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Lawyer lip QR skewers

Old 09-02-15, 06:25 PM
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Lawyer lip QR skewers

For how long have most bikes had the "lawyer lips" on the fork? 15 or 20 years? That's a fairly mature product development time. I used to have some quick release nuts that had a set screw so you could tighten them right to the sweet spot each and every time with no experimentation. Those (if I can find them) are definitely over 15 years old. Why hasn't somebody produced long throw quick release skewers to go with lawyer lip forks? The roof top rack people have them, why not for bikes too? I'm thinking there must be some technical problem that I'm not seeing.
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Old 09-02-15, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Why hasn't somebody produced long throw quick release skewers to go with lawyer lip forks? The roof top rack people have them, why not for bikes too? I'm thinking there must be some technical problem that I'm not seeing.
Can't answer your first question about how long the tabs have been required but my guess as to why there isn't a quick release to clear the tabs is that it would defeat the purpose of the tabs if they were to accidently open and expose the mfrs. to a lawsuit when someone's wheel falls out. Such is life in the USA these days.
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Old 09-02-15, 07:11 PM
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The requirements of a wheel retention design to augment the primary securing device started back in the very late 1970s or 1980, IIRC. We hated the new regs back then. The methods to meet them were so crude and pain in the arse to deal with.

The recessed dropout clamping face and bottom edge of drop out extensions started in the early/mid 1980s, again IIRC. Still a pain but far more easily handled then those tabbed washers and such. Actually Schwinn had a very effective solution right from the start but lost the battle in the market place.

The Clix QR is exactly what you ask for. A long throw cam with a lock nutted adjusted nut to trap that in place. A spring loaded collar presses against the drop out face insuring those tabs engage the skewer. But, again, it is loosing in the market place.

IIRC the requirement of a wheel retention device was initially stated by the ability to emboss the drop out face, not stay in place if loosened. The drop out tabs allowed a work around from this need and allowed less effective skewers to stay in the market place. Andy.
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Old 09-02-15, 07:26 PM
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It would be interesting to know the number of accidents caused by wheels dropping out due to poor QR clamping. Like... none? Could be wrong - anyone have data?

Reminds me of the regulations making maple butcher blocks illegal in meat processing. Big shift to polyethylene (polypropylene?) Turns out the natural compounds in wood actually killed the bad bacterial actors. Not so for the plastic. We live in a world of fear created by lawyers, in which any possible line of logic causes inapt changes. Craziness....

But seriously, does anyone have any data on how many accidents occured in QR-equipped bikes due to wheels dropping out? Or is this the corporate lawyers justifying their existence at our expense?
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Old 09-02-15, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz
It would be interesting to know the number of accidents caused by wheels dropping out due to poor QR clamping. Like... none? Could be wrong - anyone have data?
There was a woman who crashed at 20+ mph on a descent in my local riding club last year. All the witnesses said her front wheel ejected. It doesn't take much if you hit a bump at speed and go airborne. I'd be willing to bet there's probably a dozen or so incidents (nationally) a year.
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Old 09-02-15, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
For how long have most bikes had the "lawyer lips" on the fork? 15 or 20 years? That's a fairly mature product development time. I used to have some quick release nuts that had a set screw so you could tighten them right to the sweet spot each and every time with no experimentation. Those (if I can find them) are definitely over 15 years old. Why hasn't somebody produced long throw quick release skewers to go with lawyer lip forks? The roof top rack people have them, why not for bikes too? I'm thinking there must be some technical problem that I'm not seeing.
This was required by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC)

They came out in the very late 1970's. I was working at my first bike shop job at the time.

I've filed them off every bike I've owned since then. Stupid idea then, stupid idea now.
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Old 09-02-15, 08:39 PM
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gsa13, thanks for that info. Anecdotal, n=1, but still, it happened and you were able to post within minutes. So I guess there have been crashes. I reject that wheels eject easily if the skewer is properly tightened, but people without mechanical aptitude or feel do ride bikes.

Thank heavens my Paramount's Campy low flange hubs don't have lawyers lips. Alas, my Trek does.

WRT CPSC reflectors, I think many of you have read Sheldon Brown's (RIP, Sheldon) analysis, and also John Allen's and John Forester's analysis. Moral of the story: if you ride at night, use front, rear, and side-visible lights. This is a case where the CPSC's position may well be killing people by lulling them into complacency.
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Old 09-02-15, 08:57 PM
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In 1975, I was returning late from a party on my bike, as I approached the rail road tracks I picked up my front wheel, those wheels were super delicate. Next thing I remember there was a medic standing over me and shining a flashlight in my eyes. I was 15 at the time and my parents were not thrilled to be called to the hospital.

