I'm curious about the potential to use of the X-12 through axle system on tandems. Doing a quick search didn't yield any results.
The benefits seem to include increased frame stiffness, safety with disc brakes, stronger & less flexy hubs, minimal weight gain - if any. Some bike manufacturers build their bombers with swapable dropouts to allow using the old quick release spec too.
To me, I like the idea of access to a lightweight DT-Swiss 240s Centerlock hub with a 142mm X-12 Through Axle, listed at only 228gm. This seems to be a great base to build a lightweight wheelset. DT-Swiss is just one of many making X-12 142mm hubs.
Here's the 228gm DT Swiss CenterLock:
I'm wondering if this is gaining any traction in the tandem industry?
Another item to add to our tandem modification to-do list?
A couple shots of the 12mm axle, plus the required X-12 dropout w/recess:
Then, there is talk of going all the way down to 9T cassettes. Yikes!
Update/edit due to error... The X-12 setup will allow for this. Your old Q-release wont. Both X-12 and standard Q-release will allow for smaller cassette lock rings.