Tech Light(ish) skewers for chromed semi-horizontal dropouts?

bawbag

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Mar 20, 2013
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Tokyo
#1
Managed to track down an 8-speed 7400 Dura-ace wheel finally. Annoyingly, it came without a skewer so one needs to be purchased.

As I'll be using the wheel on my Gazelle with its super shiny chromed long Campag dropouts, I'm under the impression that all of the modern lightweight external-cam QR skewers will result in the wheel getting some sexy chainstay/seat tube action as soon as I put the hammer down. This seems to be down to their pathetic clamping force and lack of steel teeth vs the Shimano/Campag internal cam ones.

My question to you fine people is:

Is there anything which is both light and will safely hold the wheel in one place? Not really concerned whether it's QR or not - it's not like I'm ever in a situation where I don't have a 5mm allen/hex wrench to hand. My front wheel came with the 7400 skewer and it's heavy as fook. Sexy, but heavy. I'd rather have sexy and light, but sexy, light and safe for my teeth is a far more attractive proposition.

WHAT SAY YOU, PEOPLE OF THE INTERNET?
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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www.roadfixie.com
#2
Whats wrong with NOS Campy or DA skewers? I know what you mean - on my steel bike none of the newer skewers will clamp the semi-drops properly. Use my Campy skewers - no issues. Done. And what would you rather see at the service end of your rig? Brev. Campagnolo? Or ?? heavy as what? The chrom-mo skewers are only about 25-30gr more than the newer versions. Anyway - I have some very tough, modern, Wishbone skewers we use on CX wheels if you want them cheaply I can sell you.
 
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bawbag

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Mar 20, 2013
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#3
Nothing's wrong with Campy/DA skewers, NOS or not. They're indeed beautiful and I know for a fact they work. I was just wondering if there were some modern, more lightweight alternatives. For example, my DA front skewer weighs 91g by itself. A rear version I'm guessing is closer to 100g, so that's 190g for the pair. I'm not into looking for some insane 35g/pair Ti/Carbon skewers, but I was wondering whether there's something a bit lighter than the DA ones that would do the job just as well. Oh and which doesn't come in purple or lime green anodizing.

I need to drop by your place this week to grab some tub sealant actually. Do you still stock Stan's and Caffelatex?
 

GSAstuto

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#4
OK - here's the tech skinny on the skinny skewers: 'Modern Frames' generally have vertical dropouts that are slightly recessed and 'capture' the axle stub. This goes for both front and rear. Also - most modern frames use alloy dropouts which tend to provide more grip to the serrated edge of the skewer clamp. So, very little clamping force is required to hold the wheel in place. As result of the lower clamping force, then the skewer spindle may be constructed of lighter materials. Typically Ti or hollow Chromemoly tubing. The steel (forged) dropouts on older frames being many times horizontal or semi-horizontal require the skewer to actually hold the wheel IN PLACE. This means the skewer itself is under alot more tension than a modern skewer. And since the dropout is hard steel, you need to have correspondingly hard(er) clamping faces to 'bite' the dropout. Generally speaking, this means the skewer ends will be constructed of steel or possibly chromed brass and the skewer spindle is heavier steel to handle the increased torque requirements. I've found that even on modern bikes the Ultralite Skewers with Ti axle tend to allow too much hub axle flex and can result in bearing cramp , increased flex between wheel and frame and squeaks. All of which are not necessarily good. So, I generally prefer a heavier skewer to make sure the wheel is clamped firmly. Another thing the ultralite skewers are famous for is grinding off the cap and breaking when you go down. Definitely something you don't want to have happen if you plan on refastening the wheel to finish your race or ride. Yes, they look great and are light as a feather, but maybe not the best choice for functionality when it really counts. With that being said, though, you might look at swapping the heavy spindles with either Ti or CroMo spindles. There's a good chance the threading will be similar to your old DA or Campy skewers. I actually bought a bunch of Ti skewers and basically just use the axle portion for 'upgrade' on other skewers with heavier duty end caps.

Yes, I have Cafe Latex in stock. I don't stock Stan's yet, will wait later in the year when we release the MTB stuff.
 
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bawbag

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#5
Cheers for the input - that all makes sense. I'll suck it up and track down a DA skewer then.
Maybe I should start my weight reduction regime by replacing the extraordinarily heavy 500g behemoth Brooks saddle instead!

Which of your shops stock the Caffelatex stuff, by the way? I may well be able to mosey over this afternoon.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#6
Bawbag - you can pickup a steel skewer for your needs from any good retailers - it will be the same used for turbo trainers, you may need to trim the length of the spindle though to fit the frame.
 

GSAstuto

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#7
Everything is at the Akasaka store now. Including plenty of skewers, steel and ti. Cheers! FE is correct about trimming - older frames generally have 126mm rear - so, you'd have a few extra mm sticking out which snag on the D ring (ugh).