This is one of those recalls that is really not as bad as it sounds. The problem in question isn’t actually a problem if you use the quick release correctly. However, as many of us that have worked in shops have seen, quick releases aren’t always understood by the consumer and often come into the shop twisted shut without actually using the cam. That seems to be the issue here if the lever side of the QR is installed on the disc side of the bike. Since the lever extends past 180º in the open position, if you managed to ride a bike with the skewer in the open position it could become lodged in the disc rotor and cause a crash.
The following video sums up the quick release and proper use nicely:
What the Video Missed: Lever Placement
Road, mountain, or whatever in between… If your bike uses quick releases (the industry is moving towards through-axles), when you move the lever into the close position such that the lever runs parallel to the ground and pointing to the back of the bike. Not up, down, etc – 3 o’clock is what you want. Here’s why:
- The direction is the best choice for aerodynamics. Don’t believe me? You don’t need a windtunnel: Next time you’re in the car, put your hand out the window and see how it feels at different angles.
- The direction makes it less likely for something on the trail catching & opening the quick release. More of an issue for mountain/trail riding
- The direction can make a difference when you need to open the lever. I learnt the hard way, when I closed it against the fork leg. There wasn’t clearance for my fingers to get better leverage to open the quick release – the experience resembled:
There are skewers that do not have the quick release lever. The ones I use thread one end, same as a quick release skewer. But where you’d have the lever and cam to clamp down, is an Allen key/hex bolt. Benefits?
- Less weight – can be as little as 30 grams for a pair (as front and rear ends have different lengths)
- More aerodynamic, as there’s less material (no cam or lever)
The trade-offs are:
- Not a quick release, so tire/tube/wheel maintenance will take longer than if using a quick release
- You need that Allen key/hex bolt onhand (multi-tool, never leave home without it)
I haven’t worked with through-axles (TA), but have heard that it does simplify wheel maintenance. Some cyclocross models have TA, due in part to disc brakes. Disc brakes are coming to road bikes, and the UCI has announced disc brake testing. However, the UCI allowed disc brakes in cyclocross starting in 2010, before revoking it and then accepting disc brakes again in 2013… I don’t care, I just like the stopping power and reliability.