Bicycle Mechanics - Skewer tightening question
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How tight do skewers need to be? When I removed mine for the first time I had to use both hands to pull the lever. I’m a moderately strong 220 pound man this much force seems like overkill to me. When tightening the wheels I shouldn’t I be able to push the lever in with my thumb and a moderate amount of force.
02-26-06, 05:42 AM
When you tighten the skewer, you should start to feel the cam pulling when the lever is 90 degrees to its final position. If you check on Shimano's website, they have a service leaflet for quick release that is applicable to any make of QR systems. It's very useful. Just look at products --> road --> DA --> hub --> QR S.I..
Hope this helps.
I would be careful about applying Shimano's or any particular manufacturer's instructions regarding quick releases to all QRs. They are not all created equal. Some QRs such as the ones on my Mavic wheels employ a high closure ratio cam. With these types of skewers, you won't need to apply as much force at the lever as you would a traditional skewer. Doing so can cause overtensioning and lead to failure of the skewer.
02-26-06, 08:01 AM
All QR skewers aren't created equal and the difference is far greater than I'd ever imagine. Some skewers, even the ones that sometimes come with expensive wheels, absolutely suck! The good ones, like Shimano, have the cam mechanism hidden internally to the skewer.
Frequently people who have external mechanism skewers have to tighten them a ridiculous amount in order to get them to hold. It's better to replace it with an internal mechanism skewer.
02-26-06, 08:28 AM
There was a set of instructions with a pair of Shimano quick releases I bought, and a second set in the bike owner's manual. Lots of information about using a quick release.
Both listed the amount of force in foot pounds, which seems impossible to apply in real life. But, the amount of force was also described as "the most" you are able to apply, and "as enough to leave a mark on your hand". Both of those descriptions are more force than most people normally use.
The instructions also mentioned some things I would not have thought about. The dropouts must be in a certain range of thickness for the quick release to grip properly. Hopefully, the bike companies have paid attention to that issue. And, the close lever should be parallel to the seatstay in the back when closed, and parallel to the fork in the front when closed. I guess that is to reduce the chance of the lever getting "hooked" onto something while riding.
When correctly installed a quick release provides a powerful grip on the dropouts. I had been using bolts instead of quick releases in front and back. The constant pounding on broken pavement would cause the rear wheel to get out of alignment and sometimes the tire would rub on one of the chainstays. After I switched the rear wheel to a Shimano quick release and followed the "the most force you are able to apply" rule, I've never had a wheel go off center.
02-26-06, 09:22 AM
I wish that you'd pick a different screen name. I'd consider it a personal favor. Rustycogs is one of the screen names that was used, on a different forum, by Jim Price, a frequent poster who was killed by a careless driver while he was bicycling. If you scan the posts, you will find many references to him. I had a lot of respect for Jim and I miss his posts.
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