Axle (noun) : a rod or spindle (either fixed or rotating) passing through the centre of a wheel.
At heart, wheel axles are a very simple concept. But this just wouldn't be the cycling industry without some very simple ideas being made incredibly complicated. The purpose of this article is to explain as simply as possible the different types of wheel axle, and what this means when buying a Tailfin rack.
In a nutshell, it is because you attach a Tailfin rack to your bike by replacing the axle of your rear wheel with a specially designed axle of our own. If you want to use a Tailfin rack, then you need to know the correct Tailfin axle to order along with it.
There are two different types of wheel axle out there. By far the most common is the one on the left side of this picture, called a Quick-Release axle (or a QR, or QR skewer). The axle pictured on the right is called a thru axle.
If your bike is using a QR, then you can't change to a thru axle, and vice versa. The two systems are not compatible.
The simplest way to tell what type you need is by looking the axles already on your bike. A QR is just 5mm in diameter, while thru axles are much thicker.
You can also tell what axle you need by looking at your bike frame. On a QR compatible frame, you mount the wheels by slotting the axle between two U-shaped mounts called ‘drop-outs’.
On a thru axle compatible frame, the drop-outs are not U-shaped at all, but a closed loop. You fit the thru axle by pushing it through the round holes and threading it in to one side of the drop-outs.
If you’ve had a look at your axle or frame and can see that you need QR skewer for your Tailfin rack, then you can stop reading now.
Simply select the QR option at the checkout and you’re good to go. If it looks like you need a thru axle for your Tailfin rack, theres one last thing to check.
Because thru axles are a relatively new invention, there is currently no industry standard. Countless different manufacturers produce their thru axles to different specifications, making it impossible for Tailfin to make a single thru axle that will suit every bike.
What we have done is produce a set of adapter collars that will come with your thru axle and will make it compatible with your bike - all you need to do is check what ‘pitch’ you require.
The term 'pitch' refers to the thread on one end of a thru axle - it describes the distance between each groove of the thread, or how ‘coarse’ or ‘fine’ that thread is. There are three different pitch measurements used for thru axles - 1.00mm, 1.5mm and 1.75mm. You can check what pitch measurement you need to use by matching your bike to its manufacturer on the table here. Once you’ve matched your bike to the right pitch, simply select the thru axle with that pitch at the checkout.
Or if you need a little more help, drop us a line at email@example.com
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