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Benefit of thru axle

Old 11-21-18, 06:28 PM
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delbiker1 
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Benefit of thru axle

Yesterday I received a new wheel-set for disc brakes. The wheels come with both the QRs and thru axle set ups. I have never used thru axles before. It is my understanding that the main benefit of the TAs is the stiffening of the wheels and therefore less stress on the wheels when braking.Does that also mean that the braking is faster? Will a wheel stay true longer? Do the TAs make it more difficult and longer to fix a flat while out riding? If that is the case, would it make any sense, or for any other reason, to only use the TAs on the front wheel. Obviously, the front gets more stress when braking.than the rear wheel. I am waiting for rotors for the new wheels before I mount them and I am looking for input regarding the using of the TAs compared to the QRs. Thanks and I appreciate any input regarding these questions.
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Old 11-21-18, 06:44 PM
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With q/r's you usually have to make some fine tune adjustments to center the rotor between the pads when installing the wheel. Not that it's a huge deal unless you're doing a wheel swap in a race. But with thru axles they line up in the same place every time. That's the only real difference I've experienced.
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Old 11-21-18, 07:50 PM
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I like that because it seems like I have to adjust the rotors all the time. That change alone makes the TAs worth mounting. Thanks Lazyass!
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Old 11-21-18, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
Yesterday I received a new wheel-set for disc brakes. The wheels come with both the QRs and thru axle set ups. I have never used thru axles before. It is my understanding that the main benefit of the TAs is the stiffening of the wheels and therefore less stress on the wheels when braking.Does that also mean that the braking is faster? Will a wheel stay true longer? Do the TAs make it more difficult and longer to fix a flat while out riding? If that is the case, would it make any sense, or for any other reason, to only use the TAs on the front wheel. Obviously, the front gets more stress when braking.than the rear wheel. I am waiting for rotors for the new wheels before I mount them and I am looking for input regarding the using of the TAs compared to the QRs. Thanks and I appreciate any input regarding these questions.
Thru axles, don't stiffen the wheels, but rather the forks, which makes for better control. Also, thru axles eliminate the theoretical possibility of hard disc braking forcing the axle out of the fork ends. FWIW, I'm not convinced that this is a real issue - I would challenge any braking to force a properly clamped-up wheel out of a lawyer-lipped fork.
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Old 11-21-18, 08:05 PM
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That makes sense regarding the stiffening of the forks and the handling, certainly a worthwhile benefit. But it also seems to me that I can see flex in the front wheel more prominently with disc brakes than with calipers. I will have to ride one bike and then the other immediately after to see if I that difference is true. Either way I will be using the TAs when I mount the wheels on my bike.
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Old 11-21-18, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
I like that because it seems like I have to adjust the rotors all the time. That change alone makes the TAs worth mounting.
You don't really have a choice on a bike that you already own. Either the frame and fork require through axles or they don't. You can't use through axles unless your frame and fork require them
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Old 11-21-18, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
You don't really have a choice on a bike that you already own. Either the frame and fork require through axles or they don't. You can't use through axles unless your frame and fork require them
Except for bikes with alternator plates that allow you to have your choice, QR or TA (rear only) like the Salsa Fargo.
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Old 11-22-18, 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
You don't really have a choice on a bike that you already own. Either the frame and fork require through axles or they don't. You can't use through axles unless your frame and fork require them
This^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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Old 11-22-18, 07:39 AM
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thru axles

Thanks everybody. I obviously have a lack of knowledge for thru axles. Does anyone have a comment on the stressing or not of the wheels with disc brakes and TAs. It seems to me with the rotor being more centered in the wheel that it would add stress to the rims, spokes and tires compared to caliper brake pads on the rim. Maybe due to centrifugal force. Maybe I am wrong and just over thinking it. It is more curiosity than anything. I love Bike Forums!
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Old 11-22-18, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
With q/r's you usually have to make some fine tune adjustments to center the rotor between the pads when installing the wheel. Not that it's a huge deal unless you're doing a wheel swap in a race. But with thru axles they line up in the same place every time. That's the only real difference I've experienced.
I mean, kind of...but not my experience with anything but a press-fit axle.

Because they can be inserted rather easily by hand, the hub can still move slightly on the axle, which can result in disc rubbing. The best method (as with QRs...) is still to drop the bike on the wheel/weight it on the ground, then close the fastener.
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Old 11-22-18, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
Thanks everybody. I obviously have a lack of knowledge for thru axles. Does anyone have a comment on the stressing or not of the wheels with disc brakes and TAs. It seems to me with the rotor being more centered in the wheel that it would add stress to the rims, spokes and tires compared to caliper brake pads on the rim. Maybe due to centrifugal force. Maybe I am wrong and just over thinking it. It is more curiosity than anything. I love Bike Forums!
You're overthinking, I think. What Litespud said is pretty much spot on. My first thru-axle was on a mountain bike, and the difference in control over rough ground was amazing. I still happily run QR bikes, but I'll take thru-axle over QR whenever there's a choice.
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Old 11-22-18, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
I mean, kind of...but not my experience with anything but a press-fit axle.

