CAMBRIDGE, MASS., USA – Montague have developed a really innovative quick release system that is literally fool-proof. We first saw the invention last February under strict promise that we shouldn’t pre-publicize – technically it had already been fine-tuned, but of course one has to be careful with industrial property, and it had to be marketed, preferably by a party with a distribution network. The latter is Pacific Cycles, who state in a press release that they will fit the Montague system to ‘the majority of Pacific’s 2007 Schwinn, GT and Mongoose bicycles in the IBD, Sporting Goods and Mass distribution channels.’ Not all, but still “The safety of our customers is always our top concern,” claims Pacific President Jeff Frehner.

It is usual in the USA that fork dropouts have lateral ‘lips’ so that a wheel with the quick release lever open (or the quick-release skewer broke) won’t fall out. Before the American can take out the wheel, he/she first has to unscrew the preset bolt on the opposite side. Fitting the wheel American-style means putting the wheel in place, adjust the preset bolt, close the lever. It means constant fiddling with the correct preset length, and closing force.

The Americans have invented the retainer ‘lips’, dubbed ‘lawyers’ lips’, on the dropouts following lawsuits after people (who had been fiddling with the preset and didn’t know how to use it) lost their front wheel during the ride. Even those who had bought a bike and never bothered to learn how a quick release was properly operated, had success with their lawsuits, and American bike designers reacted accordingly.

The new Montague system has a preset bolt with a locknut (for which a spanner is needed), with a spring-loaded cup on the other side between the lever and the dropout. The forks to be used in combination with the Montague QR will have flat faces, with shallow indents each side that match the preset bolt and the cup under the lever. Thus even the most careless American can clip in the wheel, close the lever (or not) and demonstrate the effectiveness of the retaining properties. OB