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Are QR Disk Hubs dead?

Old 03-29-21, 05:16 AM
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guy153
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Are QR Disk Hubs dead?

So I'm building a new frame on which I ideally wanted disk brakes with QR axles. Yes I know about wheel ejection but I know how to do up a QR and I consider life to be complicated enough without bring thru-axles into it. But it seems such hubs are very rare these days, especially in 130mm spacing.

Is this true or am I just lousy at searching for bike parts? Am I better to grasp the bull, take the bullet by the horns, bite the nettle and just go with thru-axles?
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Old 03-29-21, 05:24 AM
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130 disc never took off as 135 and then 142, boost etc became normal on all disc bikes. 130 disc places the flanges too close together so it makes the wheel as a whole weaker. Literally the only issues I see with thru-axles as a busy as fook bicycle mechanic is them not being greased. They are much more idiot proof than QR generally.
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Old 03-29-21, 05:51 AM
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I don't know much about this, but I suspect your best bet is to find T/A hubs that are convertible to QR with different end caps.

Better yet, go with T/As. If you don't like carrying a hex, get these.
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Old 03-29-21, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by guy153 View Post
So I'm building a new frame on which I ideally wanted disk brakes with QR axles. Yes I know about wheel ejection but I know how to do up a QR and I consider life to be complicated enough without bring thru-axles into it. But it seems such hubs are very rare these days, especially in 130mm spacing.

Is this true or am I just lousy at searching for bike parts? Am I better to grasp the bull, take the bullet by the horns, bite the nettle and just go with thru-axles?
if you’re still building the frame (ie still have the option of QRs or thru-axles), thru-axles in a heartbeat, simply for the convenience and availability. There’s nothing inherently wrong with QRs - and the wheel ejection issue is more of a front wheel thing effectively mitigated by good QR practice and lawyer lips - but there’s nothing wrong with thru- axles either, so go with the one that gives you the more options and will continue to do so.
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Old 03-29-21, 06:17 AM
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Yes, you can still find convertible disc hubs but the QR and narrow width are going to be increasingly marginalized. If you are starting from a clean slate, thru axle is the best choice. IMO, the primary advantage with TA and discs is that you get consistent fit when you remove/replace the front wheel. When you are dealing with a mm or two differentiating a chirping brake from a quiet ride, the QR introduces an unwelcome variable.
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Old 03-29-21, 07:18 AM
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130 disc hubs were a rare thing even when 130 was the road standard. I doubt anyone is putting any effort into making them now. If you insist on sticking with QR, I would suggest building a frame with 135mm spacing.

Edit: Novatec is still making them https://bdopcycling.com/product/d352sb-11/
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Old 03-29-21, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by guy153 View Post
So I'm building a new frame on which I ideally wanted disk brakes with QR axles. Yes I know about wheel ejection but I know how to do up a QR and I consider life to be complicated enough without bring thru-axles into it. But it seems such hubs are very rare these days, especially in 130mm spacing.

Is this true or am I just lousy at searching for bike parts? Am I better to grasp the bull, take the bullet by the horns, bite the nettle and just go with thru-axles?
What about TA is complicated? The only complication i see is insisting on using an outdated standard on a new bike.
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Old 03-29-21, 07:39 AM
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Thanks for the answers everyone! That clears things up a lot. I did see a few 135 QR disk hubs so I'll think about whether to go with those or with "road" stuff and thru-axles. I'm assuming MTB disk calipers are compatible with road hubs? I don't see why not but nothing surprises me these days when it comes to bike part compatibility.

It's a kind of a hybrid/touring bike with a flat bar and MTB hydraulic disks. 68mm BB shell will be the best for keeping the "Q" value low, which is desirable for this rider. I know chainline doesn't matter so much but I usually pair 68 with 130 and 73 with 135.
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Old 03-29-21, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by guy153 View Post
I know chainline doesn't matter so much but I usually pair 68 with 130 and 73 with 135.
Well, my newest bike is a Surly Midnight Special that has a 68mm English threaded bottom bracket and 12x142 TA rear spacing. It works very well.
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Old 03-29-21, 09:21 AM
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I would not worry about going 135mm rear with with 68 bb width. There are lots of stock frames that come that way. My Soma Fog Cutter is an example.

