Stripped the brake pad allen bolt

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by jspaceman

I washed my bike this evening and swapped out the aluminum wheels for the Zipp 303s. This also meant swapping out the brake pads on the calipers. I managed to swap out three of the pads, but the the fourth wouldn't come off. I stripped the little allen bolt that holds the pad onto the cartridge. What's the best way to get the allen bolt out?

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by jeffsavans

You can try tapping the end of the allen key with a heavy wrench or small hammer to try and jam it further into the screw head. If it is just way too stripped for that, then you'll have to get a very small drill bit and "easy out" it out which might be difficult with how small of a screw your dealing with. Your local bike shop probably has the tools to do it.

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by eric

If tapping an allen key in doesn't work, you can slot the head of the screw and use a flat blade screwdriver. A dremel tool with cutoff wheel works well. Or grab it with a small pair of vice-grips.

It's probably cheaper to buy a new pad holder than to pay a shop to remove the screw but it doesn't hurt to ask.

Those screws don't need to be in super tight.

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by HillRPete

I once filed a small flat spot into the outside of the head and turned it out with pliers.

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by kman

Slot it and use a screwdriver.
It will take a few seconds with a dremel or maybe 30 sec with a hacksaw blade if you don't have a dremel.
I did the same thing, one of mine stripped so I went ahead and just slotted all 4. No problems since.
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by BRM

Dunno how bad it is but when you have used a mediocre hextool, maybe you still have a chance to get it out with a high quality hextool with better fit, like PB Swisstool.

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by euan

Yeah try a different tool.
"Step forward the climber and all those who worship at the altar of lightness" - R. Millar

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by tinozee

I'd say get a cheapo dremel at auto zone or the Canadian equivalent ~ 20 bucks. I got one years ago and it's served me very well all around the house as well as with the bike. It's super easy to cut a slot into a stripped screw head to remove with a flat head. I have lots of extractor bits a tap, etc. and the dremel is way faster and easier imo. If you use one be sure to wear safety or regular glasses. The wheels can shatter very easily and the pieces go flying.

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by oreoboreo

Vise Grips work great.
Let's finish the ride with a 20% grade.

2011 Scott Addict R1 DA 7900 Matt black
2012 Scott CR1 Pro Ultegra 6700
2015 Specialized SWorks Tarmac Da 9000
2016 Specialized SWorks Tarmac DA 9100

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by jspaceman

I took it into my LBS and they filed a groove into the allen bolt and removed it with a flat head screwdriver. They gave me a new allen bolt. All free of charge (I was picking up a Trek frame that I had bearings pressed into).

I was using a Park Tool folding hex wrench similar to this to tighten the allen bolt down.

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by tinozee

That's pretty normal way to handle it. It's even possible to do this with flush screw heads with the right dremel bit. I have removed fused and stripped derailleur hanger screws and stem bolts this way, and bolts on lots of truck parts. It seems like such a caveman fix but it works. I like torx a lot better than hex for smaller screws.

As for the wrench you use, it's fine, but the wrenches themselves even start to round pretty quickly unless you are always careful and also use grease. I usually buy fresh wrenches pretty often in sizes that I use often. I usually get the Bondhus or Snap On brand hex wrenches, they seem to be best quality.

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by 5 8 5

No need to buy new ones at the first sign of wear, just grind them down.

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