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In the world of bikes, backwards compatibility is always welcomed, but rarely a given. It’s easy to get frustrated by the relentless march of new standards and fitments, but it’s also impossible to deny that today’s bicycles allow you to go faster, farther, and all with more comfort and control.

Yet, because of this constant pursuit of perfection many of us are left with parts that are at best no longer the cutting edge, and at worst, completely useless on new bikes. Wheelsets, and hubs specifically sort of fall into that later category depending on the model. That seems to be the basis of a reader’s question when he asked if there was some kind of fork adapter that would allow you to run a quick release hub in a 15mm thru axle fork.

2014-Crank-Brothers-XD-driver-body-axle-end-caps01

Many hubs, like those from crankbrothers include different end caps to run with thru axle or quick release axles.

Due to the nature of the questions, we’re going to assume that the hub in questions does not have the ability to swap end caps. At this point, this is pretty common for most front hubs to have different end caps available to swap between standard QR, 12, and 15mm thru axle depending on the application. But this is a relatively new design trend, so there are many older hubs out there that are still well within their life span that may not have this ability. If you’re fortunate enough to have a newer hub though, it’s simply a matter of popping off the QR end caps and installing the correct thru axle end caps for the fork you’re using.

This adapter from Problem Solvers will allow you to mount a 12mm thru axle hub in a QR fork, but not the other way around.

If not, I’m afraid there is no easy solution that we know of. I reached out to the champions of problem solving, er, Problem Solvers, and when they’re not aware aware of a certain adapter, there’s a good chance it doesn’t exist. Problem Solvers is one of the companies that does have an adapter to go the other way, as in installing a thru axle hub in a QR fork, but not for a QR hub in a thru axle fork.

This is probably due to the fact that if you were to go to the trouble and expense of buying and installing an adapter (and likely a longer QR skewer as well), you’re already on your way to the price of a new hub and the labor to install it. Obviously, that doesn’t do you any good if you have some ultra high end hub, but it seems to be why no one has tried to tackle this adapter just yet. It would most likely need to be fork specific, and in the end, companies probably feel like they wouldn’t sell enough to justify the means.

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10 comments

  1. Tom in MN on

    Isn’t there the basic problem with this that QR axles have ends that stick out wider than 100 mm to slide into the fork slots, while through axles have flush ends? So wouldn’t you have to spread the through axle fork to even put a QR axle in place?

    Reply
  2. Dolan Halbrook on

    Some kind of adapter system could be made that would replace the axle itself of a QR hub with a shorter axle, and then you could use washers on the QR, but at that point you might as well just buy a new wheel.

    Reply
  3. Ricky Bobby on

    If you’re so convinced that you need to keep a particular wheel, I’d just relace that wheel to a compatible hub. Hubs aren’t terribly expensive, Shimano 105 hubs are sub $50, and Tiagra hubs are in the $30 range. Same for SLX, it’s all the quality you need and thru-axle compatible. I currently tour on a 36 hole SLX centerlock hub and it never needs servicing. Frankly, it’s so cheap and easy to build a quality wheel, I never worry about compatibility. Unless you feel as if you need some top dollar Chris King or White Industries hub, in which case, I can’t help you.

    Reply
  4. Mark on

    Trek had a (deleted) adaptor that came stock until recently that converted a 135qr rear hub to a 142ta. There was a threaded cap on The drive side that acted as a QR nut for the skewer.

    Reply
    • ??? on

      Are you talking about the closed convert? It was more of a frame part that let you run a qr hub, but could be changed out for thru axle fittings.

      Reply
    • Ricky Bobby on

      True, but Trek’s system uses specific drououts that are interchangeable. They had that system for forks as well, my Domane fork has a set of dropouts that accepts 9x100mm or 15×100, but you change the entire dropout.

      Reply
  5. John Moss on

    I have a carbon cyclocross frame made for axle sizes front M15*100 rear 12*142 the frame has no thread for front or real axles. How do I go about purchasing thru axles to fit?

    Reply
  6. mike on

    I have superstock wheels with the 5mm QR and i don’t know what to do to get it to be 15mm thru-axle what can i do not understand why

    Reply

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