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Bah! Torx bolts used in bike parts

Old 07-07-19, 05:52 PM
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Lotus907efi
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Bah! Torx bolts used in bike parts

So recently I purchased a couple of frames that each came with extra parts and found something that really gets on my nerves. One bike came with a handlebar stem where all 6 bolts in the stem (four up front and two for the steerer tube) were torx bolts. When I first went to assemble this bike I couldn't get any size of allen wrench to fit solidly into the heads of the bolts. Then just today I went to loosen the bolt for the seat clamp on the other frame and was puzzled as to why none of my allen wrenches would fit into these bolts. In both cases after shining a light into the head of the bolt I discovered all of these bolts had a torx head instead of an allen head.

Just what I need is to have to carry yet another tool to make adjustments or to reassemble a bike if I have packed it up for traveling. So all of these torx head bolts are being swapped out ASAP for standard allen head bolts.
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Old 07-07-19, 06:17 PM
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Can I ask what frames these were ? (They wouldn't happen to be those Nashbar frames from RBP that come with rigid fork,seatpost, headset, stem? I'm curious cuz I was eyeballing those myself.)
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Old 07-07-19, 07:04 PM
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Torx bolts in a Zipp stem and a custom steel frame seat post clamp

Nope, not nashbar stuff. The ones in the stem was a Zipp stem I got with a Litespeed C1R frame and the other was the torx bolt in the seat clamp of a custom frame I recently bought that is a "Taylor" that I described in this thread:

Help finding custom frame builder
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Old 07-07-19, 08:16 PM
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If you don't want your Zipp torx bolts feel free to send them my way, I actually need one for a stem. I love T25 torx personally and find it to be very easy to use and it comes on most of my multitools especially the one I carry daily.

Sure if you are careful and use high quality tools you are less likely to strip and standard allen head but to me T25 makes good sense because sometimes we aren't as careful.
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Old 07-07-19, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
If you don't want your Zipp torx bolts feel free to send them my way, I actually need one for a stem.
I replaced the torx bolts in the Zipp stem with titanium allen head bolts I sourced from TorontoCycles.com so the original torx bolts are just lying here on my work bench.
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Old 07-08-19, 05:52 AM
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Torx bolts are a pretty good design. In my experience, they tend to strip the heads less, unless someone tries to use a hex key instead of the proper Torx key. You can buy a set of Torx bits on ebay for between 5 and 20 bucks.

But retrofitting to a head consistent with other stuff is certainly your choice. Recommend that you take care to ensure that the fasteners you get are at the same quality level as that which you are replacing. Fasteners range from properly heat-treated 8640 Chrome-moly or Ti, to, well, metamucil-fiber enriched Machego cheese.
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Old 07-08-19, 05:56 AM
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Not all changes are bad. It takes some getting used to, but I'm getting to like Torx and always carry the tool.

I'm old enough to remember when every wood screw had a straight slot, and it was aggravating to have to get a Phillips head driver. Now it's the opposite. That was a good change.
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Old 07-08-19, 09:58 AM
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I feel your pain.

For construction fasteners, I carry around driver tips for phillips #1 ,2,&3; square drive #1 ,2,&3; Torx #2 0 ,25, &30 (also use T40); combo square/phillips; 1/4", 5/16",& 3/8" hex drivers;

as well as 1/4" and 3/16" flat blade and #2 phillips screwdrivers. SAE & metric allen keys often needed as well.

It's difficult to tell the difference between a T20 screw head and a T25 one or between T25 and T30 but at least the Torx system works well in use.


My suggestion is don't bother fighting it- it will only get worse.

multi tools commonly come with a T25 these days, & get a Torx Y wrench for home.
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Old 07-08-19, 10:08 AM
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At the risk of sounding condescending, that the hex wrenches didn't fit in-and-of itself should have been cause to stop and check the bolt heads.

If a hex head wrench doesn't fit into the opening or fits poorly then don't continue until the reason is determined.

It shouldn't take days to figure out.


