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  1. #26
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    Having ridden the same bikes and same wheelsets both as QR and TA, I can assure you the TA is stiffer. How can I tell that isn't simply conjecture? Under heavy loading, there's less fork flex and disc rubbing. I could go on with how the bikes feel different, but you'd likely discount it.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    Is it better to clamp or bolt a bench vise to a table?
    Depends. Are you riding upside down spider-pig style?
    "That pretty much sums it up. I'm 43 and my max is ~178-180. If that HR chart was mine or Froome's, we'd be on the verge of death. But for you it probably looks like a normal workout." -TLG

    LOLOLOL

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Migen21 View Post
    I have two very similar bikes. BMC Gran Fondo GF-01 (QR) and BMC RoadMachine RM-01 (12mm Thru Axles).

    I'm a big guy (6' 5", 225lbs). I have an otherwise identical set of wheels for each bike (HED Belgium Plus on White Industries hubs, 25mm GP4000IIs tires, same inflation). I think the most obvious place I notice the thru-axles is in tracking on the high speed corners. I'm not sure I can explain why exactly, and some of it could be down to (very minor) geometry differences, but the Road Machine just feels much more locked in and steady on a high speed descending corner, and it's very noticeable.
    I would imagine that 99.99% of what you are feeling in high speed tracking is EXACTLY down to the geometry of each bike and the differences in what make each bike, well, different. It's not a design coincidence that the RM is better in this department than the GF.
    "That pretty much sums it up. I'm 43 and my max is ~178-180. If that HR chart was mine or Froome's, we'd be on the verge of death. But for you it probably looks like a normal workout." -TLG

    LOLOLOL

  4. #29
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    Nobody gets a pass from the requirement of showing proof for their claims.

    I may not be an engineer, but I've taken my share of math and physics. So I think I understand enough to grasp the engineering concepts here. Thru-axle simply doesn't make sense.

  5. #30
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    You know what I see when I read anecdotal evidence?

    "Blah blah blah through axle. Blah blah blah...."

    Anecdotal evidence should be reserved for UFO sightings, not as "proof" that one design is stiffer than another.

    I want hard information, i.e. from experiments, providing quantifiable data that demonstrates improved stiffness from through axles over QR.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waspinator View Post
    Nobody gets a pass from the requirement of showing proof for their claims.

    I may not be an engineer, but I've taken my share of math and physics. So I think I understand enough to grasp the engineering concepts here. Thru-axle simply doesn't make sense.
    Which of these moment diagrams do you think is more rigid? You remember these from physics right?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Why quick release is a vastly superior design to thru-axle.-moment.jpg  
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  7. #32
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    While I agree that a thru axle doesn't make all that much sense on a road bike, and the rotor centering and other disc-related arguments are BS, that doesn't mean that they aren't stiffer. They're 33-100% larger, hollow, alloy tubes. They're going to be stiffer than a 9 or 10mm solid steel axle. With that said, my experience with several thru axles and several 9/10mm QRs is that there's no noticeable difference on the bike. I'm guessing the 12x148 on the back of my FS MTB has the most advantage over a 9mm QR, but road bike rear ends aren't made up of a half-dozen stiffness-killing pivots. It still flexes a lot back there.

    Would I care if a new road bike came with them? No, as I have owned a few bikes with them. That 100mm XC bike has thru axle Boost hubs (so also a Boost crankset) and a tapered steerer. Talk about things that don't really matter. There are incremental improvements in there somewhere, I suppose. I don't see the axles as any sort of upgrade though. If anything, they're harder to use. But, they are probably the way of the future, so whatever. Just like PF BBs aren't any better (but hey, they're stiffer!), it's just something to accept and move on. Or not, because there are plenty of bikes without any of that stuff.

    It would be interesting to see some lab tests with QR vs. thru axles, threaded vs. PF BBs, tapered vs. straight steerers, etc., just to see at what point the extra stiffness starts to show. I'm doubtful that it'll be at a point that will be seen by most riders. It's surprising that there aren't such tests, or maybe it's isn't...

