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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 12-28-06, 10:08 AM   #1
ephemeralskin
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stripped cleat bolt.. what to do?

my time atac cleats were extremely worn. when i went to replace them i realized that the brass bolts had been mashed down so that an allen key would not longer fit. i used a hammer to pound on top of the wrench until it fit in the bolt head again. this worked for *three* out of the four bolts and then (of course!) on the last one i finally stripped it. aaaaaargh. so now my warm and comfy winter shoes are useless and ive had to use my damned summer shoes while there is snow on the ground. needless to say this sucks. what would be the best way to get the last bolt out? a drill? i dont want to mess up my shoe...
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Old 12-28-06, 10:26 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by ephemeralskin
a drill?
YES! ...carefully.
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Old 12-28-06, 10:28 AM   #3
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I've ground a grove in a cleat bolt with a dremel and used a slotted screwdriver. I would do this before drilling.
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Old 12-28-06, 10:37 AM   #4
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ok... woah i just remembered a bike shop in town has a dremel! sweet im going there now... in my coldcold summer shoes.
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Old 12-28-06, 10:39 AM   #5
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Havn't done it myself, but I've heard of epoxying a hex wrench to a rounded-out bolt. Might want to give that a try.
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Old 12-28-06, 11:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ephemeralskin
ok... woah i just remembered a bike shop in town has a dremel! sweet im going there now... in my coldcold summer shoes.
You don't HAVE a Dremel?

Dude.....

Three words for you:

After
Christmas
Sale

ps: I'd do the cut-a-slot-and-unscrew-it method first, too.
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Old 12-28-06, 01:30 PM   #7
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Maybe too late, but have you tried grinding the end off the allen key to get a new good square end, then go at the bolt again. It's worth a try before the more extreme measures.
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Old 12-28-06, 02:41 PM   #8
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There's also the drill and easy-out method using a left handed easy out bit. They cost just a few dollars. Also I don't know if its possible but maybe you could pound a dollar store or other disposable flat head screwdriver into the bolt and gently turn while pressing down.
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Old 12-29-06, 06:05 AM   #9
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If you're trying to get the old bolt out (not screw it back in), then you could remove the worn cleat by cutting the cleat off the shoe. That would leave a good part of the bolt exposed for you to grab with pliers, a vise, etc. for removal.

Bob
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Old 12-29-06, 07:38 AM   #10
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Since you don't care about the screw or the cleat, cutting a slot with a dremel would be easiest.
For situations where you need to be more careful, I found out about these damaged screw removers from this BF thread.
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Old 12-29-06, 08:36 AM   #11
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All of the cleat bolts I've ever seen are M5 so this method is base on that size. Adjust as required if your bolts are larger or smaller.

1. Use a 7/32" drill bit which is very slightly larger than the 5mm bolt's shank but smaller than the head.

2. Center the bit in the remains of the allen key recess and carefully and slowly drill just until the head of the bolt pops off. You do not want to drill out the entire bolt, just decapitate it.

3. Remove the cleat.

4. Turn out the bolt stub remaining in the shoe using pliers or a Vise-Grip.

This technique is a proven method for removing damaged cleat bolts without damaging the cleat or the shoe. Guess how I know.

Last edited by HillRider; 12-29-06 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 12-29-06, 08:49 AM   #12
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+1. Make sure you have a high speed drill bit.
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Old 12-29-06, 11:59 AM   #13
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On a lot of shoes the cleat retainer is replaceable. You can get at it by lifting the inner sole. So don't worry too much about messing up the shoe.
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