Can You Convert QR to Thru-Axle

Can You Convert QR to Thru Axle

You cannot directly convert QR to Thru Axle because they are too different. To convert a QR axle to a thru-axle, you must replace the frame, fork, and wheels. This is because the frame and fork would need to be drilled to accommodate the thru axle, and the wheels would need to have thru axle hubs.

Everyone knows I love biking! So I upgraded my bike from Quick Release (QR) to Thru Axle. It turned out to be much trickier than I expected. When I tried to replace the fork, I messed up the measurements, and it was frustrating. I didn’t give up, though. I made careful adjustments and got help from my cycling buddies. Eventually, I got it right. This experience taught me that being precise and patient is super important when working on bikes. The result was a bike that felt way smoother and steadier to ride and worth it.

It is not easy to convert a QR to a thru Axle, but in this article, I will show you how to. I will share with you the methods of conversion, a step-by-step conversion process, and things to consider when converting from a QR to a thru Axle. So, let us begin!

Benefits of Converting QR to Thru Axle:

Quick release (QR) and thru axles are two different types of axles used on bicycles. QR axles are the older and more common type, and they are secured with a skewer that is tightened with a lever. Thru axles, on the other hand, are newer and more secure, and they are secured with a bolt that is tightened with a wrench. There are a few reasons why you might want to convert your bike from QR to thru axles. These reasons are more beneficial to you than you know.

  1. Thru axles are more secure. They are less likely to come loose, which can be a safety hazard. This is especially important for mountain bikes, which are often ridden in rough terrain.
  2. Through axles can improve the handling of your bike. They provide a more direct connection between the wheel and the frame, which can make the bike feel more responsive.
  1. Thru axles can make it easier to change wheels. The axle is not as exposed as it is with QR axles, so it is less likely to get caught on rocks or roots.
  2. Improved Stability: Through axles provide better stability and steering control, especially in high-speed situations.
  1. Enhanced Power Transfer: You’ll experience improved power transfer from your legs to the pedals, making climbs and sprints more efficient.
  1. Smoother Ride: Through axles reduce flex, resulting in a smoother ride over rough terrain.
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Methods of Converting

There are two main methods of converting a quick release (QR) bike to thru axles: replacing the fork and wheels and using adapters.

Replacing the fork and wheels is the most expensive and time-consuming option, but it is also the most reliable. You will need to purchase a new fork and wheels that are compatible with thru-axles. There are also several adapters available that allow you to use thru-axle wheels on a quick-release bike. These adapters are less expensive and easier to install than replacing the fork and wheels, but they are not as secure as the method of replacing the wheels and fork.

Replacing the fork and wheels

This is the most secure option, as it eliminates the possibility of the QR skewer coming loose. It is also the best option if you want to improve the handling and performance of your bike.

To replace the fork and wheels, you will need to:

  1. Remove the old fork. Use a wrench to loosen the bolts that secure the fork to the frame. Remove the fork from the frame.
  2. Install the new fork: Make sure that the fork is compatible with your bike. Secure the fork to the frame with the bolts. Tighten the bolts to the specified torque.
  3. Remove the old wheels. Use a wrench to loosen the QR skewers that secure the wheels to the fork. Remove the wheels from the fork.
  4. Install the new wheels: Make sure that the wheels are compatible with your bike. Secure the wheels to the fork with the thru axles. Tighten the thru axles to the specified torque.

Adjust the thru axles so that they are properly tightened.

Using Adapters

Adapters are a less expensive and easier way to convert a QR bike to thru axles. However, they are not as secure as replacing the fork and wheels.

To use adapters, you will need to:

  1. Purchase adapters that are compatible with your bike.
  2. Install the adapters on your QR wheels. There are different types of adapters available, so you will need to choose the ones that are right for your bike. Follow the instructions that come with the adapters to install them properly.
  3. Tighten the adapters so that they are properly secured. Use a wrench to tighten the adapters to the specified torque.
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Additional tips for converting your bike to thru axles

Make sure that you have the right tools. You will need a wrench, a torque wrench, and possibly other tools, depending on the specific bike and components involved.

