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Ride quality qr vs thru axle

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Ride quality qr vs thru axle

Old 02-22-24, 03:58 PM
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Ride quality qr vs thru axle

For those that have transitioned over to thru axle road bikes. Aside from all the pros and cons. How is the ride quality different from a 5/8 I believe qr to a larger thru axle. Front Fork characteristics I'm particularly curious about.
how does it feel going from something like a tange fork to to a carbon thru axle.
How would they compare granted the wheel and tire setups are the same aside from the hubs.
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Old 02-22-24, 06:10 PM
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My C-Dale Topstone aluminum has a 12x100 thru axle, I use the OEM WtB i23 28 spoke front wheel, with 28mm Conti GP4S tires, that on that rim runs about 32mm. I generally can run at 70psi.

My Carbon Chinese road bike has QR, Mavic rims, 32 spoke, and I run Conti 5000 at 25mm with 100 psi I usually.

I really don’t notice a whole lot of difference in ride quality, the carbon road bike is faster on avg. by about 1/2 mph. The Topstone rides nicer, less bump harshness, mostly as it’s able to use 70 psi. Neither bike is tubeless.

Note that I list a lot of specifics as to tires, wheels air pressure, etc….. mostly as all that stuff, especially tire size and air pressure are what changes ride quality, where as a QR or TA will probably have no or little effect.
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Old 02-22-24, 06:23 PM
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GP5Ks on most of my bikes.

Ď16 Kona Roadhouse with thru axles was absolutely noticeably stiffer. It was a ton of fun for a couple weeks.

There was a few days that I was daydreaming about superior rim brakes combined with the ultra rigid fork-axle system.

About three weeks of daily riding in, the honeymoon was over.

Iíve spent a lot of money on tires and handlebars hoping to make that bike at least 75% as enjoyable to ride as any of my Tange #2 or Reynolds 531 & 531c framesets. Iíd rather ride my Super Course 12 despite being able to see the wheel leaning toward one brake pad then the other as I mash up a hill.

Iíve since tried out ten or so of my friends T/A bikes. A few have Whisky forks (supposedly really good). Theyíre also a drag. Then I get on my Panasonic Team and Iím flying.

My Roadhouse is so freaking stiff itís a chore just to ride it half a block. 10/15 rides I tried to take it on last year had me turn around to go home and swap bikes in under a mile.

The only time itís actually any fun is when my health slot machine is all jackpot, Iím firing on all 8, then Iíve dropped back a few cups of espresso and Iím just doing a three hour sprint around the county.

It needs 32mm tires pumped to 45psi to be as smooth as the Team with 23ís pumped to 80psi, but then itís slower on clear pavement. It is totally incapable of being as smooth or lively as my LeJeune red roadie on 28mm GP5Ks, but it sure is stiffer.

óóó

Then thereís wheelchanges- twirl twirl twirl that axle. And the squawky brakes. And thieves eyes.

It looks cool. It doesnít look like a DUI bike like any of my C&V with period correct rims, saddle, and handlebars tend to- which is nice on social rides with my younger friends.

Iím never buying another T/A bike again unless itís for such a good price that itíll be an easy flip. It was a good honeymoon though. If you have the means, I do recommend having the experience yourself. You might enjoy it for a longer period than I did.

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Old 02-23-24, 09:14 AM
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I'd think a through axle would affect the ride about as much as the color of the paint.

Now the rest of the bike -- frame, geometry, fork, tires -- those might change the ride. But you might as well credit the ball bearing idler pulley on the derailer as the axle.
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Old 02-23-24, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
I'd think a through axle would affect the ride about as much as the color of the paint.
...and yet so many framebuilders and manufacturers have suggested that it "stiffens up the front end" or something to that effect, which, if you think about it, seems plausible. Doesn't mean it's true, just that it makes sense in theory: A thicker, stiffer axle that is solidly threaded into the dropouts ought to resist independent movement of the left & right fork blades more than a conventional QR lever. :shrugs:
Whether there is tangible benefit -- or discernible difference -- from a "stiff front end" becomes the next question.
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Old 02-23-24, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
...and yet so many framebuilders and manufacturers have suggested that it "stiffens up the front end" or something to that effect, which, if you think about it, seems plausible. Doesn't mean it's true, just that it makes sense in theory: A thicker, stiffer axle that is solidly threaded into the dropouts ought to resist independent movement of the left & right fork blades more than a conventional QR lever. :shrugs:
Whether there is tangible benefit -- or discernible difference -- from a "stiff front end" becomes the next question.
Sounds more like marketing (broadly, plausible lies) than engineering (I work with a bunch of engineers, so I might call that logical conclusions. On a good day.).

Even if you allow that it might "stiffen the front end," do you really want that? A solid disk of steel, like a railroad wheel, is really stiff. Does that make for a better ride? Related question, why do railroad cars have springs between those stiff wheels and the coal that car is carrying? Is coal really that fragile??
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Old 02-23-24, 02:06 PM
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There may be compelling reasons to go with a thru axle vs a qr, but ride quality either way is not one of them.

