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Old 07-15-06, 10:20 PM   #1
teamofemus
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Possible to overtighten a quick release?

Hey all - I just got a new Specialized bike and was wondering - is it possible to overtighten a quick release on a bike? If so, what is the proper way to attach and detach the wheel? It's a little hard for me to understand.

A second question, if I may ask, I also bought a bike pump - a floor pump - and it has one of those little psi dials on it. If I put it onto the tire, it says "0 psi" but that can't be right - it's inflated! When i start pumping, it goes up to 10, then 20, etc. Do I need a tire pressure gauge to accurately tell or am I doing something wrong? I'm using the road bike-style valve - the Presta (i think?)

Thanks for reading.
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Old 07-15-06, 10:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teamofemus
Hey all - I just got a new Specialized bike and was wondering - is it possible to overtighten a quick release on a bike? If so, what is the proper way to attach and detach the wheel? It's a little hard for me to understand.

A second question, if I may ask, I also bought a bike pump - a floor pump - and it has one of those little psi dials on it. If I put it onto the tire, it says "0 psi" but that can't be right - it's inflated! When i start pumping, it goes up to 10, then 20, etc. Do I need a tire pressure gauge to accurately tell or am I doing something wrong? I'm using the road bike-style valve - the Presta (i think?)

Thanks for reading.
If you tighten it by hand, there is little risk of overtightening a qr. Depending on your pump, the gauge might not be accurate until you start pumping. That's how mine is. If you have the nozzle on wrong, it should be pretty easy to tell. If air is going in, then the gauge is probably right.
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Old 07-15-06, 10:42 PM   #3
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?

Quote:
Originally Posted by recursive
If you tighten it by hand, there is little risk of overtightening a qr. Depending on your pump, the gauge might not be accurate until you start pumping. That's how mine is. If you have the nozzle on wrong, it should be pretty easy to tell. If air is going in, then the gauge is probably right.
By "tighten it by hand" you mean tightening the nut-like side (that's supposed to rotate), rotating the actual lever, or opening and closing the lever? Wow, I feel kind of slow here...
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Old 07-15-06, 11:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by teamofemus
By "tighten it by hand" you mean tightening the nut-like side (that's supposed to rotate), rotating the actual lever, or opening and closing the lever? Wow, I feel kind of slow here...
The actual lever. It should be tight enough that it takes considerable force to close.

Don't worry. Someone explained it to me once too.
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Old 07-15-06, 11:23 PM   #5
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If you tighten a QR too hard you risk crushing the bearings, esp if the hub has been improperly assembled. On a QR hub, the bearings should be loose, but many mechs and assembliers tighten, like you should with a non-qr. Still, unless you tighten it to the absolute max, you prolly won't do damage.
A good guide is that when closing the QR, the pressure should become noticable at half-closed.
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Old 07-15-06, 11:28 PM   #6
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You tighten the nut, the lever only tightens by the cam action. The QR should be tight enough to leave a slight impresion on your palm when you press the lever to closed. With the lever open, tighten the nut by hand till it is less than snug, not tight at all. at this point you should not be able to flip the lever much, if at all. back the nut off one full turn and try the lever, keep backing off half a turn or so untill the lever starts to tighten at about the ten oclock position (think of the lever moving from open at six oclock to closed at twelve oclock) and is good and SNUG when fully closed. if you have to pull like hell to open it, it was too tight.

on the air/pump problem, I bet you did not open the presta valve before attaching the pump, you have to unscrew the little knureled end sticking out of the valve.

Happy learnning
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Old 07-15-06, 11:33 PM   #7
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Also note that with those annoying lawyer tabs, its damn near impossible for a wheel to come off unless the wheel leaves the ground. Even then, its still unlikely.
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Old 07-15-06, 11:42 PM   #8
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You probably have presta valve. As other posted you have to unscrew the top before starting to pump. Also what keeps the valve closed is the pressure inside the tire. So if the tire is already pumped, you need need to pump untill pressure outside is higher then pressure inside. At that point valve will be pushed down and air will enter the tire. Sometimes the valve gets "stuck" so before pumping up the tires push on it to release some air.
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Old 07-15-06, 11:49 PM   #9
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Thanks. So let me get this straight:

I got the pump to work after pumping it a few times - the pressure actually was at like 20 psi, so I have pumped it up to about 70 or 80psi.

I should tighten the qr nut until snug, and then go back a half a turn and see if that makes an imprint? If it does, than good otherwise tighten a half turn (back to regular snug) and then push it in?

Also, when you have the nut set right, should you be ajusting it and the lever or just the lever when removing the wheel?

Thanks everybody for your help.
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Old 07-15-06, 11:50 PM   #10
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no sorry a typo - for the qr question

you're tightening till snug but not tight and then going back a half turn until you can only feel the force needed when you are about 80% closed?
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Old 07-16-06, 05:14 AM   #11
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As long as the lever is in the neutral (unclamped position), it doesn't really matter whether you turn the nut or the lever. I remember being screamed at by the operator of a rental shop when I started to tighten a QR he had neglected to tighten before handing me the bike. To save time, I was turning the nut one way, the QR lever the other - and he goes into a **** about not ever turning the lever. Obviously, he has experience with customers who view and use the lever as though it is some permanently affixed mini pliers handle, close the lever when lever and nut are too loose, then, turn the lever to tighten everything from a closed position. If you do this, it is possible to break the lever at the point where the pin that acts as the axle for the lever goes through the actual wheel axle.

It's not really necessary that the QR have a death grip on the frame. It needs to be snug enough to prevent the wheel from slipping in the fork notches when the wheel is off the ground - that's all. As another poster mentioned, if opening the QR is very difficult at all, then, you have over tightened it.

