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bikermike

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Reply with quote  #1 
I have a Specialized Sequoia with a steel fork and 12mm thru axle. Would like to upgrade to carbon fork and most of them that would work are made for a 15mm. Are there any easy conversions to get that 12mm hub and axle to work with the 15 mm fork without getting a new hub and relacing the wheel?
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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #2 
Only if the hub is convertible. Then it would require the purchase of the conversion kits. Otherwise you're looking at a new hub which isn't that much but throw in the cost of new spokes and build labor...you're looking at probably an additional $60+ on top of the cost of the hub. 

12mm front axle seems like the new standard that many/most bikes are coming out with now...at least road/gravel/cx bikes. Not sure why. I'd rather have the 15mm myself. Heck, my old suspension fork was a 20mm TA and it was awesome! But I suppose it's all about saving those grams.
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bikermike

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Reply with quote  #3 
You'll have to put up with my newbie questions... but how can I tell if the hub is convertible? Also I can't seem to find a conversion for the 12mm axle to 15mm fork. Can find them for the reverse way all day long so wondering if anyone has a link or brand or website to recommend to look at. Thanks a lot
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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #4 
What brand is the hub? My guess is it's a rebranded hub by Specialized. You may have to ask Specialized to find out. If it's a lower end bike or wheelset...probably not convertible. Looking at the bike on the website...my guess is that's going to be the case. Each hub company is different but most are just end caps on the hub that pop off and on to allow different size axles to be used. I suppose it adds a few pennies to the design and manufacturing costs...but I don't know why they all don't just make them convertible...other than the fact that they want to you have to spend more money buying more parts. If you need a new hub...there's plenty of decent options for the front. As long as they can carry large bearing and are easy to service...most front hubs will work well. It's the rear that you'll want to pay special attention to when/if you decide to upgrade.
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Smale Rider

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Reply with quote  #5 
12mm is the new standard because UCI decreed that all road bikes with thru axles will use 12mm.
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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #6 
Gotcha. Stupid. But understandable why the companies are making the switch.
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oleritter

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikermike
You'll have to put up with my newbie questions... but how can I tell if the hub is convertible? Also I can't seem to find a conversion for the 12mm axle to 15mm fork. Can find them for the reverse way all day long so wondering if anyone has a link or brand or website to recommend to look at. Thanks a lot


Hey, can you get us a picture, *maybe* that could help?  Close up of hub, off of the bike.  Also, try to pull off an end cap.  On front hubs, they typically pull out, though not always super easy.  Look up a video of that if you aren't sure.  Don't know who would make those hubs for Spesh, and don't want to get your hopes up, but who knows?

If no caps can be found, you might as well get new wheels.  Once you have a 15mm front, it can be made compatible with almost anything.

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bikermike

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hey I tried pulling them out with no success. I'm 99 percent sure they won't come off. I'm also leaning towards maybe going with the Enve cx fork now and that comes with a 12 so my problems would be solved. Thanks for your response.
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NoCoGreg

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smale Rider
12mm is the new standard because UCI decreed that all road bikes with thru axles will use 12mm.

Makes sense for the UCI - the pro races can't support that many different "standards" on the neutral vehicles which carry replacement wheels/bikes. 

Unfortunately everyone with 15mm TA's on their road, CX or GG bikes will likely find their gear become obsolete.  So no, I'm not a fan of this decision but I believe it will drive the industry and availability and compatibility of future parts and accessories such as bike racks.


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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #10 
12mm isn't a standard because the UCI says so for road. It's just another option because 15 isn't going away anytime soon.

Something like a dozen customers of mine that ran into the same 'step down' issue ended up buying these thru axel sleeves and they work perfectly:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MTB-Tools-Road-Bike-15mm-Thru-Axle-to-12mm-Thru-Axle-Adapter-for-100mm-Fork-/262122494769#rwid



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oleritter

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridemagnetic
12mm isn't a standard because the UCI says so for road. It's just another option because 15 isn't going away anytime soon.

Something like a dozen customers of mine that ran into the same 'step down' issue ended up buying these thru axel sleeves and they work perfectly:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MTB-Tools-Road-Bike-15mm-Thru-Axle-to-12mm-Thru-Axle-Adapter-for-100mm-Fork-/262122494769#rwid




Yep

12mm does kind of make sense, for road bikes, but I also wonder why not just 9mm?  And most of the hubs, are now being designed with ability to easy and not expensive conversion, so you aren't "stuck" with anything.

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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #12 
Not a fan of the 'convertible' hubs with end caps. I understand the need for them, but bearings and cartridge bore are subject to wearing out quicker than with a solid axle. It's nitpicking, but what else can a wheel builder be. 

The problem with the ENVE fork is you lose the eyelets. Should the user want to retain that feature, a Rodeo Spork is pretty much a direct replacement since the 'S' doesn't sell their premium carbon fork for the Sequoia separately.   

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oleritter

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Reply with quote  #13 
Which front through axle hub doesn't have end caps?  

Quote:
Originally Posted by ridemagnetic
Not a fan of the 'convertible' hubs with end caps. I understand the need for them, but bearings and cartridge bore are subject to wearing out quicker than with a solid axle. It's nitpicking, but what else can a wheel builder be. 

The problem with the ENVE fork is you lose the eyelets. Should the user want to retain that feature, a Rodeo Spork is pretty much a direct replacement since the 'S' doesn't sell their premium carbon fork for the Sequoia separately.   

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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oleritter
Which front through axle hub doesn't have end caps?


Chris King, White Industries, Onyx, some of the better Asian OEM mfgs. Uh, aren't you advertising as a wheel builder/shop?

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NoCoGreg

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridemagnetic
12mm isn't a standard because the UCI says so for road. It's just another option because 15 isn't going away anytime soon.

Thanks for the link to a workaround.

I agree, 12mm isn't a standard because the UCI says so...  But if history is an indicator of the future then we will see customers and industry move to what is being used by the pro's.  I'm not going to argue that this is good or bad, just an observation that it happens.

Not having put any of the new axles to test on a "real" ride, I truly have no idea how much improvement there is.  But I do know it makes life more complicated and difficult for shops who have to support customers.
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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #16 
Currently most of the aftermarket carbon forks in the gravel world are 15mm except for ENVE. 12 was bound to happen since ENVE and King have been bedfellows for so long, but I think the catalyst for a real sea change in gravel fork standards would be when Whisky, Niner and Rodeo all start offering a 12mm thru fork. Even then it still ends up as a 2nd option for a few years rather than a running spec change. Heck, there are still frame manufactures in the gravel/adventure realm are still doing QR disc for the new model year. All these axle sizes regardless of which way the wind blows will be supported for a long time.
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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridemagnetic
Not a fan of the 'convertible' hubs with end caps. I understand the need for them, but bearings and cartridge bore are subject to wearing out quicker than with a solid axle. It's nitpicking, but what else can a wheel builder be. 


Meh...replacing $20 worth of bearings every couple years is worth it to me to know that I can convert my wheel to fit any frame standard that there is currently and most likely in the future too. 
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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #18 
Sure, I get it. Different strokes. Bearings are cheap. Personally I don't ride end capped hubs because every year at work I toss about a dozen hub shells in recycling due to the bearing bore stretching out. Either from really rough riding and axle flex, or too many bearing replacements. As I said before they have their place, especially at a time where bike mfgs are so fickle about axle spec. But I won't downgrade to a lesser design just to accommodate an easier change to a new axle dim that may or may not be needed in my stable for years down the line. Never mind the bearings, I'd rather replace an axle than risk ruining a hub shell.
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