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Recessed Front Dropouts: Historic, Folkloric.

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Recessed Front Dropouts: Historic, Folkloric.

Old 11-24-22, 09:00 AM
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saulgoldie
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Recessed Front Dropouts: Historic, Folkloric.

Taking my Nishiki 12, circa 1980s to the shop, I removed the wheels so it would fit in the car without having to fiddle with a rack. In the process, I had some difficulty with the front wheel. I had to partially unscrew the Q/R skewer. I didn't think about it much until I reinstalled the wheel later. And I noticed that the dropouts seemed a little recessed, and had extra metal knobs on each side of both dropouts to make it harder to remove. And it hit me!

My memory isn't clear on the exact years. But I think it was in the 80s or late 70s. The Consumer Product Safety Commission had issued some regulations. One of them required wheel reflectors, pedal reflectors, and front and rear reflectors. Good ideas in principle. Cause there were a lot of riders who would ride in dusk and dawn without lights. And remember that at that time, lights were pretty rudimentary, for the most part (even if the riders knew enough and cared enough). Nothing like what we have today. AND...

They mandated "safety" dropouts on the front wheels so that the wheels would not spontaneously dismount. And for some folks, this was a legitimate concern. Many folks did not understand how Q/R skewers worked. And there were cases of such a thing happening. But for those of us who knew how they worked, this was a nuisance. And it completely ruined the whole purpose of quick release.

So I'm just going to go ahead and grind down those little knobs so I can actually quick release the wheel.

And now, I do some more cooking.

Saul
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Old 11-24-22, 09:24 AM
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What happened to the suicide clips? (Hub Retaining Clip)

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Old 11-24-22, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by saulgoldie View Post
Taking my Nishiki 12, circa 1980s to the shop, I removed the wheels so it would fit in the car without having to fiddle with a rack. In the process, I had some difficulty with the front wheel. I had to partially unscrew the Q/R skewer. I didn't think about it much until I reinstalled the wheel later. And I noticed that the dropouts seemed a little recessed, and had extra metal knobs on each side of both dropouts to make it harder to remove. And it hit me!

My memory isn't clear on the exact years. But I think it was in the 80s or late 70s. The Consumer Product Safety Commission had issued some regulations. One of them required wheel reflectors, pedal reflectors, and front and rear reflectors. Good ideas in principle. Cause there were a lot of riders who would ride in dusk and dawn without lights. And remember that at that time, lights were pretty rudimentary, for the most part (even if the riders knew enough and cared enough). Nothing like what we have today. AND...

They mandated "safety" dropouts on the front wheels so that the wheels would not spontaneously dismount. And for some folks, this was a legitimate concern. Many folks did not understand how Q/R skewers worked. And there were cases of such a thing happening. But for those of us who knew how they worked, this was a nuisance. And it completely ruined the whole purpose of quick release.

So I'm just going to go ahead and grind down those little knobs so I can actually quick release the wheel.

And now, I do some more cooking.

Saul
The CPSC does not mandate “lawyer lips”. This is what they have to say about wheels and forks

All bicycles (other than sidewalk bicycles) must meet the following requirements:





(1) Each wheel must have a positive locking device that fastens it to the frame. Use the manufacturer’s recommended torque to tighten threaded locking devices. The locking devices on front wheels (except for quick-release devices) must not loosen or come off when a tester tries to take them off using a torque of 12.5 ft-lb applied in the direction of removal. Once fastened to the frame, the axle of the rear wheel must not move when it receives a force of 400 lbf for 30 seconds applied in the direction that removes the wheel.



(2) Quick-release devices with a lever must be adjustable to allow the lever to be set for tightness. Riders must be able to clearly see the levers and determine whether the levers are locked or unlocked. When it is locked, the clamping action of the quick release device must bite into the metal of frame or fork.



(3) Front wheel hubs that do not use a quick release device must have a positive retention feature that keeps the wheel on when the locking devices are loosened. To test this, release or unscrew the locking device, and apply a force of 25 lbf to the

hub in the same direction as the slots in the fork. See §1512.18(j)(3) for this test.
Only if the wheel is held on by nuts does it need a retention device. Lawyer lips came from…well…lawyers.
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Old 11-24-22, 10:06 AM
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And it completely ruined the whole purpose of quick release.
No it didn't. It's still faster and easier to pull off and reinstall a qr wheel with tabs than a wheel with bolts.
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Old 11-24-22, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
What happened to the suicide clips? (Hub Retaining Clip)


Still out there. They are used extensively on cheap HellMart bikes with bolt-on front wheels.
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Old 11-24-22, 11:35 AM
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Schwinn's front wheel retention clip is arguably the best of these devices:

https://patents.google.com/patent/US4103922A/en
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Old 11-24-22, 03:35 PM
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Fork Nubs

My 2004 Waterford fork has the safety studs
on the dropout. I couldn’t believe it when I
first took off the wheel, but now it’s no big deal.
Bill
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Old 11-24-22, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by BillRS22 View Post
My 2004 Waterford fork has the safety studs
on the dropout. I couldn’t believe it when I
first took off the wheel, but now it’s no big deal.
Bill
That’s odd my 2005 Roadie’s steel fork was devoid of lawyer lips.

