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Lucidity shows quick release thru axle at Taichung Bike Week

Published October 2, 2018

TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN) — The U.S.-based business development firm Lucidity showed a new quick release thru axle design at last week's Taichung Bike Week. The company is hoping to sell the product to original equipment manufacturers and aftermarket brands. 

The QRTU can be easily retrofit to most current thru axle frames and forks. It offers quick wheel removal and installation as well as improved safety, said Richard Wittenberg, the chief solutions officer of Lucidity.

The patent pending design was developed by a Belgian group, he said. Lucidity is the worldwide agent for the product. 

As the video below shows, it consists of a knob that is threaded into the frame or fork threads from the non-lever side, an axle and a lever similar to a standard QR lever. Pushing a button on the knob and opening the lever allows quick removal of the axle. Tension is adjusted from the lever side and doesn't need to be readjusted once it is set. As long as the end of the axle is popped into the knob, the axle cannot come out, even if the lever is left open. "That makes this the ultimate 'lawyer's tab,'" Wittenberg said. 

He said the design allows removal of a disc brake front wheel faster than a standard QR/lawyer's tab combination can be removed, while also being stiffer and safer. Knobs can be made available to fit varying axle thread pitches on frames and forks. 

Because the push-button knob has to be built fairly solidly, the QRTU does have a small weight penalty over standard thru axles, he said. Using a titanium axle minimizes that penalty. 

Initially, the product is being targeted at the high-end, retailing for about $130-$150 per pair in the aftermarket. OE costs would be less. Eventually the product could be offered with a steel axle to reach lower price points.

Other brands have offered quick release thru axle designs but they usually require a specific fork and frame insert, reducing the potential for interchangeability. Wittenberg said he hopes the QRTU design could become a standard across the industry. Brands could distinguish their products by modifying the appearance of the lever portion. 

Wittenberg said he had discussions with about 15 OE brands and several aftermarket distributors at TBW, which is a big annual get-together for OE suppliers and product managers from the major bike brands. 

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