How much of a drop can qr skewers take?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How much of a drop can qr skewers take?

    How much can they take before you have to upgrade to thru axles? 190 lb rider here

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by beatkeeper1 View Post
    How much can they take before you have to upgrade to thru axles? 190 lb rider here
    I've never seen a qr fail, but I did watch my buddy shear off his qr fork dropouts jumping a 3 inch log... just a normal little trail ride pop jump did 'em in.. endo ensued.

    I like thru axles.

  3. #3
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    that was an unplanned stoppie lol, would you suggest a 15 or 20 mm? Is 20 mm just for the insane stuff?

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    Lots of people like 20mm for the stiffness, not necessarily for strength. In reality, you are not really in much danger of breaking an axle or fork unless riding very fast on DH style terrain or doing big hucks. The qr fork my friend broke was an older Fox (2003 or so).

    15mm vs 20mm mostly comes down to if you want a heavier duty freeride capable 160mm+ fork like a Fox 36 or Lyrik, or a lighter weight 140-150mm like a Revelation or Fox 32. Think about what wheelset you have or want as well, many wheelsets are only compatible with one or the other (15 & 20mm axles).

    -dooner

  5. #5
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    I've hit drops up to 5' (on to decent transitions, though) and flat drops maybe 3' high on a 30mm Minute fork and regular qr, at weights up to 240# or so. Never had a problem.
    '19 Ibis Ripmo
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  6. #6
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    The only time I've seen a QR break was when my friend's bike fell off the rack going 70 mph on the highway. Besides that, I've hit a few table tops that gave me 20+ feet of air (depending on where you landed on the landed zone) and done a decent sized step down with a 13' gap and a 6' drop. I have cased that step down a few times too and although it rattled me like all hell, my QR was fine. I have a thru in the fork, but my rear wheel is still doing fine.

    YMMV though

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by beatkeeper1 View Post
    that was an unplanned stoppie lol, would you suggest a 15 or 20 mm? Is 20 mm just for the insane stuff?
    Either or, it doesn't really matter.

    If you see a fork that fits your budget and intention, get it and change the wheel to suit, in terms of absolute strength neither is particularly stronger than the other.

    Big forks (160mm +) are pretty much exclusively 20mm though, so if that's what you want 20mm is the way.

    As for QR forks, I had a qr Revelation mk1 on my four cross bike for four years without it ever having any problems. Strong forks are strong forks axle type be damned.

  8. #8
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    At least with a 15 or 20mm QR axle, you always get your rotor exactly at the same distance from your caliper when removing and installing the wheel, so no need to spend time getting the exact pressure on the QR to match the rotor/caliper original position. And it's quick and stiff. I ride a FR bike with a 20mm thru-axle because it came stock on the bike, but at 110lbs, I don't think I'll ever flex even a 9mm QR enough to really see the difference. In fact, I'll be more worried about the fork's drop-outs to fail rather than the QR since the 9mm QR is not in the main thing, it's the hub who rest on the drop-outs, so the front 9mm skewer might simply suffer from a bending for the cheap ones over time, but your drop-outs will take the hits.

    David
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by David C View Post
    At least with a 15 or 20mm QR axle, you always get your rotor exactly at the same distance from your caliper when removing and installing the wheel, so no need to spend time getting the exact pressure on the QR to match the rotor/caliper original position. And it's quick and stiff. I ride a FR bike with a 20mm thru-axle because it came stock on the bike, but at 110lbs, I don't think I'll ever flex even a 9mm QR enough to really see the difference. In fact, I'll be more worried about the fork's drop-outs to fail rather than the QR since the 9mm QR is not in the main thing, it's the hub who rest on the drop-outs, so the front 9mm skewer might simply suffer from a bending for the cheap ones over time, but your drop-outs will take the hits.

    David
    There are some confusing things that you wrote that I want to clear up.(not just your post but this thread in general)

    Skewers are not axles, and do not support any weight. A skewer is nothing more then a clamping system that is used to replace axle nuts to allow you to remove the wheel tool free. 9mm is about 3/8 of an inch, a skewer is only about 3mm thick and goes through the 9mm axle which is hollow. The hub does not sit in the drop outs either, the axle does.

    I have never heard of a 9mm axle failing (although I'm sure they have). I wouldn't worry about it failing from a drop or jump. In most cases, your wheel will fail long before you break the axle. The advantages for 15mm and 20mm axles is mostly the increased lateral stiffness that it gives you. You don't really notice how much your front end flexes under load and deflects off rock/logs/roots until you move up to the stiffer axles and forks.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by beatkeeper1 View Post
    that was an unplanned stoppie lol, would you suggest a 15 or 20 mm?
    My sig pretty much sums up my take on 15mm vs 20mm.

