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Rear Free Wheel with Quick Release Safe?

Old 06-28-19, 01:41 PM
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Treker08
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Rear Free Wheel with Quick Release Safe?

A bike shop I used in the past recently me told me this, "Having a rear free wheel set on a quick release is sketchy, un-safe practice and is something we wouldn't risk our reputation on." What do you guys think?
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Old 06-28-19, 02:02 PM
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With rim brakes and horizontal dropouts and a poor quality or design quick-release or poor attention to detail, yes. Following basic good practice and using a reputable quick-release with an internal cam and steel skewer, not an issue. Been done for 90 years and millions of miles.

Ben
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Old 06-28-19, 02:13 PM
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As above, BITD when bikes had horizontal rear dropouts to account for poor alignment, QRs could allow the wheel to slip if something went wrong. Almost all modern bikes have vertical dropouts and the force from the chain pushes the wheel's axle into a solid part of the frame.

There are a few cases I can think of where the rear wheel slipped during riding. It is much more likely on cheap bikes that have been converted to QR as the dropouot thickness is too little for the QR to squeeze on before it bottoms out against the end of the axle. If doing this conversion you must cut the NDS of the axle down by a few mms. It generally slows or stops the bike, but is not a catastrophic failure.

If the QR on the front wheel lets go, the results are generally much more severe.

So what bikes does this shop sell that have no QRs on their rear wheels? Do they disassemble the hub on every bike and install a nutted axle? Because every adult bike from almost every bike brand comes from the factory with F&R QRs. Only bikes with internally geared hubs, and single speeds, come with nutted axles.
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Old 06-28-19, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Treker08 View Post
A bike shop I used in the past recently me told me this, "Having a rear free wheel set on a quick release is sketchy, un-safe practice and is something we wouldn't risk our reputation on." What do you guys think?
It doesn't matter if you have 1, 5, 7 or 11 cogs on a freewheel equipped QR rear axle, it's as "safe' and mature a design as you'll find.
Perhaps you or they meant "fixed gear" instead?
If so, I've ridden for years on a FG/QR set-up with zero problems.
That being said, get a proper track style hub for FG riding w/ track nuts and have at it.

Choosing and properly operating a QR as @79pmooney notes is SOP.

edit: Is this some shop shilling the "danger" of QR to sell a bike w/ disc brakes and through axles as the "safe" alternative?
If so, don't go back there.

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Last edited by Bandera; 06-28-19 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 06-28-19, 02:57 PM
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IMO, sounds like they are trying to sell you a more expensive bike. I have been road biking for 45+ years. All of it with quick release skewers. Never had a problem not due to my not tightening the skewer enough. Look at some video to get the correct way to use the QRs.
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Old 06-28-19, 03:06 PM
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I ride older bikes and expect a certain level of knowledge to have slipped through the cracks over the years.

But that? I'd be looking for another bike shop. If that's not an option I'd seek out a better-informed person within the shop at the very least.
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Old 06-28-19, 04:40 PM
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Quick releases require a certain minimal level of mechanical competence. More and more products are being designed on principle that entire population of users are complete morons. Designing for the dimwitted prevents legal problems. Also limits choices and degrades performance.

Most common error with quick releases is using them as wingnuts. Any who would even attempt doing that fail the test and should not do anything mechanical to a bike ever. That is probably a third or a quarter of all quick releases ever made. Past 30 years there has been an endless stream of external cam quick releases. Basically not safe, sell like hotcakes. Used on majority? of higher priced QR-equipped bikes for years now. So the pendulum swings and we go from dismal performing external cams to through axles.

One of my bikes in regular rotation is equipped with pre-war FB/Campagnolo QRs. Over 80 years old. Probably among the first few thousand ever made. No problems.
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Old 06-28-19, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Treker08 View Post
A bike shop I used in the past recently me told me this, "Having a rear free wheel set on a quick release is sketchy, un-safe practice and is something we wouldn't risk our reputation on." What do you guys think?
You need to find another bike shop.

The only kind of bike I would not use a rear quick release on would be one with fixed gear (track or fixie).
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Old 06-28-19, 07:06 PM
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In 55 years of racing, commuting, touring and just cruising around with QR freewheel bikes, I can count on one hand how many times the wheel has slipped in the dropouts. The momentum of the bike will carry you along if the tire tire contacts the frame. Usually you hear it, and have time to stop and reset the wheel in the frame and adjust the QR. The most recent instance of this happening was on a friend's carbon bike with QR and modern cassette. He stood up to finish a hill, the wheel shifted, locked up, and he went over the bars cracking his helmet and his one piece carbon bar/stem combo. Stuff happens. You could also get struck by lightning. Find another shop.
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Old 06-28-19, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Past 30 years there has been an endless stream of external cam quick releases. Basically not safe, sell like hotcakes.
How not safe? External cam QRs are fine in the right application ie. when used with vertical dropouts, which are found on the vast majority of modern bicycles. The only place I would require an internal-cam QR or a solid axle with nuts would be with horizontal dropouts
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Old 06-29-19, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Treker08 View Post
A bike shop I used in the past recently me told me this, "Having a rear free wheel set on a quick release is sketchy, un-safe practice and is something we wouldn't risk our reputation on." What do you guys think?
What sort of bike were you looking at? Because the statement is an odd one, and doesn't really make sense to me in isolation.
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Old 06-29-19, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Designing for the dimwitted prevents legal problems.
I remember a discussion at work a few years ago that went something like this:

Co-worker: "Make it idiot-proof so anyone can do it."

Boss: "Oh, you don't want to do that, they'll just make a better idiot."

