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Old 08-17-06, 04:28 PM   #1
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Swapping out QR for solid axel

My old bikes rear wheel had a solid axel running through the hub. It was strong and I never worried about theft. My new bikes rear wheel has a QR (Shimano 9-speed cassette/Ritchey hub) and now I worry. I'm pretty sure it's possible to swap out the QR for a solid axel from the lbs. Yes?
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Old 08-17-06, 04:39 PM   #2
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i don't think it's all that easily done, if at all. you'll have to take the hub apart and the replacement axel will have to be really narrow.
if you can do it at all, it's going to be expensive. why not go for a locking skewer? that way, you can have the ease of a QR, along with the security of a regular solid axel.
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Old 08-17-06, 07:28 PM   #3
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You can also replace the skewer with one that uses an allen wrench and doesn't have a lever. Not locking, but essentially they'd need a wrench like your current setup to take the wheels off. Here's "Delta Axlerodz"

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Old 08-17-06, 07:30 PM   #4
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A lock run through the frame and the rear wheel will do a better job of preventing theft than a nutted hub.
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Old 08-17-06, 07:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bOsscO
My old bikes rear wheel had a solid axel running through the hub. It was strong and I never worried about theft. My new bikes rear wheel has a QR (Shimano 9-speed cassette/Ritchey hub) and now I worry. I'm pretty sure it's possible to swap out the QR for a solid axel from the lbs. Yes?
Use allen-bolt skewers instead of quick-release skewers to prevent casual theft: $8 at Nashbar and a heck of a lot easier than replacing the axle . But obviously locking the rear wheel is the better option. If you lock the rear wheel like this, then your frame and rear wheel will both be safe! It doesn't look like it, but if you try it, you'll see why...

(photo from sheldonbrown.com)
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Old 08-17-06, 09:31 PM   #6
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Allen bolt skewer heads won't prevent even casual theft. Bike theifs around here pretty much all carry hex keys.
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Old 08-17-06, 09:34 PM   #7
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Allen bolt skewer heads won't prevent even casual theft. Bike theifs around here pretty much all carry hex keys.
Well, they're much smarter than the Crackhead School of Bike Theft that seems prevalent in DC. But you're right... allen bolt skewers are not amazing security. You can of course buy special LOCKING skewers, which cost more like $20 at least. I fill the allen bolt heads of my skewers with silicone caulk, which makes it impossible to get an allen wrench into them.
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Old 08-17-06, 10:12 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies doods. I can't believe I've never seen the 'lock thru wheel only' trick: good one!
The allen key skewer seems pretty useful aswell (athough, I don't know how how you'd change a flat if the heads full of silicone?). Sweet
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Old 08-17-06, 10:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bOsscO
Thanks for all the replies doods. I can't believe I've never seen the 'lock thru wheel only' trick: good one!
The allen key skewer seems pretty useful aswell (athough, I don't know how how you'd change a flat if the heads full of silicone?). Sweet
So here's the deal with the silicone caulk: you can remove it with a sharp object like a paper clip or thin screwdriver blade. But it's a pain in the ass. It takes a few minutes. It's hopefully enough to make a thief pass on my wheel and try the next bike over.

If you like, put an allen skewer on your front wheel only (did that on my fixie). The front wheel is much cheaper to replace, and less likely to have a flat anyway. Then do the lock-rear-wheel-only trick and you've got your bike fully secured.
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Old 08-18-06, 05:44 AM   #10
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I was going to ask the same question about the silicon... Good point, any security process is designed to slow the thief, and as long as the legitimate rider doesn't have to do it too often, an extra minute to change tires is a small price to pay.

Also, to protect the front wheel, a light security cable through the u-lock with the wheel only locking shown above would protect the front wheel too.

Also, it may be obvious to some, but a cable can be done as a lasso and only locking the free end... You don't need both ends to reach the lock, so you can get away with a shorter cable than you might think to secure the front wheel.
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Old 08-18-06, 06:41 AM   #11
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I had to do something like that before,friend of mine gave me one of those trek hybrids and the quick release axel broke in half!!!I needed it fixed quickly so I simply swapped it for an old axel I had from a track hub! Worked like a charm! But when you think about it if a theif can use an allen key to rob a wheel then im pretty sure some might know how to use a wrench too!!
I suppose the only way to be safe is to either lock your wheel, or you could weld it to the frame but then you'd be screwed if u got a puncture!!
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Old 08-18-06, 07:58 AM   #12
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I just replaced the QR's with the hex bolt versions on my son's bike (and bolted on the seat post) prior to sending him off to college. I considered solid axles but they're a hassle to change and no better security. I had originally rebuilt this bike purposely to look old and cheap (schlock paint job, old scratched handlebars+grips, beat up looking wheels, etc). It is actually a good bike (rebuilt hubs and BB, XTR rear der (label painted over), decent tires, etc). I just want it to be less attractive a target than the bike next to it.

(remembering the old adage about safety in the woods: "I don't have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you.")
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Old 08-18-06, 08:09 AM   #13
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I'll check it out tomorrow (move-in day at U-of-Illinois) but my LBS says there is a shop near campus dedicated to beater bikes for cheap. Buy one for cheap ($40??) and if it gets stolen, go buy another. I wonder if there is a business model there. Maybe take a deposit and rent bikes to students for 4 years for cheap. Hmmm.
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Old 08-18-06, 10:55 AM   #14
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I wonder if there is a business model there. Maybe take a deposit and rent bikes to students for 4 years for cheap. Hmmm.
Actually a lot of college town bike shops opperate that way. They sell a beater for an attractively low price ($40 sounds awfully cheap but something less than $100 is likely) and buy it back for practically nothing when the student is done with it. Repeat as needed.
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Old 08-18-06, 11:34 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by bOsscO
Thanks for all the replies doods. I can't believe I've never seen the 'lock thru wheel only' trick: good one!
Unfortunately it gives the appearane that your bike is unlocked/ready to steal drawing unwanted attention.
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Old 08-18-06, 02:13 PM   #16
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Well that, ultimatly, is my concern. My old bike I had stripped to the frame, gave it a crap paint job and built it back up with everything I wanted (including solid, bolt-on rear axle). Nobody really looked at it as desireable. Now, the new bike I have is a seriously sexy looking ride that I don't want to have to 'uglify' but I don't want it to stand out too much either. So far, decals have been removed (bare paint, one color) and now I get to go look for locking or allan-key skewers.
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Old 08-18-06, 02:25 PM   #17
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I had originally rebuilt this bike purposely to look old and cheap.<snip> It is actually a good bike. <snip> I just want it to be less attractive a target than the bike next to it. (remembering the old adage about safety in the woods: "I don't have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you.")
exacly dbq
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