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Check those skewers!
 MLC40 member offline
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posted 10/28/2019
at 5:44:47 PM
viewed 359 times
Hi everybody,

I put new tires on the bike a few weeks back and have done occasional riding since then. Today, I noticed an odd sound coming from somewhere near the back wheel. I stopped, took off my pannier and noticed that the quick release lever was just flopping around and not tight at all. I'm not sure if it had been loose since the new rubber went on or if it loosened up over time since then. I tightened it and checked the front as well so all is okay that way.

If you haven't done a safety check for a while, do one before your next ride. It only takes a moment and could prevent serious injury.

Stay safe everybody!

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posted 10/28/2019
at 7:36:16 PM
post #1 viewed 250 times
Quick release skewers are really handy, but they can come loose unexpectedly. You have to keep them tight, but not too tight (you want to be able to undo them without tools!) I've had them come loose occasionally, fortunately not catastrophically. A friend was doing a lake lap (about 10.5 miles) on a borrowed trike, and didn't show at the rally point. We were starting to talk about going out to find her when she came into the parking lot slowly. She complained something was wrong and she couldn't get any speed at all. We checked and found the skewer on one front wheel was gone! She was essentially riding with one brake engaged. After we had our fun, the trike's owner took it and machined a replacement skewer, just for the fun of it. The trike is still in use with the homemade skewer.

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posted 10/28/2019
at 8:03:46 PM
post #2 viewed 247 times
Here's one for you. Years ago I was doing the Assault on Mt Mitchell. At the time, I was using some light weight skewers that were tightened using a hex wrench. When we unloaded the bikes, I just hand tightened the skewer figuring I would tighten it with a wrench later that night. Well, I forgot about it and never did tighten it. About 30 miles into the ride, there is a bridge at the end of a steep downhill that has a very rough transition. Usually, I would bunny hop it, but for some reason, I didn't this time. Later, I stopped on the side of the road for a pee break, picked up my bike to carry it to the side of the road, and the front wheel fell off! I couldn't help but thinking what might have happened if I had bunny hopped the transition on the bridge.

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posted 10/28/2019
at 8:14:49 PM
post #3 viewed 245 times
I have a riding buddy that had his brother check the bikes before a ride. Turns out he did not. Steve was riding down a mountain in southern California and hit a bump and lost his front wheel. His fork planted and he went flying. Luckily the only injury was the lost of about a 1/4 of one of his ears.

 Grateful_G member offline
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posted 10/29/2019
at 8:54:37 AM
post #4 viewed 231 times
I have a riding buddy that had his brother check the bikes before a ride. Turns out he did not. Steve was riding down a mountain in southern California and hit a bump and lost his front wheel. His fork planted and he went flying. Luckily the only injury was the lost of about a 1/4 of one of his ears.
-- posted by tojesky


OUCH !!! "Steve Van Gogh"

 podkey member offline
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posted 10/29/2019
at 9:33:28 AM
post #5 viewed 227 times
Huh? I think that is why most bikes today have "lawyer lips" on the front fork. The wheels wont come off easily with just a lightly loose skewer. It has to be loosened several more turns to be able to take the wheel off.

I have had an issue with a broken rear axle on a road bike before. Made it home because my skewer held the wheel and axle together as the skewer goes through the hollow axle. When I took the skewer out (bike felt "funny" in the rear) the axle fell out broken in half.

Wouldn't it take a lot of loosening to get passed the added edges to the front fork ("lawyer lips")

Good to know there is good reason to have them as testified to above.
post edited on 10/29/2019 at 9:36:02 AM

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posted 10/29/2019
at 8:16:55 PM
post #6 viewed 210 times
Huh? I think that is why most bikes today have "lawyer lips" on the front fork. The wheels wont come off easily with just a lightly loose skewer.

...
-- posted by podkey
This event was many years ago before "lawyer lips."

 podkey member offline
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posted 10/30/2019
at 8:03:09 AM
post #7 viewed 198 times
Oh Gottccha. Makes sense. I think I have had rear wheels move over and rub the rim on brake pads when not tightened enough. I am very persistent in keeping them tight. I ride daily and don't always do a complete check. But certainly after every wheel change or removal.
I thought this thread might be about the recalled skewers on some Bontrager wheels where the quick release lever if left open could jam into a slotted disc brake rotor. One can google this and see the diagrams. Another case where care can prevent injury. I think most skewers on disc brake wheels can't open that far in the open position.
post edited on 10/30/2019 at 8:09:51 AM

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posted 10/31/2019
at 8:31:29 AM
post #8 viewed 183 times
Very good reminder. It is also a good idea to make sure the lever and all moving parts are clean and rust free. You donít want unproductive friction to mask you locking effort.

Iíve always ridden older bikes with unknown history. It is amazing and scary to see the use and condition of some quick releases.

One thing I was taught was to close the levers so they point towards the rear of the bike and to always have the quick release on the left side. I donít know if others follow this but on a recent ride, another rider complained that the bike shop put his front tire on backward.which moved the sensor for his computer. He flipped his tire around and I noted that he now had the lever on the right hand side of the bike. I told him what I was taught and that obviously the bike shop followed the same practice.

 podkey member offline
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posted 11/1/2019
at 11:33:11 AM
post #9 viewed 169 times
Yeah there are lots of preferences on which direction to face the skewers. They really need to be on the left side on the rear wheel to avoid the derailleur and cassette stuff. Some prefer to have them pointed straight up to avoid hooking with other bikes Some like pointed forward and some like pointed backwards. The wheels don't care. I too have mine on the left and pointed back by habit and training.
Some group riding clubs require the front skewer to be angled up along the front fork blade to supposedly avoid possibility of hooking with another rider's wheel.
The same group likes the rear skewer to follow the angle of either the seat stays or the chain stays or between the seat and chain stays. Anything but not pointing backward in the rear.
I don't like mine right alongside the fork or chain stays as it makes the release harder to do.


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posted 11/2/2019
at 5:50:21 PM
post #10 viewed 156 times
I can't imagine a scenario where a properly-tightened Q/R skewer loosens itself. OTOH, I can imagine someone IMproperly tightening one. I observed on one of the BJ Reunion Rides, someone I considered an experienced cyclists, as they used the lever like it was a wing nut. EEK! The cam action of the lever can actually tighten an axle tighter than an axle nut can; but not if you don't use it properly.
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