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Robert Axle Project Drive Thru is the tiny tool you didn’t know you needed

Clean easier and travel safer with this simple solution

Robert Axle Project Drive Thru

There are endless gizmos and gadgets claiming to make life easier, but few follow through. The worst make things more complicated. Robert Axle Project’s Drive Thru is the opposite. The simple little device makes cleaning your bike easier. As someone who is generally neglectful of my own bikes, anything that makes me more likely to clean my bike is a good thing.

Robert Axle Project Drive Thru
It’s a simple design. Delrin plastic “Cog” and mini-axle. That’s it.

Robert Axle Project’s Drive Thru – What is it?

The Drive Thru is a very simple design. A short dummy axle threads into the drive side dropout of your bike. A delrin plastic “cog” on that axle keeps your chain in place. This lets you keep tension on the chan while cleaning – holding the chain out of the way while you clean the frame and rear derailleur, or rotate the cranks, and making it easier to clean the chain.

Simple, right? There are other chain catchers that keep the chain clear of the frame, and you can clean the chain with the wheel installed, right? It’s the details that set the Drive Thru apart and make it a worthy addition to any tool box or travel case.

Robert Axle Project Drive Thru
Keep that pain safe while cleaning the hard-to-reach parts of your frame.

Drive Thru details

Robert Axle Project is a company out of Bend, Ore. that has been specializing in axles since 2013. Just axles. Axles for trailers, replacement axles for bikes, and now the Drive Thru. They’ve thought about axles more than most of us have thought about any one bike part.

The Drive Thru’s dummy axle is knurled at the end, allowing for easy one-handed installation. Its short length means you can get the chain on and off, without having to uninstall the axle. The Drive Thru is also long enough that the delrin cog can move back and forth with the rear derailleur as you clean. A rubber stopper keeps the cog off your frame, while still letting you remove the cog for easy storage in a tool kit.

Robert Axle Project Drive Thru

Cleaning and travelling with the Robert Axle Project Drive Thru

Ok, the Drive Thru isn’t essential for cleaning your bike. But it sure does make it easier, and faster. As someone prone to cutting corners while taking care of my bike, it gives me more incentive to actually take the rear wheel out to clean the frame and cassette instead of doing a cursory wipedown post-ride. I’ve had a Drive Thru for just over a month, and I’ve properly cleaned my bike and wheels more in that time than in … a longer period of time than I’d like to admit.

The Drive Thru is also great for travelling. It helps keep the pain on your frame safe from scratches when you’re shoving a bike into a travel case or throwing it in the trunk of your car.

When you’re not using it, it takes up minimal space. Its two-piece construction lets you take it apart if you’re really pressed for storage space. The Drive Thru is small but solidly constructed, it doesn’t look like it’s going to break down any time soon.

Robert Axle Project Drive Thru
The delrin “cog” spins freely on the axle, letting you shift through the gears as you clean.

The downsides? Well, it is another tool to add to the box. Minimalists and the more disorganized among us will be hesitant to add clutter. Of all the gadgets you could add, though, Robert Axle Project has made one I quite like. The bigger issue will be for those that have multiple bikes of different types. Since it threads into the dropouts, the Drive Thru is specific to a certain thread pitch. If you have a couple of mountain bikes, you’re likely fine. It won’t, though, work for your mountain bike and your road bike. R.A.P. offers the Drive Thru in four different thread pitches, as well as a “Value Meal 3-Pack” for those with a full N+1 fleet.

You can order the Drive Thru directly through Robert Axle Project’s website. It’s USD $35.00 for one, or $75.00 for the 3-axle full meal deal. If you’re not sure what thread pitch you need, Robert Axle Project has a handy “What Axle Do I Need” page that will make sure you get the right goods.