How to service vintage Campagnolo Quick Release

Campagnolo Front Hub Quick Release

The Campagnolo quick release skewer pictured above was in production from the 1970’s to the 1980’s and was supplied with wheel hubs in several Campagnolo group sets during this period. Whilst most quick release skewers are not designed to be dismantled, this model can be fully disassembled by unscrewing the lever nut.

Fun history fact: Tullio Campagnolo invented the quick release skewer in 1930 and released the first Campagnolo quick release hubs back in 1933.

Do they really need to be serviced?

A quick release is a very durable part and can survive many years without any love, but as with any moving part, it can benefit from an occasional clean and re-grease, plus it will work better and last longer. This model is probably one of the easiest bicycle parts to service.

How often does it need servicing?

Prior to servicing this quick release, the lever action felt good, but after the service was done, the lever action was really smooth . If you find your lever is not easily rotating, or it hasn’t been serviced in years, it may be worth giving it a service.

Before deciding if this is a process you want to try please note that this article is purely an overview of how I service my own quick release and should not be treated as professional advice. Please read my disclaimer at the end of this article.

Tools Required

To service the quick releases, you will need:

  • an 8mm wrench.
  • A clean rag, cloth or towel
  • Good quality water proof grease for bicycle parts.
  • A pair of rubber gloves.

Optional Items:

  • Paper towel
  • Cotton buds
  • Degreaser

Assess the condition of the quick release

Before you begin, remove the end nut and springs from the quick release skewer. Now assess the condition of the lever by rotating it the full 180 degrees from side to side.

  • Does the rotation feel notchy or rough?
  • Does the lever have any play (up-and-down or in-and-out)?
  • Do both front and rear quick release levers feel similar?

If the rotation of the lever is not smooth, hopefully a service will fix this. There should only be minimal play in the lever. If there is lots of play, check if the nut is already loose. When the quick release is fitted in a wheel and tightened on your bicycle frame, there should be no play in the lever.

Disassemble the quick release

Slide the 8mm wrench onto the nut and hold the quick release lever. Turn the lever nut anti-clockwise to loosen (the nut should not be tight). Make sure the now hold the lever in place when you remove the nut to keep everything together.

You will notice there are 2 small concave washers fitted to this end of the lever. Note the orientation of the concave washers, the high side faces out toward you. Next, slide the lever out of the quick release body. Make sure you do not lose the washers. Now remove the 2 washers.

Note: These washers are very thin and if you only find 1 washer it may be possible they have corroded together. When you start cleaning it, it may separate into 2 individual washers.

The image above shows the quick release body has 2 different size holes. The washers are fitted to the smaller hole, the lever is inserted through the larger hole.

Fully disassembled Campagnolo quick release

Clean the parts

Now it’s time to clean all the individual parts. I start with degreaser and a rag and then use metal polishing cream on a rag to remove any stubborn grease or light corrosion. Finally wipe all the parts with a clean cloth. Hopefully they are now looking like new..

Reassemble the quick release

End of the skewer with a hole on either side

Take a look at the end of the skewer. Whilst the holes in the skewer look the same on both sides, they are actually different! The quick release lever will only rotate a full 180 degrees if we orient the skewer holes correctly inside the quick release body (more on that later).

Apply grease to the side of the skewer and insert it into the quick release body.

Grease and insert the lever

Grease the end of the lever and insert it into the largest hole of the quick release body. It should insert fully and you will see the thread protrude from the other side.

Rotate the lever from side to side. It should travel a full 180 degree rotation as shown in images below.

If you find the lever is NOT rotating a full 180 degrees, this can be easily fixed.
1. Remove the lever from the quick release body.
2. Rotate the skewer 180 degrees inside the quick release body to swap the skewer holes.
3. Reinsert the lever.
4. Test the lever now rotates a full 180 degrees.

Apply a bit of grease to each of the washers and place them onto the exposed thread of the lever, then seat them into the grooved cut-out.
IMPORTANT! Remember the high side of both washers face out toward you.

Fit the nut and turn it clockwise to tighten. The nut only requires minimal tightness. The 2 spring washers below the nut are designed to stop the nut coming loose.

Finally move the lever side to side to see how it feels. Make sure the lever rotates freely 180 degrees side to side. There should be on only minimal play.

Campagnolo Record Front Hub QR skewer

Before fitting the quick release back into your wheel hub, apply a small amount of grease to the entire length of the skewer and the thread. Ensure the springs are oriented correctly during reassembly.

Now, repeat the same process to service the quick release from your other wheel hub.

Need to service your Campagnolo Record Hubs?

Check out my other article on servicing vintage Campagnolo Record hubs.

Disclaimer!

Whilst I enjoy working on my own bikes, I am not a qualified bicycle mechanic. The content of this article is purely illustrative and does not constitute professional advice. For your own safety, this type of work should only be undertaken by a qualified bicycle mechanic. Incorrect assembly of parts could result in equipment damage, personal injury or death.

Comments.

I welcome reader feedback in the comments section. Should you wish to suggest an amendment, please include a note advising the source of your information so that myself and other readers can ascertain the accuracy of your information. Note: Trolling or argumentative comments will be removed as they are counter-productive.

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