When it comes to bicycles, the hub is an essential part that holds the wheel in place. Over the years, the design of the hub has undergone significant changes. From quick-release setups to thru-axle and boost options, bike makers have continuously strived to improve the experience for bike riders.

The hub spacing has become one of the most critical aspects of bike design. If you're looking to buy a new bike or upgrade your existing one, it's essential to understand the differences between hub spacing standards. This article will take you through the different hub spacing standards, their benefits, and which one would be best for you.

1) Quick-Release

The quick-release standard was the most common hub spacing standard in the past. It involved a simple setup where the hub was held in place by a skewer that passed through the axle. It made it easy for the rider to change a flat tire or remove the wheel. The quick-release standard is still common in road bikes and some mountain bikes. Its disadvantage is that it's not as stiff as the newer options, making it unsuitable for demanding mountain bike applications.

2) Thru-Axle

The thru-axle configuration involves a larger diameter axle that passes through the hub and the fork, locking the wheel in place. The thru-axle standard offers better stability and stiffness compared to the quick-release. This makes it more suitable for mountain bikes and other high-performance bicycles. The thru-axle standard has become popular in recent years, and it's likely to become the standard hub spacing for most bicycles.

3) Boost

Boost is a hub spacing standard developed by mountain bike makers to improve the stiffness and handling of mountain bikes. Boost spacing involves a longer thru-axle and wider hub spacing than standard thru-axle spacing. The wider spacing provides more clearance for wider tires and improves the bike's stability. The Boost spacing standard has become popular in recent years and is now common in most new mountain bikes.

4) Super Boost

Super Boost is a hub spacing standard developed to improve the handling of bikes with plus-size or fat tires. It features an even wider spacing than Boost, making it more comfortable to handle larger tires without sacrificing stability. Super Boost standard is not yet a common feature in most bicycles, but it's popular in some high-end mountain bikes.

5) Which Hub Spacing Standard is Best for You?

The choice of the hub spacing standard you choose depends on the bike's intended use. If you're looking for a road bike, the quick-release standard is still suitable. However, for mountain bikes, the thru-axle or Boost standard is the better option, offering better stiffness and stability. If you're looking to fit plus-sized tires or fat tires, the Super Boost standard would be the best option.

Understanding hub spacing standards


Understanding hub spacing standards is essential when it comes to buying a new bike or upgrading your existing one. Each standard has its benefits and drawbacks, making it essential to choose one that suits your needs. While the quick-release standard is still prevalent in road bikes, the thru-axle and Boost/Hope hub spacing standards are becoming more popular in mountain bikes. The Super Boost standard is still a new concept, but it's gaining popularity, especially in fat tire bikes.

In conclusion, the choice of hub spacing standard depends on the type of riding you intend to do, and it's essential to choose one that suits your needs.