The moment a tool rounds off in the socket, your heart feels like it stops. Simon is here with some bits of advice for removing rounded bolts from bike parts.
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Let us know your methods, hacks and tips for removing rounded bolts in the comments below
Ex-Professional Cyclist gives you advice and methods of removing those rounded bolt heads on components, using a shoe cleat bolt as an example in this case.
A hack we were sent in was putting a rubber band over the head of the hex/allen/torx key. The idea is that the rubber band fills the empty space in the rounded off bolt head. Let us know if that works for you
It is also possible to use a Torx key in the head of a rounded off allen/hex socket, you will normally need to hit the Torx key into the socket, and run the risk of damaging your Torx key…
Before attempting to remove a bolt with what looks to have a damaged head/socket it is worth soaking the threads in penetrating fluid. Visiting a local hardware store is best for this, as there are some great products out there. Also, Coca-Cola has been known to break down any corrosion too.
Drilling bolts out is a last resort, ideally a bench drill is used for this so that you get a clean drill through the bolt.
In this instance, the cleat can be sacrificed. Hacksaw the cleat away from the shoe, and use molegrips to twist/undo the bolt from the thread. Before you do this, soak the bolt in penetrating fluid or similar, overnight.
Lastly, to help prevent bolts become seized in place, presenting you with rounded off bolt heads/sockets. My personal advice (GCN Jon) is to use a high grade marine grease or copper grease on threads, this will help prevent salt from getting into the threads and causing a rusty joint between the two components.
A tip we’ve also heard of, on cleats, is to put some silicone sealant in the head/socket of the bolt, this helps prevent foreign objects interfering with the socket. The silicone can then be removed easily with a pick when it comes to time to remove the bolt.
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Photos: © Bettiniphoto / & ©Tim De Waele /
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