Wheel Axles

Fixing Useless Mavic Ellipse axles   – UPDATE – 20 axles manufactured and ready for dispatch.

Axle Pictures

Custom Mavic Ellipse rear axle

I got so fed up after snapping the rear axle on the Ellipse, and then destroying the bearing preloader taking it off, that I decided to design my own axle. Mavic specify 40Nm
on their website for the M9x1 wheelnuts.  This is a totally ridiculous torque, giving over two tons of axial preload (21kN).  No wonder it snapped where Mavic
brilliantly sunk inside an internal hex inside where the nut thread sits…another side effect is seen on the other side of the original axle (which is soft as cheese) the tapered
spacer sits right on the M12x0.75mm thread where the bearing preload adjuster threads on. The useless steel then mushrooms when you tighten the axle nuts, you will not notice
this has happened until you try to remove the preload ring ! It will then come off about 4 turns and stick fast, this is because the thread on the axle is flared out….cant believe
I was stupid enough to follow their instructions without stopping and thinking rationally about it.

CAD Design for Axle Assembly
CAD Design for Axle Assembly


My axle is longer so that even with really thick dropouts you still get complete thread engagement, with some threads to spare. It doesnt have an internal hex, but this doesnt
matter as its easily remedied by locking two M9 nuts together on one end to stop rotation for setting preload or dissasembly etc.

So I will be using 18Nm from now on, which will give me 9.4kN preload. – this puts about 350MPa onto the area between the steel spacer and the end of the M12x0.75mm thread.
Although on my axles the end threads are removed so that even if it did get overtightened the threads wont flare out and jam on the preload disc.

Next step is a new front axle, might go for Titanium as the steel one above is hopelessly over engineered considering the minimum size constraints of fitting into the existing
hubs and dropouts. I went for AISI PH13-8Mo, so even after necking down the middle to 7.2mm diameter it will still require over 5 tons to break it. Unlike the original which is both of useless design
and made of what I think to be equivalent to recycled tins of baked beans. Maybe I will get it into a tensile tester just for fun to see how cheap Mavic went on the material spec.threads

Good idea, making the axle able to be locked while tigtening….bad idea…put the hex inside where the nut goes on.
Seriously Mavic….this is really useless design – especially if you follow your instructions to use 40Nm !  131007-181201

My custom axle a year later - still going strong.
My custom axle a year later – still going strong.

15 thoughts on “Wheel Axles

  1. hello

    iv got a mavic elipse rear wheel and have broken it in the same way. any chance you could make me an axle the same as yours?

    many thanks

    1. Answer = Yes

      Check your email…



  2. Samething happaned to me, stupid cheap mavic axles. could i possibly get one like yours?

  3. Hi!!!
    It’s possible to buy one set of axles?
    Thank you

    1. It is possible, but they are not cheap…..a full set F+R would cost me about €130 in total.
      Im working on maybe having a batch done to make them feasible for most people….

  4. How did you remove axle after ruining it?

    1. Well it ruined itself really….
      With great difficulty is the answer, the MAVIC tool is plastic which will not
      do it. Once the threads are mushroomed you will need probably
      a pair of circlip pliers and a big adjustable wrench. Depending on
      how mushroomed the threads are you may need to buy a new adjuster
      ringnut as the internal M12 thread may be too loose to ever
      fit properly again. I think Mavic makes alot of money on new
      parts for these…..

  5. […] ellipses says about bearing/axle removal as I ruined my axle trying that. Here is more information: https://www.calum-douglas.com/cycling/b…/#comment-3961 Basically adjustment nuts are squashed and you can't remove bearing adjusment nut, see […]

  6. Hey there calum , I am very interested & intrigued on your interpretation for the mavic ellipse axle , I’m in Newyork city & would like to get my hands on a pair of titanium axles

  7. Hi, same problem on my rear mavic ellipse, could you sell me one axle?
    Thank you

  8. I’ve just bought a pair of mavic ellipse wheels and already im having issues. The front axle has play in it regardless of how much you tighten the ‘cones’ and to be honest im not at all impressed with having two plastic domes, one of which takes direct compression from the wheel nut. Especially considering the cost of these things. The fault is with the axle, i have tried another bearing and the problem persists.

    1. The plastic cones are different, only one takes the bearing load – it has a steel insert in the middle. The other
      just acts as a dust seal. But yes its still not really a fantastic design. However to change it totally would
      require me to make basically a whole new axle system which is then more parts and probably end up costing
      half of the cost of a wheel. Unless I get a big batch made at once. But I might look into it again soon
      as apparently there are alot of unhappy Ellipse owners….


  10. I’d also be very keen to buy an axle off you if you have any.


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