I heard a grinding noise from the rear wheel on my mountain bike. I took out the quick release and saw that it's full of dust. Before my last long ride, I serviced my rear hub by removing the cassette, re-greasing the ball bearings, etc. I did not open the free-hub body, but I did remove it to get to the bearings.

I flipped my bike upside down and took out the quick release. The sound went away when I removed the quick release, but came back when I re-inserted it. It was also quite a tight fit. Is it normal for the quick release to become dirty on the inside? Should there be seals somewhere? Can I put grease on the quick release after cleaning it?

  • 3
    Yes, you certainly can grease the skewer of the quick release. However, I think it's unlikely that you would heard grinding caused by the quick release while you're riding. The quick release and axle don't rotate against each other. They are both fixed and the hub body rotates around the axle. There are no seals on a quick release. Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 0:35
  • Thanks. I'll do some further investigation based on your comment to see where this noise is coming from. Could it be coming from somewhere else but only start grinding when the quick release pulls everything tight? Any ideas? Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 0:37
  • 2
    I would guess that when you tighten the quick release it compresses something and that's producing the noise. Could be bad bearings, could simply be a seal rubbing -- hard to say. Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 0:39
  • 4
    QR tightening compresses the axle and tightens the bearings. When a QR is undone, the bearings should have a small amount of play that is taken up when done up. If there is no play when QR is undone, bearings will be over tightened when the QR is done up. This could be the cause of the grinding.
    – mattnz
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 1:17
  • 1
    do you have cup and cone ball bearings on your hub i.e. individual ball bearings 'stuck' into the inside of the hub with grease? If so, it's likely that the cones are too tight and you need to back them off slightly. While a simple system to adjust and maintain yourself it can be quite tricky to get the feel of how tight to tighten the cones just right. In fact when I service cup and cone bearings whether in a wheel hub or headset I go for a quick ride around the block to make sure everything settles into place before doing a final adjustment
    – el_oso
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 7:53

1 Answer 1


It’s possible you have a bent or broken axle, which is the only reason a skewer would rub against the hub. Disassemble the inner hub and inspect.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.