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150mm & 157mm Hubs

Old 01-27-15, 11:36 AM
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150mm & 157mm Hubs

I am considering a 157mm thru axle hub. Anybody with personal use information on their 150mm or 157mm hub?
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Old 01-27-15, 02:00 PM
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Are your dropouts set up for the 157 standard? If so and you want to run an existing 150mm wheel, there's no problem; from everything I've read, the hub shells themselves are the same, they just added longer spacers to catch in the dropout 'notches.' My frame is the "old" 150 standard, so am still running my burly Syncros FR hubs. If I got a 157 frame, I'd probably just get the longer spacers and keep runnin' 'em.
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Old 01-27-15, 03:43 PM
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Hmm, looking at the OP's avatar and bikes, I wonder if this is for a tandem?
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Old 01-27-15, 04:16 PM
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Yes my question relates to a new tandem build. Traditional tandem standards of 145 and 160 have less hub choices. My Stoker likes a wide q Factor so 142mm rear spacing is not really a good chain line for us. It occurs to me that downhill hubs might be a good answer giving a strong wheel and stable setup. We have pulled rear wheels out of the drop outs if the skewer is not really clamped down.

I have never used a thru axle hub and since total package weight will be more than 300 lbs I am a little concerned about aluminum axle durability. Hadley, DT Swiss or Chris King drive mechanisms should be fine but does the inner surface of the hub bearing stay connected to the axle by friction or is there some movement there? Videos I have seen look like the thru axle just falls out with little friction. Seems like a steel bearing surface on aluminum axle might not be the most durable if the axle moves within the bearing without turning the bearing itself.

We ride about 5K miles a year and would like it to last a long time.

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Old 01-27-15, 04:25 PM
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Lots of detail here: 2016 Axle Standards, Part 1: Rear 148mm Thru Axle Coming Fast & It?s About More Than Just Better Wheels

Of course, they are talking about it as it relates to MTBs. You can fill in the blanks for relevance on a tandem.
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Old 01-27-15, 04:30 PM
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a through axle should be plenty strong for a tandem. The whole idea behind them is to keep the rear end of a suspension bike from flexing. It's certainly better than a 10mm axle.
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Old 01-27-15, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
a through axle should be plenty strong for a tandem. The whole idea behind them is to keep the rear end of a suspension bike from flexing. It's certainly better than a 10mm axle.

A stiffer axle is a very good thing and the thru axle design has that advantage. As as I understand materials however, stiff is not necessarily more durable. This is especially the case when dealing with aluminum which when compared to steel fatigues easily when bent and is easly worn by friction.
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Old 01-27-15, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by waynesulak
A stiffer axle is a very good thing and the thru axle design has that advantage. As as I understand materials however, stiff is not necessarily more durable. This is especially the case when dealing with aluminum which when compared to steel fatigues easily when bent and is easly worn by friction.
You have obviously not held a 12mm through axle in your hands. Quick release is only 9mm at the very ends. The middle part, the part supporting your 300 lb of tandem humanity, is more like 4mm.

Go to a decent MTB shop and ask to see a 12x142 axle. 157 is just like that. I could take a pic for you, or just find some on the internet, but you won't really believe until you have both in your hands.
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Old 01-27-15, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by waynesulak
I have never used a thru axle hub and since total package weight will be more than 300 lbs I am a little concerned about aluminum axle durability. Hadley, DT Swiss or Chris King drive mechanisms should be fine but does the inner surface of the hub bearing stay connected to the axle by friction or is there some movement there? Videos I have seen look like the thru axle just falls out with little friction. Seems like a steel bearing surface on aluminum axle might not be the most durable if the axle moves within the bearing without turning the bearing itself.
While it's true that a downhill through-axle is not an interferance fit in the hub bearing's inner races, you have no worries of that being an issue. The only way there could be any problems with the axle/bearing interface is if a bearing froze. Remember too that tightening a through axle pinches the dropouts, spacers andinner races together as a unit anyway.

Also, you can set aside your concerns about the strength of an aluminum through-axle. Yes, most are hollow but not that hollow; and they are engineered to withstand long-term use of a 200+ lb rider on a nearly-40-lb bike at forces not seen in even typical mountain biking.
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Old 01-28-15, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by dminor
While it's true that a downhill through-axle is not an interferance fit in the hub bearing's inner races, you have no worries of that being an issue. The only way there could be any problems with the axle/bearing interface is if a bearing froze. Remember too that tightening a through axle pinches the dropouts, spacers andinner races together as a unit anyway.

Also, you can set aside your concerns about the strength of an aluminum through-axle. Yes, most are hollow but not that hollow; and they are engineered to withstand long-term use of a 200+ lb rider on a nearly-40-lb bike at forces not seen in even typical mountain biking.
That sounds appealing. Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-28-15, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by waynesulak
A stiffer axle is a very good thing and the thru axle design has that advantage. As as I understand materials however, stiff is not necessarily more durable. This is especially the case when dealing with aluminum which when compared to steel fatigues easily when bent and is easly worn by friction.
well, since durability is a very nebulous thing, I'll just address fatigue fracture. That is an area where I have a significant amount of experience -- both professionally and as a bike rider. The advantage of through axle is that it's a much stronger interface, and it's not going to bend much. QR axles bend and fail in fatigue, usually at a thread. In a through axle, the threads aren't loaded in the same way, and they really only see normal forces and not significant bending (at least not if the frame is properly built). The threaded portion of the through axle does not see the rider/bike weight at all. In addition, there is support for the axle both externally via the dropout and internally via the axle. So in addition to the greater bending resistance, the loads are much lower on the most vulnerable part. I think it will be much superior to a QR axle for a tandem.
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Old 01-28-15, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
The threaded portion of the through axle does not see the rider/bike weight at all. In addition, there is support for the axle both externally via the dropout and internally via the axle. So in addition to the greater bending resistance, the loads are much lower on the most vulnerable part. I think it will be much superior to a QR axle for a tandem.
Is that true for 12x150? I think that is the reason to move to 157.

