Ditch poorly-designed QRs and research the QR/disc brake theory, argue US and UK commentators

Jobst Brandt of America, a renowned authority on bicycle technology and author of The Bicycle Wheel, believes the bike trade is in the current QR/disc brake pickle because too many designers are not "technically trained." And Brit web-designer Si Watts, a tech-head biker, believes Annan's QR/disc-brake theory "makes an extremely compelling arument which were it to be put into the hands of a court would ultimately cost substantially more than making a few minor modifications now."
Publish date:

In an email to BikeBiz.co.uk, Brandt said:

"The whole problem is typical of bicycle technology. It's a mystery to [bicycle designers], most not being technically trained yet they design stuff that seems OK at

first glance."

Brit bike website designer Si Watts, who produced the illustration above, has amplified many of the warnings on this site that failure to properly research Annan's theory could prove costly.

"Whether the global industry takes this seriously and performs the relevant due diligence in ensuring that they either have good research to disprove the theories presented, or modify their designs and pay greater attention to that critical interface is ultimately their own decision but we all have to bear in mind that to a novice and many qualified people, the whole theory makes an extremely compelling arument which were it to be put into the hands of a court would ultimately cost substantially more than making a few minor modifications now.

"The theory is now in the public domain. I can foresee that at some point in the not too distant future there will be a case, whether it be here or elsewhere. Without the relevant mechanical testing and analysis having taken place, that case would be easily won on the grounds that the defendant cannot provide sufficient evidence that it could not occur.

"In most negligence claims, it is as much the defendents duty to disprove the claim as it is for the claimant to prove it."

This view is shared by Mark Alker of Singletrack magazine. James Annan's QR/disc brake theory has been discussed at length on the public forum of Singletrack's website and Alker believes the genie is now well and truly out of the bottle:

"If manufacturers don't address this problem fast then someone is going to wind up on the wrong end of a very expensive legal case. The scary thing is that it doesn't actually matter if the problem is real or perceived. That's never stopped a lawyer before.

"Now this is out in the public domain it's a case of manufacturers proving that the problem doesn't exist rather than a crippled rider proving that it does."

Alker has a warning for the bike trade: "Don't underestimate the implications of this."



Featured Jobs

LTR coral logo 620x349

Local Project Manager (x3 roles)

Love to Ride I North East Lincolnshire, Slough, Southampton I Salary: £32,500 equivalent (PT, temporary) I Date Published Monday 7th January 2019

Logo stacked

Head of Marketing

Brompton I West London I Salary Competitive I Date Published Wednesday 9th January 2019


Senior Sales Executive

BikeExchange I UK Nationwide I Salary TBC Depending on level of experience I Date published Wednesday 16th January 2019

cls logo_jpg 600x348

Bike Mechanic

Club La Santa I Lanzarote, Canary Islands I Competitive Salary & Benefits I Date Published Monday 7th January 2019