How to measure the size of my dropouts
July 24, 2011 6:07 PM   Subscribe

Bike filter: How do I measure the size of my dropouts to purchase a pair of Halo Hex Key Skewers? Also, does anybody have these and can attest to them?

After having my rear wheel stolen (and thankfully returned) awhile ago, I'm pretty desperate to get rid of my quick releases on both wheels. I don't know what the size of my dropouts is and I don't know how to measure them, can anyone help?

Also, these skewers say they offer more security - and they're cheap and pretty. Can anyone attest to them as a product?

posted by ameliaaah to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)

Those skewers only offer marginally more protection than a quick-release skewer. Anybody with an allen key or multitool can steal your wheel. Look into Delta, Pitlock, or OnGuard.
posted by entropone at 6:55 PM on July 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

I've heard that these skewers are worse at holding the wheel to the bike, since the cam action is worse than with a quick release. I wouldn't trust my life to one on a front wheel. Anyway, you need to learn how to lock your bike correctly:

The rear wheel is a large percentage of the bike's value, it must be locked up.
posted by meowzilla at 7:06 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yep, these are pointless. Lock both wheels and your saddle to the frame or whatever your frame is locked to.

Besides, given how little protection they offer, the hassle of not being able to quickly remove your wheels yourself isn't worth it.
posted by klanawa at 7:14 PM on July 24, 2011

I've used those skewers (or something functionally identical).

They retain the wheels just fine compared to a quick-release skewer. They'll deter casual theft, but obviously anyone with a hex key can open them.
posted by adamrice at 8:39 PM on July 24, 2011

They're not really that secure, but they are shiny, I wouldn't bother with them.
But to answer your question:
Standard front fork spacing= 100mm
Standard road frame spacing = 130mm
Standard MTB frame spacing = 135mm
all measured from the inside of the dropouts (see the Sheldon article suedehead links to).

To measure the dropout width use either a micrometre, vernier calipers or an engineers rule, in descending order of accuracy. As a rule of thumb, steel dropouts will be 4mm and aluminium will be 6mm or thicker (probably 6mm for a road frame, 10mm for MTB).

You can get standard quick-release skewers with removable handles, but they'll deter only the most casual of thieves.
posted by SyntacticSugar at 2:46 AM on July 25, 2011

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