ASK THE BMXPerts: 3/8” DROPOUTS AND A 14MM AXLE
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My name is Caleb, and I ride a Diamondback. I was wondering if I could get a cassette to fit my 3/8 dropouts. My friends are telling me to drill out the dropouts to 14mm, or slot the axle, but I think there’s just toO much to risk. Should I try these ideas, should I find a cassette with 3/8” axle, or just deal with 44/16 gearing?
Caleb

Caleb, your problem is straight out of the mid 90’s when freestyle bikes were making the transition from 3/8” to 14mm and riders were trying to find a way to adapt. So, speaking from many failed experiences, yes you probably could buy a cheap 14mm cassette hub and source a slotted axle for it, but do yourself a favor and don’t try to slot a full 14mm axle yourself, you will just destroy your axle. You could also grind out your dropouts, which will more then likely end up crooked, void your warranty, remove valuable structural material from the dropout, ultimately crack them and be bummed. We have gone that route as well and wouldn’t recommend it. But chances are, your frame has a 3/8” dropout slot for a reason, it is either a race frame or not intended for heavy peg use, but this doesn’t mean you don’t have options for a cassette hub that can handle light peg use. Our immediate course of action would be to get a DK Alpha Race hub. Yes, it is a race hub but you can run a smaller 36/13 gearing and it comes with heat-treated 3/8” bolt style axles. This means the axles are close to twice as strong as your stock 3/8” axles and the axle bolts offer a far better interface with pegs, if you intend to use them. So while it’s not ideal for freestyle, it is an awesome option for trail riders and those planning for light peg use and at $149, an affordable alternative to the headaches of a broken frame or self modified parts. Hope that helps Caleb, good luck.
The BMXperts


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