I have a frame that uses QR skewers. Can I modify the frame to use thru axles?Has anyone done it??
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.
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.
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:
- Your dropout must be of equal or smaller diameter than the hub axle.
- 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.