Watching your weight? Then try these Ultralight Thru Axles direct from the UK.
Words and Photos: Tim Bardsley-Smith
Mt Zoom is dedicated to lightweight cycling goodies - with an eclectic collection of odds and ends to make your bike less heavy by a few grams, or substantially more. They have bottle cages, specialised bolts, flat handlebars, super light quick releases and jockey wheels – and now, lightweight through axles.
For some reason I recently had a subconscious urge to clean up the look of my Santa Cruz Stigmata, so I reached out to Mt Zoom to get a hold of their Ultralight Thru Axles to suit the bike. With a comprehensive collection of options, it was a still a fairly quick process to determine which I needed. Mt Zoom make models for 100 and 110mm spacing with 15mm axles for forks, and 142 and 148mm 12mm axles spacing for frames.
This means there may not be an option for your new disc-brake road bike if it uses a 12mm front axle – but there is a good chance there will be compatibility for your newer cyclocross or gravel bike, and almost certainly for a mountain bike. Don’t despair, Mt Zoom designer Ant White responds to market demand, so don’t be surprised if there is a 100mmx12mm option in the works.
Apart from reducing weight, which is always nice, the main reason for my upgrade was to get rid of the bulky look of the axles with the large quick release lever. The much cleaner 6mm Allen key interface on the Mt Zoom through axles was a lot more desirable. Quick wheel changes were never a priority for me. I don’t race CX, and even if I did suffer a flat I think it would be the end of the race for me in terms of competitiveness. In any case, I always carry a multi-tool with a 6mm Allen key, so wheel removal would be a cinch.
For those more focused on the power of the gram - or lack thereof - the Maxle axles that come standard on my Stigmata are a combined 151 grams, while the Mt Zoom axles weigh in roughly half that at a combined 76 grams. That should give you a rough idea of the weight saving you can expect, although it will vary in each case depending on the axles you need and the axles you want to replace.
As you can imagine there are not a lot of negatives I can talk about on the Mt Zoom Ultralight Thru axle - it’s a simple idea that is hard to get wrong. I have had trouble with Maxle Thru axles failing at the lever mechanism in the past, and that’s impossible with the Mt Zoom axles. The cleaner look of the Ultralight axles definitely ticks the boxes for the little OCD urge in the back of my head and may be the fix you’re looking for. Be sure to check out all the other little bits and pieces on the website - you’re sure to find something to finalise that build.
- Weight saving
- Clean look
- May be slower in a race situation
- Only come in black
RRP: From $45
Available from: mtzoom.com