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  1. #1
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    Thru Axle on road bikes, why not?

    So I was reading this article.
    http://www.bikerumor.com/2013/07/02/...oo/#more-62414

    15/20mm thru axles make sense since they noticeably tighten up steering.
    Why is this not a popular thing in road bikes already?
    Other than the weight penalty, what is the reasoning?
    I don't really follow road racing so is it illegal in the eyes of the UCI to have a thru axle?
    Since it's possible to build up a top tier road bike under the race weight minimum; wouldn't tighter and more stable steering be a worthwhile place to add weight back to a bike?

    This seems like a good idea.
    http://whiskyparts.co/catalog/forks#cross

  2. #2
    Sqrl
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    The biggest issue is wheel changing. I've got long-travel skewers, and I can get a front wheel changed in <10s. Can't say that about my thru-axles on my MTB.
    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Doing one-legged squats while holding chickens in each hand will make someone strong...that doesn't mean it's the best way to train for track racing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    That would be spectacular. A trail of blood and sealant.

  3. #3
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Uhm,

    Because there's no need for it on a road bike with caliper brakes?
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  4. #4
    I'm doing it wrong. RJM's Avatar
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    Soon, roadbikes will be just like mountain bikes...how fun.


    Then I can start smoking weed
    "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." - Leo Tolstoy

  5. #5
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM View Post
    Soon, roadbikes will be just like mountain bikes...how fun.


    Then I can start smoking weed
    And wearing baggie pants on the bike
    Are you a registered member? Why not? Click here to register. It's free and only takes 27 seconds! Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.
    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  6. #6
    RT
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM View Post
    Soon, road bikes will be just like mountain bikes...how fun.

    Then I can start smoking weed
    This is how I build my road bikes - for durability rather than racing.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    And wearing baggy pants on the bike
    I wear messenger shorts on the commute.

    Re: wheel-changing - this might matter in a race, but on a comute with, say a flat tire, ain't no rush to get that wheel off. But how would this tighten up steering?

  7. #7
    I'm doing it wrong. RJM's Avatar
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    Have you noticed loose steering on your bikes?
    "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." - Leo Tolstoy

  8. #8
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    Ah, I can see the swapping of wheels in a race being a great reason.
    If forks and frames had curved flanges (imagine a dropout for the hub flanges) on the inside of the frame/fork to center the hub's flanges, then swapping would be just as fast with a thru axle.
    Looking at the pics, I think the Whisky Road fork has those flanges already.

    Just because you don't feel loose steering with a skewer doesn't mean it shouldn't be stiffer and better.
    Think of a thin skewer as an old one piece crank spindle.
    Now think of a thru axle as a BB30 crank spindle.
    Skewered hub dropouts flex more because material is missing to allow the axle to rest in the dropout.
    A thru axle dropout is a complete circle, so there is more surface area keeping the hub from trying to twist out of the dropouts.
    Bottom line is smaller axles flex more so what would you rather have?
    [img]http://brimages.bikeboardmedia.netdn.../02/142x12.jpg[/img]

    You have to read MTB forums to really appreciate the advantage of thru axles.
    Regular/recreational MTB riders can immediately feel the more precise steering and swear to never go back to skewers.
    I guess its because they are riding suspension forks which probably flex more.

    So a thru axle is not needed in road but I still want it.
    I just want maximum technology in my future road bike, even if I can't feel it.
    Just like some people like paint schemes, I like overbuilt engineering.
    As a future consumer I hope the big manufacturers introduce this into the road mainstream, at least as an option for guys like me.
    I am doing research so I can buy a new bike for road riding.
    Although I want an endurance road bike and its geometry, right now it seems a cyclocross bike has the features I want most (discs, thru axles, rack mounts, BB30, tapered integrated steerer, wide tires, fender option).

    I agree, in my research it seems as though road bikes are becoming more MTB-like with 135mm rear hubs (blame 11 speed cassettes and discs) and relaxed geometry.
    I like the idea of universal hubs for both road and mountain since it should give us more options.
    Last edited by ttakata73; 07-02-13 at 01:09 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member elcruxio's Avatar
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    Could be cool actually. That combined with discs... aaaaw yeaaaah

  10. #10
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    The wheel axle, not the skewer, is what provides the bending strength and alignment with the dropouts. The skewer only provides the tension holding the dropouts to the axle. It could do the job just as well if it made of cable or chain. Through-axles are most beneficial for suspension front ends helping the bridge to keep the legs from moving independently. On a road bike fork, that can't happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ttakata73 View Post
    Ah, I can see the swapping of wheels in a race being a great reason.
    If forks and frames had curved flanges (imagine a dropout for the hub flanges) on the inside of the frame/fork to center the hub's flanges, then swapping would be just as fast with a thru axle.
    Looking at the pics, I think the Whisky Road fork has those flanges already.

