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runrideski

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Reply with quote  #1 
I have a question about the experience of others with the fitment of the front wheel in the thru-axle forks.  The bikes are Kind Human Kensuke, which has a similar (open mold) frame design as the Fezarri Schafer and the On-One BishBashBosh, though some of the contact points vary among brands.  In this case, its 12mm thru-axle (using Stans Grail wheels).

With the bike flipped over, there are clearly 'ledges' built into the dropout for the hub's end-caps to rest on while the thru-axle is inserted.  The ledges measure about 1.5 mm wide (see photo below). The problem is, that the distance between the inside edges of the dropouts (i.e., the face where the end of the end-caps would rest when its all tightened up) are too far apart in my partner's fork.  What happens during wheel installation is that hub end-cap on one side of the wheel sits on its 'ledge' but the other side slips off, totally messing up thru-axle alignment (potentially also torquing the brake rotor inside the caliper).

Installing the front wheel with the bike upside down isn't too difficult with the proper care (holding the wheel in 3-dimensional space while installing the TA), but it is exceedingly difficult to install the wheel with the bike upright, because the weight of the bike is enough to knock one or the other of the end-caps off its ledge.  There is no issue once the thru-axle is properly aligned and tightened, so no worries about safety while riding.  But this is my partner's bike and she struggles a bit mechanically...meaning she finds wheel installation on this bike stressful.  Also, IMO flipping the bike over is not an acceptable solution and isn't always an easy option.  Note that my 'identical' bike (same frame, but different size and color) does not have this issue at all.... and there is about a 2.5mm difference in the fork width between the bikes.  If the colors were the same, I'd swap forks and (grudgingly) deal with the issue myself, but this is not an option.

When I contacted the manufacturer, they said that "variance in the width of the fork opening is very common.  We see this across all bike brands that we've serviced".  I'm curious how accurate that statement is.  I've had multiple mtn bikes with thru-axle front suspension forks, and they have all been very easy to work with; but this is my first experience with rigid carbon thru-axle forks.

So I'm wondering..... has anybody else experienced similar fitment issues in thru-axles due to variances in frame construction?

20180807_091023_resized-1.png 

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Jeb

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Reply with quote  #2 
I have a Whisky 15mm fork that's perfect and a Fuji 12mm that's not so perfect. The Whisky lines up and the bolt goes home with no fuss at all but I have to play around and wiggle the bolt on the Fuji to get it to line up. For me it's not a big problem but it is a PITA especially when I'm trying to mount the bike in the carrier on the truck.
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runrideski

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Reply with quote  #3 
Would you say that this was more a spacing issue between dropouts (so the wheel is loose prior to snugging the TA) or that the dropouts aren't quite parallel (or a little of both)?

Anybody else have experiences to share?
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Jeb

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by runrideski
Would you say that this was more a spacing issue between dropouts (so the wheel is loose prior to snugging the TA) or that the dropouts aren't quite parallel (or a little of both)?

Anybody else have experiences to share?



I'm going to say spacing issue.
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bnystrom

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Reply with quote  #5 
A 2.5mm out-of-spec dropout spacing is not acceptable in a quality product and I wouldn't accept the BS excuse you got from the manufacturer. The most I've seen in any decent frame is about 1mm. Demand a replacement fork that is properly spaced. You paid good money expecting a quality product and there is no way you should have to put up with this nonsense.
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runrideski

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Reply with quote  #6 
I agree with you and have already told them that I felt that it was unacceptable.  The quote I provided was their response, in part, to that issue.  The questions then are: what is acceptable and who decides?

I haven't been able to find similar issues with Thru-axle carbon forks discussed in any other cycling forums (ex. road, gravel, cyclocross), nor have I found any published 'standards' related to acceptable allowances in dropout spacing.

Now I'm trying to gather some empirical data to see how common this issue really is (or isn't).
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