White Industries MI6 Hub 15mm Thru Axle – corrosion problem

We have had the tandem for 4 months now.  We have done 14 rides, about 60 hours on the bike covering about 500km (310 miles).  The bike is stored indoors when not in use.

I have just spent the last two days trying to get the White Brothers QTAPR15 15mm axle that comes with our White Brothers Loop tandem fork out of the White Industries MI6 front hub with 15mm Thru Axle.  When I finally got the axle out it turns out that the internal surface of the MI6 front hub is completely corroded.  The axle itself doesn’t seem to have any corrosion.

White Industries MI6 Front Hub with 15mm Thru Axle adaptor – corrosion
White Brothers QTAPR15 axle with damaged end threads


I now have a problem as we are supposed to be touring round cuba on this bike in 9 days time.  Its a Sunday, all the shops are closed and from what I can find out online the chance of me finding a White Industries replacement thru axle kit in Switzerland is small.  The end thread of the QTAPR axle was also damaged when trying to get the axle out so needs replacing as well (and trying to find one of these in Switzerland appears hopeless – some US online stores have it in stock but postage internationally takes a minimum of 6 days).  I don’t really want another White Industries hub as this seems like very poor performance for the amount of use it has had (and considering the price – $149!) but don’t really want to have to have another wheel built either.

I now need to try and fix/bodge a repair that will let us take the bike on holiday (and will still allow me to remove the axle after two weeks of use in Cuba so that I can pack the bike up again).  Fun fun fun! Also if I bodge a repair (ie try and clean the corrosion & pitting out of the hub lining) so I can use my existing axle for two weeks whats the betting it will stop me claiming a warranty repair.

Anyone else seen anything like this before or have I been unlucky?

Full size images can be seen at http://furbo.smugmug.com/Tandem-Cycling/MTB-Tandems/White-Industries-MI6-Hub-15mm

Update 17th December 2013

So it turns out that the problem is due to user error.  I should have been removing the axle after each wet ride and drying the hub and axle.  I should also have greased the axle regularly.  It’s not a warranty issue.  Live and learn I guess!

3 thoughts on “White Industries MI6 Hub 15mm Thru Axle – corrosion problem”

  1. Hi,
    I work in the workshop of a bike shop in Victoria, Australia and have just had a Jamis Dragon hardtail MTB come in with exactly the same problem as you have explained. Don’t know how I’m going to tackle it yet, just thought I’d let you know your not the only one! Good luck and wish me luck,

  2. Hi Johnny,

    Sorry I didn’t reply sooner but was cycling in Cuba. In my case I knew the axle was unscrewed from the fork so I used a socket (with the same diameter as the axle) as a punch and hammered out the axle. Unfortunately before hammering it out I had damaged the end threads of the axle. When I got a new axle it wouldn’t screw into the fork nut so that must be damaged as well. I have ordered a new fork nut so hopefully will have everything working as it should soon. We just did 700km on the bike in Cuba using the damaged axle and nut and it worked ok.

    I will be greasing the axle regularly from now on in!

  3. Hi,
    this could be contact corrosion. That happens when two different metals have contact. The noble metal starts to eat the less noble metall. You can try two different things: use two metals that are equal, like aluminium and aluminium.
    In case you´ll have to combine alu with steel, try to use a good anti seize grease (copper grease o.e.)
    Any humidity, salt etc. will have the corrosion grow even faster.

    I bought the same MI6 tandem hubs and will convert them to 15mm too. Now I know what to look for in the future. Thanks for the fotos. Have you contactes White Industries with your problem?

    Good luck

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *