A manual of a suspension fork states that the quick release handle must be in horizontal position, pointing backwards.

Is there any technical reason for this? Another natural position can be pointing upwards along the fork blade, and I cannot think of a reason why it is inferior.

  • 3
    Most likely to not catch on open up. It is it protected but sticks that might open it up in that position then I would think it would be OK.
    – paparazzo
    Dec 6 '14 at 19:54
  • Not quite relevant, but there would likely be a small aerodynamic advantage to closing them facing backwards-maybe
    – W1ll1amvl
    Dec 6 '14 at 21:34
  • 2
    Honestly, it doesn't really matter that much. If you ride through brush you probably want it pointing backwards so as not to get hung up, but on the road pick whatever orientation seems appropriate to you. You may find, eg, that a certain orientation is apt to get caught on pant cuffs (if you cycle in long pants) and that's reason enough to change. Or you may find that an orientation causes problems when attaching panniers. Whatever. Dec 7 '14 at 1:29
  • 1
    I have heard one credible story where a person drafting too close got their wheel between the lever and frame of the bike they were following, causing the wheel on that bike to come loose. Dec 7 '14 at 1:31
  • I expected that this would be a duplicate, but although some answers cover similar ground, the questions don't. Good question!
    – andy256
    Dec 7 '14 at 2:32

Pointing it forward or downwards would be problematic as the lever might get caught somewhere and therefore get opened.

Remains pointing it backwards and upwards parallel to the fork. When pointing it parallel to the fork blade, it might touch the fork and therefore not fully close. This might cause the quick release to open by itself unintendedly. One can easily mitigate this if one knows about it and orients the lever a bit different, however, one has to be aware of it. Pointing the lever backwards does not suffer from this problem and therefore is the most safe version (also from a legal point of view) for the manufacturer, as one does not have to be aware of any implications.

  • 2
    If the lever touches the fork or rear stay it's not tight enough. Dec 7 '14 at 13:13
  • 1
    I usually close the front lever so that it's close to the rear of the fork. The rear lever lies behind the seat-stay. The reason for this is that they might not open by accident if caught by a root or branch or the frame of another bike.
    – Carel
    Dec 7 '14 at 15:33

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