Proudly serving the US and Canada since 2006
Cart 0

Frequently Asked Questions

Why buy Pitlock?

Pitlock has two unique and effective security features that set it apart from its competitors. Pitlocks have both a coded nut that protects against theft and a specially designed spring washer. The spring washer is anchored by the coded nut which locks the closure. The Pit keys are used to unlock the whole mechanism. The keys’ side panels press and turn the springs of the spring washer at the same time (similar to the way child safety locks on medicine bottles work.)

Because of the mechanism that requires dual pressure and the coded nut, pliers are not able to break into the system. Opposite the locking mechanism, the conical security ring is pivoted so that it can’t be cut by using force.

Will Pitlock Skewers Fit my Bike?

Since the Pitlock standard axles replace customary quick releases they are suitable for most bicycles.

While we do offer a wide range of axle lengths, we are not able to cover all of the sizes. We highly recommended that you measure your front and rear axles first before you purchase. Please see here for a guide on how to measure properly.

Note: Please be very careful when you are shortening the axle. Even if the axle threads protrude past the security rings by 5mm, it is still possible to install the end caps (which protect the locking mechanism from road grime.)

How much do Pitlocks weigh?

Part

Weight (approx)

Standard seat clamp skewer with locking mechanism

.88 oz (25 grams)

Front wheel skewer with locking mechanism

1.45 oz (41 grams)

Rear wheel skewer with locking mechanism

1.66oz (47 grams)

Full locking set (wheel skewers, topcap, and seat skewer)

4.89 oz (138 grams)

*Note that these are approximations and can vary depending on which product or set of products you use on your bike

What does installation width mean and how do I measure it?

Please use our measuring guide to measure your axles for Pitlocks. In order to determine the proper installation width for your bike, you should overestimate rather than underestimate (so you have room left.)

It is worth noting that since the installation width of the hub and the dropout of the frame are added, the clamping widths always differ depending on the frame.

Can the Pitlock axle be shortened?

Pitlock’s stainless steel axles can be shortened with a hacksaw. Please be careful when doing so. You can also file the end after cutting it to remove any jagged edges, and the thread will continue to function.

Can I used Pitlock Skewers on a mountain or free-ride bike?

The use of Pitlock skewers is not so much limited by the type of bike, but the type of riding. Pitlock skewers are designed for road riding, commuting, touring with heavy loads, and general cross-country mountain biking. They are not designed for heavy off-road riding or urban free-riding where the bike will be subject to heavy impact like jumps and drop-offs.

How can I keep my bike from being stolen?

Do:

  • Mark your bicycle uniquely in order to keep track of where your bicycle is and which bike is yours.
  • Be careful when choosing where you want to park your bicycle, and always look for a crowded place that is brightly lit.
  • Lock your bicycle to a sturdy object, solidly bolted to the ground. A wooden garden fence, or even small tree, would not be considered sturdy.
  • Park and lock your bicycle in an upright position so it doesn’t give the thief a chance to lay it down.
  • Use multiple locking devices on your bike. Pitlock’s security, caps, bars etc. are great in combination with a U-Lock (like Abus or Kryptonite) or a chain lock.
  • Make sure to let the locking mechanism points downwards and leave as little space as possible between the lock and the bike, so the thief will not have any direct access to it.

Don’t:

  • Park your bicycle near locations that will tell the thief how long the bike will be left unattended (for example, parking your bike outside of a movie theater.)
  • Park your bike outside overnight.
  • Only rely on a wheel lock, even if you are only gone for a short time. Purchase Pitlock backups so you can secure your wheels and other removable bicycle parts.
  • Leave any tools with your bicycle. These may be helpful when you get a flat tire etc., but they will also be helpful for the thieves.
  • Leave your Pitlock key with your bike.

Can I use Pitlock Skewers on a frame with horizontal dropouts?

In general, you will not be able to use Pitlock Skewers with horizontal dropouts due to a lower clamping pressure than cam-style quick-release skewers - in fact, even the new exposed-cam quick-release skewers on the market these days don't hold well in horizontal dropouts. You can, however, use Pitlocks if you have a chain-line gadget like Surly's Tuggnut. In general though, we don’t recommend using Pitlock for horizontal dropouts unless a chain tensioner is applied.

