A road bike thru-axle standard: are we there yet?

Has the bike industry settled on a disc brake thru-axle standard or will it change again?

Disc brakes on drop-bar bikes are quite a new phenomenon. It was only in 2010 that the UCI sanctioned disc brakes on cyclo-cross bikes, with road bikes experimentally following along a few years later. Despite ongoing trials of their suitability in the peloton, now almost all manufacturers will offer a disc-brake road bike in their range.

The first crop of disc bikes used quick- release with 100mm axle length at the front and either 130mm or 135mm at the rear. Then along came thru-axles, borrowed from mountain bikes, where they have become pretty much the norm.

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Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.

He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.