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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 05-11-10, 11:42 PM   #1
raymondxcho
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chainring bolt problem! need help

I'm sorry if this is the wrong place to post this thread but here I go anyway..

My fixed gear's chainring bolts get loose every once in a while and so I gotta tighten them up every few weeks or so because the creaking just gets really annoying and I feel like I'm gonna break something when I ride. My bike is four months old (Dawes SST) and I had to tighten them like three, or four times. They're fine when I tighten them but now I can't tighten one of the bolts because the bolt is either rounded off or stripped. My allen wrench/key/whatever won't fit in there anymore. I feel like I need to replace all of them because all of them look and feel pretty weak.

I think steel is a better way to go even though it's heavier because it's stronger and strength what I think is essential for something like this but I see that people use aluminum and have no problem.

Three questions:
1, How the heck do I get the screwed up bolt out?
2, Steel or aluminum?
3. What in the world is loctite? I see that a lot on this forum.

Sorry, I'm still a noob trying to learn.
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Old 05-12-10, 12:15 AM   #2
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Buy a set of steel chainring bolts for $20. It's worth it.

Those 5 little bolts transfer ALL of the power from your legs to the wheels. They are very important. Take care of them. Make it a habit to check them...maybe every time you pump your tires or something like that.

I do not recommend aluminum bolts for FG use. If you are a strong rider and put lots of torque on the cranks, you will break them.

You don't need loctite. Just give the steel ones a try.
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Old 05-12-10, 12:22 AM   #3
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A chain ring bolt tool might help you.

The extruded part is designed to fit into the grooves of the chain ring nut.

The tool will hold the nut snuggly while you use your allen key to unscrew the bolt out.

Steel because alloy ones could be stripped easily.

Loctite is a thread locking adhesive, it is supposed to help with securing a nut on to bolt; different colours indicate different strength that it could handle.

I'm not sure if I'd use them on chain ring bolts though.
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Old 05-12-10, 12:46 AM   #4
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Those five bolts are 20 bucks? Holy...

Well I guess they are worth it.

Around how much are one of those tools? I just used a penny and it works. Just kinda hard to keep it in place when tightening.

Would lubing them help with the tightening?
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Old 05-12-10, 12:50 AM   #5
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One of my chainring bolts is stripped as well. Have been trying to think of ways to get it out. Might end up trying to use a dremel tool to file it down/cut a slit and just bust it out. Not really sure though.

Oh, you used a penny in the back and that worked? Well I'll be darned - I'll have to try that out. Never really looked at the back, haha.
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Old 05-12-10, 12:56 AM   #6
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Yeah penny worked for me but I bet I'm damaging the slot. hahah I'm pretty sure an actual tool would be the best choice.

That one bolt just HAS to be stripped. Would a bike shop be able to take that out?
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Old 05-12-10, 01:17 AM   #7
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You know, it might scratch up the chain ring a bit but you could try holding onto the bolt with an allen key and use a pointy pliers to unscrew the nut on the bottom side.
If you have welding tools, you could weld the bolt onto a rod or an allen key, then twist the bolt out.

Last edited by Squirrelli; 05-12-10 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 05-12-10, 01:50 AM   #8
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raymondxcho,

Carlton nailed this one for you. Just drop by your local bike store (LBS). Let them take off the old/put on the new bolts. As noted, ask for steel - not aluminum. If the LBS pushes aluminum bolts be polite but decline. You want steel. You also want a chainring bolt tool. That's what it is called - a chainring bolt tool. It will cost a few bucks. You will then be able to check/tighten chainring bolts whenever the mood/need strikes. Start at your LBS. They are patiently waiting to greet you.
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Old 05-12-10, 02:21 AM   #9
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I got this old bike with 2 stuck chainbolts, completely stripped the backside so the chainring bolt tool became useless. Ultimately I drilled it out, by slowly increasing the size of the drill bit (if you have a cheap drill like me, don't do it all in one sitting to let it cool down, mine started smoking). Go from the back so the clockwise rotation facilitates the unscrewing process. Go only half way to preserve the allen side. Every time you change bits, use an allen to check if you can unscrew it then. If you drill the whole way through, destroying the allen side, you just have to drill wider. If done correctly/carefully, there should be plenty of buffer space so that you don't harm your chainring or crank. Good luck! Oh yeah I hear putting some bee's wax on it might help it stick better?
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Old 05-12-10, 08:59 AM   #10
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I've had to tighten my chanring bolts every once in a while because I notice that my drivetrain sort of "clicks" oddly when I put back pressure or start from a stop. Tightening the chainring bolts seemed to fix this for a few months, but I find it rather hard to do... They already seem kind of tight, and every time I try to tigthen them more, my chainring bolt nut tool thing just slips out of the rear of the bolt. Any tips on getting it to to stay, or could my problem be due to something else now?
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Old 05-12-10, 09:17 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by raymondxcho View Post
Those five bolts are 20 bucks? Holy...

Well I guess they are worth it.
That's what I said to a guy in a shop in CLE.
He said "Or I could sell you this steel BMX chainring and spider (with steel bolts) for $10"
I bought three chainrings.

