29 May 2008

bikefix Exclusive Review: eBay chainring bolts

There's no justification for my buying these, but I happen to think that my bike looks good with a few well-placed blue accents to bring out the color in the decals. Late nights + eBay access can lead to some interesting impulse buys and these anodized blue chainring bolts are one example. I knew when I recieved them that they weren't of particularly high quality- the threads were sloppy and the blue pretty pale, but they looked pretty neat on the bike (shades of 1995), so I kept them. The bike that they were on lives on the upper hooks of a Topeak Dual Touch stand, and it just so happens that the chainrings are at just about eye level. Walking by one day, something in those cool blue bolts caught my eye. On two out of the four bolts, the bolt heads were about 3/4 sheared from the body. This was something that I'd never seen in 20 years of mountain biking. Now, I do typically hit a lot of stuff with my big ring, but it's not bent and compared to the Northeast, there aren't that many logs to claw over in New Mexico. As the sheared bolts were next to one another with the sheared portion facing out, I can only assume that I hit a log or rock just right with the big ring and it started to pop the heads off. The chainring was fine, so I slapped the original Shimano bolts back on and have been riding them since. So, if you're going to go with cheap blue bolts, be sure to keep an eye on them. Otherwise, it could be a long ride out of the woods in the granny ring. It's almost certainly not a good idea to use them on a brakeless fixie.

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