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  1. #1
    Dozer
    Reputation: yeahdog31's Avatar
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    What's a fella gotta do to keep chainring bolts tight?

    Never had trouble with chainring bolts in the past, until maybe this year. Ever since I've switched to riding SS, my chainring bolts keep loosening themselves -- and in several cases -- falling out on the trail.
    I am using blue Loctite and good quality bolts torqued down nicely. Last night, on a group ride, I dropped my chain. When I looked at my crank, I had lost 3 of the 4 bolts! These were Shimano XT bolts that I had JUST installed a few days prior.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? I feel silly, but what am I missing here?

  2. #2
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    The female part of your chainring bolts are slightly too long so the bolt bottoms out before they bite on the ring and crank spider.

    They make chainring bolts specific to SS.

  3. #3
    Warrior's Society
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    You could do something like this to keep them from falling out:

    I crashed hard enough on my Tallboy to break my leg,
    The carbon is way more durable than most people.

  4. #4
    Dozer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
    The female part of your chainring bolts are slightly too long so the bolt bottoms out before they bite on the ring and crank spider.
    This is possible, although unlikely. I am using an XT crank with a Blackspire Mono Veloce ring and BBG bashguard. Like I said, I used this exact same crank and everything for a few seasons with no trouble -- until I switched the bike to SS. I understand that there is more torque on the cranks now, but I am surprised at how quickly I'm losing these bolts!

  5. #5
    Just Ride!
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    I remember back in the day, I had a '99 Jamis Komodo with a Shimano drivetrain and it had thin brass washers under the bolt heads. I transferred that drivetrain to several bikes over the years and never had problems with loosening. Eventually those washers wore out after much swapping around and then I started experiencing loosening. All that to say, if you can find an LBS that is old school, you may be able to find those thin washers.

  6. #6
    Dozer
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    Quote Originally Posted by kustomz View Post
    I remember back in the day, I had a '99 Jamis Komodo with a Shimano drivetrain and it had thin brass washers under the bolt heads.
    Something like this?
    Wheels Alloy Middle Ring Spacer Bag/20 > Components > Drivetrain > Chainring Bolts | Jenson USA

  7. #7
    Just Ride!
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    Those may help, but not sure if they would grab as well as the brass washers did. Certainly worth a try!

  8. #8
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    That's what I did when I changed my front chainring to a Surly from the stock Truvativ. The Surly was burlier and I could tighten my bolts down but they were being stripped out, turned out the issue was that the bolts were too short when used with the bash guard. The next set I got from what was on hand at the LBS and they were too long, so I had to use those spacers. So far no repeat problems.
    No fuss with the MUSS

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kustomz View Post
    I remember back in the day, I had a '99 Jamis Komodo with a Shimano drivetrain and it had thin brass washers under the bolt heads. I transferred that drivetrain to several bikes over the years and never had problems with loosening. Eventually those washers wore out after much swapping around and then I started experiencing loosening. All that to say, if you can find an LBS that is old school, you may be able to find those thin washers.
    Yes...i remember those brass washers...had them on a shimano deore triple. As you say they are not present on todays cranksets.
    They were paper thin.

  10. #10
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    Try Loctite Blue 242(comes in red or blue bottle). I think the number makes a different on strength

  11. #11
    cowbell
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    Eh, you said you're using blue loctite, switch to red.

  12. #12
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    Something is definitely wrong, the bolts are either bottoming out, not engaging enough threads, faulty, or something else.

    I never use loctite, grease only on mine or anyone else's bike I work on and never have trouble with them loosing on any type of bike including singlespeeds. I sure wouldn't use red loctite unless you don't mind drilling out the bolts next time you need to remove them.

  13. #13
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    Something is wrong with either the components or assembly. Ruled those out then try safety wire. Standard operating procedure on my track moto. Light and effective.
    Figuring this all out as I go!

  14. #14
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    Two works: Direct Mount!

    Seriously though, as others have mentioned, something within the setup is not right. Either the parts don't work together correctly or they are not being installed correctly.

    Did you say you used this exact setup before on a non SS bike, the exact same ring and bash guard?

    This is kind of far-fetched, but I will throw it out there anyway: Maybe after the first time the bolts loosened the chainring and/or crank are now deformed. This can easily happen if you don't realize right away that the bolts are loose/missing. Once they are deformed, no matter what you do with the bolts, they still loosen up because there is more force on them because the ring/cranks are deformed.

    Kind of like back in the square taper BB days: When an aluminum crank arm got loose on the BB spindle and you kept riding, the 'square' in the crank got deformed. Once that happened, it was impossible to keep the crank tight, it would always loosen up.

    Also, as J.B. Weld said, chainring bolts should never need loctite. A little grease on the threads and that's it. I've always had more issues removing chainring bolts than keeping them tight!

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