Enjoy
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Old 05-12-10, 10:25 AM   #12
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I've had to tighten my chanring bolts every once in a while because I notice that my drivetrain sort of "clicks" oddly when I put back pressure or start from a stop. Tightening the chainring bolts seemed to fix this for a few months, but I find it rather hard to do... They already seem kind of tight, and every time I try to tigthen them more, my chainring bolt nut tool thing just slips out of the rear of the bolt. Any tips on getting it to to stay, or could my problem be due to something else now?
I suggest Sugino KNURLED chainring bolts. The female end has these knurls that wedge into the crank arm when you install them the first time. They then stay there forever. Shimano Dura Ace and (I think) Campy Record Track have the same system. I know Dura Ace does because I have a set of those.


http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...8&currency=USD
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Old 05-12-10, 12:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by raymondxcho View Post
Three questions:
1, How the heck do I get the screwed up bolt out?
2, Steel or aluminum?
3. What in the world is loctite? I see that a lot on this forum.

Sorry, I'm still a noob trying to learn.
You're asking the wrong questions. Start with "Why are my chainring bolts getting loose every few weeks?"

Your chain is too tight!
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Old 05-12-10, 12:17 PM   #14
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You're asking the wrong questions. Start with "Why are my chainring bolts getting loose every few weeks?"

Your chain is too tight!
uhhh, never heard of a too tight chain loosening chainring bolts, generaly people just don't tighten them enough, lubrication of the threads is vital, the engagement of the nut spanner is poor, at best.
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Old 05-12-10, 12:22 PM   #15
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I suggest Sugino KNURLED chainring bolts. The female end has these knurls that wedge into the crank arm when you install them the first time. They then stay there forever. Shimano Dura Ace and (I think) Campy Record Track have the same system. I know Dura Ace does because I have a set of those.
The knurled nut only works with a high end true track crankarm spider, which has counterbored recesses for the shoulders to fit into, such as a Sugino 75. Lower end cranks, such as the Sugino RD2 are road crank conversions, and lack these recesses, since these are provided by the missing inner chainring. Another problem that sometimes occurs when changing from 1/8 to 3/32 chainrings is that the nut is too long, and the bolt bottoms out on the nut instead of the chainring, such that the chainring is never properly tightened.
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Old 05-12-10, 12:54 PM   #16
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The knurled nut only works with a high end true track crankarm spider, which has counterbored recesses for the shoulders to fit into, such as a Sugino 75. Lower end cranks, such as the Sugino RD2 are road crank conversions, and lack these recesses, since these are provided by the missing inner chainring. Another problem that sometimes occurs when changing from 1/8 to 3/32 chainrings is that the nut is too long, and the bolt bottoms out on the nut instead of the chainring, such that the chainring is never properly tightened.
Good point.
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Old 05-12-10, 03:50 PM   #17
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A friend of mine fixed my 75's stripped threads... so, I'll just say goodbye to this problem anyways once I put those on. But I will keep the knurled nuts in mind. Thanks carleton!
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Old 05-12-10, 08:33 PM   #18
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Aluminum may be fine and dandy for geared bike use, but I just feel they are a bad bad bad idea on a fixed gear.
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Old 05-13-10, 07:44 AM   #19
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I concur with using steel bolts. And look for ones with a serrated base as above; they tend to stay put better than the smooth ones. Campy used to have a patent on that feature; I guess it must have expired by now.
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Old 05-13-10, 07:50 AM   #20
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I use a tiny drop of blue loctite on each one and they stay tight.
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Old 11-01-14, 05:15 PM   #21
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I know this thread is years old, but does anyone know where you can get these bolts in Australia? Searching online, and the freight costs are kinda prohibitive...
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Old 11-01-14, 05:44 PM   #22
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Bike shop?
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Old 11-01-14, 07:17 PM   #23
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Bike shop?
Ha, yeah you would think. But I've had no luck around my area of Melbourne.
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Old 11-01-14, 07:28 PM   #24
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I know this thread is years old, but does anyone know where you can get these bolts in Australia? Searching online, and the freight costs are kinda prohibitive...
What? Any bike shop will have them. I've only ever seen them at reasonable prices. They don't weight anything and are small so shipping is not an issue unless you're dealing with a crook. If you're serious (ie, not having us on) and unwilling to pay shop prices, go to a bike kitchen and get second hand.
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Old 11-01-14, 07:34 PM   #25
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What? Any bike shop will have them. I've only ever seen them at reasonable prices. They don't weight anything and are small so shipping is not an issue unless you're dealing with a crook. If you're serious (ie, not having us on) and unwilling to pay shop prices, go to a bike kitchen and get second hand.
Not taking the p--s. I've been to three nearby places - two only had alum, which seems to be recommended against, and the other one only had the longer ones. Maybe I've just lucked out, but I was starting to think they were just difficult to come across. Online, the freight has been more expensive than the actual bolts. Guess I'll just try another shop.
Cheers.
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