.
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Old 11-24-22, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by saulgoldie View Post

So I'm just going to go ahead and grind down those little knobs so I can actually quick release the wheel.
A very dumb thing to do.
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Old 11-24-22, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
A very dumb thing to do.
Why is it a very dumb thing to do? They aren't needed for structural safety and a properly tightened lever doesn't rely on them.
My main road bike wasn't made with them because I filed them off when I built the frame. Makes absolutely no difference.
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Old 11-25-22, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Why is it a very dumb thing to do? They aren't needed for structural safety and a properly tightened lever doesn't rely on them.
My main road bike wasn't made with them because I filed them off when I built the frame. Makes absolutely no difference.
I agree.

Now as far as dumb goes, it's dumb to ride a bike with quick release axles and not know how to work/check them. Knowing how your equipment works and checking it is solving a problem at the root cause, but, kinda unheard of these days..
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Old 11-25-22, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Why is it a very dumb thing to do? They aren't needed for structural safety and a properly tightened lever doesn't rely on them.
My main road bike wasn't made with them because I filed them off when I built the frame. Makes absolutely no difference.
Those little safety tabs are a non-issue when removing or installing a wheel, I never had a problem with removing a wheel... Grinding them off just to save weight or just because everybody around you is doing it is just dumb. A little bit of extra security on the from isn`t a bad thing.
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Old 11-25-22, 08:04 AM
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Quick releases continue to attract the attention of the CPSC and personal injury lawyers. In fact, the move to thru-axles on lower end bikes has been, to some degree, hastened by product liability concerns (along with the natural trickle down of higher end features). As someone who has overridden safety features on a variety of products and lived to tell about it, it would be better to have more conscientious users who take responsibility for their actions. Instead, in the USA, we have a large industry that uses the legal system to bludgeon manufacturers and anyone who may have deep pockets to pay out. There are defective and dangerous products worthy of regulation but there are a lot more folks who don't follow instructions and exercise due diligence to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Here's an article from 2019 in the Washington Post which talks about the problems with quick releases on baby strollers. (Note, you may not be able to view it on your browser. If you turn off javascript temporarily you will be able to view the link)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...0cd_story.html
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Old 11-25-22, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Schwinn's front wheel retention clip is arguably the best of these devices:

https://patents.google.com/patent/US4103922A/en
One of my bikes has those, a Schwinn frame from the 80s. They actually work great.

Since I'm a curious character, when I got that frame, I had to research the clips. Here's what I learned. For a long time, the major bike makers had been keeping records on all sorts of bike failures that resulted in either warranty claims or lawsuits -- their only sources of information about reliability. My guesstimate (from numbers in a lawsuit transcript) is that there were maybe between one and two dozen front wheel detachment failures per year being reported. Both nutted and QR wheels. That's a terrible number for engineers, enough to draw attention but not enough to build up good statistics. They really couldn't figure out if the problem was due to user error or a design issue. But engineers are engineers, and it's pretty widespread among engineers that you don't make a product with a user adjustment that lets people hurt themselves if it's not vital to function (like a kitchen knife) and easily avoided.

Frank Brilando at Schwinn invented those clips. Schwinn offered to license the patent, but on prohibitive terms, so the industry went looking for other solutions and came up with the tabs. After secondary retention was introduced, front wheel detachment failures went down virtually to zero, on both nutted and QR axles. Now the numbers are so small that gathering actionable data would be impossible.

I work in a product development setting, and the engineers don't talk about lawyers. They talk about making good, safe products. The lawyer thing comes about because the US tends to regulate things in a retroactive fashion, allowing the tort system to take care of issues rather than trying to regulate everything proactively. In this case, the system allowed the industry to come up with its own solution before regulators got involved.

Personally, filing off the tabs strikes me as a just a bit too precious, and seems like a badge issue on web forums. I've never known a cyclist in real life who was bothered by the tabs.
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Old 11-25-22, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
One of my bikes has those, a Schwinn frame from the 80s. They actually work great.

Since I'm a curious character, when I got that frame, I had to research the clips. Here's what I learned. For a long time, the major bike makers had been keeping records on all sorts of bike failures that resulted in either warranty claims or lawsuits -- their only sources of information about reliability. My guesstimate (from numbers in a lawsuit transcript) is that there were maybe between one and two dozen front wheel detachment failures per year being reported. Both nutted and QR wheels. That's a terrible number for engineers, enough to draw attention but not enough to build up good statistics. They really couldn't figure out if the problem was due to user error or a design issue. But engineers are engineers, and it's pretty widespread among engineers that you don't make a product with a user adjustment that lets people hurt themselves if it's not vital to function (like a kitchen knife) and easily avoided.

