Emergency w/ Rounded Thru axles 02/05

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  • Hey guys,

    I'm frantically looking for bike shops that are open to remove my front wheel but am struggling as it's a Sunday and the only place I've gotten through to is prioritising bookings.

    I was trying to disassemble my bike last night to pack it up fly off for a medical placement in Jersey tomorrow morning, when the thru axle bolt head gave way and rounded - disaster. All pretty last minute as I only just passed my exams and qualified the day before - so only been free to get my bike bag and attempt disassembly in this tight window of time and now feeling a bit screwed!

    Wondering if anyone knows of smaller bike shops that might be open and be able to tackle this? My main hope was SE20 cycles and not getting through to them. Able to drive from SE26

  • I don't know of any open shops I'm afraid but could you attempt it yourself?
    Eg jamming a slightly larger torx bolt in, or as a last resort sawing a slot through the bolt for a screwdriver?

  • Can you not get some pliers or multigrips/vice grips etc on it and get it removed?

    Or is it one of those sunken designs? If it's that, then I'd probably hammer a screwdriver or similar into it and use that to force the bastard out.

  • Oh, also, humour me and check the other side. Some TA bolts have allen key ends on both sides.

  • Vaidas in honour oak park should be open.

  • You could also consider removing the fork instead of the wheel for packing, if your bike bag allows it.

  • Thanks all - so luckily just after this post, SE20 picked up and have had a crack at it

    Tried hammering in T30/T40s but it's really rounded so no dice.
    The reverse of the thru axle was hollow but nothing to get purchase on and unwind - bizarre as I thought that's the point of it

    But SE20 have been heroes, didn't have the tools or time but I picked up what they needed from Screwfix and their owner is going to work on this in the evening after he's finished with his fam - I feel like I'm taking the piss with them!

    Hopefully solved - thanks all!

  • Shop deserves a shout for going the extra mile . Doughnuts in the morning.

  • So alas they fit me in, Win stayed till 1930 on a Sunday eve(!) and tried sawing screw holes, drilling, using the reverse side, heat treatment and WD40, unfortunately none worked and the bike'll have to stay this side of the pond to get welded.

    But, massive shoutout to Win and Joseph at SE20 Cycles - amazing place they got there and clear they care :)

  • but I picked up what they needed from Screwfix

    Link pls.

    My ‘Dad bike’ has just had the same happen…

  • Sorry abroad now and not got them, but the only 3 hits they have for bolt extractors. Tbh I wouldn't recommend them though - forgot the exact mechanical reason but they didn't work - would try easy-off or welding if you can

  • I wonder if 2 or 3 pin holes drilled with a dremel might allow enough purchase and torque to remove.

  • By the sounds of it SE20 have been pursuing loads of options whilst I've been away - and even framebuilders creating a temporary weld aren't optimistic.

    So tentatively the worry is the axle is stuck in place - for good - potentially writing off the bike.

    In this case, is there anyone who can pick up the cost? Not sure if the axle supplier would be liable for cases like this, or if household/LCC membership insurance would cover - longshots, but desperate now as I needed this bike for a desperately needed summer respite and generally life!

  • What’s the frame / skewer / dropout material etc ?

  • It's the front axle of this lovely bike - https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/3310­25/
    Stock Trek Crockett carbon fork but not sure what metal is on the fork's bolt threads.
    Same wheels as listed, just been using a Hexlox supplied Robert Axle Project front axle

    SE20 reckon the axle has an alum bolt head and steel core (soft metal assumed caused the rounded head, then 'steel' core wasn't drillable further)

  • I'm currently still away from London and the bike, so here's the last pic of the bolt head I managed to get before SE20 did any work on it - dirty but no real allen slotting visible fwiw

    1 Attachment

    • IMG_20210502_101517.jpg
  • I'd file some flats on the OD of that and get a wrench on it

  • Yeah I think they dremel/sawed slots to try and pry with a screwdriver, was apparently too soft - will hopefully get more details if not pics tomorrow as I'm currently having to juggle this remotely

  • If it’s a size 52 it might fit in a cardboard bike shipping box with the handlebars rotated or taken off.

    I’d do as PhilDas suggests. If that and any other suggestions fail, and you decide you can pay for a new wheel, axle and service, I’d grab a sawz-all and some vice grips, cut/remove the spokes (might as well keep the rim), cut the hub apart exposing the axle, and prise the damn thing out from the middle.

  • PhilDas’ recommendation was for flats to fit a wrench around the outside instead of screwdriver slots. They can apply a lot more torque that way, to more axle material.

  • Ah makes sense, will check with the shop tomorrow

    Good shout also with the bike shipping - to be honest the bike is functioning just not possible to take apart. Issue is that the front tyre has a year of miles on it and I'll be dragging it through NC500 and Shetland. If/when I get a flat I am royally screwed!

  • I'd be happy to try it for you if you've got no other options.
    Sounds like the shop may have made a right mess of what's left however

  • Keep us posted, I could use a win this week, even if it’s a stranger’s. 😂

  • Appreciate it, will let you know if so
    But indeed - reckon there may not be much to work with anymore.. we'll see!

  • If nothing else works, anyone with a decent drill should be able to drill it out. Can’t picture the axle being anything but aluminum. In lack of drill, put a hack saw to the area between the end cap of hub and inside Of fork leg on the threaded side. Then hammer the axle out. Axles usually get stuck due to bonding between inside of hub and axle, not threads in fork.

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Emergency w/ Rounded Thru axles 02/05

Posted by Avatar for Nerv @Nerv