Axle Standards - Pinkbike Poll

Feb 8, 2013 at 0:05
Feb 8, 2013
by Mike Levy  
 
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When it comes to new products, there likely isn't anything that stirs the pot as much as a "new" axle standard. Maybe it is something about consumers feeling as if it is being forced upon them whether they like it or not, or perhaps there is a sense of recently purchased inadequacy: "But I just bought a new fork!", both being very valid points. Either way, bringing up 15mm fork axles on a forum or at the trailhead is a surefire way to discover who isn't afraid to speak their mind, with opinion on the subject usually standing
starkly against the impending change in dimensions. And while there always seems to be resistance on the matter, the manufacturers, who are working on products two and three years down the road, seem to be unfazed by the opposition. Needless to say, 15mm axle forks are here to stay... until something that makes more sense comes along, that is.

Where do you stand on subject? Are you all for the 15mm axle so long as it spells the demise of the quick-release, or would you like to see every fork utilize a 20mm system?



Levy's Take on Axle Standards:
bigquotesWhile there is still grumbling from consumers about 15mm axle forks and 12 x 142mm rear ends, it is fair to say that both are not going anywhere anytime soon, and that is a good thing in my books. Bike design marches on in the same way that mountain biking itself evolves, with new so-called standards that do eventually become established norms, so long as they actually make sense. The 15mm thru-axles axles that came up against so much hostility from many riders were never meant to take the place of the larger 20mm diameter setups found on long-travel forks, but rather be a successor to the quick-releases (which originated on the road bike and were never intended for off-road use) found on many mid and short-travel forks of a few years ago. The demise of the quick-release was long over due, not just from a rigidity point of view, but also when taking into account the forces applied by our modern and exceptionally powerful disc brakes. But why not just utilize a 20mm axle on every fork, big travel or small, you ask? Good question, and the answer boils down to counting grams. While the axle itself may only be 5mm larger in diameter and weigh within a few grams of a 15mm unit, it is actually the parts associated with the 20mm setup that add the most weight, albeit a still relatively small amount. The bigger axles requires larger hub bearings and more material at the fork's axle clamping area, two points that may only add as much weight as the mud that collects in your fork's arch on a wet day, but still enough to put suspension manufacturers off when they are designing their lightweight trail and cross-country sliders. Would I be happy with 20mm axles on everything, short travel forks included? Oh hell yes, but I'm more than happy to use a 15mm setup on my shorter travel forks if that means that I never have to deal with a quick-release again. And what about 12 x 142mm rear ends that are swiftly taking the place of both quick-release and thru-axle 135mm setups on the majority of new bikes?
RockShox's Maxle and Shimano's E-Thru axles make wheel removal and installation nearly as quick as when using a QR, but both are much more rigid and secure methods of holding the rear wheel in place. Factor in the wheel locating slots of the 142mm spacing (that's where the extra 7mm comes from over 135mm dropouts) and it is a no-brainer in my books.

Does the success of your ride depend on if your bike uses quick-release or some type of thru-axle system? Definitely not. It may seem as if much of the axle quandaries over the past few years have been more marketing driven than performance based, but the reality of both 15mm front axles and 12 x 142mm rear ends is that we end up with a blend of stiffer, lighter, and easier to use designs that simply make more sense. That is, after all, the whole idea behind a standard, isn't it? - Mike Levy


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237 Comments

  • + 81
 It is simple: if we are to buy a new complete bike then there is absolutely nothing to talk about. Problems appear when something gets broken on that bike, let's say a hub or fork, thread on maxle? Oh they are everwyhere right?

Problem nr1. LBS must have such hub, and more "standards" there are, less likely it is they have them in stock. So off you go to buy it in online store, if you live in a big country, then maybe you have a "native" one - fine. Local vs National vs Gobal economy - I leave it here. Whatever happens more of different means, more trouble for my buddy in LBS.

Problem nr 2. What if I have it a bit tight with money? You hit Buy&sell on Pinkbike or something like that. I buy used stuff since 6 years or so and maybe it is just me, but it gets harder and harder to find something fitting my bike. there's more! but of different!

Problem nr3. You can't swap things easily between old and new bikes - you need to buy more of stuff to have complete bikes - As simple as that.

Sorry saying that they are here to stay - really? I tell you one thing Mike, if few companies throw in 17x105mm axles then they will also be here to stay, there is no relation whether their perserverence on the market and the sense of their existence.
142x12 - I get it, it should kill 135x12 and 10, as it is more convenient - but 15mm? instead of 20mm for dropping 50g?! There is tons of more performance to be gained by simple thigns like hydrating yourself regularly during a ride.
  • + 9
 Waki, use a Hope front hub. They convert to everything in seconds. I9s are getting there too. And others too.
  • - 3
 I'm pretty sure if you can get adaptors for the Crossmax to switch it from 15-20mm.

Just double checked, if you have a current version, you can.

www.mavic.com/en/product/wheels/accessories/wheels/Front-Axle-Adapter%C2%A0#129827
  • + 70
 "you need to buy more of stuff" - that's the whole point of these new standards.
  • + 18
 clarkeh - since 2011, Crossmax ST comes in 15mm and 20mm hub versions. 20mm ones are convertible to 9 and 15, 15mm ones only to 9mm.

iamamodel - I have Hope on my other bike. There are plenty of manufacturers who provide hubs fitting all standards.

I was joking lately that Hope, CK, I9 and few others should form Hype-killers coalition, they would make front hubs with 30mm inner dimater on bearings, that will fit all possible axles that Shimano and Fox can throw at us Big Grin Then they would make a cassette with cogs on screws with spacers on the spider so you can have a light weight cassette that can be made to anything between 6-11 speeds Big Grin . Then to complement that a shifter that can take 6-11sp - how how wha wha? Simple, make a big diameter of shifter "disc" with replacable "discs". Depending how far from center the cable attaches, different actuation ratios you get.
  • + 0
 Ah right, stink.
  • + 3
 yup, lehel has it right. not to mention fox's low end fork stanchions wearing out within a year even though the fork was never dry or had crap getting inside (year of heavy use though, friend's an xc racer) - that's pure built in obsolescence imo.
  • + 11
 Try to build a bike with used parts from different years and manufacturers... hell I hate when something doesn't fit because of those damned "standards".
  • + 9
 bottom brackets and cranks are the worst i think ..... if standards were actually standard it would be great
  • + 9
 Bicycle guys complain a lot. When I raced moto, I did not expect my KTM parts to fit my Yamaha or Honda, and my model year 2000 parts might not fir the same model in 2001. Bicycles go through evolutionary cycles of about 5 years. Parts will be somewhat interchangeable in that era, but there should be no reason to expect compatibility beyond those timelines. I have a few bike still in the garage from the 1" steerer days. I have no interest in putting a modern fork or wheels on them. The hub spacing is different, frame clearance for tires is different, brake mounts are different. The geometry won't work well with modern components anyway. I cann still find parts on ebay or kijiji if I need to replace something.
  • + 4
 Lehel-NS is right---- It is just an indirect way to get MTBer's to: BUY BUY BUY BUY. Making up new standards, and claiming their "better" is a marketing gimmick.
  • + 3
 If you bought a latest toy, had it for three years with no major issues, and there would be nothing new and better out there - would you see a need of selling it and buying something different?
DEFINITELY NO

If you see something new that has no obvious new features, would you sell your perfect toy to buy this new one?
NO

But if they change size of something and add some bells and whistles, if you add something really NEW which no one actualy had a chance of trying before - would you think at least thinkg of buying it?
YES

Now if a lot of people told you this new thing is great, and heard the argument: so many people can't be wrong - wouldn't you REALLY like to test it, probably buy it ASAP?
DEFINIETELY YES

The idea has been developed at the break of 1920s and 30s, as a mean of saving economy. Same thing happened in october 2001 - go buy more, your country needs cash flow to survive! yhm... check who said such crap and consider whether generating waste and spending money foolishly (usualy on foreign capital) actualy makes the world a better place.
  • + 7
 Just run what you got till it breaks. This sport becomes a lot less expensive.
  • - 1
 My Marzocchi DJ3s have 15mm bolt through I've had no problems in 5 years!
  • + 9
 DJ3s have never had 15mm axles.. it could only be 9mm, or 20mm
  • + 1
 @baca262 Fox forks run a small amount of lube fluid in the lowers, like many modern forks. If you don't change it on a regular basis is works its way out slowly through the seals and eventually you're running bare stanchion on bushing. This will kill any fork, not just the Fox. If you want to change your oil once a year get an open bath Marzocchi or Bos. Dude ignored the maintenance intervals, he gets what he deserves.
  • + 10
 The only standard axle is Axle Rose...
  • + 0
 I don't care about 135 and 142 because my lovely one year old Hope hub can be converted, but I do mind 150mm rear ends and 83mm BBs - totally pointless. Means I have to buy a new back wheel and new cranks to switch to a new DH frame. Please tell me, what is the point of pushing ten speed/150/83 on a DH bike? Obviously 7 speed/135/73 would be better and the wheel could be built up just as strong as a 150 with a 9 or ten speed cassette. The rear hub I just bought, Zee, which is a brand new unit and current model year, already has "150 OLD" etched onto it. OLD? Already? Are you shitting me? They have already decided to push the "NEW" 157mm rear end? Obviously the only reason for it is selling more units on lack-of-cross-compatibility.

