BMX Tips

Male Vs. Female BMX Axles & Hubs (Which Is Better?)

male vs female bmx axles

Are you trying to figure out what’s the difference between male and female BMX axles and hubs?

Is one version better than the other?

I have been questioning this same question for a long time.

And now, after many years of testing, I have the answers you’re looking for.

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But for those who don’t feel like riding the whole article, here’s what I recommend:

  • Put a female hub in the front
  • And put a male hub in the back

And for those who aren’t familiar with the terms:

  • Female axle/hub: Has a center axle with two bolts on each side.
  • Male axle/hub: Essentially a straight rod that goes through the hub shell.

There’s also a shemale axle/hub version, but that’s pretty rare.

At first glance, it looks very similar to a female axle/hub, but has the center axle sticking out a few extra mms, so it sits on the dropouts.

This makes it stronger than the female version. And yes, stronger than the male version.

Male BMX Axles & Hubs

male bmx axles and hubs example

Male axles and hubs have been around for a very long time. They are simple, solid and strong.

That’s why we still use them to this day.

However, most BMX brands only do these for cassette and freecoaster hubs.

For the front, they use the female version.

Hubs with male axles are simpler to make but still deliver incredible strength.

However, if comparing a 14mm rear male axle to a female axle, the latter is stronger.


Because it uses a center axle that’s larger and much stronger than a 14mm one.

But in general, female axles aren’t really recommended for the rear if you’re grinding a ton.

In this case, you’ll be better off with a male version.

Still, changing a broken bolt of a female hub is way easier and cheaper than replacing the entire male axle.

Note: If the impact was so huge that you broke a bolt or axle, I actually recommend replacing the entire hub.

Or at least thoroughly investigate the hub shell and other parts to ensure nothing else’s broken or cracked.

Female BMX Axles & Hubs

female bmx axles and hubs example

As soon as female axles and hubs came to the market – I was in love.

I really liked the simplicity.

And the fact that everyone said they were stronger appealed to me even more.

As mentioned earlier, the design of a female hub is different than the male version.

It has a center axle that’s usually larger than the 14mm or 10mm axle that goes in your frame or fork dropouts. Then there are two bolts that go into it.

What does that mean?

It means that the female hub is much stronger than the male version.

Still, the shemale version beats both of them.

Moreover, the female version is, in most cases, ridden only in front. On the flip side, riders who ride this version in the back are usually pegless.

Also, if pegless, female hubs are way more ankle friendly.

That’s why many brands offer the same rear hub model in both male and female versions.

One exception is the GSport Roloway hub, the Odyssey Clutch freecoaster, and the Odyssey Antigram cassette, which are all only available in female versions.

Many pros ride these with pegs and no one’s complaining about breaking them.

But these tend to be slightly more expensive.

Male Vs. Female BMX Axles & Hubs (Comparison)

male vs female bmx axles hubs comparison

Feature Male axle/hub Female Male axle/hub
Durability Good Epic
Weight Heavier Lighter
Ease of maintenance Harder to maintain Easier to maintain

BMX Hub Recommendations For Different Riding Styles

Riding style Rear hub Front hub
Street Male Female
Park Male/Female Female
Dirt Female Female

And if riding all four pegs, I recommend going with a male rear hub.


male and female bmx hub axle example

In conclusion, let’s once again answer the main question: are female hubs stronger than male ones?


But does this mean you need to ride them both front and rear?


In most cases, BMX front hubs and wheels are female version by default.

And for the rear wheels and hubs, if riding pegs, you might want to go with the male one. (Plus, it’s slightly cheaper.)

I’ve been only riding male rear hubs for the past 20+ years, and I’ve never broken one.

But I also never broke the front female hub.

And I ride all four pegs at the moment.

Further reading:

FAQs About Male Vs. Female BMX Axles & Hubs

Can you run pegs on a female axle?

Yes, female axles are strong enough to handle the impact of grinding through pegs. However, I recommend riding the female version in the front and the male version in the back.

What’s the difference between male & female BMX hubs?

Male BMX hubs have axles that go through the hub and stick out. They are secured with nuts outside the hub, offering robust durability. Female hubs feature two bolts that screw into the center axle, creating a sleeker profile and often reducing weight.

Are female BMX hubs weaker than male hubs?

No. They are actually stronger than male hubs because of the larger center axle into which the two bolts screw. (But the strongest of them all is the shemale hub version, which has the center axle sticking out just enough to sit on the dropouts.)

Can I switch from a male to a female hub on my BMX bike?

Yes, you can switch between male and female hubs because the available frames and forks are compatible with both.

Do male & female BMX hubs affect performance?

The impact on performance is minimal but can be noticed regarding weight and aerodynamics. Female hubs tend to be lighter and may offer a slight advantage in certain competitive scenarios, while male hubs are valued for their ruggedness in more aggressive riding.

Which type of hub is better for beginners in BMX?

Both types of hubs can be suitable for beginners, but female hubs might be a bit more user-friendly due to their lighter weight and ease of maintenance.

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About Author

Rok has been riding BMX for 20+ years, and when he's not having a session, he binges on videos, new product drops and works on creating the best content (sharing tips, tricks & more to make riding bikes easier for you) for The BMX Dude.