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Thread: skewers

  1. #1
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    skewers

    The quick release skewers that came on my Kona Unit (fully rigid, singlespeed) are pretty crappy. The lever action isn't very smooth, and the rear skewer seems to get just a tiny bit loose(r) with each ride. So, I'd like to replace them with decent, middle-of-the-road replacements. I don't need any bling (although I wouldn't be opposed to a little color). And, I don't want to spend more than necessary. To give you an idea of what I'm thinking... If it were my roadie, I'd get a set of Shimano Ultegra skewers and be done with it.

    Any recommendations?

    Thanks.

    Steve

  2. #2
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    The best I hear are XT skewers or probably Hopes.
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  3. #3
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    I have the crank brothers splits and they work fine, probably not the lightest but are smooth and got them for $30 / pair on ebay.
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  4. #4
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    Deore XT and DT Swiss are really good. Avoid the "exposed cam" design if possible (Salsa, Hope, etc.)
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  5. #5
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    FYI, XT's are ~$20 new on eBay. LX are cheaper.

    BTW, this question comes up frequently and should be put into FAQ.

    Already in there.

    What? What do you mean it's already in there?

    Welcome to like 2005, bro.

    ............
    Last edited by p nut; 11-15-2010 at 11:51 AM.

  6. #6
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    Well, I didn't ask if I could (or should) use quick-release skewers, which is the only related question that I can find answered in the FAQ. But, if your reply makes you feel better about yourself, knock yourself out.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Mickstar
    Well, I didn't ask if I could (or should) use quick-release skewers, which is the only related question that I can find answered in the FAQ. But, if your reply makes you feel better about yourself, knock yourself out.

    Steve
    Quote Originally Posted by FAQ
    Older, heavy-duty steel skewers like early Shimano XTs seem to work the best for people choosing to use a quick-release on the rear. *
    And I was just joking with the whole dialogue. Looks like someone's got a case of the Mondays.

  8. #8
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    You want a closed cam quick release like a Shimano (any Shimano).

    Side note: About fifteen or twenty years ago when suspension first hit the MTB, the craze was big, oversized hubs and axles and tiny little, light QRs. Shimano made some oversized hubs called Parallax that consistantly tested as the stiffest as long as you used their skewers. They knew it back then - a parallax is an optical/camera term for an illusion!
    BBI certified, 12+ years as mechanic

  9. #9
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    I have some Deore skewers and they work well on my 29er's track ends. So good, they stayed aligned during a bad crash last Sunday. Wheel got bent, broke my left elbow in 2 places (pending surgery) and sprained my right ankle. Good times.

  10. #10
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    Well ****, now I'm confused. I've recently moved to a rigid fork, now I'm having problems with my FRONT skewer slipping when I'm under really hard braking. I saw a friend's Salsa skewers with the longer, fatter lever and thought that would be better than the XT that I have, but after reading the FAQ it sounds like I'm at the limit of QR's (???).

    This is only gonna get worse when I put a larger disc on the front, so is my only option to go with a steel bolt-on skewer?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chmnyboy
    Well ****, now I'm confused. I've recently moved to a rigid fork, now I'm having problems with my FRONT skewer slipping when I'm under really hard braking. I saw a friend's Salsa skewers with the longer, fatter lever and thought that would be better than the XT that I have, but after reading the FAQ it sounds like I'm at the limit of QR's (???).

    This is only gonna get worse when I put a larger disc on the front, so is my only option to go with a steel bolt-on skewer?
    Whether this problem occurs or not has as much to do with the angle of the dropouts on the forks as anything, and the tendency is more noticable with fork dropouts that are vertical, or nearly so, rather than those that face forwards.
    It's the same type of torque reaction that will sometimes pull the braking side of the rear wheel forwards in track ends.
    What forks are you using and what size disc rotor?
    The general consensus seems to be that Shimano skewers are the best performing, and of the exposed cam design, Salsa.
    I use both and have had no issues with either.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy R
    Whether this problem occurs or not has as much to do with the angle of the dropouts on the forks as anything, and the tendency is more noticable with fork dropouts that are vertical, or nearly so, rather than those that face forwards.
    It's the same type of torque reaction that will sometimes pull the braking side of the rear wheel forwards in track ends.
    What forks are you using and what size disc rotor?
    The general consensus seems to be that Shimano skewers are the best performing, and of the exposed cam design, Salsa.
    I use both and have had no issues with either.
    This makes sense. The rigid Salsa dropouts are vertical, while my old fork had slightly forward facing ones. I'm only at 160 rotors, but moving to 180, so it might be that I just need to get a bolt on skewer and really cinch it down.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chmnyboy
    Well ****, now I'm confused. I've recently moved to a rigid fork, now I'm having problems with my FRONT skewer slipping when I'm under really hard braking. I saw a friend's Salsa skewers with the longer, fatter lever and thought that would be better than the XT that I have, but after reading the FAQ it sounds like I'm at the limit of QR's (???).

    This is only gonna get worse when I put a larger disc on the front, so is my only option to go with a steel bolt-on skewer?
    Even your bolt on skewer may not be as strong as a Shimano. The reasons are both simple and a bit complicated. First, the simple answer is Shimano (and Campy) use internal steel cams; all the other exterior skewers cams are aluminum. Further Shimano skewers have steel teeth on the nut and aluminum teeth on the lever/cam side. If installed properly with the nut on the drive side, the steel teeth will bite harder where it is needed for the rear; with a front disc this needs to be reversed where the steel nut is on the same side as the disc. The complicated answer has to do with surface area. The surface area of an interior steel came is half that of an exterior aluminum skewer. Because of this, it takes twice as much torque to close the exterior skewer as the interior. In other words, a Shimano interior cam skewer has twice the compression or holding power as an exterior skewer using the same torque on the lever. Exterior aluminum cam skewers are all junk, go with any level Shimano and you will be happy.
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  14. #14
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    Good job!