    Is 20 mm just for the insane stuff?
    No. The stiffness is a benefit in many xc situations as well.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  11. #11
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    I did a quite a few 8' to flat drops on my old Marzocchi Jr T back in the day at around 190 pounds. That had regular qr dropouts. They never broke, but they were flexy.

  12. #12
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    +1 mullen119

    I have 20mm, and they are so stiff.
    I like not having to adjust the qr tension as well.

  13. #13
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    I've broken one doing up to 2' drops on a rigid bike. Wasn't catastrophic I just couldn't tighten my cones, and took the axle out and oh it's in two pieces. another friend broke his rear axle after lots of hard riding and it was the same thing.

    Personally I have a 20mm front axle now and will never change. IMO the 15 vs 20 isn't as important as what fork and what wheel it is on.

  14. #14
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    Done 10' drops on QR rear

    I will not ride QR front, 20mm only.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119 View Post

    I have never heard of a 9mm axle failing (although I'm sure they have). I wouldn't worry about it failing from a drop or jump. In most cases, your wheel will fail long before you break the axle. The advantages for 15mm and 20mm axles is mostly the increased lateral stiffness that it gives you. You don't really notice how much your front end flexes under load and deflects off rock/logs/roots until you move up to the stiffer axles and forks.
    exactly. through axles are for added stiffness in the lateral plan. not to better hold up to abuse (although they probably do).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul View Post
    exactly. through axles are for added stiffness in the lateral plan. not to better hold up to abuse (although they probably do).
    I believe that they hold up to abuse more as well. My friend's Transition Dirtbag fell off the rack going 70 mph and landed on both wheels at once and the QR skewer flexed to the point that the wheel simply fell off. Of course falling off the rack at 70 is different than a 150-200 pound rider crashing at high speeds, but all the same it made me appreciate 20mm.

  17. #17
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    I think it's strange that no one has addressed HT vs FS yet. Obviously, with fs there is a lower peak load over a longer period, where the HT will have a much bigger load all at once. I snapped two standard QR's on the rear of my trek 820 HT. Once while going 5-8 mph in a wussy little rock garden. and I do mean the QR snapped. axle was fine. since then i am reluctant to do anything but commute on a hardtail with QR's...for any kind of drops, i would go for a thru axle, especially at your weight.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tazmetal View Post
    I think it's strange that no one has addressed HT vs FS yet. Obviously, with fs there is a lower peak load over a longer period, where the HT will have a much bigger load all at once. I snapped two standard QR's on the rear of my trek 820 HT. Once while going 5-8 mph in a wussy little rock garden. and I do mean the QR snapped. axle was fine. since then i am reluctant to do anything but commute on a hardtail with QR's...for any kind of drops, i would go for a thru axle, especially at your weight.
    Could that snapped skewer have been just a flawed part? I ask because I wonder how much the tension in the skewers goes up when the wheel lands a drop. It seems like it should be *relatively* steady. But I really have no idea. I'll stick with Shimano skewers since they have the best rep (and likely quality control).

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kanik View Post
    Could that snapped skewer have been just a flawed part? I ask because I wonder how much the tension in the skewers goes up when the wheel lands a drop. It seems like it should be *relatively* steady. But I really have no idea. I'll stick with Shimano skewers since they have the best rep (and likely quality control).
    Could have been defective, I guess. As for the brand, Both of the ones I snapped were Bontrager, since that is what my lbs installed by default.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119 View Post
    There are some confusing things that you wrote that I want to clear up.(not just your post but this thread in general)

    Skewers are not axles, and do not support any weight. A skewer is nothing more then a clamping system that is used to replace axle nuts to allow you to remove the wheel tool free. 9mm is about 3/8 of an inch, a skewer is only about 3mm thick and goes through the 9mm axle which is hollow. The hub does not sit in the drop outs either, the axle does.

    I have never heard of a 9mm axle failing (although I'm sure they have). I wouldn't worry about it failing from a drop or jump. In most cases, your wheel will fail long before you break the axle. The advantages for 15mm and 20mm axles is mostly the increased lateral stiffness that it gives you. You don't really notice how much your front end flexes under load and deflects off rock/logs/roots until you move up to the stiffer axles and forks.
    I think this is right on the money. I have a heavy downhill rig (45ish lbs) several years old that sports a qr rear. I did have to replace the skewer once, it probably bent from not being properly tensioned, but it has been reliable.