Last edited by xroadcharlie; 02-24-24 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 02-23-24, 02:15 PM
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Thru-axles are not axles, they are simply wheel retention devices. The true axle is in the hub, the definition of an axle being something that does not rotate, around which the wheel bearings in the hub rotate.

Thru-axles were developed to idiot proof wheel retention, as through decades of rider mis-application, it was apparent to the industry that many bike users could not use a QR. Discs, and their propensity to create forces that eject wheels, was a further impetus for this solution.

A properly used quick release applies more clamping force than from the the twiddling one generates using the stubby thru-axle lever. In terms of overall hub 'stiffness', if the alu thru-axle is being counted on to augment the 'stiffness' and strength of the actual hub axle, then the hub axle is improperly designed and implemented. Again, the thru-axle is simply a wheel retention device.

As per the previous poster, what would be the purpose of a bike front-end that is really really stiff? Disc brake forks, because of the increased forces generated with disc brakes relative to rim brakes, need to be stronger, stiffer and less compliant than before. So if you now have discs, your bike front end should be 'stiffer' than a rim brake equivalent. Which is not always be a good thing.
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Old 02-23-24, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
Sounds more like marketing (broadly, plausible lies) than engineering (I work with a bunch of engineers, so I might call that logical conclusions. On a good day.).

Even if you allow that it might "stiffen the front end," do you really want that? A solid disk of steel, like a railroad wheel, is really stiff. Does that make for a better ride? Related question, why do railroad cars have springs between those stiff wheels and the coal that car is carrying? Is coal really that fragile??
In terms of vertical stiffness there isnít likely to be any significant difference. They are both rigid as far as vertical deflection goes. But torsional stiffness is likely to be higher with a thru axle. This may translate into more precise steering and stability. But there are so many other variables to consider in the bigger picture.
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Old 02-23-24, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
In terms of vertical stiffness there isnít likely to be any significant difference. They are both rigid as far as vertical deflection goes. But torsional stiffness is likely to be higher with a thru axle. This may translate into more precise steering and stability. But there are so many other variables to consider in the bigger picture.
I'd think torsional stiffness would apply more on the road when banking sharply over a pothole or railroad. So N/A for me, as both of those scenarios scare me to the point I do my best to avoid them.
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Old 02-23-24, 02:30 PM
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Between a fork built with tange and any other material, including other steel types, I think those differences alone will make comparing the difference of perceived ride of a QR to a thru-axle impossible.

But actually I see no reason at all for a thru-axle to have any difference in ride what so ever. The materials the frame and fork are made from as well as how they are constructed from the thickness of the tubes, type of material and for CF even the layup and type of cloth used will make a difference to the way we perceive the road feel.

Operationally, for the very few flats I have, it's been no issue having to look for the hex key to unscrew the thru-axle on my current bike. It doesn't slow one down as much as I first imagined prior to owning one.
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Old 02-23-24, 02:39 PM
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No change in ride but the thru axle allows for a lighter fork as the load is carried in part by the axle unlike with a QR skewer.
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Old 02-23-24, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
I'd think torsional stiffness would apply more on the road when banking sharply over a pothole or railroad. So N/A for me, as both of those scenarios scare me to the point I do my best to avoid them.
Well it is certainly more obvious on mountain bikes when riding through rock gardens etc. QRs are long since dead and buried in that category unless you are riding a C&V rig. On a road bike it probably doesnít matter much, but I do prefer having a thruí axle screwed firmly into the dropout vs clamping in a slot.
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Old 02-24-24, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
No change in ride but the thru axle allows for a lighter fork as the load is carried in part by the axle unlike with a QR skewer.
Huh?
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Old 02-24-24, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
Thru-axles are not axles, they are simply wheel retention devices. The true axle is in the hub, the definition of an axle being something that does not rotate, around which the wheel bearings in the hub rotate.

Thru-axles were developed to idiot proof wheel retention, as through decades of rider mis-application, it was apparent to the industry that many bike users could not use a QR. Discs, and their propensity to create forces that eject wheels, was a further impetus for this solution.

A properly used quick release applies more clamping force than from the the twiddling one generates using the stubby thru-axle lever. In terms of overall hub 'stiffness', if the alu thru-axle is being counted on to augment the 'stiffness' and strength of the actual hub axle, then the hub axle is improperly designed and implemented. Again, the thru-axle is simply a wheel retention device.

As per the previous poster, what would be the purpose of a bike front-end that is really really stiff? Disc brake forks, because of the increased forces generated with disc brakes relative to rim brakes, need to be stronger, stiffer and less compliant than before. So if you now have discs, your bike front end should be 'stiffer' than a rim brake equivalent. Which is not always be a good thing.
I saw a video some time back that made essentially the same case. It was detailed and convincing.

i think the primary advantage of thru axles is:

1. Disc brake locations cause a reaction force that tends to pull the wheel down and out of the dropout. Through axles, that screw into a closed surface on one side, make that no longer possible.

