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Through axle query

RrogerDRrogerD Posts: 14
edited May 2017 in MTB general
Hi,

I hired a bike yesterday and, upon returning it noticed that the beveled lever and presumably threaded rod had gone missing from the end of the Through axle (front wheel). I have no experience of Through axles at all. Only that it was there when I picked up the bike.

The hire shop said that I must have hit something and had it break off. This however is not the case. I had just been riding the trails with nothing more than a few drop-offs. The only thing that I am aware off is that the lever was loose (flopping about) after tightening up the axle at the start. Consequently, they of course wanted to charge me for the cost of replacement of the complete axle.

My questions are: What could have happened? Is it likely that the 'loose' lever may have vibrated and then dropped out completely? Does the end lever come as a separate part and so could be replaced individually?

How does anyone even go-about breaking one of these things?

Thanks for any help. Not trying to apportion blame, just trying to find out what could have happened.

Cheers,

R

Posts

  • LimitedGarryLimitedGarry Posts: 400
    Well that lever that was lose and flopping about needs to be closed in the same manner you close a quick release skewer.

    EDIT: Probably best to demonstrate
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tX6VpXTT-qg
  • RrogerDRrogerD Posts: 14
    Hi Garry,

    Thanks for the response. I did some research when I got home and discovered the same. :-/

    Not being 'locked' into place initially, is it likely to have vibrated loose to the point of dropping out?
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    Did you tighten it and then it still come loose? I'm a little confused by your initial post. Either way, if it was loose, I guess it could fall out, wouldn't like to test it, but it's possible. The thread in the fork could be totally knackered so it's got nothing to screw into? That would make it more likely, or it was never in the thread to start with. If it was screwed in but not right it would take a lot for it to fall out.
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • larkimlarkim Posts: 2,323
    But surely if the whole through axel had come out, the wheel would have fallen off?

    Are you sure you're talking about a through axel and not just a quick release? Either way though I'm amazed the front wheel was still on if there was nothing holding the front wheel onto the forks.
    2015 Canyon Nerve AL 6.0 (son #1's)
    2011 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc (son #3s)
    2013 Decathlon Triban 3 (red) (mine)
    2019 Hoy Bonaly 26" Disc (son #2s)
    2018 Voodoo Bizango (mine)
    2018 Voodoo Maji (wife's)
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,152
    If I hire a car; come to think of it if I hire an Airbus A380; then I would expect the bolts to be tight when I took it over and not really expect any risk of the wheel falling off. To hit something with sufficient force to break off and extract the maxle would be prominent because of layer upon layer of dead bodies around it. It is just not plausible.

    I think that you are being had here. But if you were to name and shame it might help the collective to support their re-education.
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    larkim wrote:
    But surely if the whole through axel had come out, the wheel would have fallen off?

    Are you sure you're talking about a through axel and not just a quick release? Either way though I'm amazed the front wheel was still on if there was nothing holding the front wheel onto the forks.

    As long as the wheel stays in contact with the ground, I don't think the wheel would move with a through axle. However it would certainly feel strange I would have thought.
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    RrogerD wrote:

    The only thing that I am aware off is that the lever was loose (flopping about) after tightening up the axle at the start.
    R

    I'm confused. The lever was loose AFTER tightening ?

    In which case - surely you haven't tightened it - or it was broken ?
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    I presume tightening in this case was the 'half a job' flipping the lever only.

    If the tension wasn't set before the hirer collects the bike I would say that's the hire Co's fault.
  • larkimlarkim Posts: 2,323
    jamski wrote:
    larkim wrote:
    But surely if the whole through axel had come out, the wheel would have fallen off?

    Are you sure you're talking about a through axel and not just a quick release? Either way though I'm amazed the front wheel was still on if there was nothing holding the front wheel onto the forks.

