Recently there has been a lot of talk about problems with quick release levers used to hold the wheels in to most modern wheels.
Most of the discussion in the news has revolved around some badly designed and specified components fitted by manufacturers to their new bikes but this week I have seen two cases of QR Abuse that were clearly not the fault of the manufacturers.
The quick release lever has been around for long enough that most people who own a bike should have used one by now. They are, in the main, safe and secure and by far the most convenient way of securing the wheels to your bike.
When installed properly they will shrug off all attempts to dislodge the wheel but when you want to remove the wheel you can do it with one hand and no tools.
I serviced a cyclocross bike this week that had in my opinion, only one dangerous fault; The QR for the rear wheel had been installed facing forward [click the image for a closeup];
- Firstly a forward facing QR can catch in the bushes, especially on this cyclocross bike; a simple catch on a branch could flick it open releasing the back wheel!
- The second problem is that the tip of the lever is actually hard up against the frame [chain stay] which has prevented it from closing properly.
- The third problem comes when trying to open the QR. There is no way you could get your fingers behind it and that could lead to all kinds of frustration when its cold and muddy!
Always ensure your quick releases point backwards and that the lever is clear to close properly without catching anything. In the closed position you should be able to get a gloved hand in behind it to open it.
The Seatpost Clamp
Next; when out for a cycle I stopped to chat with two guys, I noticed the seat post clamp on one of the bikes was open and pointed it out to the rider. He seemed a little confused and on closer inspection I discovered why. I didnt have my camera with me at the time so I have re created the problem with an identical Hope Seatpost clamp on my road bike pictured below.
The problem isnt the fact that its a Hope clamp, the rider had bought the bike like that and could not understand how to adjust the height of his seat post. The clamp had been done up tight by screwing it in using the lever as a handle untill it was tight enough to hold the seat post in place but it had now ceased itself in that position and no amount of jiggling it was going to undo it.
When I tried to turn it I discovered it was totally locked in place. The only way to release this seat post clamp was to get some grips on the nut end of the mechanism and ease it off while turning the handle on the other end back and forth. It made a bit of a mess of the clamps nut but we can replace that for a few pennies. In case you are wondering, here is the before and after;