In terms of far reaching implications for the industry as a whole, one of the more interesting tech items at NAHBS earlier this year came in the form of prototype hubs from Chris King and a fork from ENVE. Specifically, it was the fact that the axle size was yet another addition to the world of axle “standards.” The new 12x100mm combination hinted at the future of disc brake road, cross, and gravel, but it’s been more or less limited to prototype show bikes to this point.
Now, with the latest introduction from Paragon Machine Works we’re getting a glimpse into the future. Something tells us we’ll be seeing a lot more of the new 12x100mm axle size this fall…
One of the beautiful things about custom bikes (aside from their inherent beauty of course) is the fact that builders can change features of the design at a moment’s notice. Without having to wait for new tooling to be created at a factory far away from where the bike is built, with the exception of some possible changes to their frame jig, custom builders can quickly adapt to new standards. That is, as long as raw parts for those new standards are available. Having made a name for themselves with all of the small bits that add up to to a complete bike, Paragon Machine Works is usually off the front when it comes to new designs.
That seems to be exactly the case with their new 12mm front dropouts and new thru axles. Starting with the DR2052, the flat/tabbed dropout is machined from 4130 steel and is meant to accommodate up to a 15mm diameter tip on the fork blade (not to be confused with a 15mm axle).
The other two sets of fork dropouts (DR2054 and DR2055) use a flanged design and are machined from 1018 steel with a 1″ outer diameter. The 2054 is narrower at 18mm, while the 2055 is 24mm wide to allow for a wider fork blade. Paragon mentions that if builders are looking for a large diameter fork blade for the build, they should still use the current 15mm dropouts and 15mm thru axle skewer. Paragon claims all three dropout designs weigh less than their 15mm dropouts, and the heaviest 12mm dropout is only 5g heavier than their lightest 9mm dropout.
While Chris King made their intentions for a 12mm ISO hub clear at NAHBS, Paragon tells us other companies are following suit. Apparently Industry Nine will have 12mm versions of both their Torch Classic flanged hubs and their Torch Road Disc System wheels this fall, along with 12mm hubs from White Industries and Paul Components. We won’t be surprised for that list to grow come Eurobike/Interbike.
Since fork builders will need some sort of thru axle/skewer to hold the new hubs in place, Paragon is offering two different options in 12×100 sizing. First, Paragon’s own bolt-on skewer is turned from 6061 aluminum bar stock and includes a 6mm tall head that includes both a 6mm internal allen fitting as well as 15mm external wrench flats. Lighter and cheaper than existing skewer options, the M12x1.5 threaded skewer checks in at 37.4g and sells for just under $20. The same design is also available in 12×142, 148, 157, 177, and 197mm lengths to cover the spectrum of bikes including Boost and fat bikes. Soon the hex head skewer design will also be offered in 15mm diameters as well. Paragon is also selling a 12x100mm version of the DT Swiss RWS skewer which measures in at 62.1g and sells for $31.35