Bolts done up too tight on new bike

BarryK
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Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby BarryK » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:54 pm

Hi guys,
Does anyone have a recommendation for my problem. I bought a cheapy mountain bike from BigW, Diamondback Mason, assembled it myself, no issues. The bike was 90% pre-assembled, and I found that many of the pre-assembled bolts are done up too tight and I can't unscrew them.

I am using the allen key supplied with the bike. I was careful not to put too much pressure, but then on one bolt I did put a bit more pressure, realising I was gambling, and sure enough, the allen key started to turn, but not the bolt.

As I want to be able to pull everything apart and re-assemble, I was wondering if I should take it to a specialist who can loosen and re-tighten all the bolts? If so, does anyone know of such a person in WA?

Secondly, what to do about the bolt that I have damaged. The allen key looks alright. I found another allen key in my toolbox, that seems to be a better fit, however, It won't go into the damaged bolt. Maybe I will have to leave that bolt, never be able to undo it?

Any thoughts welcome.

NASHIE
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Re: Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby NASHIE » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:47 pm

Mmm, your wanting to save some dollars so taking to a shop could be a open ended cheque book. I would suggest buying a hex/allen head drill bit set. Make sure you always fit the correct size allen key in the first instance. With the drill bit set you can fit the bit and give the end a few taps/blows with a hammer, this 'should' loosen the thread and allow you to undo with a normal allen key.

As for the damaged one, if its a recessed head then find a bolt with the same thickness as the head and give a few taps/blows with a hammer and try undoing with the first allen key you used. If no luck leave it or hammer/tap in the correct size allen drill bit (note this will damage the new allen drill bit) and try to loosen with a set of vice grips, then source a new bolt.

Cheap bikes tend to low tolerance nuts/bolts allen heads etc so taking your time fitting correct size tools and not applying to much pressure to round the fitting is critical.

BarryK
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Re: Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby BarryK » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:28 am

Yeah, you are probably right, I should not go to a shop. Yes also, the the bike came with two allen keys. The one that I used, that damaged a bolt, is a fairly loose fit in the bolts.

What I might do is buy an impact screwdriver. Though, they are good for bolts/screws with philips or cross slots, allen type might not work so well.

Looking at Bunnings, this one includes hex bits, limited sizes:

https://www.bunnings.com.au/kincrome-1- ... t_p0018310

ah, the two keys that came with my bike are 5 and 6 mm, which are in that impact screwdriver set.

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Ancientflatulence
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Re: Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby Ancientflatulence » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:33 am

Check to see which part is distorting when turning the Allen key ............ is the socket in the bolt distorting or are the corners of the Allen key rounding off. It is possible that the Allen Key is of very poor quality or not the correct size and using a correct size quality Allen key will solve the problem.

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MichaelB
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Re: Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby MichaelB » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:23 am

The tool supplied will be made of sponge cake and only useful in the recycle bin.

Suggested remedy - buy decent tools and as suggested, make sure you are using the right one.

Problem with the 1st part is that will probably cost more than the bike.

Also, why pull it all apart ?

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bychosis
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Re: Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby bychosis » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:41 am

It is also possible the bolt is low grade and softer than it should be.

Get a decent Allen key. If that doesn’t work, can you get some multi grip pliers onto the head?. Might wreck the bolt, but once it is out, you can usually get a new one pretty cheap.
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macca33
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Re: Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby macca33 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:44 am

Buy some PROPER tools and all should go well.

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Jmuzz
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Re: Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby Jmuzz » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:02 am

If you are using the included tool then it will be cheapest junk.

Allen keys are something worth having a premium set and treating them special because they need to maintain a perfect corner to grip well.

The bolt will also be cheap, so it is difficult.
Shops would likely refuse to touch it.

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Ivanerrol
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Re: Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby Ivanerrol » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:09 pm

Of course if you haven’t gone too far with it. Take it back to Big W.
Argue the bike is not fit for purpose.
Show them the poor quality tools and workmanship.
Worst thing they can do is give you a replacement.
Best thing they can do is refund your purchase price. If they do, then you can go down to your LBS and see about something serviceable.
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Ancientflatulence
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Re: Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby Ancientflatulence » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:37 pm

One really silly thought ....... it wouldn't be one of the pedals you were trying to unscrew would it???

Edit .... just read that the allen keys are 5 and 6 mm so it wouldn't be a pedal ..... :) :)

BarryK
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Re: Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby BarryK » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:36 am

I won't be returning the bike, I like it. For the money ($329), it's OK. My usage will be on roads, footpaths, and "civilized" trails, mostly in John Forrest National Park, so this bike will handle that.

