I don't understand my bike

So a few months ago, I continued my venture into the world of bikes by purchasing an 87 Bianchi sport sx road bike. I love this thing, and the guy I bought it from was kind enough to do a full tune up for free before I picked it up so I haven’t had much of a problem with maintenance. This may very well be a post better suited for the “shit broken?” thread, but I needed to draw attention to my plight sooner so I could hopefully ride instead of walk the 5 miles home from work tonight.

I haven’t had any problems with the bike until my roommate so kindly took to playing with the quick release axles. I read up on quick releases and I think I have a pretty good idea of how they work. Before I left for work tonight, I checked everything over and things seemed in good working condition. About half a mile from my dorm though I could feel resistance in the bike wheel until eventually the wheel completely jammed. I removed the wheel and spent 15 minutes on the side of the road blindly putting it back in. Spun it around and pedaled for a bit, and everything seemed just dandy. I get on again and after another mile or so can feel the resistance and eventually my wheel completely jams (no amount of force would move the wheel forward and I almost went over the handlebars) while I’m in the middle of the road trying to work my way over to the side walk. As an interesting part of the story, a car behind me, whose driver had to see me dismount and look at them quizzically, chose to speed up towards me until I just stood there like a deer in headlights not sure if I should move to the side or let them go around me. I walked the rest of the way to work not wanting to be in that situation, but does anyone know what’s going on or maybe what I’m doing wrong. Instructions for how to put a rear wheel with a deraileur and quick release on properly (the more idiot proof the better) would really be appreciated.

i didn’t read your post, but i’m pretty sure i know the answer:


What exactly is getting jammed? is the tire jammed up against the seat tube? Is it just getting loose and jarring free from the vertical (assuming) dropouts?

Yea trust me I’ve read Sheldon Brown. Its the only way I figured out how to initially get the wheel in. I couldn’t tell in the dark, but the wheel has fallen out of the drop out and is rubbing against one of the seat stays. Apparently I need to stick with the kilo if I don’t want to die.

make sure you are seating your QR ends first. get them just shy of tight, THEN flip the lever to lock it down (there should a bit of a gap btwn your dropout and the ends of your skewer). it should take a small amount of effort to close the lever.

sounds like you aren’t clamping down tight enough and the wheel is working its way down the dropout.

First, kick your roommate in the dick.
Fucking with someones bike is bullshit, especially if it could make you crash/get hit.

edit:your qr is too loose, do what Jim said.

I plan on kicking her squarely in the ovaries when I get back to the apartment though it really was just naivete and an obsession for messing with shiny things. I don’t think she knew messing with the quick releases would kill me. She already got a lecture earlier this week because I got back from a ride and realized she’d moved the axle to the open position.

I think I’ve gotten this fixed. If I could’ve seen on the side of the road, I probably would’ve been able to fix it the first time. Thanks for the help guys.


get a light dude. that’s the first step.

(a) get new roommate.
(b) get lights.
© learn how to use quick release skewers.
(d) ???
(e) profit.

are quick releases really this hard to understand? i see people fuck them up all the time.

i have lights. I was just so flustered I didn’t think to use them plus I thought I could see well enough. Ithink the problem is under control and my roommate made me cupcakes so we’re square. Thanks for dealing with my bike tardedness tonight guys. Quick releases aren’t too hard if you have some sort of idea what you’re doing I guess.

FYI your roommate wants to kill you… don’t eat those cupcakes!!! :bear:

When you flip your QR from the open position to the closed position, if it’s not ridiculously tight or loose then somewhere in the middle of that arc you will feel an “engagement point”, an increase in resistance as the qr begins to clamp down on metal instead of air. You can adjust the location of that engagement point by screwing the acorn nut in or out. I like to set my engagement point to just before the lever gets halfway to the closed position, so that it takes some force to clamp it down and the lever leaves a little mark in my hand from the pressure. I find that if I don’t set it this far back, my rear wheel can rub after hard accelerations.

according to the man SB a QR should be so tight it leaves a mark on your palm when you tighten it. apparently if you do it right you can ride a fixed wheel with one.

i’ve ridden fixed with a QR. no issues at all with skidding or skipping.

MR. F!

When tightening the quick release, you should screw it down until you run into resistance at 90 degrees (the clamp is running the same direction as the skewer), then tighten the clamp down the rest of the way.

Yes, apparently. My wife and I were about to embark on a nice, easy ride with a friend of ours who’s just getting back into bicycles as she’s realizing it is a valid form of transportation. I helped her get her 80s mountain bike back in working order and explained as many technical things as I thought she’d need to know a few weeks back. She ran up to her apartment to grab a water bottle and in that time I noticed that her front QR was wide open. I then checked everything over real quick and that seemed to be the only major thing. I don’t know if she had ridden it far like that or if it was just because she’d recently taken off the wheel to fit it in a motor vehicle, but I’m glad I noticed it before she wrecked her face or something.

One time a friend of mine dropped a big curb on an old MTB with the front QR open and the wheel fell out and the fork hit the street and he went ass over teakettel. It was pretty fucking hilarious.

Dude’s lucky he didn’t destroy the frame/fork/whatever.