    Just because you don't feel loose steering with a skewer doesn't mean it shouldn't be stiffer and better.
    Think of a thin skewer as an old one piece crank spindle.
    Now think of a thru axle as a BB30 crank spindle.
    Skewered hub dropouts flex more because material is missing to allow the axle to rest in the dropout.
    A thru axle dropout is a complete circle, so there is more surface area keeping the hub from trying to twist out of the dropouts.
    Bottom line is smaller axles flex more so what would you rather have?
    [img]http://brimages.bikeboardmedia.netdn.../02/142x12.jpg[/img]

    You have to read MTB forums to really appreciate the advantage of thru axles.
    Regular/recreational MTB riders can immediately feel the more precise steering and swear to never go back to skewers.
    I guess its because they are riding suspension forks which probably flex more.

    So a thru axle is not needed in road but I still want it.
    I just want maximum technology in my future road bike, even if I can't feel it.
    Just like some people like paint schemes, I like overbuilt engineering.
    As a future consumer I hope the big manufacturers introduce this into the road mainstream, at least as an option for guys like me.
    I am doing research so I can buy a new bike for road riding.
    Although I want an endurance road bike and its geometry, right now it seems a cyclocross bike has the features I want most (discs, thru axles, rack mounts, BB30, tapered integrated steerer, wide tires, fender option).

    I agree, in my research it seems as though road bikes are becoming more MTB-like with 135mm rear hubs (blame 11 speed cassettes and discs) and relaxed geometry.
    I like the idea of universal hubs for both road and mountain since it should give us more options.

    You don't seem to know the difference between an axle and a skewer, so I'm not sure why your expertise should hold weight.

  12. #12
    Tour De French Fries Elduderino2412's Avatar
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    On a roadie you won't notice a difference in stiffness between a QR and thru axle.

  13. #13
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    "Tighten steering"????
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    The wheel axle, not the skewer, is what provides the bending strength and alignment with the dropouts. The skewer only provides the tension holding the dropouts to the axle. It could do the job just as well if it made of cable or chain. Through-axles are most beneficial for suspension front ends helping the bridge to keep the legs from moving independently. On a road bike fork, that can't happen.
    This is one reason why it's just not going to matter on a road bike.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  15. #15
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    I never said I was an expert.
    I posted because I wanted to hear other peoples' opinions, and preferably not insults.
    Like I said, I'm just researching stuff and thought if it makes a MTB better, why couldn't it make a road bike better?
    Also that Giant cyclocross is not suspended, so why would they bother making this setup?
    I've now come to learn modern road hubs have 15-17mm axles so that is a good thing.
    My 1980s, old school road bike has 9-10mm skewered axles so I thought they all did still.

    Of course I know the difference between a skewer and axle.
    If you look into a mounted dropout, isn't there a tiny gap between the end of a skewered axle and the skewer's flange surface?
    I could be wrong, but wouldn't there be some flex there in the skewer since there is no axle or dropout surrounding that bit of skewer?
    Even if the airgap there is a fraction of a millimeter, its still there.
    A thru axle has no air gaps since there is no actual dropout; so it should be stronger?
    I don't know, I figured bigger is stronger and so why not on a road bike.

    Seems the consensus is skewers are good enough, let this thread die if you agree.

    I like to see change and hopefully change for the better in bikes so I still want a thru axle to become popular, it just looks cool to me.
    Sadly that Whiskey #9 fork is ~$600 so I won't be getting that, but if Giant or another big brand makes it on a road bike I am sure people would try it just to be different.
    I used to have a motorcycle with oversized axles and it just looked so cool compared to normal motorcycles.
    Whether it performed better or not was not measurable to me, but in theory it should have been better.

  16. #16
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    "I used to have a motorcycle with oversized axles and it just looked so cool compared to normal motorcycles."

    And that's the rest of the story.

