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12 High End Skewers Reviewed

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • #93561
    Keymaster

    It’s been over 4 years since I wrote the last skewer shootout and many of them have since changed.  I’ve decided to do an updated review featuring the latest and greatest.   Writing this review has made me realize that things have changed over the years and the gaps between brands have definitely shrunk.  They do still have their differences but those are becoming smaller.  Any of the skewers in this review are just fine and there won’t be clear winners and losers but there will be some differences.

    AX-Lightness, Road only

    AX-Lightness

    AX-Lightness Specs
    Weight 37 grams
    Price $130
    Cam travel 1.48mm
    Rod material Titanium rear, Aluminum front
    Rod Length 163mm rear, 123mm front
    Colors Black, Blue, Gold, Red, Silver

    Thoughts:  Mixed materials in the skewer rods, titanium rear and aluminum front.The alloy front shaft accounts for a 2 or 3 gram weight savings which really doesn’t make a difference except when weight is the ultimate goal, however if weight is the ultimate goal there are lighter choices.  I do really like the handle shape and length on the Ax skewer.  It provides plenty of leverage and is easy on the hand.  The skewer uses a fine pitch thread for small adjustments and what should be solid retention however the nuts are sometimes lax in tolerance as we’ve seen a few that have stripped threads where others would not have.

    Enve Road Titanium

    ENVE-Ti

    ENVE Titanium Specs
    Weight 60 grams
    Price $42
    Cam travel 2.1mm
    Rod material Titanium
    Rod Length 158mm rear, 128mm front
    Colors Black

    Thoughts: The heaviest and least expensive of the titanium skewers in this review.  The external cam is linear rather than a cup like some so alignment must be done manually. The handle is a really nice length and shape, easy on the hand and opens and closes easily and securely.  At the price it is a nice aftermarket option, but was designed to be OE with Enve wheels, and in that case it matches well.

     

    Extralite Aliens3

    Extralite-Alien

    Extralite Aliens3 Specs
    Weight 55 grams.
    Price $150
    Cam Travel 1.52mm
    Rod Material Titanium
    Rod Length 163mm rear, 129mm front.
    Colors Black, Blue, Gold, Green, Red, Silver

    Thoughts:  4 years ago when I wrote the last skewer review, the Aliens2 was one of my favorites.  The Aliens3 is brand new, released only this month.  It doesn’t make dramatic changes from the last version, but some nice details to what was already a truly fantastic skewer.  The cam changes from gold to black giving it a more consistent look.   The nut becomes an integrated 3 piece design with a fixed spring, rotating washer and nut.  All 3 pieces rotate individually but stay together as one piece on the skewer.  The attention to engineering detail on this skewer is off the chart.  An external cam as in common in most skewers, but with a very clever fixing mechanism which keeps it from moving and having to be manually aligned.  Also a retention device for the springs on both ends means that this is perhaps the quickest and easiest skewer to use when it comes to a speedy wheel change.  A knurled nut and a long ergonomic handle on the lever end make this super friendly on the hands and provide plenty of clamping force.   Suitable for road or mtb.  It’s not the lightest, in fact it’s one of the heaviest in this review, but it’s also one of the overall best in every other category.

    Extralite Streeters

    Extralite-Streeters

    Extralite Streeter Specs
    Weight 29 grams
    Price $150
    Cam Travel 1.79mm
    Rod Material Titanium
    Rod Length 159mm rear, 129 front
    Colors Black, Blue, Gold, Green, Red, Silver

    Thoughts: Given that the Aliens3 is a universal skewer with all the bells and whistles, Extralite thought they should have a weight oriented road specific skewer as well and recently released one.  The Streeter keeps the same basic external cam design of the Aliens3 but strips away all the bells and whistles making this the 2nd lightest skewer in the review.  At 29 grams only the carbon rod version Tune is lighter.  The Streeter looses the springs, large knurled nut and wide smooth handle in favor of weight savings.  Also the cam plate gets smaller.  Cam travel however is increased.  Overall this is a really nice lightweight skewer with good funtion.

