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  1. #1
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Is it possible to convert from a nutted axle to QR?

    Let's say I built, or bought, my wife a bike that came with regular nutted axles. Would it be possible to convert it to QR skewers? Is there an axle by itself that could be replaced or would the entire wheel have to be rebuilt or replaced with a hub that had a hollow axle?

    This would mainly be just for the front wheel, not so much for the rear wheel, in order to carry it on the roof of the car.
    2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta | Topeak
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    It depends on the hub. Can you post a picture of the hub, and model of bike ?
    If it's not possible or practical, rather than rebuild the wheel, buying a replacement wheel would be better.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

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    Yes, it's possible to rebuild. Bring a wheel nut to a decent bicycle store, ask for a hollow AKA q/r axle with the same thread. If you haven't overhauled hubs before, get a pair of cone wrenches while you're at it. Read up on the procedure of bearing adjustment, then go at it.
    Clean and lube while you still have the stuff apart.

    If they can't find you a q/r axle with the same thread, then it gets more awkward. You'll need new cones as well. And they'll have to play nice with your dust shields. I'd hand the stuff over at that point, or look for another wheel, maybe do a trade-in if possible. Nutted wheel, being something of a theft deterrent, carry a value too.

  4. #4
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    IF it's a name brand plain hub, not an internal gear, coaster brake, etc., yes just changing the axle is easy. More info on what you have is needed.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    If loose ball hub using generic non-proprietary specs...possible.

    Usually better to replace on an axle set basis - rather than piece by piece.

    Typically easier too...

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

  6. #6
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    I don't have anything right now. Just thinking ahead for whenever we get a bike for my wife and then want to carry both our bikes somewhere. I carry my bike inside the car right now with both wheels off, but no way I can fit two in there. Will be looking at rack options whenever we get her something. Was considering a hitch rack, but now am leaning more towards that rack system that uses vacuum cups to attach to the roof of the car or the glass. My car is a fastback style so a bike will just about span from the windshield to the rear glass without the vac cups having to touch the painted surfaces.
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  7. #7
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    Go for the hitch rack.

    1. Nothing touches your paint or glass.
    2. No worries about forgetting the bikes are on top of the car and driving under something low hanging or into your garage.
    3. The wheels can remain on both bikes.
    4. You don't have to lift either bike so high, which your wife will appreciate.
    5. Less aerodynamic drag, less noise and less effect on gas mileage.
    6. Easier to install and remove
    7. Can be secured against theft with a locking cross pin for the rack and a cable securing the bikes to the rack

    I have had both types, roof and hitch, and the hitch rack wins on all counts.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I don't have anything right now. Just thinking ahead for whenever we get a bike for my wife and then want to carry both our bikes somewhere.
    Shop for a rack that does not require the wheel be removed,
    receiver hitch on the car is a good first step..

    Best security would be a trailer, to lock the doors on it, with the bikes inside.

  9. #9
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    I don't mind removing wheels at all if they're QR. And I'll be the one doing the lifting anyway.

    I've been reading other threads about racks, and it seems that what I feared about hitch racks is true: the whole rack/bikes sway and wobble around, i.e. the fit between the rack's square bar and the receiver's square opening isn't all that tight. I'm sure it's still secure and all, but to me having it all sway and wobble around would make me nervous.

    Plus with the vac cup rack I could move it between each car without having to buy extra stuff, like another hitch receiver for the other car. And if any car is replaced (haha yeah right ), again no need to buy yet another receiver bar for whatever car that may be.
    2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta | Topeak
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  10. #10
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    I own a Toyota Tacoma, with 3 truck bed fork mounts on a rail. I really like it - except for the fact that the bikes look ugly without their front wheels. I'd recommend it - however not everyone owns a truck.

    Best setup I've ever seen is a modified trailer. Think 8-12 foot long bed trailer with the 3-5 foot high side fencing or barriers. Someone took deep u-hooks and in combination with the old fashion bent half-circle bike rack pieces and created four mounts - 2 on each side of the trailer.

    You lift the bike up - slide the front wheel into the bent half-circle bike rack portion welded to the side - and then drop the frame top tube onto a pair of deep u-hooks. Simply running a cable and lock down the sides of the trailer fence secured the bike from theft.

    Met a guy who had one in Carson, Nevada, it was a custom job that he and his dad did for themselves and others on request.

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    well roof rack systems all have a long list of Specific car fit parts , for the roof
    since none have a drain rail around them any more..

    if you want A QR front hub say so when you buy the bike..
    dealers will know how to supply the changes needed,
    since they can see the bike in front of them.

  12. #12
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    "Go for the hitch rack."
    +100 The consequences of forgetting about your bike on the roof and driving under an overhang are dire; there is an insurance company ad currently on TV which shows the bikes, car and garage getting trashed by such forgetfulness. In addition I would not rely on suction cups to hold well enough to trust any of my bikes to them. If the harmless swaying bothers you there are straps at the auto parts store which would attach between the car and rack to stabilize it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Yeah I've seen that commercial, but there's also the risk of getting rear ended with bikes on a hitch (or trunk) rack. And I was rear ended just about 2 years ago doing over $2K damage to my car.

