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Lawyer lips, reflectors, other CPSC stuff!

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Lawyer lips, reflectors, other CPSC stuff!

Old 10-09-20, 09:05 PM
  #1  
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Lawyer lips, reflectors, other CPSC stuff!

Cut them off, remove reflectors, throw them away? What is your take?
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Old 10-09-20, 09:21 PM
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Lawyer lips are utterly idiotic. They completely defeat the purpose of quick-releases. I honestly don't understand why they didn't just go to solid axles and bolts in lieu of lawyer lips + QRs. I'm guessing that they created them because of the people who didn't understand how a QR worked and tightened them by turning the end instead of flipping the lever. Surely there could have been a better solution.
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Old 10-09-20, 10:03 PM
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While I agree that lawyer lips are stupid, they aren’t required by the CPSC. If the front wheel doesn’t have quick release, it has to have a wheel retainer but quick release don’t.
That said, I don’t file them off because of liability concerns.

As for reflectors, I have zero use for them and think of them as being worse than nothing. People are persuaded into thinking that reflectors are all they need because that’s all that the CPSC requires. Many states require rear reflectors with active lighting being optional. The CPSC did a study back in the 90s that showed that the side reflectors are completely ineffective but they still require them and, again, many states require the use of side reflectors.

I actually have both rear reflectors and side reflectors (or reflective sidewalls which are allowed in my state) on my bikes because of the legal requirement. A more important reason that I use them is that if I get hit, I don’t want a lawyer pointing out that I wasn’t using reflectors so I’m culpable for any injuries. I specifically picked a rear light that has a reflector even though the reflector is completely useless.
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Old 10-09-20, 10:54 PM
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I've filed off my share of lawyer lips, and I'll do it again.

What's odd is that the tab style double eyelet dropout that Framebuilder supply sells has them. You're building a fork from scratch and your customer needs lawyer lips?


I buy them because they're inexpensive, locally stocked, have double eyelets...but lawyer lips. They file off easily, but it's annoying!
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Old 10-09-20, 11:13 PM
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Lawyer lips don't last 30 seconds on any bike I've owned. Ok, so they only ever came on one bike I've personally owned. They are inherently idiotic. File them off.

Scotchbrite tape on rims and other places is much more easily visible and effective than CPSC reflectors. I sort of give the regulators a bit of a slide though, given the times. Bike lights were nearly totally useless. For the average person, reflectors probably saved some lives.
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Old 10-09-20, 11:33 PM
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Yeah, it's sooo difficult to spend an extra 10 seconds removing and reinstalling a front wheel . . . .

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Old 10-09-20, 11:54 PM
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I'm sticking with inherently idiotic.
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Old 10-10-20, 02:03 AM
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Ditto, the legal liability issue. If you're struck by a driver, even if the driver is entirely at fault, you can count on their insurance company's lawyer grilling you over your bike during the deposition or trial. They'll ask if you've modified the bike in any way.

If I planned to physically modify a bike I'd first be sure I could cover my own losses entirely in the event of injury: income, medical expenses, etc.. Don't count on the at-fault driver's insurance to cover your expenses in anything resembling a timely manner.

But if you're covered for medical and employment/income insurance, go for it.

Yeah, those "safety" retainers on the forks are annoying. My 2011 Diamondback's fork lips are so exaggerated it's necessary to completely unscrew the QR. At least my other bikes can drop the front wheel without completely removing the QR, but not the Diamondback. Kinda makes through-axles seem sensible since quick releases aren't anymore with consumer bikes.

But I'm not modifying a bike to remove those. It's only a few extra seconds. I'm not racing. If the group I'm with is that impatient they can go ahead.

Some of my bikes have some reflectors but those eventually break off and I don't usually replace them. I have added spoke mounted LEDs on a couple of hybrids. And I usually run multiple head and tail lights even on my road bikes if I'm planning a night ride.
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Old 10-10-20, 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Yeah, it's sooo difficult to spend an extra 10 seconds removing and reinstalling a front wheel . . . .
Like most parts & mechanisms on a bicycle, there are considerations and compromises.

QRs have advantages and disadvantages. If you want a wheel to stay put, you use nuts. If you want speed of removal, no tool required, and only one side to do (sometimes those bloddy wingnuts wouldn't undo unless you retightened the other side to hold the axle still, that'd be three sides) you use QRs.

Lawyer lips have no function for anyone using a bike with QRs. If you don't know how they work you shouldn't be on that bike. If you do, you don't need lips.

Worse than that, they impede one of the functions of another mechanism. To use a QR with lips you have to loosen it, loosing the adjustment. I like the tension in QR skewers just so, and probably a bit different depending on which dropout and what the faces of the locknuts have and whether they've met before and so on. Lips loose that every time.

However, I haven't had to put a file to many. My interest falls off just about the time they showed up, none of the bikes I have or have had have had them.
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Old 10-10-20, 04:08 AM
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I recently came across an '81 Takara very similar to the one I rode when I was 16. It has all the reflectors, the metal dork disc and turkey levers still intact. This bike is so cherry I don't even like to put my Garmin or Bontrager lights on it even though they all have QR mounts.

This is the first time I have seen or heard of the term lawyer lips, but this bike doesn't have them or safety washers. Although I've had a few bikes over the years where I tossed the washers.
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Old 10-10-20, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
While I agree that lawyer lips are stupid, they arenít required by the CPSC. If the front wheel doesnít have quick release, it has to have a wheel retainer but quick release donít.
That said, I donít file them off because of liability concerns.
I understand your desire to keep the reflectors on for liability concerns but I am not clear on the liability concerns of an owner filing off the lawyer lips. Can you explain?
Thanks,
Andy
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Old 10-10-20, 08:25 AM
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Lawyer lips.....I grind them off with glee.

