End of Season Wheel Care - Guide

Microspline on a road Hub?!

With Shimano’s release of their new gravel-oriented GRX 12 speed groupset, a lot of riders may be asking themselves “Do I really need to run a Microspline cassette on my new gravel wheels?”. The answer could be yes. 

The new Shimano GRX 12 speed groupset uses a Shimano Microspline (MS) freehub body only when running a 1×12 configuration. If you haven’t heard of an MS freehub before, its a newer freehub body initially designed for Shimano’s 12 mountain speed cassettes.

How Do you know if you need a Microspline road hub?

With new technologies comes new standards and, sometimes, confusion. We’ll help clear the mud for you. The 12 speed Shimano GRX groupset is designed to utilize existing 12 speed road and 12 speed mountain cassettes, which can be run in one of two configurations:

  • 1×12 which uses a MTB configuration of 1 front chain ring and a  wide-range mountain cassette. This needs a Microspline freehub.
  • 2×12 which uses a more road-specific 2 front chain rings and a standard 12 speed road cassette. This calls for a Shimano HG freehub.
Microspline vs HG road freehub bodies

A visual comparison of MS freehub body left vs HG freehub body right. 

Microspline vs HG road freehub bodies

Pst… NOBL wheels are GRX compatible. We just thought you should know.

WHo Makes GRX 12 Speed compatible hubs?

Don’t panic: with the ever-increasing popularity of wide-range and 1x gearing in the road and gravel worlds, most hub manufacturers already have MS GRX 12 speed compatible road hubs including:

  • Industry Nine – 1/1 and Torch hubs
  • Onyx – both Classic and Vesper hubs
  • DT Swiss – 350, 240EXP and 180EXP

* Not currently available for Chris King hubs but we will keep you posted if there are any updates!

Now that you know when a Microspline freehub is right for your GRX drivetrain, you can confidently spec your custom NOBL wheels with a MS freehub through all relevant builders on our website. 

Contact us if you have any questions about GRX 12 speed compatibility for your NOBL wheels. We’re here to keep you rolling (up the steepest hills possible!)