Agreed 10,000% on your final sentence. This is a no-brainer. 157 is better than 150, but even 150 is vastly superior to a standard quick-release axle.
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Old 01-28-15, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ColinL
157 is better than 150, . . . .
This point I will take issue with. As far as I can see, the only reason for the existence of 157 is to allow for recesses in the dropouts for axle-locating: purely a bit of 'convenience engineering." Evidently, some people were challenged by the need to line up holes when installing a traditional 150mm through-axle.

The recesses impart no greater strength or lateral rigidity; the hub spacers rest in the recesses, yes, but hub bearing inner races and spacers all exert sheer forces on the axle anyway, no matter how much the axle is tightened down. So, in other words, the axle itself is carrying all of the load, whether in 150 or 157 configuration.

I might add that, in the zeal to give people 'notches' in the dropout for a rear through-axle, some bad designs in derailleur hangers resulted. In my own case, it's the Yeti SB66 hanger - - there is so much material carved away to make the recess that there is very little meat left around the two hanger-attaching bolt holes. I have broken two hangers so far because of this weakness. I've been meaning to send my last broken hanger back to Yeti with a plea to lose the recess and give us a single-thickness hanger and a shorter right-side hub spacer. I can line up my own axles, thank you.
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Old 01-29-15, 09:01 AM
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Because my rear wheel is convertible between 135QR, 135 TA and 12x142, I have run all three recently. I used an Azonic 135 through axle that was skinny on both ends to make it fit in a normal QR dropout, and it has nuts on both ends, BMX style.

Your SB66 looks like it has a different rear end than my Blur TR. I have the fixed nut in the frame, it's part of the DT Swiss 12x142 axle design. It takes a few seconds to line up the rear wheel but it's easy with a type 2 RD since it's keeping the chain very slack.
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Old 01-29-15, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
well, since durability is a very nebulous thing, I'll just address fatigue fracture. That is an area where I have a significant amount of experience -- both professionally and as a bike rider. The advantage of through axle is that it's a much stronger interface, and it's not going to bend much. QR axles bend and fail in fatigue, usually at a thread. In a through axle, the threads aren't loaded in the same way, and they really only see normal forces and not significant bending (at least not if the frame is properly built). The threaded portion of the through axle does not see the rider/bike weight at all. In addition, there is support for the axle both externally via the dropout and internally via the axle. So in addition to the greater bending resistance, the loads are much lower on the most vulnerable part. I think it will be much superior to a QR axle for a tandem.
Thanks for the detail explanation. I can see the advantages of the thru axle design and your expertise on fatigue fracture is appreciated because that was my main concern. One question though. It appears to me that unlike the QR skewer, the weight is born by the thru axel itself and so there would be shear forces on the aluminum axle near the thinner threaded area between the drop out and the hub. Is this not the case or is it not significant?

The QR skewer is an old but "good enough" design for most tandems. We are heading on 50,000 miles and never broken one or seen one break on another tandem. Probably because the weight is not born by the skewer. I have heard of steel axles breaking on old freewheels quite often but not freehubs which have better support from the bearings.

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Old 01-29-15, 11:53 AM
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^^ I really think you are overthinking and fretting over absolutely nothing. Somewhere along the way I think your are missing the fact that, with a QR skewer setup, all of the weight/load is being borne by a smaller, hollow, threaded axle. Because the skewer is such a loose fit inside the axle, you can't really expect that it is contributing much or any to the integrity of the setup; or, if it is, then the hollow axle has flexed enough to where its inner wall has touched the skewer. Either way, not that great . . . and vastly inferior to a 12mm through-axle.
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Old 01-29-15, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by dminor
^^ I really think you are overthinking and fretting over absolutely nothing. Somewhere along the way I think your are missing the fact that, with a QR skewer setup, all of the weight/load is being borne by a smaller, hollow, threaded axle. Because the skewer is such a loose fit inside the axle, you can't really expect that it is contributing much or any to the integrity of the setup; or, if it is, then the hollow axle has flexed enough to where its inner wall has touched the skewer. Either way, not that great . . . and vastly inferior to a 12mm through-axle.
You are most likely correct that I am over thinking it. The thru axle looks like a good design. That is what these internet forums are for right?

I do have incentive to over think anything that would be a ride stopper. We ride alone a lot and if we are stranded in the middle of nowhere then it is a real issue. Walking many miles in bike shoes while explaining to your stoker why she has to walk - well lets just say it is not fun.

Cell phones are nice but some places we ride have no coverage and there is nobody home when we ride. Hitching a ride is also an issue with your wife and a long bike.

Tandems are great and we ride ours much more than our singles but there are special considerations.
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