Thru Axle vs Quick Release: [KEY DIFFERENCES]

The main difference between Quick Release and Thru Axle systems is that Quick Release systems allow for the removal of the wheel without any tools, while Thru Axles require tools for removal.

Another difference between Quick Release and Thru Axle is that Quick Release is a type of skewer that releases the wheel from the dropout when pressure is released. The Thru Axle, on the other hand, has a hollow shaft with threads at one end that screws into a threaded hole in the frame or fork.

There are many advantages to using a Quick Release skewer over Thru Axle skewer. The main advantage is that it can be mounted and removed easily. This makes it easy for riders to switch wheels for different terrain or conditions.

But also, there are several advantages to Thru Axles over Quick Release, including increased stiffness and better power transfer.

In this article, we will take a closer look at these two different types of bicycle axles and how they compare to each other. We’ll also take a look at some similarities they have to each other and which would be the better option to choose.

What Is A Thru Axle?

Thru Axle vs Quick Release

A thru-axle is a bicycle component that replaces the traditional quick-release skewer. It is a “thru” or “solid” axle, meaning it goes all the way through the frame and fork, generally with dropouts on either side.

A thru axle is typically made from steel or aluminum, and it attaches to both sides of the bike’s frame via two bolts on either side.

It can be used in any type of bicycle, including bicycles with hub gears, derailleur gears, or coaster brakes.

The advantage of this design is that it provides more stability and makes it easier to remove and replace the wheel because there are no spokes to deal with.

Also, a thru-axle design includes increased stability, improved handling, and better power transfer between the rider and the bike’s drivetrain.

General Information

Thru-axle is a bicycle part that attaches the bicycle’s frame to the bike wheel. It is used to replace the quick-release hub, which has been a standard feature of most bicycles since the 1930s.

A thru-axle consists of two parts: an axle, which is inserted into a hollow frame or fork, and a skewer, which passes through the hollow axle and tightens against it to secure it in place. The skewer can be tightened with a special tool called an Allen key or hex key.

The thru-axle has been adopted by many other cycling disciplines including cyclocross, BMX, and mountain biking. They are also used in other applications such as bicycles with electric motors and some wheelchairs.

What Is A Quick Release Axle?

Thru Axle vs Quick Release

Quick release is a type of axle system that is designed to allow quick, tool-free removal of the wheel from the bicycle. One end of the axle has a lever, and when this lever is moved, it releases the wheel from the frame.

Quick-release skewers are designed to make it easier for cyclists to remove and replace wheels during a ride. They are found on most modern bicycles and come in both left-threaded and right-threaded varieties.

It is used on most bikes with quick-release hubs and sometimes on front wheels with thru-axles.

General Information

Quick-release axles are also referred to as quick-release skewers, quick releases, or just QR. The QR axle consists of a threaded shaft protruding from one side of the hub, with a nut on the other side. To disengage the axle, the nut is unscrewed until it is loose enough to slide off the axle.

A quick-release axle is typically made of metal, but it may also be made of composite materials such as nylon. The metal axles are usually chrome-plated or galvanized to prevent rusting.

There are two types of quick-release axles: the “pull-type” and the “twist-type”. The pull type uses a spring mechanism that can be pulled back by hand, while the twist type uses an internal cam mechanism that can be rotated by hand.

Thru Axle vs Quick Release: [KEY DIFFERENCES]

Quick-release wheels and thru-axle wheels are two types of wheel systems that are available on bikes. Quick-release wheels use a lever to tighten the wheel to the bike frame, while thru-axle wheels have a threaded end that screws into the frame.

Here are 10 main differences between Quick Release and Thru Axle:

  1. Performance
  2. Weight
  3. Fork Flex Stability
  4. The Safety Overview
  5. Strength Under Stress
  6. Maintenance
  7. Parts and Availability
  8. Fatigue and Fork Failure
  9. Brake alignment and consistent wheel
  10. Cost

1. Performance

When it comes to performance, there are many differences between these two types of axles. The Thru Axle is stronger, lighter, and has better handling capabilities than the Quick Release Axle.

Quick-release axles offer better performance when it comes to ease of installation but they also have a shorter service life. Thru axles, on the other hand, provide a longer service life but require more effort when it comes to installation.

2. Weight

Quick-release shafts have a smaller diameter than the thru-axle, so they are lighter. They usually weigh around 40-50 grams, unlike thru-axles which usually weigh around 60-80 grams.

They also require less maintenance because they do not use grease or lubrication to keep them moving like through shafts.

3. Fork flex stability

The difference between Quick Release Axle and Thru Axle in Fork flex stability is that the former has a greater risk of stick-slip whereas the latter is more stable.

The quick-release axle has a bolt on the left side of the fork called the “quick release” or “QR”. The QR is used to quickly release the tension on the fork when it needs to be adjusted. This allows for quick, easy adjustments without having to remove and replace a front wheel.

