With the increase in road and cyclocross disc brakes recently, it only makes sense that thru axle forks would soon follow, and they have.

Whisky Parts Co appears to be ahead of the curve on this one, but are they too far ahead?  Some might call this overkill arguing that thru axles are intended to minimize torsional flex on mountain bikes where suspension forks can create significant discrepancies in torque on each side of the axle, but road and cyclocross bike forks are already rigid and don’t need this. Disc brakes, however, also apply a significant force to only one side of the hub and could torque and twist fork legs.  Added rigidity and control during hard braking and maybe even on a standing hard effort hardly seems like a bad thing. Or even a hard sell.

The new forks will use a mini Maxle designed around standard 100mm road spacing and tapered head tubes.  The road versions offer 43mm or 49mm offsets and weigh in around 430 grams without the Maxle.


  1. OK, I would understand 9mm thru-axle, something like DT Swiss RWS, but 15mm for road and cyclocross ???
    What a load of dreck !

  2. Nice Photoshop job. Glad to see a giant distributor supporting gray market parts by slapping their logos all over it and aptly marketing it to people who don’t know better.

  3. @hungry4shht – not even close. feel free to call around – no one is making a thru-axle carbon road fork. this is, from the ground up, an entirely new product. i’m not sure why bikerumor chooses to use a rendering though because the release of this product was just a few days ago and real photos are all over the place.

  4. Ojos Azules – 15mm makes a lot of sense in that it’s a commonly available hub size for 100/135 spaced hubs. Makes for a little more cross-compatability between bikes and wheel sets.

    Maxle (and also Maxle Lite) are really nice in that the hub/dropout interface aligns to the same position every time – wheel install/removal will put the rotor in the exact place every time, even if the bike isn’t perfectly upright or weighted.

  5. makes a lot of sense for solving the issue where the brake could pull the axle out of a traditional fork with bottom facing dropouts. Now if everyone would just accept this size and not invent their own 2 mm different “standard” I’d be happy.

  6. No! I will not purchase a new fork with a different axle standard! Of all the things that I thought weren’t stiff enough, the interface between the front hub and the fork isn’t one of them. After 15 years of riding disc off road I have never had the front wheel pop out. It has also never come out on my disc cross frame. Stop the madness!

    Then again, maybe if we make the fork a little wider, and a little longer to fit 2.5 inch tires, then add some sort of air sprung, hydraulic damped suspension to it, maybe even remote lock out, we would really have a useful product.

  7. From someone who was at Saddledrive when this was first revealed to the public, these forks look really great, have a totally flush left side, and once adopted in mass and gradually improved will be as light as a QR and stiffer.

    You might think it’s odd now, but wait a year or two, this is the future.

  8. I can say with confidence that these forks are 100% proprietary. Whisky partnered with SRAM to shorten the Maxle Lite, making it more applicable for a road/cross application. Why 15mm? It’s the most common standard and there are a wide variety of hubs available. Why thru-axle at all..? Simple, it unifies the fork legs. Your wheel will turn better, your forks won’t twist under disc brake loading, you eliminate the dreaded brake chatter on your cantilever cross bike and once hydraulic brakes are released for road levers cable routing limitations will be reduced.

    If nothing else, bike handling will be improved through less twisting of the fork legs. The first time you ride one of these and hit a tight corner you’ll be jaw-dropped.

  9. Hey. What about the rear dropouts? Is this thru axle design gonna be useful for rear 135mm road frames? I definitely see disc brakes continuing to make it to road bikes, but I am not sure about the thru axle stuff. If thru axle designs aren’t accepted by road frame manufacturers for the rear of the bike, then why would it only be accepted for the front fork?

  10. Nice forks, but stay out of NAHBS. The only thing North American about Whisky is the design, albeit a good one, still doesn’t belong at NAHBS.

  11. Jackaroo, I agree, Interbike is for everybody, but NAHBS is for showcasing US made bikes and parts, they don’t belong there. Don’t get it twisted.

  12. @Ted- yeah. and let’s get Campy, Cinelli, Shimano, ENVE Forks, SRAM, Deda frame tubing, Brooks saddles, all the tires, and all the cool innovative bikes from the Japanese builders out of there too. ‘Cause it wasn’t made in America. That should make for a really interesting show……….

What do you think?