Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
Reload this Page >

Quick release skewers. Which to use, which to avoid?

Notices
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

Quick release skewers. Which to use, which to avoid?

Old 12-31-22, 12:13 PM
  #1  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 246
Liked 13 Times in 12 Posts
Quick release skewers. Which to use, which to avoid?

I get that QR skewers can work perfectly well with a fixed gear bike. I am not looking to debate QR vs axle nuts.

Without getting into a long story, I am stuck with QR, but my issue is that I am having a hard time figuring out which QRs are best suited to fixed gear duty.

The QRs that I have in my possession and fit the axles/hubs I am using are these.




I have never used QR in this application.

I hear that enclosed cam is the way to go. I read that on SheldonBrown. Admittedly, I have never had an enclosed and open QR side by side to compare and tell what exactly the differences are. So, are these QRs in the pic the way to go? If not, what QR should be used?
mrmb is offline  
Likes For mrmb:
Old 12-31-22, 12:40 PM
  #2  
ignominious poltroon
 
Polaris OBark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 4,255
Liked 3,599 Times in 1,890 Posts
That one is internal cam, and should be ok. XT is one of the best.

The ones you need to be cautious about are external cam. I also would avoid the more expensive titanium skewers.

The best ones in my experience are steel DT Swiss skewers (which avoid the flip lever design entirely). You just crank them on like a thru-axle. A close second are Dura Ace/XT/Ultegra level internal cam quick release. Also Campy (who invented it).
Polaris OBark is offline  
Likes For Polaris OBark:
Old 12-31-22, 12:47 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 13,061

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Liked 4,092 Times in 2,644 Posts
That QR is enclosed cam. Enclosed cam QRs have the lever coming out one side as that does, not symmetrically. Another tip - avoid non-steel skewers like aluminum or titanium. Both stretch a lot more than steel and therefor have a lot less holding power. (The manufacturers of ti and aluminum skewers could make them just as good and still lighter if they did what they do on frame tubing - increase the diameter. Of course, that would mean needing bigger axles which would require frames with bigger dropout slots (and just what we always needed; a whole new bike standard!)

The reason not to use QRs for fix gear has nothing to do with the holding power. It is simply simpler to have nuts for an easy way to get the chain slack correct and center the tire between the chainstays at the same time with just two hands. Push wheel back to approximate correct slack. Tighten right nut. Center the tire. Like the slack? Tighten left nut and done. No? Barely tighten left nut, loosen right and correct the slack. Tighten. Repeat rear. Done. Takes less time to do than to write and not brain power or coordination at all. With a QR, you have to get slack correct and center the tire and close QR simultaneously. Fast, yes, but if you are having a bad day, maybe not even possible.

I abandoned QRs for fix gear hubs 45 years ago and never looked back.

Now, if you are using a bike with dropouts, not rear facing track ends, you can use the adjusting screws common on better frames to correctly set the chain slack and wheel center. Then, with one hand, you push the wheel back 'till it hits both screws, then close the QR. I use those screws on my commuter that I never change cog size on (but I still use nuts).

Edit: On good, cheap skewers - cheap Shimanos are really good. Not light, sexy ... but simply work. Less elegant and I wouldn't run them for as many decades, the cheap QBP steel skewers. Now, old skewers, including the very best, used an older cam design that didn't lock as securely. This includes the revered Campagnolos. That $10 QBP QR is a much more secure QR than the very best NOS early '80s Campy.

Last edited by 79pmooney; 12-31-22 at 12:55 PM.
79pmooney is offline  
Old 12-31-22, 01:14 PM
  #4  
ignominious poltroon
 
Polaris OBark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 4,255
Liked 3,599 Times in 1,890 Posts
Another cheap but solid option is hex-key-lock skewers. Get the ones that are all steel, including the nuts. You can crank them down really hard, and they won't move around at all.
Polaris OBark is offline  
Old 12-31-22, 01:27 PM
  #5  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 246
Liked 13 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
Another cheap but solid option is hex-key-lock skewers. Get the ones that are all steel, including the nuts. You can crank them down really hard, and they won't move around at all.
Got a part number, or product name or anything? Looking around, manufacturers tend not to list the shaft and nut material on retailers sites, not where I have looked anyways.
mrmb is offline  
Old 12-31-22, 01:29 PM
  #6  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 246
Liked 13 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by 79pmooney
That QR is enclosed cam. Enclosed cam QRs have the lever coming out one side as that does, not symmetrically. Another tip - avoid non-steel skewers like aluminum or titanium. Both stretch a lot more .
So with a QR set up, whatís more importantÖ.shaft material or nut material? Or are they equally important?

