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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Consider this a rant and/or question to the component manufacturers.

Why do manufacturers of otherwise high quality components (stems, cranks, brakes, etc.)use bolts that rust? Is stainless steel too expensive? Not strong enough? I'll name a few names, but I'm sure it's not confined to these: Thomson (stem pinch bolts), Surly (crank pinch bolts), Hope (brake lever pinch bolts, reservoir cap bolts)...

No, I'm not riding in salt water, doing lots of stream crossings, or storing my bikes out in the elements. But I do ride them and wash them occasionally. Very annoying to see a 3-month old component with a rusty bolt, or worse, one that's so corroded that it interferes with its function.
 

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+1

I live near the see so I'm used to change most of my bikes bolts...

Happy trails!
 

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yep, I've been annoyed by rusty bolts, too. I will soon be replacing my top cap bolt because of this issue. I was wanting to replace my reservoir caps (Magura) this summer when I bled my brakes, but I could not find replacements without buying the mega shop sized bleed kit for my brakes.

On the commuter I'm building, I'm going to start out with as many SS or ano alu bolts as possible depending on what it is I need fastening.
 

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That's why a couple years back I've started to use Boeshield T-9 on all the bolts on my bikes on an annual basis, usually in the winter when the bikes are holed up in the garage. Keeps the corrosion at bay.

And you know you can edit your own posts.
 

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I don't know the answer to your question (Why?). Chrome steel is good enough for most maybe.

I've replaced a lot of my bolts with Ti and Al and yes, Boeshield does wonders.
 

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I restore a lot of 90s stuff, and this has been my biggest observation. You would think that a nickel or chrome plated steel bolt would cost more than a stainless one.....

Ever de-oxidized a brake set ? There's like 30 pcs of hardware there. Each and every post bolt, cable clamp bolt and fitting, canti mount, washer and nut can get corroded.

Now that I think about it, though. 300 series stainless isn't that strong. And, it has a terrible habit of galling when threading into another piece of stainless. Also, maybe the engineers were thinking about galvanic corrosion/dissimilar metals....
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hmm. I have other aluminum components with stainless bolts, and that combo seems to work just fine. Thomson's website says this about their bolts:

"The bolts are custom-made from high strength steel. A corrosion-preventative plating is added to prevent rust."

Note use of the word "prevent". Maybe "resist" is a better word.

I guess I could make a trip to the local Fastenal store and buy replacement bolts in stainless, but I'd hesitate to do that if there was a durability issue.
 

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I weld stainless for a living. SS is for sure strong enough. Just super pricy. Try 20 bucks a bolt. Or 45 us dollars for i601 (highest grade) stainless. Nuts in that grade alone are 4 dollars a piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I weld stainless for a living. SS is for sure strong enough. Just super pricy. Try 20 bucks a bolt. Or 45 us dollars for i601 (highest grade) stainless. Nuts in that grade alone are 4 dollars a piece.
Not to challenge your expertise in this area, but I've purchased SS bolts at the local marine supply store for less than a dollar. I realize SS comes in different grades. I doubt you need the $20-level quality bolt to secure a bike stem or crankarm.
 

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That's why a couple years back I've started to use Boeshield T-9 on all the bolts on my bikes on an annual basis, usually in the winter when the bikes are holed up in the garage. Keeps the corrosion at bay.

And you know you can edit your own posts.
+1. A drop of T9 on the screw heads twice a year, and they're fine.
 

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Not to challenge your expertise in this area, but I've purchased SS bolts at the local marine supply store for less than a dollar. I realize SS comes in different grades. I doubt you need the $20-level quality bolt to secure a bike stem or crankarm.


Haha I was semi-drunk and you are right low level stainless with no heat treat is much cheaper and would work well for bike components. But even a a dollar, for 304 it still is way more expensive then the chrome bolts companies source. They cheap it any way they can.

If I lived near the ocean or anywhere with a significant amount of rain, I'd switch mine out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey, even chrome would be an improvement. Some of these bolts appear to have no plating of any kind.
 

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i've got a couple answer stems that came with stainless hardware. nice stuff. i too, hate rusty bolts; most of my hardware gets replaced with ti in short order.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ti's nice, but it's not stong enough for many applications. I used to buy Ti stuff from SRP. They appear to be defunct. Who do you use now?
 

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Never fails to amuse me that Park Tools sends out their really cool toilet paper holders without a coat of clear coat. You know, they're gonna be in bathrooms with showers...?

I grumbled about this a while back & they sent me a new one, but it looks terrible now. Hard to wipe when I'm looking at that rusty thing. :thumbsup:
 
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