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Converting a solid axle with axle nuts wheel to a hollow axle with quick release?

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Converting a solid axle with axle nuts wheel to a hollow axle with quick release?

Old 01-22-15, 11:57 AM
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bellweatherman
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Converting a solid axle with axle nuts wheel to a hollow axle with quick release?

How hard would it be to convert a solid axle hub such as a Formula hub with axle nuts to a hollow axle hub that uses quick release levers? Assuming this is just a matter of replacing the axles, will the cones and everything be compatible?
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Old 01-22-15, 12:04 PM
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QR axles are typically 10x1mm rear, and 9x1mm front. There are exceptions, but not that many among modern hubs.

If/when a hub makers offers the same class of hub in both QR and nutted, the nutted axles will usually be the same. BUT many lower end hubs use nutted 9.5mm rear, and 8mm front axles. Changing these over will require replacing the cones (if the right cone exists).

So measure your axles, and you can go forward from that.
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Old 01-22-15, 01:11 PM
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Axle length has to be relatively precise too. You want the axle to rest in the dropouts but not project through it.
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Old 01-22-15, 01:19 PM
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I go the other way on my rear hubs for theft deterrence.
I've noticed the QR cones are a sloppy fit on the solid axle.
ISTR not being able to fit cones designed for a solid axle onto a QR one??

I've only done this on a couple hubs, so you may have a different experience.
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Old 01-22-15, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Axle length has to be relatively precise too. You want the axle to rest in the dropouts but not project through it.

How would I go about knowing what axle length to use? Does axle length correspond to rear dropout spacing? For example, a frame that has rear spacing of 130mm, would use 130mm long axles?
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Old 01-22-15, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bellweatherman View Post
How would I go about knowing what axle length to use? Does axle length correspond to rear dropout spacing? For example, a frame that has rear spacing of 130mm, would use 130mm long axles?
Yes, axle length is based on the over locknut frame width. However the axle has t extend 5mm or so beyond the locknut face, to support the dropout. So for a 130mm frame, you'd want a QR axle 140-141mm long.
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Old 01-22-15, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Yes, axle length is based on the over locknut frame width. However the axle has t extend 5mm or so beyond the locknut face, to support the dropout. So for a 130mm frame, you'd want a QR axle 140-141mm long.

Thanks for the tip. I actually am not sure if my frame is 126mm or 130mm. I was wondering, if I went with an axle length of 140mm long, would this also work for a 126mm rear-spaced frame? Or would it be too long of an axle?
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Old 01-22-15, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
I go the other way on my rear hubs for theft deterrence.
I've noticed the QR cones are a sloppy fit on the solid axle.
ISTR not being able to fit cones designed for a solid axle onto a QR one??

I've only done this on a couple hubs, so you may have a different experience.

This is a thing that I am also concerned with. I've heard that the new hollow axle used to replace a solid axle needs to match exactly all dimensions, even curvature of the axle ends or the cones wI'll be too sloppy of a fit. Is there a hub that uses standard Shimano axles so that hollow axle, and thus quick release, is still possible to do?
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Old 01-22-15, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by bellweatherman View Post
Thanks for the tip. I actually am not sure if my frame is 126mm or 130mm. I was wondering, if I went with an axle length of 140mm long, would this also work for a 126mm rear-spaced frame? Or would it be too long of an axle?
There's a good chance that 7mm per side sticking out would be too much. If so, the QR can't operate properly. But the good news is that you can always saw, file, or grind the axle a bit shorter if necessary. OTOH, it's not possible to saw one longer.
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Old 01-22-15, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bellweatherman View Post
This is a thing that I am also concerned with. I've heard that the new hollow axle used to replace a solid axle needs to match exactly all dimensions, even curvature of the axle ends or the cones wI'll be too sloppy of a fit. Is there a hub that uses standard Shimano axles so that hollow axle, and thus quick release, is still possible to do?
All that has to match is the thread diameter and pitch and the axle has to be long enough to match the dropout spacing. The "curvature at the ends" is of no matter. As a guide the correct axle length for a qr hub, it's 10- 11 mm longer than the dropout spacing so a 126 mm frame uses a 137 mm axle and a 135 mm spaced frame uses a 146 mm axle. As noted, the axle shouldn't be too long or it will protrude beyond the dropout faces and keep the qr skewer from tightening on the dropouts properly. As also noted a too-long axle can be shortened rather easily but a too short one can't grow.
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Old 01-22-15, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
All that has to match is the thread diameter and pitch and the axle has to be long enough to match the dropout spacing. The "curvature at the ends" is of no matter. As a guide the correct axle length for a qr hub, it's 10- 11 mm longer than the dropout spacing so a 126 mm frame uses a 137 mm axle and a 135 mm spaced frame uses a 146 mm axle. As noted, the axle shouldn't be too long or it will protrude beyond the dropout faces and keep the qr skewer from tightening on the dropouts properly. As also noted a too-long axle can be shortened rather easily but a too short one can't grow.

