Titanium bolts

kilroy
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Titanium bolts

Postby kilroy » Thu Feb 22, 2024 2:32 pm

Hi guys. I want to buy some titanium bolts for the bottle cages on a few of my bikes. No real reason other than to add a bit of colour plus I’ve updated the cages themselves. I’ve had a look in the usual places but I’m not sure what I’m actually after. I see some on eBay are listed as ‘titanium alloy’ or 'titanium plated' and some are just ‘titanium’. Some packs are $10 and some are $40. Is there a difference and are there any reputable sites I should be looking at instead? Thanks.
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CmdrBiggles
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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby CmdrBiggles » Thu Feb 22, 2024 3:04 pm

Be aware Ti bolts require a lower torque than normal steel or stainless steel hex-head bolts and should never be used with threadlock. They can also very easily strip the threads where the bottle cages are bolted on if overtorqued; in a nutshell, "buyer beware". Yes, they look sexy and will be the talk of the table, like the roadie I met this morning who wanted to save a miniscule amount of weight from his two credit cards: he got a hole punch and punched lines of plastic out... Ta-da! Neither card works now...
Silver stainless steel marine-grade hex-heads from Nuts and Bolts are fine. Titanium plated is fakery: just a titanium colour applied, like iPhones and Apple watches: it will wear off in time. Titanium alloy is the real-deal, and the pricey one. Would steer clear of eBay unless you are clued up about what the seller is offering. Ti bolts from bike shops are the safer and better option; Crank Brothers, BBB and good ol' Campagnolo...others make them.
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CmdrBiggles
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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby CmdrBiggles » Thu Feb 22, 2024 3:07 pm

CmdrBiggles wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2024 3:04 pm

These?
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/30527495559 ... BM8Mbn77lj

Those iridescent things match my GIANT TCR, but it does look a bit gawdy.
Ti bolts require a lower, prudent torque than normal steel or stainless steel hex-head bolts and should never be used with threadlock. They can also very easily strip the threads where the bottle cages are bolted on if overtorqued; in a nutshell, "buyer beware". Yes, they look sexy and will be the talk of the table, like the roadie I met this morning who wanted to save a miniscule amount of weight from his two credit cards: he got a hole punch and punched lines of plastic out... Ta-da! Neither card works now...
Silver stainless steel marine-grade hex-heads from Nuts and Bolts are fine. Titanium plated is fakery: just a titanium colour applied, like iPhones and Apple watches: it will wear off in time. Titanium alloy is the real-deal, and the pricey one. Would steer clear of eBay unless you are clued up about what the seller is offering. Ti bolts from bike shops are the safer and better option; Crank Brothers, BBB and good ol' Campagnolo...others make them.
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CmdrBiggles
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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby CmdrBiggles » Thu Feb 22, 2024 3:10 pm

CmdrBiggles wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2024 3:07 pm
CmdrBiggles wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2024 3:04 pm

These?
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/30527495559 ... BM8Mbn77lj

Those iridescent things match my GIANT TCR, but it does look a bit gawdy.
Ti bolts require a lower, prudent torque than normal steel or stainless steel hex-head bolts and should never be used with threadlock. They can also very easily strip the threads where the bottle cages are bolted on if overtorqued; in a nutshell, "buyer beware". Yes, they look sexy and will be the talk of the table, like the roadie I met this morning who wanted to save a miniscule amount of weight from his two credit cards: he got a hole punch and punched lines of plastic out... Ta-da! Neither card works now...
Silver stainless steel marine-grade hex-heads from Nuts and Bolts are fine. Titanium plated is fakery: just a titanium colour applied, like iPhones and Apple watches: it will wear off in time. Titanium alloy is "kind of" the real-deal, and pricier. Would steer clear of eBay unless you are clued up about what the seller is offering. Ti bolts from bike shops are the safer and better option; Crank Brothers, BBB and good ol' Campagnolo...others make them. Ti bolts should have no indication of machining (e.g. concentric swirls on the cheesehead). Industry-critical, high quality QC'd Ti bolts are very expensive and almost jewel-like in their presentation.

