Using Focus Rapid Axle System

Quizmate Posts: 97
edited September 2018 in Workshop
Does anyone else here find it difficult to use the Focus Rapid Axle System? I seem to spend ages trying to push it through and line it up before I'm able to turn and lock the axle. Might be my technique but it's hardly rapid. The axle end also looks delicate and Focus dont seem to sell spares / replacements. Am wondering if it could be changed to a standard through axle set up or whether I'm stuck with it. Any thoughts?


  • I can't answer your question, but I think it was JE James that had ridiculous discounts on the Focus frames with the Rapid Axle System a few months ago (£2.2k down to £650 IIRC). Not being familiar with the system, I looked into it. However, the dearth of information online regarding availability of spares was enough to persuade me not to go for the deal.
  • kofsw4
    kofsw4 Posts: 39
    The RAT system on my izalco max disc is a bit sticky too. Greasing the axles as recommended on them seems to help. I think you need to make sure the axle is pushed all the way in before trying to turn it.

    I replaced the rear axle with this as I use my bike on a turbo: ... rat-bikes/

    It effectively turns the rear into a standard threaded thru axle that you undo with a hex key. Thought it was ridiculously expensive for what it is but I didn't have any other option to be get the bike to fit on my turbo.
  • Just a 'bit' late to this party but the following my help anyone in similar situations?
    I stumbled across this Thread searching for a solution to my next 'Focus' problem regarding using my bike in conjunction with an Indoor Trainer. I was delighted to find the Link to a Robert Axle Project [RAP] product on sale at SJS. Very helpful thank you kofsw4.
    My only concern is that using this device requires removal of the Proprietary Nut, this being the slotted arrangement that secures the 'T' shaped end of the RAT Axle. I will speak to SJS in an attempt to ascertain whether one of the RAP End Covers can be adapted, or a new one created, to sit over the Proprietary Nut to avoid continual removing and reaffixing it every time the Trainer is used.

    This may be of use to anyone using RAT Axles:

    I used to have problems with the awkwardness of engaging the 'T' End of the Axle and realised that the problem was caused movement of the Large 'Knurled' [bespoke machined grooves in this case] Nut [LKN]. This adjustment was being altered as the Clamping Lever was twisted to engage the 'T' End. The solution was to ensure that all the parts, including the recessed/hidden surfaces, of this complex mechanism:

    are lubricated with good quality, Silicon or Teflon type, Oil or Grease. This avoids friction turning the LKN when the Lever is twisted. However DO NOT lubricate the Cam Surface of the Lever or the Concave Face it abuts. if you are in any doubt what is required please seek professional advice, you will be solely responsible for your actions.

    After satisfactorily lubricating the mechanism, with the Lever in the Released Position, one thumb and one finger should be able to turn the LKN without too much effort. With the weight of the bike on the Axle the Lever should not turn when making adjustments with the LKN. Fine adjustments [read: 20 to 25% of the distance between the top of adjacent ‘knurls’] are needed to get the correct tension on the Clamp Lever.

    IMO the Axle should not require lubricating, it does not form part of any rotating bearing surface but simply clamps the extremities of of the Bearing Components of the Wheel(s) between Frame or Forks.
  • Sounds like a massive pain in the arse
  • I agree Vino'sGhost, wonder if that is what they mean by 'Vorsprung durch Technik' Oh No thats another bunch Focus are into 'German Engineering'!

    I forgot to add previously a Link to the guys that provided me with Spare Parts for the Axle Apertures, noting that Front and Rear are different sizes even though the Axles are both 12 mm, this web site is basic so you would need to communicate your needs because you will not find them listed:

    I have no ties with this shop other than as a paying customer and my guess is that you could ask any Focus Dealer the same questions. Be aware that the prices are rather high and Shipping for even the smallest items was and probably still is £12.50 from Germany. I had intended to include the Part Numbers to help home in on these parts but the paperwork does not appear to have been committed to scanning, hard copy is too easy to lose track of.

    The Link to the RAP discussed above could be used as a replacemnt for the Rear RAT Axle.
    Using a 12 mm Die to run the Thread on this RAP 40 mm or so further onto the Axle and then shortening it to suit the Forks gets close to providing a replacement for the Front RAT. A stumbling block could be forming the tapped hole for the Locking Screw. Without being able to examine the RAP it is not possible to decide how to deal with this situation. However it is doable either by Drilling and Tapping on a Lathe or by Plugging and Pinning an Alloy insert into the cut end if the component proves to be hollow.
    Alternatively you could visit:

    Locate what you need there and hope SJS or another Supplier of RAP Axles can provide your requirements. I will do this and will go to Plan B below if there is no joy.
    Buying direct from the USA will be really expensive. You probably know that goods purchased with USA Dollars convert to British Pounds on an almost level pegging basis, then you add Shipping, Import Duty and Sales Tax. Ouch.

    Plan B: When my RAP Axle arrives ex SJS, for mounting the bike to a trainer, I am hoping that if the correct component is not available that it will be found suitable for modification. Then part with another load of dosh for a second one.

    There are lots of other choices on WWW but be prepared to research and sit down whilst reviewing pricing, e.g:

    you like 'light' they 'lighten' your wallet.
  • You can also buy shift up components replacements of RAT axle into normal nut and screw axle components they respond quickly to inquires.