Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Rusted headset bolts - replacements?

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Rusted headset bolts - replacements?

Old 02-10-11, 06:10 AM
  #1  
hhnngg1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,456
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rusted headset bolts - replacements?

The bolts on my headset have rusted. I'd like to replace them. Is there a standard size, or do I have to match them individually at a hardware store? (Cane Creek)
hhnngg1 is offline  
Old 02-10-11, 06:41 AM
  #2  
Steev
Senior Member
 
Steev's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Backwoods of Ontario
Posts: 2,152
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think you mean stem bolts.
They will be metric. Not all manufacturers use the same size.
A good hardware store will be able to supply some.
Steev is offline  
Old 02-10-11, 08:48 AM
  #3  
Brian Ratliff
Senior Member
 
Brian Ratliff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Near Portland, OR
Posts: 10,122

Bikes: Three road bikes. Two track bikes.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
4mm M4 bolts are pretty commonly used in stems, however, some manufacturers differ. Just go to any decent hardware store (bring one of the old bolts) and ask them to point you towards the stainless steel metric machine screw section (doesn't have to be stainless, but after you get stainless, no need to worry about rust). Some of the stems use custom bolts, but most of those customizations are merely cosmetic. As long as the bolt head is the same diameter, it should work perfectly in place of the originals. Sometimes the customizations are to narrow the bolt head to make it fit in a recess; if you can't find a bolt to fit in the hardware store, you can use a power drill and a file to turn down the head diameter of the hardware store bolt down to the right diameter.

Or you can go to your bike shop and pay $5 for a bolt you'd get at the hardware store for $1.25. They sometimes can get the replacement bolts.

Lastly, rarely is the rust on stem bolts more than cosmetic. Most of the time if you take them out and spray them down with WD40, most of the rust will go away and they'll look okay again. Then, once it's clean, you can coat the bolt in a thin layer of machine oil to keep it from rusting again.
__________________
Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
"If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter
Brian Ratliff is offline  
Old 02-10-11, 09:29 AM
  #4  
AngryScientist 
Lost
 
AngryScientist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: nutley, nj
Posts: 4,519
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 3 Posts
my local pep-boys auto parts store has a section of metric stainless bolts, i actually just replaced the one that holds my stem cap on, that one was constantly rusting, because its right up top and holds sweat, grime and rain. stainless is the way to go.
AngryScientist is offline  
Old 02-10-11, 03:40 PM
  #5  
deep_sky
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Mountain View, CA
Posts: 1,257

Bikes: 2012 Scott CR1 Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I was told at an LBS that stainless and titanium bolts are bad, mostly due to the high stress location they are typically in on a bike (stem bolts, handlebar bolts, etc). Why would they think this?
deep_sky is offline  
Old 02-10-11, 04:21 PM
  #6  
merlinextraligh
pan y agua
 
merlinextraligh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 30,802

Bikes: Willier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Calfee Dragonfly tandem, Calfee Adventure tandem; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er; Motebecanne Phantom Cross; Schwinn Paramount Track bike

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1149 Post(s)
Liked 273 Times in 152 Posts
Originally Posted by deep_sky View Post
I was told at an LBS that stainless and titanium bolts are bad, mostly due to the high stress location they are typically in on a bike (stem bolts, handlebar bolts, etc). Why would they think this?
A titanium bolt on the stem might be a bit more prone to break if you over torqued it. But you don't need that much torque to get it to hold in the first place (and you don't want to crush your carbon steerer anyway) So I'd say they're full of it.

I use Ti bolts in most of my stems for cosmetic reasons just because I live in a coastal environment prone to rust and haven't had any problems.
__________________
You could fall off a cliff and die.
You could get lost and die.
You could hit a tree and die.
OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.
merlinextraligh is offline  
Old 02-11-11, 11:55 PM
  #7  
hhnngg1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,456
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanks all for making this one of the rare useful-info posts on the 41!
hhnngg1 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
WarrenC
Bicycle Mechanics
16
08-05-19 09:00 AM
lewskisdub
Bicycle Mechanics
10
07-28-15 06:09 PM
TurbineBlade
Bicycle Mechanics
7
08-17-10 12:34 PM
ekolve
Bicycle Mechanics
5
05-25-10 10:11 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.