If you’ve ever lost hours of your life in the Weight Weenie forum perusing people’s light bike builds, you’ll know that optimizing every last piece of hardware is a necessary step. One easy way to make your bike lighter is to swap your stock steel nuts and bolts for titanium ones, and Toronto Cycles has been my go-to source for this stuff for the past couple years.
When swapping steel bolts for titanium ones, the biggest bang for your buck is to swap the largest and heaviest bolts you can find. I’ve swapped out stem and water bottle bolts on both my bikes, and a large top cap headset bolt and derailer hanger bolt on my commuter bike. Sure, the weight savings is likely not as significant and cost effective as major changes in your bike components, but making your bolts lighter is somewhere right below those on the list and strangely satisfying.
The hardest thing as a titanium bolt consumer will likely be figuring out what size to buy. On both my bikes, the stem bolts are thread size M5 (bolt shaft width), but length varies. You just need to be long enough, and being a little too long isn’t bad and won’t impact your weight savings too much once you’ve switched to titanium.
Water bottle bolts are generally universal in thread width size at M5, but have a wider flat head, and length is important if you’ve got additional things co-opting these bolts, like a bicycle pump holder.
Note: I’ve seen pictures of cheap cast titanium bolts that snapped on the Weight Weenies forum. I’ve used these bolts direct from Toronto Cycles for several years and never had any issues, but be wary of getting them off eBay or other similar sites.
- Price: depends, but usually $2-$4 per bolt
- Weight: depends on size, but lighter than your stock steel bolts!
- Buy Online
- Titanium bolts are about 2x lighter than steel
- Easy way to shave a few grams without having to change too much