    Far and Near Carbon Road

    Far-and-Near

    Far and Near Carbon Road Specs
       Weight 42 grams
        Price $70
        Cam Travel 2.3mm
        Rod Material Titanium
        Rod Length 157 Rear, 126 front.
        Colors Black, Blue, Gold, Green, Red, Silver

    Thoughts:  Very similar in design to the original Kcnc.  It has a long handle and good retention.  Very basic and trouble free design.  Handle is comfortable to grip for both closing and opening which is a good thing being that this skewer has one of the largest cam movements of all the skewers.  Solid clamping force and overall nice design at a good price.  The carbon wrap over the handle sometimes has a bit of a laminate look which won’t appeal to everyone.  But functionally there is nothing to fault here.

    Kcnc Stainless Z6

    KCNC-Z6

    KCNC Z6 Specs
    Weight 60 grams
    Price $38
    Cam Travel 1.73mm
    Rod Material Stainless Steel
    Rod Length 158 rear, 124 front
    Colors Black, Blue, Gold, Green, Red, Silver

    Thoughts: This is the first choice when it comes to weight vs price.  Lighter than almost all other steel skewers, and still at a reasonable price.  The Z6 has recently been updated with the addition of a coating on the brass cam to reduce noise and make operation smoother.  A friendly shape handle, but like the original ti version it’s on the shorter side so does require more hand strength when opening and closing.

    Kcnc Titanium Road

    KCNC-Z7

    KCNC Titanium Specs
    Weight 40 grams
    Price $72
    Cam Travel 1.73mm
    Rod Material Titanium
    Rod Length 158 rear, 124 front
    Colors Black, Blue, Gold, Green, Red, Silver

    Thoughts:  This is one of the best selling lightweight skewers of all time.  It mixes the traits very well and for this year has received several updates.  Like the Z6 this one also includes the coating on the brass plate to quiet and smooth out operation.  More importantly the handle has been lengthened by 5mm which we feel makes a lot of difference.  That was our only real complaint with the original and now it’s even better.  Secure clamping, easy function and easy on the hand.  Weight, performance and price considered this has to be one of the best on the market.

    Kcnc Groove Road

    KCNC-Grooving

    KCNC Groove Specs
    Weight 35 grams
    Price $95
    Cam Travel 1.73mm
    Rod Material machined titanium
    Rod Length 158 rear, 124 front
    Colors Black, Blue, Gold, Green, Red, Silver

    Thoughts: This is a lightened version of the Kcnc Ti road.  It is identical to the Ti road but with two changes.  The main change is that the titanium shaft is machined out on 4 sides which shaves 5 grams of weight.  The other is that the logos are changed to gold.  Overall this is just as good a skewer as the standard ti but with less weight and an increase in price.

     

    New Ultimate Road

    New-Ultimate

    New Ultimate Specs
    Weight 40 grams
    Price $100
    Cam Travel 1.75mm
    Rod Material Titanium rear, Aluminum front
    Rod Length 156 rear, 125 front
    Colors Black, Red, White

    Thoughts: The New Ultimate also has a mixed shaft, titanium rear and aluminum front.  Similar design with a ball and brass socket cam to Kcnc and Far and Near.  The New Ultimate has one of the nicest looking shapes on the handle, but at the same time one of the least friendly on hand.  The skewer works well and is reliable, but in my opinion it’s real strength is in how it looks.  It’s especially nice that it is available in white which is something hard to find in skewers.

    Shimano Dura Ace 9000

    Dura-Ace

    Dura Ace 9000 Specs
       Weight 127 grams
        Price $150
        Cam Travel 2.06mm
        Rod Material Steel
        Rod Length 166 rear, 130 front
        Colors Silver

    Thoughts: The 9000 skewer is big, heavy and expensive, but it works like nothing else.  At 2 to 3 times the weight of all the other skewers in the review this one seems a bit out of place.  It’s here to show differences from mainstream to more unique brands.  Shimano does not design skewers to be light, they design them to be functional.  With that in mind it’s a total success.  It’s handle is the easiest of all on the hand making it the most comfortable to use.  Clamping strength on the Dura Ace skewer is unmatched by virtually anything in the market which is why many trials riders choose them to hold their wheels in place.  If weight, price and aesthetics are of no concern and the only thing that matters is performance this is a good choice.

