Re: [CR] Why wing nuts?

Example: Framebuilders:Alberto Masi

In-Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2007 07:50:27 -0700
From: Jan Heine <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Why wing nuts?

At 9:35 AM -0400 7/29/07, wrote:
>As a bicycle racer Tulio Campagnolo had a terrible experience fighting with
>his wheel wing nuts in freezing temperatures. By 1930, he had perfected his
>patented quick release skewer system - which has remained essentially
>unchanged ever since. One would think everyone would want to adopt
>that newest
>technology. So, why did we still see wing nuts on even top level
>racing bikes
>for many more years?

One issue with quick releases were neutral wheel changes. On the early quick releases, adjustments for different dropout widths required tools to undo the "Frankenstein" nuts on the quick release nut.

In the Bicycle Quarterly article "Changing Trends - Making Sense of Racing Bicycles from the Past" (Vol. 4, No. 3), there two Rebour drawings of details from Geminiani's 1951 Tour bike. Geminiani used Campagnolo quick releases, complete with "Frankenstein" nuts (and Simplex derailleurs, TA chainrings and Durax steel cranks). The caption states: "Once dropout thickness had been standardized to facilitate quick wheel changes, most racers replaced their wingnuts with quick releases."

The original drawing and text appeared in Le Cycle 8/4/1951. I think the original article even stated what the standard dropout thicknesses were.

So if you discount the war years, it took a little over 10 years for frame builders to agree on common dropout thicknesses. Then quick releases became generally accepted in professional racing.

Jan Heine Editor Bicycle Quarterly 140 Lakeside Ave #C Seattle WA 98122