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  1. #1
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    Replacing the front skewer on an OS28 bike?

    I have searched.... I am tired. I see references to DT Swiss's special set up, but I am not interested in that. What I want to know is simple:

    I have a 2013 Camber Comp (aluminum). I have learned that Specialized cannot make a clamping mechanism to save their lives. I have replaced the seat post clamp and now what to get rid of the front skewer because it comes loose almost every ride no matter how tight I think I have it.

    Is there anything special to the skewer on the OS28 equipped bikes or will a normal QR skewer work?

    Ultimately, I will replace the lowers on my Reba with a 15 axle, but that is a ways off right now.... I have a nice deep gouge down the back of my leg from the last time the wheel came loose.... tired of bleeding for Spec's crappy clamps.
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  2. #2
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    It looks like your bike has a standard quick release skewer for the front wheel. To tighten it you should be part tightening the skewer with the lever open, and then rotating the lever cam to lock it in place. If you aren't rotating the lever then it isn't fully closed and the skewer can work loose. If you can see the mark of the lever on your palm after rotating the lever cam that should stay fastened.

    As a replacement I'd suggest getting an allen key front skewer. Once tightened fully it will stay fastened.

    Wiggle | Halo Hex Key Skewers - Pair | Quick Release Skewers

  3. #3
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    That is the problem with the skewer. I can tighten it as tight as I can get it with it open, close the "lock" which will be tight but it will still open during the ride. The OEM skewer is not like my older stuff where it is a lever that tightens down, it is a fake thru axle that twists closed. I have NEVER had a wheel come loose on me since I started biking in 1994 just as I have NEVER had a seat post clamp not hold tight. I love love love my Camber, but I just don't like Specialized clamping features.

    And thanks for the input and link!
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  4. #4
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    I realize you aren't interested, but I recently bought a DT Swiss RWS for the OS28 setup on my Epic. I like the ratchet system - it eliminates the concerns you have with a typical QR:
    DT Swiss - RWS MTB titan

  5. #5
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    Maybe I am missing something, but the DWS at least looks VERY similar to the set up my bike came with and it doesn't stay tight.

    Am I missing something? Open the lever side of the skewer, tighten down the nut side as much as I can and then close the lever side? Almost every ride ends in me "missing" on my steering and every time I find the skewer is loose and my front wheel is flopping around.
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  6. #6
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    Have you got a picture of the front skewer that you could post?

    A DT RWS skewer doesn't use a cam to close the lever. You tighten a DT RWS skewer by turning the handle clockwise until it won't turn any more. The DT RWS skewer has a ratchet built in (pull the handle out towards you) so that you can reset the handle position and keep spinning the handle tight without it catching on the fork leg. That's also how the DT 142x12mm rear thru axle on your frame works.

    The front skewer looks like it's a QR though. One thing you could try would be to turn the bike upside down before closing the skewer's lever cam. By having the bike upside down (resting on the bars and saddle) it gives your arms a better position for exerting pressure, in order to get the cam closed tighter.
    Last edited by WR304; 04-03-2013 at 09:38 AM.

  7. #7
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    Now that makes a lot more sense. I bet the front skewer is the same. Nobody has ever shown me the ratcheting feature on the skewers (I guess I have just been lucky on the rear not coming loose). I am at work now, but I will check this out when I get home and report back. Hopefully that is the problem.

    FWIW, the front skewer turns just like a thru axle skewer. It doesn't cam open/closed like an old school QR.

    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    Have you got a picture of the front skewer that you could post?

    A DT RWS skewer doesn't use a cam to close the lever. You tighten a DT RWS skewer by turning the handle clockwise until it won't turn any more. The DT RWS skewer has a ratchet built in (pull the handle out towards you) so that you can reset the handle position and keep spinning the handle tight without it catching on the fork leg. That's also how the DT 142x12mm rear thru axle on your frame works.

