Re: [CR] Why wing nuts?

Example: Humor

In-Reply-To: <>
From: Chuck Schmidt <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Why wing nuts?
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2007 14:27:33 -0700
To: classic rendezvous <>

Bob Hanson wrote:
> As a bicycle racer Tullio 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?

Tullio's patent for the quick release ("galletti automatici"... automated wing-nuts) was issued Feb. 8, 1930. The company Campagnolo, S.R.L. was started in 1933 (during the Depression) and Tullio didn't hire his first employee till 1940 (during World War II). I would imagine that Campagnolo didn't have much product available until after 1946 given the slow recovery from the devastation of the war.

Since Campagnolo held the patent for the quick release, if your company wanted to make a QR copy you'd have to pay Tullio a licensing fee or wait for the patent to expire years later.

The Campagnolo quick release with the "Frankenstein" friction bolts on the adjustment nut was replaced in 1949 by the oval-ring adjustment nut. The oval-ring (changed to a D-ring in 1951) was a spring that applied friction to the nut to hold its adjustment when the QR was released so that its setting would not be lost.

The previous "Frankenbolts" did the same thing... applied friction to the adjustment nut to hold its setting when the QR was released. These bolts were merely snugged down on the QR shaft not tightened to the point where a wrench would be needed to back off the bolts to be able to adjust the QR. The heads of the bolts provided a finger purchase to turn the adjusting nut just as the D-ring does on the later versions of the quick release.

Any other opinions out there?

Chuck Schmidt South Pasadena, CA USA (reprints, t-shirts & timelines)