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Old 03-27-08, 11:24 AM   #1
celticfrost
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AAAAARRGGHH!! -- Rear skewer not holding rear hub in the dropouts!

My rear skewer is not able to keep my rear wheel in the dropouts, even during soft pedaling! I found this out the hard way, but it could have been much worse (eg, while descending @ 45mph).

The problem only occurs on my Columbus TSX frame (steel). The rear skewer holds my rear wheel in place just fine on the Temper OX Platinum frame (steel). I'm using the same wheelset and skewers for both frames. I believe the rear skewer is made of aluminum -- it's the standard skewer included in a set of 2006 Bontrager Race Lites.

Both the front and rear dropouts are chromed on the Columbus TSX frame, but not on the OX Platinum frame. So I'm wondering if the chrome is creating too "slick" of a surface area, and not allowing the skewer to "bite" into it enough to hold it in place. Yet I'm not having any issues w/ the front wheel staying in place -- maybe because there's really not much torque on the front axle/skewer?

My current solution is to use a different rear skewer (made of steel) on the Columbus TSX frame. This seems to work fine so far. I was also thinking about scuffing-up the area where the dropouts contact the skewer with some sandpaper or steel wool in order to create some more surface area for the skewer to bite into.

Has anyone else has encountered the same problem? What's the solution? I NEED TO KNOW that my rear wheel will stay in the dropouts BEFORE I do any major descending & sprinting on this bike. I can't risk messing up this bike or myself over a lousy skewer failing at high speed!!
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Old 03-27-08, 11:40 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by celticfrost View Post

My current solution is to use a different rear skewer (made of steel) on the Columbus TSX frame. This seems to work fine so far. I was also thinking about scuffing-up the area where the dropouts contact the skewer with some sandpaper or steel wool in order to create some more surface area for the skewer to bite into.
The material of the quick release usually refers to the skewer itself; but it doesn't hold the axle in place, rather it holds the cam and nut in place. For your need, the skewer material is not as important as the type of cam used (enclosed=stronger vs exposed=weaker). Edit: as for material, steel surfaces on the cam and nut also help a lot. See: http://sheldonbrown.com/skewers.html
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Old 03-27-08, 11:45 AM   #3
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The material of the quick release usually refers to the skewer itself; but it doesn't hold the axle in place, rather it holds the cam and nut in place. For your need, the skewer material is not as important as the type of cam used (enclosed=stronger vs exposed=weaker). Edit: as for material, steel surfaces on the cam and nut also help a lot. See: http://sheldonbrown.com/skewers.html
Excellent, got it. The actual skewer that DOES work for me is enclosed. Just posting here for additional reassurance, 2nd opinions -- thank you!
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Old 03-27-08, 11:45 AM   #4
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First thing to check is that the ends of your axles are not sticking out past the outer faces of the dropouts on your Columbus frame. If they do then your skewer faces could be hitting the axles before they hit the frame and you're not getting the clamping pressure on the frame where it needs to be.
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Old 03-27-08, 11:51 AM   #5
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Excellent, got it. The actual skewer that DOES work for me is enclosed. Just posting here for additional reassurance, 2nd opinions -- thank you!
Gotcha, just re-read your original post more closely and saw that the same skewer works okay on one frame but not the other. What BCRider said is really important, but if that's not the problem, your idea of scuffing the outside of the dropouts should help.
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Old 03-27-08, 12:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by celticfrost View Post
My current solution is to use a different rear skewer (made of steel) on the Columbus TSX frame. This seems to work fine so far.
I'd use this skewer on BOTH bikes.

I assume the skewer that doesn't work is one of the external cam "boutique" types. These work ok in vertical dropouts as the wheel can't shift but are unreliable with horizontal dropouts. A steel rod with an internal cam (Campy , Shimano or a similar type) is far more reliable fo any use. The weight penalty is minor.
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Old 03-27-08, 12:47 PM   #7
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I'd use this skewer on BOTH bikes.

I assume the skewer that doesn't work is one of the external cam "boutique" types. These work ok in vertical dropouts as the wheel can't shift but are unreliable with horizontal dropouts. A steel rod with an internal cam (Campy , Shimano or a similar type) is far more reliable fo any use. The weight penalty is minor.
Yes, your assumption is correct.

Here's my solution:
http://sheldonbrown.com/skewers.html
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Old 03-27-08, 10:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
First thing to check is that the ends of your axles are not sticking out past the outer faces of the dropouts on your Columbus frame. If they do then your skewer faces could be hitting the axles before they hit the frame and you're not getting the clamping pressure on the frame where it needs to be.
+1

It may be that you look at the axel of the wheel when it's on the Columbus frame and it appears to have enough space in the dropouts. BUT, when you clamp down on the QR the whole assembly gets squashed enough that the skewer bottoms out on the axle BEFORE it does an effective job of clamping to the dropout.
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