testing thru axles for bikes

Breaking Axles Is Fun! (Also known as: Why “made in USA” matters to us)

Sure, there’s lots of talk (babble?) about “Made in USA”. It’s a complicated thing, we know. Affordability, quality, customer service, and practicality all come into play. Making our thru axles here, instead of China or Taiwan, is important to us because we can employ local skilled people and support our local economy.

We also like to be hands on—we prefer to oversee production on an almost daily basis, which we think is the real value in creating quality bike parts. From raw material, to finished and packaged goods, we handle all processes.

It’s a job we take seriously. Stuff needs to not break, and stuff on your bike needs to REALLY not break, especially when you are using it. Breaking parts on a bike ride, whether you’re out shredding singletrack, or taking your kids to the park, is not what we would call a good time.

We machine and assemble all our thru axles in Bend, Oregon. And with access to testing facilities, we are able to test our axles for different types of strength and loads. We test all of our thru axles in two ways:

Torque strength. Over the years, we have been keeping tabs on how our customers are installing their Robert Axles. Installation requires the user to torque the axle to a specific spec, so we test all axles for torque strength to make sure they are strong enough during installation.

Shear strength. This is the stuff that goes BOOM, the fun part. By testing shear strength, we test for catastrophic failure, and we ask: How much force would it take to suddenly shear this axle? Our goal, which we consistently reach, is to far exceed the shear strength of stock axles that come with bikes.

Watch the video below of how we break axles!


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