Read the instructions carefully. The instructions that come with the thru axles or adapters will tell you how to install them properly.

Be careful not to overtighten the through axles or adapters. Overtightening can damage the components. If you are not comfortable working on your own bike, it is best to take it to a qualified bike mechanic.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Method

METHODADVANTAGESDISADVANTAGES
Replacing the fork and wheelThis is the most secure method. It can improve the handling and performance of your bike. It is the only way to convert your bike if your frame is not compatible with thru-axles.It is the most expensive and time-consuming method. You will need to purchase new forks and wheels. You may need to take your bike to a qualified bike mechanic to have the work done.
Using adaptersThis is the least expensive and easiest method. You can use your existing wheels. You can do the work yourself if you are comfortable working on your own bike.This is not the most secure method. The adapters may not be compatible with all bikes. The adapters may add weight to your bike.  

Which method is right for you?

The best method for you will depend on your budget, your needs, and your bike. If you want the most secure and reliable option, then you should replace the fork and wheels. If you are on a budget or if you are not sure if you want to make the permanent switch to thru axles, then you can use adapters.

Here are some additional things to consider when choosing a method for converting your bike to thru-axles:

  1. The type of bike you have: Not all bikes are compatible with thru axles. For example, some road bikes have dropouts that are not wide enough to accommodate thru axles.
  2. The size of the thru axles: There are two common sizes for thru axles: 12 mm and 15 mm. You need to make sure that the thru axles you purchase are the correct size for your bike.
  3. The type of adapters you use: There are a number of different adapters available. Some adapters are designed for specific brands or models of bikes. It is important to choose adapters that are compatible with your bike.
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Things to Consider When Converting

There are four main things to consider when converting from a QR to a thru axle. They are the compatibility of your bike, your budget, and your riding style.

Compatibility

Ensuring compatibility between components is important for a number of reasons, including:

  1. Safety: Incompatible components can lead to safety hazards. For example, if you use a wheel that is not compatible with your bike’s frame, it could come loose and cause an accident.
  2. Performance: Incompatible components can also affect the performance of your bike. For example, if you use a brake caliper that is not compatible with your brake rotors, it will not be able to stop your bike as effectively.
  3. Durability: Incompatible components can also shorten the lifespan of your bike. For example, if you use a cassette that is not compatible with your derailleur, it could damage the derailleur and shorten its lifespan.
  4. Comfort: Incompatible components can also affect the comfort of your ride. If you use a saddle that is not compatible with your body, it could cause pain or discomfort.

To ensure compatibility between components, it is important to consult your bike’s owner’s manual or consult with a qualified bike mechanic. The owner’s manual will list the compatible components for your specific bike. A qualified bike mechanic can also help you choose compatible components and install them properly.

Budget

Budget considerations can influence the choice of conversion method in a number of ways:

  1. The cost of the components: Replacing the fork and wheels is the most expensive method, as you will need to purchase new components. Using adapters is the least expensive method, as you can use your existing wheels with adapters.
  2. The cost of labor: If you are not comfortable working on your own bike, you will need to take it to a qualified bike mechanic. The cost of labor will vary depending on the mechanic and their location.

Riding Style

Your riding style and preferences should guide your conversion decision in a number of ways. If you do a lot of off-road riding or you’re a heavy rider, then you may want to consider replacing the fork and wheels with thru axles. This is because this method is more secure and can help prevent the wheels of your bike from coming loose, which can be a safety hazard in off-road riding.

If you ride on rough terrain, then you may also want to consider replacing the fork and wheels with thru axles. This is because the assurance of this method can help absorb more shock and vibration, which can make for a more comfortable ride.

Conclusion

In conclusion, converting a quick release (QR) bike to thru axles can be a good way to improve the performance and stability of your bike. However, there are a number of factors to consider when making the decision to convert, including your budget, your riding style and preferences, and the compatibility of your bike.

Are you thinking of converting your QR to a thru axle? I hope my article has provided you with all the information you need. Let me know in the comments. Thank you for reading!

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