    The front skewer looks like it's a QR though. One thing you could try would be to turn the bike upside down before closing the skewer's lever cam. By having the bike upside down (resting on the bars and saddle) it gives your arms a better position for exerting pressure, in order to get the cam closed tighter.
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  8. #8
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    Well isn't my face red....

    So yeah, the front skewer is a DT Swiss RWS style with the ratchet feature. My last bike was 13 years old, I had never seen this type of skewer. Thank you for not assuming I was a total tool.

    I might not be on anti-biotics for a bad pedal strike to my calf had I posted this earlier...
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  9. #9
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    That's interesting. Is your DT RWS front skewer the 9mm diameter version? According to the product page the front skewer on a 2013 Camber Comp is a QR. The Camber in action pics show a QR too if you zoom in.

    Specialized Bicycle Components

    DT RWS is arguably better than standard QR anyway so its not an issue.

    Now that you've got the front skewer fully tight (until it won't turn anymore) you'll probably need to re-align the front disc brake caliper also if the pads are rubbing on the rotor. One good thing about DT RWS skewers is that you can reliably get the skewer tightness close to the same each time. Whenever you take the wheels on and off in future the brake caliper shouldn't need adjusting.

  10. #10
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    We may be baffling the OP with our terminology. The standard QR itself has a 5mm diameter, and the OS28 caps are designed to accommodate that. I presume that's what he must have if he's using the caps.

  11. #11
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    You are not baffling me at all. This skewer works EXACTLY as WR304 described above. According to DT Swiss's website, the RWS can come in the 5mm standard QR size:

    DT Swiss - RWS MTB steel

    The specs on the Specialized site are not entirely accurate because this is definitely NOT the standard cam lever type QR skewer. Here a quick video of me messing with the skewer:

    Skewer me crazy!
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  12. #12
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    Good, glad it's sorted. The reason I checked is that you'll often see references to "9mm QR", when in fact the skewer itself is 5mm (but actual hub setup is 9mm).

    As mentioned in my first reply, I use the RWS on my bike, and like the consistency it offers, such as rotor spacing as per WR304's post. You can also place the "handle" wherever you wish, so it is easy to tighten (and loosen), and you can easily avoid the "handle open forward" position, which can be dangerous, i.e., can catch trail debris/sticks.

  13. #13
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    Now that I know about it, I like it a lot better than the old style. I never had an issue with the rear because nothing interferes with the tightening of the axle and it just happens to line up where I want it to. The front can't spin all the way around because of the fork lowers. I am happy to have asked instead of just replacing though, it saved me $20 and the troubles of a normal QR clamp.
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  14. #14
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    Replacing the front skewer on an OS28 bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by phlegm View Post
    We may be baffling the OP with our terminology. The standard QR itself has a 5mm diameter, and the OS28 caps are designed to accommodate that. I presume that's what he must have if he's using the caps.
    In previous years (including 2012) the OEM Specialized HiLo front hubs have come with both 28mm end caps and 9mm diameter DT RWS thru bolt skewers. The picture below is the front hub that came with my 2009 Specialized Epic.



    28mm end caps and a 9mm diameter DT RWS thru bolt skewer works well. It's easily as good as 15mm thru axle fork lowers for stiffness, probably better actually due to the large hub end cap clamping area.

    It's the higher end Roval branded front wheels which have tended to come with 28mm end caps and 5mm diameter skewers (as a weight saving measure, rather than for performance reasons).

    Just a quick note on that video. I'd tighten the skewer more than that still before riding. Pushing it closed with one thumb isn't enough really. Front and rear need to be as tight as they'll go (using full hand pressure but without going overboard) so that they can't work loose again whilst riding. You can move the handle out to where it gives full leverage, rotating it back to by the fork leg afterwards so that it's out of the way.
    Last edited by WR304; 04-04-2013 at 10:04 AM.