Any eBay seller with the name RISK kind of sounds self-explanatory to me... :)
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kilroy
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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby kilroy » Thu Feb 22, 2024 3:49 pm

CmdrBiggles wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2024 3:04 pm
Be aware Ti bolts require a lower torque than normal steel or stainless steel hex-head bolts and should never be used with threadlock. They can also very easily strip the threads where the bottle cages are bolted on if overtorqued; in a nutshell, "buyer beware". Yes, they look sexy and will be the talk of the table, like the roadie I met this morning who wanted to save a miniscule amount of weight from his two credit cards: he got a hole punch and punched lines of plastic out... Ta-da! Neither card works now...
Silver stainless steel marine-grade hex-heads from Nuts and Bolts are fine. Titanium plated is fakery: just a titanium colour applied, like iPhones and Apple watches: it will wear off in time. Titanium alloy is the real-deal, and the pricey one. Would steer clear of eBay unless you are clued up about what the seller is offering. Ti bolts from bike shops are the safer and better option; Crank Brothers, BBB and good ol' Campagnolo...others make them.
Cheers, thanks for that.
2020 Specialized Roubaix Comp Di2; 2021 Trek Powerfly 5.

am50em
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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby am50em » Thu Feb 22, 2024 5:34 pm

In past I have bought from (as part of order for brake components) https://www.uberbikecomponents.com/cate ... rade-Bolts

kilroy
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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby kilroy » Thu Feb 22, 2024 10:20 pm

am50em wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2024 5:34 pm
In past I have bought from (as part of order for brake components) https://www.uberbikecomponents.com/cate ... rade-Bolts
Some nice stuff on that site, thanks.
2020 Specialized Roubaix Comp Di2; 2021 Trek Powerfly 5.

am50em
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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby am50em » Fri Feb 23, 2024 6:47 pm

Should get 30% off with UBER30 code.

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Duck!
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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby Duck! » Fri Feb 23, 2024 7:02 pm

CmdrBiggles wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2024 3:04 pm
Be aware Ti bolts require a lower torque than normal steel or stainless steel hex-head bolts and should never be used with threadlock.good
I've had Ti bolts snap at very low torque - I wouldn't use them.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby blizzard » Fri Feb 23, 2024 7:10 pm

Titanium bolts can make a decent weight saving + bling. Someone on weight weenies bought a non S-works SL8 frame and saved about half the weight difference between the S-works and normal frame by upgrading all the bolts, much more cost effective than other ways to save weight.
That's exactly how I thought about it. SL8 S-Works is 200g lighter than the SL8 standard frame set, yet it costs 2000$ more, so 10$/g. Rapide CL II vs CLX II is a difference of 1050$ for 70g, for 15$/g. Difference between Dura Ace and Ultegra is about 2400$ for about 220g, so 11$/g. I paid 274$ swapping out all the bolts on my bike for titanium which resulted in 100g saving, so 2.74$/g.

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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby CmdrBiggles » Sat Feb 24, 2024 9:35 am

Bling, yes, weight-saving, no.
This weight-saving stuff is a false idyll, a travesty of throwing good money after bad.
Might as well go the whole hog and replace your road shoe cleats with ti also; also the watch, the phone (an Apple Ti phone?), the wedding band, maybe too the gypsy ring — don't forget the belly button stud! :lol:

People are still pulling derailleurs apart to insert unproven titanium hanger bolts, then doing the same with bottom bracket spindles and pedals — those very places where ti has earned a nasty reputation (I know this from actually riding behind a touring cyclists when he got up out of the saddle and a horrible crack came out from the bottom bracket abrubtly crashing down onto the top tube and then bringing the entire group down — that was a Campag spindle too).

Quelle horreur, even miniscule high/low and trim screws on derailleurs are destined for the bin!
Titanium is nowhere near the strength of stainless steel or plain steel; people don't get that, and its low-torque requirement, low tolerance for stress and thus forward reliability in critical situations is the reason it is avoided. I would not put Ti components on either of my bikes even if they paid me (and they used to :o ).
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Andy01
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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby Andy01 » Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:35 am

I don't think the strength of titanium is going to be an issue for a water bottle cage, but I don't really see the point of adding "bling" at that point since the bolts are hidden whenever a bottle is in the cage (which is probably on most rides).

If you want bling dip the stainless bolt heads in paint or use nail polish to colour them. But hey, if you want to spend silly money on a couple of tiny bolts, that is perfectly fine too because they are unlikely to fail in that application (unless you over-tighten them and stuff the frame by shearing a bolt).


Perhaps the biggest issue of using titanium in a "load bearing" application might be the fact that it work-hardens dramatically and thus would get harder and more brittle with increasing load (fatigue) cycles - that is why titanium can be hard to cut with a hacksaw for example - you need to cut it quickly with a sharp and aggressively toothed blade otherwise it just gets harder with every stroke and becomes quite difficult to cut. This is likely to make it more prone to premature failures due to fatigue (even more so than austenitic stainless steel like 304 or 316).

