SRAM X0 Rear Hub

Vital Rating: (Spectacular)
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SRAM X0 Rear Hub
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Tested: SRAM X0 Hubs

Rating: Vital Review

Review by Fred Robinson // Photos by Fred Robinson and @luca_cometti_photo (Action)

When you buy any X0 product from SRAM, you’re obviously expecting the best in regard to performance, weight and durability. And, as the their downhill line has expanded, one thing has always been missing: an X0 hub with downhill spacing. When SRAM finally came out with a 12x150//157 hub in the X0 line a little over a year ago, we couldn’t wait to get our paws on a set and mount them to our downhill bike. Featuring 6.9-degree engagement (52 points) via SRAM’s DOUBLE TIME ratchet design and spinning on SPEEDBALL bearings, which are said to offer low resistance for faster spinning wheels, we’ve put laps-on-laps-on-laps on the new hubs to see if they live up to the X0 expectation.

SRAM X0 Hubs Features

  • Weight - Front: 130g, Rear: 250g (hub weights in lightest configuration)
  • Material - Alloy
  • Options - Front: QR, 15x100, 15x110 (BOOST), 20x110 (Tested) Rear: 12x135, 12x142, 12x148 (BOOST), 12x150 (Tested), 12x157
  • Colors - Sand-blasted black with red label (Tested), Glossy black with silver accents
  • Spoke Holes - 28, 32
  • Rotor Compatibility - International Standard - 6 bolt
  • Driver Mechanism - 11-speed XD Driver Body, 10-, 9-, and 8-speed driver body
  • Axle Material - Tapered aluminum axle
  • Bearings - SPEEDBALL
  • MSRP: Rear - $375 // Front - $197 USD

Initial Impressions

Since these hubs were destined for our downhill bike, we tested the 12x150 and 20x110 hubs in the 32-hole configuration. While we didn’t get a chance to weigh the hubs on their own, the claimed weight from SRAM, at 130g (front) 265g (rear), puts them right alongside some of the other top-end hubs available.

The sand-blasted matte black finish and distinct red and white X0 logo give the hubs a subdued appearance which we appreciate, and the bearings felt incredibly smooth from the get-go. Another nice feature we noticed right off the bat is that there are no cone adjustments and everything just presses together. Not having to fiddle with preloading bearings is always a plus, and even though the cones and driver press in, they fit snug and secure so we never have to worry about one falling out when we remove the wheel; something those who have traveled long distances to a race only to find that one part missing will appreciate.

The four-pawl DOUBLE TIME driver system, which uses a 26-tooth ratchet ring with two pawls engaging at a time, has a distinct, audible but not super loud sound to it. Basically, it’s noticeable while pushing your bike or just rolling to the trailhead, but not so loud that you hear it during your entire run.

On The Trail

Hubs only have to do a few things, so they better do them well. We always felt the X0 hubs to have a defined, positive feel of engagement when we put the power down. The 52 points of engagement, while not mandatory for a downhill bike, means that even when you can’t get a full pedal stroke in, you can still generate a bit of forward momentum with a partial crank. Sure, there are hubs out there with higher engagement numbers, but there are also plenty more with far lower engagement, usually around 24 points. That said, we found the 52-point X0 hubs to offer a quick response which is helpful when precision counts, and precision definitely counts in downhill.

Another thing we noted was the X0 hubs run surprisingly drag-free. Simply holding the wheels in our hands and spinning them, the hubs keep things rotating for quite some time. This translates to a faster rolling bike, and who doesn’t want that?

The sound of the freehub on the X0 hubs is pretty much "in the middle," somewhere between a super loud hub and a completely silent one. As we noted in the previous section, they’re loud enough that you can hear them while casually coasting on your bike, but when you have to focus on the trail ahead, the sound quickly fades out of mind. Some people want a loud hub, and some want a hub that runs as silently as possible, so it really boils down to personal choice here.

Things That Could Be Improved?

There’s only one thing we can think of to nit-pick at regarding the SRAM X0 hubs, and that would be the hubs requiring two different length spokes should you have to build them up. We ran the numbers and for our particular build, we’d have needed both a 270mm spoke and a 273mm, which is just too big of a difference to get away with just buying a single box of spokes. Beyond that, we have nothing bad to say about these hubs.

Long Term Durability

We’ve been on the X0 hubs for nearly eight months. So far, they’ve required no maintenance. We’ve ridden them in all-out muck and mud, as well as logged plenty of laps in dry, dusty SoCal conditions; both of which can wreak havoc on moving parts. The seals have done an excellent job at keeping the bearings running smoothly and the pawls positively engage every time we put down the power. We foresee these hubs lasting us quite a while.

What’s The Bottom Line?

Lots of engagement, pretty darn light and a no-nonsense approach to designing a hub; what’s not to like? Sure, we could gripe about the price, which may seem high to some, but in reality the X0 hubs are priced pretty much on-par with most other high-end hubs. We dig the combination of traditional J-bend hub flanges and simple configuration of the bearing/cone/driver assembly, which makes service a breeze. When all is said and done, the X0 hub’s ability to adapt to ever-changing hub spacing standards while providing worry-free reliability, means we can see these hubs lasting through seasons of abuse, making their way in to multiple wheel builds while working with future frames.

For more information, visit www.sram.com


About The Reviewer

Fred Robinson, a.k.a. "Derf," has been on two wheels since he was two years old. He picked up a mountain bike in 2004 and started racing downhill in 2006. He has seen moderate success racing CAT 1 but focuses his efforts on building, maintaining and riding his local trails. He's deceptively quick for a bigger guy and likes steep, fast trails where he can hang it off the back of the bike. As a SoCal native he mostly rides trails covered with loose, traction-less turns and sharp, immovable rocks. Besides downhill, he rides trail bikes, road, and also enjoys the occasional dirt jump session.

Specifications

Product SRAM X0 Rear Hub
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail, Freeride / Bike Park, Downhill, Dirt Jump / Slopestyle
Hub Body Material Alloy
Cassette Body Material Alloy
Rear Axle 12mm x 135mm, 12mm x 142mm, 12mm x 148mm (Boost), 12mm x 150mm, 12mm x 157mm
Bearing Type Speedball
Hole Count 28, 32
Disc Mount Type 6 Bolt
Colors Sand-blasted black with red label, Glossy black with silver accents
Weight 0 lb 8.8 oz (250 g)
Miscellaneous Weight: 250g (hub weights in lightest configuration)
Driver Mechanism: 11-Speed XD Driver Body, 10-, 9-, and 8-Speed Driver Body
Axle Options Available: QR, 12x135, 12x142, 12x148 (BOOST™), 12x150, and 12x157
Axle Material: Tapered aluminum axle
Price $364
More Info

​www.sram.com

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