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I'm specifically looking to adapt the rear thru axle (12x142mm) to fit onto a standard QR hub/axle on my direct drive trainer. Unfortunately, my trainer is too old (original Elite Turbo Muin), so it cannot be converted using a converter like Wahoo and Tacx have. I think I have to add things to the bike side if I want to make it work without having to buy a new trainer. I feel like it should be possible to have a piece fit in to the drive side of the thru axle to let a QR skewer screw in and another piece on the non-drive side to fill in the gap and sit on the axle itself. I would then send the skewer through the whole thing.

Is this possible? If not, why?

  • What you describe sounds workable, and there should be a general need for riders with TA frames and QR trainers. Trainer manufacturers probably don't want to make these to drive trainer upgrades. There is probably a safety issue for use not on a trainer a well. – Argenti Apparatus Feb 21 '18 at 19:47
  • That's slowly becoming the conclusion I'm coming to as well. It's disappointing, since I don't really want to invest another $500+ for a new trainer, considering the one I have is still in great condition. – Franklin Feb 21 '18 at 22:18
  • Is the trainer axle 130mm spacing? – Argenti Apparatus Feb 22 '18 at 0:50
  • I believe so. QR is standard 135mm, right? There is current a small spacer on the non-drive side to make it all cinch together. – Franklin Feb 22 '18 at 14:27
  • ‘Traditionally’ 130mm for road, 135 for MTB, more road bikes esp. ‘adventure’ or ‘gravel’ are showing up with 135mm. – Argenti Apparatus Feb 22 '18 at 14:49
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To convert your frame to QR you would need to replace your dropouts, which is problematic as they are either bonded or welded in place on the frame. This is basically a no go.

A much easier solution however is to replace your thru axle itself with another thru axle that gives ends that are compatible with older trainers. These exist and are reasonably affordable (well affordable when compared to major frame reconstruction or or a frame swap).

A couple examples are pictured below:

MEC Elite Trainer Thru-Axle Adapter (10/12mm)

Giant 12mm Road Thru Axle Turbo Skewer

Some creative internet searches should bring you to where these are available for purchase. As Stack Exchange does not make product recommendations I have avoided direct links to the products.

  • Comments are a better place for product links: picture 1, picture 2 – Rider_X Feb 21 '18 at 19:50
  • Thanks for the links! I've tried some creative Google searches, but for the most part take me to parts converting hubs to different axle types, not bikes. That Elite adapter looks the most promising, but the description page seems to indicate that it's for converting a rear wheel on trainer to accept TA, not for a direct drive. – Franklin Feb 21 '18 at 22:21
  • @Franklin did you ever try the Elite adapter or find a solution? – Dave Clark Oct 2 '18 at 13:17
  • @DaveClark I did not. The Elite page for it indicated that it's for rear wheel drive trainers, not direct drive. – Franklin Oct 3 '18 at 14:05
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I think there are some difficult engineering challenges to get a 142mm frame to attach to a 130mm QR axle in a way that will bear the load of the bike and rider mass and input torque.

Instead of replacing your trainer, you could buy or build a cheap dedicated trainer bike. Frame, seatpost, stem bars etc do not have to be new, good or light, you probably do not even need a front wheel if you can prop the forks up somehow. Depending on how you train you may not need a front shifter or derailleur. Serviceable used 10 speed rear derailleurs can be found cheaply.

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