoaster because he can press with the cranks, and the mace doesn’t suffer any damage.
Overall, the Eastern Bikes Freecoaster BMX Hub is a great hub. It may not have the bells and whistles of other BMX hubs, but it works.
Best Bike Hubs Buying Guide
After our comprehensive review, I’m certain that you already have several options in mind.
But if you need to narrow your selection further, our buying guide below will help.
I’ll share everything you need to know about selecting the best BMX hub from your local bike shop in the section below.
But before then, let me first share with you the different types of BMX hubs.
Knowing the different options will make the selection easier and allow you to make the appropriate decision.
Types of BMX Hubs
There’re two main BMX hubs, and they include:
1) Cassette hubs
2) Freecoaster hubs
Cassette hubs allow you to pedal forward and roll backward by engaging hub pawls.
If the BMX bike is pushed backward on a cassette hub, the pedals turn anti-clockwise along with the wheel’s rotation.
Another distinctive feature of the cassette hubs is they tend to make noise. You’ll notice the cassette hubs from the clicking noise they make whenever a bike rolls past you.
The clicking noises result from the pawls on the freewheel hitting the spine when the wheel is turned.
Generally, the cassette hubs are ideal for the street rider who loves doing a lot of tire taps and likes flowing bowls.
Personally, I love the Cassette hub over the freecoaster hub because it eliminates slack.
I like the cassette hubs’ engagement surfaces and that I can pedal around and tire tap.
The freecoaster hubs are popular with street riders and flatland riders.
These hubs are commonly used for performing tricks that involve riding backward, usually referred to as a fakie.
When doing a fakie on a freecoaster hub, there’s no need for street riding backward as you can just freewheel while you pedal backwards.
Now, if you’ve not ridden a freecoaster before, you’re probably thinking it sounds great, but some elements make the freecoaster hubs less attractive than the cassette hubs.
First, they’re not as reliable or as tough as the regular hubs. The reason is their technology is still new and not as solid as the cassette hub.
The freecoaster hubs are also more expensive than the cassette hub.
Performance-wise, the freecoaster hubs suffer from engagement lag.
This means, unlike the normal bike, which engages the drivetrain after riding, you need to move the cranks at an angle on a freecoaster hub before moving.
So, if you forget the adjustment, you’re likely to fall off because of the slack in the crank.
Factors to Consider when Selecting the Best Bike Hubs
Now that you understand the different types of BMX hubs, let’s consider the factors to ensure you pick the right one for your needs.
Material of Hub Shell
Generally, most of the hubs are made out of the heat- treated metal alloys.
While many brands don’t specify the type of heat-treated alloy used, we recommend the 6061 alloys.
The 6061 alloy/ t6 aluminum has better resistance to corrosion and stress cracking.
Durability isn’t a huge priority for the hub shell as ductility and resistivity to corrosion are.
Your choice of hub shell should provide sufficient support for the spoke holes.
Mount for Rotor
Usually, hubs consist of either a center-lock mount or a 6-bolt sprocket for disc rotors.
The differences between these two are negligible. I can recommend either of the selections.
Axle and Spacing
You need to consider the axle size that your fork uses.
Usually, the sizes are 20, 12, or 15 mm. Alternatively, you can use a 5mm quick-release system.
The other factor to consider is the spacing.
In most cases, you’ll have a boost or non-boost. In rare cases, you’ll come across the super-boost.
When choosing your BMX hub, you also want to consider the type of freehub body you need.
Your choice will, of course, depend on your drivetrain and cassette.
The hub weight varies on different brands, but generally, a cassette hub tends to be lighter.
Also, front hubs tend to be lighter than rear hubs.
Many BMX hubs come with interchangeable hub guards.
Hub guards are essential in protecting your wheel’s spoke holes and hub flanges.
I prefer hub guards with broader coverage.
Noise is quite a subjective and personal issue.
You can choose a loud or silent hub.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Profile Elite Bike hub is a winner for the best BMX hubs.
I know some riders might shy from this hub because of the price, but I can tell you after riding the Profile racing, my experience has been more fun and powerful.
In particular, it’s a great option for the creative BMX rider that loves trying different stuff and wants faster progress.