Why no QRs on track/fixed gears?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Marc, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Marc

    Marc Guest

    Why is it that all track/fixed-gear hubs have solid axles?

    I can imagine that there is some logical answer for the rear - but I'm
    not going to guess what it is. But why the front? Why no QR on the
    front?

    Follow-up question -

    Has anyone done a conversion to a hollow hub on a track/fixed wheelset
    to retrofit it for QR use?
     
    Tags:


  2. Vee

    Vee Guest

    >Why is it that all track/fixed-gear hubs have solid axles?

    I think it's because track racers are paranoid about catching QR levers
    and losing their wheels when racing. The topic comes up here time and
    again, but I've never seen (what I think is) a compelling rationale for
    not using QR-equipped wheels.

    I converted my rear track hub (a Surly) to QR. No problems whatsoever.
    As with any hub, all you need is an axle of appropriate diameter and
    thread pitch.

    -Vee
     
  3. Marc

    Marc Guest

    Vee wrote:
    > >Why is it that all track/fixed-gear hubs have solid axles?

    >
    > I think it's because track racers are paranoid about catching QR

    levers
    > and losing their wheels when racing. The topic comes up here time

    and
    > again, but I've never seen (what I think is) a compelling rationale

    for
    > not using QR-equipped wheels.
    >
    > I converted my rear track hub (a Surly) to QR. No problems

    whatsoever.
    > As with any hub, all you need is an axle of appropriate diameter and
    > thread pitch.
    >
    > -Vee


    Is it much of a challenge to change the axle? Where did you get the
    new one? I think I'm going to do the same thing ... unless you think
    that this is not an operation for someone who has never disassembled a
    hub before.
     
  4. Someone asked:

    >>Why is it that all track/fixed-gear hubs have solid axles?

    >

    Someone answered.
    >
    > I think it's because track racers are paranoid about catching QR levers
    > and losing their wheels when racing. The topic comes up here time and
    > again, but I've never seen (what I think is) a compelling rationale for
    > not using QR-equipped wheels.


    Actually, I think this is an older rule, predating the invention of the
    quick release! Back in the day, the alternatives were hex nuts or wing
    nuts.

    The wing nuts were perceived as a hazard on the track, mainly on acount
    of the risk of impalement in a crash.

    The governing bodies dealt with the wing nut problem by mandating plain
    nuts, and that obsolete regulation has never changed.

    Trackies are the most conservative of cyclists, especially sprinters,
    when it comes to equipment.

    > I converted my rear track hub (a Surly) to QR. No problems whatsoever.
    > As with any hub, all you need is an axle of appropriate diameter and
    > thread pitch.


    And a _good_ skewer. See: http://sheldonbrown.com/skewers

    Sheldon "Atavism" Brown
    +----------------------------------------+
    | The art of being wise is the art of |
    | knowing what to overlook. |
    | --William James |
    +----------------------------------------+
    Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
    Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041
    http://harriscyclery.com
    Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  5. Vee wrote:
    >>Why is it that all track/fixed-gear hubs have solid axles?

    >
    >
    > I think it's because track racers are paranoid about catching QR levers
    > and losing their wheels when racing. The topic comes up here time and
    > again, but I've never seen (what I think is) a compelling rationale for
    > not using QR-equipped wheels.


    So they don't puncture someone in an accident. Incidentally, there is
    no *technical* reason not to use a QR on the back of a fixed. The
    pulling force on the wheel is just the same as on a geared bike.
     
  6. Sheldon Brown writes:

    >>> Why is it that all track/fixed-gear hubs have solid axles?


    >> I think it's because track racers are paranoid about catching QR
    >> levers and losing their wheels when racing. The topic comes up
    >> here time and again, but I've never seen (what I think is) a
    >> compelling rationale for not using QR-equipped wheels.


    > Actually, I think this is an older rule, predating the invention of
    > the quick release! Back in the day, the alternatives were hex nuts
    > or wing nuts.


    > The wing nuts were perceived as a hazard on the track, mainly on
    > account of the risk of impalement in a crash.


    > The governing bodies dealt with the wing nut problem by mandating
    > plain nuts, and that obsolete regulation has never changed.


    > Trackies are the most conservative of cyclists, especially
    > sprinters, when it comes to equipment.


