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  1. #1
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Slipping axle & horizontal dropouts

    Slipping axle & horizontal dropouts

    I have a recurring problem with a slipping axle on my 1978 Trek 400. The wheelset and axle are new 130mm Dura Ace. I’ve used both Shimano Ultegra and Velo Orange quick release bolts. Both slip. The rear drop-out was professionally cold set to 130mm, using the correct Park tool to set the rear triangle.

    The axle slips forward as I accelerate from a stop. Since I’m clipped-in, I fall each time. Not only is falling an issue, I’m concerned I’ll fall among vehicles that are within striking distance.

    Any suggestions? I’m ready to buy a frame with vertical drop-outs.
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 02-18-11 at 09:12 AM.

  2. #2
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    Are the Ultegra and V/O quick releases internal or external cam?

    You want internal cam. External will be an issue.

    Edit: I see the V/O at least are internal, so this may not be the issue.

    Next I'm guessing the lock nuts on the new DA hubs are smooth - which are fine for and made to work with vertical drops. If so, you may want to try swapping out the locknuts.
    Last edited by Ex Pres; 02-18-11 at 07:51 AM.
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  3. #3
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex Pres View Post
    Are the Ultegra and V/O quick releases internal or external cam?

    You want internal cam. External will be an issue.
    Both are internal.

  4. #4
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex Pres View Post

    Next I'm guessing the lock nuts on the new DA hubs are smooth - which are fine for and made to work with vertical drops. If so, you may want to try swapping out the locknuts.
    Hi & thank you for talking me through this.

    I removed the wheel, the locknuts have four or five dozen radial grooves.

    Can I just add a star washer from the hardware store?

    Michael

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Are the QR aluminum? I hear they don't get as good a bite as steel, but I've never used.

    Is axle to long, sticking beyond the dropouts?

  6. #6
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
    Is axle to long, sticking beyond the dropouts?
    Excellent question, but I doubt the OP has overlooked this. Ex Pres' suggestion about a locknut that will give more bite is a good one.
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  7. #7
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
    Is axle to long, sticking beyond the dropouts?
    I double checked this and the axle is not wider than the drop-outs. The quick-release is also grooved on both sides. I'm using plenty of tension when setting the quick release.

  8. #8
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Sounds like the lock nuts and/or QR bases aren't giving enough bite on the dropout to me too. Had a similar issue on my Serotta with a fairly recent made Campy Daytona hub. Had to really tighten down the QR, but haven't had any issues since. Seems like you're having a more serious version of the same basic problem but simply tightening down the QR isn't solving it. Maybe scuff the lock nuts mating surfaces with some rough sand paper? Or try to find some lock nuts with better bite.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Captain Blight's Avatar
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    Try tightening the QR down a little more. I'm as big boy and i like to ride hard, and I always worry I'm going to break something when I tighten down my rear QR. I never have, which is good; anything less and the rear wheel moves on me.

    Skewers are a lot cheaper than a busted collarbone.
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  10. #10
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Blight View Post
    Try tightening the QR down a little more. I'm as big boy and i like to ride hard, and I always worry I'm going to break something when I tighten down my rear QR. I never have, which is good; anything less and the rear wheel moves on me.

    Skewers are a lot cheaper than a busted collarbone.
    I'll do that. The V/O skewer actually broke at the cam end. It broke after 15 miles of riding, while pulling away from a stop light. Down I went. I had to walk home after that. I have a spare skewer and will bring it with.

    Has anyone just added star washers? Anything wrong with that?

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  11. #11
    Senior Member GrayJay's Avatar
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    I feel your pain, fell and broke a rib last year due to this same problem. I use older skewers with teeth, (not just grooves) to bite into the dropout material. Definitly make sure the dropout roughed up a bit and note that the texture of the outer axel locknut is responsible for providing 1/2 of the grip so make sure they also have an aggressive pattern too. I always need to tighten my skewer a bit more than I am comfortable with, on the ragged edge of stripping the threads on the right side locknut or breaking the skewer in order to get enough grip to keep the axel from slipping.

  12. #12
    Senior Member triplebutted's Avatar
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    This is really interesting and would love to know what the resolution is.
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  13. #13
    Get off my lawn! Velognome's Avatar
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    I've had the same problem with 2 of my bikes. Both had alum/aloy Qr's. I replaced them with steel Qr's from my parts box and have yet to have a problem. It's been 3 year on one bike and 1 1/2 on the other. Seems the light weight Qr. just don't have the bite I guess.

  14. #14
    Curmudgeon in Training 20grit's Avatar
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    I have the same problem with some Deore QR's on my Stumpjumper. I've not ridden it much recently but I'll be looking into some solutions as well.

  15. #15
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    When OP says "professionally cold set", one assumes that the dropouts were also adjusted using the Campy or Park dropout adjustment tool. If the dropouts are not square, it may be hard to get enough tension on the skewer to keep the axle in place.

  16. #16
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetinUz View Post
    When OP says "professionally cold set", one assumes that the dropouts were also adjusted using the Campy or Park dropout adjustment tool. If the dropouts are not square, it may be hard to get enough tension on the skewer to keep the axle in place.
    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    The rear drop-out was professionally cold set to 130mm, using the correct Park tool to set the rear triangle.
    The rear triangle is square.

