Originally posted by mgagnonlv
What's the difference between a $9 and a $43 skewer? I know the Salsa is stainless steel, but is there any other difference?
Oh wait, I found the Dimension skewer at Airbomb for $6.45:
Note on Airbomb's prices: This appears to be a Canadian company and I'll be darned if I can figure out if the prices quoted are CDN or USD. Salsa's skewers are usually about $55-60pr USD and Dimension skewers range from $9 - $12/ea. So, it's all relative since the pricing difference remains 3x higher for the Salsa....
Well, first off you get 2 Salsa Skewers for $43 so to be more accurate what we're comparing is a $22 Salsa Flip-off and a $6.95 Dimension skewer. The biggest differences are, in order of importance: durability, serviceability, function and finish. Are the differences worth 3x the cost? It all depends on your expectations, budget and definition of value. Well, and what you're putting the skewer on. Phil Wood hubs are certainly not entry-grade componentry so, having spent $500 - $600 (??) on a set of wheels for a custom tandem, it does beg the question with regard to where you draw the line on value.
Basic differences are:
Salsa uses an erognomic, machined alloy lever, alloy/teflon cam and alloy nut - DMN uses chromed cast steel parts in all of these areas.
Salsa uses a stainless steel shaft and cam pin - DMN uses a black steel shaft
Salsa's ergonomically designed cam lever provides significantly more leverage than the DMN, making it easier to fasten with less effort.
Both Skewers will do the basic job at hand just as well as the other, i.e., hold the rear wheel. However, it has been my experience that the Salsa product (which for all we know, may be made in the same Asian factory) will give you a long-life of maintenance free serviceability ('98 model w/16k miles still looks and works great ), whereas the Dimension needs to be cleaned, polished and lubricated on a regular basis to prevent rust on the shaft and the chomed steel lever-end and nut. In fact, if you find youself riding in the rain or blasting through creeks off-road I'd recommend pulling the skewers out, spraying them down with WD-40 and then letting them air dry before re-greasing the shafts and reinstalling in the hubs. In other words, over time the nearly maintenance-free Salsa skewer could actually end up being the better value if it outlasts 3 of Dimension skewers. YRMV.
I keep a couple different size Dimension skewers in my tool kit for use with a CycleOps Fluid stationary resistance trainer. The CycleOps holds the rear wheel of bikes by pressing steel cups into the ends of the skewers. This would seriously mar the finish of most "chi-chi" skewers and Salsa's Flip-off are certainly "chi-chi", yet another reason to want them on a $6-7k tandem.
Hope this helps you understand my perspective.