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Quick release releasing quickly

By scottknscc - Posted on 01 January 2013

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Now that the silly season is almost over here is my accident report for the season. I hope I'm the only one.

On the Friday before Christmas heading to work in the city along the Clarence st underpass I stood and pedalled hard to get up the climb, the rear quick release let go and the wheel got spat out of the frame stopping the bike instantly and sending me over the handle bars into the concrete at nearly 40kmh. Ouch! Some broken and cracked ribs and the usual cuts and abrasions are all healing well and I expect to be on the bike in a week or two. The dentist will fix the two broken teeth soon.

Has anyone ever had their quick release come undone unexpectedly after months of riding, and why did it happen? The wheel is a Mavic Ksyrium Elite with its standard qr and yes I did it up tight about two months ago, but not super tight. In that two months i've been racing, commuting and the usual weekend runs averaging over 200k/wk. The frame is a titanium (2.5al) and is the stiffest frame I've ever owned.

[Mod. moved to Road gear]

I'm glad that didn't happen in front of a bus!

What's the skewer material made from? Could it have stretched? I think you've perhaps answered your own question.

I check my lever (singular) periodically - I have a bolt-on axle at the front (Lefty) and use a torque wrench set at 15Nm for that - but I always make sure the rear's done up tight, to the point where it's over centre and painful on the fingers to pull open again.

You've explained one thing to me - I've always wondered what would happen if a rear popped out. It seems I am justifiably paranoid.

Hope the ribs heal fast and the dental bills aren't too bad. In the short term, stay away from people who make you laugh! Evil

thanks Hawkeye that sounds like good advice both on the QR and the laughing. Sneezing is no fun either.

I have heard instances of the thread on the skewer becoming worn, so under heavy load the nut can suddenly "pop" free. A female Aust. pro on a training ride in Vic. found herself in hospital a few years back when her front skewer let go unexpectedly I recall. Name escapes me.

Checking the soundness / tightness of skewers as often as possible is best approach and renew when you can afford to I guess - that said, I am riding some Look carbon forks that are 10+ years old.

Instances of skewers letting go appear to be very rare, so I believe I'm the victim of a unique set of circumstances. Considering while racing and commuting I was sprinting at over 60ks, bunny hopping and the usual thrashing around its surprising it let go while doing a mundane thing.

I'm replacing the wheel and seriously considering fashioning a safety clip.

Hi -

I have a tI frame ( EverTi) and have had similar ( but not actually coming out ) The QR's come loose ... on inspection I am thinking its an issue with the knurling on the QR's wearing smooth against the Ti frame ( much harder) and this causes them to slip and "unwind a bit"

I have had this a couple of times , lucky I have caught it before it gets loose enough for the wheel to drop out . Looking at the QR flanges and also the face on the wheel that contacts the frame I have observed these have lost the rough grip pattern . No seen this on carbon bikes as the drop outs are softer ... have a look and see if you notice the same ....

thanks jpb173 for that posting it seems to be exactly what happened. i checked out the wheel nut which is in contact with the Ti of the frame and it was worn while the QR nut which sits against the alloy hanger was much less worn.

so today's lesson kids.... if you own a Ti frame keep a very close eye on the QR, keep it tight and check the knurling regularly. It WILL wear out...

had a discussion with Greg at TWE about this the other day when I was there - he advised to also use Ultegra or Dura-Ace skewers as they seemed to be the "best" in steel and Ti frames . Skewers with plastic bushings are the worst dud to potential for the plastic to compress a bit after tightening and surprisingly he mentioned Ti skewers as also being a potential problem ( shame as I had nice blingy blue Ti skewers ) ... anways am moving to Ultegra skewers to see how they go

I'm not too sure about how different metals interact but certainly plastic pretty much anywhere in the skewer or on the axle is a big no no. I've had a close look at my setup and the drive side skewer nut is not in contact with the Ti of the frame but instead it is up against the alloy hanger, so I'm not too worried about it wearing badly. Its the wheel nut/washer on that side that is in contact with the Ti of the frame which is more likely to wear.

Gee, if you want to pass on your Ti skewers I'd be happy to take them, but I would have thought Ti on Ti would possibly be the best situation. Any metallurgists out there who can answer this? I think the big key is to keep it all super tight and to check regularly (500-1000k).

Interestingly, I've had conversations with the frame maker and they were pretty much non-committal about it all. No admissions of previous events or of any recognized differences to other frame materials. They kept telling me it was just a fluke. Hmmm... I suspect they are following strict legal speak being a US company and are really glad I'm not a US claims lawyer.

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