Mark my words, in five years, Saint, Zee, X0 DH will all be using a 7 or 8 speed cassette with current ten speed spacing (keeps it narrower than previous 7 or 8 speeds) and the DH bikes will be reverting to 142 back ends and 73mm BB shells. I forsee 142 being the universal standard for MTB, with the number of cogs and wheel dish varying depending on riding type.
  • + 2
 @Jaame: The saint hubs have ALWAYS said old on them, as well as many other Shimano hubs. I wouldn't read into it.
  • - 2
 @ Waki, if there were no sales because the bikes don't change, doesn't it mean the industry collapses and we all end up with nothing to ride at all as everything wears out?
  • + 1
 How about rear dropout 10mm,12mm? Does it affect the stiffness too?
  • - 1
 Willie - I think if we stay away from points Definitely YES and Definitely NO, we will all be fine: consumers and the industry. If you charge me of believing that we should be happy with what we have, not buying anything ever, I can charge you of believing thatwe should grab axes every year and destroy bikes, so even more bikes get bought (no used parts market) and bikes get better even faster, which is a perfectly possible scenario just as one you painted for me. Shut it
  • - 1
 Has anyone here ever heard of the word innovation? These new standards aren't some conspiracy to make you buy more things.
  • + 2
 OLD = over locknut distance. It's how wide your hub is.
  • + 1
 As always WAKIdesigns - spot ON!
Actually haven`t read anything from him other than ''jewls'' compared to average comments.
  • + 1
 I love the 83mm bottom bracket setup, it seems to put the pedals in the right spot, or I'm crazy.

@Snfoilhat: Finally somebody tells me! Thanks man!
  • + 0
 If I was to "innovate" by resizing I would make new crankarms that less bent outwards, that would give same Q-factor as ones with 73mm BB but with chainline and BB of 83, then 150 or 157 hub. That would give me freedom to make ridiculously short chainstays, fitting MTB chainrings up to 38t. On a trail/xc HT I could get smthng like 380mm CS with 2.4" tyre (26") and a full suspension bike with 400mm at 130 travel. It would be a hybrid of jump bike rear end and XC/AM front Big Grin
  • + 1
 I agree. I bought what I though was the perfect setup 3 years ago and unless 27.5 15mm or 142 push out my spare parts I will still buy very little parts. I'm happy with the bike, have no issues and the new ones I tried aren't better. The speed of progress has slowed down so mfg's have to find new "inventions" to push sales.
  • + 1
 I am just happy that 90% of people here seem to have kicked the crap out of 15mm. World seems a better place now. I have to go upstairs and scream at my 32 float with one...Y U no have 20mm?!

Oh and if you guys hate 15mm axles in Fox 32 forks but love their action and you'd kill for 20mm axle - you can do a Frankenstein of a fork with a bit of cash. Apparently RS and Fox forks with 32 stanchions fit each other. So for 100-120 Fox, go for Argyle lowers, and for 140 Fox go for PIKe. Those two I know for sure to work, but Sector and Rev should work as well.

Cheers!
  • + 2
 Thanks for enlightening me snfoilhat. I got confused with ISCG OLD I suppose, that one does mean the old standard, is that correct?
[Reply]
  • + 72
 Dear Pinkbike

Why would you have a poll and not list all the options? Bias poll is bias.
Doing a poll the way you have would lead me to believe you wanted us to say we liked 15mm.
As you can see most riders prefer 20mm front and 142 x 12 rear.
  • + 19
 Thank you. ^^^ I was going to say basically the same thing.
  • + 14
 i was also wondering why there were only three options.. none of which i truly agreed with..

with that said, someone who works in a higher end bike shop once told me 'standard?! what are you talking about, there is no such thing as a standards in the bike world'.. and i have to kinda sorta agree (although there are some.. like 20mm for DH, etc), i just wish every bike that isnt a dh bike could use the same rear axle size, IMO we dont need three diff sizes for something that can get the job done with one 'standard'
  • + 1
 They asked this because the way it's looking these may end up being our new standards for everything shy of DH
  • + 17
 I didn't do this poll because there was no 20mm & 142x12 option. 15mm thru axle is lame!
  • + 1
 Ditto agnostic
  • + 1
 They don't even have what I run on there... I am dissapoint.
  • + 13
 I hope Pinkbike reads this and fixes or makes a new poll. Their publishing has really gone down hill lately. If only NSMB would publish more.

There have been some new and old standards I am very happy with.
20mm front axle. Been around since 97ish
Tapered steer tubes(stiffer stronger),
Post mount brakes/frames(simpler lighter),
142x12 rear (stiffer stronger,
BB30 ( larger BB shell allows for larger bearings and aluminum crank spindle, longer bearing life, stiffer lighter).
ISCG ’05, no real need for any other design.

New proposed standards I am not so sure about.
35mm handle bars.
too many BB standards to list.
15mm front axles.
Giants Over Drive II, 1 1/4 top 1 1/2 bottom headset bearing.
Gary Fishers G2 front ends.

I am all for progress and change, but not for no reason.
  • + 2
 EHHH... Most of your "overboard" stuff on that list I would flip-flop on, but I'm a huge tapered-steerer fan... sorry!
  • + 5
 @agnostic

BB30 has been a disaster because you rely on very exact tolerances and precise fitment, with many riders (both road and mtn) reporting constant creaking, premature bearing wear and crank axle wear

a problem for the high-end market is that these frames are made from aluminium-alloys and carbon fibre, which are much softer than the tool steel / stainless steel that many bearings are made from; in a press-fit (mid or spanish) BMX frame made from cromoly steel the BB shell has a similar hardness to the bearings

confusion over what should be used to fit the BB30 bearings into the frame, with many reporting blue loctite, red loctite or bearing grease (the true solution is Shimano Anti-Seize)

PF30 has addressed this to some degree, using the same BB30 bearing, but isolated in a Delrin (nylon) BB cup shell, then press fitted into the frame

this isolates the steel bearing from the frame itself, removing the noise and direct wear

however, we have seen the issue of tolerance and fitment rear its head again on PF30, with bearings seizing, bearings tightening when installed due to poor diameter tolerance, or cups moving (rotating), and chewing into the carbon or aluminium BB shell.

I have sent frames for warranty and the manufacturer has "bonded" the PF30 nylon cups with epoxy into the CF BB frame / shell and returned it...
  • + 2
 ^^Agreed. BB30 has been nothing but problems, PF30 is a slight improvement but still not perfect. Personally I'd like something like E13 interface but with both arms bolting to a spindle with shoulders machined on it like a Holzfeller/Howitzer system. Bearings are then supported from both sides to eliminate side loading, which we all know is what shortens bearing life. The other benefit is you can have the same cup and arms with different bb spindles to fit 73/83 or 100.
  • + 1
 Sorry I meant PF30. There are so many BB standards out right now.
  • + 1
 All Press Fit BB systems are bullshit. Another case of industry engineers and marketing guys making us take a pill we didn't need. The now 'outmoded' Screw in Outboard Bearing BB was and is the best system.
  • + 1
 @rstwosix

I would say that the press-fit "Mid Size" and "Spanish" bottom brackets used on BMX have been a fantastic improvement on the older USA system (which had no tolerance specification meaning loose fitting, tight fitting, etc.)

and definitely a big improvement over the short lived Euro ISO threaded unit that was tried on BMX, which could not accomodate a large enough bearing package in conjunction with the oversized 19mm or 22mm crank axles used on BMX cranks (same problem ISIS had on mountain bikes)

PF30 works good as long as its installed properly into a frame with good tolerances, and you keep an eye on the bearings from time to time (if those bearing seize they can rotate in the nylon cups and cause problems)

the big advantage by using PF30 in terms of frame design with carbon fibre is the ability to create a massively stiff yet lighter bottom bracket area which also applies to 30mm crank axle systems, makes for a rock solid platform to pedal the bike from - check out my Stumpjumper picture here to see what I mean: gp1.pinkbike.org/p4pb8367935/p4pb8367935.jpg
  • + 1
 Absolutely agreed. Unless you ask a simple question with simple one-directional responses, a poll such as this is only going to give you the results you want to see. I don't agree with any of the three options you put up, yet I would like to contribute my voice so what should I do?

