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rear axel slips....grrrr

Old 11-28-14, 03:17 PM
  #1  
geezerwheels
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rear axel slips....grrrr

Blast it! '78 Motobecane--you can scrunch the skewer down so tight that the lever handle bends, but eventually you'll find yourself panting up a hill you know is not that steep--and sure enough, the new Marathon is rubbing the left chain stay, so hot it has melted off the surface. Second one I've burned up, dangit.

tried a number of skewers, too--old Spidels, Campy's, even a new Quanta. I read a warning you can actually bend an axel if you overtighten the skewer...

...and it's not like I have legs like Gino Bartali, either. Any suggestions?
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Old 11-28-14, 03:40 PM
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Do you have the axle locknuts installed backwards?

The teeth should face outward so they can bite the dropouts.

If your axle locknuts do not have teeth, try replacing them.
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Old 11-28-14, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by RoadGuy View Post
Do you have the axle locknuts installed backwards?

The teeth should face outward so they can bite the dropouts.

If your axle locknuts do not have teeth, try replacing them.
Road Guy--
thanks, but nope, nuts are tooth-side out...
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Old 11-28-14, 03:52 PM
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Another possibility is that the axle is marginally too long. If it extends out to the outer surface of the dropout then no matter how tight you make the QR it won't be properly fastened on the dropout but most of the force is instead just squeezing the axle.
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Old 11-28-14, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Another possibility is that the axle is marginally too long. If it extends out to the outer surface of the dropout then no matter how tight you make the QR it won't be properly fastened on the dropout but most of the force is instead just squeezing the axle.
it could also be adjusted improperly on the side that is slipping.
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Old 11-28-14, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Another possibility is that the axle is marginally too long. If it extends out to the outer surface of the dropout then no matter how tight you make the QR it won't be properly fastened on the dropout but most of the force is instead just squeezing the axle.
this is true and probably your root cause. but don't forget that if you dropouts are sprung out a bit, the axle may STILL not protrude beyond the dropout when the wheel is just stuck in there, but before tightening the QR.

one way to make sure is to measure the width of your dropouts (NOT the distance between them ) and the distance the axle extends beyond the lock-nuts (or bearing retainer or whatever is on there that is supposed to bump up against the inside of the dropout when the QR tightens down). don't forget that the axle may not be centered within the hub. good luck.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 11-30-14 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 11-28-14, 04:13 PM
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axle should be about half the thickness of the dropout , so there is room for the coil spring inside the cap of the Skewer .

If the axle is as wide as the outside face of the dropout , leave out the springs.

Campag/etc steel internal cam skewer?. crank it tighter ! just short of Bruising the palm of your hand.
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Old 11-28-14, 04:17 PM
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What model Motobecane is this? Or, more important, is this one of the cheap ones where the dropouts are flat plate or a better model with a cast dropout? It is possible that a plate dropout can get so scarred up or bent that quick releases don't work very well. That will also be quite apparent looking at it.

Next question: does your skewer have a steel rod? Fancy titanium (or aluminum if made) will stretch more, exactly what you do not want. If your skewer isn't a modern quality steel model with internal cam (the lever coming out the side) get one. Shimano makes excellent skewers at all prices. A generic steel skewer from QBP will also work very well. (Modern skewers have better cam design than the old ones and are considerably less likely to open when not intended; a good reason to update if for no other reason.)

If you have a modern good steel skewer and the wheel still slips because the dropout is in poor shape and you want to keep riding the bike, replace the axle with a longer solid steel axle with track nuts. You will need a wrench from now on, but you will be able to ride in confidence. (My old Peugeot UO-8 went thousands of miles in that mode.)

As pratmann says, a too long axle is a show stopper. You can cut, grind or file it down (it is pretty hard, so it won't be as easy as it looks) or add small washers between the locknut and the cone. This will make the wheel a little harder to get in and out, but not much.

Ben
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Old 11-28-14, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
What model Motobecane is this? Or, more important, is this one of the cheap ones where the dropouts are flat plate or a better model with a cast dropout? It is possible that a plate dropout can get so scarred up or bent that quick releases don't work very well. That will also be quite apparent looking at it.

Next question: does your skewer have a steel rod? Fancy titanium (or aluminum if made) will stretch more, exactly what you do not want. If your skewer isn't a modern quality steel model with internal cam (the lever coming out the side) get one. Shimano makes excellent skewers at all prices. A generic steel skewer from QBP will also work very well. (Modern skewers have better cam design than the old ones and are considerably less likely to open when not intended; a good reason to update if for no other reason.)

If you have a modern good steel skewer and the wheel still slips because the dropout is in poor shape and you want to keep riding the bike, replace the axle with a longer solid steel axle with track nuts. You will need a wrench from now on, but you will be able to ride in confidence. (My old Peugeot UO-8 went thousands of miles in that mode.)

As pratmann says, a too long axle is a show stopper. You can cut, grind or file it down (it is pretty hard, so it won't be as easy as it looks) or add small washers between the locknut and the cone. This will make the wheel a little harder to get in and out, but not much.

Ben
thanks all for your insights...

...it's a Grand Touring, with Huret dropouts. the axle is at least 1mm shy of the outer surface of the DO on each side. the skewer shafts are all steel. the new wheels came with a pretty robust looking cam lever, but the knurling was not as sharp--that's why I set it aside.

barring other ideas, I'm liking your suggestion to go with a solid axle and track nuts. do you have a recommendation for a source?
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Old 11-28-14, 04:58 PM
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Check your dropout alignment and use a new closed cam skewer with a good face, I am fond of Shimanos myself since they are cheap and plentiful.

