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Wasn't aware front wheel quick release got loose

Old 09-23-17, 01:02 PM
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Wasn't aware front wheel quick release got loose

My bike is only months old and the wheel quick releases had been tight and the skewer was along the fork (as usually recommended). I've been riding it regularly without paying attention to that part, until yesterday, when I was walking the bike I noticed the skewer had been loosened by about 45 degrees and no longer along the fork. I was shocked as I could have had a serious accident on my ride. I had never had such happen to me in the last 7 years, so I have to wonder how it happened. I very rarely park it outside but did it the day before, but I locked front wheel so I doubt someone tried to remove my wheel (unless he didn't see it's locked at first).

And has anyone heard of actual accidents caused by loose quick release of the wheel?
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Old 09-23-17, 01:11 PM
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You could have had the lever too tight and not beyond the point where it locks down securely.
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Old 09-23-17, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by carl7
You could have had the lever too tight and not beyond the point where it locks down securely.
I'm pretty sure that's not the case.
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Old 09-23-17, 01:25 PM
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All my forks have lawyer lips so the wheel would probably be retained unless someone deliberately opened the skewer wide and I didn't notice. I try to tuck my QRs against the fork, seat stay or chain stay to minimize the risk of snagging. Yeah, it's a bit less convenient when I need to change a tire, but I can use a tire lever to pry the QR open if need be.

So far the nearest I've come to a quick release accident was after I washed the road bike. I removed the wheels to clean them thoroughly a couple of weeks ago, in preparation for overhauling the hubs. When I mounted the wheels back on the bike the QR would not stay shut. It kept creeping back open. Weirdest thing I'd ever seen on a bike. Turns out some water was trapped in the quick release. After air drying it over a fan and squirting in just a bit of WD40 it closed properly. No problems since.

Anyway, if I ever need to change a flat in the rain I'm double and triple checking the quick releases to be sure they stay shut.
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Old 09-23-17, 01:28 PM
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If you left your bike somewhere, a kid, prankster or ill-wisher could have opened it.

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Old 09-23-17, 01:38 PM
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As you hinted, probably an attempted theft. Quick releases are just shy of bulletproof reliable when used properly.

You also have two fallback safeties.

1- gravity, the weight on the fork, keeps it home, though a decent bump could dislodge it,
2- the secondary retention provided by the so-called lawyer's lips, which will not release the wheel unless the QR is unscrewed a few turns.
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Old 09-23-17, 05:14 PM
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Not to be pedantic, but it just takes a second to glance at the QRs, and considering their importance to safe riding it's a good idea to do this every time you get on the bike.
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Old 09-23-17, 06:20 PM
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thru axles are coming in to fix the consumers inability to make a QR work properly.

the Lawyer's lips was a response to someone who screwed up , but got a Contingency lawyer to prove it was the bike companies fault

and he got a healthy % of the court ordered damage money awarded..


...
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Old 09-23-17, 06:20 PM
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Looking at a QR is not checking a QR. They need to by physically checked by hand before every ride.

Grab the front wheel between the knees and rock/twist the handlebars to make sure the headset and stem are not loose.

Check the QR on the brake calipers and squeez the brakes to make sure they grab.

This is all part of the pre-flight check and takes 20 to 30 seconds.

OP leaned a lesson today. I'm glad no one got hurt.


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 09-23-17 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 09-23-17, 06:37 PM
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How are you tightening the quick release lever?

Tighten it down until it is snug, then flip the lever to lock it in place? I'm not quite sure how much force to use, but I use about 90% of the force that I can easily open and close it.

If it is tight, then it should be extremely difficult to simply twist the lever without first flipping the lever to unlock it.

Actually, before I started doing right side levers, I snagged one with my trailer, and ended up snapping the skewer rather than tightening/loosening it.

There are a few different places to put the lever. Straight back is one option. That way, it is unlikely to snag on something and flip while riding. I had an external cam lever that fit best tucking it just behind the fork. An internal cam lever might work that way if mounted to the right.
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Old 09-23-17, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by vol
...the skewer was along the fork (as usually recommended).
I notices that the LBS set my bike up with the levers horizontal. I had always done "along the fork" for aesthetic reasons, so I am assuming they did that for (minuscule) aerodynamic reasons.
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Old 09-23-17, 07:05 PM
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Never heard of the "lawyer's lips" in this context, thought canklecat was joking... Then I found this thread (one post there mentioned a front wheel accident, by the way). I'm now leaning toward the possibility of an attempted theft the day before when I parked it outside for 2 hours, since my bike had always been with me otherwise and I'd likely noticed it sooner.

Originally Posted by FlamsteadHill
I notices that the LBS set my bike up with the levers horizontal. I had always done "along the fork" for aesthetic reasons, so I am assuming they did that for (minuscule) aerodynamic reasons.
It's to prevent it from being accidentally clipped open when, e.g. parked next to another bike. When I bought my previous bike, the LBS guy set the lever horizontal, too, and he didn't know that it's recommended to be against the fork.