Can you tell me if Pitlock Skewers will fit my bike?

Given the wide range bikes on the market, and the fact that most manufacturers do not post dropout widths on their websites, we will not be able to tell you which skewer length you'll need based with only the brand and model of bike. Based on experience, the standard skewer lengths will fit about 90% of bikes, however, we encourage you to visit the manufacturer's page for your bike.

What do I do if I have a quick release in the front, and a solid axle in the rear?

The thread sizes are different for Pitlocks for quick release skewers and Pitlocks for solid axles. As a result, the keys to unlock each are not the same size. If you have a quick release skewer for your front axle and a solid axle in the rear, you will need to have two separate keys - one for each axle.

How tight do I need to tighten my Pitlocks?

See our installation guide for more details. As a rule of thumb, fully tighten the coded nut by hand using the Pit key. Then turn another 1 to 1.5 rotations using a different tool. We recommend the Pitlock keychain tool.

What if I lose all my Pit keys and the code card?

If you lose both keys and your code card, you can reach out to us and we will do our best. If you've ordered from us in the past, this will not be an issue - we've kept track of all the codes we've sold our customers since 2006. If you purchased from another supplier, you may need to have the skewer removed by an experienced technician at your local bike shop. Please do not lose your key code!

How do I open a coded nut correctly?

Place the correct Pit key on the coded nut. Then press the Pit key while unscrewing it at the same time. This will unlock the spring washer from the grooves of the coded nut.

Should I install the spiral springs of the quick-release skewer with Pitlock?

You should not install the spiral springs of the quick-release skewer with Pitlock. The springs have to be completely removed with the quick release skewers.

What do I do if my axle breaks?

While this is very rare, we do hear reports of it happening. If you purchased your skewers from us, please contact us and we will replace it free of charge.

Why do Pitlock skewers break, and how do I prevent my Pitlock axle from breaking?

This is very rare, but the most common cause is if they are pulled too tightly during the installation process. The best way to prevent your Pitlock axle from breaking is to properly tighten the Pitlock parts. The ideal torque is 7-10 Nm. Please visit our installation guide for more details.

There are a few other preventative measures you can take that will help prevent your axle from breaking:

  • The Pitlock axles should be greased before every installation.
  • The contact surfaces need to be flat / flush.
  • Ensure that all parts are installed in the right order.

Will I have to cut or shorten the Pitlock skewers to fit my bike properly?

The answer is "maybe." Some users in forum posts mention the need to shorten their Pitlock skewers to fit their bike's dropouts, but this may not apply to you. Pitlock skewers come in several lengths to accommodate the many different widths of bicycle dropouts. Many sites, such as Amazon, only sell the "standard width" sets, but we offer all of the sizes that Pitlock has available. We event sell them individually. Please contact us if you have any questions about the sizes we offer.

Can I use Pitlock Solid Axle Nuts on my front fork?

Almost certainly so. Pitlock has released a 9mm x 1 solid axle nut that will fit most front axles including Shimano's dynamo hubs.

Are Pitlock Solid Axle Nuts only for Rohloff and Shimano geared hubs?

No! While the solid axle nuts are marketed by Pitlock for use with Rohloff and Shimano Nexus and Alfine hubs due their high dollar value and theft-rates, they will work with any solid axle hub with the proper threading. The M10 solid axle nuts fit hubs with a 10mm x 1mm axle, and the Shimano nuts fit 3/8" x 26tpi axles.

Does Pitlock sell a bolt for my quill-type stem and threaded steerer?

If you have a goose-neck/Nitto-style quill stem and threaded steer tube, you will not be able to use Pitlock's locking topcap. 

Will the Pitlock Locking Topcap work with my carbon fork?

Again, it depends. If your fork uses a star-fangled nut, you will be able to use Pitlock's locking topcap. If your fork uses an expansion plug, you may be able to adapt it to work with the Pitlock bolt. The issue usually comes down to the relatively short length of the Pitlock bolt compared to the extra long ones used by most expansion plugs.

Don't I need four V-brake bolts to secure the front AND back calipers?

To keep the cost of the sets with V-brake bolts down, the sets come with only two bolts. The intention is to use one bolt in the front and one in the rear (on the same side left/right) to deny a would-be thief a matching set. If you prefer to keep things symmetrical, we can certainly build up custom set for you that includes four bolts.

