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Did I break my quick release?

Old 01-23-23, 04:21 PM
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Did I break my quick release?

Hi all,

first time here. hope everyone is doing well!
I tried taking off my front wheel the other day which has a quick release. I loosened the quick release lever all the way until it won't loosen anymore but my wheel still wasn't coming off and looks like I needed to loosen it a bit more (and I did release the front brakes); since I couldn't loosen it anymore by hand, I grabbed a plier for the nut and loosened it some more then I heard a few clicks; now I can't tighten it or loosen it anymore, all it's doing is clicking when I tighten or loosening; so was wondering if I broke it ? and wasn't supposed to use a plier? thanks!
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Old 01-23-23, 04:22 PM
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Polaris OBark
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Sounds like you have an aluminum nut and stripped the thread.
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Old 01-23-23, 04:41 PM
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There should have been no reason why you couldn’t have completely removed the nut by hand. I will refrain from giving my opinion about pliers and bikes.

Luckily, quick releases are cheap.
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Old 01-23-23, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4
There should have been no reason why you couldn’t have completely removed the nut by hand. I will refrain from giving my opinion about pliers and bikes.

Luckily, quick releases are cheap.
so I should be able to change just the quick release portion? sorry kinda new to this; back in the day I never worked w/ quick release and shifters;
thanks
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Old 01-23-23, 04:54 PM
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Yuu should be able to completely undo the quick release skewer from the nut by turning one or the other by hand. You don't need to do this, but no harm should have come of it. Many of those nuts are aluminum, so the thread is delicate, and if it was somehow cross-threaded, that would explain why you needed the pliers and why it doesn't work any more.
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Old 01-23-23, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 808bikes
so I should be able to change just the quick release portion? sorry kinda new to this; back in the day I never worked w/ quick release and shifters;
thanks
Oh, you can totally change out quick releases. People do it all the time. They’re cheaper than a water bottle!

Last edited by smd4; 01-23-23 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 01-23-23, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4
From what it sounds like, maybe. But they’re cheaper than a water bottle!
cool. since it just keeps turning and clicking, I probably have stripped the nut; I'm thinking of just cutting it if I can't get it out, i'll be careful to not ruin the thread; let me know if this sounds crazy
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Old 01-23-23, 05:06 PM
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I wonder whether the frame has the safety tabs.
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Old 01-23-23, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by daniell
I wonder whether the frame has the safety tabs.
Even with safety tabs you should still be able to unscrew the QR nuts using fingers only.
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Old 01-23-23, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by 808bikes
cool. since it just keeps turning and clicking, I probably have stripped the nut; I'm thinking of just cutting it if I can't get it out, i'll be careful to not ruin the thread; let me know if this sounds crazy
If you can save the quick release skewer, you’d probably only need to buy a new nut. Cheaper still!
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Old 01-23-23, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4
If you can save the quick release skewer, you’d probably only need to buy a new nut. Cheaper still!
thanks. are the nut (size wise) universal?
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Old 01-23-23, 05:46 PM
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I wonder if the lever was wing nutted tight and is an external cam version... I would suggest choosing a steel ended internal cam version as it will both grip the fork ends better and suffer less long term degradation. If you have a service focused LBS or co-op nearby I bet they will have a used QR skewer that would work and cost little $. Remember this is your ability to control the bike's direction we're dealing with Andy
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Old 01-23-23, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 808bikes
thanks. are the nut (size wise) universal?
Look for a bike co-op in your area or a local bike shop that has used stuff. I have an LBS with a bucket full of used skewers for $1/pair.

Also, the front skewer doesn't need to be super tight.
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Old 01-23-23, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
I wonder if the lever was wing nutted tight and is an external cam version... I would suggest choosing a steel ended internal cam version as it will both grip the fork ends better and suffer less long term degradation. If you have a service focused LBS or co-op nearby I bet they will have a used QR skewer that would work and cost little $. Remember this is your ability to control the bike's direction we're dealing with Andy
i have no idea what you just said, but i'll post a pic tomorrow; thanks
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Old 01-23-23, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by 808bikes
thanks. are the nut (size wise) universal?
The ones I’ve used have been.
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Old 01-23-23, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 808bikes
i have no idea what you just said, but i'll post a pic tomorrow; thanks
Sometimes people use a quick release incorrectly by twisting the lever as tight as possible. The QR uses a cam action to move to the open or closed position.
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Old 01-23-23, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by 808bikes
i have no idea what you just said, but i'll post a pic tomorrow; thanks
I believe that 10 posts are still the minimum needed to be able to post a photo in a thread. However I think one can post a shot to the gallery and one of us can repost that photo here for you.

Bicycle Quick-Release Mechanisms (sheldonbrown.com) Here's a link to Sheldon Brown's site page on QR skewers. Lots of very good info there.

