Monday, January 10, 2011

Titanium 150x12 axle update

Some of you may know that we have been testing some titanium axles on legends around the world for the last few months, that will fit into any maxle compatible frame to replace the maxle.

The V1 Prototypes were slightly out of tolerance (as is often the case with protos), so they were reworked and then sent out to racers around the globe to put through their paces.

The V2 version (as seen in place on my legend above), was just an experiment to see if there would be an issue with the axles loosening over time due to sticky hub bearings unscrewing them... there was one case where the axle loosened half a turn... so even tho some loctite could solve this issue, I thought it wise to just add a lock bolt to remove this issue completely.

The V3 axles as pictured above use a very simple lock bolt design which in itself is not load bearing, but just there to keep the axle in place by locking into the frame and then holding the axle in place not by opposing thread directions, but just variation in thread pitch.

The axles and bolts are made of Grade 5 6Al 4V titanium alloy for excellent strength to weight ratio... the V2 axles and bolts combined weigh about 55-60g according to kitchen scale (sorry, don't have an accurate scale here). However this does match the theoretical value of 57g based on volume of alloy used.

The 3 versions will now be put through their paces to check there are no unforeseen issues and that they are more than strong enough (calculations suggest that it is more than 5 times stronger than Maxle Lite, and supports the hub body completely). The idea behind the project is to come up with a lighter, stronger and better supporting (to the hub) axle.

Once we are happy with the performance and strength then these axles will come as standard on all applicable Banshee bikes, and will also be available aftermarket for people looking for another option to the maxle system on whatever brand of bike they ride. When we start shipping them, we will post it on the blog so that you can pre order.

9 comments:

MTBGearTech said...

Awesome work Keith! Every time I'm out for a ride on the Legend I'm cringing inside at the thought of my Maxle breaking. It's good so far but it would sure be nice to have something I could be completely confident in.

Sneeck said...

That looks awesome!! It would be totally rad to integrate something like DT Swiss has done with their RWS bolt system, just a simple lever which you can pull back and rotate in like 6 of 8 position's. Would make it a whole lot easier to get your wheel out quick for transport or chaning the tire. Something like that isn't hard to design and make I think, allthough cleaner than this isn't possible.

What would the price of one of these beauties be? And will Banshee's distributor's carry these as stock or on special order only?

Keith Scott said...

Price is TBA. We will offer them to distributors for aftermarket sales as well as including with our own frames.

The idea was to keep it very simple and light... a lever would increase cost and weight significantly. Installing and removing axle only takes about 5 seconds longer than a maxle.

Sneeck said...

Allright cool be sure to send a few to Freeborn:)

Yeah I don't actually mind the extra time, but you need 2 allen keys to do it. That's always a bit of a hassle when loading stuff in a car, more often than not tools go in first. Just playing with the idea, mayb you can design another with lever just for the fun of it.

Max said...

for now, is one of the common aluminium axles like from superstar components suitable?
i dont want to ride the legend with maxle lite, and need something till the titanium axle is availiable...

Keith Scott said...

Hmmm, I don't think my buddy at superstar makes any maxle frame compatible hubs... I could be wrong. I know that there is an option (from Giant i think it is), but it weighs about 2 times as much, and requires a spanner.

Moritz said...

Actually the Superstar Aluminium axle fits just fine. I used to run one on my previous DH frame (Maxle dropouts) and as I expected, it fits the Legend just as well. The threading (?) sticks out a few mm but that shouldn't be a problem at all. Obviously the Ti axle looks a bit nicer and is really awesome, but for the time being, the Superstat axle certainly will do the trick!

Keith Scott said...

Ah, thanks for correcting me Moritz... to me they just didn't look like they would screw into the frame, but was saying that without asking Neil.

Norbert said...

Keith I love what you did here. You and Jay have created the best bike company there is. Love the ti axle thing. I'm beyond hyped ;)