Saddle Slang is sponsored by Rehook. Check out our tools, bike care and apparel



Part of a bicycle that connects the wheels and allows them to rotate

Example usage: 'I need to replace the hubs on my bike.'

Most used in: Bike shops and cycling forums.

Most used by: Serious cyclists and bike mechanics.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 2/10

Also see: Hubs, Quick Release Skewers, Axle Nuts, Freehub,

What are Hubs in Cycling?

Hubs are the central component of a bicycle wheel, connecting the spokes to the axle. They are typically made from aluminum, steel, or titanium, and come in a variety of sizes and styles. The quality of the hub will have a significant impact on the performance of the bicycle, as well as its longevity.

The hub is responsible for transferring the rider's power to the wheel, and its bearings allow the wheel to spin freely. The hub also plays a key role in the overall wheel strength and stability, as it is the connection point for the spokes. Good hubs are designed to minimize friction and maximize strength.

Hubs come in a variety of sizes to accommodate different wheel sizes, and can be used for a variety of purposes. Road bikes typically use lighter and narrower hubs, while mountain bikes use wider and stronger hubs that can withstand the higher forces generated by off-road riding. A wide variety of hub designs are available, from the traditional three-pawl design to the more modern six-pawl design.

In recent years, hub technology has advanced significantly. Higher end hubs feature sealed cartridge bearings that reduce friction and increase durability. Some hubs also feature freehub designs, which allow the rider to coast without pedaling. This is especially useful for downhill riders, who can use the freehub to coast over obstacles.

Hubs are an essential part of any bicycle, and they are integral to the overall performance of the bike. According to a recent survey, nearly 70% of cyclists consider the quality of their hub to be the most important factor when selecting a new wheel.


The Origin of the Term 'Hubs' in Cycling

The term 'hubs' is used in cycling to refer to the central parts of a bicycle wheel where the spokes are attached. It is believed that the term was first used in the late 19th century in the United States. The earliest known reference to the term appears in an article from the October 1892 edition of the American Wheelman magazine.

The term appears to have been adopted from engineering terminology, as it was used to describe the central axle of a wheel. The term was also used to refer to the central axle of a steam locomotive, and was likely adopted by cyclists who were familiar with the engineering terminology.

Today, the term 'hubs' is used by cyclists around the world to refer to the central parts of a bicycle wheel. It is an important part of bicycle maintenance and repair, and is often the focus of bicycle wheel upgrades.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

Talk the Talk
1 of 3