Whilst I may think it a little unnecessary, I realise 15mm seems to be here to stay. That doesn't mean I like it, and I do think we could use 20mm for everything. Moreover, I agree 'anything is better than QR', but I also like the advent of 142/157. Some bikes, rear through axle mostly, can be a real sod to get the back wheel properly aligned and the axle in when the wheel's just floating around between your dropouts.

So basically I'm option-two part-one, with a smattering of option-one. Cheers for thinking it through before posting and wanting to get genuine useful feedback from your quite-well-informed-not-all-drivelling-Intarnet-webtard user-base.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartesian_product
[Reply]
  • + 16
 15mm wasn't meant to take the place of 20mm... but in the mindless race to lose weight with each passing model year, it has. spec enduro, norco range - 6" bikes are getting spec'd with smaller forks to remain competitive on the scale, at the expense of performance where it actually matters: on the trail
  • + 6
 Agree. 15QR was a totally unnecessary standard foisted on us by the industry. I think Fox and Shimano may have been the guilty parties with that one. At the time I think Rockshox were all for keeping 20mm thru axles. Also agree about 6" bikes. They should have a Lyric or 36 etc. fork.
  • + 5
 But that is the bike manufacturers fault for speccing that fork/axle combination, and the consumers fault for always demanding lower weight.

As Mike Levy says, 15mm is fine as it should be replacing qr not replacing 20mm.
  • + 5
 I am more than 90% sure that the story of 15mm looked this way. By 2005 the long travel single crown forks exploded, making it very convenient to have a "enduro" bike, it was light enough for uphill and tough enough for downhills. Development of frames themselves was also picking up speed with frames like 130 Spec Enduro or SC Heckler leading the way. More and more XC riders wanted to jump on more travel to get more fun and thrill. Problem was, the only thing they had on the opposite side of the spectrum was... downhill parts. And as the majority of clients in that segment were middle class snobs, very style-conscious, they just did not want to jump on "not true athlete worthy" and "heavy" DH equipment. So Fox and Shimano gave them something like "their own" thing.

I'm pretty sure that in the product design process two things were reverbing: 1. Give them performance through major stiffness increase and minimal weight increase 2. It must maintain the spirit of XC-ish, racy lightweight looking stuff by making something evidently new. Give them the sense of belonging in the same peer group. And there's more of such crap made with such logic like tapered headtubes - 1.5 all the way up and tapered steerer if you must.

There is no way this came down from DH- it is gravityfilic, pseudo XC-racers that triggered that pish.
  • + 2
 A standard becomes just that, when more than one brand uses/adopts it. You kids have it easy today. 15-20 Years ago, practically every fork maker that didn't use a QR hub, used a proprietary to THEM hub setup which came with the fork, and made replacement virtually impossible.
  • + 4
 Ah, 24mm Maverick, 30mm Foes, special 150mm x 10mm bolt in hubs, thems were the days...

On a side note, the encroachment of 15mm into 140mm+ forks is really annoying. Rockshox perfected the 140 fork with the Pike nearly a decade ago now, since then there seems to have been a rush to make 32mm forks a light and noodly as possible, skinny crowns, skinnier thru-axles. But the kicker is that they're nearly all using hubs that can take 20mm, so any weight saving is in the head of the marketing man. Gah!
  • + 1
 I remember the Maverick!
  • + 1
 Don't forget the 25mm Specialized version, because going with the existing 24mm Mav. axle didn't fit with their engineering vision. That extra 1 mm made all the difference!!!
  • + 1
 paranoid much?
[Reply]
  • + 16
 What I want is a 17.5mm front axle and a 138.5mm rear end. I like the way the smaller options corner, and they feel more fun when I ride, but the bigger alternatives give me less rolling resistance although at times the bike feels a bit sterile. Any manufacturers interested in bridging the gap? Wink
  • + 5
 Have you thought about 18.3mm? or 16.89mm?
  • + 1
 damnit, you beat me to it with the new 17.5mm axle..
  • + 5
 we can call it Faxle
  • + 2
 Make sure to build it with 28.25" rims too, gotta maximize your rolling benefits and that 650b isn't quite fast enough.
[Reply]
  • + 19
 Add one answer to the poll:

142x12 fine, 15mm crap
  • + 3
 This is what I was thinking as well Poll should have a fourth option...yes for 142x12/no for 15mm.
  • + 3
 I couldn't vote because of this. Thanks.
[Reply]
  • + 13
 I love the smoothness of 20mm's and the stiffness from rear 142mm ends, but really all that matters to me is how not having quick release makes it harder to steal my wheels tup
  • + 19
 Exactly what's missing in the pole! I do agree on 142 mm rear end, a convenient through axle option. But this 15 mm thru is an idiocy meant to split the market and make it more complicated. Weight difference between 15 and 20 mm is a totally irrelevant excuse from the industry. 20 mm on all forks and wheels!
  • + 2
 +1

xc forks could use thinner walled (lighter) axles if it's really that important (it's not) and there's no need for any other standard but the 20mm up front, the rest should be phased out on mtb's.

maybe an addition of a 30mm+ standard to enable better stiffness in usd forks if it can't be circumvented any other way but this makes 6 bolt rotors unusable...
  • + 1
 Yes 20mm all around.
  • + 1
 Using a different size protects the manufacturers from consumers misusing their products. Imagine a weight weenie DHer using an XC 20mm axle to save weight and seriously injuring himself when it fails. Its too similar to the DH component for the manufacturer to defend themself. The 15mm won't fit in a DH fork, so there is no issue.
  • + 1
 that's a simple fix, qr20 axle for xc and bolts for dh, you can also key the axles etc.
  • + 1
 Since its not compatible if its keyed or mounted differently, why the concern with making it 15mm instead of 20. Its still a different axle.
  • + 1
 no, to the wheel it's still the same. the forks can have fork specific axles but hubs are all the same.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 I do not like the standards man I do not like him Sam I am I do not like his standards plus I want to roll him under bus But in a car or in a train I do think he has a brain If he rides its not a bike So there really isn't much to like I bought a bike and now I'm poor Standards Man he takes more So shove the 15 and the 10 And maybe I will like him then
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Flawed poll. 20mm axle and 1x142 is not a bad idea. Its annoying bigger and bigger forks are running 15mm axles. I will not buy a 6x6 bike with 15mm. Xc bike yes, but over 120mm I think it should be 20mm. A worth while standard change I think would be wider axles spacing for 29ers. They need stiffer wheels. Thats my biggest issue with the 29ers I have ridden. That and the wheels are heavier and weaker. No bueno around here. To much stop and go tech riding to make them worth it.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 stand·ard [stan-derd]
noun
1.something considered by an authority or by general consent as a basis of comparison; an approved model.
2.an object that is regarded as the usual or most common size or form of its kind: We stock the deluxe models as well as the standards.
3.a rule or principle that is used as a basis for judgment: They tried to establish standards for a new philosophical approach.
4.an average or normal requirement, quality, quantity, level, grade, etc.: His work this week hasn't been up to his usual standard.
5.standards, those morals, ethics, habits, etc., established by authority, custom, or an individual as acceptable: He tried to live up to his father's standards.
"Standard" is not the correct term. Platform would be closer.
It's not like locating a wheel in a 135 dropout was a problem. We could have went to 135 thru 10mm, and everybody would have been happy. Rear end flexing? Great, you know how to corner, now check your spoke tension, if that's not it get a stiffer frame or rim/tire combo. 142 hubs are just 135 hubs with a wider cap. HOW is that stiffer than a 135? It defies logic that 's how. If there is more stiffness, it's because the axle is now 12mm, not because of the extra width. Now if they spread the spoke flanges out, it would be a stiffer hub system, but then everybody would have to buy a new brake adapter. gyearrrgh.. Rant concluded
  • + 3
 Rant appreciated, my thoughts exactly. I run a 135 rear with a through-axle and the frame's rear stays are all box-tube aluminum. Solid, no issues. Flimsy frame stays will flex even with 142, 150, or whatever. I like the platform vs. standard call.
  • + 2
 Amen. IMO, front axle makes a bigger difference when riding than back. I'd have no problem running a 135 for DH, although I'd still want a 20mm up front. Also, you're right foghorn. Anyone who knows basic principles of physics and engineering would know that going wider doesn't make it stronger, it actually makes it weaker. It has to do with the ratio of of width to height - in a perfect world this would be 1. Following this basic principle, you can see that looking at just axle dimension a 135 x 12 is stronger than a 142 or 150 just because of the w/h ratio. Rant concluded
  • + 1
 142 is for 12mm axles..?