The inside surfaces of both the lever and the nut on my bike have a saw-tooth like finish that makes them hard to turn (and wears the paint off the fork around the notch) when in contact with the frame. This means that, if you get your QR medium tight, there is no way the nut is going to rotate loose (this was, I suppose a problem when using non-QR nut and washer systems in the past).

As for your pump question, UmneyDurak correctly points out that a presta valve (unlike a schraeder valve like those on your car) remains closed when you press the pump head onto it. At that point, the gauge is reading the air pressure inside your pump hose - not your tire. Until you start pumping, that reading is going to remain at (0). As you pump, pressure in the pump hose builds (and builds quickly - 10, 20, 30 lbs or more on a single stroke since the hose accommodates a very small volume of air) until it exceeds the psi present in your tire. At that point, the pump pressure overcomes the tire pressure and forces the presta valve open.

On a schraeder valve, there is a little bit inside the pump head that depresses and opens the valve when you place the head over the valve. I'm sure you've experienced the loss of air that occurs on your car (or a bike with schraeder valves) if you are sloppy about this.

It is a major difference between these two valve systems - and is why I much prefer presta to schraeder.

Good luck.

Caruso
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Old 07-16-06, 06:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teamofemus
Also, when you have the nut set right, should you be ajusting it and the lever or just the lever when removing the wheel?
A note on the front wheel: Most forks have "lawyer tabs" which force you to unscrew the qr before the wheel can come off. Then you must re-screw it to put it back on. Some people file them off in the interest of faster wheel changes, but this should only be done if you are completely confident in your qr skills. Otherwise a loose front wheel could have dire consequences.
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Old 07-16-06, 07:16 AM   #13
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One more thing on the qr levers. When they are closed you may want the lever to be pointing either to the back of the bike or up. On the front I like to have mine pointing up the fork at a light ange toward the back. this way there is enough room to grab the lever to open it. If it is too close to the fork I can not get my finger in between to grab it.

On the back wheel I like to have the lever pointing straight back.

The reason for this is I think it looks cleaner & if it is a mountain bike it will help prevent the lever from snagging on anything. At least I heard it could happen.
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Old 07-16-06, 01:44 PM   #14
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A presta valve is a little poppet valve that lets air into the tire then pops back and won't let it out. The gauge on your tire pump is actually measuring the air pressure in the pump hose, not your tire. When you operate the pump enough that the air pressure in the hose is greater than the air pressure in your tire, the poppet valve opens, the air pressure in the tire and in the pump hose equalizes, so the pressure gauge on the pump reflects the air pressure in the tire.
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Old 07-16-06, 02:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teamofemus
Also, when you have the nut set right, should you be ajusting it and the lever or just the lever when removing the wheel?
I don't know the right answer, but I'll tell you how I handle the situation. I completely remove the nut and skewer before removing the wheel, and only replace them after the wheel is back in place. It just seems to make the whole removal/replacement a bit easier. Now, when you're finished, take a look at the amount of thread protruding from the nut. There must be at least 1 1/2 threads showing, or you won't get the full strength of the nut. If there is a whole lot of threads showing (ambiguous, I know) you might want to loosen the nut and tighten the lever side to make sure there is enough thread engagement on the lever side.

I love questions like this. I've just learned that I've been way overtightening the lever. I'm getting ready to fix this right now.
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Old 07-16-06, 02:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nermal
I don't know the right answer, but I'll tell you how I handle the situation. I completely remove the nut and skewer before removing the wheel, and only replace them after the wheel is back in place. It just seems to make the whole removal/replacement a bit easier. Now, when you're finished, take a look at the amount of thread protruding from the nut. There must be at least 1 1/2 threads showing, or you won't get the full strength of the nut. If there is a whole lot of threads showing (ambiguous, I know) you might want to loosen the nut and tighten the lever side to make sure there is enough thread engagement on the lever side.

I love questions like this. I've just learned that I've been way overtightening the lever. I'm getting ready to fix this right now.
No offense, but if completely removing the skewer makes it easier, you are doing something wrong.
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Old 07-16-06, 03:05 PM   #17
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None taken.
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Old 07-16-06, 03:09 PM   #18
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It is possible to overtighten a QR and in doing so- you may stretch the spindle of the QR. In extreme cases it is possible to break the spindle. The QR Does not have to be very tight- especially if you do not take off the lawyer tabs. They may be called lawyer tabs but they are a safety factor in keeping the wheel on the bike.

The QR should be tightened so that when you close the Lever- it will just take enough effort to leave an imprint on your hand. UNLESS you are using disc brakes and then you should be looking at a different wheel mounting system, but that is a different story.
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Old 07-16-06, 03:45 PM   #19
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For sure. I got stuck once because the threads of the skewer got mashed and it no longer would secure.
My understanding of the quick release. When the lever is at a 90 degree angle, straight up, you should first feel it becoming tight or engaging . That is the right torque.
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Old 07-16-06, 06:04 PM   #20
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After you find the right tightness for your QR, the method I use for quick removal and installation: grab the nut with one hand and spin the lever six complete revolutions with my index finger. This allows for clearance of the lawyer tabs. For installation I do the reverse and then go by feel when closing the lever.


As for the presta valve and pump, it would be a good idea to buy a tire gauge. This way you can check your tire pressure quickly without attaching the pump. A presta adaptor and an automotive tire gauge will work for economy. Not all gauges are calibrated equally.
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Old 07-18-06, 03:39 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recursive
No offense, but if completely removing the skewer makes it easier, you are doing something wrong.
I always remove it from the rear wheel. Makes it a good deal easier to clear the chain when removing and catch the chain when reinstalling. Font wheel never.
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Old 07-18-06, 03:59 PM   #22
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Thanks, webist. I feel better, and for some perverse reason, nearly all my flats are on the rear.
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