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  1. #1
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    Broken a Solid or Hollow Axle or Quick Release Skewer?

    Have you ever broken a solid axle?

    Have you ever broken a hollow axle?

    Have you ever broken a Quick Release Skewer?

    If you have broken any of these what were the circumstances?
    Last edited by Scott Novak; 03-22-2013 at 02:56 PM.

  2. #2
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    Solid axles tend to bend rather than break. They are made out of 4130 chromoly. I think I have one made out of 4140 from wheels manufacturing it has lasted about twice as long as the others if you want this buy the longer tandem axle. Wheels Manufacturing AXLE-20 pitted_axle | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    "Dish is illogical." Spoke of Vulcan.

  3. #3
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    I've seen a good many department store bikes with bent solid axles. But who knows what kind of steel they were made from? I think most of them were also thinner than 10 mm.

    I'm thinking of replacing the hollow quick release axles in my hubs with solid 10 mm chrome moly axles. And yes, I saw the Wheels Manufacturing chrome moly axles. They seem to be the ones to buy.

    I don't want the bearing play to reduce when I tighten the axle into the dropouts as it does with quick release skewers.

    I want to make the wheels more theft resistant.

    I want axles that are less susceptible to bending or breakage.

    A solid axle that is bolted to the dropouts is probably less likely to come loose.

    I don't have as much faith in the reliability of quick release skewers as I would solid axles.

    When you look at the total weight of a solid axle and nuts it's not likely to be much more than a hollow axle and skewer.

    Someone gave an argument that the quick release skewer could help hold together a broken axle and allow you to pedal back to civilization.

    But I won't buy it as reasonable, unless I hear of any instances of people actually breaking quality solid 10 mm chrome moly axles. I figure that a solid 10 mm 4130 chrome moly axle is far less likely to break in the first place, therefore is more likely to get you back home.

    I was also reading the US government recall notices for bicycles and I noticed that there were some recalls for defective quick release skewers. I suspect that the quick release skewer is the most likely thing to break or fail in some manner.

    Scott Novak

  4. #4
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    Dude, way too much time on your hands. The idea of buying a solid axle for theft prevention is a good idea in that regard, but honestly, QR hardly give trouble and YES, I've broken a POS low end hollow axle and done ride on it held together by the QR although I had troubles, still got me home - actually broke both hollow axles on my first bikes wheels. Since I've moved to quality bikes and wheels I haven't had an issue, QR or Bolt On, but the solid axle will def be a stiffer option.
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  5. #5
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    The reason you see a lot of bent solid axles on department store bikes is because they have freewheel hub and they would bend or break hollow axles in the same way because the bearing is so far from the dropout. A bent or broken axle on a quality cassette hub is very rare and thousands of people have been using QR hubs on fully loaded touring bikes without incident for many years.

    Crappy QR skewers abound on both dept. store bikes and brand name bikes. Use a good one, like a Shimano XT, and you will never have a problem.

  6. #6
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    Tis true, both those wheels were Freewheels and Freehubs.

    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    The reason you see a lot of bent solid axles on department store bikes is because they have freewheel hub and they would bend or break hollow axles in the same way because the bearing is so far from the dropout. A bent or broken axle on a quality cassette hub is very rare and thousands of people have been using QR hubs on fully loaded touring bikes without incident for many years.

    Crappy QR skewers abound on both dept. store bikes and brand name bikes. Use a good one, like a Shimano XT, and you will never have a problem.
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  7. #7
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    I've seen bent FRONT axles on department store bikes, not just the rear.

    I also suspect that a solid axle would help stiffen the dropouts and reduce the chance of them bending or breaking.

    I am a bit skeptical that I could feel any difference between a solid axle and a hollow one, but I haven't ridden both, so who knows?

    Other than requiring a wrench and taking longer to remove, what is the downside to solid axles?

    Scott Novak

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Novak View Post
    Other than requiring a wrench and taking longer to remove, what is the downside to solid axles?

    Scott Novak

    I think you covered the downsides, but the question I would ask is what are the upsides of a solid axle for what you will be using it for? I presume you won't be using a department store brand axle on your bike so the fact that you've seen them bend has no meaning for your considerations. They bend because they are junk and not really made for any serious use.

    If you bend a QR axle on a quality cassette hub you have probably either been in a serious accident or landing some 4 foot drops pretty hard because it's not going to happen under any normal circumstances.

  9. #9
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    Yes get the 10mm solid axle after 90000 touring miles if one of these was going to break I would have broke it. On my photo sites it also shows how to run a 10mm front axle just use the rear hollow axle with bolts. With this setup you only need to carry one wrench which also fits the pedals. xt front | Flickr - Photo Sharing! Some forks are designed for 3/8 inch axles and 10mm fits fine. Some Shimano front hubs have 10mm axles ground down to 9mm at the dropouts.
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  10. #10
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    Pros of a quality SOLID 10 mm 4130 Chrome Moly Axle:

    The Wheels are more theft resistant.

    The hub bearing play doesn't change when the axle is bolted in place, unlike a hollow axle which reduces bearing clearance when the skewer is tightened and the axle is compressed.

    A solid axle would help stiffen the dropouts and reduce the chance of the dropouts bending or breaking.

    A solid axle is less susceptible to bending or breakage than a hollow axle.

    A solid axle that is bolted to the dropouts is less likely to come loose than a hollow axle with a quick release skewer.

    A solid axle is less likely to fail than a quick release skewer.

    There is little to no significant weight difference between a solid axle with nuts and a hollow axle with a quick release skewer.

    You don't have to worry about a quick release lever getting caught on something.

    Cons of a quality SOLID 10 mm 4130 Chrome Moly Axle:

    A wrench is required to unbolt the axle.

    ----------------------------------------------

    So why should I not want to use a solid axle?

    Scott Novak

  11. #11
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    An update.

    I was having problems with the rear tire rubbing against the chainstays. I'd adjust the wheel in the dropouts and it would be find for a little bit and then start rubbing again.

    I finally discovered that the hollow axle in the freewheel hub that I was riding on broke in two. The skewer was all that was holding the axle in place. The skewer was also badly bent.

    I found a 10 mm Wheels Mfg. solid axle in town and installed it. Much better and now I don't have to worry about the bearing play changing when I bolt the wheel into the dropouts. That alone is worth the $10 for the axle. Also, this wheel is not going to come loose in the dropouts as can happen with quick release axles.

    I wasn't planning to replace the hollow axle in this hub as I'm still planning to build up a pair of new wheels. But the axle broke and something needed to be done quickly.

    Scott Novak

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