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Stupid question: how do you put on a qr front wheel?

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Stupid question: how do you put on a qr front wheel?

Old 12-18-15, 03:41 PM
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Stupid question: how do you put on a qr front wheel?

I am not ashamed to say that I can't figure out a good way to get a qr wheel on. That is to say, I need one hand to hold the qr nut, I need another hand to spin the qr lever and repeatedly check if it's tight enough, and I need another hand to hold the bike up. (if the bike is leaned on something, it seems like usually the axle is a little diagonal in the dropouts, so the "right" qr tension is not right when the axle straightens out)

After the right tightness is reached I like to squeeze the brake to center the wheel with one hand, and close the lever with the other, done (look ma, only two hands!). But during that first part, I usually end up trying to hold the bike still by "holding" the handlebars with my forehead, and it seems half the time the bike ends up falling over. If the bike is in a stand, then gravity is not helping and I need an extra hand to hold the wheel up in the dropouts.

I have also tried left hand on the bars, hold the nut by pressing with my left calf, and spin the lever with my right hand, but calf-friction isn't always sufficient.

Maybe I just need to file off all my lawer lips so I never need to adjust QR anymore? (as sheldon notes, lawyer lips defeat the purpose of "quick"-release skewers!)

Meanwhile, anybody else got any bright ideas?
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Old 12-18-15, 03:50 PM
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The whole point of the quick release is that, after the initial installation and adjustment, you just open and close the lever. Beyond minor tweaks, you shouldn't be spinning anything. That said, hold the front wheel between your legs to keep the bike upright, use one hand to hold the drive side nut and the other to operate the quick release lever.
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Old 12-18-15, 03:59 PM
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Obviously, with lawyer lips, you can't just open and close the lever. I find that if the bike/ wheel is lined up straight, I can hold it steady with a hand on either side of the QR. You should not need to readjust the brakes. The wheel should center itself in the dropouts. I think you may be trying to put the wheel in without lining it up with the bike.
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Old 12-18-15, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
Obviously, with lawyer lips, you can't just open and close the lever. I find that if the bike/ wheel is lined up straight, I can hold it steady with a hand on either side of the QR. You should not need to readjust the brakes. The wheel should center itself in the dropouts. I think you may be trying to put the wheel in without lining it up with the bike.

I'm old school so I file those suckers off. But if you don't want to, then get the QR adjusted and memorize how many turns it takes to get it past the lips and just do:

Open brakes
Open QR
3-1/2 turns to take it off
Put wheel back in
3-1/2 turns to get it back
Tighten QR
Close brakes.

If the brakes are adjusted properly and tight in the fork, there should be no need to squeeze them to center the wheel.
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Old 12-18-15, 04:08 PM
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Yeah, I have one bike with the lips filed off. It is so easy to deal with, I really should file the others!
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Old 12-18-15, 04:08 PM
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You're right, I should at least memorize the turns. Rather than 3 1/2 (which might be the absolute minimum to get past the lawyer lips), a whole number; just always loosen that many on the way out, and tighten exactly that many on the way back in.

Shelbyfv, "I can hold it steady with a hand on either side of the QR" you must have some amazing hands that can simultaneously be strong enough to hold the bike up, and operate fine motor skills. Or you have better balance than me, so your bike isn't falling over at all...

Cross Creek: "hold the front wheel between your legs to keep the bike upright, use one hand to hold the drive side nut and the other to operate the quick release lever." that's something I'd have to think about. Squatting I guess to hold the wheel (and bike) with my knees (even though the bike&wheel are not yet firmly connected), and reaching past/around my knees to operate the qr? I'm a fat clyde that gets out of breath from bending over to tie my shoes (which is why I almost never do -- next post "how do you tie your shoes?"), so that might be tough...

Last edited by RubeRad; 12-18-15 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 12-18-15, 04:13 PM
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If you have no shame, you could turn the bike upside down and just drop the wheel in. Some folks do this when changing a flat, but it will get lots of chuckles!
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Old 12-18-15, 04:17 PM
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One point, always do the QR on the same side of the bike. With disc brakes, probably the opposite side of the bike from the discs on front. Plus it is easy to get the disc on the right side.