142 still has a 135 spacing between the frame, it just adds lips to the drop outs allowing easier location of the wheel in the frame.
  • + 1
 Levy is confusing the word standard with a standard:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_standard
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I run a 142 by 12mm rear wheelset and I have to say its brilliant, but man alive was it a faff sorting it out. I ended up custom building and using a special set of cups made by hope. There nothing wrong with the 135, I see no advantage
  • + 2
 its just a faff putting 135x12 rear ends in, as you have to hold the wheel as you slide the axle in (yes, not a big issue, but its a nice problem worth solving), and if you have the right hub (hope!) shouldn't be an issue.

I think the big problem here that people are running naff wheels and should be running hope- 10 quid to swop some cups over in the rear hub and the jobs a goodun. No full hub axle change, no new wheel laced...It seems frame manufacturers are coming up with good things, just need the rest of the industry to catch up and start producing forward compatible bits!
  • + 3
 Faff? Naff? WTF?
[Reply]
  • + 5
 The problem most people have with it is by adding another standard, it makes it that much harder to swap/upgrade frames. I understand the benefits but the inconvenience of having yet another standard outweighs the few grams of weight savings and something more secure than a QR (which in reality really isn't that much of a problem)
  • + 0
 By far the biggest killer on this is the tapered steerer, bought a fork with one because I got a good deal, but If I ever wanna swap out frames to one that's not tapered... new fork time, which sucks. I've been running the same DH fork for almost 10 years, and i'll never have this problem with it. (It's that shiny new DVO emerald that's gonna end up getting the current fork off my bike.)
[Reply]
  • + 5
 It's a dumb poll. 142x12 makes a whole lot more sense than 15mm ever did. Bunching them together makes for an impossible response. 142x12 improves upon the 135x12mm interface by introducing guides/recesses for properly fitting the rear wheel before inserting the throughaxle. The 15mm? It came after a 20mm standard, which was already accepted, it's weaker and introduces NOTHING other than fitting into a QR bearing. Pointless.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Its time a lot of people woke up and realised that these new axle and wheel sizes are nothing more than a scam to make money out of them. Ive seen this happen so many times in our sport, with hundreds of people buying the new 'must have' kit only to discover that it was really just an uneccessary waste of money and that crap about it being the new best ever was nothing but marketing hype.

Instead of doing research, bike companies are telling us that things have to change and that we have to change with them, hoping that thier new product will stick.. But tell me, why 15mm over 20mm? why 157mm over 150mm, or vice versa? Theres no real weight saving and the extra stiffness wont even be noticed by 99% of riders out there. Sure, 20mm is better than 15mm if youre tearing down world cup DH trails at 50mph, but at anything less the difference is negligible. it might inspire you to ride faster and harder, knowing that you have a more stable platform, but you wont be able to tell the difference. This is the equivalent of kids on here telling you that the new ****** is crap before theyve even rode one because they've got sucked into all the marketing bullshit and become unpaid spokespersons for a particular brand. how many times have you read this:

'Oh, the new Dorado is shit. it flexes under heavy braking and doesnt have the same small bump absorbtion qualities at high speed as a fox 40'

Do you think that the writer has tested both at thier limits? has he hell, but thats what he heard so he becomes an expert and an unwitting champion of a fork he's never ridden. Same goes for the new axle standards. Whats changed? Nothing at all. the trails are the same and the forks are too. the manufacturers are counting on there being enough insecure people who just have to have the latest kit to make these pointless changes work. Dont be one of them.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I wouldn't have a problem with multiple standards as long as the manufacturers come up with adapters so we dont have to buy new hubs / wheels every time we want to try a different frame / fork combo .
  • + 3
 Its what sold me on hope hubs
  • + 1
 Superfly, sorry pal, "multiple standards" is an oxymoron. Read the definition of "standard:. You meant to say multiple platforms im sure.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I have a total of 7 bikes in my house, 3 bikes are mine. The good thing I have is all the rear wheels are compatible, I can use a DH or XC wheel in any of the bikes, no matter what. With the front one, I can use the DH wheels in all bikes except the XC ones, that is great for me.

Now, I cannot and I will not buy any of the new bikes with 15mm front, 142/150mm rear axles, because it will mean I cannot use my old wheels nor the front ones.

All new frames should/must come with rear axle options/adapters and 15mm should not be a standard.
  • + 2
 I wanted to buy my second bike and use the other wheelset to save money ^^ but couldn't because of different standard...
  • + 1
 what the heck are you using on your DH bikes then? (for rear axle)
  • + 3
 I use 135mm in all the bikes, demo8, enduro, epic, sx, ransom and an old stumpjumper!
  • + 1
 hmm, guess its too late for me, already went to 150 on the DH rig.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Mike asks if the success of your ride depends on whether you have QR or through axles or whatever. No. But whether the ride happens at all. There are more than twice as many "standards" as he mentions in the article, and the chance that the shop doesn't have what you need is greater than ever. And you can't even swap something in from another one of your bikes as they all take different stuff. If a marzocci fork is 20mm and so is a rockshox, why can't I use the axle of one to hold the wheel into the other. Even the standards are not consistent or standard. Even from one RS fork to another there can be issues. Standard Fail.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 This poll doesn't cater to people that like 15mm front axles AND 135mm rear axles.

And this discussion is soooo '2009'. Can't we argue about the next fad, whatever that may be?
  • + 8
 17.5mm axles and 28.25" wheels?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Hey DVO Suspension here, so we are in the midst of defining our new Enduro fork and we are interested in hearing from everyone regarding axle size, 15mm or 20mm? For pure performance, we fill 20mm offers the best performance with a marginal gain in weight. The argument to coming out with only a 20mm is that 15mm wheels are "considered" the industry standard now and lots of people already do have them. So let us know your opinion on what you guys want, we are listening to everyone and your words matters to us! Hit us on up our Face Book page or this post, we appreciate your involvement. DVO!
  • + 3
 You guys should just do 20 to be honest. It's my opinion that the weight gained is not too big of a deal, and a lot of enduro riders out there run heavier-duty DH/FR wheelsets which use 20mm. Then again, with new industry improvements many companies are offering hubs which can convert to any standard, Sun Ringle and Hope are two great examples. I run Sun Ringle Charger Pros which can convert from 20mm to 15mm to QR in about 20 seconds without tools. Hopefully, more companies will see the advantage of offering this soon, but for now I think 20mm is the way to go for a Gravity fork
  • + 5
 20mm 100%. Real enduro forks are Fox 36, Rockshox Lyric, etc. 20mm for real riders.
  • + 4
 I agree, if you want to compete with the Lyriks and 36s, you guys will need 20mm. The people in the market for those types of forks will see no benefit to a 15mm. P.S. when you guys get to the top of the industry and famous, am I allowed to say I influenced a design decision? Haha
  • + 1
 I think 15mm is the way to go. Huckers will always go for the 20mm, but I have both, and 15mm is plenty strong. When racing, I would opt for a 15mm fork, a 15mm specific hub rather than an overbuilt convertible one. For non racing applications it wouldn't matter, as the difference is so small between the two. I think the newest wheel designs will be 15mm specific more often, to separate the products from the DH components. For perspective, if I buy a $1000.00 fork, I can afford $100.00 for a hub, if I want the full benefit, or a $20.00 conversion if I just want compatibility. Its also easier to downsize a 20mm hub, than upsize a 15mm specific one.
  • + 4
 20mil for 150 and over 15 for 140 minus in my opinion. depends on the amount of travel.
  • + 1
 tetonlarry, what is a real rider?
  • + 1
 Ok, can you explain exactly what you mean by 'enduro fork' and explain how its different from the same fork on a freeride or jump bike? this is just more marketing garbage to make us think that one product is inherently better than another when the reality is that theres virtually no difference. splitting MTB into a dozen or more seperate disciplines to sell the same product 5 times over isnt progress, its BS and you know it.
  • + 1
 @apollyonroar. What I meant by real rider is someone who pushes an Enduro bike to it's limits. Someone who will want to ride technical DH trails at full race speed as well as XC with their dog and girlfriend. People in my area still ride their Ibis Mojo's, Specialized Enduro's, etc on our most technical trails, hitting 20-30 foot gaps and 10-15 foot drops. I don't know anyone who does this with a 15mm fork. I think for XC only 15mm would suffice, but for any aggressive downhill riding 20mm is the correct size.
  • + 1
 5mm makes you aggressive "real" rider?
  • + 1
 20mm or gtfo. 15mm is better then qr for sure and should replace anything qr. But 20mm is stiffer and better for any jumping or choppy tech riding. And it's disappointing having product that would have formerly been 20mm is being switched to 15mm. I will not buy anything with a 15 mm axle unless its full xc.
  • + 1
 20mm. 15mm simply does not exist to me, like 650b and 29", straight 1 1/8 steerer forks, and front derailleurs.
  • + 2
 Thanks for everyone's replies, helpful information for sure! Seems like there is a need for two chassis (15mm & 20mm) in this mysterious area of Enduro forks. Thanks, DVO
[Reply]
  • + 7
 The stronger the better
  • + 4
 Im no weight weenie but I disagree - I don't need a 20mm axle on my AM rig yet I don't want a QR....enter the 15mm.
  • + 8
 but what is wrong with 20m axel its stiffer and stronger and the difference is weight is not a big difference
  • + 21
 Brody3 if its the weight your concerned about then take a shit before you ride, you will shed more weight that way than 5mm extra in your maxle.
  • + 1
 Its not just the 5mm in the maxle, its the material around it in the fork as well.
  • + 3
 I want 20mm at the front and rear!
  • + 0
 Broyd3 - I have this wonderful product for you! 17.5mm axle - as Enduro format is kicking off, consumers will confused which products to choose as there is no Enduro specific badge on them. Market demands products tailored to specific applications, to extract maximum performance out of the equipment, and we never stop pushing the borders of developing and inventing. 17.5mm axle will be here to stay as it is stronger and stiffer than 15mm and lighter than 20mm intended for Downhill, where as everyone knows forces are much more brutal. In few words 17.5mm axle is stronger and lighter - win win!
  • + 2
 Hey WAKI - a 34 fork (another useless idea from Fox when a 36 works just fine) with 17.5 axle is the perfect answer for marketing to Enduro!!
  • + 2
 rstwosix - yup! We add 1.4 - 1.25" steerer and we're off!