Frank Brilando at Schwinn invented those clips. Schwinn offered to license the patent, but on prohibitive terms, so the industry went looking for other solutions and came up with the tabs. After secondary retention was introduced, front wheel detachment failures went down virtually to zero, on both nutted and QR axles. Now the numbers are so small that gathering actionable data would be impossible.

I work in a product development setting, and the engineers don't talk about lawyers. They talk about making good, safe products. The lawyer thing comes about because the US tends to regulate things in a retroactive fashion, allowing the tort system to take care of issues rather than trying to regulate everything proactively. In this case, the system allowed the industry to come up with its own solution before regulators got involved.

Personally, filing off the tabs strikes me as a just a bit too precious, and seems like a badge issue on web forums. I've never known a cyclist in real life who was bothered by the tabs.
Never encountered "badge issue" before. Thanks! (I wonder if there's anyone out there who filed off the tabs and yet refrained from triumphantly reporting having done so on the internet.)

And thanks for the informed reply. I worked as a bike mechanic for years and yet still managed to neglect to secure the front wheel nuts on a track bike of mine before a ride not long ago. (Deep in conversation while taking the bike out of the car and readying it for the ride.) "Hmm. What's that rattle?," I thought, an hour into the ride. I thank the Specialized engineers for specifying tabs on even a Langster with track nuts.
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Old 11-25-22, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Grinding them off just to save weight or just because everybody around you is doing it is just dumb.
Thinking that people grind them off to save weight is beyond dumb.
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Old 11-25-22, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Those little safety tabs are a non-issue when removing or installing a wheel, I never had a problem with removing a wheel... Grinding them off just to save weight or just because everybody around you is doing it is just dumb. A little bit of extra security on the from isn`t a bad thing.
You said grinding the tabs down is a very dumb thing to do. I provided an instance where it sure doesnt seem dumb, and you come back with this?

The tabs are a non-issue when removing or installing a wheel if you want to mostly unscrew the QR skewer. If you dont want to, then it is an issue to have the tabs. I agree it really isnt a big deal and its still quicker than bringing a wrench and loosening then tightening some bolts.
But at the same time, filing off the tabs also is hardly a very dumb thing to do. It makes wheel mounting faster. Someone who has to remove their front wheel to put their bike in a car?...that could easily be a situation where someone is happy to have the tabs filed off and does not seem like a dumb idea.

Like most of your comments here, you posted something that is extreme and black/white when reality is neither of those.
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Old 11-25-22, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post


But at the same time, filing off the tabs also is hardly a very dumb thing to do. It makes wheel mounting faster.
Faster by how much ?....5 seconds ?..What's the rush ?
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Old 11-25-22, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Faster by how much ?....5 seconds ?..What's the rush ?
Yeah, probably 5 seconds of extra twisting to both install and 5 seconds to remove.
As for what is the rush, its clearly just convenience. If you dont want to do this, thats cool. That doesnt mean its 'very dumb'.
You constantly bash anything that you dont do as a cyclist.
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Old 11-25-22, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Thinking that people grind them off to save weight is beyond dumb.
What is the real reason then ?....Just another obsession with what the pros do ?
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Old 11-25-22, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Yeah, probably 5 seconds of extra twisting to both install and 5 seconds to remove.
As for what is the rush, its clearly just convenience. If you dont want to do this, thats cool. That doesnt mean its 'very dumb'.
You constantly bash anything that you dont do as a cyclist.

Removing a safety feature just to save few seconds doesn't sound like a smart thing to do.
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Old 11-25-22, 12:45 PM
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I ground the idiot tabs off my Trek MTB. Our suit happy, I can’t take responsibility for my own fault, culture necessitated them. I have mounted and dismounted tires and wheels more times than I can count and making sure everything is tight and centered is just part of an owner’s due diligence. On most bikes, if the axel or skewer is not tightened, one will get brake rub, which is a pretty good warning that the wheel needs attention. If they ignore it, then they get to pay, “the being stupid tax”.
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Old 11-25-22, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
What is the real reason then ?....Just another obsession with what the pros do ?
It's already been explained to you in previous posts. The tabs are a (minor) inconvenience, but are of little use to an experienced cyclist. Many, many experienced cyclist simply grind or file them off.

P.S. The UCI does not allow pro teams to remove the tabs, so your "obsession with what the pros do" is just more nonsense you dreamed up.
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Old 11-25-22, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Removing a safety feature just to save few seconds doesn't sound like a smart thing to do.
It isn't a needed feature for anyone that has the knowledge of what they are and can remove them. Those people know how to close a QR peroperly.

Again, it isn't nearly as terrible as you claim.
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Old 11-25-22, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
It isn't a needed feature for anyone that has the knowledge of what they are and can remove them. Those people know how to close a QR peroperly.
I have wheels with quick release and also nutted axles and never had an issue with any of them coming loose, but I still think it`s pointless to grind off a little safety feature for the sake of convenience. Those safety tabs are there for a reason and are not as inconvenient as you and others make it sound. OP is just making a big issue out of nothing.
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