Component manufacturer and wheel specialist SPANK Industries present the latest iterations of their HEX DRIVE hubs, and this time they’ve included a gravel-specific version. We’ve got all the details for you here.

The new, matt black anodized HEX DRIVE hubs from SPANK Industries are available either with an aluminium housing and freewheel or a freewheel made of steel for the higher demands of ebikes. It offers a high engagement angle of only 3.5°, oversized bearings and an innovative sealing mechanism that promises durability and low maintenance. In addition to HG freewheels, there will also be XD and MICRO SPLINE versions available.

The following versions are available: 28H Straightpull Boost (ideal for Enduro and Trail), 32H J-Hook Boost and Non-Boost (perfect for DH, Freeride, All Mountain and Trail) and a gravel-specific 28H J-Hook. The front hubs start at 147 g and $ 99, and the rear hubs at 300 g and $ 199.

102T/3.5° engagement angle

The new HEX DRIVE rear hubs feature a huge ratchet system with 102 teeth. Six independent pawls, each with three steps, work together to create 18 contact points with the ratchet at every click. According to SPANK, the result is an almost immediate engagement of only 3.5° with minimal risk of slippage under load. The advantage should be noticeable while riding, with no unwanted delay in engagement between pedal strokes, more efficient pedalling on technical sections and climbs as well as faster, almost immediate power transfer through the pedals. With 18 contact points, the hub should also be more durable and reliable.

Improved sealing mechanism and oversized bearings

Spank have developed an innovative sealing mechanism for riders who expose their bicycles to adverse conditions, riding in muddy or very dusty terrain. Oversized bearings are said to increase durability while also reducing the weight of the aluminium body. According to the manufacturer, this means low maintenance and easy servicing.
In addition to the sealing mechanism, the design of the pawl cap offers further advantages: it keeps the pawls in place during maintenance, so you don’t have to crawl around on the workshop floor searching for lost pawls. It also keeps the pawls sealed to prevent contamination during maintenance and repair and it makes the freehub a little quieter.

Unique flange design for a more even spoke tension

According to SPANK, their unique hub flange design makes for easier wheel building. It keeps the spoke tension on the drive side and non-drive side of the wheel more even than many other hub designs. SPANK claim that the wheel will be more evenly tensioned and thus stronger.

Compatible with all major SPANK platforms

SPANK Industries offer interchangeable HEX DRIVE freewheels for HG, XD and MICRO SPLINE cassettes. The gravel-specific HEX DRIVE hubs are also available in XDR and HG Road configurations.

Universal adapter system

SPANK have deliberately made their hubs as cross-compatible as possible. The hub adapters are universal, which means that all HEX rear hub adapters work with all three freewheel types (XD, HG and MICRO SPLINE). In addition, all HEX front hub adapters are symmetrical and therefore interchangeable from left to right. So, you no longer have to buy additional adapters when switching from HG to MICRO SPLINE or XD. The adapters that are supplied with the original freewheel are designed to be compatible with any other SPANK HEX DRIVE freewheel.

Low maintenance and easy service

Since cleaning bicycles is a chore, easy maintenance is a priority. Removing the end caps and the freewheel requires no tools and can be done by hand. This makes the HEX DRIVE freewheel incredibly easy to maintain and service. SPANK have a full range of spare parts such as bearing and ratchet kits available, as well as replacement adapters and freewheel hubs (MICRO SPLINE, XD and HG) and torque caps for the corresponding forks. For the ebike community, SPANK’s so-called Electric Plus range will include steel HEX DRIVE compatible freewheels for all the major interfaces, including XD, HG and MICRO SPLINE, available by June 2020.

Finally: A SPANK single-speed freewheel!

26er, DJ, pump track and even BMX riders rejoice! SPANK now offer a hub for the single-speed disciples amongst us. No more conversion kits and ghetto conversions necessary! Besides the introduction of the HEX DRIVE, SPANK also present their new SS DJ hub, which is available as of now and comes with an 11 t sprocket. 12 t and 13 t sprockets are available separately.

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Words: SPANK Industries Photos: SPANK Industries