Written by Brien Kielb…
Freecoasters are, in theory, nothing new. Since the dawn of freestyle, riders have been rolling in reverse thanks to modified coaster brake hubs, but those were simpler times filled with simpler tricks. The clock moves forward, but dudes still wanna go backward—only now they want to do so while jumping down stairs, spinning manuals and locking into grinds. Just like the jump from 3/8" axles to 14mm, and freewheels to cassette hubs, street-capable freecoasters became an invention of necessity based on the needs of riders truly pushing the sport.
Much like every other facet of BMX, the mechanical aspects of freecoasters have evolved significantly to handle the abuse of modern day riders. And Odyssey has been at the forefront of component evolution since their rebirth in the late 90's, so it makes perfect sense that they're finally releasing their Sean Sexton signature Clutch hub now. With so many other brands releasing their updated version of KHE's proven Reverse hub, Odyssey took the time to completely revamp how a freecoaster works to create a product that lives up to their legacy of innovation.
The Clutch hub focuses on a few key issues that most freecoaster riders face—bearing failure and slack adjustment. Because of the precise, delicate internals of a coaster hub, axial load (or side impact) is the most common reason why driver bearings crap out. Thanks to George French's semester worth of tutorial videos, you too can learn why you constantly have to replace parts on your current setup.
With the Clutch, the traditional cartridge bearing in the driver has been replaced with a needle bearing and precisely engineered hub shell bearing, along with a special c-clip on the non-drive side which allows energy to dissipate properly on impact, keeping your bearings intact.
See that silver stripe on the outside of the hub shell? That's not just for looks – that hides the grub screw, which allows for on-the-fly slack adjustment. Just rotate the collar and adjust the screw to add or reduce slack. My bike never learned how to go backward and prefers instant driver engagement, but those who roll both ways might want to add some slack to keep the driver from engaging while they attempt to half-cab down the euro gap at their local skate plaza. When you're ready to pedal back home and upload your footage to Youtube, tighten that screw back up and you'll never have to worry about slamming your knee on your stem rolling off a curb while texting.
There are many other unique features about the Clutch that you won't see anywhere else, and for good reason: Odyssey has a patent pending on the hub, which is rare to see in the BMX world. To learn why the Clutch doesn't use pawls or springs, or why it's held together by 2 different-sized bolts, head over to the Odyssey site and listen to G-Sport George tell you why your next freecoaster will be his.
Did we mention it comes with a free plastic non-driveside hubguard? You read that right, F-R-E-E. It'll also be available as a complete wheel featuring the famous Hazard Lite rim sometime in the near future. Oh, and the rider it's named after, Sean Sexton, certainly utilizes it to its fullest, as seen in the edit below.
The Odyssey Clutch is now available worldwide, at your favorite shop or mailorder and should set you back $189.99. It comes with a 9t driver, is available in both RHD and LHD, and comes in any color you want, as long as that color is black.
- Sean Sexton Signature
- Super-durable bearing arrangement throughout
- Maximum strength axle design
- Unique external slack adjustment feature
- Super-durable drag mechanism design
- Patents pending
- $189.99 USD Retail (Hub and Guard)
- 36-hole, 2014-T6 aluminum shell
- 9-T Driver
- Left or right hand drive
- 22.5 oz / 640g
2.5mm hex key through a hub shell access hole. No wheel removal required.
Female Inbound Axle
Oversized 4130 Chromoly female axle. 14mm non-drive side axle bolt and 3/8" drive side bolt with built-in 14mm adapter. (This configuration is lighter and stronger than a 14mm solid male axle).
- Plastic hub guard included (but optional to use)