  15. #15
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    Are there (currently available) factory OS28 end caps that allow one to use a 9mm thru bolt skewer? These are for Roval Trail 29 SL and Roval Carbon Control 29 wheels if it matters.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Boy View Post
    Are there (currently available) factory OS28 end caps that allow one to use a 9mm thru bolt skewer? These are for Roval Trail 29 SL and Roval Carbon Control 29 wheels if it matters.
    You'd need to do a modification to the Roval OS28 end caps. As seen here. The endcaps are too thin to safely drill out from a 5mm diameter to 9mm diameter skewer without reinforcing first.

    0s28 end caps with dt swiss rws 9mm

    You can get 15mm thru axle compatible end caps for the Roval front wheels if you decide to go so far as replacing the fork lower. Part numbers needed are listed here:

    Roval questions?

    Roval hubs and Specialized HiLo hubs are different so you can't swap endcaps between the two.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    Just a quick note on that video. I'd tighten the skewer more than that still before riding. Pushing it closed with one thumb isn't enough really.
    It isn't really pushed closed with a thumb.... it is "grip" closed with most of my hand. But yes, I am going to tighten it a bit more before riding. It is muddier than $@@@ down here right now and I am starting to get the shakes. Fixing this problem is just making me even more impatient with all the trails closed and my leg has stopped hurting from the infection, so I am ready to ride.... damn you soggy trails. (My garden thanks the rain though.... I will too once I start harvesting poblano peppers).
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    In previous years (including 2012) the OEM Specialized HiLo front hubs have come with both 28mm end caps and 9mm diameter DT RWS thru bolt skewers. The picture below is the front hub that came with my 2009 Specialized Epic.



    28mm end caps and a 9mm diameter DT RWS thru bolt skewer works well. It's easily as good as 15mm thru axle fork lowers for stiffness, probably better actually due to the large hub end cap clamping area.

    It's the higher end Roval branded front wheels which have tended to come with 28mm end caps and 5mm diameter skewers (as a weight saving measure, rather than for performance reasons).

    Just a quick note on that video. I'd tighten the skewer more than that still before riding. Pushing it closed with one thumb isn't enough really. Front and rear need to be as tight as they'll go (using full hand pressure but without going overboard) so that they can't work loose again whilst riding. You can move the handle out to where it gives full leverage, rotating it back to by the fork leg afterwards so that it's out of the way.
    My 2013 Epic Comp has OS28 end caps with a DT RWS 9 mm diameter skewer as pictured. The only difference is they are black.

  19. #19
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    Well, looks like I've baffled myself. My 2011 (with Rovals) came with a 5mm QR and OS28 caps, so seems to be several combinations.

    Was curious though, as asked above, I've read the thread(s) about converting the 5mm caps to accommodate a 9mm thru bolt. If 9mm caps are available, couldn't you just order them? (Or are the 9mm ones incompatible with the hub on the Roval carbons?)

  20. #20
    Bos
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    My sister has a 2013 Epic Expert with the Roval Control wheels and OS28 Endcaps. I imagine the Carbon controls are using the same hubs that are on the Roval Control wheels. I have to see what size skewers came on her Expert.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by phlegm View Post
    Well, looks like I've baffled myself. My 2011 (with Rovals) came with a 5mm QR and OS28 caps, so seems to be several combinations.

    Was curious though, as asked above, I've read the thread(s) about converting the 5mm caps to accommodate a 9mm thru bolt. If 9mm caps are available, couldn't you just order them? (Or are the 9mm ones incompatible with the hub on the Roval carbons?)
    You can't interchange endcaps between Roval and Specialized HiLo front hubs.

    There aren't any 28mm diameter end caps with 9mm diameter DT RWS thru bolt skewer holes for the Roval hubs. They're not available. If you want that combination it means making or modifying your own custom hub end caps.

    You can get 28mm diameter end caps with 9mm diameter DT RWS thru bolt skewer holes for the Specialized HiLo front hubs but they are completely seperate and a different design. Not interchangeable with the Roval end caps.

