SYSTEM EX SECURITY SKEWERS
79g £9.99 pair Mid Term (4 month) Test
The System EX Security Skewers are a wallet friendly means of deterring casual wheel theft in lower crime contexts. Those living in rougher neighbourhoods and/or locking up longer than a few minutes (i.e. running quick errands, “comfort” and impromptu stops) will need to invest in models with unique keys and other, 'tea-leaf' foiling design. However, they are also a cheap fix, if standard quick releases aren’t holding your disc/dyno hub wheels tightly enough.
Pros: Inexpensive, simple to use, hold wheels securely.
Cons: Easily undone by anyone with a 5mm Allen key.
The ends are nicely machined aluminium alloy with a choice of gloss black, or silver anodized finishes. I have mixed feelings about black components. There’s no denying they look sharp but silver ages more gracefully. However, finish quality seems reassuringly good - ours are in rude health, several months down the line. The skewer part is made from steel and features a recessed 5mm Allen head. 100mm up front and 135mm at the rear, catering for most road, mountain and mountain bike builds still running traditional hollow axles.
Aside from the lower-level theft deterrent, I was finding the Halo Evaura/ Shutter Precision SL9 wheel was prone to moving very slightly in the Kinesis fork ends, when using a cam type quick release.
This resulted in some annoying disc rub, especially when climbing and along rougher country roads.
I check the fork blades and ends for any signs of wear/damage, as a matter of course, so knew it wasn’t serious. Exchanging the quick release would offer three tangible benefits; (a) make the wheel harder to nick (b) improve wheel tenure and finally (c) save a few grams into the bargain. They may also make wheel removal more convenient, with a front, low-rider rack.
Since I always carry a multi tool (usually two, truth be told), removal to tend a flat wasn’t going to be an issue. A light coating of grease was applied to the skewer to prevent corrosion ensures everything stays mobile and corrosion free.
Security/Ease of Use 2.75/5
Models such as these Halo Hex Key Skewer Set have “no turn tabs”. These brace them against the right-side fork end dropout, preventing the right cap from turning. The System EX security skewers lack this refinement, but still play very nicely when removing and refitting wheels.
The notched sides have offered decent bite and I've only needed to hold the right cover steady for about three turns of the Allen key-no hint of it spinning uselessly when I've been trying to reinstate wheels, during a downpour. Talking of soggy stuff, several months down the line, the black anodizing is in seriously good nick. (That said; the salt monster can chew through anything. A lick of wax, while you’re doing the bike is a good move).
The steel skewer and head components are similarly rugged. Taint free with no chewing/rounding. Obviously, some mechanical sympathy should be a given, but I've whipped ours on and off regularly, swapping between wheels and bikes for good measure. Being slightly shorter than the Halo, they have a slight edge on the aesthetic front since there’s no exposed thread protruding from the hub shell/ends. In common with the Halo and others around this price point, they’ll stop little 'scrotes' from nicking your skewers as a “joke” but thieves wielding a 5mm Allen key won’t miss a beat.
These Kryptonite Wheelboltz will buy a bit more time, but beefy locks used properly are a more effective means of persuading thieves to plod on and find easier pickings.
£9.99 is very reasonable for a set of skewers. The Halo Hex Key Skewer Set is £10.99rrp and has a slight edge, if every gram counts. Delta Hublox Security Skewers are £18.99. Hexlox Security Skewers employ a unique key and are designed to prevent pliers and other brute force techniques getting traction. They can also be bought individually (from £10) Pin Head Locks Quick Release 2 pack start at £48.99. Kryptonite Wheel Boltz are £54.99 (pair).
Ultimately, if you’re seeking a lightweight, reliable wallet-friendly skewers first, protection from casual thieves and “pranksters” second, the System EX are cheerful options. However, on their own, no more than a minor inconvenience to serious/habitual crooks.