PDXTI is the brainchild and one-man crew of Eric Herboth, co-owner of RenCycles.com and worker at TiCycles.com. Eric is an enterprising fellow and noticed a void in the market for parts such as axle adapters, titanium headset spacers, headset caps and 3D printed parts. Thus, he decided to do something about it… but first, a little info about those other two companies Eric is involved with.
Ti Cycles Fabrication has been in business since 1990, and is renown for building anything you want in titanium or steel. Bespoke / Custom aka “Built In The Woods”, all of their frames are built in Portland, Oregon.
Ren Cycles draws on Ti Cycle’s 35+ years of fabricating experience to bring the virtues of premium materials and performance together, with the passion and practicality of everyday cycling. In a nutshell, Ren produces production frames and bikes at an attractive price point with options for customization.
One of the parts from Eric’s PDXTI operation is the 12mm to 15mm thru-axle adapter. If you own a bike or two, a wheelset or two, or if you’re like me and you review multiple bikes and wheelsets at any given time, you’re well aware of the different standards the bike industry has on offer.
In the world of thru-axle disc brake bikes, whether they be road, mountain, cyclocross or gravel, there are three standards that apply to the diameter of the axle itself. There is the 12mm thru-axle, the 15mm thru-axle, and the 20mm thru-axle, but we’ll be focusing here on the 12 and 15mm versions.
Generally, 15mm has been a mountain bike size, and with the development of disc brake for road bikes, 12mm has become the road standard. Gravel bikes seem to be a mix of both sizes, whereas most cyclocross bikes now utilize the 12mm standard (though many have also used 15mm). The trouble is, with two standards, it would be ideal if wheels between all bikes are universally compatible.
A lot of wheel companies make available different end caps or axles for both axle sizes, but not all. You can see where I’m going here…
Pictured above is Litespeed’s Carbon Gravel fork (link here to my Litespeed Ultimate G unboxing video), designed around the 12mm thru-axle size.
Because I’m always swapping wheels and tyres between the various review bikes I have going on, the different axle sizes have proven to be a real problem. I wanted a solution to this problem, but without always having to resort to a different send of axle end caps.
Before I go any further, this solution will only work on front wheels designed around the 15mm front thru-axle.
Pictured above is a review wheelset, Industry Nine’s 700c TRA. The company supplied me with two sets of end caps for my review wheelset, but swapping end caps isn’t always conducive, especially if you don’t have a tool or the hand strength to remove the end caps.
This is where PDXTI’s carbon 12mm to 15mm thru-axle adapter comes in handy. Weighing a paltry 9.7 grams, this simple tube of carbon fiber slides into your wheel’s 15mm front axle, spacing out the front axle and allowing you to utilize a 15mm thru-axle front wheel on a fork designed for 12mm.
The PDXTI adapter is constructed from 3K precision rolled carbon fiber, measuring 15mm x 12mm x 99mm. It is slightly undersized by 1mm in width, to ensure an interference-free fit with many possible combinations of forks, hubs, etc.
It is important to note that there is a good chance this may not work with certain fork and hub combinations. Most 12 & 15mm end caps vary in outer diameter by about 2mm, which may cause interference with the fork “shelf” when inserting the wheel. But all of the combinations I’ve tried seem to work fine.
- Apply a thin layer of grease to the PDXTI 12mm to 15mm thru-axle adapter, and your 12mm thru-axle.
- Slide the PDXTI 12mm to 15mm thru-axle adapter into your 15mm thru-axle hub.
- Install the wheel into your fork, then install your thru-axle.
PDXTI’s simple solution to an annoying problem has proven noise and trouble free during my period of review. Because there is the risk of galvanic corrosion between a carbon tube and aluminium axle, I recommend you remove the wheel and axle adapter on a regular basis as part of your routine bicycle maintenance. Apply fresh grease if needed.
PDXTI’s 12mm to 15mm carbon thru-axle adapter costs $US 19.00 and is available now.
Article and video by Gravel Cyclist. Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.