The yield strength of titanium is about 240MPa compared to around 500Mpa for 316 or 420Mpa for mild steel, or a massive 1100Mpa for a typical Grade 12.9 high tensile (black) cap-head bolt.

So, not only does a titanium bolt start out a lot weaker, but is more prone to fatigue as well.


As regards weight savings, I call BS;

Density of titanium = 4,540kg/m³
Density of 316 stainless steel = 7,980kg/m³
So, titanium is about 0.574 times that of 316.

The average weight of a M5 x 20mm long bolt (a decent sized bolt for most bikes) in 316 stainless is about 3.5g, so an equivalent titanium bolt would be around 2g, so a saving of maybe 1.5g. So to reach a saving of even 100g on a bike would require about 70 of these M5 bolts, which I doubt many bikes would have. It would be far easier (and produce better results) to just empty your bladder & bowels completely if you want to save weight. Simply ridiculous.

I would guess that most people who fit titanium bolts to their bikes would do so for bragging rights - because titanium sounds "cool" and expensive.

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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby am50em » Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:54 am

In 2016 I bought some when converting front brakes to 180mm and needed new bolts. They were available on site with the other components so could do a single order. Fitted and no issues in 8 years. Pretty much forgotten they are there.

am50em
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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby am50em » Sat Feb 24, 2024 12:08 pm

For Al, Ti and SS bolts https://www.probolt-australia.com/ have a good range.

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uart
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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby uart » Sat Feb 24, 2024 12:25 pm

Andy01 wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:35 am
I don't think the strength of titanium is going to be an issue for a water bottle cage
Agree, it should be no problems unless you overtorque. I've used as little as 1Nm on bottle mounts without any problems.
kilroy wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2024 2:32 pm
I’ve had a look in the usual places but I’m not sure what I’m actually after. I see some on eBay are listed as ‘titanium alloy’ or 'titanium plated' and some are just ‘titanium’.
Strictly speaking, most titanium will be titanium alloy even though it's 90% titanium. You don't really want pure titanium, the few percent alloy ingredients make it stronger.

For example, the Ti bolts listed on that uberbikecomponents link above are a Ti-6Al-4V alloy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ti-6Al-4V) which is about 90% titanium, 6% aluminium, and 4% vanadium. That alloy is very strong, but as always with Ti be careful with torque as it has can have reduced shear strength and in particular notched shear strength compared to steel.

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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby warthog1 » Sat Feb 24, 2024 2:03 pm

Andy01 wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:35 am
I don't think the strength of titanium is going to be an issue for a water bottle cage, but I don't really see the point of adding "bling" at that point since the bolts are hidden whenever a bottle is in the cage (which is probably on most rides).

If you want bling dip the stainless bolt heads in paint or use nail polish to colour them. But hey, if you want to spend silly money on a couple of tiny bolts, that is perfectly fine too because they are unlikely to fail in that application (unless you over-tighten them and stuff the frame by shearing a bolt).


Perhaps the biggest issue of using titanium in a "load bearing" application might be the fact that it work-hardens dramatically and thus would get harder and more brittle with increasing load (fatigue) cycles - that is why titanium can be hard to cut with a hacksaw for example - you need to cut it quickly with a sharp and aggressively toothed blade otherwise it just gets harder with every stroke and becomes quite difficult to cut. This is likely to make it more prone to premature failures due to fatigue (even more so than austenitic stainless steel like 304 or 316).

The yield strength of titanium is about 240MPa compared to around 500Mpa for 316 or 420Mpa for mild steel, or a massive 1100Mpa for a typical Grade 12.9 high tensile (black) cap-head bolt.

So, not only does a titanium bolt start out a lot weaker, but is more prone to fatigue as well.


As regards weight savings, I call BS;

Density of titanium = 4,540kg/m³
Density of 316 stainless steel = 7,980kg/m³
So, titanium is about 0.574 times that of 316.

The average weight of a M5 x 20mm long bolt (a decent sized bolt for most bikes) in 316 stainless is about 3.5g, so an equivalent titanium bolt would be around 2g, so a saving of maybe 1.5g. So to reach a saving of even 100g on a bike would require about 70 of these M5 bolts, which I doubt many bikes would have. It would be far easier (and produce better results) to just empty your bladder & bowels completely if you want to save weight. Simply ridiculous.

