We want to think that with each Onewheel model released, the product continues to improve. While I generally believe it is improving, there are some areas where the GT has more vulnerabilities than its predecessor, the XR. There’s definitely a few areas to gripe about when talking about the GT issues however this post focuses on the axle.
Like prior Onewheels, the GT axle is hollow which allows for the motor cables to run through it. The issue however is that the axle walls on the GT are thinner than the XR. With the rider weight repeatedly landing on the footpads, the weak point (vunerability) is the axle.
Three solutions have brought to market to fix this solution. ‘NimRods’ and ‘RamRods’ by the MobShop and ‘the Wedge’ by TechRails. All are products that are installed within the hollow sections of the axle for axle reinforcement.
RamRods & NimRods Axle Reinforcement
The MobShop has two options for using separately or together for “at least 100% strength into the stock GT axle.” The benefit with this option is that RamRods are long enough to span the entire axle offering full coverage and strengthening.
With any option, you will need to completely disassemble the hub. The MobShop does offer the install service with approximately a 2 week turn time.
The Wedge Axle Reinforcement
TechRails always puts out premium products. The wedge is designed similar to the way a quill stem is on a bicycle. The way the compression of the stem attaching to the forks is essentially how the wedge functions within the axle.
The Wedge slips into the non-cable side of the axle in a two-part manner which allows for ease of install and removal. While this option does not span the entire axle, it reinforces the vulnerable side of the axle.
Once the Wedge is completely installed, it fits as a solid piece of aluminum within the axle which can provide as a better conduit for heat dissipation. The motor dissipates the heat through the axle and into the rails (the heatsink for the Onewheel). Because the Wedge has ideal surface contact with the axle, heat will find this as an easier path to the rails.
While I have personally yet to have an issue with broken axles on Onewheel GT, I do suspect this area to be a problem for either riders that do frequent drops or are on the heavier side of the the weight limit. This modification really has to be completed proactively to avoid a broken axle.
More importantly is the focus of bad bearings. If you have bad bearings, the bearing ring can actually grind the axle over time creating a weak point.
Any movement lets you know that the bearings are grinding around your axle. Over time, they will eat away what little width it already has until its too late. Axles are Aluminum so they are not the strongest.
This vulnerability of the GT is an issue you just have to be mindful of and stay on top of. While lighter riders have reported axles snapping, I would definitely have more concern if you are a heavier rider and do drops often. Another thing is to definitely mark your bearings! You don’t need poor maintenance to exacerbate the potential problem. If you are a rider concerned with this, definitely check out the Tech Rails and MobShop solutions.