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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    OK to file annoying "safety" tabs on fork drop outs?

    Getting my first new bike in 2 decades (Specialized Allez Cro-Mo) has been wonderful. But those little so-called "safety" tabs on the fork dropout are very annoying. I put my bike on a roof rack 2-3 times a week and it makes it much more difficult (and I think actually less safe as I am more likely to incorrectly fasten the bike to the rack or the wheel to the bike) Can I carefilly file those annoying tabs off? ( the dropouts look to be aluminum.)

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    sure...

    Most people file the tabs off. Won't hurt a thing unless you forget to tighten a quick release.

  3. #3
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    I trust they're gone by now. Definitely remove them--unless you need to be protected from your own stupidity, and I much prefer to believe you're far from stupid.
    Si mi abuela tuviera ruedas seria bicicleta. (If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a bicycle.) --Spanish proverb.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Saw and file

    Depending on the details of the lawyer lips, it might be easier to do the rough cut with a hack saw, and then dress the tips with a file. A lot faster than removing all the aluminum with a file, and your file teeth won't get (as) filled with aluminum. I've done this several times, and I've neither been hit by lightning or suffered any front wheel losses.

  5. #5
    Bling Bling Master!
    Reputation: Florentine Pogen's Avatar
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    Like I said before....

    Off like a prom dress!!!


    Older bikes did not even have them.
    Most people file them off so the wheels can be swapped out quicker, esp in a race situation. I have filed the ones off on my carbon fork bikes with the aluminum dropouts.
    You could use a dremel tool if you want. Do it slow. Dont know it you want to heat up the glue that they use to bond it to the fork leg. Might not hurt,to file fast, it but it is better to be safe than sorry (and toothless).

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Consider it done!

    Thanks for the swift replies- i'm gonna do it now!

  7. #7
    johnny99
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    See Sheldon Brown's commentary on lawyer lips vs. boutique skewers: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/skewers.html

  8. #8
    fixated
    Reputation: DougSloan's Avatar
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    whack em off

    Quote Originally Posted by fblum
    Getting my first new bike in 2 decades (Specialized Allez Cro-Mo) has been wonderful. But those little so-called "safety" tabs on the fork dropout are very annoying. I put my bike on a roof rack 2-3 times a week and it makes it much more difficult (and I think actually less safe as I am more likely to incorrectly fasten the bike to the rack or the wheel to the bike) Can I carefilly file those annoying tabs off? ( the dropouts look to be aluminum.)
    I file them off with a Dremel tool, that is, unless they're carbon (like on my Easton carbon fork).

    Colnago doesn't even put them on in the first place.
    Last edited by DougSloan; 12-07-2004 at 08:12 AM.

  9. #9
    Arrogant roadie.....
    Reputation: Dave_Stohler's Avatar
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    From my perspective, mounting the fork on the roof rack is when I'd want those "lawyer lips" the most. The mounts to my Yakima rack are quite similar to the botique skewers that sheldon complains about on that other post, so I'd really like the added security when it's mounted. Besides, how often do you check the tightness of the mounting when you are driving, anyways?

    If a skewer loosened while I was riding, I'd notice it right away. But, if the mount came loose at 60 mph, my fork would likely disconnect and come crashing down through my sunroof if not for the lawyer lips.
    We are the 801
    We are the central shaft

  10. #10
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Stohler
    From my perspective, mounting the fork on the roof rack is when I'd want those "lawyer lips" the most. The mounts to my Yakima rack are quite similar to the botique skewers that sheldon complains about on that other post, so I'd really like the added security when it's mounted. Besides, how often do you check the tightness of the mounting when you are driving, anyways?

    If a skewer loosened while I was riding, I'd notice it right away. But, if the mount came loose at 60 mph, my fork would likely disconnect and come crashing down through my sunroof if not for the lawyer lips.
    now i'm not saying it absolutely can't happen, but when was the last time you saw a properly adjusted, structurally sound q/r open, all by itself? a bike on a rack is subjected to much less force than a bike/rider on the road...
    all of the nightmare "wheel fell out of the fork" stories i've heard involve some kind of error on the part of the operator.

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    huh?

    safety tabs? what are those? would someone please post a photo so i can see what we are talking about here?

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    disagree a little bit..

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Stohler
    From my perspective, mounting the fork on the roof rack is when I'd want those "lawyer lips" the most. The mounts to my Yakima rack are quite similar to the botique skewers that sheldon complains about on that other post, so I'd really like the added security when it's mounted. Besides, how often do you check the tightness of the mounting when you are driving, anyways?

