Thru-Axle Vs Quick Release, What Is The Difference?

Wondering about the different types of axle styles of the thru-axle and quick release. These are two main types of axle styles you will have to choose between. For a long time, the main option was the quick-release axle to connect your wheels. But today, there are more options with the thru-axle becoming popular.

The main difference between the thru-axle and quick release is that with the quick release, the axle can be easily removed from the bike without using any tool. And the thru-axle is a removable axle that is inserted through a hole in one fork leg, through the hub, and then screwed into the other fork leg.

In this post, we will go through the difference between the thru-axle vs quick release. Let’s get started!

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What Are Thru Axles?

Thru-axles has an attachment that secures the wheel to the bike frame. It secures the wheel between the dropouts on the fork. It is designed for the bike frame or fork to provide security to the wheel on a hub between a pair of dropouts.

The thru-axle has a threaded side. Which threads directly through the forks the thru-axle shaft passes through one side of it through the hub and then to the other side of that fork.

What Are Quick Release Axles?

The name quick release should indicate what this type of axle is. It means that this type of axle can be easily removed from the system without using any tool. The quick-release axle is standard on most bikes.

They are made up of a metal rod that runs through the hubs which have a quick-release lever. The rod is inserted into the hubs of the wheel, a special nut is threaded on, and the lever is closed to tighten the cam and secure the wheel to the fork.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Thru Axle?

Like everything, there are pros and cons to using a thru-axle. There are a number of key advantages and disadvantages to using a thru-axle. These are as follows.

Advantages Of A Thru Axle

There are benefits of using a thru-axle and the reasons why someone would consider using a thru-axle. These are as follows.

  • It is safer and better security.
  • Better handling.
  • Less mechanical issues.
  • Improved braking performance.

It Is Safer And Better Security

Thru-axle offers a safer biking experience as the wheels are screwed properly to the hubs thus reducing the chances of detaching when riding effectively making it nearly impossible for the wheel to come out of the dropouts when out biking.

Because the wheels are secured to the dropouts it is hard to steal the wheels, unlike the quick-release axle.

Better Handling

The thru-axle has a stiffer front end for improved handling and stability thus allowing a better ride while riding through corners.

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Less Mechanical Issues

Thru-axle helps to reduced mechanical issues such as broken axles, dislodged wheels, or rotor misalignment.

Improved Braking Performance

Thru-axle makes use of disc brakes to increase braking performance, especially when steering. The combination of decreased swaying and correct rotor alignment helps to improve the overall braking performance.

Disadvantages Of Thru Axle

There are disadvantages of using a thru-axle and the reasons why you would not use a thru-axle. These are as follows.

  • The are expensive.
  • They are heavier.
  • Repairs are time consuming.

They Are Expensive

The cost of purchasing thru-axles is relatively high compared to quick release this is mainly due to it being a new technology. One of the reasons for this is that the frames and forks are also expensive because it requires more work in the manufacturing process thus making it expensive overall.

They Are Heavier

On average, a thru-axle weighs between 55 to 80 grams depending on the size you want. Its skewers also weigh 35 to 55 grams each. The frames and fork too are made of relatively heavy materials.

Accumulating all these weights makes the whole thing to be heavy.

Repairs Are Time Consuming

To repair your wheel, you first need to unscrew the thru-axle which might take some time to complete. After the repair, you will have to spend time screwing the axle properly.

There are chances of losing the axle during such repairs. Accumulating all the time used makes the repairing tiresome and time-consuming.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Quick Release?

Like everything, there are pros and cons to using a quick release. There are a number of key advantages and disadvantages to using a quick release. These are as follows.

Advantages Of Quick Release Axle

There are benefits of using a quick-release axle and the reasons why someone would consider using a quick-release axle. These are as follows.

  • They are cheaper
  • Wheels are lighter.
  • It is easier to remove the wheel.
  • They are reliable.

They Are Cheaper

The cost of purchasing a quick-release axle is relatively low compared to thru-axle. This is because you do not need extra parts to fix them. You can even opt to purchase a used one whose cost seems to be almost free.

Wheels Are Ligher

The quick-release wheels are typically lighter than thru-axle wheels. This is because the dropouts contain less material.

It Is Easier To Remove The Wheel

The name quick-release is self-explanatory that to remove the wheel, all you have to do is pull the lever and lift the dropout. This only does a few seconds. The quick-release skewers fit properly in the hub therefore there is no need of losing the axle.

They Are Reliable

Many cyclists have been using the quick-release axles for a long time. They are durable, reliable, and affordable.

Disadvantages Of Quick Release Axle

There are disadvantages of using a quick-release axle and the reasons why you would not use a quick-release axle. These are as follows.

  • They can be more dangerous.
  • They can easily bend or break.
  • Becoming outdated.
  • Brake rotor rub.
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They Can Be More Dangerous

In case of issues, while riding, quick release can cause a serious accident. This usually happens due to the loosening of the axle with time, a knock, or if it has not being tightened enough. This can cause the wheel to simply come off.

They Can Easily Bend Or Break

There are concerns around the quick-release axle bending that can ruin a hub over time.

Becoming Outdated

Technology is always changing and that includes the technology on bikes. As a result buying wheels in the future can be more challenging. Quick-release is outdated technology.

Brake Rotor Rub

Brake rubbing occurs mostly on quick-release axles because the brake pads sit so close to the rotors. The rubbing occurs mostly if there is flex in the fork that is caused by the quick-release axles. The end result is poor braking power.

Wrapping Up

Finally, the main difference between thru-axle and quick release is that the thru-axle is more expensive and safer to use as it is bolted to the dropouts of the bike. Whereas the quick release is cheaper and can be easily removed from the bike without using any tool but overtime it is not as safe.

And that’s it for now! I’d love it if this post on the difference between the thru-axle vs quick release was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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Thru-Axle Vs Quick Release