Got Race or Trail Axles? Reasons for Swapping?


Active member
Aug 7, 2022
SF Bay Area
Looking for opinions and personal experience using race or trail axles and what kind of riding style you do that may reinforce one preference over another. And would like to know if riders are planning to swap axles and if buying a motored Pole, which axles are you choosing and why?

In particular, I'd like to get feedback from riders that have used both axles and can provide some direct experience comparisons. For those with just trail axles, are you finding the rear end stable and forgiving in turns or are is it a bit noodly for your taste compared to other bikes you have ridden? For those with the just race axles, are you happy with assured tracking in corners or find the rear traction more finicky with too much ground transmission to the rider?

At the time of the posting I'm referring to Voima riders as the Sonni release is pending, but any insight here could prove helpful for Sonni buyers, where the bike already has a "race" bent with race axles as default. Perhaps a trail axle might make the ride more forgiving, especially to a prior Voima owner like myself using trail axles (the only ones offered at the time). Or would this choice fly in the face of the bikes downhill purpose?
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Active member
Aug 10, 2022
As far as your choice of which axles to get, it depends on what terrain you ride and how you ride it. Are you fast and or heavy? Or lighter and or slower? Do you ride hard and fast or slow and easy? And your build can make a difference too. Wheels can be made stiffer or more compliant. Same goes for your bars and your suspension. So it all depends on what you want or are looking for in your ride.

From Poles website.
“Race Axles: Where Performance Meets Precision 📈
Race Axles are crafted with extra material, reinforcing the swingarm and adding stiffness. A stiff frame means precise handling at high speeds, but is less forgiving of mistakes.

Why Choose Compliance? 💫
While stiffness has its merits, it’s not the ideal choice for everyone. Most riders benefit from a more compliant frame, especially when it comes to low-speed cornering. A less rigid frame translates to a bike that is forgiving of errors and adds an extra layer of comfort to your ride.”

When I sold my first Voima frameset, 2-3 months passed before I got the new Race I’d frameset. So I was never able to do any back to back testing of the new bike with race axles to the old one with the original “trail” axles. So with all of the time that passed in between riding the 2 bikes, the biggest difference I felt from the old bike to the new one was the race motor, race mode and automatic mode. The new frame is also slightly narrower at the head tube and in the motor area and it has slightly more ground clearance and the race axles. So without doing any back to back testing and so much time in between riding the two bikes it’s hard to give an opinion on the difference of the axles feel. All that being said, if it was my choice I’d get the race axles and get my compliance from my Berd spoked carbon wheels, Renthal carbon Far Bar Lite bar and my Fox X2 shock and 40 fork.
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