    As long as the wheel stays in contact with the ground, I don't think the wheel would move with a through axle. However it would certainly feel strange I would have thought.
    But didn't the OP say "noticed that the beveled lever and presumably threaded rod had gone missing". What is the threaded rod if it isn't the actual through axel or the QR shaft? The wheel would come off if either of those two were missing, which makes me doubt I'm understanding the post correctly!

    Or am I misreading this? Is he just suggesting that the lever itself is missing, with the rest of the axel still in place?
    2015 Canyon Nerve AL 6.0 (son #1's)
    2011 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc (son #3s)
    2013 Decathlon Triban 3 (red) (mine)
    2019 Hoy Bonaly 26" Disc (son #2s)
    2018 Voodoo Bizango (mine)
    2018 Voodoo Maji (wife's)
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    larkim wrote:
    jamski wrote:
    larkim wrote:
    But surely if the whole through axel had come out, the wheel would have fallen off?

    Are you sure you're talking about a through axel and not just a quick release? Either way though I'm amazed the front wheel was still on if there was nothing holding the front wheel onto the forks.

    As long as the wheel stays in contact with the ground, I don't think the wheel would move with a through axle. However it would certainly feel strange I would have thought.
    But didn't the OP say "noticed that the beveled lever and presumably threaded rod had gone missing". What is the threaded rod if it isn't the actual through axel or the QR shaft? The wheel would come off if either of those two were missing, which makes me doubt I'm understanding the post correctly!

    Or am I misreading this? Is he just suggesting that the lever itself is missing, with the rest of the axel still in place?

    With my maxle, the wheel stays in place even with it missing, unlike quick release. If I was to ride without it I'm sure it would wobble, but with the wheel on the ground, the wheel will stay in the forks.
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • larkimlarkim Posts: 2,323
    OK fair enough. The wheel on my son's drops straight out once the maxle is pulled out (RS Maxle Ultimate in Rebas), I suppose with downward pressure it would stay in place but I'd expect it to bounce out within a few metres. Certainly comes out much easier than a front held in with lawyers lips and a QR.
    2015 Canyon Nerve AL 6.0 (son #1's)
    2011 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc (son #3s)
    2013 Decathlon Triban 3 (red) (mine)
    2019 Hoy Bonaly 26" Disc (son #2s)
    2018 Voodoo Bizango (mine)
    2018 Voodoo Maji (wife's)
  • RrogerDRrogerD Posts: 14
    Hi,

    Sorry for the delay in replying.

    The actual axle itself remained in place and was perfectly secure, luckily. Am I correct in saying that the system works by having a wedge or cone inside the axle which, with the lever in place splays the axle thus making it wider and therefore keeping everything in place? IE if the lever is 'open' then this splaying force is no longer present and then things start to become loose?

    If this IS how it works (I'm really not sure) then that would suggest that the threaded rod HAD broken inside and was therefore still keeping everything in place. Or, as I say I was very lucky :-/ Which still begs the question, how did it get broken in the first place?

    Or, back to the original suggestion, could the rod simple vibrate loose and drop out if the lever had not been 'clicked' into place? My inspection into the hole down the axle looked like a threaded hole was visible but I can't be totally sure. I suggested this to the hire shop chap and he said that they don't come out, even if you keep unwinding the lever / small bolt over and over.

    Still none the wiser :-/

    R
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    I'm out of ideas. The axle was there but the lever was missing and there was a hole all the way throughout the the axle? I'm very confused.
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Roger go look at videos about through axles and you'll see why we aren't following this.
  • larkimlarkim Posts: 2,323
    RrogerD wrote:
    Hi,

    Sorry for the delay in replying.

    The actual axle itself remained in place and was perfectly secure, luckily. Am I correct in saying that the system works by having a wedge or cone inside the axle which, with the lever in place splays the axle thus making it wider and therefore keeping everything in place? IE if the lever is 'open' then this splaying force is no longer present and then things start to become loose?

