Without using manufacturer specific parts:

  • Can I use a wheel with a thru-axle hub on a standard quick release fork or frame dropouts (with an adapter)?
  • Can I use a wheel with a quick release hub on a thru-axle fork or frame dropouts (with an adapter)?

We may also want to consider that there are also different thru axle sizes, commonly 12mm, 15mm and 20mm. I think the most common size of thru-axle currently is 15mm.

  • Why would you want to do this?
    – Vorac
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 16:01
  • 1
    My mountain bike uses a quick release rigid fork and I will be shopping for parts at a bike part swap in a couple weeks. I may be looking for a suspension fork, and some may be thru axle, but want to use my current wheels on it. I might also decide to buy a used set of wheels, which may be thru axle, and wondered if I could use that on my current fork. I don't want to get stuck buying a fork that makes me buy a new wheelset or a wheelset that makes me buy another fork. However, If I can find a compatibility solution, then I might consider using some thru axle gear.
    – Benzo
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 16:23
  • If I was buying new wheels, and building from scratch, I realize I can find hubs that will be adaptable, but one rear velocity ATB hub or chris king rear hub can cost more than I paid for my current wheelset and tires combined.
    – Benzo
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 16:26
  • @Benzo I don't know your local second hand market at all, but I Think it's a pretty safe bet that the vast majority of wheels / forks will be standard QR stuff. Downhill riders have used through axles for a while, but on most other mountain bikes they are a new-ish addition. Stick to what you know will work, even if you get a wheelset that you think can be changed to another axle standard, I'm certain there will be differences in different years / models that will make this a real headache.
    – alex
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 0:48

4 Answers 4


Simply for your two points:

  • For a front wheel you can buy or machine a part that will allow you to run a smaller axle on the front than the hub is equipped with. This an adapter to run a 15mm TA hub in 9mm drop outs.

9mm to 15mm adapter

The rear is more difficult as hub sizes get wider with larger diameter thru axles. You couldn't make a 12x142 thru axle hub fit in a 10x135 QR dropout even if you shimmed the space at the end as the chain line would be off.

  • In terms of frame/ fork design, the design form for through axles offers no backwards compatibility with QR drop out design. I haven't seen and can find no evidence online of an adapter that allows you to run a 9mm hub in 15mm TA drop outs. That being said it could be possible to engineer something that created the required tension to hold the hub in place, but I wouldn't trust a home made solution.
  • I haven't seen Thru-Axle to QR wheel adapters available anywhere, can you provide a link to any product that does this?
    – Benzo
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 15:30
  • I've only seen them on eBay ebay.com/itm/251073161488
    – DWGKNZ
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 20:46

Only with manufacturer-specific parts, and only with hubs that were designed to be adapted (e.g. you could probably adapt a 15mm bolt-thru hub to 9mm, but not the other way around).

For example, Hope will sell you adaptors to let you use Pro 2 Evo hubs with these drop-outs:

  • Front QR
  • Front 9mm
  • Front 20mm
  • Front 15mm
  • Front Maverick fork
  • Rear QR
  • Rear 10mm Saint
  • Rear 12mm (135)
  • Rear 10mm Bolt in (135)
  • Syntace X12 142mm

You might get lucky and find adaptors from one brand of hub will work in another, but in general that isn't the case.


Can I use a wheel with a thru-axle hub on a standard quick release fork or frame dropouts (with an adapter)?

Through-axle hubs have a larger inner diameter to accept a 15mm or in some cases 20mm spindle, so many of them can be purchased with adapters that accept a 5mm spindle and fit in a 9/10mm dropout (QR usually have a 5mm spindle and fit a 9/10mm dropout).

For example Hope have conversion kits for their hubs that allow you to use their hubs with an older quick release (QR) fork http://www.hopetech.com/product/axle-conversion-kit/

Can I use a wheel with a quick release hub on a thru-axle fork or frame dropouts (with an adapter)?

If the quick release hub is truly a 9 or 10mm quick release hub then no. The diameter of the internal hole where the spindle goes through on these hubs will not accept anything larger than about a 5mm spindle, which means it is not possible to use them with a 15mm spindle that threads into the fork or frame.


I've never seem an adapter for either of these situations. I doubt one would fit.

That said, a lot of manufacturers use the same hub body on their through axle and QR wheels and are more than happy to sell you the bits that are different.

I had this problem when I got a pretty good deal on some wheels with a 15mm front hub. In the end, after a month or two of looking, I found somewhere with a non tapered 15mm fork in stock and bought that over rebuilding the hub.

The best way, is to choose wheels that fit out of the box!

PS I found this adapter for a 15mm QR on a roof rack, not sure I'd like to ride it...

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