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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!
    I live with fear and danger every day. And on the weekends she lets me go mountain biking.

  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?

  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.
    2015 Kona JTS
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  11. #11
    Front Range, Colorado
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    So what you're saying is your rear end is noticeably stiffer. Have you been working out.
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  12. #12
    Professional Crastinator
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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.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
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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?

    I live with fear and danger every day. And on the weekends she lets me go mountain biking.

  14. #14
    Formerly of Kent
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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.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  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
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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!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

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