At the beginning of summer, I finally upgraded my bike to a Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29. There are a lot of little differences between it and my old bike, such as the new one isn’t a janky llama turd, but it also came with a fork that has a 15mm thru axle.Supposedly this makes my steering better somehow, but given that I have about as much mountain bike skill as your average beer fart has table manners, I can’t say that I have noticed.

I just turn the pedals, go up the trail, and then drink beer. Or wine. Or liquor. I’m not picky, okay?

If only I’d known how horrible 15QR skewer axle thingies could be.

This little bastard will ruin your life.

One Friday night in late August, some friends of mine and I headed out of Atlanta to Blanket’s Creek for a little night time adventure. Headlamps aglow, we rattled around the trails in the close summer humidity, then stood around drinking and talking trash. It was a great time.

Author's buddy Charles ripping it up in this not-at-all posed photo.

The only problem is, once I got home and pulled my bike out of the truck, I noticed my 15QR axle skewer thingy was missing. Damn and blast!

Oh well, I have lost many a skewer in my time. No big deal. I’ll just order another one up and it’ll arrive in a few days… except hell no it won’t.

Unbeknownst to me, replacement 15QR axles are so rare only unicorns can order them. On a moonless night. While a trio of virgin floutists toot the melody of Gangnam Style in three-part harmony. And even then the thing costs seventy-five American dollars.

Once I stopped screaming, I ordered my skewer using the above procedure on August 27th, but, as of September 19th, it isn’t even here yet. As I write this, I currently have no idea when it will arrive, and it’s quite possible that I will go the entire month of September without doing anything more than gazing longingly at my bike. I am in hell. Hell!

The only way I can think of to accurately convey the hellishness is to list 25 awful things that are, well, awful, but still not as bad as losing a 15QR skewer. Hopefully my pain will keep you from repeating my mistake. So, off we go.

I give you: Twenty Five Awful Things That Are Better than Losing Your Fox 15QR Skewer Axle Thingy:

  1. You must let a gorilla pluck your eyebrows with a pair of channel lock pliers
  2. You have to use your fingers as disc brake calipers
  3. Have to qualify for downhill world champs on a tandem beach cruiser
  4. You get a new job as a truck tire
  5. You break your left collarbone… with your right collarbone
  6. Finding all your loved ones — all of them — in bed together
  7. Mow the lawn goat style. Teeth only.
  8. You can now descend stairs only by sliding down them on your belly. No hands.
  9. Car door handles deliver random electric shocks only to you
  10. Your late night texts automatically forward to everyone at work, retroactively
  11. Saddle height changes randomly to ensure maximum discomfort
  12. Your brakes squeak recognizable Bieber songs and can not be repaired
  13. Meetings give you loud, uncontrollable gas.
  14. Cell phones auto-correct pronouns to all-caps swear words
  15. Underpants slowly shrink over the course of the day
  16. Your nipples become painfully tender, and everyone wants to bear hug you
  17. Dreaming about accounting regulations. Every night. For a year.
  18. Everyone you have a crush on forgets your name every time you see them.
  19. The bank lost your money, charged you a fee, found your money, deducted the fee, then lost your money again
  20. All your sheets are now constructed of ill-tempered snakes held together by venomous spiders
  21. Butt cheeks constantly falling asleep, then unbearable pins and needles
  22. Everything gives you paper cuts. Even cheese slices.
  23. All animals now hate you and screech, caw, or bark loudly when you go by
  24. Beer tastes like overly-salted pickles for a year
  25. No sweet loving for three months

Yeah. It’s that bad. Heed my tale of woe, friends, and do not lose your 15QR skewer axle thingy or you’ll regret it like crazy. Blee dat!

# Comments

  • kconner

    While I hate that it’s at your expense, thanks for the laughs to begin my day!

  • Jared13

    One good thing: at least the flutists were playing catchy tune!

    And like kconner said, thanks for the laughs!

  • terrible1one3

    You can get 15 meals, or one quick release skewer thingy. What is this world coming to?

  • alskoj

    I damaged my 15QR nut and found out that I can’t “just replace” it – I would have to buy the whole axle (which was on backorder). Geez, thanks. I eventually sold the bike. My new bike doesn’t have a through axle even though its a huge upgrade.
    Anyways, very funny story. Good job.

  • mtbgreg1

    Easy solution: never take it off. EVA!

    So on the topic of QR thru axles… somehow the one that came with the white brothers fork on the Jamis Dakar test rig got seized up, and I, for the life of me, couldn’t loosen it up or remove it, despite attempting to employ a vice grip and all manner of ill-suited tools. That made packing the bike box when I shipped it back quite interesting….

  • treky92

    In a quick google search, I found one made by Rock Shox and one made by DT swiss . The Rock Shox one was only $35 plus shipping too…


      Unfortunately they aren’t interchangeable between manufacturers.

  • jhodgson

    Well yeah but it’s my understanding that those would only fit their respective forks. I don’t think they’re interchangeable, and I have a Fox fork.

  • edumper

    I lost my 15QR skewer a few months ago right after a ride. Drove 20miles home, realized it was gone, found out how hard it is to get one, drove 20miles back to the trail head, it was gone. The next day I was supposed to go on a biking trip that I had planned for a months, so i needed one asap. I got extremely lucky and my LBS was able to sell me off someone elses forks who had dropped their bike off for repairs. Apparently the persons fork set was damaged so the LBS had to order new forks for the customer and I was lucky enough to buy his used one for 25 bucks lol. Every since then I’ve always made sure to quadruple check that i have it when leaving the trail, I’ve even made a special “pocket” for it in my trunk. And when my bike is at home the front wheel is off to save space in my apartment and theres a special boot that I always keep the 15QR in. You’ve gotta treat these things like some kind of rare precious metal that spys from other countries are after.

    • mtbgreg1

      If I take the wheel off, I usually just screw the axle back into the fork.

    • edumper

      And after writing this, drove from LA to OC and forgot my 15QR

  • AJ711

    I laughed at this when it was first posted up.

    Then I left my skewer on the back bumper after a ride. Jenson has one for $75, and I’m now checking eBay, Price Point and Bike Nashbar.

    Normal operation, remove front wheel, put skewer back in fork, load bike into car and head home. Not today. Nope, I tried something different. See what happens when you try something different, AJ? You can’t have nice things if you try something different.

    I wonder if I could use a barrel swivel or something similar to that and attach some safety wire to it? Just loop that around the fork (somehow) and you’ll never lose it again. Of course, you could snag the safety wire on something, and pull an endo, but you’ll never lose you skewer again.


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