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Thread: best 142 axle?

  1. #1
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    best 142 axle?

    I know, technically not about building a frame, but I think frame builders will be more familiar with what I'm asking and have informed opinions:

    My Vassago has Paragon sliders in the rear, which I love, but it uses something very close to a RockShox Maxle. Recently it was damaged by a freak rock strike and while it still *CAN* function safely, it's a pain to use.
    I say "very close to" because unlike my actual RS maxle on the fork; to tighten this axle, the "lever" flips to completely open and fits into a notch in the collar, but not all the way tight.
    **Once the axle is 'almost' tight, the lever flips back over to function like a plain-old old-school QR.** where the lever action clamps the thing tight. This is slightly unlike the maxle on the fork that screws down tight then flips closed in the best position.
    So what happened was, I smacked a rock and damaged the "notch" to the point where I have to maintain significant inward pressure to prevent the QR lever from ramping out, much like a rounded out hex bolt. It works, it just sucks.
    I'm also not happy with how bulky the lever assembly is, and would love to get it tucked in a little better.

    I'm gonna replace the axle, but my options are:
    1) a replacement SRAM/RS Maxle. I'm pretty sure the pitch on the R slider is the same....?
    2) a DT Swiss RWS. According to Paragon, this is a direct replacement, as they only sell one slider that looks like mine, and it's identical in appearance.
    3) Shimano 12x142 axle

    The axles all cost about the same, $35-40, but options 1 and 2 allow me to keep the current R side slider, because the 'nut' is part of the slider. option 3 requires a $15 dollar slider because the Shimano one, the 'nut' is not welded to the slider.

    A number of my friends ride Vassagos and their bikes came with Shimano setups. They have mo complaints. I don't know much about the DT RWS axle, but DT makes great products.
    Both my Reba and Whisky 9 forks use Maxles, and I don't love them, but I don't dislike them either.

    Option 4 is dig out the bag with the extra 135qr sliders and slip the skewer assembly back in my Hadley hub, ditching the TA... I'm 160# in gear, and don't put down big power. frame flex isn't a main point like it would be for some. This is not my first choice, but I admittedly don't know much about the real data of QR vs TA strength in a steel HT frame.

    Frame builders, what's your choice for a 12x142 axle, and why?
    Thanks for the input everyone!
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Walt's Avatar
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    Just put your QR parts back on. Through axle doesn't do anything on a hardtail anyway.

    -Walt

  3. #3
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    You couldn't pay me to go back to a QR set up, on any bike, but I weigh a good bit more than you guys, and can pretty regularly rip a QR wheel out of the drop outs.

    Anyway, confirm that you do in fact have paragon dropouts (inserts really, the cheaper cast dropouts on the Jabbers would use the same axle as long as you have the same insert), they should say 12 x 1 on the right dropout, and then get yourself one of these:

    SK4010: PMW Combo Head 142 x 12 mm Rear

  4. #4
    Always in the wrong gear
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Just put your QR parts back on. Through axle doesn't do anything on a hardtail anyway.

    -Walt
    Knowing that you literally build bikes for a living, that's a pretty strong endorsement. I respect your expertise. I'll give that serious thought. Might even swap it out while I shop for a TA just to compare the ride.


    Quote Originally Posted by Black Squirrel View Post

    ....confirm that you do in fact have paragon dropouts (inserts really, the cheaper cast dropouts on the Jabbers would use the same axle as long as you have the same insert), they should say 12 x 1 on the right dropout, and then get yourself one of these:

    SK4010: PMW Combo Head 142 x 12 mm Rear
    I'm 100% sure they are PMW. I've talked to Tom (the guy that owns Vassago) about various JabberWocky related things, and my bike specifically being that it was one of the first handful of 2016's with 3.0 tire spacing to roll out, and I'm technically the 2nd owner, getting it from the first owner, a friend of his.

    I looked at those bolts, they certainly solve any repeat issues like I have now. I kinda considered putting a Robert Axle Project part on my list as option #4.
    My concern is, a guy I ride with has a 142 bolt on his old(er) Epic, and watching him fiddle with a giant hex wrench is a headache I don't need. I'm a big fan of tool-less. Especially when several options exist that seem better: RWS or Shimano.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  5. #5
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    For toolless, the DT axle is great.

  6. #6
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    DT Swiss. Tighten and then position the handle any where you want it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSaul View Post
    DT Swiss. Tighten and then position the handle any where you want it.
    The DT Swiss design sorta sucks....

    The Shimano design is IMHO much nicer.

    That said, I still have DT Swiss on my bike, it works fine and sadly I have a bunch of axles and frame parts for the design. It took me a while to realize that it is not a good approach.

    The first issue that annoys me is that with the Shimano cam based design the amount you tighten is fairly consistent once you set it. The DT Swiss design on the other hand is not going to be the same torque level each time and sorta annoying to decide if you have enough but not too much torque.

    The second issue and the one that IMHO is far worse is that on one axle when I tried to unscrew the axle the handle came off into my hand. It seems that DT Swiss threads the handle on with some locking compound but it uses normal threading so after a few years of heavy use the threads that held the axle on eventually came loose enough that the process of trying to remove the rear wheel resulted in removal of the axle. I fixed the issue using loctite red and letting the handle set for two days then unthreading the axle and it thankfully came out properly. I still use the axle but if I am riding in the bitter cold many miles from civilization and this happens again a simple flat tire will become a long hike.

    Regardless both designs and also QR works well enough most of the time.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by febikes View Post
    The DT Swiss design sorta sucks....

    The Shimano design is IMHO much nicer.

    .....

    It seems that DT Swiss threads the handle on with some locking compound but it uses normal threading so after a few years of heavy use the threads that held the axle on eventually came loose enough that the process of trying to remove the rear wheel resulted in removal of the axle.
    +1.

    I managed to get mine out with some vise grips because the axle extended slightly past the "nut" side of the dropout. Like you, I tried locktite to fix this, but it happened again for me. Maybe didn't wait long enough for it to set. I eventually "fixed" the DT axle by getting a Shimano insert from Paragon. (Obviously not an option for everyone)

  9. #9
    Ride Fast Take Chances :)
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    Another vote for DT swiss

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