    >> I converted my rear track hub (a Surly) to QR. No problems
    >> whatsoever. As with any hub, all you need is an axle of
    >> appropriate diameter and thread pitch.


    > And a _good_ skewer. See: http://sheldonbrown.com/skewers


    I recall when some track riders insisted that with their unbelievable
    strength, a trackie would tear a road chain asunder and therefore used
    only 1/8" wide chains. But wait! It had to be an inch pitch block
    chain, the chains that John Starley used before Renold introduced the
    roller chain.

    For those unfamiliar with the block chain, it has 5/8" long side
    plates linked to a shorter 3/8" solid block of steel with rounded ends
    about the diameter of today's roller. When the roller chain came
    along, companies like Schwinn, who had many bicycles with inch pitch
    block chain in the field and in stock, switched to an inch pitch
    roller chain that used a short link with two closely spaced rollers
    instead of the block.

    http://www.bikeville.com/freewheels.html

    Jobst Brandt
    [email protected]
     
  7. "Marc" <[email protected]> writes:

    >Why is it that all track/fixed-gear hubs have solid axles?


    there is an absolutely great reason for this.

    For track bikes :
    ================================
    QR's are for fixing tires.

    You fix tires when you get flats.

    There are few road hazards in velodromes.

    Hence there are very few QRs on velodrome bicycles.



    For fixed gears :
    ================================
    Fixed-gears are ridden by "pretend" track racers

    "pretend" track racers fix tires when they get "pretend" flats

    They "pretend" there are no road hazards in their "pretend" velodromes(outdoors)

    When a fixed gear bicyclist gets a flat he takes it to the local shop
    and "pretends" he fixed it himself.


    End of story.

    - Don Gillies
    San Diego, CA
     
  8. Donald Gillies wrote:

    > For fixed gears :
    > ================================
    > Fixed-gears are ridden by "pretend" track racers
    >
    > "pretend" track racers fix tires when they get "pretend" flats
    >
    > They "pretend" there are no road hazards in their "pretend" velodromes(outdoors)
    >
    > When a fixed gear bicyclist gets a flat he takes it to the local shop
    > and "pretends" he fixed it himself.


    Oh, pur-lease. Last time it happened to me I patched the tube without
    removing the wheel. I also had to boot the tyre with a piece of
    cigarette packet found on the road (I carry a Park tyre boot now - the
    cardboard only lasted a few miles, although it did get me within walking
    distance of home).

    Tandemists will also often patch rear tubes in situ because it's too
    much hassle to disconnect Arai drum brakes.
     
  9. Marc

    Marc Guest

    Donald Gillies wrote:
    > "Marc" <[email protected]> writes:
    >
    > >Why is it that all track/fixed-gear hubs have solid axles?

    >
    > there is an absolutely great reason for this.
    >
    > For track bikes :
    > ================================
    > QR's are for fixing tires.
    >
    > You fix tires when you get flats.
    >
    > There are few road hazards in velodromes.
    >
    > Hence there are very few QRs on velodrome bicycles.
    >
    >
    >
    > For fixed gears :
    > ================================
    > Fixed-gears are ridden by "pretend" track racers
    >
    > "pretend" track racers fix tires when they get "pretend" flats
    >
    > They "pretend" there are no road hazards in their "pretend"

    velodromes(outdoors)
    >
    > When a fixed gear bicyclist gets a flat he takes it to the local shop
    > and "pretends" he fixed it himself.
    >


    Why can't he carry a small wrench?
     
  10. S o r n i

    S o r n i Guest

    Marc wrote:
    > Donald Gillies wrote:


    >> When a fixed gear bicyclist gets a flat he takes it to the local shop
    >> and "pretends" he fixed it himself.
    >>

    >
    > Why can't he carry a small wrench?


    You mean like Dr. Evil carries Mini Me?

    (Google Images failed me, but it was a baby sling type affair.)

    Bill "slow morning" S.
     
  11. Marc

    Marc Guest

    S o r n i wrote:
    > Marc wrote:
    > > Donald Gillies wrote:

    >
    > >> When a fixed gear bicyclist gets a flat he takes it to the local

    shop
    > >> and "pretends" he fixed it himself.
    > >>

    > >
    > > Why can't he carry a small wrench?