Why 1.4? Isn't introducing a new st...- oh I see where you are going, there is a big market demand for anglesets these days, and if you want to make one for 1.5" bottom cup, the whole thing becomes too big and heavy. We also want to avoid introducing a new standard of frame head tube as we know that buying a new headset is cheaper than new frame - we at Shmox always strive to provide convenient and creative solutions. So decreasing lower diameter of steerer tube, not only makes it easier for our partners to design a good angleset but also reduces weight of the whole system. This is particularly IMPORTANT for flushed headsets which are VERY sought after when designing bikes with MODERN wheel sizes like 650B or 29"

We are always looking forward to hear what do you think about our products and see you guys on the trail!
  • + 5
 Me, I do not see the interest of the tapered head. 1 1/8 "worked very well and nobody soufrait a rigidity problem!
  • + 3
 You are correct my friend.
  • + 2
 Let's not forget that 15mm not only weight less they have less volume, so less air drag which means faster. Ohh wait it doesn't because the difference is so small it's negligible. 15mm just don't make any sense in the first place when the 20mm was working just fine to everyone.
  • + 2
 Now, if I took a shit before I rode, could I not save even more weight from using a lighter front wheel? I can do both and be still lighter than the guy with the heavy wheel who took a shit. The logic on this site boggles my mind.
  • - 1
 Willie1 - if you believe that even 0,5 kg on your bike makes any difference go ride with some proper riders... Once you discover the chasm between you and them, those weight savings stop making sense. And if you take shit before a long ride be careful, wipe your ass deliberately, preferably wash it deeply, use quality pants with padding and chamois cream. Lack of precision can cause havoc to the membrane...
  • + 2
 Waki, your comment will be taken for what it is worth. I still can't remember the ride you and I supposedly had.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I like 20mm axles for the front. IMO the 15mm is okay as compared to the old QR. But likely all we should have required is 20mm and perhaps a 20mm light. Is the jury still out on whether a 15mm axle saves any weight over a maxle light?

On the back I have run 12 x 150 for FR/DH bikes, like what it offers, my new FR bike is 12 x 142 and seems to be just fine as well. I do like how easy the rear wheel slots in, definite plus on the 142x12. My trail bike has typically been 135, but I try to run a 10mm through axle where possible, Hope with DT Swiss RWS, but still have a QR rear wheel that I use for a lighter setup.

Also still run qr wheels on my commuter without issues (never had a wheel fall off), then again I make sure my wheels are properly secured to the bike.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i am happy with what i have got, sick of changing, sick of having to pay more and more money for something that is a 10 grams lighter and saves 10 seconds to put a wheel on. waste of cash that I could spend going away riding
  • + 2
 if you purchase such pointless goods all you do is encourage these massive companies to bring more pointless products out. i dont care what bike you ride, i dont care what clothes you wear, i dont care what car you drive or what new rear drop out configuration you have. see you on the trails, that is where it is at.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Dear Mike Levy, Glad to see you you'd be happy with 20mm thru axles on all forks! Common sense prevails. It seems to be the consensus here. Go tell that to the industry! They won't listen of course because they have their own sweet agenda that's dominated by the Marketing Department.
  • + 2
 The marketing department gets fired if the consumers don't purchase the products. YOU HAVE THE CONTROL!
  • + 1
 I'd like to say you're right, but I'm afraid you are not! As WAKI says elsewhere the industry decided to introduce 15QR to make XC and Trail riders feel special by not using 20mm thru axle which was being used on DH and Freeride bikes. This was purely and simply a marketing move. The weight difference is negligible. Bike manufacturers came to the party and fitted them to the majority of their range. Glance through any catalogue and note how many bikes have 15QR vs 20mm Thru axle. This is not driven by consumer demand - it's the industry telling you what you will get because they say so.
  • + 1
 you believe waki is right? That's all I need to know.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 This poll is awful. It asks if we are in favor of 15mm/142mm, and the best positive answer is "Yes, because anything is better than a quick-release." That doesn't sound like a very compelling argument for companies to continue with this standard. What was the point of this poll? It proves nothing...even if the answers were more definitively swayed in one direction.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 For me, as long as the companies are supporting whatever "standard" then i'm ok with whatever. however, here's my opinion:

leave the QR 9mm stuff on the bikes from Walmart/Target/Sports Authority/etc. If you're buying a bike from there you likely don't care and it'll probably save some money.

I've been on a 142/12 bike, a 135/QR, and a 135/10 bolt. I couldn't tell a difference. If you're buying used, all the parts are available already, if you're buying new, why not benefit from the stronger rear end. Bikes are so expensive these days that if you're buying new, you probably either a) have the money for a new wheelset or b) have the money to buy a new hub and everything else to get your old wheels relaced.

As far as forks go, for the most part, the axle size choice is pretty clear. 15mm for the XC crowds and 20mm for the gravity folks. The waters get murky when you look at the AM category. This category is pretty murky anyway. But from looking at the manufacturers, it seems that they're all offering two variations of the AM bike. The shorter travel more pedal friendly AM bike (eg Spec Stumpjumper) and the longer travel more gravity friendly AM bike (eg Spec Enduro). I think the gravity side is pretty clearly better served with the 20mm. However, the pedal friendly AM bikes can go either way. Thankfully, its up to the individual for what they want. At this point in time, its all available out there so choose what you want.

FWIW, on my 09 bottlerocket, I've got a 20mm front and a QR rear. Seems to ride fine for me. Though, I wouldn't mind trying a 10mm bolt through (or something like DT Swiss through axle for 135mm).

I'm waiting for PB to start a poll on the Fork Stanchion size. 32mm vs 34mm vs 35mm vs 36mm vs 40mm :S
[Reply]
  • + 2
 20/12 is good. Why not 30/30/135?

Cantilevered front/rearends would be quite a bit stiffer with large diameter hollow hubs in double threaded bosses with Al stub- threads.You could get rid of the axle altogether and a well enigneered hub housing does the load and hold work.
  • + 1
 I like it! How about we put bearings into the fork?!
  • + 3
 Now you`re pushing it ;-). A fork is actually a large preloaded semidry linearbearing with a horrible dustseal. Just no balls or rollers and where a spring acts as guide and slider and bearing.

