When it comes to securing the tire onto the frame there are many methods available to bikers, each of these methods hold advantages for their particular applications and in this article, we are going to look at Thru Axle and Quick release mechanism and try to identify their strengths and weakness along with a discussion on which axle works best for electric bike conversion kit.
The tradition approach for securing wheel with frame was to use a solid axel with bolts but this method had a lot of limitations like difficulty in replacing the wheel. Over past decades quick release mechanism coupled with bike dropout has largely replaced this method.
The advantage of quick release lies in the ease of usage, the slots in the frame allows for the quick alignment of wheel. Additionally, the time it takes to secure a wheel with quick release is substantially less than other methods. Additionally, it is easier to find a replacement parts if need be and the cost is substantially less, the weight of the quick release is also less than its competitors. The strength of quick release is more than enough for urban and most off-road applications.
The thru axles are stiffer, stronger, and hence heavier than their quick release counterparts. Thru axles use holes instead of slots and the axles goes through these holes and wheel to secure it to frame. For most users quick release does not have any serious disadvantages but for high performance users specially mountain bikers the failure rate becomes high due to added stresses caused by disc brakes and suspension forks, it is for those customers thru axle holds biggest value proposition. The biggest issues with these are higher cost, heavy weight, and difficulty to find a replacement due to its specialized construction.
Thru Axel vs Quick Release, which is better for conversion kits?
The hub motor conversion kits are generally only compatible with quick release mechanism due to the dropout slot present in the frame. The hub motors are secured using bolts on each side which is not possible in the case of thru axle configuration. You can refer to the assembly instructions for ENVO hub conversion kits attached below. Hence, front hub or rear hub conversion kit configuration may be influenced by the presence of slots on the frame. If the bike frame only has holes for thru axle then you may want to use a mid drive motor conversion kit instead.