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.
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!