David Montague of Montague Corporation of Cambridge, Massachusetts - "the world's leading supplier of bikes to the military" – has developed a click-in, locking quick-release fixture for bike wheels. Pacific Cycle of the US will use the system on next model year's Schwinn, GT and Mongoose bikes.

Secure QR system developed by US folder maker

“I think the Montague System is the greatest advance in wheel removal and retention that the bicycle industry has seen since the invention of the traditional quick release system,” said Pacific Cycle CEO Chris Hornung.

“We believe the Montague System will prove to be easier, safer and more convenient than any system currently on the market and we’ll install it on our bikes to provide superior safety and convenience to our customers.”

The Montague Corporation was founded by David Montague in 1996. It produces full-sized folding mountain bikes, including a Hummer bike. In 1997, Montague won a two-year grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to produce the ‘Tactical Electric No Signature’ (TENS) mountain bike, ie it ain’t got an engine.

This is Montague’s Paratrooper bike, available from the company’s website for $645.

Now David Montague has tuned his attentions to the QRs on bikes. This wheel-retention system is prone to user errors.

“The method of installing wheels on bicycles hasn’t changed much since the 1920s,” said Montague.

“The new Montague System lets the cyclist remove a front wheel using only one hand and then simply click it back into place on the bike.”

The Montague System looks like a conventional quick-release system, but it clicks the wheel into the fork and simultaneously locks it into place.

Jeff Frehner, Pacific’s president and chief operating officer said: “Existing quick-release designs are safe and effective, but the Montague System goes a step further by reducing the potential for human error."

In the US, a group of parents are currently involved in a court tussle with Wal-Mart over injuries caused to child cyclists by ill-fitting front wheel QRs. The parents claim the bikes were "defective; Wal-Mart says use of QRs on bikes is industry-standard; industry experts say QRs are safe, when used correctly.

In 2003, Bob Burns, Trek’s US-based General Counsel, told BikeBiz.com:

"Virtually all ‘defective quick release’ claims that I have seen relate to an improperly used quick release. Either the consumer has ridden with the QR open; ridden with the QR closed like a wing nut (rather than closing it over the cam); or ridden with insufficient tightness to the adjusting nut to engage the cam."

The Montague Corporation’s website has plenty of details on its folding mountain bikes, but none as yet on the new wheel QR system.

However, the system has clearly been developed from use on the Montague bikes because the Montague website says the Paratrooper bike is folded via a quick release lever on the top tube and this has a ‘safety lock’ described as a "recessed drop out for quick release" which "prevents frame from folding even with quick release not tightened."


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