With rim brakes, I've just gotten in the habit of always putting the QR on the left side. Also, note that my magnets are also on the correct side of the wheel.

Now you've fixed which side the wheel to mount. Just balance the bike squarely on the axle for the final tightening, so that the wheel won't move once you're putting weight on the bike.

Incidentally, after destroying an antique QR lever with my trailer, I've started to always put the QR levers on the right side on the rear.
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Old 12-18-15, 04:21 PM
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Leaving the 'Lawyer Lips' on saves Face, namely Avoid damaging Yours .. Team support is Not doing Mid Race wheel changes for you,

and so You are the kind of people they added those to the fork tips, to protect ..

someone who does not get their QR skewer on Tight enough.
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Old 12-18-15, 04:23 PM
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OK, I decided I will file off the lips on my commuter. I guess protect the bare metal with nail polish, my wife has some clear I can use. Once i realize firsthand how awesomely convenient that is, I'm sure I'll end up filing the other bikes.
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Old 12-18-15, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
If you have no shame, you could turn the bike upside down and just drop the wheel in. Some folks do this when changing a flat, but it will get lots of chuckles!
Did you miss the first few words of my post? I always turn upside down for flat repair!

(Even for the new mtb with hydro discs, though the paperwork said don't turn the bike upside down -- does it really matter (for a few minutes))

But I generally find turning upside down an admission of defeat if all I need to do is get a stupid wheel on...
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Old 12-18-15, 04:27 PM
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I have a Hex head Bolt skewer on My QR bike, a little handicapping to keep the front wheel On the bike

and not released into somone's unauthorized posession..
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Old 12-18-15, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Leaving the 'Lawyer Lips' on saves Face, namely Avoid damaging Yours .. Team support is Not doing Mid Race wheel changes for you,

and so You are the kind of people they added those to the fork tips, to protect ..

someone who does not get their QR skewer on Tight enough.
I tighten my skewers plenty tight, I assure you (my wife, not so much, I don't think I'll file her bike until she passes a series of unnanounced spot safety checks for skewer tightness)
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Old 12-18-15, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
One point, always do the QR on the same side of the bike.
I do pretty much like you, skewers on the left for rim-brake bikes. In the back, to keep away from the RD. In the front, to match the back. For disc though, I put the front skewer on the right to keep hands away from potentially hot/sharp rotors. Still put it on the left in the back though, old habits die hard. Somebody should "invent" a rear qr with a giant meaty lever that doubles as a RD bash-guard (and automatic rock-operated wheel-releaser, maybe not such a good idea after all...)
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Old 12-18-15, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Cross Creek
The whole point of the quick release is that, after the initial installation and adjustment, you just open and close the lever. Beyond minor tweaks, you shouldn't be spinning anything. That said, hold the front wheel between your legs to keep the bike upright, use one hand to hold the drive side nut and the other to operate the quick release lever.
Yes, that used to be the whole point of quick release. Then some dumby got the idea that quick release hubs needed a secondary retention device because other idiots didn't know how a quick release worked and left them open which resulted in crashes.

Modern quick releases are indeed a pain in places where you should feel no pain just as RubeRad describes. I use 1UPUSA Quick Nuts on all of my bikes. You still have to do the dance of trying to hold up the bike and screw in the nut but there is a stop on the nut so that you don't have to guess how far in the nut goes. I'd prefer that I could just flick the lever and have the wheel drop out but this is the best alternative I've found.

I'm not completely against retention forks, by the way. There were a number of clever designs in days gone by like the Schwinn Clip as seen on Sheldon Brown's site and some others that attached to the fork tip. And they are an absolute necessity when using disc brakes unless you have through axles which are a different kind of hell. But, mostly, they are just a pain to use.
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Old 12-18-15, 04:49 PM
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Thx for the links, I like the idea of that QuickNut. And thx for the reminder about disc brakes, I had seen that before and forgot. My mtb has a thru-axle, so different animal, but my wife's mtb has a standard QR; no filing for her!
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Old 12-18-15, 05:17 PM
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This come up regularly on BF and I always suggest dropping by your LBS and asking them to show you how.

