QR lever not properly closed - do you tell them?

by brooksby   July 23, 2014  

So, I've happened to follow the same bloke on my way home along my new commuter route, a few times now.

His QR lever on his rear wheel is always sticking out at right angles to the rest of the bike, glinting prettily in the sun, and it falls somewhere between irritating me and worrying me.

Is there a polite way of bringing this to his attention - for him to at least check it! - without seeming like a know-it-all poking my nose in where it isn't wanted?

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Um - I'd just tell him it looks open as you cycle past (extra point's for not being out of breath or visibly straining).

ride slow, ride far, ride often

posted by mzungu [41 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 15:50


Free-wheel past. Your ability to pass him without even pedaling will be such a display of cycling prowess that he will have no option but to take heed.

Or even better, close it for him while you pass. If he complains just tell him you are his support vehicle doing a mid-ride repair.

posted by earth [211 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 16:06


I had an old bike with a QR lever that was stuck halfway closed. It couldn't be shifted either way regardless of what I did to it, so when my back wheel got buckled (caught in a train door, heh) I just got rid of the bike as I was never going to get the damn thing off.

I had a rider pass me and tell me about it. I said "Yeah, it's stuck that way."
He said, "Suit yourself," and rode off swiftly. I certainly took no offence, though I'm pretty sure he thought I was a idiot. Smile

posted by pikeamus [50 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 16:13


Thanks, people - if I see him tonight, I darn well will point it out.

Haven't said anything so far, as was worried about ticking him off in case he knew about it (I wondered if he'd closed the nut up too tight, so he couldn't then close the QR...?)

posted by brooksby [517 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 16:13


This oh-so-British reticence is a bit silly. Last year I had a my rear wheel shift in the drop outs whilst going downhill, jamming it solid against the chainstay. Over the bars, concussion, head injury, three costly days off work etc. I also could not remember where I had abandoned the bike, and was lucky to find it and get it back. I had transported the bike in a taxi a couple of days before, and had whipped off the wheels to fit it in the boot, and I guess I must have re-assembled it too hastily. And whilst waiting for the tour to pass the other week,I noticed someone's QR half-closed, I asked him if he minded me putting it right for him. Of course he was pleased and grateful.

posted by wakou [83 posts]
24th July 2014 - 9:02


No, no, no... I've read enough threads on here about giving tips and advice, and my mind is now set. Once upon a time, I'd try and help people out, but its since been made clear to me that no one, no one, likes to be made to feel inferior by others giving them advice and tips.

If I were you I'd follow this chap around and wait for the inevitable horrific accident. Make sure the chap is OK, but then explain to him that you'd seen his quick release was open but knew that he'd rather find this out for himself. He'll thank you I'm sure.

In all seriousness, you can't win in these situations, so I'd do what is right and tell him and to hell with him if he takes it badly.

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [433 posts]
24th July 2014 - 9:17


Heh, slightly different to the see-through leggings situation, this. I'd definitely tell him, the worst you could get is a tetchy "yeah I know" and the best could be saving his life. You could be the David Hasslehoff of commuters, imagine that.

posted by bashthebox [764 posts]
24th July 2014 - 10:03


Or, you could say to him that you can see his undercarriage through his leggings, he'll be furious, then when you backtrack and tell him about the QR it will be a trifle in comparison.

posted by chokofingrz [403 posts]
24th July 2014 - 11:13


Tell him.

I'd say something like "looks like your quick release has gotten loose", to avoid putting the fault on the rider...

Pretty dangerous situation.

posted by jacknorell [920 posts]
24th July 2014 - 11:22


Absolutely tell him, because you can be sure that the time he hits a bump and wraps his spokes around the derailleur will absolutely be the time you are just about to overtake him, and the both of you will end up on the floor.

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posted by neildmoss [251 posts]
24th July 2014 - 11:38


What about the release lever on a rear brake?
I see this a lot - its an easy thing to overlook but my impression is (judging people on how well maintained the rest of their bike is) is that they dont know its open because they dont really know what it does.

posted by Some Fella [908 posts]
24th July 2014 - 11:52


Yep, tell him. Maybe he'll tell you it's stuck, maybe not. There's nothing to lose by telling him as only an utter oaf would respond with something insulting.


posted by OldRidgeback [2581 posts]
24th July 2014 - 11:53

1 Like

My advice is : tell him. If he punches you in the face, then just don't tell him tomorrow or the next day. But the day after, if the wheel falls off and he crashes you have the right to laugh.