A thru axle has two bolts on either side of the fork that is connected by a metal plate called a “through axle.” Thru axles are less prone to breaking because they’re stronger than QR axles.

4. The safety overview

The thru-axle is more secure than a quick release because it does not rely on threads and is less likely to come loose. It also provides better wheel alignment and tracking, which helps with improved traction, control, and braking.

3. Strength under stress

The Thru Axle has a stronger build under stress than the Quick Release Axle because it has more metal in its construction. The quick-release axle is also prone to breakage because it’s made of softer material.

4. Maintenance

The difference between the two axles is in terms of maintenance. Quick-release axles are easier to maintain and can be replaced with a standard axle. Thru axles require a lot of work and cannot be replaced with a standard axle.

The quick-release axle has no bearing surface, meaning that the wheel bearings are not exposed to dirt and debris. This means that they don’t need to be cleaned or lubricated as often as thru-axles, which have bearing surfaces that need to be cleaned or lubricated on a regular basis.

The thru-axle has bearing surfaces that must be cleaned or lubricated on a regular basis because they are exposed to dirt and debris from the road surface and other sources.

In addition, Quick release axles are compatible with all types of racks and bike carriers, while thru-axles only work with certain types of racks and bike carriers.

5. Availability and parts

The two types of axles are quite similar in function but differ in availability. Quick-release axles are available at most local bike stores, while thru axles are not.

6. Fatigue and fork failure

The difference between these two types of axles in terms of fatigue and fork failure is significant. Quick-release axles allow for easier removal but can cause fatigue and failure when used on rigid forks while thru-axles require more effort to remove but do not cause fatigue or fork failure.

Quick-release axles are often used on bikes with suspension forks because they do not cause fatigue and are less likely to fail.

7. Brake alignment and consistent wheel

The difference between Quick Release Axle and Thru Axle in terms of brake alignment and the consistent wheel is that Quick Release Axle has a single pivot point at the bottom bracket while Thru Axle has two pivot points at the bottom bracket and at the dropouts.

The latter provides better alignment for both front and rear brakes.

8. Cost

The cost of a thru-axle is generally more expensive than that of a quick-release axle. This is because thru axles are designed to accommodate the entire wheel, while quick-release axles only accommodate the hub.

Quick-release axles are designed to be easily removed and replaced, which makes them more cost-effective for users.

Similarities Between Thru Axle And Quick Release

There are many similarities between thru-axle and quick release. One of the most important is that both are used to attach wheels to the frame of bikes.

The two types of axles are also used on different types of bicycles. Thru axles are generally found on mountain bikes and quick-release axles on road bikes.

The following are some of the similarities between a thru-axle and quick release:

  • They both allow for easy wheel changes.
  • They both have a threaded end and an open end.
  • They both have two ends that thread onto the bike frame.
  • Both thru-axles and quick-release have a set of bolts that secure the wheel to the frame.

Should You Opt For A Thru Axle or Quick Release?

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between these two types of bike setups. It all depends on what you need, your budget, and your preferences.

Choosing the right axle is a decision that’s based on factors such as your riding style, bike weight, and bike type.

For Quick Release:

Quick Release hubs are typically used for road or track bicycles. Quick Release is a simple design that allows for quick wheel removal and installation.

There are no tools required to install or remove the wheel from the fork. This makes it easier to transport and store your bike in small spaces.

For Thru Axle:

The Thru Axle is typically used on mountain bikes, off-road bikes, and BMX bikes. Thru Axles are stronger than Quick Releases because they use 3 times as much metal in their construction. They also have a larger diameter which allows for more strength when supporting the load of a rider on the bike.


Thru Axles are better for bikes that have a large frame or those with high-rise handlebars. Thru Axles can also be used on bikes with frames that are too small for quick-release systems.

Quick Release systems are easier to use and install but do not offer the same level of security as Thru Axles.

Also, Thru-axles are more expensive than quick releases, but they offer more stability because they secure both sides of the wheel with two bolts instead of one.


Q. Can you use quick release on thru-axle?

Yes, you can use quick release on thru-axle, but you will need an adapter.

Q. Can I convert the 12 mm thru-axle to quick release?

Yes, you can convert your 12mm thru-axle to quick release. However, you will need a tool called an axle spacer in order to do so or an adapter. You can find these tools at most bike shops or online.

Q. If I have QR skewer wheels, can I upgrade to thru-axles?

If you have QR skewer wheels, you can upgrade your axles to thru-axles. But it is not recommended, even though thru axles are stronger and more durable than their counterparts. 


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Hi, I'm the initiator and writer of this blog. Bikes were and will be my first love, and my favorite hobby, that's why I decided to start this blog and write about my discoveries and techniques to improve my bikes or repair them.

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