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Odd-ball stem bolt - 7mm allen?

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Odd-ball stem bolt - 7mm allen?

Old 05-24-05, 10:29 AM
  #1  
phidauex
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Odd-ball stem bolt - 7mm allen?

Hi,

I was just gifted an early 70's Maserati (probably a Fiorelli frame) road bike. It is a neat lugged frame w/ chrome lugs, stainless dropouts, etc, and modest Campy Valentino Extra group. The wheels aren't stock, and were built up by a numbskull (valves in wrong place, no interlacing, terrible tension, etc.), so I'm rebuilding them. The bike sat for about 7 years in one place before I got it, and so it was as filthy as sin, and so every bearing is being overhauled. I'd like to do the headset, of course, but when I went to take the stem off, I noticed that I don't have an allen wrench that fits the socket on the top of the stem!

It is a Pilo stem, and looks like cast aluminum. The allen bolt in the top is smaller than an 8mm, and larger than a 6. A 4mm and a 3mm side by side seem close, but I can't generate any torque that way. Is 7mm a common size on older Italian frames? Or is this some other oddball size? Any hints for finding the right tool? I've got several sets of Allens, and they all skip 7mm!

Thanks!

Peace,
Sam

P.S. I'll post some pics once I get it reassembled, its nothing special, but it does have the mystique of saying Maserati on the side, and looks pretty sharp with all the chromed lugs.
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Old 05-24-05, 11:00 AM
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A 7mm Allen is not that odd. I bought a separate one from a hardware store to replace the brake pads in my wife's car.
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Old 05-24-05, 12:00 PM
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Ok, I suppose its just me then.. I wonder why none of my allen sets have 7mms then... I'll run by an auto parts store and see if I can buy a single.

Thanks!

Sam Ley
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Old 05-24-05, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by phidauex
Ok, I suppose its just me then.. I wonder why none of my allen sets have 7mms then... I'll run by an auto parts store and see if I can buy a single.

Thanks!

Sam Ley
It isn't a standard size on bikes today, that's for sure. I've seen 4 and 5 mm bolts almost everywhere, with 6's on stems, and 8's on cranks, then some smaller ones for brake lever clamps and such.
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Old 05-24-05, 01:26 PM
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Stem bolts with a 7mm, Allen recess were fairly common in the 1970s. I recall going through the same process for my 3TTT Record stem.
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Old 05-24-05, 01:38 PM
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Yes, I have seen both 6 and 7 mm stem bolts.
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Old 05-24-05, 06:08 PM
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Sevens can be hard to find. You may find most auto parts and hardware stores don't have them. Hunt about, but if you can't find one, I know www.biketoolsetc.com has them. Buy two or three in case you lose one, because they can be hard to find. I have 7mm allen bolts on three of my vintage rides (including a seatpost bolt on a LeJeune), so they did show up on occasion.
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Old 05-24-05, 06:36 PM
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Mystery solved, thanks folks! It is indeed a 7mm, and I was able to buy a single at the auto parts store. That stem was wedged in there like nothing else though... It had probably been there since 1971...

peace,
sam
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Old 05-25-05, 07:02 AM
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Seems like, scanning over the stems that I have, the 7mm size was used on expensive stems until maybe 1973 or so, and then everyone settled down to a 6mm standard.
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Old 01-30-09, 02:03 PM
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I know this post is old but I wish to extend thanks to the author. I just ran into this issue today as I don't have a 7mm allen wrench. I found it interesting and odd that neither of my two set of allen wrenches came with this size. Thanks for the post! Building my (new) old 1971 Mirella road bike with all Campy Nouva Record... This bike needs a lot of work... should be posting soon.
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Old 01-30-09, 02:49 PM
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sears has these
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Old 01-30-09, 03:00 PM
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I've only run into 7mm's on a couple of Peugeot stems and pedals on an Olmo. Makes you crazy looking for something that will fit until you realize that you've never owned nor needed a 7mm Allen before!
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Old 01-30-09, 03:05 PM
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The first generation of the cinelli 1A alluminum stems have a 7mm allen, the switched to 6mm in 1972 when they also switched to a recessed allen nut for the bar clamp instead of the 12mm nut. I gound down a useless imperial allen key to work on mine sine I only have one and will only need to use it once every few years if ever again after the first install.
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Old 02-01-09, 01:11 PM
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Thanks everyone for the help. I tried various places including Ace Hardware and Pep Boys but I did get a referral to a tool shop in Pasadena. It worked out great.

I finally do have a 7mm allen but was only able to find it in the form of a socket wrench attachment. I was hoping to find it in the typical allen key shape/form. Oh well, guess I can't have it all.
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Old 02-01-09, 01:21 PM
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Yes, many of the quality bikes in the late 60's and early 70's needed a 7mm wrench and yes they are hard to find and they can be lost so get at least on extra as suggested above.
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Old 02-01-09, 01:46 PM
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A well stocked home 'velo garage' should have a 7mm Allen key laying about. Besides all the uses already mentioned, my Croce D'Aune crank can't be removed without one:

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Old 02-01-09, 02:08 PM
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Better yet, a 7mm hex bit socket. Allen keys are a PITA, IMO.
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