We know, there’s no such thing as a stupid question. But there are definitely some questions too embarrassing to ask your local shop or riding buddies. AASQ is our bi-weekly series where we get to the bottom of your questions – serious or otherwise. 

This week we’re starting off with a question from Rick, regarding the possibility of adapting his current frame from a quick release to a thru axle.

“Would it be possible to adjust my quick release ready mountain bike into a thru axle system? If you have the right wheels and the thru axle fits through the wheel and frame, it’s good, right?”

That’s a valid question Rick, especially considering how much a thru axle can improve the stiffness of the rear end. The answer though depends mostly on the bike you have. You can’t simply get a 12mm thru axle wheel set with a thru axle and throw it into any quick release frame. Some frames, have complete dropout systems that you can change to go from quick release to 12mm thru axle rear ends. This is really the only way to adapt your frame to a modern thru axle. It should be noted that if you’re doing this, you’re probably going from a 135mm rear hub to 142mm or similar, so you’ll either need new end caps if applicable, or a new rear hub. Otherwise, you could probably find a hub with a bolt on or 10mm skewer with a threaded end cap that would work in your vertical dropouts. You need to make sure the spacing of the new hub is the same as your frame, and that the axle size is correct (usually 10mm) though.

“What is the best way to prevent a mid ride bonk, any tips, tricks, or suggestions on what to do?” – James

This usually comes down to your personal physiology, but the best advice I’ve ever gotten is to eat and drink early and often. Usually, when you’re bonking, it’s because you haven’t eaten or drank enough up to that point, and once you fall off the cliff of bonk it’s very hard to get back. The key to this is to carry foods that make it easy to eat while you’re riding. For me, that’s usually small amounts of something like energy chews, mixed nuts, gels, pieces of a bar, etc. Find what works for you and your stomach, and then make sure to keep yourself topped up before you start to get hungry or thirsty.

“What’s “understeering”? I’ve seen this term pop up every now and then in tires and forks reviews.” – Luiggi

Understeering is more of an auto term that usually refers to the bike wanting to push though a corner. Think if there is a turn to the left, the bike wouldn’t make the turn and would fly off the trail to the right. This can be useful to describe tires that aren’t quite holding a line, or perhaps a frame/fork combo that is flexy enough to create instability though a turn.

Got a question of your own?  Click here to use the AASQ form, or find the link under the Contact menu header up top anytime a question pops into your mind!


    • DT swiss offers 10x135mmTAs that work with any “bolt through” hub, & many brands offer “bolt-on” hubs that use bolts instead of a QR. I used both on my last 2 bikes, one was bolt-on, one was bolt through. The question wasn’t stupid, but the answer sure was…

  1. “Think if there is a turn to the right, the bike wouldn’t make the turn and would fly off the trail to the right” I believe you meant would fly “off the trail to the left”. Otherwise, you seem to be describing over-steer.

  2. To avoid bonking, you might try actual food (trail mix, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, real breakfast/lunch) instead of (or at least in addition to) overpriced sugar bombs (bars, gels) that just put off the inevitable sugar crash.

    Understeer is when the front wheel(s) skid – in a car, you push wide; on a bike, you usually go down. Oversteer is when the rear wheel(s) skid – i.e. drifting” in a car.

    Oh well, 1 out of 3 is OK, I guess.

  3. As as starting point for bonk prevention (from someone who knows the bonk very well), don’t even worry about it for rides under 1 to 1-1/2 hours. But if you plan on riding more you should try getting a granola bar, or my favorite, a half a quality PB&J on whole wheat in you around the 50 minute mark. Then it’s something similar every 45 minutes or so. That works for me and as I said, use it as a starting point.
    Also, don’t forget a good quality electrolyte along the way.

What do you think?