Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

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nolight
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Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby nolight » Tue Dec 04, 2012 04:37 am

How do I check if my quick-release on my wheels is too tight or loose, hopefully without tools? I read somewhere that when skewers are closed, the rim is not supposed to move, but when skewers are at 45 degrees, rim should be able to move a bit laterally?

What are the symptoms if:
1. quick-release is too tight? Bike will be slower?
2. quick-release is too loose? Will the wheel drop off?! :shock:

Thanks.

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migrantwing
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Re: Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby migrantwing » Tue Dec 04, 2012 06:39 am

1. Shimano QR work a lot better than other brands I've used. They seem to have better cam action, are sealed, and have a very good 'pressure point'. I have Ultegra on the good road bike, and bog standard (silver cam/black lever) ones on the winter bike

2. This said pressure point (about 3/4 of the way closed) gives good clamping force as opposed to some other brands. (I have Easton wheels and swapped the stock QR's for Shimano Ultegra ones as the Easton ones were open cam, and had no real pressure point.)

3. Turn the nut (drive side) whilst holding the lever (non drive side) horizontally. When the nut starts to tighten and make a grinding sound, give it another quarter to half turn and flip the lever up so that it's vertical and parallel to the forks. It should take some resistance to push the lever with the heel of the hand. I wrap my fingers around the fork and use it as a fulcrum whilst pushing the lever closed.

I have my front QR close just in front of the fork. The rear QR I place between the chainstay and seatstay triangle, but sometime you can't do this with the geometry of bikes, so I opt for closing it horizontally parallel to the chainstay.

http://www.bicyclinglife.com/HowTo/UseAQuickRelease.htm

Hope there are no typo's and that makes sense. I've literally just woken up :)
Ghost Race 5000 (2011) Shimano 105 Black
Carrera TDF (2007)

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k-dog
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Re: Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby k-dog » Tue Dec 04, 2012 09:12 am

If it's a little loose it won't make your wheel fall out - that's what the 'lawyer tabs' are there to prevent.

It will ruin your bearings though.
I'm left handed, if that matters.

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schweiz
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Re: Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby schweiz » Tue Dec 04, 2012 09:46 am

With internal or external cam designs, I always tighten the skewer until there is the first sign of resistance with the lever horizontal (i.e. perpendicular to the drop out).

keef66
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Re: Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby keef66 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:54 am

^ wot he said. First sign of resistance when lever is in line with the axle.

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extrusion
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Re: Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby extrusion » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:49 pm

k-dog wrote:If it's a little loose it won't make your wheel fall out - that's what the 'lawyer tabs' are there to prevent.

It will ruin your bearings though.


Why will it ruin your bearings? Just wondering cos I keep ruining my bearings :roll:

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k-dog
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Re: Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby k-dog » Tue Dec 04, 2012 13:27 pm

It causes wear because there is excess play - and a greater chance of contaminants getting in.
I'm left handed, if that matters.

nolight
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Re: Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby nolight » Wed Dec 05, 2012 03:27 am

schweiz wrote:With internal or external cam designs, I always tighten the skewer until there is the first sign of resistance with the lever horizontal (i.e. perpendicular to the drop out).


I find that after the first sign of resistance, I can still tighten a few notches. I guess this means I should close the skewer without tightening the few notches, or not much diff?

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extrusion
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Re: Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby extrusion » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:57 pm

k-dog wrote:It causes wear because there is excess play - and a greater chance of contaminants getting in.


That could explain the contaminants getting in then ... and turning my grease to rusty water.

I have now gone full hammer and tongs on it. The only reason I had it looser was because initially the rear derailleur would clatter into the spokes on the 25t because tightening the skewer would move the derailleur in slightly, the harder I tightened it the worse it seemed to be. However having replaced that cassette with an ultegra cassette and popping in the spacer it comes with no more problems on that score, maybe there should be a spacer with Tiagra 4600 and that wasn't supplied before??