  21. #21
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    Here's a video of Shaums March riding a Mountain Cycle San Andreas with QR axles, very hard.
    This is also a bit of history, as to how come the original San Andreas' became so famous back in the day.

    White men can jump - Shaums March - YouTube!
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  22. #22
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    Ive ben wondering this myself for a few months! Thanks for asking :P

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by David C View Post
    At least with a 15 or 20mm QR axle, you always get your rotor exactly at the same distance from your caliper when removing and installing the wheel, so no need to spend time getting the exact pressure on the QR to match the rotor/caliper original position. And it's quick and stiff.
    ^^^^
    What he said.

  24. #24
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    Probably, as much as you can take, but if safety is a concern, upgrade to bolt-on skewers, or if your hubs allow - 9 and 10 mm through bolts.

    On my endurance bike I do run 9mm Hadley through axle in front on a Durin 120mm fork with open dropouts, and it is a quite darn stiff combination. Hope makes 9mm compatible through axle adapters for their front hubs. 10mm bolt-on option on a Hope hub in the rear.

  25. #25
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    The skewer itself doesn't bare the load, it goes through the axle which is baring the weight/load.

    Keep in mind that a stiff axle does not mean stiff front end if you have a flexy fork, wheel, and/or tire. Theres more than one factor in stiffening a bike.

    Im a trail rider (fast, rough, light drops/jumps), and ive ridden 9QR and 15TA, never had problems with either.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by shenny88 View Post
    Im a trail rider (fast, rough, light drops/jumps), and ive ridden 9QR and 15TA, never had problems with either.
    Im a trail rider too, and can make the QR/wheel interface lean so much that I get brake "CHING" under load. CanNOT do that with my 20mm fork with similar travel and same size stanctions.

    I've never had a "problem" with 9mm, but 9mm skewers are a holdover from road bikes. On my bikes now, I've got 20mm up front and bolt on rears -YES, it makes a difference. I can very much feel the lack of lateral rigidity.

    As for 15mm, it is just silly. It is not as strong as 20mm and doesn't save an appreciable amount of weight.

  27. #27
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    ive broken 2 qr axles, and bent multiple skewers. ive switched to through axle and havent looked back since. i love love LOVE the added rigidity that the through axle gives me, taking turns, and plowing through rock gardens (i live in arizona so every trail is riddled with huge sharp rocks) and i havent had an issue once with the through axle, and i feel so much more confident on the pedals. i didnt think it would be as big a difference as it is, but it was huge for me (at 220 pounds). if you arent looking to upgrade your setup to a through axle one then i would follow the advice of many others here, 20mm bolt on, it makes almost as much difference as through axle when compared to the skewer.

  28. #28
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    on a side note... any "weight" (and its in quotes because its negligible) that is added is only for the better. what you gain in lateral rigidity more that makes up for the added weight. your confidence will boost, and your will be able to ride faster.

  29. #29
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    Just noticed last night on my 2011 Enduro comp that the QR skewer is bent. I haven't quite figured out why they would put this on this bike. What is the best upgrade so this won't happen again? without breaking the bank.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by afp3 View Post
    Just noticed last night on my 2011 Enduro comp that the QR skewer is bent. I haven't quite figured out why they would put this on this bike. What is the best upgrade so this won't happen again? without breaking the bank.
    Halo Hex bolt on skewers, $12, assuming that your hubs can not be modified to take DT Swiss RWS or Hadley through bolts.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by afp3 View Post
    Just noticed last night on my 2011 Enduro comp that the QR skewer is bent. I haven't quite figured out why they would put this on this bike. What is the best upgrade so this won't happen again? without breaking the bank.
    It really gets down to what caused it. Skewers don't just bend without reason. They are in a hub which is a solid chunk of metal and they only carry stretching load and not bending. Most likely it bent while installing/removing the wheel.

    If its just a mishap in installation/removal, then get another one instead, good quality one (Shimano, DT Swiss...) and be careful with it.

    Otherwise try to see if you can convert the hub to 9mm Axle, most hubs cannot. Those 9mm Axles are pretty nice.

    The real solution to all QR problems is a full on axle, but that requires a different fork/wheel and will break the bank

  32. #32
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    Yeah not quite sure how it happened? I have had the rear wheel off before and haven't noticed it bent until now. Everything is stock on it so I will look into the options given.

    Thanks

  33. #33
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    I once bent a rear QR bad enough that I couldn't get it out of the hub, that however was on an REI mid-range hardtail. The hardtail combined with a lower quality skewer may have done it. I dunno, just my experience.
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  34. #34
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    20mm front and finally got a rear wheel with a 12mm thru on my Nomad. Im running a 12-10mm conversion axle!

