If you’ve been around the block, perhaps you remember the days when top cyclocross racers and weight weenies dressed their bikes with SRP titanium bolts (and often SRP Mr. Grumpy wide-profile cantilever brakes). The titanium bolts helped shed grams, even though they were always an expensive way to lighten a bike.
If you’re wondering how you might pay next month’s rent, or could care less about a few dozen extra grams, the rest of this article probably isn’t for you. You’ve been warned.
Weight weenies can rejoice, as PROTI Bicycles is bringing back the titanium bolt kits for cyclists everywhere, and their disc brake rotor and caliper bolts will help the gram-obsessed cyclocrosser shed weight.
You might think rotor and caliper bolts are a dubious area to shed grams, as they’re so critical to rider safety, but PROTI forges their bolts from 6/4 titanium, whereas until now, 6/4 titanium bolts had to be CNC machined. 6/4 titanium is an alloy, referring to the composition of 6% aluminium and 4% vanadium alongside the titanium. Unlike pure titanium, the alloy is stronger and heat treatable.
PROTI has offered bolts to the motorcycle industry since 2012, and now aims to help gram-counting cyclists save weight as well.The company claims that by forging the titanium super alloy, it has created a strong yet ultralight bolt. It calls this process FFR for "Fully Forged for Racing."
We tested a $122, 16-bolt kit designed to replace a complete bike’s worth of rotor and caliper bolts. The caliper bolts, despite there being only four of them, offered the bulk of the weight savings, at nine grams per pair.
The 6-bolt rotor bolts bring five grams of weight saving per wheel.
Pick up this kit, and you’ll save a grand total of 28 grams. For the mathematically challenged, that’s $4.36 per gram saved. While gram savings is one reason to consider PROTI bolts, another is the full dedication to color coordination, if that’s your priority. The bolts come in silver, blue and gold.
If you’re looking at these bolts, but you're still on a budget, be sure to mentally add in the additional cost of a bit of anti-seize compound if you don’t already own that. The company says it’s a must on its bolts. The caliper bolts came with some threads pre-coated in blue threadlock compound. Curiously, the rotor bolts did not.
All the bolts require a Torx T25 head wrench. So far in our testing, the bolts have remained in place, haven’t made a squeak, and theoretically helped land the bike on our shoulders a millisecond faster.
And we’d have to admit, the gold looks pretty nice.
We'd have a hard time justifying the premium for such small weight savings, but realize many racers want the latest, greatest, and lightest componentry, or covet the bit of color or sparkle that such an upgrade offers. The bike industry and PROTI appreciates these consumers, and of all bikes to shed a few grams on, it’s the ones that end up on shoulders that deserve it most.
For the racer that really wants to match out their full bike with PROTI titanium bolts, the company also offers water bottle cage bolts, with four bolts going for $24.50; a full stem kit, with six bolts going for $42.00; and if you are looking to score big on the latest Cannondale Slate adventure bike, you can by a Lefty fork kit that comes with two Lefty clamp bolts and two brake caliper adapter bolts for $28.00.
Use the slider below for more photos and details of the PROTI titanium bolts. More info: proti-bicycles.com