You guessed it, wheel fell out because the quick release was open. How? I have no idea. But in general, I support the tabs because my parents were really scared and there are some things that we, a people, can do to prevent this sort of accident happening to our children. Fill them off. I have done it but don't any more. Just got a bike with thru-axles and those are really impressive.
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Old 09-02-15, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
I used to have some quick release nuts that had a set screw so you could tighten them right to the sweet spot each and every time with no experimentation.
1UPUSA.com Quick Nut (Black)
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Old 09-03-15, 02:55 AM
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Wouldn't a long throw skewer have a reduced clamping force?
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Old 09-03-15, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz
...does anyone have any data on how many accidents occured in QR-equipped bikes due to wheels dropping out?
On rim brake bikes it's very, very rare. I'd say either not closed properly on install, or some sort of external interference. Disc brake bikes are different beasts entirely. There is a force acting to eject the front wheel during braking, and once you get a little movement, the q/r will only be too happy to oblige by unscrewing. I've seen it twice, and experienced it once.
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Old 09-03-15, 04:55 AM
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I file the lips off my road bikes, but understand some people are safer with them.

Originally Posted by dabac
On rim brake bikes it's very, very rare. I'd say either not closed properly on install, or some sort of external interference. Disc brake bikes are different beasts entirely. There is a force acting to eject the front wheel during braking, and once you get a little movement, the q/r will only be too happy to oblige by unscrewing. I've seen it twice, and experienced it once.
Shouldn't manufactureres put disk brakes on the other side to force the axle into the dropout, instead of out of the dropout ?
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Old 09-03-15, 05:27 AM
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Anyone who worked as a mechanic in a bike shop in the 1970's bike boom era is likely to remember bikes coming in for repair with the QR lever open and the skewer tightened as if it were a wing nut. Campagnolo introduced the curved QR lever in the 1970s so that riders could tell at a glance whether it was in the open or closed position, but that was useful only if the rider knew how to use the QR correctly.
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Old 09-03-15, 06:03 AM
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Always liked that set up

[QUOTE= Actually Schwinn had a very effective solution right from the start but lost the battle in the market place. .[/QUOTE]

But the anti Schwinn bias as the result of their unblievably stupid marketing strategies created a general feeling that anything Schwinn was dumb and useless.

Of course I retain dork disks and have a kickstand so I'm probably not entitled to comment.
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Old 09-03-15, 06:27 AM
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I retain an entire Schwinn.

I went back to a nutted front axle. I don't really see why non-racing bikes need QR. Kids bikes still have nutted axles, probably for a reason.

As I understand it, the Schwinn family was intent on driving the company into the ground, using it as a cash cow and riding on brand loyalty rather than investing in improvements. They lacked the technology to mass produce lug frames, and instead decided to outsource them, to a little shop in Taiwan called Giant. Also, they treated Giant so badly that Giant decided to enter the US market with their own brand of bikes, selling them to Schwinn stores.

My Schwinn is one of those made by Giant, and is a respectable bike, if stodgy. But it came with steel wheels, which of course are long gone.

Today, Schwinn is just a brand. I ride past their headquarters on my daily commute, and they gave me some "Schwinn Quality" stickers that I put on my helmet.

But of course the Schwinn business model is how all mass produced bikes are made today. I'd be surprised to find a bike that isn't​ made by Giant.
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Old 09-03-15, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01
Shouldn't manufactureres put disk brakes on the other side to force the axle into the dropout, instead of out of the dropout ?
Yes they should and motorcycle disc calipers are always mounted in front of the fork legs. Putting it behind the fork legs started with MTB's where the thinking was to protect the caliper from impacts and it's never changed.
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Old 09-03-15, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by dabac
On rim brake bikes it's very, very rare. I'd say either not closed properly on install, or some sort of external interference. Disc brake bikes are different beasts entirely. There is a force acting to eject the front wheel during braking, and once you get a little movement, the q/r will only be too happy to oblige by unscrewing. I've seen it twice, and experienced it once.
dabac,

Thanks for this data - I've ridden caliper-braked road bikes exclusively so the disk brake explanation was both interesting and news to me. We now have n=5 (your two friends, you, and cale), and so lawyer lips are looking more like a good idea. Especially given trakhak's point about QR use by the unwashed masses (I'd worked in a bike shop, and I forgot about that).

But if disk brake bikes have lawyer lips, how did they pull out? Or was there a time frame where disk brake bikes had no lawyer lips?
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Old 09-03-15, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by graeme
Wouldn't a long throw skewer have a reduced clamping force?
Not necessarily so. But the effort to close a "long throw" cam would be higher. So small, weak, arthritic hands might not do well. The Clix lever uses an exposed (open) can acting on a plastic pressure plate to reduce the friction. Andy.
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Old 09-03-15, 07:30 AM
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Wheel loss accidents are more common them you think. In 40+ years of wrenching I have heard of, maybe, a dozen that happened to the person speaking to me and many more third hand. If the accidents were so infrequent then lawyers would have never become involved to begin with. I have seen the facial damage that results when one's wheel goes AWOL, not a pretty picture at all. BTW I've heard of about as many racked bikes falling out/off their axle clamps as actual riding incidents. Andy.
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Old 09-03-15, 07:45 AM
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... those that Trek is/was recalling , because (mechanically challenged, un trained) people closed the Lever
into the holes between the webs of brake discs, then called lawyers,
rather than put the lever on the opposite side of the hub..