    >
    > You mean like Dr. Evil carries Mini Me?
    >
    > (Google Images failed me, but it was a baby sling type affair.)
    >
    > Bill "slow morning" S.


    THAT was really funny.
     
  12. On 11 Mar 2005 11:09:16 -0800, "Marc" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >
    >Donald Gillies wrote:
    >> "Marc" <[email protected]> writes:
    >>
    >> >Why is it that all track/fixed-gear hubs have solid axles?

    >>
    >> there is an absolutely great reason for this.
    >>
    >> For track bikes :
    >> ================================
    >> QR's are for fixing tires.
    >>
    >> You fix tires when you get flats.
    >>
    >> There are few road hazards in velodromes.
    >>
    >> Hence there are very few QRs on velodrome bicycles.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> For fixed gears :
    >> ================================
    >> Fixed-gears are ridden by "pretend" track racers
    >>
    >> "pretend" track racers fix tires when they get "pretend" flats
    >>
    >> They "pretend" there are no road hazards in their "pretend"

    >velodromes(outdoors)
    >>
    >> When a fixed gear bicyclist gets a flat he takes it to the local shop
    >> and "pretends" he fixed it himself.
    >>

    >
    >Why can't he carry a small wrench?


    Dear Marc,

    It is notorious that carrying the extra weight of even a
    small axle-nut wrench requires the additional power supplied
    by a motorcycle engine, as well as extensive training in
    which way to turn the nuts.

    Peter Chisholm, for example, admits that he is utterly
    baffled by the whole idea of repairing a fixed-gear flat and
    plans to simply abandon this bicycle if he gets a flat:

    http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2005/feb/chisholm.htm

    Peter claims, however, that his frame pump is "not just
    eye-candy" in that it is intended to "stiffen the frame--TI
    ain't as strong as good, thick aluminum."

    Sheldon Brown is more discreet about his helplessness
    concerning flat tires on fixies, but my sister in Dedham
    says that her husband is getting tired of giving a certain
    stranger and his bicycle a lift to West Newton:

    http://sheldonbrown.org/quickbeam/index.html

    "Who does he think I am," my brother-in-law wants to know,
    his chaffeur? He just sticks his thumb out, and when I stop
    he tells me to take him to Harris Cyclery. Claims that he
    gets a discount there. Why does he carry that pump if he
    doesn't know how to use it?"

    Andrew Muzi decided that he wouldn't even pretend that he
    knew how to fix a flat on a fixed-gear bicycle and painted
    his appropriately:

    http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/muzi2.jpg

    "It works. People take pity on me when they see me stopped
    by the side of the road with a flat and no pump on--get
    this--a pink bicycle. Sure, I'm taking advantage of them,
    but I'm running errands for a business. Margins are so tight
    that I can't afford all those extra gears and quick release
    levers. If they ask me to chip in for gas, I just let my
    lower lip tremble and say that I barely have enough money to
    pay those gougers at Yellow Jersey to fix my little bike's
    flat tire, and could we stop by the post office so that I
    can mail my packages, please?"

    Carl Fogel
     
  13. Kinky Cowboy

    Kinky Cowboy Guest

    On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 14:02:04 -0700, [email protected] wrote:

    >On 11 Mar 2005 11:09:16 -0800, "Marc" <[email protected]>
    >wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>Donald Gillies wrote:
    >>> "Marc" <[email protected]> writes:
    >>>
    >>> >Why is it that all track/fixed-gear hubs have solid axles?
    >>>
    >>>

    >>
    >>Why can't he carry a small wrench?

    >
    >Dear Marc,
    >
    >It is notorious that carrying the extra weight of even a
    >small axle-nut wrench requires the additional power supplied
    >by a motorcycle engine, as well as extensive training in
    >which way to turn the nuts.
    >
    >Carl Fogel


    14mm combination wrench with the open end cut off, (fits Miche
    tracknuts), weighs 60g. That's probably about the same as the QR
    levers on Shimano or Campag all steel QRs. Cost about $5 from your
    local hardware store, plus a minute with the angle grinder. Fits in a
    small seat pack with the tyre levers and spare tube. Probably adds 10
    seconds to the time taken to get the wheel in or out. The question
    should really be, why are there QRs on the majority of bikes, when
    only elite and pro racers get service cars which make that 10 second
    time saving worthwhile? For the rest of us, the time is immaterial and
    tracknuts make it harder for scumbags to steal your wheel from a
    parked bike.