Putting the thin lock washer to the inside can also help, these won't even add a mm and might give the needed purchase to keep the wheel in place.
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Old 11-28-14, 05:39 PM
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Try oiling or greasing the quick release cam and bolt. I take them apart and Phil Wood grease the cam and holes in the cap, then reassemble. That might make the power difference you need. (Should have thought of that sooner.)

Ben
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Old 11-28-14, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by geezerwheels View Post
thanks all for your insights...

...it's a Grand Touring, with Huret dropouts. the axle is at least 1mm shy of the outer surface of the DO on each side. the skewer shafts are all steel. the new wheels came with a pretty robust looking cam lever, but the knurling was not as sharp--that's why I set it aside.

barring other ideas, I'm liking your suggestion to go with a solid axle and track nuts. do you have a recommendation for a source?
I got some 9x1 mm solid front axles made by these folks:
Wheels Manufacturing Hub Axles
I assume for the rear wheel, that 10x1 mm is the most likely but not the only possible threading. The quality seems to be quite good. As for nuts, I got the 9mm version of these:
Amazon.com : Origin8 Track Hub Axle Nuts - Rear, 10x1mm, Black : Nut N Washer : Sports & Outdoors
In my case, I wasn't really solving a problem other than irrational fear of quick-release, and since I'm riding IGH's, I'm already carrying a small wrench. I like the idea of nuts that have a floating serrated washer as shown above. But I always mention that I'm not a pro bike mechanic, and I always defer to the experts on these forums even if I don't always obey them.
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Old 11-29-14, 08:37 AM
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Use a Shimano skewer. That has always solved any issues I've had with wheels moving.
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Old 11-29-14, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
Use a Shimano skewer. That has always solved any issues I've had with wheels moving.
+1. I'm not a very strong rider, but I rode up many hills on my loaded bike w/horizontal dropouts, 22F/28R. That surely puts a lot of force on the rear wheel, but it never slipped.
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Old 11-29-14, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
(Modern skewers have better cam design than the old ones and are considerably less likely to open when not intended; a good reason to update if for no other reason.)
My experience has been the opposite. I never encountered any issues with quick release wheels slipping back in the '60s and '70s when almost all bikes had horizontal dropouts which would have made the problem obvious. See more issues now even though most bikes have vertical dropouts. But I agree with the recommendation for Shimano skewers (Campagnolo are also good).
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Old 11-29-14, 07:07 PM
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Dropout alignment could be off, or you could have the wrong width of hub. Is it the stock wheelset?
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Old 11-29-14, 10:19 PM
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If the axle faces are serrated, there's no reason that they shouldn't bite securely enough with any skewer. Likewise nuts don't provide that much more (if any) holding power. So I think you need to get to the root of the problem before throwing more money at at.

Here are things you can try before spending any money.

1- examine the dropout, and make sure the slot is uniformly wide at 10mm+ over the entire length. Often older dropouts can be splayed open, which can cause grip issues.
2- make sure the biting surfaces, especially on the inside aren't chewed up, or covered with flaking paint. Use a file, or medium sandpaper on a block to make smooth, solid surfaces the axle can bite into.
3- make sure the serrations on the axle face are clean, use a tooth brush to clean old paint or metal chips.
4- make 100% bulletproof sure the QR can close with full pressure on the faces and isn't bottoming out on something else. (if in doubt, remove the conical springs just in case)

The above should work if you close the QR tight. If you can find a steel QR nut with a biting face that will also help. There's no need to replace the entire skewer since the left side where the head is, won't slip anyway.

If all else fails, my standby cure is to use coarse grit (beach sand, or abrasive grit flaked off coarse sandpaper) and apply it to the axle faces using nail polish as an adhesive. Paint the faces, let the polish dry a bit then sprinkle on the sand. Let it cure before trying it out.
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Old 11-30-14, 05:03 PM
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If you don't have the old style, internal cam QR skewer, I'd recommend you try them. New skewers nowadays are a different design and I have never been able to get them tight enough for me to be sure they will hold the wheel on my horizontal dropout frames. I've also seen posts here on BF regarding this same matter with the same recommendation - use the old style skewer.
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Old 12-02-14, 08:14 AM
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<New skewers nowadays are a different design and I have never been able to get them tight enough...>
<crank it tighter ! just short of Bruising the palm of your hand.>




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Old 12-02-14, 08:25 AM
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as you can see from the previous photo, we have regressed in our technical capabilities. maybe that is why I have been overcome with this preference for "obsolete," steel framed, friction shifting bikes.

all that aside, I reinstalled the Maillard Spidel--but this time--backed off the screws that position the rear axle about a centimeter. I think the root cause was that the screws were set too far forward, and the leading edge of the rightside skewer nut hung just a tad beyond the slot.

FWIW, the dropouts are perfectly aligned, and do not have any serious deformation from all this trauma. If I still have a problem, I will try the fingernail polish and sand remedy suggested by FB. True Grit, no?
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Old 12-02-14, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by geezerwheels View Post
as you can see from the previous photo, i have regressed in my technical capabilities. . .
f.i.f.y.
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