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waspinator View Post
    You know what I see when I read anecdotal evidence?

    "Blah blah blah through axle. Blah blah blah...."

    Anecdotal evidence should be reserved for UFO sightings, not as "proof" that one design is stiffer than another.

    I want hard information, i.e. from experiments, providing quantifiable data that demonstrates improved stiffness from through axles over QR.
    And what hard information do YOU have to support all of YOUR claims? I'm all eyes and ears.

    I'm not an engineer either, but I can figure out that what you have said so far makes no sense.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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  9. #34
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    Bike magazine had an article about thru-axles a few years ago. Their belief was that the extra stiffness provided by the system, and the extra protection against the wheel pulling from the dropouts due to disc brake torque, were indeed real but probably not of the magnitude to make a noticeable difference for 99% of riders.

    They concluded that thru-axles were developed in response to the apparently large number of riders who don't use regular quick releases correctly. They said, and I quote, "even a drunk monkey can operate a thru-axle skewer correctly".

    The thing that puzzles me about that statement is that I only see thru-axles (cammed or not) on high end bikes that are unlikely to be ridden by someone who doesn't correctly use the cam action of a normal QR.

    That all said, I think this discussion is like yelling at clouds. Thru-axles exist and if you like other features of a bike you're not going to say, "wow, this bike is rad I think I'll buy... Wait a minute, are those thru-axles?!?!? No way".

    You may as well start a thread about whether black or white paint on a bike is better because of heat radiation issues.

    Edit to add: The whole "vastly superior" claim is hyperbole at its finest. Perhaps "for some folks, in some cases, a traditional QR might make more sense. Or at least would not be detrimental".

    I for one really appreciate that I can tighten my thru-axles with one hand instead of leaning over my bike like an ape trying to reach the QR lever AND nut on a traditional system.
    Last edited by dir-t; 06-06-2017 at 12:03 PM.

  10. #35
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    WTH, stop messing with the scewers/TA, just leave it alone. I take mine off maybe 12 times a year/bike. Is it really that much of big deal?
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  11. #36
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    Has anyone ever heard/seen a disc brake pulling a wheel out? Not, oh there's so much extra force it'll do, but it actually happening?

    I have 3 mtb's:
    Ti frame with Manitou R7 80mm and v brakes on 26in wheels QR, some flex in there (especially noticable if I've come from riding my road bike)
    Alu frame with Marzocchi SL, 100mm, XT discs, 26in wheels QR. Not flexy at all, the next best thing to rigid forks.
    Carbon frame with Fox float 32, 120mm, XT discs, 650b wheel, TA. Flexy, somewhere between the Mazr and Manitou.

    However having said that, don't know what contributes to the flex of the TA fork, the fork design, the amount of travel, the size of the wheel or the setup of the fork.. so TA doesn't magically make things stiff,its the whole system combined.

    One thing I do hate, having come from many many years having no lawyer tabs on forks, TA surly do make me sad when it comes to wheel in/out procedures. Yea gads they suck. And if you have issues with the disc alignment with QRs then you're doing it wrong.
    All the gear and no idea

  12. #37
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    Until recently, I had a 2007 Specialized Enduro with a 15mm TA front fork and a 9mm x 135mm QR rear end. While I'm no clyde, but let me assure you guys that I have taken 5-7 drops and 8-10ft jump with this thing plenty of time. And though I'm light weight, I also abuse it more than ANY of the clydes on their roadies, for sure! And guess what, not even one time has my rear wheel fall out, or that I canned a jump due to the flimsy 9mm QR as being the reason (if I canned a jump, it was because I sucked).