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schweiz
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Re: Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby schweiz » Wed Dec 05, 2012 13:50 pm

No, No, NO!

Overtightening a quick release will cause excess wear too!

The tightening of the QR skewer deforms the axle slightly and changes the pre-load on the wheel bearing.

http://sheldonbrown.com/brandt/cone-adjustment.html

marz
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Re: Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby marz » Wed Dec 05, 2012 14:02 pm

1, I've never heard of problems with overtight QRs. Close them as tight as your strength will allow, but not so tight that you can't undo them when you are cold and wet.
2, A quick a simple test is to hold the front/rear of the bike off the ground and thump the wheel downwards. It should not move at all. If it moves or pops out, tighten that QR.

stigofthedump
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Re: Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby stigofthedump » Wed Dec 05, 2012 15:17 pm

Under tightening will not ruin your bearings. If water is getting in that is a problem with your seals. Other posters are correct that the skewer does tighten the bearings a little bit, you should allow for this when you adjust the cones (if your wheel has cones and balls rather than sealed races).

If your quick release is too loose the axle will move in the dropout and wear the dropout. This could be quite expensive - new front fork or very expensive new frame/ suspension fork. Check the leaflet that was attached to the QR lever when you bought the bike or go to the Shimano website for a downloadable copy

letape2
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Re: Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby letape2 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 20:43 pm

stigofthedump wrote:Under tightening will not ruin your bearings. If water is getting in that is a problem with your seals. Other posters are correct that the skewer does tighten the bearings a little bit, you should allow for this when you adjust the cones (if your wheel has cones and balls rather than sealed races).

If your quick release is too loose the axle will move in the dropout and wear the dropout. This could be quite expensive - new front fork or very expensive new frame/ suspension fork. Check the leaflet that was attached to the QR lever when you bought the bike or go to the Shimano website for a downloadable copy


Fully agree - under tightened quick release should not impact bearings in anyway. The previous posters definitely confused me on this one!

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k-dog
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Re: Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby k-dog » Fri Dec 07, 2012 21:05 pm

'Course it will - a quick release skewer has some compression built in. That's why when you adjust hubs they should have a little play off the bike which disappears when you tighten the skewer.

Too tight ruins the bearings (although I think you would be hard pressed to make the adjustment too tight with the QR alone - it's more likely by over tightening the cones) and too loose will have play so accelerate the wear too.

For long life and smooth running you want them free spinning but without play which takes proper adjustment of the cones appropriate for the qr tightness.
I'm left handed, if that matters.

cougie
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Re: Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby cougie » Sat Dec 08, 2012 08:44 am

1. It'll be obvious if its too tight - you wont be able to close it. I've never heard of anyone going slower because their quick release was too tight.

2. You'll know if its too loose as there wont be any resistance when closing it.

You just need a firm force to close it - but not so firm that you know you'll struggle to undo it later.

I've never heard of any bearing problems related to QRs

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smidsy
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Re: Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby smidsy » Sat Dec 08, 2012 09:16 am

One tip I was given was that the force needed to close the QR should be just enough to leave a momentary impression on your palm.
Yellow is the new Black.

nolight
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Re: Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby nolight » Tue Dec 11, 2012 09:52 am

I hear the word play a few times. How do you check for play? Is it some sort of lateral movement on the wheel?

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dhobiwallah
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Re: Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby dhobiwallah » Wed Dec 12, 2012 15:46 pm

I've never heard of anyone going slower because their quick release was too tight.


No - but its now a new excuse to have in my back :D pocket.....

Bordersroadie
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Re: Quick-release skewers tightness on wheels

Postby Bordersroadie » Thu Dec 13, 2012 06:42 am

smidsy wrote:One tip I was given was that the force needed to close the QR should be just enough to leave a momentary impression on your palm.


+1

The best bike mechanics I've come across over the years all use this as a rule of thumb and err towards tightening "just enough" rather than "extra tight".


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