removable bolts


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Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 15, 2008 - 01:59pm PT
I'm trying to find a reputable site to buy some removable bolts from. There is a review on that says Liberty Mountain makes some, but I really don't think that is correct (they don't even sell them currently).

The best website I could find that sold anything smaller than 1/2" RBs was: The site seems straight out of 1995 though...
The 'climb tech' brand that they are selling has a different design on their website- and is only available only in 1/2 inch. I really don't think that hand-drilling 1/2 holes will save me any time or money over 3/8" and leaving bolts

I'd really like to find 3/8" or 5/16" if possible, but would settle for 1/4". Thanks in advance!
Greg Barnes

Dec 15, 2008 - 02:07pm PT
Get some short Fixe Triplex bolts and 12mm hole hangers. You don't even need the stainless versions if you're not leaving them. 12mm x 55mm, which is about 2 inches. Pretty quick to drill, and you have a real bolt instead of some funky wire thing that gets stuck. Super easy to pull, just unscrew the nut part way, clip a draw, and yank the bolt out.

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Dec 15, 2008 - 02:08pm PT
Just wondering what application for which you were thinking of using them. Aid ladders? Maybe. Free climbs? Not a good idea.


Topic Author's Reply - Dec 15, 2008 - 02:29pm PT
I was definitely thinking of trying these out for aiding (especially to get a somewhat safe placement between real bolts). I would just use 1/4 compression style buttonheads, but wanted to get one of these to try out and see if they are a viable alternative.

Edit: Good idea Greg, however I am looking at these for hand-drilling only sceneros and a 12mm diameter hole is just too much rock to move~
Juan Maderita

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Dec 15, 2008 - 03:02pm PT
RBs seemed like a great idea when they came out. Then a few people tried them. RBs are very difficult to remove once placed and then "set" with weight.
Very few people own them, so who else would be able to repeat your route?

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Dec 15, 2008 - 03:27pm PT
Hard to beat 1/4" bolts of 5/16" machine bolts hammered into 1/4" holes when it comes to hand drilled practice aid routes. You can slide a stopper down it's swaged loop and use them as rivet hangers.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 15, 2008 - 04:13pm PT
I use these guys, but because they're local and I trust them...


Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Dec 15, 2008 - 04:23pm PT
thought I saw something in the new R&I
Double D

Dec 15, 2008 - 06:45pm PT
These might be the guys you are talking about. A friend of mine Scott in SD showed them to me and they look bomb. They are used in tilt up buildings but developed by a climber and work well in drilled holes.

Darryl Cramer

Social climber
Dec 15, 2008 - 07:03pm PT
WRT the Triplex: Does anyone have experience with these? They have been used extensively at an infrequently travelled area in Washington. The of the climbs are slab routes subject to lots of snow and freeze/thaw in winter. On every route I would climb a very high percentage of the bolts were loose - many with the nuts just about falling off the bolt. I am not sure if these bolts were not sufficiently tightened during installation, or if this design just has a tendency to loosen.

Dec 15, 2008 - 07:05pm PT
BD Talon in a 1/4" hole = bomber in good granite.

The best non-aid climbing bomb proof 3/8" Removable Bolt that never was:
[Click to View Linked Image]

Pull-Out & Shear Strength (per past Climbing Mag guys) in excess of 7800lbs.! You can see that the hanger deformed prior to pull-out.

These were home-made and work exactly like a bike handlebar head set; tighten the bolt that runs through the stainless steel hollow bolt to set, unscrew to remove.


Greg Barnes

Dec 15, 2008 - 08:25pm PT
Darryl, the Triplex design has a 12mm sleeve that is one-piece (including washer), so if you place them with a 12mm hole hanger (under the sleeve), if they loosen, you can pull the bolts by just clipping a draw and pulling out. That's how I've used them for ground anchors for self-belaying (new routes).

For leaving them in the rock, the ASCA uses 10mm hole hangers above the top of the sleeve. If the nut loosens, the hanger will rotate, but the bolt will not pull out by clipping it and pulling out.

Even if tight, using a 10mm hanger above the top of the sleeve can let the hanger rotate if the rock is perfectly smooth/flat, since there will be a slight gap between the rock and the hanger (maybe 1/4 of a millimeter?). Not much of an issue unless the rock is super smooth and flat, or if the hole was placed in a outward-bulging spot (bad idea regardless of type of bolt).

In any case, if the hangers in that area are 12mm hole hangers, you'll be able to pull the bolts just by clipping and yarding on them.

Either way, heading up there with a wrench and some thread-lock is in order. Watch the torque, it's easy to over-tighten climbing bolts, especially stainless steel bolts. If the hangers are 12mm hole hangers, and they have loosened, then any freeze/thaw cycles or anything that exerted outward force could have caused the bolt to start creeping out of the hole. If that happens, you'll probably want to pull the bolt out (sharp jerk on a quickdraw with the nut loosened to near the end of the bolt), clean out the hole, place/tap it back in and tighten.

This sort of thing happens with any thread-head bolt (such as stud bolts), but it is more common with stainless bolts since the nut doesn't "grab" the bolt by rusting to it right away...

Big Wall climber
Dec 15, 2008 - 10:01pm PT
Fixe removeable's are quite nice. However the freeze thaw cycle might make you think that "locktight" could be painted on the threads to keep it nice and tight.

san diego, ca.
Dec 16, 2008 - 12:22am PT
Double D,

Scott who??
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Dec 16, 2008 - 03:09am PT
Removable bolts, pet rocks, invisible dogs, sea monkeys, chia pets, the clapper, shamwow, and hairclub for men...........go for it.......

Dec 16, 2008 - 03:22am PT
You forgot tidied clams.
the kid

Trad climber
fayetteville, wv
Dec 16, 2008 - 10:06am PT
there is an ad in the back of the new R & I that has the newly redesigned RB from climb tech. I have used the old version for years and it rocks!
Double D

Dec 16, 2008 - 10:55am PT
"Double D,

Scott who??"


Hope you are back in the waves!

Darryl Cramer

Social climber
Dec 16, 2008 - 02:26pm PT
Thanks for the info Greg. All the hangers were 10mm. With the weather we have now nobody will be on the climbs until next summer. If I go back, I will certainly bring a wrench.

Frozen In Somewhere
Dec 16, 2008 - 04:02pm PT
I've used these on maybe a half-dozen long climbs. They are a good tool for a temporary fix in blank rock or in remote areas where it's unlikely anyone will ever climb there again, but they are generally not good for routes where you're trying to create something for other people. Other climbers will need RBs, need to find the holes, not have a welded RB already stuck in the hole, etc. etc. They also tend to set pretty hard with an even moderately hard fall. Looks like RB makes a cleaning tool now, I carried a small flathead screwdriver to pound on the "ball" and get 'em loose after even just hanging on them. They do seem to hold and not blow out, but I wouldn't trust two of them at a belay, I'd whack in a good bolt.

I used them a lot while trying to sort out where I was going on lead on bad rock on a multipitch route and they worked OK for that, just had to be prepared to dick about getting them out. Now I just drill a shallow, steep hole and hang on a hook instead of a big hole for the RB, seems to work just as well and takes less time.
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