Great if oil could be replaced with something like water and soap - be possible to attach a waterhose to the top and flush the crud out before it eats the bearing stanchion and guides. Something like an open waterbath.
  • + 1
 Open water bath - buahaha. And aloe-vera creme on bushings - sounds eco organic. You're on to something!

Look, wouldn't race bikes work with bushings only? You know, DH and even XC races are relatively short so you could run away with - it isn't it? No bearings in wheels, pivots - only bushes. That would drop at least 0,5kg off the bike!
  • + 1
 ;-) Marinebronze bushings work very well in saltwater - there is vast knowledge about this kind of application, waterbath is quite feasible and thus contaminants could be flushed by simply attaching your garden hose. I saw 30 year old mb bushings looking unaffected and bikes are slow turners too.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium_bronze
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I like 142mm rear ends but prefer 20mm axles... you should make that an option in your poll!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I had a Trek Fuel EX 8 with QR front and back. The front wheel faired fine other than flexing and causing brake rub going hard into corners. The rear was another story. The amount of flex going on back there destroyed the wheel bearings as well as the ABP bearings and chain stays. Trek replaced the frame with an EX9 which came with adapters for both QR & 12x142. I upgraded to a 15mm Fox fork and XT trail wheels and it has been amazing. Very stiff and stout yet still light. Would a 20mm fork be better? Probably, but not necessary for a bike like mine and would more than likely overkill.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Many years ago DT bought out a carbon fork with a 20mm through-axle. They had warrenty issues when freeriders busted their fork. The DT guys says "This fork was not meant for hucking." but the consumers said "We bought it because it is a DH fork. Look - it has a 20mm thru-axle!"

DT were one of the first to bring out a 15mm fork because it differentiated between DH and AM/XC.

My quotes are paraphrases of long and involved conversations, but the story is essentially true.
  • + 1
 Same story with wheels, Mavic SLR in 20 mm thru were used for races like the Megavalanche. Basically they were lasting half the week or so. So they stopped offering 20 mm option, and stuck to 15 mm. Under pressure of people wanting light wheels, manufacturer now propose 150-160 mm travel fork with 15 mm axle option. So what will the wheel manufacturer do? Give up 15 mm and come back to QR?
You can't help customers doing stupid things and it should be let to their responsibilities. You can also go downhilling with an XC helmet... your problem.
  • + 3
 If you can break EXR 150 with 20mm axle, you are either a really good and aggressive rider, or... idiot with no skills and too much money. The whole affair smells of people in Giro Switchblades and Met Parachutes

So, does industry adjusts their stuff to extremes, not average rider - the majority of the market?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The only standard in my stable is 26" wheels. Frames are 135QR + 150x12, forks are either 9mm or 20mm, and wheels will manage 9mm,15mm,20mm, 135QR, 135x10,142x12,150x12, and 157x12. Made this possible with only one set of wheels not mounted on a bike. Just plan ahead. Love my mavics.

Speaking of planning ahead, I voice my 26" preference with spending. Keep buying, and they'll keep making. LBS take note, I'd spend more locally if they simply stocked what I buy. I don't mind supporting local at all, but there's no way in hell I'm going to buy something there if I don't need/want it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 My favorite standards:

20mm front.
1.5" straight steerer (with Orbit E ZS headset in 49mm front) - 1.5" stems are no heavier.
postmounts front and rear, front for 180mm without an adapter.
BB92 bottom bracket. (Spanish on BMX)
142mmx12 rear axle does make sense, but 135x12 is just fine as well.
I grew up to like 10sp, due to 11-36 cassette option. Would be even better if it was 11-38. Not sure about the new 11sp thing, but 10-42 is not the worst idea in the world.
31.6 seatposts.
bottom pull direct mount (to chainstay) front derailleur.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Has anyone here ever worked on a car? Standards (aka options) aren't exclusive to the bicycle industry. I'm so sorry you're inconvenienced. Good grief. Get some perspective.
Time and technology marches on folks.
This whole thread is as tired as the guys who still, even after 15 years still write in to Mountain Bike Action to ask "should I get clipless pedals?"

www.amish.com
[Reply]
  • + 1
 "Needless to say, 15mm axle forks are here to stay... until something that makes more sense comes along, that is."

Oh, you mean like 20mm axles?!!!!! There is only one reason that all these new "standards" come along, which do nothing more than de-standardize something that has already been "standardized" & that reason is this:

A bicycle is a bicycle is a bicycle!!!! I know all these companies like to make everyone think that there's so much advanced engineering & technology involved here & that it's all super high tech crazy mojo kinda shit going on, but it's not. It's a f*cking bicycle!!!! This is the place that all the wannabe "engineers" end up who couldn't work in the aerospace or automotive industries because they probably weren't smart enough. The few that actually love bikes are the ones that probably resist all the dumb changes made for no other reason than to keep people paying.

I used to be a "tech weenie" & I knew all about the tech specs on every fork, every shock & every component available back in the 90's. Now, this is the first I've heard of 142 mm f*cking axles!!!! WTF? Is that to accommodate some "new" extra number of gears or something? 10 cogs now, or is it up to 11? Real innovative there guys, add yet another cog to the cluster f*ck already attached to the rear hub of a mountain bike. What a brilliant industry we have here.
  • + 1
 I realize companies need to be profitable to stay in business, & I realize that most scatter-brained monkey f*cktards get their nuts off on something branded as "new", so the companies cater to all of those morons. They are the majority after all. I also realize that bicycles are very limited (being as simple as they are) in the ways they can be rehashed, rearranged, reskinned, resized twisted, bent, shrunk, stretched & otherwise gimmicked the f*ck out, but it'd be nice if at least in this industry there could be enough people who give a shit to maintain the things that have been done right in the first place & strive to introduce change according to its usefulness, rather than according to its profitability.

A 15 mm axle is not better than a 20 mm, a 142 mm rear end is not better than 150 mm, a conventional fork is not better than an inverted fork, & a cluster f*ck of cogs & derailleurs is not better than a gearbox. If things weren't made to fail at some point, then the companies that make the garbage would put themselves out've business. It's why the car industry does it. The bicycle is a much easier machine to keep alive due to its simplicity, so change for the sake of change keeps the cash flowing.

The mountain bike industry is so f*cking dumb that it can't even standardize something as simple as a f*cking seatpost, while introducing more sizes ("standards") for everything else. The only groups of idiots I know of that are proven to be dumber are religious sheeple & racist factions. For those of you in the industry that know better, but go along with this stupid shit anyway, you should be ashamed of yourselves.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Not one positive comment about 15mm front axles here. Who is buying these forks? For me, weight comes after strength every time. I like the 142mm rear axle because its as strong as 150mm, but allows for narrower rear ends.
  • + 1
 the 15mm axle is in a dead heat with the other option in the poll.
  • + 1
 The poll is skewed because people like myself like 142mm but don't like 15mm and they are lumped together. Also "anything is better than a quick release" is an easy statement to agree with, but 20mm is still better than 15mm.
  • + 1
 Regardless of the options, people still pick them evenly. Maybe some people want 15 and 135 as well, because they already own those wheels too.
  • + 1
 Do you have stock in 15mm axles or something? You are all over this thread!
  • + 1
 I have 15 and 20mm axles. I don't know what all the whining is about. They both work well.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have a Norco 2006 team DH on which I stripped the rear axle thread in the frame last year. The axle itself had also had it. I had a hard time trying to find the right axle and in the end had to tap out the frame and helicoil it after my LBS told me it couldn't be done. Of course I'm lucky one if my riding buddies is a metal worker by trade! Darn standards.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 "so long as they actually make sense" is the bone of contention. I am fine with the axles. other stuff has to prove itself still. I am glad of Giant's 1.25 steerer got scorned. The outrageous claims of improvement made my head spin. But the through-axles make sense.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Bought a 15mm Easton Havoc set up for a trail bike, and when I wanted to go to a 6" frame... oooo looks like I'll have to stick with something with a 15mm axle now... everything should be 20mm up front. They already had 135x12mm rear maxles... and yet we have a new standard coming in... when will it end? never, obviously, but that doesn't mean I have to like it!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 What no one has addressed is why the 15QR is worse then the 20mm. They both are plenty stiff. So can someone please tell my why my stumpy evo should have a 20mm and not the 15QR that I absolutely love and have no problem with.
  • + 2
 Stiffer is better. Especially if your a bigger and/or aggressive rider.
For XC, the 15mm will be fine. For trail and more aggressive riding, 20mm is where it should be. I think it's a shame to put a 15mm fork on 140mm of travel. Especially for 29ers. Shame on you Fox!
  • + 2
 jaydawg - exactly!!! Larger wheel, more rotating mass, more leverage torsionally between the sliders, on a longer travel fork with smaller stanchions and smaller axle diameter. Really what were they thinking.......$$$$$$$$$
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Other than for the fact it would be harder to steal your wheels without quick release, WHAT WAS WRONG WITH QR SETUPS? I've been pounding the piss out of my mountain bikes since the mid 90's all on QR axles and never lost a wheel or had a failure. I'm sure when I get my next dream bike I'll be stepping up to a bike with one of the new standards, but if I had to settle for another bike equipped with QR's I don't think I'd cry about it.