    Best QR's I have used are the FSA Scatto. Rock solid.
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  15. #15
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    Salsas are the only ones that I have not had problems with for many years.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by aka brad
    Even your bolt on skewer may not be as strong as a Shimano. The reasons are both simple and a bit complicated. First, the simple answer is Shimano (and Campy) use internal steel cams; all the other exterior skewers cams are aluminum. Further Shimano skewers have steel teeth on the nut and aluminum teeth on the lever/cam side. If installed properly with the nut on the drive side, the steel teeth will bite harder where it is needed for the rear; with a front disc this needs to be reversed where the steel nut is on the same side as the disc. The complicated answer has to do with surface area. The surface area of an interior steel came is half that of an exterior aluminum skewer. Because of this, it takes twice as much torque to close the exterior skewer as the interior. In other words, a Shimano interior cam skewer has twice the compression or holding power as an exterior skewer using the same torque on the lever. Exterior aluminum cam skewers are all junk, go with any level Shimano and you will be happy.

    Thanks, guys. I ordered a pair of Shimano Deore XT (M760) skewers off eBay. So, I should be good to go.

    That's interesting about reversing the forward skewer for disc brakes.

    I'm pretty new to mountain biking and disc brakes. And, to be honest, don't use my front brake all that much on my mountain bike anyway - usually only on extended downhills, which are usually straight. So, I don't have a good handle on how hard front braking would tend to torque a hub. But, I assume your recommendation is to combat that force. So, I'll go with it. Thanks.

    Steve

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jays0n
    I have the crank brothers splits and they work fine, probably not the lightest but are smooth and got them for $30 / pair on ebay.
    +1 on the crank brothers. If you watch ebay you can get some really good deals on them

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by aka brad
    Even your bolt on skewer may not be as strong as a Shimano. The reasons are both simple and a bit complicated. First, the simple answer is Shimano (and Campy) use internal steel cams; all the other exterior skewers cams are aluminum. Further Shimano skewers have steel teeth on the nut and aluminum teeth on the lever/cam side. If installed properly with the nut on the drive side, the steel teeth will bite harder where it is needed for the rear; with a front disc this needs to be reversed where the steel nut is on the same side as the disc. The complicated answer has to do with surface area. The surface area of an interior steel came is half that of an exterior aluminum skewer. Because of this, it takes twice as much torque to close the exterior skewer as the interior. In other words, a Shimano interior cam skewer has twice the compression or holding power as an exterior skewer using the same torque on the lever. Exterior aluminum cam skewers are all junk, go with any level Shimano and you will be happy.
    Where are you getting this information? How does the orientation of the QR affect anything when both ends of the QR are interfacing with the fork/frame dropouts? What calculations are you using to determine that it takes twice as much torque to close the exterior cam as the interior cam? And how does using "twice" the amount of torque to close a cam directly correlate to the amount of compression the skewer provides?

    My mechanical engineering skills are a bit rusty, but what you are proposing doesn't make sense.

    BTW, I do agree that internal cam QR skewers have features that are superior to external cam skewers. DT Swiss is the exception.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumbee1
    Where are you getting this information? How does the orientation of the QR affect anything when both ends of the QR are interfacing with the fork/frame dropouts? What calculations are you using to determine that it takes twice as much torque to close the exterior cam as the interior cam? And how does using "twice" the amount of torque to close a cam directly correlate to the amount of compression the skewer provides?

    My mechanical engineering skills are a bit rusty, but what you are proposing doesn't make sense.

    BTW, I do agree that internal cam QR skewers have features that are superior to external cam skewers. DT Swiss is the exception.
    I should have qualified the rear orientation to horizontal dropouts. With the said dropouts, there is more force on the drive side then the non-drive side, hence the steel teeth of the nut would grab harder then the aluminum teeth of the cam side (the same reason you use a chaintug on the drive side). As far as the front goes, a disc brake will put more torque on the disc side than the non-disc side, hence again the steel teeth of the nut would grab harder then the aluminum teeth of the cam side.

    From Sheldon Brown:
    "..the exposed cam is a larger diameter, (typically 16 mm vs 7 mm for an enclosed cam) so the friction is acting on a longer moment arm (the radius of the cam.) The result is that the exposed cam type provides very much less clamping force for a given amount of hand force on the lever."

    It should not be too difficult to understand that the clamping force of the cam is directly promotional to the amount of force used to turn the cam arm. If you want some mechanical engineering you can also look at the Coefficient of Friction of sliding materials steel to steel .42, aluminum to aluminum 1.4, aluminum to plastic 3.67.
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  20. #20
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    Other than converting my special-ed p2 with track ends from QR to bolt on rear hub (which for obvious reasons was a silly stoopid spec), I personally have never had issues with any skewers. Some look better than others and have smoother "engagement" than others, but that's as far it goes for me. If a QR isn't cuttin' it I'd check the dropouts and hubs for issues or consider a thru axle.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Mickstar

    I'm pretty new to mountain biking and disc brakes. And, to be honest, don't use my front brake all that much on my mountain bike anyway - usually only on extended downhills, which are usually straight.

    Steve
    Not on this topic but since you are new to mountain biking it would be good for you to know that at least 70% of breaking efficiency is with the front brake so if you said you hardly use your rear brake that would make sense but not the other way around. If you are relying on your rear brake all the time you are not stopping very well and likely skidding the rear tire and damaging the trail more than necessary. If you are afraid of going over the bars get your ass back over the rear tire.
    No it never stops hurting, but if you keep at it you can go faster.

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