Do Torque Caps make a difference?
There are many riders who considers the SRAM Torque Caps as a superior interface option for the front wheel. It is SRAM’s proprietary tech and it has been available since 2016 for RockShox forks only. Review SRAM forks, hubs and end caps compatibility map.
The message is that it makes the interface between the fork and wheel stronger and stiffer. That is because of the larger contact area between hub’s the end caps and fork’s lowers. Torque Caps visually eclipse the standard end caps. Indeed, the solid, beefy design, creates an impression of delivering on its promise.
If only the wheel’s attachment to the fork was about the end caps. Yet, it is not. It is the axle that joins the hub and thus the wheel, and the fork. The axle requires precision manufacturing to ensure correct fit of the bearings. Same goal of the proper fit with hub’s axle and fork’s axle drives end cap manufacturing tolerances. These measures are both internal, though. You won’t notice them, unlike Torque Caps contact area. Why should you? As long as fork’s axle slides in, as it should. And the end caps remain solidly attached to the hub.
What about stiffness? By the definition it is measure of deflection caused by the applied load. The contact area plane that Torque Caps are all about, is right angled to the axle. If this contact area to start carry the load – it means that both hub’s and fork’s axles got crumbled. And both have deflected to such extent that the load has propagated to the next element – the end cap’s contact area. Considering the fork’s 15 mm thru axle alone, it is difficult to suggest what sort of riding conditions would have caused it. And that is without throwing in hub’s own axle into the equation.
In our view it is nothing but visually appealing option. A heavier one than it is necessary. With restricted compatibility to the single manufacturer’s suspension forks. The only genuine benefit it offers – convenience for SRAM fork owners. It is easier to mount the front wheel with Torque Caps, rather than with standard 15 mm end caps.