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Old 01-01-14, 02:43 PM   #1
Planemaker
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Skewer - How Tight

I just had to pull the front wheel for the first time on carbon bike and was wondering how tight does the skewer have to be or can it be over tightened and damage the carbon frame?
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Old 01-01-14, 02:48 PM   #2
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The dropouts are typically not carbon, usually aluminum.

The best advice I have seen and what I follow, is with the QR lever parallel to the ground, the nut should be tight. Then tighten the lever.

Note that if it's a mt. bike with disc brakes, the front skewer needs to be extra tight and checked periodically. If it comes loose, the braking action can pop the F wheel out of the dropouts.
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Old 01-01-14, 03:23 PM   #3
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Should leave a small impression on hand for a few seconds is what I have always gone by
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Old 01-01-14, 03:32 PM   #4
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My rule-of-thumb is that the lever should leave a slight mark in your palm when you close it. If the wheel creaks slightly when you pedal hard, open, then tighten the nut another 1/16 of a turn before re-closing the lever.

It *should* go without saying, but I've seen some experienced cyclists who did it wrong: to tighten a Q/R, you flip the lever open, then tighten the nut until there's no play in the skewer. Then, flip the lever closed, making sure it is oriented so that catching it on a stick cannot open it accidentally. More than once I've seen people use the lever as a wrench -- with open lever, spin the lever until the nut is tight. NO, NO, NO!!!
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Old 01-01-14, 05:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
My rule-of-thumb is that the lever should leave a slight mark in your palm when you close it. If the wheel creaks slightly when you pedal hard, open, then tighten the nut another 1/16 of a turn before re-closing the lever.

It *should* go without saying, but I've seen some experienced cyclists who did it wrong: to tighten a Q/R, you flip the lever open, then tighten the nut until there's no play in the skewer. Then, flip the lever closed, making sure it is oriented so that catching it on a stick cannot open it accidentally. More than once I've seen people use the lever as a wrench -- with open lever, spin the lever until the nut is tight. NO, NO, NO!!!
The DT Wheels on my Giant Propel Advanced SL3 have the RWS Q/R skewer system and I think it's great. Screw it down until tight and then reposition lever if need be.
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Old 01-01-14, 08:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
More than once I've seen people use the lever as a wrench -- with open lever, spin the lever until the nut is tight. NO, NO, NO!!!
Why does it matter which side you spin as long as the wheel is seated and everything is tight when the lever it closed?
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Old 01-01-14, 08:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
My rule-of-thumb is that the lever should leave a slight mark in your palm when you close it. If the wheel creaks slightly when you pedal hard, open, then tighten the nut another 1/16 of a turn before re-closing the lever.

It *should* go without saying, but I've seen some experienced cyclists who did it wrong: to tighten a Q/R, you flip the lever open, then tighten the nut until there's no play in the skewer. Then, flip the lever closed, making sure it is oriented so that catching it on a stick cannot open it accidentally. More than once I've seen people use the lever as a wrench -- with open lever, spin the lever until the nut is tight. NO, NO, NO!!!
I've seen a number of people with new bike shop quality bikes using this method. I don't know if the shops aren't explaining things as they should, people are not paying attention, or what.
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Old 01-02-14, 12:28 AM   #8
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the Lawyer's lips added to fork tips, helped front forks, significantly.

Quote:
Why does it matter which side you spin as long as the wheel is seated and everything is tight when the lever it closed?
Disc brakes ? opposite side from the disc, so there is sufficient knuckle space, to close the QR lever.. ..

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-02-14 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 01-02-14, 08:27 AM   #9
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Keep in mind that when you tighten the skewer, you compress the axle and decrease bearing clearance.
What ever method you use, make sure the bearings aren't too tight/loose.
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Old 01-02-14, 10:49 AM   #10
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Old 01-02-14, 11:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
The dropouts are typically not carbon, usually aluminum...
Slightly off topic, I recently learned that a carbon fiber seatpost bolt should be tightened with a special torque wrench to avoid cracking the seat post. Fortunately I never overtightened that bolt. As a my mechanic said, "You won't be riding for quite a while if the seatpost cracks."
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Old 01-02-14, 12:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodway View Post
Why does it matter which side you spin as long as the wheel is seated and everything is tight when the lever it closed?
The problem is that many people close the lever first and just use it as a handle to tighten the skewer. They don't get the full tightening that comes from closing the lever after tightening the nut.

Most higher level mountain bikes now come with thru axle wheel attachments that avoid the whole quick release process and provide a more solid and secure attachment.
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Old 01-02-14, 12:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Slightly off topic, I recently learned that a carbon fiber seatpost bolt should be tightened with a special torque wrench to avoid cracking the seat post. Fortunately I never overtightened that bolt. As a my mechanic said, "You won't be riding for quite a while if the seatpost cracks."
Every bolt on my Propel has the torque specs. printed next to the bolt.
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Old 01-02-14, 12:22 PM   #14
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The standard method is the hold the lever straight out, in line with the axle, then tighten the nut on the opposite end until it is "snug" - not tight, just removing all the slack in the QR. Then clamp down the lever.

With "lawyer lips," you have to adjust that nut EVERY time you install a front wheel! I've always filed off those stupid lips, but the winter fork I'm using with the front disc brake is the first fork I've ever owned where the lips have remained!

Also, really good CF forks (ENVE, for example) have CF dropouts. No problem clamping down on them. I've clamped down harder on the roof rack QR.

Luis
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Old 01-02-14, 05:38 PM   #15
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With "lawyer lips," you have to adjust that nut EVERY time you install a front wheel! I've always filed off those stupid lips, but the winter fork I'm using with the front disc brake is the first fork I've ever owned where the lips have remained!

Also, really good CF forks (ENVE, for example) have CF dropouts. No problem clamping down on them. I've clamped down harder on the roof rack QR.


I have been thinking of filing off the LL's for a while, a real pain to mess with and in 40 years of biking I have yet to lose a front wheel.

Mike

Luis[/QUOTE]
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Old 01-02-14, 07:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bykemike View Post
With "lawyer lips," you have to adjust that nut EVERY time you install a front wheel! I've always filed off those stupid lips, but the winter fork I'm using with the front disc brake is the first fork I've ever owned where the lips have remained!

Also, really good CF forks (ENVE, for example) have CF dropouts. No problem clamping down on them. I've clamped down harder on the roof rack QR.


I have been thinking of filing off the LL's for a while, a real pain to mess with and in 40 years of biking I have yet to lose a front wheel.

Mike

Luis
[/QUOTE]

Maybe LL are all my fault. While riding a wheelie on my Stingray clone, the front wheel fell off, eventually resulting in a faceplant. We certainly didn't sue anybody, as my parents considered it my own stupid fault. But perhaps word got out....
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Old 01-03-14, 03:42 AM   #17
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Finally bought a new bike a couple months ago after 23 years and now experience the LL phenomenon. Don't like all that fiddling with the QR. Because I have to move it so much I do hold the nut and spin the lever, but I find I typically have to back off the nut a bit to get the lever to close fully, and in the desired orientation.

I also seem to prefer the horizontal / front entry rear dropout compared to my new vertical dropout, maybe it's just a case of getting used to it but I look pretty clumsy getting the rear wheel in.

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Old 01-03-14, 07:11 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
I've seen a number of people with new bike shop quality bikes using this method. I don't know if the shops aren't explaining things as they should, people are not paying attention, or what.
Sorry I didn't make myself clear. The cam action of the lever should be what's used to make the final tightening. Some people just use the lever as a short wrench, without flipping the lever, enabling them to tighten the skewer to a whopping 15 or 20 inch-pounds.
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