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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.
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.
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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