How do I remove (entirely) a quick release axle that free spins because the metal "adjustment nut" opposite the lever free spins inside the plastic outer nut?

I can't obliterate the plastic nut to remove it to grasp the metal inners with pliers. There is nothing to grip onto and it free spins and no way to force the plastic nut off and inside is a "metal wheel"(?)

(Who would thought of this bad design as any good? All it would need is a proper hexagonal inside the plastic outer!!)

1 Answer 1


Usually when they do that, you can use a screwdriver to pry the plastic cover off. You'll be leveraging against the dropout so you could put down some tape on it if you want to be gentle on it. It will probably go easier with the QR clamped back down if possible.

If there's room for them, using vise-grips on the part right up against the frame and clamped hard usually works, grasping it through the plastic where it's thin.

A lot of the time, the reason the nut does this kind of thing in the first place is because there's heavy corrosion between the skewer and the nut. If that's true then it might be best to just get a new one and cut the old one off with a bolt cutter or Dremel cut-off wheel.

  • 1
    Agreed - absolutely need to replace QR skewer - can't have this happening when fixing a flat en-route. So I'd go straight to destructive removal.
    – Criggie
    Jul 16, 2022 at 23:19
  • Thanks. I've already ordered new qr skewer. I'll keep trying with what tools I've got. Thank you.
    – Mr Heelis
    Jul 17, 2022 at 6:59
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    @Nathan Knudsen I prised the offending cap off with a meaty flat head screw driver (it was very stubborn took multiple nudges and wheel rotations) and at last was able to with long nose pliers grip the metal "wheel" inside (hard, in and of itself, because it was nearly worn smooth) the bike is my sons mountain bike, and was bought in very good condition albeit used, but the qr skewer needed destroying to get it off.. revealing it was heavily corroded in the qr screwer end thread
    – Mr Heelis
    Jul 18, 2022 at 9:53

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