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-03-15 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 09-03-15, 07:49 AM
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I believe the UCI now mandates that Pro Tour bikes use the exact same forks available to the general public, lawyer lips included. Apparently, the equipment manufacturers have developed long throw qr skewers that open wide enough to clear them and not delay wheel changes. If they require more effort to close it doesn't seem to bother the team mechanics.

With the probable coming of disc brakes to the pros and the accompanying through-axles, there have been several designs that are very fast to remove and install.
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Old 09-03-15, 07:57 AM
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I work in litigation though I'm not an attorney, and the poster who said 'such is life in the USA' has it correctly. Meritless suits are by far the majority now of what I see. They come from people (the public) that feels they 'deserve' money for any stupid thing they do, and the thousands of bottom feeder attorneys that are willing to try their cases. Thus we're protected with stickers and idiot device modifications at every turn.

On a side note one thing I've noticed a lot with used bikes is that many owners dont seem to understand how a QR lever works. Sometimes I'll get a used bike where the person tightened the skewer the way you would tighten a bolt, without using the cam to lock the wheel in. Cant fix lazy/stupid I guess..
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Old 09-03-15, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz
But seriously, does anyone have any data on how many accidents occured in QR-equipped bikes due to wheels dropping out? Or is this the corporate lawyers justifying their existence at our expense?
Ha, as if corporate lawyers are continually working on this issue thru the last few decades. You post as if this is some ongoing present tense issue where a bunch of lawyers at each bike company continually gather to work on this issue for billing purposes.
And what expense is there for you? Its a couple of tiny tabs- how is this significantly hurting you financially or emotionally?
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Old 09-03-15, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by andr0id
This was required by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC)

They came out in the very late 1970's. I was working at my first bike shop job at the time.

I've filed them off every bike I've owned since then. Stupid idea then, stupid idea now.
No, lawyer lips are not a requirement of the CPSC. Here's the CPSC requirement for front hubs

All bicycles (other than sidewalk bicycles) must meet the following requirements:





(1) Each wheel must have a positive locking device that fastens it to the frame. Use the manufacturer’s recommended torque to tighten threaded locking devices. The locking devices on front wheels (except for quick-release devices) must not loosen or come off when a tester tries to take them off using a torque of 12.5 ft-lb applied in the direction of removal. Once fastened to the frame, the axle of the rear wheel must not move when it receives a force of 400 lbf for 30 seconds applied in the direction that removes the wheel.



(2) Quick-release devices with a lever must be adjustable to allow the lever to be set for tightness. Riders must be able to clearly see the levers and determine whether the levers are locked or unlocked. When it is locked, the clamping action of the quick release device must bite into the metal of frame or fork.



(3) Front wheel hubs that do not use a quick release device must have a positive retention feature that keeps the wheel on when the locking devices are loosened. To test this, release or unscrew the locking device, and apply a force of 25 lbf to the

hub in the same direction as the slots in the fork. See §1512.18(j)(3) for this test.
Retention devices are required for hubs without a quick release. I read something long ago (but no longer have the reference) that the CPSC doesn't want lawyer lips. The "wheel retention devices" are placed there by the bicycle companies as a CYA.
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Old 09-03-15, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
No, lawyer lips are not a requirement of the CPSC. Here's the CPSC requirement for front hubs



Retention devices are required for hubs without a quick release. I read something long ago (but no longer have the reference) that the CPSC doesn't want lawyer lips. The "wheel retention devices" are placed there by the bicycle companies as a CYA.
Interesting... All that crap kinda appeared at the same time.

Item 2 would seem to indicate that the way I've been riding my bike for the last 35 years is safe for those of us that know how to operate a QR correctly. I do now remember that skewer levers got the "open" and "closed" lettering around the same time.

(2) Quick-release devices with a lever must be adjustable to allow the lever to be set for tightness. Riders must be able to clearly see the levers and determine whether the levers are locked or unlocked. When it is locked, the clamping action of the quick release device must bite into the metal of frame or fork.


My opinion is that it is better to get the QR set correctly once and not fuss with it every time you take the wheel on and off the bike. Since I have always used roof racks, this can be several times a week depending on ride start locations.

The QR should as noted above, bite the metal and should start to be hard to push as it reaches about a 45 degree angle closing. There should be a slight impression on your palm if you have it set right and push hard enough.
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