Halo Hex Bolt Skewers

Some time back my front wheel suffered an accident and was  retired in favour of a wheel from my road bike (which is still currently in pieces but has had a respray and is being re-assembled, possibly with gears…sorry) I never felt properly secure locking and leaving the bike because of the quick release unless I removed the front wheel  and locked it too. This was a bit of a pain in the arse if you’re doing it often.

Mojo front end with hex skewer

I had for a long time eyed off the Pitlock locking bike skewers but was held back by two concerns. One was the cost (about $100) and the other was I had to recognize and be honest about my own ability to lose the special locking mechanism. The last thing my wife needed was yet another excuse for me to crash about the house muttering, “Where are those f–cking keys!”

Hex bolt locking skewers seemed perfect for me, given I’ve accumulated about ten 5mm hex keys and have about three different bike tools stashed in my kits (which all have a 5mm hex key). The hex skewer doesnt make the wheel theft-proof but does offer a decent obstacle against the casual thief. Most thieves will hit an easy target, such as when my front wheel was stolen outside Cav’s steakhouse. Someone saw it happen and the guy who did it was so quick and so casual that it looked like he must have owned it. I doubt the same thief would have bothered had it been bolted. It was a good wheel too.

A hex bolt is the perfect way to attach a bicycle wheel. It’s a pity that so many of the fixie wheelsets have those cheap hubs with the standard bolt that requires you take a spanner with you to remove your wheel. For me, this means taking a spanner everywhere. I have a rule about cycling without patch kit and pump (and the ability to remove the wheel). The one time I venture out without them is the time when I get a puncture…usually just after I’ve lectured someone about this rule, and usually with that person accompanying me. Carrying a hex is certainly a lot more convenient than carrying a ring spanner.

I bought my hex skewers  from Velogear for $33. The skewers come in a range of colours but sadly not orange (which my bike had, almost purely by accident, developed as its theme colour). I got the gold ones. The skewers are of decent quality construction. The tolerances on the bolts and skewers arent super tight, though they’re certainly good enough, and I had that in the back of my mind when I was tightening it.

It’s hard to know how tight to tighten when you have a little hex key in your hand. Being used to a larger spanner or the force required to close a quick release I really didn’t know how that translated to a hex key. When tightening the hex bolt on the skewer though it seemed to find its own limit and I stopped there.  It seemed perfectly tight to me.

Probably the single most important question of the whole deal if you’re a die-hard fixie fan is “how do they look?” And they look great. They offer yet another opportunity to add some bling to your bike and they look shitloads better than a big bolt would ever look.

The back skewer went on the ‘Dale

The kit comes with two skewers, one for front and one for back. My back wheel still has a big-arse bolt so I used the back one on my Cannondale Prophet. It has a Cannondale Lefty front end so the front wheel is already bolted on with a 5mm hex nut so it made sense to bolt the back on also. Pity now though, I look at the back end of the fixie and can’t help but recoil at that ugly big bolt sticking out from the back wheel.

Front end of the ‘Dale, included here because some people still find it pretty freaky.

One Comment

  1. Gold Coast Single Speed

    Turns out I’d been too timid when tightening the bolt. The wheel developed a nasty squeak that was fixed by tightening the bolt in a proper man fashion this time. These guys can cope with a degree of force that was quite a lot higher than my first appraisal. The front end of the Mojo and the rear on the Cannondale are now properly tightening and I doubt I’ll see any more problems there.

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