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Fixed gears and QR?

david 142david 142 Posts: 227
edited July 2007 in Road general
I've noticed that fixed gear bikes tend to be fitted with solid axles and track nuts rather than quick release. Is this part of the ethos or are quick release axles technically unsuitable?
If so, would the same considerations apply to a single speed conversion?


  • rustychiselrustychisel Posts: 3,444
    Generally, it is held as a view that track nuts are needed due to greater stresses and forces being applied.

    This, largely speaking, is a load of pants. Unless you're Sean Eadie and can crank 1500W in a flat sprint. For the front wheel, a QR is sufficient. For the rear, a QR can be sufficient if your dropouts are in good order and hold the axle stubs firmly and are not off-centred or otherwise deficient. If you have a titanium frame, or stainless steel dropouts, nuts might be a good idea on the back, due to the harder and slippery face. In any case, it is accepted that old steel QR levers (old Shimano or Campag) are thought to be a much better idea than new fangled things that can break.

    Otherwise, it's your call, and part of the question is an aesthetic one.

    On the track, nuts are the mutts, and this is mostly for safety reasons - in a crash or when riding close together QRs can flip or be pulled open, allegedly, though no-one I know has EVER seen this happen. It's nuts only for that reason. Use good quailty ones, don't bother buying cheap ones for they'll be more trouble than they're worth, so spring for DuraAce (which have a good captive washer).
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  • mt98mt98 Posts: 26
    Yup, agree with the above. I've been using a QR fixed wheel for around 3 years on a frame with chrome dropouts and have had absolutely no problems with slippage or anything else. (I will now of course!) It's an '80's Campag QR and does just fine.
  • Tom753Tom753 Posts: 737
    Any QR that'll work with horizontal road dropouts will work on fixed. Just don't use modern lightweight QRs designed for vertical dropouts (external cam type).
  • AndyGatesAndyGates Posts: 8,467
    Track nuts also make less of a mess of the track surface when you fall, which is another reason for their use.

    I pull nutted axles off centre, which I guess makes me Mongo. I wouldn't even try a QR unless it was teamed up with chain tugs. QR and tugs ought to be fine.
    Wanted: Penny farthing. Please PM me!
    Advice for kilted riders: top-tubes are cold.
  • Tom753Tom753 Posts: 737
    Actually you don't need chaintugs, it makes no difference to the QR whether its fixed or not.
  • AndyGatesAndyGates Posts: 8,467
    Yeah but QR alone doesn't get tight enough to resist my mighty thighs. Nor do nuts. Welding might come close. 8)
    Wanted: Penny farthing. Please PM me!
    Advice for kilted riders: top-tubes are cold.
  • david 142david 142 Posts: 227
    Sounds as if I'll be able to proceed with the components I had in mind after all. :lol:
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