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  1. #1
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    To quick release or not to quick release?

    Exhibit A. 700cc wheel built with quick release skewers

    Exhibit B. 700cc wheel built with a bolt on hub

    Which is better to have on a commuter bicycle? Is there a preference? Is the performance of a bolt-on hub better? Is the only advantage to skewers is the ability to remove the wheel quicker?
    Would you like a dream with that?

  2. #2
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Bolton, harder to steal. Not by much, but might prevent someone just walking by and removing the wheel.
    Ofcourse if locked properly it shouldn't be a problem.
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  3. #3
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    People are less likely to steal a bolt on wheel just for the fun of it but you can always run a chain or u-lock through them anyway. One thing I've found with bolt on wheels on my beater is that its harder to get the wheels aligned in the frame because as you bolt on the wheel the rotational force moves the wheel around and it will come out of alignment. This may have something to do with dodgy dropouts on the cheap bike though. One minor advantage of solid axles however is that they don't compress under load like hollow axles for quick releases do so your bearing adjustments don't have to be compensated for.

    Regards, Anthony

  4. #4
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quick release is handy if you need to take the wheel off to fit the bike in a car, or if you want to reduce the theft appeal of your bike by removing the wheel and taking it with you. I also see some bikes locked with the QR front wheel placed beside the frame so one lock can go through both wheels and the frame. However I use a cable for the front wheel, so I don't do that. I think a bolt is better if you don't plan to remove the wheel very often, but you still need a cable so you can lock both wheels. It's not that hard to remove a bolted on wheel

  5. #5
    Junior Member minastirith's Avatar
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    Is the bolt on hub wheel come with a hex nut (old-school style)? If it does, buy a wheel with quick release skewers and add on a bolt on skewers (released with an allen wrench) that nashbar sells for normal commuting purposes. That way you only have to carry small allen key instead of bulky hex wrench, when you commute if your tire happens to puncture and you need to repair it. Also, not many people will be able to steal your wheels. (unless they happened to carry allen keys with them). Also, as AnthonyG said above, wheels with skewers are a lot easier to align the wheels than bolts.

    Bolt on quick release skewers at nashbar
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=

  6. #6
    Senior Member Thor29's Avatar
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    The main problem with bolt on hubs is that there aren't that many of them. I have bolt on Surly hubs on my fixed gear bike which doubles as my main commuter bike, but I still run a cable through the wheels anyway. Surly makes a nice little wrench called the Jethro Tool that is small enough to throw in your pack so getting the wheels on and off is no big deal. But anyway, like I said, there are very few bolt on hubs available out there so it really limits your choices unless you are riding a fixed gear bike. (There are bolt on skewers that replace the QRs, but the only ones I have seen lately are really cheapo).

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Locking skewers.

    www.pitlock.de/en

  8. #8
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    In high crime areas where people will probably mess with your bike I prefer bolts. I use track nuts with a built-in washer and carry a ring wrench to tighten the bolt properly.
    In lower crime areas I use QRs to save on tools and speed up repairs.
    QRs are better at handling cracked axles, they hold the assembly together until you get home, but with freehubs, axle failure is almost unknown.
    I find that wheel alignment is the same for either method.
    Locking skewers are probably the best solution.
    How tight can you get an axle bolt using an allen key?

  9. #9
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    More locking skewers:

    http://www.pinheadcomponents.com/

    I use these. Two skewers and a seatpost binder bolt are packaged together. They also make a lock for threadless headsets.

  10. #10
    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    I don't understand the "bolts deter theft" idea. A thief is going to carry a dremel, hack saw, auto jack, and cable cutter, but not have a wrench handy?

    Everybody gets flats sooner later. It was messing with a bolt on a tire in the dark of night that convinced me that I wanted a bike with quick release wheels.
    Cars kill 45,000 Americans every year.
    This is like losing a war every year, except without the parades.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS
    I don't understand the "bolts deter theft" idea. A thief is going to carry a dremel, hack saw, auto jack, and cable cutter, but not have a wrench handy?