I would guess that most people who fit titanium bolts to their bikes would do so for bragging rights - because titanium sounds "cool" and expensive.
Thanks for the info :)
Yep, I wont be getting any either.
Dogs are the best people :wink:

blizzard
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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby blizzard » Sat Feb 24, 2024 2:21 pm

Andy01 wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:35 am

The average weight of a M5 x 20mm long bolt (a decent sized bolt for most bikes) in 316 stainless is about 3.5g, so an equivalent titanium bolt would be around 2g, so a saving of maybe 1.5g. So to reach a saving of even 100g on a bike would require about 70 of these M5 bolts, which I doubt many bikes would have. It would be far easier (and produce better results) to just empty your bladder & bowels completely if you want to save weight. Simply ridiculous.
The biggest savings are on the big bolts like the flat mount caliper bolts, you can say between 6-8g per bolt so you are 1/4 there. Depending on you seat clamp style, you can probably save a similar amount there too.

Read the table wrong, it's about 3-4g per caliper bolt.

I forgot that I have AliExpress/Ebay Ti bottle cage bolts on my road bike, purely because the Specialized standard Swiss cheese bolts stripped and these were easy to get. Not sure I would trust unknown AliExpress bolts in critical places
Last edited by blizzard on Sat Feb 24, 2024 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby CmdrBiggles » Sat Feb 24, 2024 3:33 pm

@blizzard

The biggest savings are on the big bolts like the flat mount caliper bolts, you can say between 6-8g per bolt so you are 1/4 there. Depending on you seat clamp style, you can probably save a similar amount there too.

That is definitely not where the ti should be employed. Flat-mount brakes (I have those on my TCR and those bolts are rock solid); these bolts go through normal repeated stress and force with hard braking — they are designed specifically for that. Failure with ti substitutes will come about in other ways: overtightening (far too easy), stripping the mount or cracking the caliper body — ti will also not achieve the necessary assembly torque, and to try and reach that is courting disaster then or later. The perceived weight-saving is, again, a false idyll, when one's primary concern is material strength and reliability. In that regard, the foregoing post above comparing material strengths of steel, stainless steel and titanium serves well as a jarring enlightenment the weight-weenies need. My own very long experience in cycling (47+ years) tells me it's all about image, coolness and standing out. Looks a bit different indeed when your jousting along on a less-than-billiard-table perfect road when a bottle cage makes free with your hydra, taking the ti bolts with it. Then what? :shock:

Ti components made in China are to be earnestly avoided, yet our market is a convenient dumping ground for cheap, poorly quality controlled parts from China. The better quality products are made here (Melbourne); if you want the very best, Switzerland and Germany make ti. So too Italy. My large format camera has Swiss Made titanium rails (stamped as such), trim wheels and lock-pins. I think one — just one of these high precision trim knobs (there are ten), less than 2.4cm in diameter, is 167CHF (about $290) posted from Switzerland (!) :shock: None of these trim knobs or misc. moving ti parts are under stress like on bikes (brake mounts, seat post bolts, stem centre bolts etcetera), purely to apply a friction-stop and prevent movement.
Last edited by CmdrBiggles on Sat Feb 24, 2024 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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am50em
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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby am50em » Sat Feb 24, 2024 4:49 pm

Note, although Ti bolts can be as strong as mild steel bolts,they are no substitute for high tensile steel bolts.
...
...
High quality Ti bolts can be used in the following areas:

disk brake rotor bolts;
caliper mounting bolts;
seatpost saddle rail clamp bolts;
frame/fork v-brake/cantilever brake bosses;
stem clamp bolts; and
any other areas where the strength of steel is needed.
http://faqload.com/faqs/bicycle-compone ... rbon-fiber

blizzard
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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby blizzard » Sat Feb 24, 2024 6:05 pm

The stock Specialized water bottle mount bolts are aluminium, so I'm less worried about the it failing than before.

Also most of the reputable after market bolts are made of Ti-6Al-4V (Grade 5) which has a yield strength of 1100MPa, a far more than pure Ti.

Either way I would only use Ti bolts from a reputable source, preferably a local for any bolts that could cause an injury if they were to fail.

Andy01
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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby Andy01 » Sat Feb 24, 2024 6:07 pm

blizzard wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 2:21 pm
Andy01 wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:35 am

The average weight of a M5 x 20mm long bolt (a decent sized bolt for most bikes) in 316 stainless is about 3.5g, so an equivalent titanium bolt would be around 2g, so a saving of maybe 1.5g. So to reach a saving of even 100g on a bike would require about 70 of these M5 bolts, which I doubt many bikes would have. It would be far easier (and produce better results) to just empty your bladder & bowels completely if you want to save weight. Simply ridiculous.
The biggest savings are on the big bolts like the flat mount caliper bolts, you can say between 6-8g per bolt so you are 1/4 there. Depending on you seat clamp style, you can probably save a similar amount there too.