    If this IS how it works (I'm really not sure) then that would suggest that the threaded rod HAD broken inside and was therefore still keeping everything in place. Or, as I say I was very lucky :-/ Which still begs the question, how did it get broken in the first place?

    Or, back to the original suggestion, could the rod simple vibrate loose and drop out if the lever had not been 'clicked' into place? My inspection into the hole down the axle looked like a threaded hole was visible but I can't be totally sure. I suggested this to the hire shop chap and he said that they don't come out, even if you keep unwinding the lever / small bolt over and over.

    Still none the wiser :-/

    R
    OK. Here's a picture of two different fixings for front wheels. One is a through axle, the other isn't.

    Which do you have in your mind?

    https://goo.gl/images/g91BCk
    2015 Canyon Nerve AL 6.0 (son #1's)
    2011 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc (son #3s)
    2013 Decathlon Triban 3 (red) (mine)
    2019 Hoy Bonaly 26" Disc (son #2s)
    2018 Voodoo Bizango (mine)
    2018 Voodoo Maji (wife's)
  • RrogerDRrogerD Posts: 14
    Hi all,

    Thank you for taking your time with this, it's much appreciated. Of the two shown in the image Larkim, I refer to the Thru axle at the top. The bottom one being a QR skewer. However, the TA shown appears to not have the lever able to move / flip.

    The link to the image below shows a TA with lever able to open and close. This is about all I could find that looks similar to the one that was on the bike. I assume that the nutted end sits inside the fork-end because when I unscrewed the axle there was nothing on the end, just a thread.

    I'm still totally unclear as to what the lever on the end does, apart from providing leverage to enable the axle to be tightened by hand and then is flipped / locked into place after, out of the way. Therefore, surely it wouldn't matter if the lever was still there or not after it had been tightened? Or does locking it into place serve another purpose? :-/

    Cheers everyone so far.

    R

    https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1gHr9KVXX ... t-font.jpg
  • RrogerDRrogerD Posts: 14
    cougie wrote:
    Roger go look at videos about through axles and you'll see why we aren't following this.

    This is the one..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tX6VpXTT-qg
  • larkimlarkim Posts: 2,323
    OK, so what was missing on your through axle was the lever, and presumably the concave washer that it sits in (it's this, combined with a cam that the lever pivots around that provides a lateral pulling force across the forks to secure the axle in place, not a splaying outwards force)?

    It does sound like the lever got a whack and got knocked off, as normally either the whole assembly would come out (as in the video - and likely cause the wheel to fall out) or it would all stay in place (albeit a bit loose).
    2015 Canyon Nerve AL 6.0 (son #1's)
    2011 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc (son #3s)
    2013 Decathlon Triban 3 (red) (mine)
    2019 Hoy Bonaly 26" Disc (son #2s)
    2018 Voodoo Bizango (mine)
    2018 Voodoo Maji (wife's)
  • RrogerDRrogerD Posts: 14
    larkim wrote:
    OK, so what was missing on your through axle was the lever, and presumably the concave washer that it sits in (it's this, combined with a cam that the lever pivots around that provides a lateral pulling force across the forks to secure the axle in place, not a splaying outwards force)?

    It does sound like the lever got a whack and got knocked off, as normally either the whole assembly would come out (as in the video - and likely cause the wheel to fall out) or it would all stay in place (albeit a bit loose).

    Thanks Larkim.

    Seems that we've finally got to the bottom of this. I hadn't realised that it was just a lateral force only created by the lever and cam. In hindsight of it all, I recall that the concave washer was missing when I picked up the bike. I didn't notice or comment on this at the time because I didn't know what it was supposed to have looked like and, have no reason to suspect an issue. I surmise that the unit had probably been struck / damaged previously and was in place by luck more than by design. Thankfully the hire shop didn't charge me 'out of good will' in the end.

    Oh well, live and learn. Something to watch out for in the future.

    Many thanks again everyone.

    R :D
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