    But back to talking road bike. I can't say that the flex in my front QR-based style fork is the limiting factor. I mean, I've bombed down long descent at over 50 mph with them, sometimes passing SUVs and motorcycle crusiers. And Tour guys like Sagan and Cancellara can go even faster. So it is a little confusing to me to hear regular guys on RBR saying a TA fork help them in the stiffness department and thus their bike handling skill. Really? Makes me wonder what are they basing their statement on? because it sounds pretty....subjective. Are RBR members regularly sweeping corners at 40 mph? or bombing down the Alps at 55 mph? such that they can feel or appreciate the difference between a QR and a TA fork?

  13. #38
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah2000 View Post
    I've never understood this issue, let alone experienced it when using quality items. Fully seat the wheel in the dropout and flip the lever closed. Done. It's not going to move, and it'll be centered every time, just like a thru-axle.

    The only time I've had an issue with a QR not holding a wheel securely or consistently was with a Gunnar steel frame and shitty Stan's QRs. The cheap, soft aluminum on the skewer couldn't get purchase on the frame. It was so bad that it'd even slip/move under power. On the thru axle side, it took a few rides to properly center the front wheel on one of my MTBs with a 15x110 front axle. The culprit was not enough tension dialed up on the tension adjuster built into the threads on the fork. Just like a regular QR, if it's not sufficiently tensioned, it'll have issues.
    You've never worked in a bike shop have you? You wouldn't believe what people, left to their own devices, can do. People will **** up the most simple device time after time.
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  14. #39
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    ^which mean they can still screw up a TA
    All the gear and no idea

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Which of these moment diagrams do you think is more rigid? You remember these from physics right?
    Even that moment diagram leaves out the compressive force thru-axles have (as well). Which per the torque rating on my bolt-head front thru-axle is 10-14Nm.
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  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    WTH, stop messing with the scewers/TA, just leave it alone. I take mine off maybe 12 times a year/bike. Is it really that much of big deal?
    I use a fork mount roof rack setup, so I take off and put on my front wheel hundreds of times a year.
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    You've never worked in a bike shop have you? You wouldn't believe what people, left to their own devices, can do. People will **** up the most simple device time after time.
    Fair point.

    At the same time, my MTB with thru axles was bought from a shop. The techs there couldn't figure out how the front thru axle worked, or how to tension it properly (this was a pretty big Trek store). After I test rode the bike, I noted that the front rotor rubbed under power. They put it in the stand, looked it over, said it'd go away as it broke in, and that it was normal behavior. Really? That's the answer? This was after they explained the incredible advancements in stiffness from Boost and thru axles. Sure thing guys. Or, you know, the goofy Fox tension wheel needed to be adjusted and the caliper wasn't aligned correctly.

    So, my point is that people are going to screw up thru-axles too. There are probably more ways to do that than there are with a QR. I wonder how many people have cross-threaded their frame or fork.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah2000 View Post
    Fair point.

    At the same time, my MTB with thru axles was bought from a shop. The techs there couldn't figure out how the front thru axle worked, or how to tension it properly (this was a pretty big Trek store). After I test rode the bike, I noted that the front rotor rubbed under power. They put it in the stand, looked it over, said it'd go away as it broke in, and that it was normal behavior. Really? That's the answer? This was after they explained the incredible advancements in stiffness from Boost and thru axles. Sure thing guys. Or, you know, the goofy Fox tension wheel needed to be adjusted and the caliper wasn't aligned correctly.

    So, my point is that people are going to screw up thru-axles too. There are probably more ways to do that than there are with a QR. I wonder how many people have cross-threaded their frame or fork.
    Cross threading an axle would take a ton of effort.....also some axle-systems, like Shimano's E-Thru Axle, have user-replaceable threads (there are no threads tapped into the frame). E-Thru is quite the clever Shimano way of doing things, too bad it is uncommon....and most OEMs use DT Swiss's system.
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  19. #44
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    Come one now, even a thru-bolt skewer (in QR dropout) is superior to QR skewer. By this I mean I could feel the rear triangle stiffen up and become more inline with the front triangle of my FS 29er when i switched the rear hub endcaps from QR to Thru-Bolt. Also noticed more stiffness on the front end.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Cross threading an axle would take a ton of effort.....also some axle-systems, like Shimano's E-Thru Axle, have user-replaceable threads (there are no threads tapped into the frame). E-Thru is quite the clever Shimano way of doing things, too bad it is uncommon....and most OEMs use DT Swiss's system.
    They are very coarse threads and I imagine the axle is softer than the frame (or I hope so, anyway), so yeah, it'd take some doing. I could see some stubborn owner getting it done though.

