Following its introduction in February, we’ve been testing the Flow Zone Q36R quick release thru axle adapter kit for the Fox FLOAT 36 suspension fork.
While some iterations of the 2016 Fox 36 will get a tool-free thru axle, not all will, and there are plenty of 2015 models on the trails that may want the quicker wheel changes this upgrade allows. Installation is straightforward, and the product works as advertised. Check out the details, actual weights and more thoughts below…
The Q36R kit comes with instructions, an axle lever, two quick release levers and bolts, and the necessary hardware to put it all in place.
Compared to the stock parts (right), the Q36R parts add a number of pieces to the puzzle. But, once their on the bike, they never need to come off.
The system uses the stock thru axle and adds exactly 100g to the fork, making additional unsprung weight the big tradeoff for faster wheel changes.
The axle lever has a keyed hole that matches the allen bolt hole on the axle itself. Just drop the bolt down into the axle (threaded end first) and jiggle it until it drops through the bolt hole. We held a pencil down into the axle to keep it taut, then slide the handle onto the bolt and used a socket wrench to tighten the self-locking nut onto the bolt.
The kit comes with a double stick tape that lets you stick the flat head of the bolt onto a pen or something and slide it into the axle, but we didn’t need to use it. It’s recommended that you install the lever with the thru axle securely tightened into place so that you can line up the handle in the desired position. Otherwise, it could end up sticking straight up, down, forward, whatever, and you’d have to repeat the process.
Next, just bolt the quick release levers and cams in place of the stock bolts, replace the axle in the fork, tighten the levers and you’re ready to ride.
Once snugged, everything felt secure and solid. No wiggle or play was evident, and it’s never come loose during riding. We’ve had zero issues with it for the past few months of testing, but it’s certainly made wheel changes much quicker and easier.
There’s a little leeway in just how tight you set the QR levers’ bolts, and that affects how hard they’ll be to open and close. You do want them to require a bit of effort, indenting your fingers slightly, but no need to make them exceedingly difficult.
At $89, it’s not the cheapest of upgrades, but if you have a roof rack that requires wheel removal or have lost a race (or friends) because of lengthy, cumbersome repairs, it just might be worth every penny.