The particular bolt that I damaged is part of the rear coil suspension. I want to be able to pull that apart, to experiment with softening the suspension slightly.

I did buy an impact screwdriver, though do realise will have to be very careful before bashing a bolt with a hammer. To give a slight shock to the bolt to loosen the thread, does seem worth trying. Also, will follow the advice and get myself a quality set of hex bits and allen keys.

In case anyone is interested, I looked at the impact screwdrivers in Bunnings, then went next door to Total Tools (Midland , WA), they had three types, all cheaper than Bunnings. I bought the cheapest, $22.95.

Tamiya
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Re: Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby Tamiya » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:06 am

Don't use power tools on bikes, shouldn't ever need to. Impact drivers even less so.

Should've just bought some decent hex keys, the best value ones from Bunnings are by Bondhus. Wera is maybe nicer to look at but not worth the premium. Their housebrand stuff... I consider use-once disposables :P and they ain't much cheaper than Bondhus so why bother.

Cheap tools cause expensive problems.

uart
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Re: Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby uart » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:00 am

BarryK wrote:The particular bolt that I damaged is part of the rear coil suspension. I want to be able to pull that apart, to experiment with softening the suspension slightly.


Hi Barry. Not sure about your bolt in particular, but sometimes a bolt can appear to be able to loosen from either side, but only one side will actually turn freely - the other side having a notch or a groove or whatever to help prevent it turning. For example, a lot of old school style seat post bolts were like this. Just something to be aware of.

BTW. When you say impact screw driver, are you talking about the old fashioned type that you hit with a hammer? Most kiddies today would have no idea what one of those is, so they'll assume you are talking about an electric impact driver. :)
Last edited by uart on Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

BarryK
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Re: Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby BarryK » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:42 am

uart wrote:BTW. When you say impact screw driver, are you talking about the old fashioned type that you hit with a hammer? Most kiddies today would have no idea what one of those is, so they'll assume you are talking about an electric impact driver. :)


Am I showing my age? 68, so getting on a bit. Yeah, the type that you hit with a hammer. It has a turning action when you hit it, simultaneously presses the bit into the bolt/screw. I had one when I was a young fellow, used on a motorcycle and a few other things, recall it working well.

One thing, this cheap one I bought, is for loosening normal threads. The one that I had back in the 70s was reversible, to handle both left-hand and right-hand threads.

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Re: Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby uart » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:49 am

BarryK wrote:Am I showing my age? 68, so getting on a bit. Yeah, the type that you hit with a hammer. It has a turning action when you hit it

Yeah I've got one just the same. Just make sure you have the other side of the bolt is pretty firmly seated on something solid before going to town on it too much with the wackometer. Otherwise you might damage the frame. :)

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ValleyForge
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Re: Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby ValleyForge » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:50 am

Tamiya wrote:Should've just bought some decent hex keys, the best value ones from Bunnings are by Bondhus.

Bondhus is no longer in Bunnings AFAIK. Try TotalTools or a dedicated tool shop.

You can undo burred hex key bolts with a Torx bit. Find a Torx bit set and if you choose the size that is a smidgen too big and tap it in with a hammer it will well and truly grip. Then put a socket set arm on the bit and carefully undo.
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10speedsemiracer
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Re: Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:19 am

With the impact driver, I would suggest not using this on a bike especially if the offending hex-bolt is on tubing. As ValleyForge has said, a similarly sized Torx key can probably extract that bolt for replacement and as others have said a good set of Allens are a great idea (don't need to be from one of the bike-specific sellers). If all else fails, a small set of vise-grips on the outers of the bolt head may give you enough grip to break it free..after a dosing of Penetrene or whatever.
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Bentnose
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Re: Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby Bentnose » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:44 pm

Or drill it out and use a screw extractor, the screws are probably soft and easy to drill anyway.
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Re: Bolts done up too tight on new bike

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:13 am

Maybe you need to swap the bike. If it is still within 1 year and you have purchase receipts and were using the tools as instructed but they are failing and permanently damaging the bike (albeit replaceable bits.... once you get then out) then the retailer should take responsibility to fix it. Supermarkets are however generally not geared up to appropriately service or repair bikes they sell so an alternative is seeking a replacement if they can’t suitable fix.

If the tight bolts are a serial probem however, it may be a permanent thorn so you would also have to consider if it delivers the value and function it should.

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