The "New" 15mm Thru-axle Standard from Fox and Shimano
Everyone that is saying that 15mm is going to be lighter than 20mm has no engineering background at all. All things created equal…the difference with the same materials and parts would at most be several grams…and this small difference would not be felt on the bike when it is actually ridden.
Why are they coming out with a 15mm standard? Because they are hoping (and they are right) that the public will buy into Fox and Shimano’s BS. Why wouldn’t they? They already do. The majority of the mountain biking population already believes that Fox and Shimano are the best thing out there…so if they say its lighter and better it must be true. I can’t tell you how many people I know that claimed “dual control shifting” was the best thing since sliced bread, and they are now riding SRAM. Why did they think it was better? Because it came on their first higher end mountain bike. Shimano and Fox have the OEM power. They will sell enough of these on OEM bikes to make it worth it. Then once all of these bikes are sold, they will eventually need new parts and not want to switch to something else. 15mm standard is marketing at it’s best.
Rock Shox Maxle 20mm TA
I honestly think that Rock Shox could make a very light SID 32mm w/20mm TA. The Rock Shox Maxle is the easiest to use TA on the market. Part of the reason for this new 15mm axle is an attempt to get around the Maxle patent. I would be tempted to argue that the Maxle is easier to use than a standard quick release axle. Adding to that ease of use…many frame manufacturers are starting to spec the rear Maxle TA’s into their frames. This should be great for the longer travel bike crowd.
To the left you can see Rock Shox’s new Maxle Lite. This design shaves grams off the already proven Maxle design for the lighter 32mm forks.
My favorite part of the Shimano advertising is the weight comparison between the two wheelsets. “This 15mm wheelset (designed for XC use) is lighter than this 20mm wheelset (designed for AM use).”
I’ll stick with my 20mm…
What do you think?