    Roval hubs can be used with either 28mm diameter end caps with 5mm diameter QR skewer holes, or alternatively with 15mm diameter thru axle end caps. Some (but not all) Roval front hubs can also use 20mm diameter thru axle end caps. Those are the only current Roval front hub configurations. Roval front hub end caps aren't interchangeable with DT Swiss own brand front hub end caps either.

    I think the confusion is caused by what's written on the Specialized website for the 2013 bikes. In previous years the Specialized bike specifications have made clear distinctions between whether the front hub is a 9mm thru bolt RWS skewer or a 5mm QR skewer. It just seems to be 2013 where someone has copy-pasted QR on the bike specifications Eg:

    Correct Naming in 2012:

    2012 Specialized Epic Comp 29 (Hi Lo front hub, 28mm end caps, DT RWS thru bolt)
    Specialized Bicycle Components

    2012 Specialized Epic Expert 29 (Roval front hub, 28mm end caps, 5mm QR skewer)
    Specialized Bicycle Components

    Incorrect Naming in 2013:
    2013 Specialized Epic Comp 29 (listed as QR but still appears to have 9mm diameter DT RWS thru bolt front skewer)
    Specialized Bicycle Components

  22. #22
    Bos
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    Hmmm, makes me think about upgrading the rims on my Hi lo hubs instead of buying Roval Control wheels. Just so I can keep the 9 mm thru bolt. I wonder what the wait penalty is with the Hi lo hubs with those on the Roval Control wheels?

  23. #23
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    Really Specialized ought to be shipping their 2013 bikes with 15mm thru axle fork lowers to begin with. That's the new standard. Even the lower end bikes from other manufacturers come with 15mm thru axles now. Eg:

    Trek Bicycle

    2013 Giant Anthem X 29er 4 (2013) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | UK / Ireland


    Re-using the hub is what I did for the front wheel on my 2012 Epic initially. I took a Specialized HiLo front hub and had it built into a light-bicycle.com carbon fibre rim to replace the Roval Control front wheel that came with the bike, as a way of stiffening the front end. That worked ok as I wasn't very happy with the Roval Control wheel's front hub.

    2012 Epic 29er Picture Thread

    2012 Epic 29er Picture Thread

    A bit later I replaced the original QR fork lowers with 15mm thru axle fork lowers and switched the front hub for a different one.

    2012 Epic 29er Picture Thread

    I did weigh the Specialized HiLo front hub but can't remember exactly what it was. 190g without the 9mm diameter DT RWS skewer I think, so not particularly light but still in the same range as something like a Hope Pro 2 Evo disc front hub (185g). A 9mm diameter DT RWS skewer is supposed to weigh around 49g.

  24. #24
    Bos
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    Yeah I'd have to agree. A 15 mm thru axle would be ideal. Thanks, you confirmed my suspicion on the weight of the front hub being in the same ball park. How did you like the light-bicycle.com rim?

  25. #25
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    There's a massive thread on the light-bicycle.com carbon rims here: (set the forum view to show 100 posts per page for easier reading). The first few posts are about a different manufacturer. Starting around March - April 2012 is the relevant part to read.

    (Cheap) Chinese Carbon Rims?

    These are the rims that I bought, narrow 29er in 3k matte carbon finish. I was really pleased with mine. You can specify number of spoke holes, carbon finish (3k, 12k, UD carbon), along with matte or gloss finishes and whether you want a stronger reinforced version of the rim or not. (you need to email them to request it.) With Roval Control wheels the original spokes are re-usable when switching to the carbon rims also. 3k matte carbon is the finish that looks most like the Specialized Roval Control SL carbon rims.

    To ride the carbon fibre mountain bike rims are noticeably different to aluminium ( spelt correctly phlegm ) rims. They feel stiffer. The only problem is that you get spoiled by them and don't want to ride anything but carbon rims in future.

    I've actually ordered a second set that are on the way too, they're passing through UK customs at the moment.

    cross country bike carbon mountain biking 29er rim clincher Light-Bicycle

    .

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