  17. #17
    Senior Member buffalowings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttakata73 View Post
    I never said I was an expert.
    I posted because I wanted to hear other peoples' opinions, and preferably not insults.
    Like I said, I'm just researching stuff and thought if it makes a MTB better, why couldn't it make a road bike better?
    Also that Giant cyclocross is not suspended, so why would they bother making this setup?
    I've now come to learn modern road hubs have 15-17mm axles so that is a good thing.
    My 1980s, old school road bike has 9-10mm skewered axles so I thought they all did still.

    Of course I know the difference between a skewer and axle.
    If you look into a mounted dropout, isn't there a tiny gap between the end of a skewered axle and the skewer's flange surface?
    I could be wrong, but wouldn't there be some flex there in the skewer since there is no axle or dropout surrounding that bit of skewer?
    Even if the airgap there is a fraction of a millimeter, its still there.
    A thru axle has no air gaps since there is no actual dropout; so it should be stronger?
    I don't know, I figured bigger is stronger and so why not on a road bike.

    Seems the consensus is skewers are good enough, let this thread die if you agree.

    I like to see change and hopefully change for the better in bikes so I still want a thru axle to become popular, it just looks cool to me.
    Sadly that Whiskey #9 fork is ~$600 so I won't be getting that, but if Giant or another big brand makes it on a road bike I am sure people would try it just to be different.
    I used to have a motorcycle with oversized axles and it just looked so cool compared to normal motorcycles.
    Whether it performed better or not was not measurable to me, but in theory it should have been better.
    And you're the reason why $6k bikes exist.
    Noooooo! My thread!! -_________- http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/896498-Do-you-pack-quot-heat-quot-while-cycling

  18. #18
    cycle-dog spot DinoShepherd's Avatar
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    Give it time.......

  19. #19
    Senior Member Werkin's Avatar
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    I welcome the option of a through-axle on a road fork for at least one advantage. Vintage steel road forks were a true 100mm width, and drop-out IDs were close to axle nut spindle OD dimensions. Most vintage forks drop on the front wheel and center accurately. Modern forks with retention tabs have spreads of 101 to 103, so if a skewer lever arm comes loose, the legs will spread and offer added security for tab/skewer nut interference. I've encountered some modern drop-outs with a bit larger ID also. I have experience with a couple carbon forks where the drop-out dimensions are tight, so there are exceptions. It would be nice to be sure the axle aligns square without extra fiddling that's required when drop-out fit is sloppy laterally & radially, and be able to attach a front wheel secure & aligned while the bike is on a stand.

    I have disc brakes on my road bike. Although I've never had the axle push out as the collective hysteria says will happen, it would be great to have extra security. Also, without extra leg spread to back-up retention tabs, my front rotor would align consistently from the start.

  20. #20
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I had a Cervelo Soloist with such quick steering it was practically telepathic. And that was with and old fashioned fork and closed cam skewer. How much will a through axle tighten steering? Will it be pre-cognitive?

  21. #21
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    Depending on bar/stem combo, fork design, and wheel lacing, there is way more flex (lack of rigidity) between your hands & the ground than any axle connection (even welded) could affect.

  22. #22
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    Hmm... get rid of a totally universal system that works perfectly fine and replace it with an incompatible one that will offer some miniscule theoretical benefit...? Sounds like SOP for the bike biz...




    ...and get off my lawn!
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  23. #23
    Senior Member escarpment's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I had a Cervelo Soloist with such quick steering it was practically telepathic. And that was with and old fashioned fork and closed cam skewer. How much will a through axle tighten steering? Will it be pre-cognitive?

    pre-cog steering leads to pre-cog pedaling, leads to pre cog winning = matrix = mind blown.

  24. #24
    RT
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    The Weird Beard RT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by escarpment View Post
    pre-cog steering leads to pre-cog pedaling, leads to pre cog winning = matrix = mind blown.
    Someone also stole the Minority Report on that development.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttakata73 View Post
    I could be wrong, but wouldn't there be some flex there in the skewer since there is no axle or dropout surrounding that bit of skewer?
    Even if the airgap there is a fraction of a millimeter, its still there.
    A thru axle has no air gaps since there is no actual dropout; so it should be stronger?
    I don't know, I figured bigger is stronger and so why not on a road bike.
    As already said above, the wheel is held in place (firmly) by the pressing of the inside surface of the dropout against the locknut on the axle. The axle doesn't need to touch the dropout at all. The dropout presses the nut and the nut supports the axle. The skewer compresses the dropouts against the nuts. It has nothing to do with spaces or surrounding the axle with dropout.

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