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Old 07-08-19, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
It shouldn't take days to figure out.
It didn't take days. It was a couple of days between working with the stem on the first bike frame and working with the seat clamp on the second frame.
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Old 07-08-19, 12:11 PM
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just buy the right tools ,,
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Old 07-08-19, 12:18 PM
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If we dig around deep enough, someone probably wrote and complained about their hex bolts being replaced by allen socket bolts.

It won't bother me if they swap to torx.
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Old 07-08-19, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Lotus907efi View Post
It didn't take days. It was a couple of days between working with the stem on the first bike frame and working with the seat clamp on the second frame.
My point is that the fact that a hex wrench didn't fit the first bolt should have been a sign. After the same wrench didn't fit in the second or third bolt - stop.

Figure out what's going on. Don't continue on to even more bolts and work on additional parts which behave the same way.


-Tim-
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Old 07-08-19, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
just buy the right tools ,,
I already HAVE plenty of tools. I have multiple sets of allen head tools AND multiple sets of torx bits and drivers.
That was NOT my point. I just did NOT want a mix of bolt head types on my bikes.
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Old 07-08-19, 02:01 PM
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Toronto Cycles is the bicycle bolt candy store.

Titanium Bolts, Titanium Fastener, Red Titanium Bolts, Bike Bolts


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Old 07-08-19, 03:59 PM
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Torx is common for the 6 bolts mounting the disc..
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Old 07-08-19, 06:00 PM
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You'll find torx on high end stuff because it allows a smaller bolt head. Sure, you can replace with Allen heads of the same size, but they won't take as much torque.

Thomson should probably consider them... silly little 3mm button heads aren't right for a stem. The bolts are hard enough to not strip, but I broke an Allen key trying to get enough torque on the two bolt bar clamp...
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Old 07-08-19, 07:20 PM
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@Kimmo makes an extremely good point.

As an example, the Extralite Hyperstem uses Torx.

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Old 07-08-19, 07:48 PM
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Torx is gaining acceptance in the manufacturing world. My new dishwasher has torx all around the sheet metal. Electronic bits like hard drives are also using torx. After my first negative reaction I bought a set of drivers and now quite like them. Pretty much no possibility of stripping them out. Just for fun you can research the decision Henry Ford made between the Robertson vs Phillips head screws on the model T and how it reverberates to this day, especially in Canada.

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Old 07-08-19, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
I feel your pain.

For construction fasteners, I carry around driver tips for phillips #1 ,2,&3; square drive #1 ,2,&3; Torx #2 0 ,25, &30 (also use T40); combo square/phillips; 1/4", 5/16",& 3/8" hex drivers;

as well as 1/4" and 3/16" flat blade and #2 phillips screwdrivers. SAE & metric allen keys often needed as well.

It's difficult to tell the difference between a T20 screw head and a T25 one or between T25 and T30 but at least the Torx system works well in use.


My suggestion is don't bother fighting it- it will only get worse.

multi tools commonly come with a T25 these days, & get a Torx Y wrench for home.
True story....my Torx chainring bolts were mislabeled T30 by FSA but are actually T25.
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Old 07-08-19, 08:29 PM
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Lolwut
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Old 07-09-19, 10:32 AM
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At least they aren't triple squares... I'd like to thank VW for my introduction to them when the electric hatch opener in my Tiguan failed and I needed to replace it. The triple squares were 100% unavailable anywhere in town! Fortunately for me I know a guy who's a German Car mechanic...

That said the OP is well within his rights to swap the torx bolts out with allen key bolts. It's his bike after all!
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Old 07-09-19, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Lotus907efi View Post
... So all of these torx head bolts are being swapped out ASAP for standard allen head bolts.
I think I would've changed all the allen head bolts to torx.
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Old 07-09-19, 11:47 AM
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Ya gotta love all of the new and improved bike standards.
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Old 07-09-19, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by davidad View Post
Ya gotta love all of the new and improved bike standards.
Allen heads stripping out all the time....good reason to use a better mousetrap.
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