    Everybody gets flats sooner later. It was messing with a bolt on a tire in the dark of night that convinced me that I wanted a bike with quick release wheels.
    Two types of theives- those who are interested in the wheel, and those who are just messing around with cyclists to be a PITA (pain in the a..).

    That said, I have QR on all my bikes, save one.

  12. #12
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS
    I don't understand the "bolts deter theft" idea. A thief is going to carry a dremel, hack saw, auto jack, and cable cutter, but not have a wrench handy?

    Everybody gets flats sooner later. It was messing with a bolt on a tire in the dark of night that convinced me that I wanted a bike with quick release wheels.
    Thieves want to get in and out quickly. Make it harder for them and they will tend to go for another bike. And security bolts can require wierd special tools to remove them. There are ways to beat or really slow all of the tools you mention. You missed liquid Nitrogen, a favorite at MIT. Chill the steel, tap with a hammer, and it shatters. Bike gone. Also cutting torches. Use a wet towel to protect the bike. I used that one when the wife forgot her combo.
    This space open

  13. #13
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS
    It was messing with a bolt on a tire in the dark of night that convinced me that I wanted a bike with quick release wheels.
    How hard is "messing with a bolt" under any conceivable road side repair scenario? Unless carrying any tools is too great a burden.

    Carrying in addition to a spare tube, a 6" adjustable wrench, a few zip ties and a screw driver will handle 99% of roadside repairs. It really isn't that hard.

  14. #14
    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    How hard is "messing with a bolt" under any conceivable road side repair scenario? Unless carrying any tools is too great a burden.



    Carrying in addition to a spare tube, a 6" adjustable wrench, a few zip ties and a screw driver will handle 99% of roadside repairs. It really isn't that hard.
    Oh, I carry loads of tools. Way more than anyone else as far as I can tell. This was a back nut that had never been broken. But even once the initial nut is broken, I need something like a socket to get the torque to take it off and put it back on securely. If you you've got the ham-fists to do it with a 6" wrench, more power to you. Also, like someone else mentioned, it was harder to get the wheel on straight. Once again, if I can carry a 6" wrench, so can a thief. Or, he can steal it from someone's tool bag. Which brings up another weakness -- leaving a bag of tools out at the bike.

    If you're concerned about real thieves, then you're going to have to get locking skewers, carry a cable or move the front tire to the back with the u-bolt. If you're concerned about mischief makers, you can carry a lightweight ***-lock to lock the front tire to the frame.
    Cars kill 45,000 Americans every year.
    This is like losing a war every year, except without the parades.

  15. #15
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS
    But even once the initial nut is broken, I need something like a socket to get the torque to take it off and put it back on securely. If you you've got the ham-fists to do it with a 6" wrench, more power to you.
    Good Gosh! How much torque do you apply to a wheel bolt? My method is snug it up, and then a little tad more has worked for over 50 years; could put adequate torque on when I was 8 (and I'm a weakling)and never have had a problem with not enough; only too much torque on the easily stripped nuts that fit on Sturmey Archer 3 speed axles.

    I have no issue about which is better theft deterrent, just that making roadside repairs "easier" harldy seems to be a significant reason to change to quick release wheels.

  16. #16
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    Good Gosh! How much torque do you apply to a wheel bolt? My method is snug it up, and then a little tad more has worked for over 50 years; could put adequate torque on when I was 8 (and I'm a weakling)and never have had a problem with not enough; only too much torque on the easily stripped nuts that fit on Sturmey Archer 3 speed axles.

    I have no issue about which is better theft deterrent, just that making roadside repairs "easier" harldy seems to be a significant reason to change to quick release wheels.
    Really have to agree with ILTB here... after all how much locking force does a QR impart? You have a considerably shorter lever arm on a typical QR than 6 inches you have with a wrench.

  17. #17
    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    So the reason for the popularity of QR is just people's unwillingness to carry 6" wrench's?