Yes I've learned a lesson, esp. that after each time parking it outside, be sure to check everything before riding again. (Thankfully I had 3 locks on my bike that day, a U-lock locking the front wheel to the frame.)
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Old 09-23-17, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by FlamsteadHill
I notices that the LBS set my bike up with the levers horizontal. I had always done "along the fork" for aesthetic reasons, so I am assuming they did that for (minuscule) aerodynamic reasons.
Many experienced riders set the QR lever along the fork but not directly over the blade for a simple , practical reason. Leaving the lever in space along the blade protects it form snagging and somehow getting opened, yet allow you to put your finger behind it to open it easily.

Old style internal cam levers do this very nicely, running parallel to the fork blade, but offset to the side. External cam levers coming from the center, can't be aligned this way, so we close them at a slight angle so the end of the lever is clear.

In any case, there's no rule, and whatever works best for you is the right way.
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Old 09-23-17, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
In any case, there's no rule, and whatever works best for you is the right way.
Ay Men!
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Old 09-23-17, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by vol
And has anyone heard of actual accidents caused by loose quick release of the wheel?
A former manager at my workplace got seriously messed up in an accident caused by front wheel detachment. It was a long time ago, and his bike might not have had secondary retention. But he was a serious road cyclist and an engineer.

Because my latest parts build has Brilando clips, I did some research to learn about the background. From what I can tell, the big bike companies were all keeping track of wheel detachment claims and trying to understand the actual root cause (e.g., component failure or operator error). Apparently the number of these claims went way down after they started making bikes with secondary retention. Schwinn had secondary retention before "lawyer lips," and on both QR and nutted axles. So it wasn't necessarily even a response to QR failures. I think that secondary retention is a good idea, even in the absence of lawsuits. "Works if used properly" isn't always good enough, and there are mainstream engineering methods for deciding when a safety feature needs a backup.
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Old 09-23-17, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
Looking at a QR is not checking a QR. They need to by physically checked by hand before every ride.
While I completely agree with this, in the OP's case it would have (should have) prompted further investigation.
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Old 09-24-17, 01:52 AM
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What kind of front brake are you using?
Front Disc brakes are known to be able unscrew q/r axles through use.
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Old 09-24-17, 06:29 AM
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I'm thinking the OP overlooked something along the way when tightening the wheel. Can't any get simpler, drop wheel in fork and tighten.
For safety, I would check the skewer's threads or just replace the skewers.
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Old 09-24-17, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
Looking at a QR is not checking a QR. They need to by physically checked by hand before every ride.
Yep, I really should do this before every ride; however I rarely do more than a quick look to see if anything looks odd. How many actually check the lever?

On the other hand, since I lift my bikes before and after each ride to hang them by the front wheel a loose QR should be apparent. I suppose that if I left my bike in an area where tampering could happen I would do a check.

Glad you avoided any incident, Vol.
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Old 09-24-17, 01:04 PM
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^ Thanks.

New bike with reflective rimmed wheel, I suppose it's worth stealing, so probably a thief. My whole bike could have been gone had I not locked it with 3 locks. Always hate to carry so much weights, so sometimes I only carry a light lock and don't lock the front wheel, now I see how important it is. And the lesson: thieves may not succeed in stealing, but they could damage or tamper bike parts.
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Old 09-24-17, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by sweeks
Not to be pedantic, but it just takes a second to glance at the QRs, and considering their importance to safe riding it's a good idea to do this every time you get on the bike.
Steve
Good point. Only takes a second to glance down.
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Old 09-24-17, 04:38 PM
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Since I didn't see an answer, how did you tighten it? No offense, but I've seen more than one person not realize the lever was meant for providing more tightness than one could get just hand tightening it.
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Old 09-24-17, 04:40 PM
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Good eye. Who knows how it was loosened, but you spotted it.
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Old 09-24-17, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
Since I didn't see an answer, how did you tighten it? No offense, but I've seen more than one person not realize the lever was meant for providing more tightness than one could get just hand tightening it.
I'm pretty sure it had been tightened appropriately. I'm very layman but this is one of the few things I know . Either I didn't changed it after picking up the new bike from the LBS or I may have loosened and re-tightened it correctly; may or may have told them to put the lever against the fork on the spot (don't remember, but it's the case with my previous bike).

By the way, someone I know had his wheel quick release lever stolen while parked outside.

Last edited by vol; 09-24-17 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 09-25-17, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
In any case, there's no rule, and whatever works best for you is the right way.
There may be no rule but experience will eventually teach you that aligning a properly tightened quick release skewer with the fork blades is going to make your life hell at some point. I've had many of them at my co-op that are extremely difficult to open because I can't get my fingers behind the lever.

Close the quick release offset from the fork to avoid the problem.
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