  17. #17
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    The rear triangle is square.
    That's one side of the story.
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    The rear triangle is square.
    The rear triangle may be square, but dropouts also need to be square. I have seen shops cold set the frame, but not properly align the dropouts or the derailleur hanger. Each of these is a separate step, using different tools. Park makes tools for each of these three steps.

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    There is no way it should be slipping. If it is, you are not generating enough friction.

    1. Are the dropout faces and all the lock nuts clean and dry (free from any/all lubricants)? If not, you may not be able to get enough friction to hold the axle in place. Often parts have preservatives/rust preventatives on them. Degrease them and then give it another try.

    2. Is there loose paint on the drop outs interfering with a good bite?


    If the QR spindles are aluminum, replace them with good quality (hardened) steel.

  20. #20
    Senior Member DMNHCAGrandPrix's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Has anyone just added star washers? Anything wrong with that?[/QUOTE]

    I had the slipping axle problem on a 1988 Campy Chorus rear hub. It didn't matter how hard I tightened the quick release, I would get slow slippage if I stood on pedals or climbed steep hills. When I looked in greater detail, it turned out I was missing a good serrated friction surface on just one of the four contact points between quick release skewer, frame dropout and hub locknuts. (The previous owner had installed the drive side campy locknut in reverse, which made it easier to get to with a cone wrench. However reversing the locknut meant the serrated surface was facing in instead of out. The slipping problem went away as soon as I flipped the locknut and restored a good bite to the inner side of the rear frame dropout). It sounds like the serrations on your Dura Ace locknuts are already facing out towards the dropouts. However, adding a thin star washer may still increase the friction enough to solve the problem, and seems like a simple, cheap, worthwhile thing to try.

  21. #21
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMNHCAGrandPrix View Post
    I had the slipping axle problem on a 1988 Campy Chorus rear hub. It didn't matter how hard I tightened the quick release, I would get slow slippage if I stood on pedals or climbed steep hills. When I looked in greater detail, it turned out I was missing a good serrated friction surface on just one of the four contact points between quick release skewer, frame dropout and hub locknuts. (The previous owner had installed the drive side campy locknut in reverse, which made it easier to get to with a cone wrench. However reversing the locknut meant the serrated surface was facing in instead of out. The slipping problem went away as soon as I flipped the locknut and restored a good bite to the inner side of the rear frame dropout). It sounds like the serrations on your Dura Ace locknuts are already facing out towards the dropouts. However, adding a thin star washer may still increase the friction enough to solve the problem, and seems like a simple, cheap, worthwhile thing to try.
    I'm going to add a small star washer this week. I'll try one between the drive side skewer nut and the drop-out first. The drive side gets all the torque and placing the washer on the outside of the drop-out will not change the position of the axle in any way.

    While the Velo Orange skewer is steel, the modern Dura Ace hub is all alloy and was never engineered for horizontal drop-outs. I do think it's the limitation of alloy parts not biting into the drop-outs that is causing the problem as several posters suggested.

    Michael

  22. #22
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    I do think it's the limitation of alloy parts not biting into the drop-outs that is causing the problem as several posters suggested.
    I haven't read all this thread carefully so I apologize if this has been covered. But why do you have alloy in contact with the dropouts? There could be alloy spacers on the axle, but are not the outer screwed=on locking rings steel?
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
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  23. #23
    Devil's Advocate andychrist's Avatar
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    I had a similar problem with an old Fuji that I used to pull a cargo trailer. The rear wheel kept slipping (no adjustment screws on that el cheapo model) so I over tightened the skewer until it snapped. Replaced with some nice FSA jobbies that held up well but the wheel still slipped. Now, here's the real important point: while the axle would slide forward on the drive side, it would also slip to the rear on the non-drive side. Of course, this would cause the whole wheel to twist enough so that the tire would rub against the left side stays and stop me cold. Not fun when navigating a dangerous highway intersection, it goes without saying.

    The solution came to me finally when I realized that the same claw adapter sold for the rear derailleur could be reversed to mount inside the left rear dropout, preventing the axle from being able to slide backwards on that side. One buck from bikepartsusa.com and now the wheel stays straight even under the heaviest loads.

    Hope this helps...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    I'm going to add a small star washer this week. I'll try one between the drive side skewer nut and the drop-out first. The drive side gets all the torque and placing the washer on the outside of the drop-out will not change the position of the axle in any way.

    While the Velo Orange skewer is steel, the modern Dura Ace hub is all alloy and was never engineered for horizontal drop-outs. I do think it's the limitation of alloy parts not biting into the drop-outs that is causing the problem as several posters suggested.

    Michael
    Michael,

    Your argument rings hollow with me because it argues assumptions and conventional wisdom. Consider this, the fact is your axle is slipping and they were not intended to do so, furthermore, most do not slip. There is something wrong with your set up. Look further into that hypothesis. Find out what is wrong with your set up.

    The proper solution will be dependant upon the cause. Adding a star washer is and should be entirely unnecessary. Something esle is wrong. Find out what it is.

  25. #25
    @$#!?&!!$ junkfoodjunkie's Avatar
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    I like to use locking skewers on the rear wheel for this reason. It does not take but a few seconds more to get the wheel on and off.

    Jake

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