ASTM to test Annan's QR/disc brake wheel pop-out theory

The American Society for Testing and Material is the US equivalent to the International Standards Organization (ISO). The chair of the bicycle fork subcommittee is aware of Annan's claims and will be creating lab tests to measure QR retention on disc-brake equipped bikes after high-braking loads.
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This was revealed to BikeBiz.co.uk by Matt Wiebe, editor of US trade mag Bicycle Retailer.

Wiebe has been in touch with Scott Boyer, ex of Answer/Manitou, who chairs the ASTM fork subcommittee. Boyer told Wiebe he's aware of Annan's claims and said the ASTM will be developing a simulation exercise in due course.

But Wiebe, who has canvassed the US bike trade, can find no evidence there's a pop-out problem out there.

"No fork manufacturer - Answer, RockShox, Cannondale, Marzocchi or Fox - had any customers that experienced what Annan claims. Nevertheless all fork makers were currently evaluating the issue, as part of their ASTM duties and for their own enlightenment."

But, in the same canvassing, Wiebe found bike builders were familiar with a disc brake related problem with rear wheels.

"Many framebuilders switched to rear-loading horizontal dropouts so they can load the wheel and clear pivots. Originally they had problems with sharp rear disc application keeping rear wheels in frames," Wiebe told BikeBiz.co.uk.

"One product manager said at first they were launching rear wheels out of the frames. So they switched from QR and to bolt-on axles and little pillow blocks to keep the wheels in the frame."

Bike builders reported no similar problems with forks.

"The current situation does not worry fork and bike builders because they have no field reports on the issue," said Wiebe.

"What they wonder is as disc brakes trickle down to inexpensive bikes and those users are less bike savvy will this be a problem?"

A UK supplier of mid to top-end bicycles also told BikeBiz.co.uk he wasn't overly worried by Annan's theory or the "over-blown" coverage to date on BikeBiz.co.uk:

"I feel it's making a mountain out of a mole hill. In any part of the bike, under extreme circumstances, a failure could occur. We have not experienced one example of this QR issue on disc bikes."

But, interestingly, he adds:

"There is an issue with titanium QR's stretching so wheels can become loose. Any person who fails to realise with the design of front forks these days that their QR has become loose and or the skewer has moved round from the position it was when tightened isn't paying attention."

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