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Troubleshooting a Salsa Skewer

Last updated on February 23, 2014

I really, really like riding my Salsa Mukluk, but ever since receiving it I’ve had a problem with the rear skewer loosening while riding. After 1-2 hours of hard riding on semi-rough trails I’ll hear some unexpected rotor rub from the rear, occasionally things will feel sloppy, and upon stopping I’ll find the rear skewer has become loose and sometimes I can manually wobble the wheel in the dropouts. This is a more pronounced version of the problem I’d had with the Salsa skewer on the El Mariachi Ti, and partially due to the lack of 170mm skewers I’ve decided to try solving myself.

Based on suggestions from some engineering-oriented cycling friends I first cleaned the skewer’s cam mechanism and lubricated it with Tri-Flow (a nice PTFE lube), thinking that maybe the problem is a rough action keeping me from being able to appropriately tighten it down. In case it continues to loosen I’ve also marked the quick release skewer nut’s position to determine just how much it is rotating. Before riding I’ll probably also mark the lever. While I believe it’s the nut that is rotating (I hadn’t noticed the lever changing position), I want to rule out both sides of the bike.

If this cleaning and lubrication effort doesn’t eliminate the loosening I’ll probably end up trying a set of Hope skewers and giving them a go as they are the only other well-regarded option for 135mm / 170mm bike hubs. I really wish that Shimano made their high-quality internal cam skewers in these widths, but as they don’t I’m stuck trying to find other solutions…

Update on February 23, 2014: After ~2 months of winter riding, including some rough surfaces, the skewers are now holding tight. It seems like lubing the cams to allow them to be further tightened is what did it.

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