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  1. #1
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    No way a through-axle makes that much difference...or does it?

    Last night, the parts arrived for me to upgrade my Yeti ASR-5 to a 142x12 through axle. I only did it because I love how easy it is to remove and install my front wheel with the QR15 axle. I also think it's more reliable after realizing my old 9mm QR had come loose on a ride.

    But I expected no other real benefit.

    I took it out for a 90 minute singletrack ride tonight. Are you kidding me? Sure, maybe I wanted it to ride noticeably better but I swear the bike has never felt or sounded this good. I don't want to say the rear end just felt more solid, because that's what the marketing people want me to say, but the rear end felt WAY more solid. I noticed it most when standing and climbing (at 49 years old, I'm not a fast descender with or without a through axle) but the whole bike felt much better. It even felt like the shifting was crisper.

    I'm sure 90% of the perceived benefit is just wishful thinking...kinda like when my car feels like it's running better after I wash it...but if any of this improvement is due to the through axle system, I should have done this when I built the bike!

  2. #2
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    Re: No way a through-axle makes that much difference...or does it?

    See. Now I swear my car runs better after a wash too. Wtf is it?
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  3. #3
    Hi There!
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    Quote Originally Posted by thickfog View Post
    See. Now I swear my car runs better after a wash too. Wtf is it?
    My car knows it's been washed....it knows. Maybe your's does too.
    NTFTC

  4. #4
    Redcoat
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    My car goes faster when i put stickers on it.

  5. #5
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    No way a through-axle makes that much difference...or does it?

    Backpedaling and bunny hops fix 86% of unwanted bike noise

  6. #6
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    Of course cars go faster when they are clean. Without dirt on it
    there is less drag and it weights less also.

  7. #7
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    I was having an issue with the 10mm rear axle flexing under my weight and pushing the rotor up against the pads. Using a 10 mm DT Swiss RWS (aluminum) with a carbon fiber sleeve to mate to a 12mm hub stopped that noise altogether, and impacts to the rear are more harsh, noted as I ride the road a lot with dry pack tires. If one can notice going from a 10mm steel to 10mm aluminum axle, yeah, a 12mm is going to beat the snot out of a 9m. WITHOUT the benefit of the rigidity of a through-axle setup.

    There's a reason the industry settled on 12mm thru-axle. It's a major improvement over 9mm QR, and is more than enough for what we need until you get into DJ and DH.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  8. #8
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    Thru axles do make a difference in peace of mind that your wheel is not going to fall off especially if you are going fast on very rocky or rooty chop where your wheel has a lot of deflection. I have had QR skewers where the lever released several times but wheel never fell off which is good. As far as stiffness goes, I don't think it is a noticeable stiffness difference.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    I'm sure 90% of the perceived benefit is just wishful thinking...
    In the case of through axles on long swing arms it really is not.

    You are directly attaching each side of the swing arm together instead of relying purely on the tension of the skewer, it makes a massive difference when you start applying twisting load to the tips of the swing arm (like hard braking and cornering).

  10. #10
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    Agreed, it's a noticable difference.
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  11. #11
    Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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    So what you're saying is your rear end is noticeably stiffer. Have you been working out.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fix the Spade View Post
    In the case of through axles on long swing arms it really is not.

    You are directly attaching each side of the swing arm together instead of relying purely on the tension of the skewer, it makes a massive difference when you start applying twisting load to the tips of the swing arm (like hard braking and cornering).
    Quite a few riders were breaking the rear triangles on the Iron Horse MkIII and such (~2008). Mine was pretty whippy in the rear when it was new and the 10mm QR even worked loose once. I went with a bolt-on axle and it was a noticeable improvement. I don't huck big stuff, and the IH is the back-up bike to my back-up bike, but the triangle is still in one piece.

    I don't believe the OP imagined anything.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    So what you're saying is your rear end is noticeably stiffer. Have you been working out.
    C'mon, bro, do you even squat?


  14. #14
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    No way a through-axle makes that much difference...or does it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    I was having an issue with the 10mm rear axle flexing under my weight and pushing the rotor up against the pads. Using a 10 mm DT Swiss RWS (aluminum) with a carbon fiber sleeve to mate to a 12mm hub stopped that noise altogether, and impacts to the rear are more harsh, noted as I ride the road a lot with dry pack tires. If one can notice going from a 10mm steel to 10mm aluminum axle, yeah, a 12mm is going to beat the snot out of a 9m. WITHOUT the benefit of the rigidity of a through-axle setup.

    There's a reason the industry settled on 12mm thru-axle. It's a major improvement over 9mm QR, and is more than enough for what we need until you get into DJ and DH.
    No one has ever used 9mm in the back.



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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    No one has ever used 9mm in the back.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Either you are familiar with all axle iterations worldwide, in which case I would be considerably impressed, or you like pointing out people's mistakes as means to discredit their knowledge. Either way, nothing was added to the thread.

