There are many types of bike wheels, and each of them has its pros and cons, so how do you choose which is right for you?
A good place to start is in the release style. Most modern bikes are designed with a quick release wheel, in part because it’s lighter and faster than a bolt wheel.
Quick release also allows your wheel to be removed more easily–for better or for worse. While it’s helpful for maintenance, quick release wheels are also a target for theft, and it can be challenging to ensure your bike is fully secured. Consistent removal also runs the risk of damaging your wheel.
What Are Quick Release Wheels?Quick release wheels use a mechanism that clamps the wheel to the bike. The mechanism is easy to operate, without needing tools, just a simple lever to unclamp the wheel. Technically, it consists of a rod with thread on one end, and a cam assembly operated by a lever at the other end. The mechanism is placed in a hollow axle on the wheel and tightened to secure the wheel to the fork using the lever.
Although quick-release wheels are more efficient and comfortable to remove, they do have the disadvantage of high vulnerability to theft.
What Are Bolt-On Axles?
Wheels with bolt-on axles are also known as solid axles. Bolt-on axles are made of steel rods, threaded with two nuts to secure your bicycle properly. Bolt-on axles are much more secure than the quick release wheel because the axle nut is challenging to remove, requiring proper tools. However, the wheels are not easily accessible in case of any emergency.
Convert Quick Release to Bolt-On
If you need to convert your quick release wheel to a bolt-on axle, this video shows you the steps (Credit to Elite Cycling):
Here are the detailed steps on how to make the conversion in just a few minutes:
Check your bike axle: The primary factor determining if you can convert your quick release wheel to a bolt-on axle is the type of your hub. Bike models such as Shimano have axles that can easily be changed. Bikes with cartridge bearings cannot be converted because of the complexity of their design.
Remove the quick release skewer: If you are changing the front wheel, you need to remove the wheel axle by removing the cone nut, lock nut, and washer. Once you remove the skewer, you can also change the bearings on the wheel.
Ensure that the bolt-on is the required length: The standard length of bolt-on is 140mm, and this will give you a better attachment beyond the dropout.
Determine where the edge lock should end on the bolt-on: The diameter of your bolt-on is narrower than that of the quick release. So, the lock nuts and cone nuts from the quick release wheel cannot be used with the bolt-on axle. If you want to overcome the diameter imbalance, you should get the axle hardware.
Insert the cone nut, lock nut, and washer: Place this hardware on one side of the bolt-on axle. During insertion, you should spin the cone nut and washer to secure the axle on one side. When you are spinning, do not thread the lock nut.
Place the axle: Insert the axle through the hub (while spinning the washer, cone nut, and lock nut). This helps to secure the other side of the axle.
Ensure that you insert in the correct configuration: The right configuration for insertion is the point where the axle can freely spin.
Put the wheel into the drop out: Put the wheel into the drop out and tighten it with a bolt and washer. That’s it!
Credit and Useful Reading: https://www.mayacycle.com/quick-release-skewer-vs-solid-axle-nut