Quick release (QR) axles are a convenient and tool-free way to quickly remove and install your wheel quickly. They consist of a threaded rod (the axle itself) with a closure lever, a nut, and two conical springs. The springs are oriented with the small ends pointing towards the middle of the axle. These springs aid in installation and help to center the axle in the dropouts. QR axles are very common, and knowing their proper setup will keep you safe and confident.
To remove a wheel with a QR axle, start by releasing your brakes (rim brakes only—disc brakes are unaffected).
Open the lever and unscrew the nut until there is enough clearance to remove the wheel. It should slip out of the dropouts easily.
It’s easiest to keep the axle in the hub when your wheel is off the bike. This keeps everything in one place, and in proper orientation.
To reinstall your QR wheel, simply reverse the removal process:
Slide the axle into the dropouts, making sure it’s straight and clear of your rim brake pads (or disc brake rotor is cleanly slotted between pads in caliper).
Tighten the axle nut (clockwise), while opening and closing the lever looking for resistance.
When you encounter resistance from the lever halfway closed/open, stop threading and close the lever completely. This should leave a slight imprint on your palm.
Don’t forget to reconnect your brake. Give the wheel a spin to make sure it’s straight.
Note: do not squeeze hydraulic brake levers without your wheel installed.