The latest QR/disc brake discussion on has generated 199 responses. There are also lively debates on the forums of,, and other sites. Not surprisingly, QR and fork manufacturers are keeping schtum. Tech guru Jobst Brandt of America sums up the debates thus: "Some participants explain a phenomenon factually with scientific reasons while those defending the status quo use rude rejoinders and question their opponents loyalty to the American flag, so to speak, in Sen. Joe McCarthy style. It's a classic conservative ploy."

Are those who believe there’s a QR/disc brake problem reds under bike trade beds?

The latest topic flared up after the posting of the story ‘Missy Giove’s QR pops open.’

199 postings later and there’s still no consensus (is there ever on Usenet?) but the level of personal abuse has certainly been ramping up.

Some are keeping their cool, Jobst Brandt included, although he’s now getting annoyed at the circularity of the arguments:

"There is a problem and that picking at nits surrounding the problem is not going to make it go away, especially when failure mechanisms are dismissed without reasonable cause."

But many contributors believe the QR/disc brake problem, if there is one, is not a serious issue, and any dangers involved pale into insignifance when it’s considered that cycling off-road can be an inherently dangerous activity. said:

"I have owned many bicycles of nearly every conceivable design and every one of them has had design flaws. Did we curse Schwinn as children when we slid off our banana seats and crushed our nads on the five speed shifter that protruded from the top tube? Nope. It was the best kid’s bike available at the time and we liked it in spite if its flaws.

"Did we point fingers when our 3-piece cranks stripped on our BMX bikes and caused us to crash when we were having our jumping contests at the age of 14? Nope. We just switched to one-piece cranks and warned newbies against the 3-piece alloy jobs.

"Nevertheless, the number of accidents I have suffered due to taking risks and operator

error dwarf the number caused by design flaws by an order of magnitude that I can only guess at.

"I have owned mountain bikes exclusively for the last 5 years and I consider them to be the pinnacle of bicycle design so far. The safety, comfort and convenience features are numerous and impressive. Are they safe at any speed? Nope. You are still on two wheels and any mishap can lead to a nasty fall. That is the inherent danger of bicycling, not this silly QR + disc brake hoopla. In fact, ask any imbecile and they will tell you that the QR is there for convenience and not safety."

And, in a reference to 20mm thru-axle set-ups…"If your riding style is too aggressive for your equipment, then that is your problem and your choice. Find the right tools for the job, adjust your riding style, or accept the consequences.

"I believe the bicycle industry does the best it can, and that more than most industries, it is made up of enthusiasts working on relatively thin margins rather than greedy entrepreneurs trying to get rich quick. If there are some design tweaks related to this hype that might prove beneficial, then that is cool. Bicycle design is constantly evolving."

But, Tim McNamara (, counters with:

"A design that creates an ejection force on the front wheel is inherently faulty – whether or not the rider properly uses the QR skewer or not. The design is flawed and needs to be revised. That implies a recall of all current disk forks and either an adapter to move the caliper to the front of the fork, or replacement with a corrected design. Expensive for the fork industry, yes, but they should have caught this in the initial design stages.

"The issue is really in the hands of the fork manufacturers, the CPSC and the EU equivalent."

But if so, James Annan – the originator of the QR/disc brake theory – wonders why it’s only British bike news websites to have carried stories so far:

"Not one single USA-based site has touched this story, to my knowledge. I know that they know about the story, and they know that I know that they know, and I know that they know that I know that they know."

Tons more troll and non-troll comments at:…/

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