Anyway, as others have said, it's time to find a different bike shop. I've been riding QR rear wheels for decades without issues.
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Old 06-29-19, 07:49 AM
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QR lever has to be really tight* and the axle rnd has to bite into the metal ..

* internal cam type can exert more force ..

as you close the lever, the resistant force, it should leave a mark on the palm of your hand with the lever.. 'that' tight..








...

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-04-19 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 06-29-19, 08:56 AM
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The correct amount of force/clamping power can be achieved with either an external or internal-cam design QR. The internal cam design just allows you to get that same force more easily. IOW they're probably better suited to the frail and weak.
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Old 06-29-19, 09:22 AM
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OP, if you haven't gone missing in your own thread, read this:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/skewers.html
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Old 06-29-19, 09:34 AM
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I guess 6 of my 7 bikes are unsafe, better update my will. What a hack!
Tim
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Old 06-29-19, 09:46 AM
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Thank you all for your input. To give you more context, I visited this bike shop about 3 years ago to get a new rear wheel for my 1994 Trek 800. Without my permission, they installed a solid axle wheel instead of quick release one that came with my bike. Although the new wheel has performed well, recently, I have needed to remove the wheel, and I greatly miss the convenience of the quick release system. So I posted a negative Google review for that bike shop, and part of the owner's reply to my review was the warning of the safety issues of using quick release on a rear free wheel.
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Old 06-29-19, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
The correct amount of force/clamping power can be achieved with either an external or internal-cam design QR. The internal cam design just allows you to get that same force more easily. IOW they're probably better suited to the frail and weak.
Internal is superior though, according to Sheldon Brown’s article as mentioned in post #15. Looks way better too, the external style just looks cheap, probably cause it is.
Tim
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Old 06-29-19, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Treker08 View Post
Thank you all for your input. To give you more context, I visited this bike shop about 3 years ago to get a new rear wheel for my 1994 Trek 800. Without my permission, they installed a solid axle wheel instead of quick release one that came with my bike. Although the new wheel has performed well, recently, I have needed to remove the wheel, and I greatly miss the convenience of the quick release system. So I posted a negative Google review for that bike shop, and part of the owner's reply to my review was the warning of the safety issues of using quick release on a rear free wheel.
Bah ha ha ha Never go back there, unless it is to demand they install a QR axle. That's nothing but pure lunacy!
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Old 06-29-19, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by NatusEstInSuht View Post
The only kind of bike I would not use a rear quick release on would be one with fixed gear (track or fixie).
The only reason you don't see quick releases on track wheels is because track regulations often forbid them out of concern that a closely-following rider's front wheel could disengage the lead rider's quick release. Unless you're riding on a track in a pursuit event, a quick release track wheel is not a concern.

In fact, up until the 1970s, Campagnolo offered quick releases as an option on their track hubs:

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Old 06-29-19, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
The only reason you don't see quick releases on track wheels is because track regulations often forbid them out of concern that a closely-following rider's front wheel could disengage the lead rider's quick release. Unless you're riding on a track in a pursuit event, a quick release track wheel is not a concern.

In fact, up until the 1970s, Campagnolo offered quick releases as an option on their track hubs:
I was informed that a nutted-on wheel is preferred due to the increased force from forward and reverse lateral movements in a fixed-gear hub.

But your explanation makes far more sense.
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Old 06-29-19, 01:14 PM
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One issue common, multi-speed freewheel rear axles had*, was metal fatigue breakage..
a solid axle stronger than a hollow QR type .. But the QR still held the 2 parts together
after the axle broke..

* because the right axle bearings were closer to the bike center line than the axle end

so axle flexed a little, often.. as you rode..










.....
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Old 06-29-19, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Treker08 View Post
So I posted a negative Google review for that bike shop, and part of the owner's reply to my review was the warning of the safety issues of using quick release on a rear free wheel.
That seems silly - on the part of the shop.

Generally, I'd expect a shop (of any kind) to ask permission before doing work I did not ask for or substituting a different product. This at least gives the customer the option of going elsewhere. I understand that bike shops may refuse to perform some services due to liability issues, but it's not a good excuse for substituting something different without consulting the customer.

As you can see from this thread, most riders have no issues with QR rear wheels. Same here: the only time I ever had an issue was with a very cheap MTB single speed wheel with equally cheap QR skewers, in a very beat up MTB with horizontal dropouts (it was a low-budget winter build). On one occasion, the wheel slipped, causing me to stop and get grease on my hands on the way to work. After replacing the cheap QR skewer with a better one, no issues.
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Old 06-29-19, 02:56 PM
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Maybe you misunderstood the shop person. Their statement as you have relayed it is strange. The only time in 40 years I've had a properly mounted QR wheel slip in horizontal dropouts is ... never.

And the only time I've had a properly mounted QR front wheel fall out of non-lawyer-lip fork ends is again ... never.
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Old 06-29-19, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Treker08 View Post
Thank you all for your input. To give you more context, I visited this bike shop about 3 years ago to get a new rear wheel for my 1994 Trek 800. Without my permission, they installed a solid axle wheel instead of quick release one that came with my bike. Although the new wheel has performed well, recently, I have needed to remove the wheel, and I greatly miss the convenience of the quick release system. So I posted a negative Google review for that bike shop, and part of the owner's reply to my review was the warning of the safety issues of using quick release on a rear free wheel.
That sounds like they installed a cheaper wheel, as this naturally profits them more at the price quoted, and have made up a lame excuse when you've later questioned their actions. Both the fitment and reasoning would come from the same attitude, and i wouldn't continue going somewhere practicing that.
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