If you’ve ever lost a wheel to theft, you know the importance of locking up the wheels— not just the frame. But how you secure your wheels to the bike also makes a difference.
Know your parts. A bolt-on wheel, also referred to as a solid axle or one that uses an axle nut, consists of a steel rod that’s threaded and secured to your bicycle by two nuts. The nuts screw onto the axle and are tightened using a hex key.
A quick release, on the other hand, uses a hollow axle, which has a hole drilled through the middle to accommodate a skewer. A threaded nut makes up one end of the skewer, while the other end contains a lever-operated cam. Close the cam and the fork securely holds the wheel in place.
Security vs. convenience. If you’ve ever suffered a flat tire in the rain or cold, then you can relate to the frustration Italian bike racer Tullio Campagnolo felt when he lost valuable time in a race because his hands were too cold to unscrew the wing-nuts to remove his wheel and change a flat. Desperate for an alternative, he invented the quick release mechanism in 1927. Today, most modern bikes come equipped with a hollow axle and skewers, though some track and fixed gear bikes are the exception.
While the upside to the quick release is the ability to quickly move and remove a wheel, the downside is that bike thieves also take advantage of their ease of use. Even though a simple hex wrench will remove a bolt-on wheel, this option is still more time consuming and can dissuade a casual thief.
Keep your bike safe. If you prefer to use a quick release, you still have options for avoiding theft. Many commuters with quick releases will lock the frame with a U-lock and then use a padlock and cable to lock the frame and wheels to a bike rack. Commuters with bolt-on wheels have even more options for securing their ride. If you want to take the traditional bolt one step further, companies like Delta Cycle and Hublox offer security skewers that come with a unique bolt pattern that requires a special wrench. The upside is guaranteed security. The downside is walking home if you flat and forget your top-secret tool.
Make the switch. Bolt-on wheels are common in older bikes. But if you yearn for the ease of a quick release, you don’t have to trade in your bike just yet. It’s simply a matter of replacing the solid bolt-on axle with a quick-release axle set in the wheel. Since bicycle hubs vary, it’s important to confirm with your local shop first to ensure you purchase the correct quick-release axle set for your wheel’s hub. If you haven’t done this or don’t have the cone wrenches for the job, it may be cheaper (and less hassle) to leave the job to your trusty mechanic, who will have you rolling in no time.
Maya Cycle bike trailers launch new quick release design. For those who use bike trailers, Maya Cycle’s new quick release design has finally arrived and is ready for order at www.mayacycle.com. The new quick-release allows the cyclists to easily attach and detach the Maya Cycle bike trailer in 3 seconds flat.