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Omg it happened again...why on earth does 3T use titanium stem bolts?

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Omg it happened again...why on earth does 3T use titanium stem bolts?

Old 01-23-12, 10:32 PM
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ilovecycling
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Omg it happened again...why on earth does 3T use titanium stem bolts?

It happened again. Second time a titanium steerer clamp bolt on a 3T ARX Team stem snapped on me. First one was last year on a red-stripe ARX Team and the second one was just now on an all-black (recently released) ARX Team. With the first failure I used a Ritchey 5 Nm torque key. This time I used my little ParkTool torque wrench set to 5 Nm.

It only sucks because the end of the bolt is stuck inside the stem. It's threaded in there and you can't get it out without some special extracting tools. Gonna have to swap the stem out for a new one. I bought it from Art's Cyclery, so I'm hoping their customer service will take care of the problem.

Does titanium have poor tensile strength compared to steel or something? It obviously sucks for this particular application, but I'm wondering why 3T continues to use these unsafe bolts on a critical component of the bike.
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Old 01-23-12, 11:00 PM
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I snapped two stock Ti bolts from 3T. Replaced all of them with Ti bolts from ebay and never had a problem again. I am guessing it's a lower grade Ti they use (if there is such a thing)?
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Old 01-23-12, 11:18 PM
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I snapped two on the same stem one time. Luckily there was enough of the bolt sticking out of the stem to grab and twist with needle nose pliers. I replaced all of them with the steel bolts from their cheaper stems.

I should also mention that I used my Ritchey torque wrench set to 5nm as recommended right on the stem. I guess I'll be setting it to 3nm from now on.
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Old 01-23-12, 11:20 PM
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I never used to use a torque wrench until I got my new bike with a carbon steerer tube. Then i got a 4nm Giant torque key, First time I used the torque key on the stem bolts I was shocked at how much force it was. I definitely won't be using the key when my arx team stem comes in haha. I still like going by feel the best And you do realize the 5nm is a "max" and not really the recommended right?
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Old 01-23-12, 11:22 PM
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You can get it out with a left hand drill bit.

Bob
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Old 01-23-12, 11:24 PM
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https://www.harborfreight.com/12-piec...set-40349.html
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Old 01-23-12, 11:29 PM
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Same black ARX Team stem, bought from Arts as well, and I also had a bolt snap on me.

Replaced them with steel.
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Old 01-23-12, 11:54 PM
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5nm is max torque. You don't need that much unless you have slippage issues, use carbon paste and try 3nm.

Also people use grease on the bolts, this increases the effective tension in the bolt, if you use blue loctite you have less chance of over tensioning.

Finally, pinch the bolts a little at a time, do the bottom a turn, do the top a turn, repeat to spec.

I personally prefer Ti bolts as I find my sweat (and riding in all weather conditions year round) corrodes steel ones.
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Old 01-24-12, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by sideshow_bob View Post
5nm is max torque. You don't need that much unless you have slippage issues, use carbon paste and try 3nm.

Also people use grease on the bolts, this increases the effective tension in the bolt, if you use blue loctite you have less chance of over tensioning.

Finally, pinch the bolts a little at a time, do the bottom a turn, do the top a turn, repeat to spec.

I personally prefer Ti bolts as I find my sweat (and riding in all weather conditions year round) corrodes steel ones.
x2 to what bob said in general

5nm is MAX torque. Torque wrenches aren't perfect and theres variation of the resulting torque involved depending on various factors, I read an article on this recently that made me feel like my torque wrench is not much better than going by feel.

In general don't torque to the max, torque to the least necessary to do the job.
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Old 01-24-12, 08:20 AM
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while the bike world may be different, to me, a torque spec is a torque spec and will normally take into account some inaccuracy in the torque wrench. If 5nm is a max setting, it should say 5nm MAX
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Old 01-24-12, 08:50 AM
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I was fully aware that 5nm was the MAX setting. I agree with dbf73 above. If 5nm is printed on the component all the pieces of that component should be able to handle 5nm. And, the titanium bolts I snapped broke well before I hit 5nm.

