Thru axle question

So the new bike has disk brakes and thru axle. I’ve seen videos where people have ta skewer has a lever at the end.

The andean with it zipp 302 doesn’t have any lever, so need an alen wrench to put and remove the tires. This is super annoying specially since I need to remove the tires every time I put the bike on the car.

Question is… Can I replace the skewer easily? Or are they manufacturer specific? (From my limited research this seems to be the case, but I can see i could buy skewers with levels for ta)

Also, the mechanic who put the bike together suggest putting a wedge in the brakes when the wheels are not on to avoid the pads to stick together.


Critical. If the brake lever accidentally gets pressed then you have trouble. Always insert when removing wheel.

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You can get aftermarket thru axles but you will need to match the specification of your frames version. Generally you will need to know the width and grade of the thread on the axle.
To be fair most aftermarket version are hex key as well, it is quite normal; some brands do use a removable handle that plugs into the hex

This would be acceptable to me… A specific tool is more than I need…

I found this about the specs…

Through axle spec is 12mm x 1.5mm (otherwise, known as 12mm “medium thread pitch”).

Rear through axle is 12mm x 142mm (length).
Front through axle is 12mm x 100mm (length)

Good to know… Is there something I could buy that would fit there correctly and secure?

Yes, the brake manufacturer will sell these. But folded cardboard or anything works just as well. To be honest, I’ve never bothered putting anything there, but it depends how you transport your bike.

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I’m new to MTB. I did this yesterday. Squeezed front brake lever without wheel. Clamped the calipers down so tight I couldn’t get wheel back in. Had heard I’d need to bleed brakes or something fancy which I have no idea how to do yet.

Turns out, per Dr. Google, you can take a wide flathead screwdriver and slowly slide it up between the pads and then slowly turn it, to pry the pads back open enough to get the disc brake back between the pads.

In my case, I had a 14-way paint scraper tool handy and needed to slide that between the pads prior to being able to get the screwdriver between the pads. I also didn’t have a wide flathead screwdriver at all. So I used the paint scraper, then a the only very narrow flathead screwdriver I had, fully inserted and started to turn back and forth to get the pads apart.

Went slowly because Google said so. Worked like a charm.

Wheel re-installed no problem. Then pulled the brake handle a few times and they automatically reset width and away I went. No further issues.

This thing snaps into either of the axles on the rear of our new MTBs.

Both MTBs came with one. Handy because it has a T25 tool and also works as a 5mm allen for either front or back axle. It stores only in the back axle. I suspect the reason for no lever on the front axle is because when it’s inserted it would either sit like this, if in an “aero” position, and not be snapped all the way in.

Or like this, in a goofy position likely to catch on things.

Also there feels like much less magnetic security in the front axle.

Maybe a tool like this could just be purchased to be inserted into your rear axle?? No idea if all rear MTB axles are compatible with the snap-in feature of these things. Both our bikes came with different higher end wheels and different front and rear axles, and different snap-in axle tools like this. So… maybe!

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Ones on left came with my Shimano equipped bike. My LBS gave me a second set after showing up a couple times to get help, and I kept those in the car. On the right are the ones that came with my new SRAM equipped bike.

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DT Swiss makes a lever style. I like these type of thru axles.

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I jus got my first disc brake bike but I’ve been doing my own car brakes for years. Sounds like they work almost exactly the same! My piston retractor set seems to be missing the Ultegra fitting though . . .

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Yep, same principle; Sram even uses Dot brake fluid.

DO NOT use Dot fluid with Shimano… use only Shimano mineral oil.

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Ask your LBS or try searching Amazon or your favorite online bike parts store for “disc brake pad spacer” or spreader. Per my pic above SRAM and Shimano are a bit different, with the SRAM ones to my eyes appearing to be both a a) spacer for protection while wheel is off, and b) spreader to reset pistons.

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