Oh, when I posted about the curvature of the axle ends, what I should have written was about the cones. To clarify, assuming that I will replace a solid axle with a hollow axle making sure that the newer hollow axle has the same dimensions (i.e., axle length, diameter, thread pitch) as the older solid axle... Would I also replace the cones also.

For example, some places online sell a hollow axle kit that includes generic cones and locknuts. I've been warned that the generic cones might not fit the old hub that the new axle is going into.
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Old 01-22-15, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bellweatherman View Post
How hard would it be to convert a solid axle hub such as a Formula hub with axle nuts to a hollow axle hub that uses quick release levers? Assuming this is just a matter of replacing the axles, will the cones and everything be compatible?

I did just that last June. The good folks here finally got me to understand Over Lockout Distance to find the correct axle length. Works perfectly. Just measure your OLD. Take your existing axle with the cones to the local coop or LBS and test-fit the cones on a new axle.


"OLD" is "Over Locknut Distance" so OLD+11 mm = 130 OLD + 11 = 141 mm.
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Old 01-22-15, 10:21 PM
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As I initially posted, you'll do better with the original cones. Measure your axle diameters, and if you have 10mm rear, and 9mm front, you're set to buy JUST the axle, and keep all the original hardware, which solves any fit issues.
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Old 01-23-15, 11:15 AM
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Have you considered the bearing type? If it's cup and cone, easy. If it's a cartridge bearing the axle employs some type of inner bearing spacer. It may involve some machine work to make the swap unless the manufacturer offers an axle.
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Old 01-23-15, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by reddog3 View Post
Have you considered the bearing type? If it's cup and cone, easy. If it's a cartridge bearing the axle employs some type of inner bearing spacer. It may involve some machine work to make the swap unless the manufacturer offers an axle.

Hi guys. Thanks for the advice. To answer your questions whether the bearing type is cup-and-cone or cartridge-bearings, I am not really sure. I want to do this on a Formula track hub, but I am having difficulty finding hub/axle specs for this hub.
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Old 01-23-15, 12:52 PM
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Its Just how I'd do it .. take it apart and Look ? Or drag it by a Bike shop who can see your Parts?

Or get build a new rear wheel with the Axle in it like you want already there ..
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Old 01-24-15, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Or get build a new rear wheel with the Axle in it like you want already there ..

That's what I'm trying to do. I don't have the wheel, otherwise I'd take apart and see what I have. I want to build a wheelset with a Formula track hub, but use hollow axles so that I can still use quick release. The problem is that hub/axle specs for Formula are not readily available. If I go ahead and order the hub and then take apart to see what I have, I might find out that a standard Shimano axle won't fit. At which point I wouldn't be able to return the hub.
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Old 01-24-15, 12:43 PM
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I don't have the wheel
get a different wheel then .. lots of not formula brand fixie hubs out there to buy, already with a solid axle why are you locked onto that brand ?

These even spline on the cog so it's easy to change Cogs (If you actually Race Track and need a different gear for that Day)

and are Machined in California (not china) https://www.whiteind.com/track a flip Flop https://www.whiteind.com/eno

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Old 01-24-15, 03:04 PM
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There comes a time that you have to fish or cut bait.

The odds GREATLY favor the Formula hub having 10 & 9mm axles rear and front. You know the hardware has to be made for that thread, since doing it any other way would add all sorts of unnecessary complications. So it either has threaded cones, or a threaded adapter to support the inner race of a cartridge bearing. Either is the sam for your purposes.

So the only glitch might be if there is some kind of shoulder that is part of the axle. My educated guess is that it would be very unlikely because it would add to the expense of producing the axle and hub, and there are easier and cheaper ways to locate the bearings.

So, you have to decide whether to act on the information you have and go forward with the risk that there's an unforeseen issue, be Hamlet and wait and wonder until you either give up, or bite the bullet after all.
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Old 01-24-15, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
There comes a time that you have to fish or cut bait.

The odds GREATLY favor the Formula hub having 10 & 9mm axles rear and front. You know the hardware has to be made for that thread, since doing it any other way would add all sorts of unnecessary complications. So it either has threaded cones, or a threaded adapter to support the inner race of a cartridge bearing. Either is the sam for your purposes.

So the only glitch might be if there is some kind of shoulder that is part of the axle. My educated guess is that it would be very unlikely because it would add to the expense of producing the axle and hub, and there are easier and cheaper ways to locate the bearings.

So, you have to decide whether to act on the information you have and go forward with the risk that there's an unforeseen issue, be Hamlet and wait and wonder until you either give up, or bite the bullet after all.

Thanks FBinNY. Good advice. I think you're right. I am going to go for it and get the Formula rear track hub with the solid axle. I'm going to take it apart and hope that it's just a standard 10mm axle without any type of integrated shoulder. If it goes well, then I can then just replace that solid axle with a 10mm standard Shimano hollow axle so I can use a quick release. Got my fingers crossed on this... Thanks for the help.
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