    If a skewer loosened while I was riding, I'd notice it right away. But, if the mount came loose at 60 mph, my fork would likely disconnect and come crashing down through my sunroof if not for the lawyer lips.
    I suppose it is possible for a skewer to loosen, but I always make sure the lever is tight and pointing away from the direction of travel so wind, snow, branches, cats & dogs, whatever is less likely to catch it and flip it open. However, I use enough force that nothing but a blatant effort is going to open that skewer anway. Most modern racks lock shut so this can't happen.

    Not filing off the tabs makes it much more likely that you're going to get caught with one side in and one side out because of the stupid tabs, and possibly knock your prized bike over onto your prized car because you were being impatient and didn't open the skewer far enough, and tried to do it one handed while hanging onto your half mounted bike and then slipped, bending one of your fork dropouts and denting tubes and car in the process. I think this is more likely to happen than losing a bike while driving. I don't think those tabs would hold a loose bike on for very long anyway.

  13. #13
    Arrogant roadie.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench
    now i'm not saying it absolutely can't happen, but when was the last time you saw a properly adjusted, structurally sound q/r open, all by itself? a bike on a rack is subjected to much less force than a bike/rider on the road...
    all of the nightmare "wheel fell out of the fork" stories i've heard involve some kind of error on the part of the operator.
    Last summer, I was riding, and a passing cyclist kicked up a branch in such a way that it caught my spokes and actually flipped my QR open. It does occasionally happen.

    The sort of forces a bike on a roof rack is subject to are generally less than those you'd get while riding, but when you are bouncing along a bumpy road, I've seen an alarming amount of side-to-side play, and I'd think that this is more than you'd typically see while riding.
    We are the 801
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  14. #14

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    i'm more apt to side with stohler on this one. unless it is a race situation where a wheel change needs to occur very quickly, who cares? it may take an extra 30 seconds fiddling with the lawyer tabs....not a big deal, really. i've only had them on one bike, but never gave a thought to filing them off in the 8 years of use. besides, the bike is still new to you. give it a few more months, and it'll become second nature. or go ahead and file them off.

    the_dude

  15. #15
    Shirtcocker
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_dude
    i'm more apt to side with stohler on this one. unless it is a race situation where a wheel change needs to occur very quickly, who cares? it may take an extra 30 seconds fiddling with the lawyer tabs....not a big deal, really. i've only had them on one bike, but never gave a thought to filing them off in the 8 years of use. besides, the bike is still new to you. give it a few more months, and it'll become second nature. or go ahead and file them off.

    the_dude
    I don't see the need to file em off. Sure, you may never need them, but for that one Homer Simpson moment that you forget to tighten the QR they might save you a nasty crash.
    "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." -S. Hawking

  16. #16
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    They're gone!

    Lots of interesting comments- thanks. They are history because 1. they annoyed the heck out of me and 2. they made it much harder to load the roof rack and I could easily see me dropping the bike and /or adjusting the quick release wrong.
    I guess I have to hope I'll have the same "luck" I've had for my first 33 years of riding and not try to ride with an open skewer.

  17. #17
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    Filing off tabs on carbon dropouts????????

    Same question but I've got a 2004 Cannondale with a very light carbon fork with carbon dropout. Have already filed the tips off an older bike fork but haven't even thought about it for the Cdale since it is carbon. I'm thinking it is a bad idea and as I think about it some more, I think the Cdale lip would be difficult to file off anyway. Any thoughts?

  18. #18
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    No on carbon fork tips

    If the fork tips are carbon, you definitely don't want to go after the lawyer lips. Also, I've not filed the lips off my steel-fork commuter bike, because that would wreck the paint and leave exposed steel (too lazy to paint it).

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Stohler
    Last summer, I was riding, and a passing cyclist kicked up a branch in such a way that it caught my spokes and actually flipped my QR open. It does occasionally happen.

    The sort of forces a bike on a roof rack is subject to are generally less than those you'd get while riding, but when you are bouncing along a bumpy road, I've seen an alarming amount of side-to-side play, and I'd think that this is more than you'd typically see while riding.
    I'll agree with Dave_Stohler on the outside chance of a skewer coming open. I got tangled momentarily with another rider during a crit and some part of his bike hooked my front skewer and opened it. Thankfully, neither one of us crashed and I was able to reach down and close it without having to stop. That said, I still file off the lawyer tabs.

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