Ti bolts...what places to use them am I missing?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Lewn777
Posts: 222
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

I know they are only a bit of bike bling, and they don't do that much to save weight but I have access to very reasonably priced ti bolts, and I'm trying to think of places on the bike that you wouldn't normally think of, just because...why not?

Oh, in case you are interested I've got 'Everesting'/general riding bike from a lower end Fuji SL frame with mostly Shimano 105 parts and rim brakes with a SRAM Force 11 crank.

Is there any way to cut down bolts if they are too long without damaging them?

Places I already have titanium bolts:
-Stem bolts

Thinking about:
-Lever clamps
-Brake clamps
-Chain-ring bolts
-Seat post bolts

sungod
Posts: 1462
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: it's raining, it must be uk

by sungod

i've used a dremel with a carbide grinding bit

the bolt can get pretty hot, put some steel nuts on it to add thermal mass and make it easier to clamp, it also gives you a reference point for length

do it in short bursts to make sure the bit doesn't get crazy hot, wear eye protection, make sure nothing flammable is nearby as there can be a lot of sparks

by Weenie


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Lewn777
Posts: 222
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

sungod wrote:i've used a dremel with a carbide grinding bit

the bolt can get pretty hot, put some steel nuts on it to add thermal mass and make it easier to clamp, it also gives you a reference point for length

do it in short bursts to make sure the bit doesn't get crazy hot, wear eye protection, make sure nothing flammable is nearby as there can be a lot of sparks

Thanks, I've actually got a dremel with carbide bits and a vice, might be doable to cut some bolts down. Worried I might damage the threads though.

sungod
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Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: it's raining, it must be uk

by sungod

do the initial cut a bit long, then take it down gradually - using some steel nuts to show how far to go makes it straightforward

bear in mind that ti bolts aren't as strong as high tensile steel, it'll vary with alloy and fabrication method

unless you're sure of quality and strength vs. what you're replacing, it might be worth doing some testing to see what torque they fail at before using in safety critical places, though most bike stuff is probably ok i personally like to err on the side of safety!

use anti-seize when assembling, it'll help avoid galvanic corrosion etc.

edit: top cap bolt is an easy one to save a few g, as are bottle cage bolts, though all of these could be done with aluminium to save even more

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Lewn777
Posts: 222
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

sungod wrote:
edit: top cap bolt is an easy one to save a few g, as are bottle cage bolts, though all of these could be done with aluminium to save even more

With Fuji these were already anodized matching color alu from stock!

grumpus
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2016 3:31 am

by grumpus

Derailleur mounting bolts (rear will be a bigger weight savings than the front) and limit screws, brake caliper nut and bolt (bolt will require disassembling the caliper), seatpost hardware. Quick releases are probably the biggest ones, but not really what you're asking about I don't think. All of the above except qrs and caliper bolts (maybe seatpost hardware) could be done in aluminum, but no reason ti wouldn't work

C36
Posts: 193
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:24 am

by C36

Is there any place where you can find the exact screw references (diam-length-head-type) to upgrade / tune any groupset ? I was expecting a place like Toronto cycles to have some sort of guides but nothing clear enough to order with confidence. I went through the Shimano maintenance manuals and BOM but not all the screws are detailed (and they just show then ones you are expected to manipulate during maintenance)

grumpus
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2016 3:31 am

by grumpus

For things like the rear derailleur pivot screw, toronto will let you select based on make/model. I think just about everything else is a standard metric m2-m6, and you can measure the length of what you take off. Heads can be a little less precise, but toronto seems to provide the head diameter for most.

NiFTY
Posts: 1065
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 11:26 pm

by NiFTY

To be honest unless the ti bolts are free using that money to go from 105 to ultegra or higher components will be money better spent. Otherwise ti can be used on pretty much anything that directly takes your weight and aluminium on those where it doesn't and nylon can replace alloy in some cases, with rd limit screws. Cutting ti screws with a normal dremel cutting blade is easy and shouldn't damage the threads unless you are careless. I do it in the kitchen hold the head of the screw with bare fingers or cover with masking tape if a very short bolt already and dip bolt under running water as i go. Wear glasses to prevent debris getting inyo your eyes (like dunnies with clear lenses or whatever, lroper safety glasses are unnnecessary)
Evo 5.02kg SL3 6.77 Slice RS 8.89 viewtopic.php?f=10&t=110579" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

TheKaiser
Posts: 469
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:29 pm

by TheKaiser

Lewn777 wrote:I know they are only a bit of bike bling, and they don't do that much to save weight but I have access to very reasonably priced ti bolts, and I'm trying to think of places on the bike that you wouldn't normally think of, just because...why not?