  35. #35
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    Tonight my skewer in the rear snapped. After I got a flat, fixed it, put it back on like normal close the QR and snap. I was like you gotta be F***ing kidding me.
    Yip yip yip nope nope nope

  36. #36
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    You do realize that the skewer itself is *NOT* the load bearing mechanism of the wheel assembly right? .......



    The skewer is there to simply "pinch" the axle between the frame's dropouts. It provides no bearing surface, or load surface. The axle itself is what the bearings roll on, and surface the wheel spins on. The skewer is simply an over-priced home improvement "C Clamp" but with a lever, instead of a pistol grip like the one in daddy's garage.

    If you're bending your skewers, it's because you're not tightening them enough....

    A 15mm Axle, or 20mm Thru axle provide for a larger bearing surface, as well as a way of actually clamping the fork legs together, or rear drop outs together. Instead of just a lever, they use bolts.. however the new generation of 20mm and 15mm dropouts now use some sort of screw in / flip lever design to make the job of changing a flat easier and quicker.


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  37. #37
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    I fully understand it does not hold any load and have been using them for over a decade. Also it was not bent. It simply failed at the QR snapping half of the skewer. Not because it was over torqued either. Just happy I was not riding when it failed. Pissed at the fact it broke.
    Yip yip yip nope nope nope

  38. #38
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    All of my bikes have 20mm thru axles but I bought my 575, and for some reason it shipped with a fox 32 qr instead of the standard 15mm thru (a little odd, to say the least). Anyway i ended up forgetting about it and taking the bike anyway and I can say I have had pretty much zero problems. I jump the bike and ride the hell out of it, the only time I had a problem was on a 15ft gap did a little handlebar twist but didn't fully recover by the landing....I landed with the wheel pretty much sideways and obviously fell on my face. Everything was fine and the bike still rode without a problem, but I noticed later that that the qr skewer was bent in two place (basically the ends were parallel but the central portion where hub would normally be was was bent a bit. I took it home hammered it back straight with a soft blow mallet. I have ridden the same qr and hub since without a hitch. Basically my crash made the fork legs flex and bend the qr. I personally wouldn't worry about having a qr and jumping, The only reason i would buy one over another is if both options were offered for the fork you are looking to buy. Decide on your fork if it is optional or only comes in 20mm ta consider getting the 20mm (it is a piece of mind) but you will not break a qr unless it has a flaw (which could happen with any kind of axle).

    Keep in mind I run a dt swiss wheel set on the 575 which has dt swiss qr skewers (they are seemingly thicker and more machined/quality oriented than stock qr's (i believe they are made of hardened steel) but really qr skewers are very strong!!!

    Also for the record all these people braking rears is a bit of an anomaly, thru axles in the rear are pretty recent tech even for dh bikes, and no one seemed to have a problem for years. In fact most dh and freeride wheel sets are still sold with standard qr rear hubs or at most 10mm rear hubs. Most production dh/freeride frames adopted through axles in the last 2 years (save the most expensive/extreme riding models)

  39. #39
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    I don't always do drops to flat but when I do its about 4-6 inches. I have only tried qr and it has worked out quite well, never broken anything. Besides the hubs anre not dependant on the qr axle, they always have some beefier axle in there. Beefiest **** I've seen is the true precision hubs, even though its qr the main axle seems to be 20mm. Its a tube.
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  40. #40
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    thread was dead

  41. #41
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    Rear 10 QR axles freaks the **** out of me for anything more aggressive than XC and even more when using a rear disc brake. They simply clamp the wheel in place and the only thing that prevent your rear wheel from sliding in the drop-outs under crank power or braking is two tiny plates of alloy and a mere ~3mm steel rod... Call me crazy, but there is no way I'll call this safe to use on gnarly stuff. Plus they are a pain to deal with when it comes to rear end flex and rotor aligment. And tru-axle drop-outs are no new tech. They have been using TA axle for years in the motorcycle industry and other motorized sports. The only reason why we're still stuck with QR skewer axle those day is because of the bike industry marketing BS that wants to keep us buying old technology so they can make better profit on (not the new one) but the current tech. And thinking about buying a nice AM/FR or even DH wheelset now with a rear 10mm QR axle is just BS. Unless you have to deal with an older frame that can't take anything else. Might as well weld a thick alloy plate on each drop-out and convert the rear end to TA axle. Which make a lot more sense to have a closed system than a clamp.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
    I've hit drops up to 5' (on to decent transitions, though) and flat drops maybe 3' high on a 30mm Minute fork and regular qr, at weights up to 240# or so. Never had a problem.
    I would very much like to see a picture of this fork, thanks!