    Kinky Cowboy*

    *Batteries not included
    May contain traces of nuts
    Your milage may vary
     
  14. Scott

    Scott Guest

    Kinky Cowboy wrote:
    > On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 14:02:04 -0700, [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > >On 11 Mar 2005 11:09:16 -0800, "Marc" <[email protected]>
    > >wrote:
    > >
    > >>
    > >>Donald Gillies wrote:
    > >>> "Marc" <[email protected]> writes:
    > >>>
    > >>> >Why is it that all track/fixed-gear hubs have solid axles?
    > >>>
    > >>>
    > >>
    > >>Why can't he carry a small wrench?

    > >
    > >Dear Marc,
    > >
    > >It is notorious that carrying the extra weight of even a
    > >small axle-nut wrench requires the additional power supplied
    > >by a motorcycle engine, as well as extensive training in
    > >which way to turn the nuts.
    > >
    > >Carl Fogel

    >
    > 14mm combination wrench with the open end cut off, (fits Miche
    > tracknuts), weighs 60g. That's probably about the same as the QR
    > levers on Shimano or Campag all steel QRs. Cost about $5 from your
    > local hardware store, plus a minute with the angle grinder. Fits in a
    > small seat pack with the tyre levers and spare tube. Probably adds 10
    > seconds to the time taken to get the wheel in or out. The question
    > should really be, why are there QRs on the majority of bikes, when
    > only elite and pro racers get service cars which make that 10 second
    > time saving worthwhile? For the rest of us, the time is immaterial

    and
    > tracknuts make it harder for scumbags to steal your wheel from a
    > parked bike.
    >
    >
    > Kinky Cowboy*
    >
    > *Batteries not included
    > May contain traces of nuts
    > Your milage may vary


    I don't want tracknuts to keep the wheels from being harder to steal, I
    want QRs so I can't release them prior to parking the bike, and when
    the errant bike thief tries to ride away the rear wheel comes askew.
    If he tries to pick up the bike at that point, both wheels fall out.
    At that point, unless he's resorting to putting the bike in the back of
    a truck, he'll probably just abandon it and leave before attracting too
    much more attention.
     
  15. Marc

    Marc Guest

    Kinky Cowboy wrote:
    > On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 14:02:04 -0700, [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > >On 11 Mar 2005 11:09:16 -0800, "Marc" <[email protected]>
    > >wrote:
    > >
    > >>
    > >>Donald Gillies wrote:
    > >>> "Marc" <[email protected]> writes:
    > >>>
    > >>> >Why is it that all track/fixed-gear hubs have solid axles?
    > >>>
    > >>>
    > >>
    > >>Why can't he carry a small wrench?

    > >
    > >Dear Marc,
    > >
    > >It is notorious that carrying the extra weight of even a
    > >small axle-nut wrench requires the additional power supplied
    > >by a motorcycle engine, as well as extensive training in
    > >which way to turn the nuts.
    > >
    > >Carl Fogel

    >
    > 14mm combination wrench with the open end cut off, (fits Miche
    > tracknuts), weighs 60g. That's probably about the same as the QR
    > levers on Shimano or Campag all steel QRs. Cost about $5 from your
    > local hardware store, plus a minute with the angle grinder. Fits in a
    > small seat pack with the tyre levers and spare tube. Probably adds 10
    > seconds to the time taken to get the wheel in or out. The question
    > should really be, why are there QRs on the majority of bikes, when
    > only elite and pro racers get service cars which make that 10 second
    > time saving worthwhile? For the rest of us, the time is immaterial

    and
    > tracknuts make it harder for scumbags to steal your wheel from a
    > parked bike.
    >
    >
    > Kinky Cowboy*


    It does make it a bit easier to take off that front wheel when you're
    throwing your bike on the roof racks. But yes, QRs do seem a bit silly
    given the fact that when you are sitting there changing your tire, a
    few more seconds tightening the nuts wouldnt kill you. Nevertheless,
    it is also nice to be able to forget one tool and still get your tire
    changed.
     
