Given the cycling industry’s track record, it’s easy to denounce star-shaped fasteners as a ploy to fuel capitalism. It’s easy to get a little agitated. Believe me, if you’ve found yourself stifled by the lack of a T25 during a hasty pre-ride adjustment or trailside repair, you’re not alone. So the question begs to be asked, “Is this a profit-driven inconvenience?”
What? There’s a new fastener that forces the purchase of up-to date tools? Son-of-a-Corny Capitalist! Well, before we reach for Silca pumps, trail-tools, and polo mallets to storm the castle, let’s take a closer look, as the history of fasteners actually reveals benefits of this design over the tried-and-true hex. Referred to as Torx (a trademarked design), or “star” (generic term), this fastener drive-type is slowly taking over both mountain and road due to improved resistance of cam-out. In other terms, a stripped bolt head.
torx suck. I’ve stripped many of em. I like standard hex/allen as you can use ball heads to get into hard to reach bolts and not have to screw them from exactly 90 degrees. bottle cages are a good example of that. I haven’t seen a ball headed torx wrench. anyone?
[li]Resist camout, increasing tool life[/li][li]Applies torque at much closer to 90º, allowing higher torque to be applied / smaller bits to be used[/li][li]Bonus Campy option: save grams with aluminium fasteners.[/li][/ul]
The same mech who rounds out allen head bolts and applies 30Nm to stem bolts. Can’t design out the stupid.
I’ve only ever stripped one hex, rusted tight. You can hamfist anything…I’ve managed to hamfist a car brake caliper bolt with a crap 14mm socket. Good fitting tools always key. Maybe if you change ALL your bolts to hexolobular and get a multitool it’d be worth it.
Torx are ok if it’s not done to tight, the problem is that the outside teeth of a torx are designed in a way that does not leave much body strength to the centre of the tool plus I’m guessing the whole design is to increase surface area making more engagement surface,
But this makes for greater engagement but a weaker tool.
IMHO the are ok if easy to get to but once over tightened or not anti seized you have no hope and will be reaching for an easy out.
A hex is far better for high torque applications take battern screws for example, you would never have any luck trying to out one of those in with a torx.
Torx fitting are appropriate for soft materials eg aluminium bolts, as they tend to compress and not deform material at the load points. The most common use for torx fittings on bikes are the t25 bolts for brake rotors. These are used because of the shallowness of the heads - they aren’t deep enough for solid engagement of a hex key.
A decent-ish torx bit set will also come in handy for removing damaged hex bolts, as they can be pounded into the damaged head by changing the shape of the head rather than trying to remove material for a larger hex key.
Torx fittings are pretty low on the list of “irritating things the industry does for no apparent reason”.