Oh, in case you are interested I've got 'Everesting'/general riding bike from a lower end Fuji SL frame with mostly Shimano 105 parts and rim brakes with a SRAM Force 11 crank.

Is there any way to cut down bolts if they are too long without damaging them?

Places I already have titanium bolts:
-Stem bolts

Thinking about:
-Lever clamps
-Brake clamps
-Chain-ring bolts
-Seat post bolts


When cutting down bolts, using the nuts as a marker and place to clamp as mentioned above will also clean the threads up a bit as you take the nuts off. If you are more concerned, you could purchase a die set and thread a die on first, so if you mess up the threads when cutting the die will clean them up on the way off. You can also purchase a properly angled triangular file and use it to clean the last bit of thread up if it gets tweaked. It probably won't be an issue though, when using a dremel. They don't mangle the metal the way a saw blade might.

Back to your original question though, beware of "cheap" Ti bolts! If you are getting high end ones for a cheap price, then awesome, go for it, but if you are getting cheap ones for a cheap price, then you may want to think twice. Many of them are super soft or brittle and snap under even normal torque loads. The locations you mention are in most cases safety-critical, and a lot of pros would hesitate to use Ti in those locations at all, no less cheap ones. The locations other posters reference are much lower risk, but if they are low risk then you can use Aluminum instead and save even more weight. For Ti (or really any) bolts, a good quality check is to see if the threads are cut or rolled/formed. All the good bolts I have seen use rolled threads.

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Cheers!
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Location: Mountain View, California
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by Cheers!

easiest way to cut down bolts. Use a vice grip to softly clamp the head of the bolt so you don't need to hold it.

Thread a nut of same metric size past the spot you want to cut. Use a permanent marker to set where you want to cut. Use a dremel with a cut off wheel. Put on safety glasses. Set dremel to 20,000 rpm. Then cut the spot where your marker indicated. Use the flat part of the cut off wheel to taper the end a bit and remove burrs.

Let bolt cool down before touching it. Remove vice grips. Use an allen key to hold the head of the bolt as you unthread the nut off. The nut will clean up the thread that tiny bit to form the correct thread pitch at the very start of the bolt.

as to where to use Ti:

Pedal Spindles
Stem Bolts
Brake caliper mounting bolts
Lever clamp bolts
Disc rotor mounting bolts
seatpost bolt
seatpost binder bolt
cable pinch bolts (I prefer Ti over Aluminum as the aluminum hex wears over time as you keep on changing cables)
suspension mounting points (for Mountain bikes, but most mountain bikes now come with speciality fasteners already fully optimized)

Places to use aluminum bolts:
Water cage bolts
Under bottom bracket cable cable mounting bolt
rim brake nut (the one in the fork and frame), make sure it's full length and not hanging on by a thread
You can use aluminum bolts for the cable pinch bolts
headset preload bolt
computer mounting bolts (I.e. garmin mounts etc)

A good source for Ti and Al bolts:
http://www.torontocycles.com they offer bolts with cut threads instead of rolled with a die. But I have never had a problem.

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Lewn777
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by Lewn777

Great stuff! thanks.

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reknop
Posts: 273
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:15 am

by reknop

Cheers! wrote:Places to use aluminum bolts:
Water cage bolts
Under bottom bracket cable cable mounting bolt
rim brake nut (the one in the fork and frame), make sure it's full length and not hanging on by a thread
You can use aluminum bolts for the cable pinch bolts
headset preload bolt
computer mounting bolts (I.e. garmin mounts etc)

A good source for Ti and Al bolts:
http://www.torontocycles.com they offer bolts with cut threads instead of rolled with a die. But I have never had a problem.


Good overview ... I have Ti bolts on my water cages as well, and stopped using aluminum bolts.
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https://www.remo-knops.com/cycling/

dmp
Posts: 328
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 8:31 pm
Location: Denver

by dmp

One place that hasn't been mentioned thus far- cleat bolts and washers on your shoes. It does save just a bit of weight, but the other advantage is that they don't rust. I got mine (if I remember correctly) on line from the aforementioned Toronto site. The set (for Look) included the bolts and those rectangular washers.

grumpus
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2016 3:31 am

by grumpus

Cleat hardware had never occurred to me, but avoiding rust would definitely make it worth it. Also reminded me that pedal spindles hadn't been mentioned. That's big piece of metal, so the swap can save appreciable weight. Stretching the definition of "bolt" though

by Weenie


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