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Old 10-10-20, 08:29 AM
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With reflectors it depends on the bike. I almost always ride with a blinking rear light.

The American obsession with safety, a byproduct of our litigious society. I was in a foreign nation a few years ago, visiting an ancient fort. It was basically a tall ring of stones. There were steps up to the top of the wall. No handrails. Someone in our group asked why, and the guide bluntly said that was an American thing. If you decide to climb the stairs, you assume the risk. No chance of lawsuit for a fall.
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Old 10-10-20, 09:40 AM
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While I admit that lawyer lips are a pain, I’m kind of amazed anyone would start a thread about it in the C&V subforum. I guess people miss the thousand previous threads over the years.

I don’t have any on my road bikes. I do have them on my older mountain bike forks. I live with the extra few seconds.

But I understand that time can be lost when racing those vintage steel bikes and you need to swap out a wheel.

John
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Old 10-10-20, 09:53 AM
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In the mid 80s/early 90s I had 2 Schwinns with the wheel retention clips. I'd heard them described as "lawyer clips." They were "clips" mandated to be put on by "lawyers." That's how I knew of them, when I'd see people typing out "lawyer lips" I thought they were misunderstanding the term.
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Old 10-10-20, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by beicster View Post
I understand your desire to keep the reflectors on for liability concerns but I am not clear on the liability concerns of an owner filing off the lawyer lips. Can you explain?
Thanks,
Andy
If I remove them and then sell the bike, I become liable if someone doesnít use the quick release correctly.
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Old 10-10-20, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
Lawyer lips are utterly idiotic. They completely defeat the purpose of quick-releases. I honestly don't understand why they didn't just go to solid axles and bolts in lieu of lawyer lips + QRs. I'm guessing that they created them because of the people who didn't understand how a QR worked and tightened them by turning the end instead of flipping the lever. Surely there could have been a better solution.
Yeah, that's exactly it. People commonly would try to use a QR as a wing nut instead of as a cam action lever.

QR were still new to most people in the late 70s and 80s. Every new bike that got sold came with a lesson in how to use the QR skewers, how to shift, how to brake, fitting, etc.

Ironically, the lawyer lips and other similar contraptions generally caused more people to incorrectly fasten their front wheels. Since you have to wind and unwind the skewer like a wing nut, to get past the lawyer lips, people would assume that you are supposed to use that motion to tighten down the wheel. I can't cite a scientific study, but certainly remember that people bringing in bikes with lawyer lips into a shop were way more likely to have screwed this up, literally.
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Old 10-10-20, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
If I remove them and then sell the bike, I become liable if someone doesnít use the quick release correctly.
Only if they can prove that you are the one who wielded the file.
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Old 10-10-20, 10:38 AM
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One more point on lawyer lips. I would imagine that the use of lightweight aluminum external cam skewers had a little to do with adding them.

I'll gladly take the weight penalty of some good old internal cam steel skewers (Suntour/Shimano). But if I were riding a bike with cheap imported open aluminum skewers, those lawyer lips would not be as as repulsive going down a rough road at speed.

John
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Old 10-10-20, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Yeah, it's sooo difficult to spend an extra 10 seconds removing and reinstalling a front wheel . .

I'd wager that over the course of a lifetime of riding you're prolly looking at a couple minutes that have been needlessly ripped outta your time on Earth! And you know there is no way that you can ever recover from that.
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Old 10-10-20, 01:08 PM
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A few of the bikes in the fleet still have lawyer lips forks but every single one of them have reflectors removed and trashcanned. My only night rider is my snowrider, adequately lit up.
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Old 10-10-20, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
In the mid 80s/early 90s I had 2 Schwinns with the wheel retention clips. I'd heard them described as "lawyer clips." They were "clips" mandated to be put on by "lawyers." That's how I knew of them, when I'd see people typing out "lawyer lips" I thought they were misunderstanding the term.
Same idea, same motivation, different execution. I kinda like the fact that Schwinn took a little different tack. I also have a couple Univegas with a spring-loaded clip screwed into the fork end fender eyelet, yet another "solution" to a questionably-existent problem.

Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
One more point on lawyer lips. I would imagine that the use of lightweight aluminum external cam skewers had a little to do with adding them.
Except that lawyer lips/tabs/clips preceeded aluminum external cam skewers by 10-15 years.

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Old 10-10-20, 02:44 PM
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OK, so we have established the main purpose of lawyer lips is to protect you against lawyers. If lawyers are after you, it's a coin toss anyway. Since I've never had a bike that I haven't modified, ever, I'm screwed.
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Old 10-10-20, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
With reflectors it depends on the bike. I almost always ride with a blinking rear light.

The American obsession with safety, a byproduct of our litigious society. I was in a foreign nation a few years ago, visiting an ancient fort. It was basically a tall ring of stones. There were steps up to the top of the wall. No handrails. Someone in our group asked why, and the guide bluntly said that was an American thing. If you decide to climb the stairs, you assume the risk. No chance of lawsuit for a fall.
So you're saying there's another kind of lawyer lips we oughta grind off
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Old 10-10-20, 04:44 PM
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What ever happened to all those millions and millions of reflectors, dork discs, Campy derailleur adjustment screw horns and turkey levers that the bike industry produced??
Is there some sort of secret warehouse, in some corner of the world where some eccentric collector have hoarded them into thousands of wire mesh crates, stacked ten high on big racks like you see at your local Costco??
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