Classic quick releases have a lever and a locking nut. They thread through the front and rear axles into the hub body, which absorbs the load. They allow a quick and above all things tool-free removal of the wheels, which is particularly practical if you travel a lot by car. But be careful, a wheel with quick release will not fit into a fork with thru axle, and vice versa. Thru axles use a bolt that goes through the axel and bolts directly to the frame. They offer an extremely positive and true connection to the frame and are believed by many to be an improvement on the older release system.
The advent of large wheels demanded greater rigidity in the fasteners and thus the thru axle was born. These pins are threaded directly into the frame dropouts (or parts of them) and provide greater rigidity and more secure fastening. As for the rear wheel, the first versions used 135 mm wide pins. The same width as the QR, but with a diameter of 12 mm instead of the 9 mm of the QR. There were DH versions with a width of 150 mm. But they soon evolved to wider dimensions. 142 mm and 157 mm through axles arrived (for DH). As for the front wheel, the most commonly used size was 15x100 mm, with some exceptions of 20x110 mm pivots.
A black example of a thru axel
Thru Axels: Frequently Asked Questions
Which is better QR or thru axle?
It cannot be said which is better and which is worse. The QR is an inexpensive system, easy to understand and therefore most widely used. The downside is that the pressure and adjustment is not exact, but rather subjective. A thru axle is more suitable for disc brakes because of the precision involved in tightening them.
What is the benefit of thru axle?
The advantage of the thru-axle is certainly the greater precision it allows. It is definitely recommended with disc brakes that require very precise tightening. Moreover, it is more reliable and secure, and although in most cases a special spanner is needed to loosen it, it was imposed precisely because of the security and precision it guarantees.
How do thru axles work?
Thru axles prevents the possibility of a wheel coming off. Since the thru axle is the actual axle, the dropout and fork must be closed. Once the wheel is inserted into the frame, the thru axle must be pushed through this hole and the wheel and screwed onto the other side. When the quick-release axle is tightened, the wheel is automatically secured in the track and can no longer slide out.
can i convert quick release to thru axle
Before replacing the quick release with a thru axle, check that the hub and frame permit this. For the hub there are generally no problems, but you must pay attention to the frame, which must have a 12-mm quick release on the derailleur hanger.