Seriously, what problems with QR axles should I be keeping an eye out for?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Having just picked up a 15QR fork and wheel, I have to say that I'm impressed with the relative stiffness increase over 9mm dropouts. I would not try and use such a standard for, say, DJ/street or any freeride or DH, but other than that, I would prefer it over a QR- Especially, since from an engineering standpoint, it's easier to manufacture a hub/fork axle combo that is stronger and lighter than a QR fork/hub.

That having been said, I've never had a problem with 135x10mm dropouts, but I've always used bolt-on hubs and things.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I just don't like to exchange my wheels / hub's each time for a new bike build or fork swap.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I was happy with bolt up clamp and axle 20mm front, and 135bolt up rear, or 150mm.
I wouldn't mind a dishless front 20mm standard. That'd be better than 15mm. Especially with the new big wheel craze. Or is steeper/tighter spokes better for braking?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Im sorry, my bike has a 20mm front end and a QR rear and well, it goes uphills, it goes down Innerliethen, Fort William, it goes up and down Glentress, it goes along a bit, it goes over jumpy jump jumps and it smashes into rocks a bit. And still the horribly weak and flexy qr does not seem to budge or have any impact whatsoever. Christ sake! its meant to be a piece of crap! Die already!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 IDK y all this new things are coming and going y is all that uncertainness is this 15 or that 20 mm good bad, all of them are good but the purpose is more important,so for extreme Dh are you gonna go 10mm couse it's more light or 12 or 15, sry nope i will stick to the standard 20mm, I don't want my wheel to bend or axle to break! Smile Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Most 135 x 12mm wheels can be adapted to 142 x 12mm, so the hub width, disc to cassette, is the same, so what is the advantage of the 3.5mm spacer on each side? Not seen a 142mm in real life up close yet.
I agree that QR needs to die, every time I ride a bike with a front QR I can feel the flex under hard braking and tracking through rocks. I can see that if a 15mm allows the weight to be xc light (we don't care about 20g, but they do) then it will speed up the rate of QR's demise. QR components are still easy to get hold of so my old QR bike isn't going to need new forks. The main thing that pisses me off is when it's not written clearly on the product description.
Surely if it was more common to see QR wheels sold with the 15mm adaptor (since if a QR was on the job in the first place a 20mm will just be like the 150mm rear end, and only used for our real bikes) then the uptake would be easier. Those wheels make it out in the world, and the upgrade from QR to 15mm fork wouldn't be so cost prohibitive.
I suppose these 15mm axles will become the next tapered head tube. Most real hardcore bikers don't see the point but they are on half the bikes sold today.
Thinking out loud!!!
  • + 1
 The extra 7mm of axle makes for a more secure connection to the dropouts. Existing QR/Solid/Thru-axles for 135mm spacing only have 5.5mm of axle sticking out either side of the hub, and that makes for relatively thin dropouts to secure the wheel with. Widen the axle and you have more room to work with to clamp the axle into place safely and securely.
  • + 1
 I thought it was the width between the frame, and so the clamping surface is additional to that? Looks like
i need to research this more!
  • + 1
 135 and 142 hubs ide the same hub body. The interface with the frame is the difference, and why most hubs have adapters to convert from one to another.
  • + 1
 Yep, I read the Pinkbike piece on the 142mm axle. Makes sense now, so it that to 135 what 157 is to 150mm? Makes sense, I hate QR, but it is a pain having to get the allen keys out to pop the wheels in and out. I don't mind for my DH rig, but for my All Mountain I wouldn't mind the 142mm standard next.
Thanks for the info guys.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I don't really see much wrong with how things are right now. It makes sense to have multiple standards designed for particular uses. Mountain bikes are lumped together sometimes but we all know there is a huge difference between a cx bike and a dh bike in terms of... well, everything. Maybe the 9mm QR doesn't seem like it should go on a mountain bike but maybe it has its place in the ultra-weight-weenie world of 3" xc race bikes. 20mm shouldn't be replaced by 15mm stuff entirely as it has become dominant in DJ, slope, 4X, DH, and FR applications. 15mm stuff does make sense for weight conscious AM, trail, and enduro applications. The same argument can be made for rear end standards, each has its own purpose. I think its a good thing that there are so many choices, just like with all the choices in drivetrain setups, suspension travel, suspension type, wheel size, etc. The only people who really seem disadvantaged by all these choices are those who want to switch from one standard to another and those who are not as well informed about all mountain bike tech stuff. The uninformed should go to a LBS or jump on a forum and those stuck with a standard are SOL.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 You guys never had problems with 135 qr rears? Am I the only one that went to 203 rotors and had to re tighten my rear wheel every other ride? Besides that, I had to fix the problem rather aggressively and got those super heavy duty pull a trailer qr levers and cranked down hard on the frame. Through axle rear in any size is beautiful
  • + 1
 Good point. When bikes started moving to bigger travel but still running 135 qr rear ends, rail a corner too hard and sometimes the wheel popped out of a dropout. Granted that was largely down to the frame but I doubt anyones ever done that with bolt through rear so problem solved.

My only concern is that we are calling them new standards but the more we introduce the less standard things become. It used to be we had qr front and qr rear which were standard and then some extra sizes available (early days of 20mm bolt through) for special applications (DH racing). I know times have changed and there are now more applications, xc, dh, freeride, all mountain etc etc but as a result there no longer seems to be a "standard" just a lot of options.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I recently switched from a RockShox Revelation with 20mm Maxle to DT Swiss EXM (QR version) running a Hadley 9mm thru-axle. Luckily I already had a Hope front hub, so just switched the axle convertors.

I can't say I've noticed any difference in stability or steering control between the two setups. This could be due to the DT Swiss fork being stiffer than the Rev, and compensating for the difference between 20mm and 9mm axles ? But it's shown me that for AM/rocky trail riding with a 130mm travel bike, my current setup is enough. I'm much better off learning better technique and getting fitter/stronger if I want rough downhills to become easier.