2. Seating in the absolute center of the fork is crucial with discs, less so with rim brakes. Through axles make the seating more precise and repeatable.

On the downside and as someone who takes his front wheel off often Ö they are a PITA.

Do they affect the ride? I donít see how that is possible.

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Old 02-24-24, 03:40 PM
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You will not find two bikes that are only different in axle type and nothing else. Thru axles go with disc brakes, disc brakes go with stiffer frames by bigger tires. So how do you compare bikes with different tire volumes and stiffnesses?
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Old 02-24-24, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395
Huh?
Take a couple minutes or as much as you need to consider how strong a fork needs to be when the skewer is not able to provide any load support as compared to a thru axle that actually supports the load of the bike and the rider. With a stronger fork and wheel hub connection the forks can be made to minimize their profile and reduce air drag for a road bike and increase the strength for the more extreme situation with a mountain bike going downhill and making a turn.

My electric road bike has 12mm x 110mm thru axles whereas my full suspension mountain bike has a thru axle that is 15mm in diameter and has a cross section that is 56% greater and 56% better able to resist shear load even if the same material and processing is used.

https://hexlox.com/en-us/pages/thru-...hru-axles-2021
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Old 02-24-24, 06:29 PM
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The problem is Ö the thru axle doesnít really support any load in the vertical direction. The axle inside the hub (which is truly an axle) supports that load path.

For the most part, thru axles serve only to provide a clamping force to (by friction) affix the end caps to the fork to hold the wheel in place. And the clamping force of a QR skewer system typically provides a stronger clamping force.

To understand why, you have to understand the hub internals.

This guy summarizes it well.


BUT, through axles are effective to counter the reactive force that happens with disc brakes, which tend to pull the wheel out of the dropouts, and also offer more precise and consistent placement of the axle in the dropouts Ö both important for disc brakes.
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Old 02-24-24, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
No change in ride but the thru axle allows for a lighter fork as the load is carried in part by the axle unlike with a QR skewer.
Pretty sure that's purely an academic argument and irrelevant in the real world since the disk brakes that are pretty much a universal feature of thru-axle equipped bikes require much heavier forks and rear stays than rim brakes since the braking forces are concentrated at the wheel hubs, not the rims. That requirement pretty much eclipses any fork lightening advantage that might come from the marginally higher rigidity of the thru axle/fork connection.

BTW, why is this posted in the 50+ section? I don't see how it has anything to do with older cyclists. Probably should go in the road or mechanics section.

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Old 02-25-24, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
I'd think a through axle would affect the ride about as much as the color of the paint.

Now the rest of the bike -- frame, geometry, fork, tires -- those might change the ride. But you might as well credit the ball bearing idler pulley on the derailer as the axle.
yup
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Old 02-25-24, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by davester

BTW, why is this posted in the 50+ section? I don't see how it has anything to do with older cyclists. Probably should go in the road or mechanics section.
Heck no far is as I'm considered the ratio of mechanics to enthusiast ******bags is too far off. In the mechanic section. My solution is to do my trolling in that section and hopefully find people with physical and not mental experience in this one.

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Old 02-25-24, 09:47 AM
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It looks to me like the axle, which is actually in the wheels hub is held in place using the same principle with either a QR skewer or a through axle. That is the clamping force applied to drop outs with a QR, or the holes with a through axle. If that is the case, if both are properly tightened then wouldn't the end result be the same. It would only be under extreme conditions, encountered in mountain biking that this would change. Although it would take an awful lot of disc break force to move a properly tightened QR, Proper alignment of the disc is very important so a thorough axle is still the best choice here.

The through axle can take more abuse before breaking, Which is important for serious mountain biking, And as I experience with my first QR bike a few years ago also safer in the event the QR skewer is not properly tightened as it might prevent the wheel from falling off.

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Old 02-25-24, 09:57 AM
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You get more of these snarky remarks in the mechanic section I've noticed. Here too but y'all are older than me. So I'll just roll my eyes knowing rider physiology trumps the number stickers on the bike.

Senior MemberQuote:Originally Posted by pdlambI'd think a through axle would affect the ride about as much as the color of the paint. Now the rest of the bike -- frame, geometry, fork, tires -- those might change the ride. But you might as well credit the ball bearing idler pulley on the derailer as the axle.






​​​​​​yup
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Old 02-25-24, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
...and yet so many framebuilders and manufacturers have suggested that it "stiffens up the front end" or something to that effect, which, if you think about it, seems plausible. Doesn't mean it's true, just that it makes sense in theory: A thicker, stiffer axle that is solidly threaded into the dropouts ought to resist independent movement of the left & right fork blades more than a conventional QR lever. :shrugs:
Whether there is tangible benefit -- or discernible difference -- from a "stiff front end" becomes the next question.
LOL...Of course they do....
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Old 02-25-24, 01:08 PM
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I’m still waiting for the blinded test of anyone’s ability to detect differences in “stiffness” among similar bicycles.
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