    With the Seasucker rack I could mount the bike with the rear tire down at the bottom of my rear glass, and everything car+bike would be less than 7 feet tall and should be able to clear pretty much anything.
    2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta | Topeak
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  14. #14
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    In the past, I've replaced both front and rear axels from nutted to QR. It's easiest to get new axels with cones and lock nuts, and of course the skewers. You may also have to get new bearings, but it can be done in about an hour or so.
    And another vote for the hitch rack. Nothing touches your car, and it will no come off(if you put it on right), it's easy to lock you bikes to your car, you also don't have to lift them over your head. The one I have sways a little, but it's nothing to worry about.

  15. #15
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    Go for the hitch mount. I see zero benefit over a hatch/vacuum sucker thingy/roof rack over a hitch rack. Sure they sway a but so what, not a big deal at all and most good racks have locking pins/bolts that make that swaying to a minimum. I have 2 hitch racks, a very good Thule one that has 4 bike capabiliity and swings out and all sorts of bells and whistles. Then I have a super cheap single bike mount that attaches to my ball that I use for when I am just transporting one bike from one place to another.

    If you ever get rear ended with your bikes, you will be gettting very nice replacement bikes that will be equal to or better than the original bikes that were totaled by the person who hit you and their insurance will be paying out, a non issue unless you have some priceless classics or something. And the replacements will probably be quiet a bit newer/nicer than the ones that were totalled.

    Hitch rack pros out weight all other rack mounts in so many ways its not funny, no contest.

  16. #16
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Well we got a bit off topic, so now back to the QR's. So if I understand it right, it is possible to convert WITHOUT having to change the hubs and re-lace the wheels? Is that right?
    2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta | Topeak
    90's-ish KHS Alite 1000 MTB, *hybridized*

  17. #17
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    Well we got a bit off topic, so now back to the QR's. So if I understand it right, it is possible to convert WITHOUT having to change the hubs and re-lace the wheels? Is that right?
    See the specs I posted in this thread...determine what your hubs are now:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...5#post14746145

    Have an LBS provide the axle set necessary to replace and maintain your current spacing. This way you won't have to re-dish the wheel. In other words, they'll be able to replace, and re-mount your wheel with minimal derailleur adjustments without any wheel truing/dishing.

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    Well we got a bit off topic, so now back to the QR's. So if I understand it right, it is possible to convert WITHOUT having to change the hubs and re-lace the wheels? Is that right?
    Yes, it is possible but has its caveats and drawbacks. I do it fairly regularly at my bike coop but we have a large amount of spare axles and random parts/cones so I can fix and fudge together a working hollow axle that works with customer's wheel but it takes about a hour or sometimes even more with all the measuring and sifting though the various boxes for proper fitting parts. And then there is no guarantee that it will work fine.

    Easiest solution, get a hitch mount rack and you won't even need to worry about removing the wheels anymore.

  19. #19
    Senior Member IthaDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    Yeah I've seen that commercial, but there's also the risk of getting rear ended with bikes on a hitch (or trunk) rack. And I was rear ended just about 2 years ago doing over $2K damage to my car.

    With the Seasucker rack I could mount the bike with the rear tire down at the bottom of my rear glass, and everything car+bike would be less than 7 feet tall and should be able to clear pretty much anything.

    FWIW if you get rear ended, insurance covers the bikes; If you drive into a low overhang, that's on you.

    Shimano : Click :: Campy :: Snap :: SRAM : Bang

  20. #20
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    so now back to the QR's. So if I understand it right, it is possible to convert WITHOUT having to change the hubs and re-lace the wheels? Is that right?
    but, as I understand this you have no specific hub in mind, more pre worrying..
    I don't have anything right now.
    common axles: front 9 x1mm, offered on hollow QR or solid nutted..

    Same.. common Rear : 10x1mm .. Shimano and many of its competitors
    in the OEM supply market.

    since you are still bike shopping , take it up at point-of-sale.. in the LBS

    they will answer a question about what is in front of them..

    nothing is offered is specifics so IDK.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-18-12 at 03:18 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Not sure yet if I'll be buying new. Might grab something off CL or possibly even build something at the co-op.

    Buying used off CL is what concerns me the most, because I'm not going to NOT buy a bike if all else looks good except no QR skewers. And the front wheel is probably the only one I would worry with changing, if I do change it at all.
    2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta | Topeak
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  22. #22
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    if you want A QR front hub say so when you buy the bike..
    BAM!

    thread/

  23. #23
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Just keep a small 15mm wrench with you like us fixed-gear guys do.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
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    RUSA #7498

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by IthaDan View Post
    FWIW if you get rear ended, insurance covers the bikes; If you drive into a low overhang, that's on you.
    +1 Big difference. Also there are low cost clamps that stabilize a hitch rack and prevent the swaying you are worried about. I have one for my rack and it makes the mounting very solid and stable.

  25. #25
    Hello zebede's Avatar
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    Get a nice folding bike and put it in your trunk !

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