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I was changing a tube on my Breezer Doppler pro today, and when I went to reinstall the thru axle, everything threaded together smoothly but then the cam lever became disengaged from the axle. Now the lever spins freely in either direction, without engaging the axle at all. It's just tight enough that I can't close the lever, but I can't tighten or loosen it. No Allen key hole on the there side either.

Is there any way to get this axle out easily? A non-destructive method would be ideal, but I'll be replacing it anyways, so anything you got, as long as it doesn't damage my frame.

My first instinct when I saw these axles was to replace them immediately, but I didn't, and here we are. They have worked flawlessly for almost a year. Just seems like a really poor design.

I apologize that this is basically arepeat, but none of the answers here or on other forums seem to provide a workable solution. It seems like a really common problem that I just haven't seen a good fix for.

Lever side

Lever side

Thread side

  • Have you tried pushing in or pulling out hard on the end of it as you try to turn it? – Nathan Knutson Sep 6 at 4:50
  • "My first instinct when I saw these axles was to replace them immediately, but I didn't, and here we are." Seeing this, I have decided to replace mine! Thanks and good to read you solved it. – Superman.Lopez Sep 10 at 7:49
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+100

Because necessity is the mother of solving problems caused by poorly designed components, I'm answering my own question.

I tried vice grips, as someone recommended, but the alloy in the axle was too soft to get any bite before they slipped off (did manage to mangle the exposed threads though, so that was fun to file off before removing it).

The solution that ended up working was to jam (force) a ball-end hex wrench that was just too big into the open end of the axle, press hard, and turn. For this axle it was a 3/16" (4mm was too small, 5mm was too big). As soon as I got it backed off just a hair the lever engaged as it should, and all was right with the world.

For reference, I also tried this approach using various sizes of Philip's head screwdriver without success. My next plan was to file a slot in the threaded end for my jumbo sized flat head screwdriver. If that didn't work, I was going to buy a reverse-treaded screw extractor. Based on my experience, either of those approaches should have worked as well.

I'm fairly confident that if I had taken this approach from the start I could have salvage the axle (at least until my new one comes in the mail). Live and learn.

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    I've had good experiences using a slightly oversized Torx bit to hammer into a hex hole - the corners of the bit cut their way in a bit deeper and is often enough to remove a bolt. The torx bit tends to be trash afterward though, so use the chinese ones. – Criggie Sep 10 at 3:17
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    I used a pretty high quality hex wrench (it cost almost as much as the axle), and it didn't seem to have any damage. Probably depends on the grade of the tool steel as much as the softness of the axle (mine seemed pretty soft). – MikeyC Sep 10 at 14:19
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    Have some extra rep for coming back with a followup answer. You can also mark this as the "accepted" answer with the green tick/checkmark on the left side. – Criggie Sep 11 at 4:10
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A set of vice grip pliers or those large plumbing-style pliers (not a monkey wrench!) will take that out easily.

I would recommend replacing it with a different style of thru axle. The types with a plain hex hole work well, and many come with a removable hex wrench handle as well.

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    If the OP is looking for a replacement axle, one manufacturer that makes them is the Robert Axle Project. They have an axle finder app. I was able to find an axle for the Breezer Doppler, but I'm not sure if the Pro is different from the regular Doppler. robertaxleproject.com/axle-finder-2 – Weiwen Ng Sep 6 at 13:02
  • @WeiwenNg Aren’t those Robert axles supposed to be used with a trailer? – MaplePanda Sep 6 at 18:34
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    They make axles for trailers, regular wheels, and they even make axles that enable you to clamp an older-style trainer to either side!! They’re pretty neat! And if you are into that sort of thing, Chris King makes many of their axles in color anodized versions, although stock for any particular bike may be spotty! – Weiwen Ng Sep 6 at 18:59
  • Unfortunately, the vice grips were a bust. Grabbed onto the little exposed end on the lever side, and it turned out to be a dust cap that just kept spinning. The metal was too soft to get enough bite on the threaded nubbin sticking out. – MikeyC Sep 10 at 0:05
  • @MikeyC Oh, it’s a dust cap??? That makes things problematic. I’m not surprised the other end didn’t work, it looks to be tapered. Good to see you came up with a fix though! – MaplePanda Sep 10 at 4:28

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