The Robert Axle Project is a specialty company who manufacture an array of high end axles and parts centered around axles right at home in Bend, Oregon. While they make standard axles for loads of different bicycles, they also make them for everything from kids trailer hookups to trainers and even anti-theft options. They were kind enough to send out a sample of their ‘Drive Thru’ dummy hub for testing over this past winter, which was an especially wet one and thus required more bike washes than usual. Simply put, it’s all in the name – dummy hub – it takes the place of your wheel during deep cleans on your bike.
- 12mm diameter
- 7075 aluminum axle, knurled for easy grip.
- Delrin pulley
- O-ring is oil/solvent resistant
- No tools required
- Weight: 62 grams
- Available for 1.0, 1.5 (tested) and 1.75 thread pitch
- $35.00 USD
The knurling on the left side makes for easy one handed installation and removal – even if your hands are wet.
To install, you’ll want to lock your derailleur cage down for SRAM, or turn your clutch off on Shimano, so you aren’t fighting the bike. Then simply, hand thread the axle into the frame as a place holder for your wheel.
The dummy hub is roughly size of one of your smaller cogs, so it holds just enough tension on your chain that you can clean it without the wheel installed.
The axle itself provides about an inch and a half of float for the delrin roller. This gives you some room to shift your derailleur up and down a bit, which makes it easier to clean some of the harder to reach places.
Prior to getting ahold of the Drive Thru dummy hub, during cleaning, I typically only took my back wheel off when I was performing a full tear down of my bike. I generally would use the combination of a larger, softer brush and a smaller, firmer brush and work around hard to reach spots, never really getting as thorough of a clean. The install process is super easy as mentioned above, and cleaning the chain, the pulley wheels and the whole derailleur got substantially easier. A bonus is that by pulling your wheel off, your rotor gets out of the way of cleaner and excess grease.
In terms of actual usage, I had zero issues with the dummy hub. It ran smooth and stayed put nicely due to the O-ring providing an interference fit so as to prevent it from backing out. Another bonus is that by keeping it in my bucket full of cleaning supplies, it prompts me to stop being lazy and take my back wheel out, which in turn also encourages me to do a more thorough job of cleaning my cassette as well. For just $35, this nicely made, nifty little device is a win win all around.