My disc brake calipers have adapter plates. Don't I need more bolts?

If your disc brake calipers use an adapter plate, you will indeed need four disc-brake bolts - one for the caliper-adapter plate connection, and one for the adapter plate-boss connection (times 2 for front and rear). Just let us know and we'll be happy to put together a custom set that includes four bolts.

What do I do if I have Rohloff Solid axles?

If your bicycle has solid axles, Pitlock’s M10 set, double or single, should be compatible.

Please keep these conditions in mind before implementing Pitlock:

  • The protruding thread should extend about 14 mm out of the dropout in order to securely install Pitlock. If the protruding thread is too short, you will need to use an axle stub with a long threaded axle (available for purchase from Rohloff.)
  • Make sure that the threads protrude far enough so that there is enough space for the security ring and the locking mechanism can be assembled correctly.
  • Be sure to grease the thread before assembling.

Can the Pitlock axles sustain extreme loads?

No. The Pitlock axles have only been tested by Vel-Tech for normal conditions in road traffic.

We do not recommend you do either downhill racing or high jumps with a bicycle fitted with Pitlock.

How can I secure my saddle/seat?

Secure the seat tube

  1. Order a Pitlock seatpost: Set 06
  2. When installing the seat post security, make sure that the outer pressure surfaces of the saddle clamp are plane and parallel
  3. If you don’t have a fitting clamp on your bike, you can order one here.

Use Saddle loops

  1. The saddle loops is the extension of the seat post lock (saddle axle) and consists of a stainless steel cable.
  2. The diameter of the loop eyelets (approximately 11 mm) is adapted to the saddle axle.
  3. Saddle loops are available in 4 lengths: 200, 300, 400, and 500 mm (eyelet has a diameter of approximately 11 mm)

Which saddle clamp do I need?

In order to determine which saddle clamp you’ll need, you have to measure the outer diameter of the bicycle frame. Use our measuring guide to determine which saddle slamp you need. The standard size is 31.8mm, but your seatpost may vary.

A Note about Seatpost Security: If the seatpost doesn’t have a separate clamp, and only has the eyelets welded on the bicycle frame, enough plane pressure surface needs to be available to install the Pitlock closure.

Since the eyelets of the bicycle frame cannot be clamped, just as ones of an additional plane saddle clamp, an optimal connection between the two pressure surfaces is not possible.

What do I do if the seat tube is moving slowly back into the frame tube?

If the seat tube is moving slowly back into the frame tube, release the Pitlock saddle axle, then the seat tube, and then grease the opening in the bicycle frame thoroughly. Afterwards reassemble all the parts and tighten them.

Note: If the diameter of the seat tube is too thin, only the upper edge of the frame will apply pressure during the tightening process. The necessary surface pressure cannot be produced. If this occurs, please replace the thin seat tube with a different one having the appropriate diameter which fits without any play - this will then no longer slide downwards.

Can I secure my bicycle trailer (for children) with Pitlock?

Pitlock has only been tested for the Weber trailer coupling.

Pitlock is not suitable for other trailer couplings, especially if the trailer load is attached to the Pitlock axle.

If you have the Weber trailer coupling we have different lengths of the rear wheel axles in our product range:

  • HA 155 standard
  • HA 170 oder
  • Universal axle 190

Can I secure the BobYak trailer?

Pitlock is only able to secure the wheel. It cannot secure the BobYak trailer couplings since they are constructed differently.

Can Pitlock Accommodate Weber Trailers?

The Pitlock system has been tested intensively for suitability by Weber Technik:

The test had connected the Weber E-coupling and the Pitlock rear wheel axle; the coded nut was tightened with 8-10 Nm, load simulation of 80 kg set on the trailer.

The experiment was supported by all components involved.

Note: The Pitlock axle is not supposed to be bent and the locking side needs to have a plane fit on the frame (dropout).

The correct fit of the Pitlock security (as with the quick release) should be checked regularly.

When assembling, it is necessary to ensure that the Weber multi-tooth element of the anti-rotation device is completely pressed into the base sheets of the coupling.

Note for longer rear wheel axles: If the rear wheel standard length of 155 mm (installation width) is not sufficient, we also offer longer rear wheel axles of 170 mm and 200 mm.