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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 02-19-08, 02:06 PM   #1
Gee3
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How to remove a stripped allen bolt on the downtube...

Or... The Dremel is my Friend!!

I had asked how to remove the stripped bolts on my downtube some time ago and got several helpful answers. The OE bolts were way over-tightened from the factory!

I first tried the screw extractor but the set I got did not work. They were the spiral type and although I followed the instructions to drill the hole larger and use the extractor it still wouldn't grip and I couldn't get them out. I thought about the other type of screw extractors but since these weren't successful I wanted to try something else. At least try one more thing to keep me from admitting defeat and bringing it to my LBS! (and with it being a round head I was not able to use my vise-grips)

So after searching my storage for my Dremel at the in-laws I finally found my last hope.

I then went to Home Depot and bought a set of grinding discs that were made to cut metal. I bought a bunch just in case.

After taping up and protecting the area around the stripped bolt heads I went to work.

It only took a little bit of Dremel work to notch the bolt heads to accept a flat head screw driver. But after doing so I was able, with a little bit of force, to turn the over-tightened bolt head and remove the offending bolts!

So with help from everyone on the board and a little patience I was able to remove both bolts in only about 10mins. Hopefully this post will help others with similar bone-headed moments like mine!

Thanks again!


Tools of the trade...


Taped off area


Dremel to the rescue


Bolt notched and ready


A little bit of resistance but it finally came loose


The offending part


All done! (a little blurry, but the bottle cage is now in place!)
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Old 02-19-08, 03:19 PM   #2
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Good one! I put a link to this thread in the Hints and tricks sticky.
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Old 02-19-08, 04:12 PM   #3
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Love a happy ending to a story.
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Old 02-19-08, 05:30 PM   #4
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Love a happy ending to a story.
Me too! Especially since this is a new bike!
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Old 02-19-08, 11:48 PM   #5
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G, good job. You can actually re-use those screws.
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Old 02-20-08, 06:56 AM   #6
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I predict that you will find many more uses for that cutting wheel. When my wife gave me my current Dremel I told her thanks I didn't need another one ( I already had two. One of which dates back to the early days of plastics). Turns out I only didn't need the storage case as the tool is always on the bench and plugged in with either a cutting wheel or a wire brush in it. By the way its a great tool for removing rivets or trimming machine screws that are too long. Good job.
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