Edit: And for the record the Ritchey torque wrench I use is the one manufactured by Effecto(sp) Mariposa. Suppose to be one of the best for small, low torque, bicycle components.
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Old 01-24-12, 08:50 AM
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Anyone know where to find the recommended torque settings? I was just looking for this when adding clip-on aero bars to my easton aluminum bar - the aero bars have a torque printed on them, but it doesn't say if it's recommended or max, and I can't find anything for the handlebar to make sure I don't compress it too much.
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Old 01-24-12, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ilovecycling View Post
It happened again. Second time a titanium steerer clamp bolt on a 3T ARX Team stem snapped on me. First one was last year on a red-stripe ARX Team and the second one was just now on an all-black (recently released) ARX Team. With the first failure I used a Ritchey 5 Nm torque key. This time I used my little ParkTool torque wrench set to 5 Nm.

It only sucks because the end of the bolt is stuck inside the stem. It's threaded in there and you can't get it out without some special extracting tools. Gonna have to swap the stem out for a new one. I bought it from Art's Cyclery, so I'm hoping their customer service will take care of the problem.

Does titanium have poor tensile strength compared to steel or something? It obviously sucks for this particular application, but I'm wondering why 3T continues to use these unsafe bolts on a critical component of the bike.
If this happens to you a third time, I will stop blaming 3T.
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Old 01-24-12, 09:05 AM
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I believe that the Ti bolts and the stripe color are the only differences between the ARX Team and the ARX Pro. Well, also the Team is available in -17 degrees. If you don't need -17 degrees, just use the cheaper stem, seems to me.
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Old 01-24-12, 09:30 AM
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I have steel bolts in my 3T ARX stem and I've never had an issue, so suspecting the titanium bolts or at least the ones 3T uses as OE seems like a valid path to be heading down..
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Old 01-24-12, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by soma5 View Post
I believe that the Ti bolts and the stripe color are the only differences between the ARX Team and the ARX Pro. Well, also the Team is available in -17 degrees. If you don't need -17 degrees, just use the cheaper stem, seems to me.
+1 Seems like a lot of hassle and money for 9 grams.
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Old 01-24-12, 09:41 AM
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Is this spec on the stem or the fastener? Lubed or unlubed?
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Old 01-24-12, 09:46 AM
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Red stripe is good. (the beer too)
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Old 01-24-12, 09:58 AM
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Because Ti doesn't rust.



Note that the Ti bolts are fine.

And plus one on Side show Bob's advice. The only time I broke a Ti bolt was when I first got a torque wrench, and kept tightening the bolt up to the torque spec.
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Old 01-24-12, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bobonker View Post
You can get it out with a left hand drill bit.

Bob
+1 Use a smaller drillbit. Drill from behind. You should be able to either drill it out or drill in and unthread...
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Old 01-24-12, 10:06 AM
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I use stainless fasteners on my bikes...seems like the best of both worlds.
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Old 01-24-12, 10:20 AM
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Anodized... Just saying...
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Old 01-24-12, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by X-LinkedRider View Post
Anodized... Just saying...
Can't anodize steel dood. Well you could, but you wouldn't want to. As discussed in a ridiculous thread about 'self-healing' titanium, the result would be an 'active' layer of oxidization on the metal.

And I'm guessing if titanium fasteners are giving our OP trouble, aluminum into aluminum would not improve his lot.
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Old 01-24-12, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
Can't anodize steel dood. Well you could, but you wouldn't want to. As discussed in a ridiculous thread about 'self-healing' titanium, the result would be an 'active' layer of oxidization on the metal.

And I'm guessing if titanium fasteners are giving our OP trouble, aluminum into aluminum would not improve his lot.
Yes good point. I was referring to Anodized Alloys. Stainless is fine i guess
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Old 01-24-12, 10:53 AM
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The bolts were not lubed and they actually had blue loctite from the factory.

Steel is great and I've never broken a steel bolt. Even all those years riding bmx and tinkering with new bars and stems I never had a problem. I used to have an ARX Pro stem on my last bike and the steel bolts were fine. It's just the stupid titanium bolts. I was told titanium had a greater tensile strength than steel. If that was the case, why have 2 bolts snapped when under a tensile load? Is it just that hard to properly machine titanium bits or what?

I just called a LBS in the area (just moved here) and asked how much it would cost to extract a titanium bolt and they said titanium is actually too hard of a material to work with and extract. Damnit.
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