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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Came across this little mention about the Litespeed Ku-wa ti frame on Slowtwitch

New ti frames from Litespeed - Slowtwitch.com

In the comment section below, the respected Tom Kellogg (of Spectrum Cycles) said (in response to a poster):

Unsuspended rear ends don't benefit from thru-axles
Text White Line Font Black-and-white

So is Tom right? or is the bike industry just trying to push everyone to go to thru axle? (and that means buy new stuff!).
 

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I just picked up my Gravel spec Firefly Titanium. Beautiful bike. With 32 mm tires the thru-axles are not stiffening up the ride in a bad way. The UCI has blessed thru-axles in their racing spec. Seems this is the future. Wasn't difficult to remove the tire although my set-up makes use of a hex key tool(no hand lever). Why are you wed to quick release which is old technology designed for caliper brakes? As far as reasons to push, it probably avoids some industry liability issues but with the additional force disc brakes put out on wheels seems to make sense to me. I don't think this is a way to make you buy new stuff. That would apply to disc brakes in general but not thru-axle. If you're specing a new bike go thru-axle. There's no downside.
 

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No downside but what is the upside? QR worked just fine for me in my road and XC MTB applications, I never ever felt that my forks at either end were too flexy and needed a stiffer axle. I just think it's forced obsolescence on the consumer. It works for Apple so why not everyone else? All those BB standards, are we really any faster?
 

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There is a safety benefit. one can argue how much. i'm with you on the bottom brackets. lots of people buying into they are a response for stiffness and not a way of engineering costs out of the bike.

As far as the the push-back by you or the op. If its a new bike, why not get thru-axle. If its an old bike you can still buy wheels?

Why do you guys prefer quick release would be my question? At least with bottom brackets the new fangled improvements cause a host of issues that should preclude anyone from adopting most famously known as bb creek.
 

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I think thru-axles are unnecessary. They add some but not a lot security, especially in the rear where there is already a lot more tying the whole thing together. I think front thru-axles are nice for when you start hitting really bumpy terrain but even on my cross bike with QR, I don't experience much flex issues with a QR and I'm usually pushing 225-230 lbs during the cross season. As mentioned above though, there aren't much for downsides. QR is probably quicker for a wheel change but not a lot quicker, getting the rotor and pads to keep from hitting is usually what slows me down there.
 

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the bike shop i worked with on my bike recommended thru-axle up front and quick release in the back in fact. I went thru-axle on both however. seems your argument has merit.
 

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Have to go back to if there's no downside why complain?
Cause without a noticeable upside why bother except to take cyclists money? Evolution thru necessity sure but evolution for it's own sake, no thanks. I'd prefer big cycling find a solution to dirty chains and derailleurs over a stiffer axle on my road bike that takes longer to remove a wheel.
 

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Cause without a noticeable upside why bother except to take cyclists money? Evolution thru necessity sure but evolution for it's own sake, no thanks. I'd prefer big cycling find a solution to dirty chains and derailleurs over a stiffer axle on my road bike that takes longer to remove a wheel.
I wasn't aware they were charging more for the thru-axle or is it like the bb thing where they save money on making it? I'm just not seeing this argument.
 

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I wasn't aware they were charging more for the thru-axle or is it like the bb thing where they save money on making it? I'm just not seeing this argument.
okay so buy your new thru axle bike/ frameset. What are you going to do with that 2014 set of ENVE SES 4.5 that you paid 3K+ for? The upgrade will make the old standard obsolete. Upgrading is where this industry makes most of it's money not cheapening the manufacturing process. Look at how many perfectly usable 9 or 10 speed systems were retired early cause 11S was the latest and greatest. 11S wasn't cheaper.
Hope that gets my point across but it's just my opinion. :=)
 

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okay so buy your new thru axle bike/ frameset. What are you going to do with that 2014 set of ENVE SES 4.5 that you paid 3K+ for? The upgrade will make the old standard obsolete. Upgrading is where this industry makes most of it's money not cheapening the manufacturing process. Look at how many perfectly usable 9 or 10 speed systems were retired early cause 11S was the latest and greatest. 11S wasn't cheaper.
Hope that gets my point across but it's just my opinion. :=)
All depends on the hubs. I called White Industries about retrofitting for my front CLD hub for a thru-axle, and they said, YES, no problem. I may be putting a new fork on my Moots this summer, hence the inquiry.

And, I already retrofitted my Hadley hubs to thru-axles, on my mtn bike. Easy peasy!
 

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Gotcha. Finally I understand the annoyance. This is the risk of being an early adopter. And for road bikes you were an early adopter. UCI just came out with their standards. It was almost a given that the manufacturers would follow suit. But to the best of my knowledge you can still buy plenty of bikes with quick release. There's always custom too.
 

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Are thru axles necessary for road bikes or gravel bikes with disc?
Nope. I have QR's on mine. No problems at all. My MTB's have them too. No problem at all.

Note that many of the new disc wheelsets are thru axles. And I imagine as time goes by it'll be harder and harder to find QR wheels. So take that into consideration.
 

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The question implies that someone actually thinks they are "necessary". I'd like to give cyclist credit and think that isn't the case but I'm afraid it probably is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It was a little interesting to hear an opinion from a person who knows a lot about building bicycle.

I used to have 2007 Specialized Enduro with QR rear, and I hit 3'-5' drops all the times, basically on every ride, and never once did the rear wheel come close to loosening, and that bike had a 6" travel and 185mm rear disc. If anything, it was the suspension that was the weak link, not the QR system. Road, gravel, and even cx bikes won't ever see anything close resembling to that sort of abuse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The question implies that someone actually thinks they are "necessary". I'd like to give cyclist credit and think that isn't the case but I'm afraid it probably is.
Marketing can make a lot of people think a lot of things are necessary. Probably true for most things in life too! It was still interesting hearing from a person who knows a lot about bicycle building, old school straight shooter.
 

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Marketing can make a lot of people think a lot of things are necessary. Probably true for most things in life too! It was still interesting hearing from a person who knows a lot about bicycle building, old school straight shooter.

I remember seeing some recalls involving quick release. None with thru-axle. Here's one example. And yes, some are blaming the owners, but I never heard this happen with caliper set-ups.

Massive Quick Release Recall Expanded | Bicycling
 

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I remember seeing some recalls involving quick release. None with thru-axle. Here's one example. And yes, some are blaming the owners, but I never heard this happen with caliper set-ups.

Massive Quick Release Recall Expanded | Bicycling
I've never heard of a quick release that was left open getting caught in a disc on a bike that didn't have a disc either.

"The risk is that, when open, the lever can get caught in the disc rotor, stopping the wheel and causing a crash."
 

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Thru Axles are no more 'necessary' than disc brakes, 11 speed gearing, or tubeless tires.

Are there benefits to them? It's probably subjective, and very situational, but certainly having a stiffer wheel/axle can't hurt, and will help under certain situations. It probably depends a lot on the type of riding, your weight, the strength/rigidity of your wheel, and many other things...

There probably isn't much downside, other than the previously mentioned limitations in available frames and hubs.

I recently hired a wheel builder to build me a budget set of thru-axle wheels for my gravel/road bike. There is not much on the 'low-end' side of the hub market that will support road/disc/thru-axle.
 

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I have nine years and over 20,000 miles on my foul weather commuter with disc brakes. No thru-axles. No problems either.
 
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