  16. Per Kinky Cowboy:
    >The question
    >should really be, why are there QRs on the majority of bikes, when
    >only elite and pro racers get service cars which make that 10 second
    >time saving worthwhile? For the rest of us, the time is immaterial


    Amen!
    --
    PeteCresswell
     
  17. Zog wrote undeniably:

    > So they don't puncture someone in an accident. Incidentally, there is
    > no *technical* reason not to use a QR on the back of a fixed. The
    > pulling force on the wheel is just the same as on a geared bike.


    Actually, in many cases the pulling force is less. Pulling force is
    inversely proportional to chainring size, and fixed gear bikes rarely
    have a chainring smaller than 42 teeth.

    Sheldon "Life, The Universe And Everything" Brown
    +----------------------------------------------------------+
    | Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; |
    | but it is always the strongly marked feature of all |
    | religions established by law. |
    | Take away the law-establishment, and every religion |
    | re-assumes its original benignity. |
    | Thomas Paine -- The Rights of Man, 1791 |
    +----------------------------------------------------------+
    Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
    Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041
    http://harriscyclery.com
    Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  18. John Dacey

    John Dacey Guest

    "Tempore ducetur longo fortasse cicatrix;
    Horrent admotas vulnera cruda manus." - Ovid
    On 11 Mar 2005 08:27:06 -0800, "Marc" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Why is it that all track/fixed-gear hubs have solid axles?


    They don't. Among others that come from their manufacturer fitted with
    hollow axles are Shimano's 7710 track hubs. Although I didn't position
    them in the picture for their hollowness to be more conspicuous, it's
    still discernable here:
    http://www.businesscycles.com/thub-shim.htm (top of page).

    >I can imagine that there is some logical answer for the rear - but I'm
    >not going to guess what it is. But why the front? Why no QR on the
    >front?


    Quick-release skewers (and wing-nut type wheel fasteners that preceded
    them) are precluded by rule from use in massed-start track events. The
    prohibition springs from safety concerns and is designed to minimize
    sharp projections from bikes that could cause a puncturing wound in
    the event a racer should fall against one in a crash. The rule applies
    to front and rear wheels.

    >Follow-up question -
    >
    >Has anyone done a conversion to a hollow hub on a track/fixed wheelset
    >to retrofit it for QR use?


    Most track hub models with a constant-diameter, threaded solid axle
    can be retrofitted with one as hollow as a wheelbuilder's promise.
    Hubs with other axle designs may or may not be as readily adapted. If
    the subject wheel is not going to see racing service, there's no
    reason to not pursue this option if you'd like to have the convenience
    of a quick-release skewer. You will however, want to use a
    high-quality skewer (Shimano, Campagnolo, some others) and not one
    with any plastic bits in the load path.

    -------------------------------
    John Dacey
    Business Cycles, Miami, Florida
    http://www.businesscycles.com
    Since 1983
    Our catalog of track equipment: online since 1996
    -------------------------------
     
  19. Jim Smith

    Jim Smith Guest

    "Marc" <[email protected]> writes:

    > Why is it that all track/fixed-gear hubs have solid axles?
    >
    > I can imagine that there is some logical answer for the rear - but I'm
    > not going to guess what it is. But why the front? Why no QR on the
    > front?


    One thing I have noticed is that with track nuts it is easy to "walk"
    the axle up the dropouts to tighten the chain. That is: tighten the
    left side nut a bit, leaving the right loose, then pull the front of
    the wheel over to tighten the chain while tightening the right nut a
    bit, then loosen the left, make sure the wheel is straight in the
    frame, and tighten both nuts down. It seems like it would be harder to
    get the chain tight if there was a QR in the rear.
     
  20. Marc

    Marc Guest

    Sheldon Brown wrote:

    > +----------------------------------------------------------+
    > | Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; |
    > | but it is always the strongly marked feature of all |
    > | religions established by law. |
    > | Take away the law-establishment, and every religion |
    > | re-assumes its original benignity. |
    > | Thomas Paine -- The Rights of Man, 1791 |
    > +----------------------------------------------------------+


    Wow... that is a remarkable quote. Too bad Sheldon Brown isn't
    president or on the supreme court. And too bad the assholes who are
    those things don't know a little more about bikes.
     
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