If a picture is worth a thousand words a personal demonstration is even better, and a front wheel is something you really want to install correctly (especially on your wife's bike! )...
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Old 12-18-15, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad
Thx for the links, I like the idea of that QuickNut. And thx for the reminder about disc brakes, I had seen that before and forgot. My mtb has a thru-axle, so different animal, but my wife's mtb has a standard QR; no filing for her!
It's unfortunate that the Schwinn clip never caught on. It would do every thing that a lawyer lip would do for discs...or any wheel, really... but do it a bit more elegantly.
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Old 12-18-15, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
It's unfortunate that the Schwinn clip never caught on. It would do every thing that a lawyer lip would do for discs...or any wheel, really... but do it a bit more elegantly.
I love my old Schwinn with the Schwinn clips. Makes putting the wheel in extremely easy (you can't put it in crooked.)

As for the OP, I generally straddle the bike when putting on the front wheel. I either use my thighs to hold the bike up or my arms as they reach down for the wheel.
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Old 12-18-15, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by rmfnla
This come up regularly on BF and I always suggest dropping by your LBS and asking them to show you how.
I know how to do it, I just don't know how to do it ​easily
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Old 12-18-15, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by corrado33
As for the OP, I generally straddle the bike when putting on the front wheel. I either use my thighs to hold the bike up or my arms as they reach down for the wheel.
What kind of gorilla arms do you have that you can reach the front axle from over the handlebars? Or do you somehow bend around/under the handlebars (and can still reach the qr nut or skewer on the far side of the bike?)
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Old 12-18-15, 07:07 PM
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Here's my easy method. The bike has to be on the ground or the axle won't settle down centered on the fork.

The bike is standing up on the ground with the fork set on the axle and the quick release very loose (due to the lawyer lips).
Face the front of the bike. The lever is on the non-drive side, same as the back wheel.

Crouch down and hold the front rim between your knees / thighs.
You can keep the bike upright with your knees and by holding both sides of the quick release with two hands.
Hold the quick release lever open, angled at about 45 degrees or maybe a little wider.

Now tighten the left side quick release nut until all the slack is gone.
Press the right side quick release lever all the way shut. If it's too easy, tighten the nut a little more.
Done.

Stand up, lift the front wheel, and make sure it spins freely. Squeeze the brake lever and check that the pads grab at the same time.



~~~~~~
Your brakes pads should be centered with the wheel set into the fork by this method, not by clamping the brakes and then tightening the quick release. This way, the axle is more likely to stay in place, instead of slipping a little as you ride.

If the pads are off a little, adjust the brakes so they hit both sides of the rim at the same time. I have to do this a few times a year.

Last edited by rm -rf; 12-18-15 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 12-18-15, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad
What kind of gorilla arms do you have that you can reach the front axle from over the handlebars? Or do you somehow bend around/under the handlebars (and can still reach the qr nut or skewer on the far side of the bike?)
I do the same and have far from gorilla arms. Handle bar is a little below waist level, easy to bend over. It's not much different then bending over so your hands are around shin level.
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Old 12-18-15, 09:01 PM
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Sit over the toptube and do it. I'm a short ass and I can do it if needed.

Tighten by rotating the nut NEVER the lever. The only thing you should do with the lever is open and close it.

Last edited by migrantwing; 12-18-15 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 12-18-15, 09:26 PM
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Practice, practice, practice makes it easy. We carried our tandem on a roof rack at least 25 times this riding season and got lots of practice on putting the front wheel back in place, sometimes all by myself and sometimes with stoker help. Release V-brake quick release, lift front of bike, move wheel under fork ends, hold left brake pad back out of way with finger as fork is lowered over wheel onto skewer. Tighten nut just enough and then tighten QR lever. Reconnect V-brake. Ta-da!
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