    For clarification, The first part of that sentance (why the industry settled on 12mm) was referrring to the rear axle spec, while the remainder of the sentance was referring to the improvement in stiffness with 15 and 20mm thru vs 9mm QR on the front. I probably posted it at 5am after a long day of work, and hopefully a long ride on the bike as well.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  16. #16
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    The current industry standard for road and mountain is 10mm axles in the rear, of course excluding thru-axles, so Le Duke is correct to a point. Truthfully I cannot say that no one has ever ridden on a 9mm rear axle.
    Thru-axles do make a difference in stiffness, especially as hub spacings get wider, they also help in the alignment of the hub in the dropouts.

  17. #17
    I like turtles
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    My next bike will certainly have thrus on the front/rear.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  18. #18
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    Good to hear that the rear TA makes a difference. I replaced my standard QR fork lowers so I could run 15mm TA, and at the same time replaced the stock wheels with XT/Stans Crest I got off eBay. I reamed the rear hub out to take a Hadley 10mm axle.

    Of course it rode like a different bike. I attributed most of it to the TA in the front, but glad to know that the effort and expense on the rear probably wasn't wasted

  19. #19
    meow meow
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    i remember my sj fsr 29er with rear qr. the back wheel wandered around like it had a mind of its own. ill happily stick with through axles.

  20. #20
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    A clean car is a happy car and a happy car just runs better.

    ...Oh yeah, and I will agree that thru axel does indeed feel more solid too!

  21. #21
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    So a solid axle feels stiffer, more solid and better in the rear.
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus View Post
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul View Post
    i remember my sj fsr 29er with rear qr. the back wheel wandered around like it had a mind of its own. ill happily stick with through axles.
    My old Trek Superfly 100 was the same way. What a nightmare between QR axle, wimpy wheels and the ABP convert stuff coming loose.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBitey View Post
    Backpedaling and bunny hops fix 86% of unwanted bike noise
    43% of posts using percentages are wrong.
    Wanted: Cheapo pair of flat pedals. Bigger the better.

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  24. #24
    Evolutionsverlierer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    43% of posts using percentages are wrong.
    Nope, resent studies have shown that is at least 48% with the margin of error of +15/-53.2%.

  25. #25
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    Nope, you should clean the rear 100%
    ...

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    Nope, you should clean the rear 100%
    know any good ointments?
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus View Post
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by deke505 View Post
    know any good ointments?
    Mild soap & warm water..NEVER use high pressure!
    ...

  28. #28
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    My QR seems to be stiffer when it's clean.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    ....or you like pointing out people's mistakes.... The first part of that sentance...
    i couldn't read any farther than this....


  30. #30
    Don't Tread on Me
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    Concerning 12 mm in the rear, I screen potential doctors by the size of their fingers. The doctor with the smallest hands gets my business.
    Consciousness, that annoying time between bike rides.

  31. #31
    Evolutionsverlierer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    Nope, you should clean the rear 100%
    Nah, just man up and enjoy the itch, makes riding way more fun, not that I know anything about that, that is just what a friend of a friend said.

  32. #32
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    I heard the same thing, now I read it on the inter webs. Must be true.
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  33. #33
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    Huh? I never had an itchy axle, maybe use stiff joint cpmpound for that?
    ...

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    Huh? I never had an itchy axle, maybe use stiff joint cpmpound for that?
    I am a little out of the loop with all these terms you crazy young kids throw around nowadays but back in my hey days having an itchy axle was bad news all the way around and there was no cure whatsoever so I am not sure if I want to know what "stiff joint cpmpound" is code for.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    Huh? I never had an itchy axle, maybe use stiff joint cpmpound for that?
    nah just rub it a little with some lube, it should help.
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus View Post
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  36. #36
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    I've been wanting to do the 10x135 QR to thrubolt conversion on my Stans rear wheel. I'd imagine it would help out on my Spark, my Scale...dunno.

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  37. #37
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    I've always been able to feel a lot more difference attributed to frame design, rather than rear axle type. I've had a few 12mm rear thru axle bikes now, but the bikes that stood out as the stiffest had stiff rear ends (foes, several turner bikes, ). Wheel construction also makes a big difference. I won't discourage anyone from getting a 12mm thru-axle, they are great, but they don't fix a poor/flexy design.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by deke505 View Post
    So a solid axle feels stiffer, more solid and better in the rear.
    You know I'm not one to judge what you are into, but what you do off the bike is your business.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  39. #39
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    The single change from cheap steel skewers to XT ones on my rigid steel commuter resulted in a dramatic reduction in road vibration and a much nicer feel so I can appreciate what the OP is saying.

  40. #40
    Silence! I kill you!
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    Quote Originally Posted by deke505 View Post
    So a solid axle feels stiffer, more solid and better in the rear.
    Thats what she said!
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