A common way to try to use a QR skewer is to just wind the lever tight, like a wing nut, without flipping it and engaging the cam. A well designed QR skewer will produce much more clamping pressure by using the cam, compared to just wing nutting the lever tight. But the need to adjust the other end's nut to a position that, after the lever is flipped and the cam has been used, results in a well secured wheel is a technique that many either don't know about or can't understand. This one reason why most all modern skewers have a "closed" and "open" notation on the lever. If the "open" is facing away from the wheel the QR has been improperly used. The inability of enough consumers to properly tighten a QR is why we have lawyer lipped fork dropouts.

When I show a customer how to remove their ft wheel that has a QR I suggest counting the number of turns to the adjusting end nut that it takes to widen the skewer's ends from the axle's ends and slip past those drop out tabs. On reinstalling the wheel turning the adjusting end nut the same number of turns get one really close to the best after flipping the lever tightness. Andy
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Old 01-25-23, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by 808bikes
so I should be able to change just the quick release portion? sorry kinda new to this; back in the day I never worked w/ quick release and shifters;
First question is what was limiting the wheel removal? You should be able to SEE what was hanging up, whether that be tire hitting the brake pads or "lawyer lips" or other retention devices at the hub. If the hub is loose in the fork/dropout after you open the QR lever, you should be able to easily see what the hangup is. Second question is when was "back in the day"? I got my first QR bike in 1969.
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Old 01-25-23, 10:54 AM
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My first quick release bike was a Centurion Sport DLX from about 1985. QR on front axle only. No sure how I learned to operate one--book? Shop personnel where I bought the bike? Either way, it had never occurred to me to just twist the lever until it was tight--although we of course saw this all the time when I started to work for the shop that sold me that bike.
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Old 01-25-23, 11:06 AM
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The OP doesn't know enough about the quick release mechanism to make the problem clear. Fair enough.

So here's a quick tutorial in the use of bike wheel quick releases. After watching it, you might want to come back to this thread and provide a clearer description of what's going on with your quick release.

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Old 01-25-23, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
The OP doesn't know enough about the quick release mechanism to make the problem clear. Fair enough.

So here's a quick tutorial in the use of bike wheel quick releases. After watching it, you might want to come back to this thread and provide a clearer description of what's going on with your quick release.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJ1VIrNnd84
Thanks. I've been using quick releases forever and was taught how to do it right when i was a pre-teen. But I doubt I could have provided words here that would do more than add to the confusion.
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Old 01-25-23, 12:04 PM
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Not a bad video, except for her explanation for the reason for the springs. I've seen QRs used incorrectly, but I don't think I've ever seen one come in with the nut installed backwards! That's literally nuts.
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Old 01-25-23, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 808bikes
thanks. are the nut (size wise) universal?
The standard is 5mm x 0.8mm thread.
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Old 01-25-23, 12:30 PM
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I think the issue is that the bike hasn't been used in a while and the threaded skewer (hope it's the right term) and where the nut was coming out, was a bit corroded; therefore the nut could not be loosened once it hits this corroded part and when I used a plier on it, its threaded must have been stripped and the reason for it just keeps spinning.

'Back in the day' was when I was riding only BMX (when I was a teen) having only one gear, no shifters and no quick release.
but I think I can manage this quick release thing, I'm pretty handy w/ tools and my hands.
I'll probably just replace the skewer and nut.

thanks all for your insights and suggestions! you guys/gals are great! I'll post an update soon.
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Old 01-25-23, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 808bikes
I think the issue is that the bike hasn't been used in a while and the threaded skewer (hope it's the right term) and where the nut was coming out, was a bit corroded; therefore the nut could not be loosened once it hits this corroded part and when I used a plier on it, its threaded must have been stripped and the reason for it just keeps spinning.

'Back in the day' was when I was riding only BMX (when I was a teen) having only one gear, no shifters and no quick release.
but I think I can manage this quick release thing, I'm pretty handy w/ tools and my hands.
I'll probably just replace the skewer and nut.

thanks all for your insights and suggestions! you guys/gals are great! I'll post an update soon.
What kind of bike is it? Brand/model? If you're using the QR correctly, it sounds like there might be some kind of retainer to keep the wheel from dropping out, even with the QR loosened. If these lips, located at the bottom edge of the fork blade dropouts, weren't there, you should just be able to open the QR and have the wheel simply drop out of the fork--no loosening of the nut necessary (and once properly adjusted, the nuts don't ever have to be turned again). Some call them "lawyer lips" because they prevent the wheel from falling out of the fork even if the QR inadvertently comes open--thereby preventing future lawsuits resulting from such an occurrence.

If these retainers aren't there, then the QR may have been incorrectly used, as suggested above, like a big wingnut to screw down until "tightened."
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