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posted by Comrade [194 posts]
24th July 2014 - 12:43


"looks like your quick release has gotten loose"

Sounds like a dangerous euphemism, maybe rephrase.

posted by BillyElNino [11 posts]
24th July 2014 - 13:09


Maybe go for the 'ole switcheroo approach: "Hello, once I went for a ride and my Quick Release came loose, my wheel fell off and before you knew it I was upside down on fire. I hope that never happens to you. BYE"

posted by BillyElNino [11 posts]
24th July 2014 - 13:09


Ehhhh ... I don't know, that may sound more like a threat ... Big Grin Especially if you use an Italian accent.

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posted by userfriendly [464 posts]
24th July 2014 - 13:30


Yes, always. Some people just don't know everything, and many of those people will appreciate advice that could keep them or their bike safe.

Have a nice day.

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posted by DavidC [120 posts]
24th July 2014 - 13:56

1 Like

Some Fella wrote:
What about the release lever on a rear brake?
I see this a lot - its an easy thing to overlook but my impression is (judging people on how well maintained the rest of their bike is) is that they dont know its open because they dont really know what it does.

A lot of the pro riders will ride with the quick release open, especially on wet days. This is to enable them to close the mechanism should they wear through their brake blocks over a long stage.

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [433 posts]
24th July 2014 - 14:03


i think the answer is very simple. you know when the jehovas witnesses come knocking on your door they always leave you a little booklet to read. print one off the net on qr settings, the police do a good one and as you see him gently but firmly give it him. he will be so pleased you took the time out he will be speechless. you will have made a new friend.

then and only then if he looks at you a bit funny send him up north to stanley and i will give him a reet shoeing.

keep safe, keep smiling, eat well, sleep well and its all plain sailing

stanley has spoken

Stanley's picture

posted by Stanley [44 posts]
24th July 2014 - 14:20

1 Like

This sad truth is that quiet few new riders don't always grasp how the cam works so they grip the knurled nut one side then turn the QR lever round and round like a butterfly nut. As it gets tighter it causes the QR lever to stick out as it can't be closed shut.

posted by MKultra [385 posts]
24th July 2014 - 15:32

1 Like

It always bugs me when I see it, I sometimes point it out, but not if (s)he jumps a red light. I leave them free to pick up their posthumous Darwin award.

I once saw someone with his forks back to front (bars the right way round). God only knows what how the bike handled. I did tell him, he didn't know what the f*** I was talking about.

posted by Pauldmorgan [211 posts]
24th July 2014 - 18:07


Pauldmorgan wrote:

I once saw someone with his forks back to front (bars the right way round). God only knows what how the bike handled. I did tell him, he didn't know what the f*** I was talking about.

Should handle very well. Lots of steering trail. And exactly how motor pacing bikes are set up.
The biggest danger is the overlap with your foot when doing a u-turn.

posted by racyrich [216 posts]
24th July 2014 - 19:08

1 Like

Dude, stop sucking wheel.

posted by J90 [257 posts]
31st July 2014 - 21:47


exactly the same as helmet on back to front, seethrough leggings, saddle too low and lights on flashing mode. Tell them. It's up to them if they act or not.

posted by andyp [1371 posts]
1st August 2014 - 14:22

1 Like

Put a stick through his spokes...if, when the rear end bucks up, his rear wheel pops out of the drop outs...at least you know his QR wasn't fastened properly. Wave


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posted by The _Kaner [642 posts]
1st August 2014 - 17:00

1 Like

I guess a lot depends on the delivery of advice.


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posted by koko56 [335 posts]
4th August 2014 - 11:29


back in day

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posted by Stanley [44 posts]
4th August 2014 - 12:29


I've always told people and I've never had a bad experience. If mine ever came loose, I'd be extremely grateful to whoever pointed it out to me.

Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

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posted by jmaccelari [229 posts]
4th August 2014 - 12:36

1 Like

I think, of someone is wearing see through leggings 'your quick release has got loose' is a very tactful way of putting it

posted by exilegareth [60 posts]
13th September 2014 - 10:25

1 Like

I wouldn't mind being told my QR lever was loose.

Much better than pulling up alongside and preaching about how you should be wearing a helmet - Had several this year. Next one may well get an impromptu test of theirs

posted by gazza_d [421 posts]
13th September 2014 - 14:04