    Soul Kozak Road Titanium

    Soul

    Soul Kozak Titanium Specs
       Weight 42 grams
        Price $100
        Cam Travel 2.7mm
        Rod Material Titanium
        Rod Length 163 rear, 128 front
        Colors Black

    Thoughts: The Soul Kozak skewer has a large cam movement of of 2.7mm, the most of the test making it quicker to operate with lawyer tabs.  It has a nicely butted titanium shaft and a good looking handle.  However this is the only skewer in the review that requires manual alignment of the cam pieces and has too shallow of a cam plate (plastic insert) and a nut that is awkward to adjust.  It’s a great looking skewer with secure clamping force, but it does take longer than others to operate.

    Tune DC14 Road

    Tune-DC14

    Tune DC14 Specs
    Weight 34 grams
    Price $135
    Cam Travel 1.08mm
    Rod Material Titanium rear, Aluminum front
    Rod Length 157 rear, 127 front
    Colors Black, Blue, Gold, Green (2 shades)
    Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Silver

    Thoughts:  When this skewer first came out I remember looking at it and thinking, “wow that tiny little carbon handle is going to snap if someone over tightens it.”  I’m glad to say that here we are a couple years later and we’ve never seen or heard of a broken one.  This skewer is my favorite in terms of look.  A ton of different colors with a minimalist looking carbon handle means it looks good on any bike.   The thin handle seems as though it should be harder to open and close, but the length makes it perfectly functional.  It’s easy on the hand, has a nut that grips well and clamps securely.  It uses a butted titanium rear and a butted aluminum front shaft.

    Tune U20

    Tune-Carbon

    Tune U20 Specs
    Weight 21 grams
    Price $230
    Cam Travel 1.08mm
    Rod Material Carbon Fiber.
    Rod Length 160 rear, 122 front
    Colors Black, Blue, Gold, Green (2 shades)
    Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Silver

    Thoughts:  When weight is the bottom line, this is really the only choice.   At 22 grams there is no other quick release skewer equal in weight that I am aware of.  Like all the other skewers in the review there is no weight limit on them even given their light weight nature.  These are truly show pieces and deserving of being seen outside of a hub where they can be appreciated, but that also comes at a hefty price.

     

     

    #93562
    Adam

    Are the weights and prices listed for just one, or a pair?

    #93563
    Keymaster

    Adam,

    Both are for a set.

    I run the Facebook Page, Twitter Account and write code the rest of the day.
    #93564
    Xris

    Picked up the Tune U20 skewers in February. They’ve gone through a few 200km+ rides and I’ve never ever once felt like they were in any jeopardy of failure. Definitely recommended for those looking for the ultimate in needless spending.

    #93565
    Pete

    Looks like Tune is getting ready to break the 20g barrier.
    All they need is a longer carbon section, and trim the alloy.

    #93566
    Kevin

    Where can you buy the Kcnc Groove Road? Thank you!

    #93567
    Tom

    I bought the KCNC Ti skewers last year and returned them. I’ve owned at least a dozen lightweight skewers, and compared to all the others I’ve used, I thought they couldn’t be tightened enough unless you twisted the levers after closing them. When the lever was just closed normally, it could be loosened (unscrewed) if you just bumped it slightly. This seemed unsafe to me. However, I would be interested to try the new version with the extra coating.

    I’m a big fan of the regular Far & Near skewers (not the carbon lever, which is only 2g lighter). Though very similar to the KCNCs in appearance and design, they seem to be much more secure, at about the same weight & price. I receive a pair branded as MadFiber with a set of those wheels. However, they use a natural brass colored piece in the cam which is not quite as good-looking as the color-matched KCNC mechanism.

    The Zipp QR is not listed here but that is also an extremely well designed, good looking, fairly light, possibly aero, reasonably priced skewer.

    #93568
    Dan

    I purchased a set of the KCNC ti skewers, and they are nice, except for one thing–if you tighten them past perpendicular, they loosen.

    So, if you tighten to 90 degrees, but then go a bit further, or if it gets tapped while you’re riding, your skewer loosens, and not unsubstantially. I’m looking for something perhaps more secure now…

    #93569
    Gordon Oakley

    I have the enves on my bike. I need to really get them tight to avoid a very annoying screeching sound when riding up any decent gradient. Anyone else with a similar experience?

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)

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