    The night I got stuck, I finally had to walk over to a nearby Pep Boy's (what luck!) and buy a long arm socket wrench. Then I had to jump up and down on it for about a half hour. The other factor is that my older bike had "vague" drop-outs, making it harder to know if you got the wheel back in right.
    Cars kill 45,000 Americans every year.
    This is like losing a war every year, except without the parades.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgiaboy
    Exhibit A. 700cc wheel built with quick release skewers

    Exhibit B. 700cc wheel built with a bolt on hub

    Which is better to have on a commuter bicycle? Is there a preference? Is the performance of a bolt-on hub better? Is the only advantage to skewers is the ability to remove the wheel quicker?
    Kryptonite makes some quick release locking skewers. The levers are the keys. Just don't lose the levers.

  19. #19
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS
    So the reason for the popularity of QR is just people's unwillingness to carry 6" wrench's?
    I suspect it's the same reason knobby tires and full suspension gizmos are sold on so many new bikes whose users would be better served without. Marketing to be sporty, and has nothing to do with usefullness, and in many cases is counterproductive to actual use.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS
    The night I got stuck, I finally had to walk over to a nearby Pep Boy's (what luck!) and buy a long arm socket wrench. Then I had to jump up and down on it for about a half hour. The other factor is that my older bike had "vague" drop-outs, making it harder to know if you got the wheel back in right.
    How long was that bolt allowed to rust-weld itself to the axle? Was it soaked in salt water for a few months? Did you or anybody else do any maintenance on the bike for the previous couple decades? I cannot figure out how a bolt could be that frozen on a bicycle axle.
    Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 03-13-06 at 07:20 PM.

  20. #20
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    How long was that bolt allowed to rust-weld itself to the axle? Was it soaked in salt water for a few months? Did you or anybody else do any maintenance on the bike for the previous couple decades? I cannot figure out how a bolt could be that frozen on a bicycle axle.

    How about some ape with a long breaker bar being determined to make sure it doesn't come loose. Too often folks with little mechanical experience tend to overtighten things.

    It really doesn't take a whole lot of effort to snug up a bolt well enough to do the trick. And a 6 inch crescent wrench, will do just fine.

  21. #21
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    How about some ape with a long breaker bar being determined to make sure it doesn't come loose. Too often folks with little mechanical experience tend to overtighten things.
    Usually that would strip the threads of the nut as the axle is usually much harder steel.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
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    I hate the fact that two of my bikes have seats with quick releases. Talk about tempting some nimrod to yank my seat.
    .
    .

    Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.

  23. #23
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    I like skewers because I can quickly tighten them without tools. bk

  24. #24
    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    I suspect it's the same reason knobby tires and full suspension gizmos are sold on so many new bikes whose users would be better served without. Marketing to be sporty, and has nothing to do with usefullness, and in many cases is counterproductive to actual use.
    So what's the down-side of QR? Other than the security thing, which isn't an issue if the thief has a 6" wrench? Or if you lock up your wheels.

    How long was that bolt allowed to rust-weld itself to the axle? Was it soaked in salt water for a few months? Did you or anybody else do any maintenance on the bike for the previous couple decades? I cannot figure out how a bolt could be that frozen on a bicycle axle.
    Never soaked in salt water. Should it have been? Amazingly, had gone 7 years or less since purchased without needing back flat fixed -- so tensioning was done at the factory. My assumption was that they had used something like lock-tite.
    Cars kill 45,000 Americans every year.
    This is like losing a war every year, except without the parades.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Thor29's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nachoman
    I hate the fact that two of my bikes have seats with quick releases. Talk about tempting some nimrod to yank my seat.
    Why would you have a quick release seatpost clamp on a commuter? Now THAT really is stupid. Just replace the damned things with a bolt on clamp. The rational behind QR seatpost clamps is so that you can drop the seat on your mountain bike when you descend steep gnarly hills. In reality it is too much trouble to stop and lower your seat and then stop again at the bottom of the hill to try and get the seat back to the proper height and pointed straight ahead. So my mountain bike doesn't have a QR seatpost clamp on it and it is ONLY used for hard core off road riding.

    QR seatpost clamps are for nimrods.

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