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Speed wheel changes with Mavic's new Speed-Release thru-axle system

Enve has launched the new Speed Release Road Disc Fork utilising Mavic’s new Speed-Release thru-axle design, which aims to speed up wheel changes. 

Mavic’s Speed Release thru-axle was quietly unveiled at Eurobike last autumn and we first saw it in use on Alchemy’s updated Helios and Atlas carbon road frames. 

Alchemy adopts Mavic's Speed Release thru-axle on its new Helios and Atlas frames

ENVE_SpeedRelease_RoadDiscFork_2.jpg

ENVE_SpeedRelease_RoadDiscFork_2.jpg

It’s perhaps no surprise that Enve has launched a fork using Mavic’s thru-axle design, given Mavic’s parent company Amer Sports bought Enve Composites last year, there was bound to be some cross-pollination of ideas and technology.  It remains to be seen how many frame manufacturers adopt the Speed-Release thru-axle, which requires specific dropouts, but we can see some using the new Enve fork, though it does make sense to have the same thru-axles systems at both wheels.

“Speed Release provides a lightweight quick release thru-axle system that allows for quick wheel changes and consistent torque on the thru-axle so disc brake spacing will remain consistent across numerous wheel installations,” says Enve.

ENVE_SpeedRelease_RoadDiscFork_4.jpg

ENVE_SpeedRelease_RoadDiscFork_4.jpg

Speed Release differs from regular thru-axles. A stepped axle with a small spring and retention sleeve retains the thru-axle inside the hub during a wheel removal, with an open dropout on the right side of the bike and a regular threaded dropout on the opposite side meaning you can simply undo the axle and drop the wheel out. 

A regular thru-axle needs to be completely removed from the hub and frame/fork, and this does slow down wheel changes and runs the risk of dropping the thru-axle on the road. Mavic’s system keeps the axle inside the hub and because the driveside dropout is open, the wheel slides out easily. 

ENVE_SpeedRelease_RoadDiscFork_3.jpg

ENVE_SpeedRelease_RoadDiscFork_3.jpg

The lever only needs four rotations to tighten the wheel back into place, and it has a built-in torque setting which removes the guesswork. You can also position the lever however you like, similar to DT’s RWS system.

The new fork is compatible with any 12mm thru-axle hub and provides clearance for up to 32mm tyres. The axle to crown height is 370mm, it’s available in 43 and 50mm rake options, there’s internal hose routing and it uses flat mount and is compatible with 140 and 160mm rotors. It’s a one-piece carbon fibre construction, as with all Enve forks, and weighs a claimed 445g with the Speed-Release axle included. We don’t have a UK price yet but in the US it’s going to cost $599.

ENVE_SpeedRelease_Action_5.jpg

ENVE_SpeedRelease_Action_5.jpg

Enve says the evolution of road bike design towards disc brakes and wider tyres led to it adopting Mavic’s Speed-Release thru-axle. The company says in a statement issued this week: 

“Road cycling has evolved over the years and our preferences have shifted from rim brakes and low volume tires to disc brakes and high volume tires. As such, we needed to create a fork that matched these preferences while maintain the premium ride quality ENVE forks are known for. Traditional closed thru-axle drop out systems pose the problem of being both heavy and difficult for removing the wheel from the bike. The Mavic Speed Release system address these issues by providing the security of a closed drop-out thru-axle set-up, with the convenience and lightweight of a quick release.”

ENVE_SpeedRelease_Action_4.jpg

ENVE_SpeedRelease_Action_4.jpg

More at http://enve.com/

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

8 comments

Avatar
Carton [389 posts] 5 months ago
4 likes

"The Mavic Speed Release system address these issues by providing neither the security of a closed drop-out thru-axle set-up, nor the convenience and lightweight of a quick release.”

FTFY

Avatar
joules1975 [469 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
Carton wrote:

"The Mavic Speed Release system address these issues by providing neither the security of a closed drop-out thru-axle set-up, nor the convenience and lightweight of a quick release.”

FTFY

I think it might just achieve both. Sure it looks odd (kind of a not one or the other), and first thought is why not just have standard QR with forward dropouts, but this provides the extra stiffness benefits of a larger spindle, and the enclosed dropout on the disc side should mean it maintains better security too.

I do wonder if the right side dropout should be forward facing though, thereby removing any chance of braking forces ripping that side of the wheel out of the fork.

Avatar
coops1967 [7 posts] 5 months ago
3 likes
joules1975 wrote:

I do wonder if the right side dropout should be forward facing though, thereby removing any chance of braking forces ripping that side of the wheel out of the fork.

No need...

You can see (in the pic of the axle only) the stepped shaft diameter of the axle on that right hand side.

The smaller diameter will fit through the open dropout, but once screwed in/tightened up the larger diameter of the axle will then be in position within that dropout area and be too big a diameter to fit through that 'dropout'.

 

It would have been better to have the axle fullyscrewed in on the photo above it - the one with the axle and the fork... the axle is not fully screwed in, so it looks like that smaller diamter will sit in the dropout, whereas tightened up properly this will not be the case.

Avatar
Twowheelsaregreat [86 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Four of the photos above were pointless. Would have been nice to see some of the steerer and crown

Avatar
pedalpowerDC [364 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Of course they adopted it, they are owned by Mavic. Without the massive infusion of Mavic cash, I doubt ENVE would have batted an eye at this system.

Avatar
japes [81 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
pedalpowerDC wrote:

Of course they adopted it, they are owned by Mavic

 

as they point out in the article 

Avatar
Hoffmonkey [6 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

As iterated by Coops1967, now that I understand the system, I like it - it looks like the best of all worlds to me. Once screwed in, the dropout isn't a risk as only the smaller diameter section will fit through the gap. Good stuff. 

Avatar
Artem [31 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Why not to make a proper hole instead of one drop-out in the right leg of the fork? What are the benefits of this system? I see none?