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Need to replace existing quick connect rear skewer. How do I measure the length to order a replacement skewer?

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It is the internal distance between rear dropouts that defines the replacement QR skewer. The existing skewer can be used as a supplementary information. That distance also matches the hub locknut-to-locknut distance, but the latter is harder to measure because it is hard to insert the caliper between spokes.

The image taken from Sheldon Brown's page.

SB's illustration

Make sure to read that page as it has tons of useful info. A quote from there:

Typical quick-release axles are 11 or 12 mm longer than the spacing of the hub locknuts. This gives 5.5-6 mm of axle protrusion on each side.

Measure the distance with a caliper up to 1 mm accuracy. The most common modern values for QR-designated rear dropouts are 135 mm for mountainbike and 130 mm for road bikes. Other things I've heard of are 170 mm and 190 mm for fat bikes and 132.5 mm "gnot right" specific to Surly bikes.

For a new QR skewer it is important that its unthreaded length is not too long, otherwise you will not be able to thread the locknut tight on it.

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    I've had to extend the thread on a pinhead skewer - standard was too short, and the longer version was too long (bad design meant no overlap in the usable lengths). Because the skewer is the right diameter to start with, it is possible, but it's not easy. You need a good quality die and holder, which will cost more than a skewer. And I only had to do about 10 or 12 turns – Chris H Feb 4 '18 at 16:45
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Use a ruler or tape measure, and measure the distance between inner edges of the nuts.

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