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I’ve removed both wheels to do some deep cleaning. And even though, I’ve removed the wheels before I would immediately pop them back on without a problem. This time I left them out for a few weeks, and now can’t seem to put them back on. It’s a quick release , but the skewers only screw until a certain point, where the ribbed bit ends which is far less than the necessary to tighten the wheel to the frame.

I don’t think I’m missing any parts, so what basic step am I missing here? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

front wheel screw side

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    Please consider posting a pic of your bike once its back together so we can possibly see anything else that may be amiss. Its easily done, and its really easy to get used to something being wrong. And +1 for a well-described question too. Welcome to the site! – Criggie Jun 27 '18 at 22:03
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That's not the correct skewer for the wheel. I think you likely are using the rear skewer in the font wheel. Front hubs are typically 100mm between the drop-outs, rear are 130 or 135mm (or even 145mm on some mountain bikes that have stronger through-axle designs).

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    Wow, it didn't even cross my mind that they could be different, the embarassment.... thanks! – Sean Cobb Jun 27 '18 at 21:00
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    @SeanCobb The rear is wider because it has to accommodate the cassette as well as the wheel. – David Richerby Jun 27 '18 at 21:00
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    The skewer also seems to miss the little conical spring. It isn't an essential part for correct function but it helps to keep the skewer in a position that makes insertion in the dropouts easier. youtube.com/watch?v=Hcq-PwYj3TE – Carel Jun 28 '18 at 8:43
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    Side note: 145 mm isn't a common rear axle width for MTBs. These days the common thru-axle widths are 142 mm (standard), 148 mm (Boost), and now 157 mm (DH and SuperBoost on trail bikes -- the flange spacing is different) – Paul H Jun 28 '18 at 13:56

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