I forgot that I have AliExpress/Ebay Ti bottle cage bolts on my road bike, purely because the Specialized standard Swiss cheese bolts stripped and these were easy to get. Not sure I would trust unknown AliExpress bolts in critical places
Are you sure about that ?

I have disc brakes (last 3 bikes), so no recent (last 25 years) experience with flat mount bolts, but to save 8g means the 316 bolt would have to be about 20g, which is 6 times the weight of a M5 x 20mm bolt, implying a bolt of roughly 120-130mm in length (maybe a touch longer because the bolt head is a constant). The largest flat mount bolt I could find with a 2 minute Google was M5 x 42mm - the rest were quite a bit shorter.

A M5 x 42mm (ie. a LARGE bolt for a bicycle) titanium bolt would most likely have a saving of about 3g over a 316 bolt - so you would "only" need 35 of them on your bike to reach 100g :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I have never (and will never) tried, but I suspect that even if you replaced EVERY bolt on the average bike with titanium, you might save 20-30g at most (less than a single mouthful of water :lol: ).

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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby blizzard » Sat Feb 24, 2024 7:42 pm

Andy01 wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 6:07 pm
blizzard wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 2:21 pm
Andy01 wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:35 am

The average weight of a M5 x 20mm long bolt (a decent sized bolt for most bikes) in 316 stainless is about 3.5g, so an equivalent titanium bolt would be around 2g, so a saving of maybe 1.5g. So to reach a saving of even 100g on a bike would require about 70 of these M5 bolts, which I doubt many bikes would have. It would be far easier (and produce better results) to just empty your bladder & bowels completely if you want to save weight. Simply ridiculous.
The biggest savings are on the big bolts like the flat mount caliper bolts, you can say between 6-8g per bolt so you are 1/4 there. Depending on you seat clamp style, you can probably save a similar amount there too.

I forgot that I have AliExpress/Ebay Ti bottle cage bolts on my road bike, purely because the Specialized standard Swiss cheese bolts stripped and these were easy to get. Not sure I would trust unknown AliExpress bolts in critical places
Are you sure about that ?

I have disc brakes (last 3 bikes), so no recent (last 25 years) experience with flat mount bolts, but to save 8g means the 316 bolt would have to be about 20g, which is 6 times the weight of a M5 x 20mm bolt, implying a bolt of roughly 120-130mm in length (maybe a touch longer because the bolt head is a constant). The largest flat mount bolt I could find with a 2 minute Google was M5 x 42mm - the rest were quite a bit shorter.

A M5 x 42mm (ie. a LARGE bolt for a bicycle) titanium bolt would most likely have a saving of about 3g over a 316 bolt - so you would "only" need 35 of them on your bike to reach 100g :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I have never (and will never) tried, but I suspect that even if you replaced EVERY bolt on the average bike with titanium, you might save 20-30g at most (less than a single mouthful of water :lol: ).
Your right, I was reading the weight for a pair of bolts. It's closer to 3-4g per bolt from here
https://titaniumplanet.com/en/shimano/1 ... 71400.html

robbo mcs
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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby robbo mcs » Sat Feb 24, 2024 7:55 pm

am50em wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 12:08 pm
For Al, Ti and SS bolts https://www.probolt-australia.com/ have a good range.
or here as well

https://nutbolt.com.au/

I always order from specialised fastener shops. You get a huge choice of heads, length, metal alloy and grade, finish etc, etc. Also usually cheaper than ordering from a bike shop

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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby CmdrBiggles » Sun Feb 25, 2024 10:19 am

Plain silver, shiny stainless steel or...something more stylish...? 8)

https://bspokevelo.com.au/products/prot ... 4096426144
https://bspokevelo.com.au/collections/f ... lts-sedona
(316 SS)

There is also an alloy variant in showy red (with a maximum Tq of 2Nm)
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Re: Titanium bolts

Postby Thoglette » Tue Feb 27, 2024 12:43 am

CmdrBiggles wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 3:33 pm


Ti components made in China are to be earnestly avoided,
Same with so-called 316 stainless. Don't know what they're doing wrong but something's not right (or rather, not stainless)
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