If I do buy another fork, I will go for a 15 or 20 thru-axle, but I'm not in any hurry - my bike runs damn fine as it is. I think people are believing the hype a bit too much. And of course, a QR will make you look like a roadie/XC wimp and no-one's going to get 'stoked' on that are they Wink
[Reply]
  • + 5
 142mm x 12mm rear 20mm front
  • + 3
 20mm front and 142 x 12 rear is the best. I find 15mm too flexy for BC XC AM. I think 15mm is a pointless standard. I am happy my Stumpy EVO came with 20mm front and 142 x 12 rear stock.
  • + 2
 2012 DB Scapegoat- just built 20mm front 142x12 rear. Solid stiff and for a guy like me who weighs in at 235lb there is no need to pretend losing grams on my bike will equate to pounds lost on me.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Buy pro 2 hubs.. Change the axle type and boom!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 standards started gettin silly with all the axles but really took the biscuit when headsets & BBs got involved. heres the scenario in LBS: staff- good morning customer- i need a new BB please staff- what type? customer- standard staff- errrrrr do you have the bike with you? C- no but i just want a standard BB S- what bike is it? C- a Trek. S- model & year? C- why do you need to know that??? S- because there is no standard BB. or headset. or front hub. or rear hub. story ends with an irate customer who has to check model & year of their bike, go back to LBS who dont have the part & cannot order it in time for weekend. customer goes mental. if an experianced member of staff can get confused with BB standards then what chance does joe public have? iv managed to keep the front of most of my bikes interchangeable (20mm thru, 6bolt rotor mount, IS calliper mount & 26 inch. see how much there is just on the front wheel!!) wich has saved my ride a few times. but at the back its impossible. a standard needs to be set so we can ride more. thats how you get faster aint it?
  • + 1
 When I order parts for my car, dishwasher, or geothermal heat pump, I nead to know the model, year and serial number. This really isn't an issue.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Standards are created by manufacturers to make our equipment obsolete and thus renew as often as possible.Consumer society thank you!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 weight saving between 20mm and 15mm is minimal, and 135 rear i find fine, i've never had a problem myself, so don't really see a need to change?!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 People need to spend less time figuring out what size axle, wheel, hub, cassette, rotor, handlebar, headset, and water bottle they should buy, and spend more time learning to ride better.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Between me and my wife we have three bikes with fox talas 32 150's 15mm, my new bike also has a 142 12mm rear. I would have prefered to go 20mm in the front but Fox would have none of that. The 32 only comes with 15mm
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Have a pair of Fox 32 Float on my 4X bike for the last 3 years, still working perfectly and haven't yet serviced them. The 15mm axle seems just the right size and makes my 20mm look chunky and outdated.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Having to define standard in an article is worrying!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 135mmx12 and 20mm is what I try to run. The reason is that I can use 135x12 rear wheel on a few QR frames and SS frames I have with a stepdown bolt on axel - from Azonic. Can't do that with 142x12.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 wrong question!!! yes forever and always 12x142 is better. As far as the 15 vs 20 thing its tough, a standard 20 would be awesome but it is true that no xc bike needs more than 15.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 nothing wrong with 135mm, 150mm/ 10mm and 12mm plus 20mm, and qr axles. I admit the other "in between" axles offer SLIGHT advantages HERE AND THERE, but I honestly dont see anything worth the extra cost and trouble.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Iv got a 20mm qt on the front and a 12x150mm Alan key rear axel on the back. I don't realy see the argument to be honest, if your wheels don't fall off or come loose when your riding what's the problem
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Honestly all I care about is a wheel that works and won't break off. I have a 12x142 and it works fine. I have had no problems with both in the past though. I believe that it is almost preference.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 20mm front end, 12x142mm rear for me
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Lets make it so FOX has to build 10,000 15 MM and 9,000 20MM 32 forks. Instead of a bigger batch and cutting production costs. You know what there is a reason that MTB will never have the cost's in check. Pick a BB, Headset and rear spacing size. Quit changing it every other year my GOD>
[Reply]
  • + 2
 what i want to know is how 4 different seat clamp standards came in to place? The marketing must be as good as Apples!
  • + 1
 never tried a fuji apple?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 can i make my 150mm chris king hubs to fit 157mm?!? if so can someone please post me a link, as CK said they are not producing any spacers
[Reply]
  • + 2
 20mm front rules hugely over 15mm.
Best combo id say is 20mm & 12x142mm
[Reply]
  • + 1
 who the bloody hell is this Wakidesigns pinkbike addict! And bloody get rid of bloody 15mmm it's devaluing my old QR wheels!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I say 20mm on all fronts. and thru axles on all the back ends, whether it be 135x12 like my jamis dakar amt. or 142 or 150 x 12 no more open dropouts on mountain bikes
[Reply]
  • - 1
 im running my stok fuel ex 9 from 08, and I LOVE IT!!! the rims are a bit shaky becuase they are bontrager XC's where I use them for am and dh... Razz I wouldnt mind upgrading to a qr15 or a 20mm, but I would have to upgrade my: fork, hubs. and thats alot of money for me currently... Im fine with the setup or upgrade as long as it is FOX!!!
  • + 1
 would like to upgrade to a 36 talas 160 up front though. then some easton haven carbon rims and Im all set xD
[Reply]
  • + 3
 You should have had more poll responce catogries like 20mm front 142m rear
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Lend me the shovel and I'll pile another foot of the dirt on the place where the front QR was laid to rest.

F U "lawyer tabs" and disc rotor rub.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Always had either normal qr or 9mm Specialized QR, Getting other stuff than QR in The Netherlands for cheap is pretty much impossible.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 A 15mm axle isn't going to change weight much, but the hub it mates to can be smaller and lighter, with smaller bearings, smaller hub body, and flanges where appropriate.
[Reply]
  • - 1
 definatly 20mm front on every bike
and for trails 142 is better than 135 because the wheels have more equal dish and spoke tension for a stronger and stiffer wheel
and for downhill 157 is better than 150 just like the 142; more equal dish and spoke tension = stronger and stiffer wheel
THAT'S WHY THEY MADE THE NEW STANDARD!
  • + 2
 please look up what these "new" hubs really are. The hub bodies are the same, the flanges in the same place. The difference is in how the hub attaches to the frame.
  • + 1
 "for trails 142 is better than 135 because the wheels have more equal dish..." No they do not.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 My arse end is 157 x 12.........not many new wheelsets in the that size i'm guessing?!!
  • + 1
 Norco Aurum
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Thank god for discerning, intelligent and rational pinkbikers. You guys are awesome. Personally I'm stocking up on 9sp.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Waki dont forget the light dhers...they will need an 18mm axle...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'll stick with my 20mm axle.....I still ride a 6 yr old 9x135 frame. but a more up to date frame would be nice.
[Reply]
  • - 2
 if its practical let it stay if it has no place let it die 20mm stay -strong for real biking 15mm stay -light for xc any qr dies -shit for anything 135x10 dies -just pointless 135x12 dies -pain in the ass compared to 142 142x12 stay -well thought out 150 dies - not as easy as 157 157 stay -same situation as 142
  • + 4
 Have to disagree here, I'm running 135*10 on my kona with the bolt up pro 2... So easy to get it in i dont see the point in anything else!
  • + 1
 Yeah. I'm running 135x10 bolt up Hadley rear hub.
  • + 1
 would like to point out that when i wrote the above post i put each standard on its own line so it was much easier too read. what is the benefit of 135x10 over 142x12 guys
  • + 1
 The benefit is we already had 135x10. The only thing wrong with it was it used a QR skewer which was a bit flexy. The answer was and is a bolt up axle which my Hadley hub has. Numerous other hubs including Chris king and Hope have them as an option too.
  • + 1
 ive got a hadley as well mate (good aren't they), tho its a 150 bolt through on my dh bike. my beef with it is that its easier to put a 142x12 in a frame then put the axle in afterward, than the balancing act required with 135mm and 150mm hubs. i do take my wheels out often tho due not being able to get them up the stairwell otherwise.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 There should be a 20mm axle front and rear!!!! lol But seriously - stop messing around with wheel sizes and axle sizes!
  • + 2
 And there could be 20mm at both ends if the damn controllers of gearing (SRAM, Shimano) and frame designers would start evolving to inboard gearboxes (Pinion). But of course, they are held back by the consumers. As usual. remember the Hammerschmidt? that was a step(and possibly could have gone to 8-9 speeds eventually), but it was rejected by US! We are the cause of all these disparate "standards" due to our silly superficial weight based demands. totally the wrong thing driving design and tech.
  • + 1
 I did not reject Hammerschmidt. Its weight, price, and not so useful gear range (x2 would be better) rejected me.


Pinion ain't cheap either, and difficult to swap between frames. I would be perfectly happy with a 5 speed hub, or hammerschmidt equivalent if it covers 400%+ range.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i love the 15mm and 12x145mm set up on my remedy 8 some thing a little lighter than the bigger set up on my stinky
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Hello, I know this is a bit off subject, but what about Shimano Saint rear derailleurs and their clutch rub (especially on FSR links)? Plus, what happened to the Saint 9 speed version for 2013?
  • + 1
 What to do if, I reck my 9 speed Saint at the local DH tracks? Do I have to buy a 10 speed cassette, chain, shifter and rear mech? Down with the negative horse shit! Lighten the f*ck up!
  • + 1
 Buy a spare and bring it with you. That's what I did. I had a SRAM x7 and Shimano LX RD in the tool box, shift cable spares, some housing. I had a bleed kit, spare chain, brake rotor bolts and caliper bolts. Tubes and pump are a no brainer, even if you run tubeless. Be prepared, and you won't get shafted.
  • + 1
 Hi Willie1, I either didn't make my post clear, or you misunderstood me. I believe that Shimano no longer makes a 9 speed version of Saint. Do you know if they still do? That's all. In addition, I'm always prepared as I'm the go to guy, on the hill, that always loans, gives or fixes other people's misfortune.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The amount of adapters needed on a bike is TOO DAMN HIGH!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 20mm front, 12mm rear it's the way to go. 15mm don't make much sense since the weight saving over the 20mm is minimal
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Just choose one and stick with it
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Trek session is 157x12 also.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I ride XC, why isn't there the "stincking to QR" option at the poll?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 planned obsolescence is the way of the world unfortunately
[Reply]
  • - 1
 She said bigger is better!
[Reply]

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