Because they can be inserted rather easily by hand, the hub can still move slightly on the axle, which can result in disc rubbing. The best method (as with QRs...) is still to drop the bike on the wheel/weight it on the ground, then close the fastener.
Even dropping the bike down onto the hub I still have to make minor adjustments to center the pads. Never had to with a thru axle. Not once have the pads rubbed after I screwed it in and locked it down. The only issue I had with a thru axle was getting the nds side of the hub lined up just right to thread the axle in. But after a few times I got the hang of it.
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Old 11-22-18, 10:13 AM
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It's funny, Iím on my second MTB with a thru axle. This one has a Rock Shox front 15mm and a QR141 rear, so I can take the back off without a tool but need an Allen wrench for the front. The previous bike had a Suntour Aion fork which has a clever QR front TA but I needed a wrench for the rear.
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Old 11-22-18, 10:35 AM
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I like thru axle

I like tooled through axle even better. (ones that need an Allen wrench to take off)

One of my QR bikes doesn't use a QR cam but uses a 5mm allen I like it better, it's a much cleaner look IMO

If I get a Flat the 10 second difference between a QR cam lever vs using a tool, is nothing in the time frame it takes me to dig out a tube, and swapping a tube.
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Old 11-22-18, 10:41 AM
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Rotational force is applied from two ongoing events when braking.
the wheel vs road surface
Or
The rider vs the wheel

If it were me, I'd determine which force is greater to decide what type of axle to go with.
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Old 11-22-18, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
Rotational force is applied from two ongoing events when braking.
the wheel vs road surface
Or
The rider vs the wheel

If it were me, I'd determine which force is greater to decide what type of axle to go with.
for me Thru axle choice is not about rotational force from braking.

Thru axle is simply for a stiffer fork, a more responsive fork to input from the bars, and a better feed back from the wheel to the fork to the bars to my hands. Which = a Much greater enjoyment. QR is like driving a car with worn out and loose tie rods.

I am the one steering, I'd like to be in control of that.
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Old 11-25-18, 01:08 AM
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I've never experienced movement between a wheel and fork legs using conventional quick release skewers. No play. But then I know how to properly tighten a quick release, unlike what I estimate to be 75% of the bike riding population.

I suppose if I were riding disks, thru-axles would be prudent to prevent the front wheel from ejecting, but since on road bikes, disks are heavy, fussy, and unnecessary, this is all moot.

Apart from the idiot-proofing benefit, thru-axles are just a time-wasting PITA.

Last edited by Dave Mayer; 11-25-18 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 11-25-18, 06:40 AM
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I doubt most riders will ever experience any real benefit from thru axles. We can regurgitate the theoretical advantages here on the WWW, but out on the trail it's not going to make a quantifiable difference.
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Old 11-25-18, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
I've never experienced movement between a wheel and fork legs using conventional quick release skewers. No play. But then I know how to properly tighten a quick release, unlike what I estimate to be 75% of the bike riding population.

I suppose if I were riding disks, thru-axles would be prudent to prevent the front wheel from ejecting, but since on road bikes, disks are heavy, fussy, and unnecessary, this is all moot.

Apart from the idiot-proofing benefit, thru-axles are just a time-wasting PITA.
This
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Old 11-25-18, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I doubt most riders will ever experience any real benefit from thru axles. We can regurgitate the theoretical advantages here on the WWW, but out on the trail it's not going to make a quantifiable difference.
On the road it might not make a difference.

But on the trail (if you mean mountain biking on singletrack) it abso-freaking-lutely does.
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Old 11-25-18, 07:28 PM
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Almost zero benefit for 95% of riders. Thru-axle schmu-axle.
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Old 11-25-18, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Wattsup View Post
Almost zero benefit for 95% of riders. Thru-axle schmu-axle.
Iíd go higher, like over 99%. Most everything I see as to any benefit is somebodyís anecdotal evidence, and likely the placebo effect
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Old 11-25-18, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Point View Post


Iíd go higher, like over 99%. Most everything I see as to any benefit is somebodyís anecdotal evidence, and likely the placebo effect
Many folks without any experience with thru axles seem to chime in with this kind of simplistic denial.

Meanwhile, folks that have transitioned from QR to TA over the last few decades have noticed better tracking in chunk, less twisting, etc.

"Thru Axle and Wheel-to-Fork Clamping Stiffness One further area where the overall torsional inertia stiffness can be improved is at the axles. From work on our previous thru axle bikes (and, even before that, from research performed many years ago), we have learned that the 12mm thru axles used on our disc-brake bikes contribute further improvement to the overall system stiffness. The larger axle diameter and more rigid connection to the fork (compared with a quickrelease axle) both work to make the bike stiffer laterally" (https://www.cervelo.com/media/gene-c...tech_paper.pdf)
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Old 11-26-18, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ogmtb View Post
The larger axle diameter and more rigid connection to the fork (compared with a quickrelease axle) both work to make the bike stiffer laterally" (https://www.cervelo.com/media/gene-c...tech_paper.pdf)
That's an interesting read! For more than just about axles. I had no idea that external steerer tubes were a thing. And that UCI rules made them more difficult to develop. Very interesting paper.
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Old 11-26-18, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
With q/r's you usually have to make some fine tune adjustments to center the rotor between the pads when installing the wheel. Not that it's a huge deal unless you're doing a wheel swap in a race. But with thru axles they line up in the same place every time. That's the only real difference I've experienced.
I've never noticed this problem, and I've taken my (front) wheel off and replaced it hundreds of times to put my bike on the bike rack. Maybe it's different with rear wheels, though I don't remember this being an issue the last time I replaced the rear tire. Maybe I just have more clearance between the caliper and the rotor than some.
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