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The trailer wheels have their own axle that stays in place via a spring-loaded ball bearing.

enter image description here enter image description here

(They are quite different from the various axles usually found on bicycles themselves; those have some kind of bolt or clamp at both ends and go into dropouts.)

They’re described in wikipedia

Most trailers have a separate axle for each wheel, like those used on a bicycle. These separate axles usually mount directly on the frame using either threaded nuts, a quick-release mechanism, or some press fit arrangement.

and in this question

...a single sided wheelchair hub. They are light and designed so the wheels are easily removable, which is handy for a trailer that will be packed away often.

but is there an accepted name or term?

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  • Don't know, but I'd search for the name of the style of hub as that's where the magic is, and know they're common in wheelchairs. – whatsisname Apr 21 '17 at 4:04
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    "Wheelchair Hub" would name it exactly to me. – Criggie Apr 21 '17 at 5:28
  • @whatsisname - You assume i knew what the hub style was called. – Martin F Apr 21 '17 at 21:39
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    Aside, I had a couple of 24" plastic wheelchair wheels like the photo, and they were incredibly hard. Turns out they had solid tyres and had absolutely no shock-absorbing/cushioning effect. If you get entire wheelchair wheels as pictured, do make sure you can cope with a boneshaking ride, or that you can fit normal tubes and tyres, and have a working valve still (ie, make sure there's a bead for clinchers, or that you can get tubular tyres to suit. This would not be a problem if you get a normal bicycle rim and spoke it onto a special hub. (comment because not answer) – Criggie Jan 12 at 0:21
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    @Criggie - FYI, the wheels i have are pneumatic and only for a trailer. – Martin F Jan 12 at 4:27
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"Quick Release push button Axle"


The Mogo The Jac Wheelchair uses this axle fitment, and the axle is described as:

Round Betty Rear wheels with hard anodised hand rings, quick release push button axle (and) 20" to 27" double walled alloy (rims)


Additionally Mogo Shadow Wheelchair suggests their chair has

Wheelchair tyres: quick release axles

This one shows a pushbutton axle, with the release on the outside of the hub. The short (approx 80mm) shaft will fit inside a tube on each side of the frame, and will click a bearing ball into a groove on the inside for retention.

It is also possible to have the release mechanism on the frame instead of in the hub. This is not uncommon on trailers where the outside of the hub may take an impact and detach. However the release underneath are more inconvenient.

Note the axle does not rotate with respect to the chair's frame. All the rotation is done by bearings, probably in standard cartridges inside the wheel's hub. Its also possible that older wheels may have loose/caged bearings with a cup-and-cone style of race, or particularly high-load wheels may have needle bearings for increased load capacity.

From https://ilcaustralia.org.au/products/16774

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  • Hi, welcome to bicycles! Can you provide a reference for that so it doesn't sound like you might be making it up (or, more likely, misremembering and getting it slightly wrong)? – DavidW Sep 28 '20 at 16:25
  • My edit -- an attempt to help you out -- was rejected. I'm absolutely astonished. Let's see if it at least remains as a comment. Feel free to use it: See [Assistive Technology Australia][1] or [Independent Living Centres][2], for example. [1]: at-aust.org/items/11555 [2]: ilcaustralia.org.au/products/16774 – Martin F Sep 30 '20 at 3:31
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    @MartinF There's an answer with relevant detail, that does not depend on external links. Images are attributed to their source, and if the linked website vanishes, then this answer is still an answer. – Criggie Jan 12 at 0:18
  • @Criggie -- You have gone above and beyond... :-) – Martin F Jan 12 at 4:25
  • @MartinF its all about having a good and useful answer that will last as long as possible. – Criggie Jan 12 at 7:49
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As various people have noted, wheelchair hub is the correct term for these one-sided, push-button release hubs.

Google image search for wheelchair hub

It goes without saying that this type of mechanism is now being widely used in cycle trailers and recumbent trikes, but we still call them wheelchair hubs even though "real" wheelchair hubs have much shorter axles than are commonly found on trailers and recumbents (see image above).

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Other terms i've seen used, on this very website, in addition to the accepted answer, are

  • stub axle
  • one-sided axle
  • tadpole trike hub

From wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_trailer

Some trailers support a normal axle on two sides, others mount the wheel off one side with a stub axle (a one sided axle).

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