I’m fine with QR discs, but TA is really a better system, and no more complex.

Last edited by Kapusta; 03-29-21 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 03-29-21, 10:50 AM
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It sounds like you are building this frame for someone else. If that is the case, I can understand wanting to use QR instead of TA; especially if it would be your first TA build.

John
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Old 03-29-21, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
It sounds like you are building this frame for someone else. If that is the case, I can understand wanting to use QR instead of TA; especially if it would be your first TA build.

John
It is for someone else but it's my second TA build. And the last 3 frames did not require any last-minute dropout-filing for alignment (which you obviously can't do with TAs) so I think I've got the hang of the process.
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Old 03-29-21, 11:39 PM
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As a professional bike mechanic I friggin hate QRs with disc breaks. They are way less consistent in axle positioning and create disc rub. Also they are less stiff and create rub. They are also easier for riders to mess up. I hates them. Keeping QR/disc bikes running rub free is a major time suck for me on our rental fleet in particular. It does help very much to switch all the QRs to enclosed cams.
Still pretty easy to find though. In 130mm disc was very short lived/much maligned, what is out now is mostly 135mm. A pox upon the Specialized SCS standard in particular--only two friggin hubs work (a 24h Specialized, and a rare Hope model), and only used for a year or two.A lot of recent road drivetrain stuff has been redesigned for a slightly wider chainline because discs/gravel. Really the 135mm spacing on an older road drivetrain was only a practical problem when the chainstays were really short.

A lot of current generation Surlys are designed with interchangeable dropout systems that'll run some combination of (or all of ) 135QR/142TA/148TA for those people who really want to drop $700 for a new frameset then throw decade old parts on.
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Old 03-30-21, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by cpach View Post
A pox upon the Specialized SCS standard in particular--only two friggin hubs work (a 24h Specialized, and a rare Hope model), and only used for a year or two.
Truth...though I do love my Gen 1 Diverge.
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Old 03-30-21, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by guy153 View Post
Thanks for the answers everyone! That clears things up a lot. I did see a few 135 QR disk hubs so I'll think about whether to go with those or with "road" stuff and thru-axles. I'm assuming MTB disk calipers are compatible with road hubs? I don't see why not but nothing surprises me these days when it comes to bike part compatibility.

It's a kind of a hybrid/touring bike with a flat bar and MTB hydraulic disks. 68mm BB shell will be the best for keeping the "Q" value low, which is desirable for this rider. I know chainline doesn't matter so much but I usually pair 68 with 130 and 73 with 135.
For no engineering reasons manufacturers make road and MTB stuff incompatible on various levels. There are way around it in some cases. But for a flat bar bike it is best to stay with MTB side of stuff. That also is cheaper and you have more options and much better quality. MTB equipment is built to be shaken around and get wet.
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Old 03-30-21, 08:08 AM
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I replaced my QR with a Robert Axle Project thru axle this year. Yes, it is a bit more work to get the wheel on and off, but for me it was worth the investment.

hounslow Are you sayin thru-axles should have a bit of grease on them?
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Old 03-30-21, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
For no engineering reasons manufacturers make road and MTB stuff incompatible on various levels. There are way around it in some cases. But for a flat bar bike it is best to stay with MTB side of stuff. That also is cheaper and you have more options and much better quality. MTB equipment is built to be shaken around and get wet.
Yes that's the conclusion I've come to. Touring bikes are often a weird mix of road and MTB parts but I think I'll just go MTB with everything. Probably 68/135 unless the crankset is expecting 73 anyway (and has spacers if you're 68). And then I could go QR, although many in this thread have made a good case for TA.

To answer my original question it seems like QR road disk is not only dead, it hardly ever existed in the first place.
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Old 03-30-21, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by guy153 View Post
Yes that's the conclusion I've come to. Touring bikes are often a weird mix of road and MTB parts but I think I'll just go MTB with everything. Probably 68/135 unless the crankset is expecting 73 anyway (and has spacers if you're 68). And then I could go QR, although many in this thread have made a good case for TA.

To answer my original question it seems like QR road disk is not only dead, it hardly ever existed in the first place.
touring often uses dropbars, but need low gearing.

