Yay, another ‘standard’ introduced to the mtb world. I think this has largely stemmed from the drive to stiffen up the 29er wagon wheels, and the mega growth of 27.5. Hubs have grown from 35mm, to the 142mm seen on most new bikes. So whats the deal with the new Boost variant?

For starters, the boost hubs offer an extra 6mm on the rear, and 10mm on the front hub. So that’s 3mm and 5mm increase on each side respectively. Put into real world – a boost hub offers the same amount of stiffness on a 29er, that you would get from a 27.5 wheel on the 142 standard. The blurb tell us this means more clearance between chainstays / forks, added stiffness = better bike handling (?).

But here’s the rub: Moving from 135mm hubs to 142mm hubs is a straight forward process of using an adapter for the hub. With the boost hub changes every aspect of your wheel – The position of the cassette, the brake rotor and the crankset. Oh, and the wheel needs to be re-dished to accommodate the extra width. So forget about using any adapters or spacers (the brake rotor needs to move too). To top it all off, up front, you need a wider fork casing to fit the hub.

Engineering: ‘Hey, I made a wider hub that makes the wheel stiffer.’

Marketing: ‘Great, lets build them!’

Engineering: ‘But it will make all our customers existing cranks, forks, frames, rims and drivechain obsolete!’

Marketing: ‘Great, let’s build them!’