    I've never used the Shimano style; only Fox and RockShox branded setups on MTBs and CX bikes. None of them save the rear pivot on one of the Treks have replaceable threads. I've never come close to cross-threading or damaging the threads, even under less-than ideal conditions, but it would certainly suck.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git View Post
    One thing I do hate, having come from many many years having no lawyer tabs on forks.......
    What is it so many people loath about "lawyer tabs". Do they really inconvenience you that greatly?

    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git View Post
    ....TA surly do make me sad when it comes to wheel in/out procedures.
    Yeah, the tool you need to carry to loosen a TA really weighs so much it will slow you down.

    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    You've never worked in a bike shop have you? You wouldn't believe what people, left to their own devices, can do. People will **** up the most simple device time after time.
    I don't work in a bike shop, but I have led probably 300 or so club rides. I can't count the number of times I have corrected what could have been potentially catastrophic mechanical issues on bikes.

    For example, someone comes to me at the start of a ride complaining of brake rub. I find the QR is not only seated wrong, but is loose. I then ask "who installed this wheel in the fork?". Answer: "my husband". My next question: "Does he have a good life insurance policy on you?".

    Joking aside, I have changed quite a few flats for people and found loose QRs. I was even on a club ride once where a rider's wheel came out of his fork while riding! Luckily, he wasn't injured. Granted this rider in general was, to put it mildly, a few inch pounds short of a full torque.

    The imprint on hand method works for QRs - if the QR doesn't leave an imprint on your hand when you tighten it, it's too loose. In helping other riders out, I find many that are much looser than this.

    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git View Post
    ^which mean they can still screw up a TA
    Does TA solve this? Of course not. No system is fool proof. But you will have to agree there is less that can go wrong with TA if installed incorrectly. Or rather, if a TA comes loose, you will have more warning before potential calamity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah2000 View Post
    Fair point.
    At the same time, my MTB with thru axles was bought from a shop. The techs there couldn't figure out how the front thru axle worked, or how to tension it properly
    And that would be the last time I visit that shop.
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  22. #47
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    "What is it so many people loath about "lawyer tabs". Do they really inconvenience you that greatly?{"

    Yes, when it used to take five seconds to pop out your wheel it now takes a great deal more time - and even more to put it back on. Unfortunately, the majority is paying for the stupidity of the minority (as usual).
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradkay View Post
    Yes, when it used to take five seconds to pop out your wheel it now takes a great deal more time- and even more to put it back on.......
    Like around 10 seconds? Oh the humanity!
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
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    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradkay View Post
    "What is it so many people loath about "lawyer tabs". Do they really inconvenience you that greatly?{"

    Yes, when it used to take five seconds to pop out your wheel it now takes a great deal more time - and even more to put it back on. Unfortunately, the majority is paying for the stupidity of the minority (as usual).
    I just timed myself taking off a front wheel. 3 seconds. 3 is not a great deal more than 5.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I just timed myself taking off a front wheel. 3 seconds. 3 is not a great deal more than 5.
    I never timed myself doing it, so that was a shot from the hip. I bow to your superiority.

    As someone who has used QRs forever - and no through-axles on any of my bikes - I find the lawyer tabs (or Ralph Nader dropouts as I call them) to be a pain in the butt. Do I grind them off? No, but I do wish they weren't there.

    BTW: I never lost a skewer nut in the old days before lawyer tabs. It has happened a couple of times since then (so I keep an extra in my car's bike tool kit nowadays).
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

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