Nowadays both use TA and disc brakes. Some exceptions exist, but they get fewer. The only reason to use an old standard is if you already have valuable parts. But for new, buy the new.
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Old 03-30-21, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by guy153 View Post
To answer my original question it seems like QR road disk is not only dead, it hardly ever existed in the first place.
QR 135mm disc is/was quite prevalent, and is not quite dead yet. You can still get many hubs that allow QR as well as thru-axle (eg: White Industries). (135mm QR is the same size as 142mm TA, so hubs that allow you to switch end-caps can do both.)

QR 130mm disc, on the other hand, hardly ever existed in the first place.

Most recent bike models/frames have changed over to thru-axles. However, I bought a Soma Saga disc brake touring bike with QR dropouts less than two years ago.

@cpach is right: QR with disc brakes is an inferior technology, but with good internal-cam skewers or DT Swiss skewers, they can behave reasonably.



.

Last edited by wgscott; 03-30-21 at 12:41 PM. Reason: clarification, spelling
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Old 03-30-21, 08:09 PM
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QBP still sells disc brake wheels with QR to dealers. Trek is still making disc brake hybrids that use a traditional QR in back with a modified QR in front. I believe all their low-end Marlin hardtails still use QR.

Let me put it this way. If I were making a high quality frame I wouldn't be putting cheap or outdated wheels on it.
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Old 03-30-21, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post

QR 130mm disc, on the other hand, hardly ever existed in the first place.





+1 to that. As a shop owner who carried two different brands of bikes roughly ten years ago that equipped bikes with 130mm qr disc wheels, and later had customers wanting to upgrade the wheels on these bikes, obviously tied to the same standard....yeah. 130mm rear spacing on a disc brake equpped bike: a true dinosaur at this point.
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Old 03-31-21, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
QBP still sells disc brake wheels with QR to dealers. Trek is still making disc brake hybrids that use a traditional QR in back with a modified QR in front. I believe all their low-end Marlin hardtails still use QR.

Let me put it this way. If I were making a high quality frame I wouldn't be putting cheap or outdated wheels on it.
Assuming someone who hires a frame builder doesn't want a low-end bike... please don't sell anyone on using QR hubs in this day and age.

Those cheap (cheap for Trek to build, not cheap for the consumer) LBS bikes are just 1% above Walmart bike... please don't get design ideas from those BSOs with a fancy name.
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Old 03-31-21, 08:33 AM
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Oh for cryin out loud.... there is nothing low end or “walmart+” about a qr disc wheel or frame.

Chris King, I9, Hope, and DT Swiss (240) all make qr disc hubs.

Part of going custom is not having your choice dictated by bike manufacturers and posers.

Anyone who mistakes a custom road frame with a Chris King wheel-set for a low end bike because the rear hub was QR rather than TA is a freaking moron, IMO. And anyone taking their opinion seriously in building a bike is in the same league.

Also, I don’t think 135mm QR disc is going anywhere. My guess is that it will outlast whatever current version of TA is most popular. The industry will keep refining and changing the TA “standard”, and whatever TA you buy now will get phased out eventually. But QR will quietly endure as a more “standard” standard.

I think it will be like square taper BBs. How many BB standards have come and gone over the past 20 years? Yet ST continues quietly humming along in the background.
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Old 03-31-21, 09:31 AM
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Chris King stopped making them, but plenty of other high-end hubs have that option (I just ordered one).

My very expensive custom bike came with a QR rear dropout and a QR Enve CX fork in 2014. (The following year, he switched over to thru-axle, but I am not going to toss a custom frame because of the dropout). At some point I might upgrade the fork to thru-axle, but only if I want something like a Lauf or Spork, not because of the dropout. (I did find it absolutely crucial to get good internal cam skewers -- Dura Ace -- to prevent the issue @cpach describes.)

I did make certain to order wheels with hubs (White Industry in my case) that allow both QR and thru-axle conversion, to future-proof the wheels.

I am not a frame builder, but if I were, I would build with modular dropouts.

Last edited by wgscott; 03-31-21 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 03-31-21, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I am not a frame builder, but if I were, I would build with modular dropouts.
This is probably the best solution. Like you I would also be sure to get a hub that is convertible, no matter what you get.

I do see that CK stopped making them. Interesting, I saw them available not too long ago. I had just done a google search and saw them for sale, but it looks like most places are out of them. I do see that CK lists an axle to do a conversion.
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