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I have a frame that uses QR skewers. Can I modify the frame to use thru axles?Has anyone done it??

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    What's the reason for this change? What advantage are you looking for? You will need new wheels and axles, and either a new frame and fork or new dropouts and someone to weld them in place. Cheaper to buy a new bike than all the parts. – Criggie Aug 25 '19 at 0:37
  • Brandon, if you have rim brakes, then as far as I know all the associated hubs, forks, and frames are going to be designed for QRs. Thus, conversion to thru axles would be impractical and/or impossible, plus QRs are more than sufficiently stiff for rim brake setups. Thus, the question is moot anyway. – Weiwen Ng Aug 25 '19 at 12:36
  • @WeiwenNg Living as I do in the 26er era of a decade or two ago, I see plenty of forks with both rim brake and disc brake mounts; hubs and rim sidewall choices are independent, so it is possible to get wheels with both machined sidewalls usable with rim brakes and 6-bolt or centerlock disc rotor mounts or just one or the other, with various axle size choices. – Armand Mar 3 at 9:53
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Frame rear dropouts and forks for through-axles are of a substantially different design than those designed for quick-release hubs. Through axles are essentially a large bolt that attaches the wheel to the frame whereas quick releases (and older threaded axles clamp the hub into slots.

Most frames and forks cannot be easily modified, the dropouts are permanently attached. Steel or aluminum frames or forks could be cut and new dropouts welded in, but this of course would be difficult and expensive, especially as through axle dropouts have to be aligned much more precisely than quick release ones. Carbon fiber composite frames I suppose could be cut and new dropouts bonded in, but this would likely be more expensive than modifying a metal frame.

Forks can of course be easily replaced. some manufacturers offer frames have removable rear dropouts that can be swapped for through-axle, quick release other style dropouts.

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  • With some forks it is possible and cheaper (but never cheap) to replace just the lowers. – mattnz Aug 25 '19 at 21:18
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It's unclear to me if this applies to the rear, but it seems the ability to to change from QR to Thru Axel can be accomplished on forks with QR drop outs by the use of an adapter from Problem Solvers. From an article posted on bike rumor, "Problem Solvers is one of the companies that does have an adapter to go the other way, as in installing a thru axle hub in a QR fork."

So this means you have to purchase the thru axle hub as well as this adapter. There are also adapters that increase hub spacing from 100 front, 142 rear to 110 and 148 (so called "Boost" sizing), however I believe that these are for bikes that are set up for thru axle but were sold with QR hub setups. Here's a website that discusses this possible scenario.

It seems it's gonna be far less of a headache to replace the frame and hubs--get a new bike--than to fiddle with the parts, labor and risk of changing a system into something it's just not.

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I got a great deal on a wheelset with front 15x100mm hub, but my bikes are standard qrx100mm forks. I picked up one of these adapters to use the front wheel with my fork: https://nukeproof.com/products/conversion-kit-15mm-to-qr (example only, many similar products are available).

The key aspects to make things work in theory are:

  1. Your dropout must be of equal or smaller diameter than the hub axle.
  2. Your dropout width must be of equal width to the hub. With those sorted, to work in practice you must then find or make an adapter that fills the hub axle space fully, and has ends that match the dropout diameter.
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  • And now I see that this is an old question and somehow I thought it was current... – Armand Mar 3 at 9:57
  • It is fine to answer old questions. Just note that Jeff's answer already references some adapters. – Vladimir F Mar 3 at 9:58
  • @VladimirF Yes, I saw that, but he was approaching it from the assumption of converting an existing setup - purchasing a thru axle hub and other significant expenses. My point was that if you are instead trying to make compatible components made to different standards, there may be a straightforward, low-cost way to do that. – Armand Mar 3 at 10:05

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