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by David C View Post
    Rear 10 QR axles freaks the **** out of me for anything more aggressive than XC and even more when using a rear disc brake. They simply clamp the wheel in place and the only thing that prevent your rear wheel from sliding in the drop-outs under crank power or braking is two tiny plates of alloy and a mere ~3mm steel rod... Call me crazy, but there is no way I'll call this safe to use on gnarly stuff. Plus they are a pain to deal with when it comes to rear end flex and rotor aligment. And tru-axle drop-outs are no new tech. They have been using TA axle for years in the motorcycle industry and other motorized sports. The only reason why we're still stuck with QR skewer axle those day is because of the bike industry marketing BS that wants to keep us buying old technology so they can make better profit on (not the new one) but the current tech. And thinking about buying a nice AM/FR or even DH wheelset now with a rear 10mm QR axle is just BS. Unless you have to deal with an older frame that can't take anything else. Might as well weld a thick alloy plate on each drop-out and convert the rear end to TA axle. Which make a lot more sense to have a closed system than a clamp.
    All shimano hubs have 5mm rods going through them. I have only used shimano. It works sufficiently. Lets say its a 1000mpa alloy in the skewer, then it will take 1000 newteon per square mm of the skever cross-section to shear it. And thats a lot. Thats 19.625 square millimeters and 1 newton is about 100grams of force. 19000newton x 100gram. It takes 1900 kilos to break it.
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    I would very much like to see a picture of this fork, thanks!
    You know they mean 30mm stanchions, not travel?
    I have an '05 Minute like that, and I think they went to 32mm on '06+ models.

  45. #45
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    Ive bent several stock gaint 9mm qrs
    Went to American Classic wheels and never bent a qr
    Then went 15mm fork and converted the hub and I hate that I didnt do it sooner

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    I would very much like to see a picture of this fork, thanks!
    It is just a standard Minute 2:00 from 2004.

    The stanchions are 30; the travel is 125mm or something like that.
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehigh View Post
    thread was dead
    I wish it still were.

    Asking how big a drop a QR can take is like asking how much food you should eat for lunch. No one can answer it for you even though there's probably a wrong answer in there somewhere.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  48. #48
    ~ B A D A S S ~
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    Don't come bringing facts here in this discussion!
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  49. #49
    Huckin' trails
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    All shimano hubs have 5mm rods going through them. I have only used shimano. It works sufficiently. Lets say its a 1000mpa alloy in the skewer, then it will take 1000 newteon per square mm of the skever cross-section to shear it. And thats a lot. Thats 19.625 square millimeters and 1 newton is about 100grams of force. 19000newton x 100gram. It takes 1900 kilos to break it.
    Not that the skewer would break, but that the rear wheel wouldn't stay in place under constant huckin' and get too much flex. Plus it's a lot easier to bend a 5mm skewer in a lot of way than it is to do with a solid 10mm axle or a 15 or 20mm TA axle.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  50. #50
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    not entirely true..

    I ride my hard tail aggressively with plenty of jumps and drops over 4" and have never had one single issue. You just cant skimp on skewers. I have Sram skewers on my bike and they have taken quite an abuse. Only kind of annoying thing is removing the front wheel and adjusting brake pads every time. Other than that no biggie.

  51. #51
    Professional Crastinator
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    Quote Originally Posted by renenavarro002 View Post
    I ride my hard tail aggressively with plenty of jumps and drops over 4" and have never had one single issue. You just cant skimp on skewers. I have Sram skewers on my bike and they have taken quite an abuse. Only kind of annoying thing is removing the front wheel and adjusting brake pads every time. Other than that no biggie.
    Drops over 4 inches? Really?!

    (sorry. that's how my day has started)

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  52. #52
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    I meant 4 feet

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    Drops over 4 inches? Really?!

    (sorry. that's how my day has started)

    -F
    Sorry, I meant 4 feet.

  54. #54
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by renenavarro002 View Post
    I ride my hard tail aggressively with plenty of jumps and drops over 4" and have never had one single issue. You just cant skimp on skewers. I have Sram skewers on my bike and they have taken quite an abuse. Only kind of annoying thing is removing the front wheel and adjusting brake pads every time. Other than that no biggie.
    This thread was dead twice. Why did you necro it again for this?

  55. #55
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  56. #56
    I live to bike
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    What is a QR?

    Lol. It's funny because nothing comes with QR anymore

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
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