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Check from time to time bolt tightness?

Old 04-24-23, 09:50 PM
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Check from time to time bolt tightness?

Do you all give your bike the once over from time to time, checking that all the bolts are properly tightened, and if so, how do you go about checking? Do you simply set the torque wrench at the specified torque and attempt to tighten as usual?

Last edited by Wattsup; 04-24-23 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 04-24-23, 10:06 PM
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Critical bolts like brake pinch bolts - sure

I do touch the crank bolts with the torque wrench every year or so

Don't over do it

/markp
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Old 04-24-23, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
Critical bolts like brake pinch bolts - sure

I do touch the crank bolts with the torque wrench every year or so

Don't over do it

/markp
I was wondering what's the best way to go about it. Just hitting the static bolt with a torque wrench means you first have to overcome static friction. It seems ideally the best way is to loosen the bolt, and then retighten to the specified torque.
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Old 04-24-23, 10:45 PM
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No. There is no need. Bolts on bicycles don’t vibrate loose. If you properly tighten them when a part is installed, it will stay tight.
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Old 04-25-23, 01:00 AM
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I set things then use tamper proofing paste, so a quick visual tells if it's loosened.


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Old 04-25-23, 06:43 AM
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The rack bolt illustration above is one spot to keep an eye on. I seem to have a problem torqueing those right, so I do check them. One simple way is to bounce the bike and listen.

Normal wear and tear is another issue--bearing adjustment, cables fraying, condition of tires, etc.
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Old 04-25-23, 07:36 AM
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Riding around/training? touch the bolts once or twice a year with a multitool; you'll notice if they're loose.

On a tour? Touch everything after a week, then once a month. In theory, if bolts are tight, they'll stay tight. In the real world, things rattle loose -- and loading up a rack makes things loosen faster.
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Old 04-26-23, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Wattsup
Do you all give your bike the once over from time to time
I don't routinely check fasteners beyond initial assembly/adjustment, I don't recall anything ever coming loose. Anything that doesn't need attention after a good test ride and a "1 month/100 mile service" should be there for good. Obviously listen for creaks and squeaks.
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Old 04-26-23, 08:39 AM
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I don't routinely check them as a scheduled procedure. For the most part I just am very aware of what's going on with my bike. So anytime I'm doing something with my bike like riding it or cleaning it, I'm casually checking or noticing things. When bolts and nuts start to loosen, which is seldom, I will eventually notice them before it progresses to a point where I'm in danger. And I doubt the danger will be life threatening. More like just an inconvenience and have to walk home or call for the spouse to pick me up.
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Old 04-27-23, 03:06 AM
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I personally like a 6" drop test.

Raise you bike off the ground about 6" and let it go bounce off the floor, listen for anything that rattles or seems loose (fenders, chain guards, kickstands, headsets, etc.).
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Old 04-28-23, 12:09 PM
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DO NOT retighten crank bolts, people!

Maybe once after a very, very short ride right after mounting cranks, but then, leave them alone.
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Old 04-28-23, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
DO NOT retighten crank bolts, people!

Maybe once after a very, very short ride right after mounting cranks, but then, leave them alone.
Why?
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Old 04-28-23, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
DO NOT retighten crank bolts, people!

Maybe once after a very, very short ride right after mounting cranks, but then, leave them alone.
While I agree the practice would be useless, you seem to be suggesting it’s a terribly bad thing to do or something. That makes me curious as to why, seeing that I used to change chainrings at least twice at every velodrome event I ever did… reusing the same bolts for years.
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Old 04-28-23, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
Critical bolts like brake pinch bolts - sure

I do touch the crank bolts with the torque wrench every year or so

Don't over do it

/markp
Originally Posted by SurferRosa
DO NOT retighten crank bolts, people!

Maybe once after a very, very short ride right after mounting cranks, but then, leave them alone.
+1 Surfer. I do not re-tighten crank bolts on principal. Cranks "walk" up the spindle in use so the bolt torque drops. If you re-tighten, the crank walks some more. Keep doing this and 1) the square tapered hole in the crank gets enlarged and 2) stress cracks are very likely to happen there. Now, if I have any reason to doubt the bolt is tight enough, yes, I'll put a wrench on it but the fact it it hasn't seen a wrench in 5 years and 8,000 miles? I like! and I do nothing.

Originally Posted by Iride01
I don't routinely check them as a scheduled procedure. For the most part I just am very aware of what's going on with my bike. So anytime I'm doing something with my bike like riding it or cleaning it, I'm casually checking or noticing things. When bolts and nuts start to loosen, which is seldom, I will eventually notice them before it progresses to a point where I'm in danger. And I doubt the danger will be life threatening. More like just an inconvenience and have to walk home or call for the spouse to pick me up.
Originally Posted by JoeTBM
I personally like a 6" drop test.

Raise you bike off the ground about 6" and let it go bounce off the floor, listen for anything that rattles or seems loose (fenders, chain guards, kickstands, headsets, etc.).
+1 to the last two posts.

Last edited by 79pmooney; 04-28-23 at 12:42 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-28-23, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
While I agree the practice would be useless, you seem to be suggesting it’s a terribly bad thing to do or something. That makes me curious as to why, seeing that I used to change chainrings at least twice at every velodrome event I ever did… reusing the same bolts for years.
You're talking about chainring bolts, not crank bolts.

Last edited by SurferRosa; 04-28-23 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 04-28-23, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Wattsup
Why?
I'm speaking specifically of aluminum square taper arms. They can and do deform ... easily!
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Old 04-28-23, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
You're talking about chainring bolts, not crank bolts.
Ah yes, my mistake.
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Old 04-28-23, 03:47 PM
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As per Grant Peterson's suggestion from about 20 years ago I have been using bee's wax as a thread locker.
Since then I've had ZERO bolts/nuts loosen up on me.
I used to check periodically but have stopped because they never come loose.
And I'm a preventive maintenance (compulsive) kind of guy.
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