Last edited by mrmb; 12-31-22 at 02:06 PM.
mrmb is offline  
Old 12-31-22, 02:29 PM
  #7  
ignominious poltroon
 
Polaris OBark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 4,255
Liked 3,599 Times in 1,890 Posts
Probably shaft, but if you really want to crank it down, you could strip aluminum threads, so find a steel nut.

I bought these in 2019

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...TF8&th=1&psc=1

but had to change out the aluminum nut on the drive side for steel.
Polaris OBark is offline  
Old 12-31-22, 04:06 PM
  #8  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 8,721

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Liked 2,492 Times in 1,287 Posts
Personally I prefer solid nutted axles but quick release axles can be made to work....Make sure to use chain tugs with your quick release...They prevent slippage, help adjust chain tension and help to center a wheel...I use chain tugs on my nutted axles just for some extra security.
wolfchild is offline  
Old 12-31-22, 05:34 PM
  #9  
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 14,097

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), R+M Supercharger2 Rohloff, Habanero Ti 26

Liked 4,284 Times in 2,856 Posts
I would definitely not use external cam skewers and look for good internal cam. My favorite is the Stainless Steel RWS Levers from DT Swiss. However Shimano, Campagnolo and Paul make some good ones as well. The Pauls are nice but I think I like the DTs a little better but Paul stuff always looks nice and is well made.

Also agreed, no aluminum or titanium, great metals poor for QRs.

However like others have said a nutted axle is the way to go when you can. For the front wheel QR is fine but the rear is made much easier with nutted wheels like 79pmooney suggested. Chain tensioners could be another good thing to have with the QR. I tend to find them a bit fiddly when I have dealt with them in the very distant past but could be handy with a QR as wolfchild suggested.
veganbikes is offline  
Old 12-31-22, 06:51 PM
  #10  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 246
Liked 13 Times in 12 Posts
Looks like the skewer shaft and nut on my Shimano deore xt QR set are both steel, so thatís good. Still open to other options, but that is what is in my hands right now.

Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
Another cheap but solid option is hex-key-lock skewers. Get the ones that are all steel, including the nuts. You can crank them down really hard, and they won't move around at all.
Do these tend to be made to be tightened down with a 5mm allen? Or is it 6mm?
mrmb is offline  
Old 12-31-22, 07:54 PM
  #11  
ignominious poltroon
 
Polaris OBark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 4,255
Liked 3,599 Times in 1,890 Posts
I think it is 5mm
Polaris OBark is offline  
Old 12-31-22, 08:15 PM
  #12  
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 24,877

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Liked 3,482 Times in 1,975 Posts
External cam is fine on a front wheel, but not the rear. You want internal cam for the rear.

N.B. despite what @79pmooney says above, I've never had a problem with Campagnolo and other skewers from the 70s and 80s, but maybe I'm just not the animal he is.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 01-04-23, 07:50 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Greenwood SC USA
Posts: 2,280

Bikes: 2002 Mercian Vincitore, 1982 Mercian Colorado, 1976 Puch Royal X, 1973 Raleigh Competition, 1971 Gitane Tour de France and others

Liked 1,518 Times in 713 Posts
I've run vintage steel q/r skewers for fixed-gears since 1998. The last decade or so I've standardized on '70s M.M. Atom/Maillard pattern skewers, which so far have never been a problem and haven't slipped. They're all steel with an internal cam, cheap and plentiful. I have not felt the need to run chain tugs, but perhaps my pedal action and power don't require them. I've run this setup on both forward-facing "horizontal" dropouts and rear-facing track ends with no issues.
rustystrings61 is offline  
Old 01-04-23, 08:16 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 13,501
Liked 3,015 Times in 1,856 Posts
That's an internal cam XT. Internal cam is good. Steel is good. As far as XT, is it the correct axle length?
himespau is offline  
Old 01-04-23, 08:47 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
TugaDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,504
Liked 612 Times in 447 Posts
Originally Posted by mrmb
Looks like the skewer shaft and nut on my Shimano deore xt QR set are both steel, so thatís good. Still open to other options, but that is what is in my hands right now.


Do these tend to be made to be tightened down with a 5mm allen? Or is it 6mm?
What you are using is just fine. I'd stick with them personally.
TugaDude is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.