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Is it best to have the front wheel release lever in front of the fork, tailing the fork, or aligned with the fork? How about the rear; ahead, behind, or alingned with the chainstays, seatstays, or between the two?

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    There are all sorts of theories. Facing forward is probably the worst, as they could snag on something fairly easily and open the release. Other positions all have scenarios where they could be a problem as well, though. I generally go with more or less up, aligned with the fork or seat stay. Oct 7 '16 at 16:52
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    The most important thing is that the QR is actually fully closed with enough clamping force (for exposed cam skewers, make sure you are aligned with the curved washer or else you won't be able to fully close it).
    – Batman
    Oct 7 '16 at 23:43
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Rule #41 Quick-release levers are to be carefully positioned.:

Quick release angle on the front skewer shall be an upward angle which tightens just aft of the fork and the rear quick release shall tighten at an angle that bisects angle between the seat and chain stays. It is acceptable, however, to have the rear quick release tighten upward, just aft of the seat stay, when the construction of the frame or its dropouts will not allow the preferred positioning. For Time Trial bikes only, quick releases may be in the horizontal position facing towards the rear of the bike. This is for maximum aero effect.

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    It'd be good if you posted the relevant section rather than just a link.
    – Batman
    Oct 7 '16 at 15:35
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    Welcome to Bicycles Stack Exchange! Unfortunately, your answer is very hard to understand. I suggest reading How do I write a good answer in the Help Center for information on how to compose a good answer. You can edit your answer to make it easier to understand with the "edit" button at the bottom of the answer. If you do not do so, it is likely to be downvoted, flagged for moderator intervention, and possibly deleted.
    – jimchristie
    Oct 7 '16 at 17:10
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    Those 'rules' are stupid snobbery.
    – vclaw
    Oct 7 '16 at 18:43
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    @vclaw Wrong. It's humor that makes fun of stupid cycling snobbery, mixed with common sense and good advice.
    – BSO rider
    Oct 7 '16 at 19:45
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    @BSOrider Unfortunately some people take it seriously. And much of it is bad advice, which puts people off cycling, or is dangerous.
    – vclaw
    Oct 8 '16 at 1:53
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Something noone has mentioned is that the QR lever is not to be touching the frame or fork when in the closed position.

Reasons for this are

  • the clamping force is not as high as it could be
  • the frame or fork can slowly push on the lever and loosen it a bit more over time.
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    More importantly, if you put the QR exactly on top of the fork and close it (fully if possible), you're not going to be able to open it next time.
    – Batman
    Oct 9 '16 at 0:07
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I'd put both of them in a way they can't be hit by rocks or branches. I had no trouble aligning them as described below.

So: for the front wheel it should be aligned with the fork. For the rear wheel I think two possible and secure options are to point it upwards or align with seat stay.

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For disc brake bikes specifically, you want to have them positioned in the way that makes them easiest to open without touching the discs. For the front this is easily achieved by putting the lever on the right (in whatever orientation you fancy), but you can also have it slightly in front of the fork on the rotor side (behind also works if it's not interfering w/ the caliper). In the rear, I find that just slightly below the chainstay works best for me, making it easy to brace against the chainstay for both opening and closing.

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  • On my cyclocross bike with disk brakes and standard axles (not through axles) I've put the front QR on the right side of the fork aligned upwards behind the fork. It's a good way to avoid touching a hot disk when you open the QR.
    – Carel
    Oct 8 '16 at 20:27
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Front QR is to be exactly parallel to the fork arm.

Rear QR is to be positioned exactly half way in between the chainstay and the seatstay, oriented to the inside of the frame.

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Mechanically it makes no difference, since the quick-release work any way you position the lever.

The only reason to adjust the levers position is for the ease of use. The best way is to position the front lever slightly behind the fork (not aligned along the fork, otherwise you cant press the lever down completely and its hard to open because you cant get between lever and fork with your fingers).

Same for the rear: between the two makes the lever accessible most easy. You can press with the thumb on the chainstay/seatstay and open the lever easy.

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Personally, I think it depends a little on the design of the quick release lever. I put my front one pointing upwards aligned with the fork. However, some quick release designs will actually contact the fork before they are fully closed. In this case I would place it slightly behind the fork. For the back quick release, I position it between the seat and chain stays. Again if you have something in the way, you'll have to adjust parallel with the seatstay or even behind it a bit if something is in the way.

I've seen some people position them both facing backwards. The idea is that they are less likely to catch on something and open as you are riding. However, I think this makes them more likely to be opened by some other factor when not riding because there is nothing guarding them. This would be fine if you checked them before each ride, as we probably should, but most people probably aren't consistently checking their quick releases every time they ride. If they are in a position that they are least likely to be opened accidentally in most situations, then that is probably the safest.

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    I recall reading once where a drafting cyclist got too close to the bike in front and his front tire opened the QR of the rear tire ahead of him. Oct 7 '16 at 16:55
  • @DanielRHicks This is the only mode I've ever heard of where any properly tightened QR has come open while riding in real life. People do it intentionally sometimes too. Oct 7 '16 at 18:59

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