Abbreviations in hub description explained

Please explain the meaning of hub description D462SB/A-SL-A5A-B12-XD-11S as it looks quite cryptic to me. Maybe you can explain all possible combinations so any other hubs will be clear too?

Ok, let me explain all these tricky abbreviations which might look complicated at first sight but in fact there is a logic behind it so it's easy to understand it.

First positions are always taken by hub name (model name), in this case it is hub D462SB. Some other examples would be F482SB, D791SB, XD642SB etc.

After this model name there can be following letters or combination of letters and numbers:

  • /A - means that this hub comes with Japanese EZO bearings (if there is not /A it means that hub has Chinese/Taiwanese NBK bearings)

  • /AB - this means there is 1x EZO bearing and 3x NBK bearings

  • -AA - means Alloy axle and Alloy cassette body with 3 pawls in this hub

  • -A4A - means Alloy axle and Alloy cassette body with  4 pawls

  • -A5A - same analogy, Alloy axle and Alloy cassette body with 5 pawls

  • -SS - means Steel axle and Steel cassette body with 3 pawls. You can see all kind of combinations like -SA, - S5S, -S4S, A4S etc. where letters represent the material (Alloy or Steel) and the number indicates the number of pawls.   

  • -SL - stands for Super Light hub

  • -HL - stands for High-Low flange and it means that flanges on this hub have different size, they're not the same

  • -ABG - means that cassette body comes with A.B.G. feature (Anti Bite Guard), which is a steel plate on the freehub protecting it from bites caused by cassette

  • -B12 - means this is a Boost rear hub for 12x148mm frame spacing

  • -B15 - means this is a Boost front hub for 15x110mm fork spacing. You can see sometimes also B5 or B20, which is again a Boost hub for 5mm QR or 20mm through axle, you get the idea. 

  • -XD - stands for SRAM XD driver so it means the hub comes with XD driver. If there is not XD in description it automatically means that hub comes with Shimano freehub.

  • -11S - means 11speed cassete body and please note it is always for Shimano body (this hub can take Shim 8/9/10/11s cassette).

  • -S11 means 11speed cassette body and please note it is always for SRAM XD driver

  • -20 - means that hub is ready for 20mm through axle. Sometimes there can be -15 or -12 which again means 15mm or 12mm through axle.

  • -CL - stands for Centre Lock hub. If CL in not mentioned in description it means automatically that hub has 6 bolt disc mount. 

  • -X12 -says that rear hub is for X12 (12x142mm) through axle (142mm frame spacing)

  • -BO - stands for Bolt On type of dirtjump hub model

  • -9T - means number of teeth on drive unit or sprocket for dirtjump and BMX hubs. It can be also 11T (11teeth).

  • -14H - means type of axle (axle M14 hollow) for dirtjump and BMX hubs

In order to have all abbreviations covered let's mention also SB, CB  or SBT in model name, for instance F482SB, D411CB or A165SBT. Moreover, model name starts with letter F, D or A, sometimes XD so this is the explanation:

  • A - represents non-disc Front hub, mostly road hubs (example: A291SB, A141SB, A171SB etc.)

  • AS - represents non-disc Front hub for Straight pull spokes (example: AS511SB, FS622SB)

  • AH - represents non-disc Front hub menat for Downhill (example: AH41SB-20)

  • F- represents non-disc Rear hub (example: F482SB, F192SB, F162SB etc.)

  • FS - represents non-disc Rear hub for Straight pull spokes (example: FS522SB, FS502SB)

  • D - represents disc, both Font and Rear hub (example: D791SB, D792SB, D462SB, D642SB etc.)

  • DS - represents disc, both Font and Rear hub for Straight pull hubs (example: DS51SB, DS52SB, DS11SB, DS12SB etc.). Please note it's not a rule that letter S is always in the name of straight pull hub (example: D411SB, D412SB are straight pull hubs)

  • DH - represents disc, both Font and Rear hub for Downhill hubs (example: DH61SB, DH42SB, DH82SB etc). But also D541SB-20 can be used as front Downhill hub despite not having letter H in its name

  • XD - represents disc, both Font and Rear hub, but letter X means that hub was in the past or still is in the present days dedicated for Novatec wheels only (example: XD641SB, XD642SB, XDS641, XDS642SB, XD611SB, XD612SB)

  • SB - stands for Sealed Bearing so all hubs with ball sealed bearings have this in their name (example: A291SB, A141SB, F482SB, D791SB, D792SB etc.)

  • CB - this is how carbon hubs with sealed bearings are being marked (example: D411CB, D412CB, AS61CB, FS62CB etc.)

  • SBT - this is how hubs with sealed bearings and Threaded axle are being marked (example: D252SBT, D236SBT, A185SBT, A186SBT etc.)

  • GCC - this is how entry-level loose balls hubs  (mostly Joytech brand) are marked. You can see also RCC, DSE, TSE types which are all loose balls hubs with only difference being in quality of materials used on cups and cones and also in type of sealing used on those hubs. (example: D341GSS, D342GSS, D041RCC, 801TSE, 802TSE etc.)

Related to cassette bodies on rear hubs you may also often see this:

  • Shim.9 - means this freehub is suitable for Shimano 8/9/10 speed ROAD cassette and Shimano 8/9/10/11 speed MTB cassette.
  • Shim.10 - means this freehub is meant for Shimano 10 speed cassette only.
  • Shim.11 - means this is suitable for 8/9/10/11 speed ROAD cassette and 8/9/10/11 speed MTB cassette. Whenever using less than 11s Road cassette please use also the spacer (ring) that comes with this type of cassette body.
  • SRAM XD - this driver can take 11 and 12 speed SRAM XD cassette.

That should be all as far as this topic goes. I hope it all makes sense and you don't find it too complicated.