Rivet Nutting

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Identify hole location, mark with sharp tool.  Hammer and punch to create impression.  Drill holes with small bit, patience and cutting oil.  Drill hole to size with larger bit.  Install threaded rivet nut with the “Brute” Rivet Nutter tool.

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I selected to install three rivets in such a manner that allows a standard water bottle cage,  a Salsa Anything Cage, or a Topeak Modula XL cage.  Specifically, the Salsa Anything Cage must be located above the chainrings.  The 64 oz. Klean Kanteen that I hope to use is too wide to clear the chainrings, but is narrower than the crank arms.

The standard H2O cage uses the lower two holes.

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The Salsa Anything cages uses all three holes.

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The Topeak Modula XL cage uses the upper two holes.

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At the rear, I drilled into each seatstay to install a butchered Nitto mini-rack to be used as a Carradice saddlebag support.

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The seatstay bridge had a small drain hole, which I enlarged and tapped for an M5 bolt.

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I have a habit of drilling holes in new bikes.  I installed water bottle mounts to my Surly Pugsley last spring.  And, I drilled the seatstay bridge on my VO Campeur to accept a VO Pass Hunter rack..

17 thoughts on “Rivet Nutting

    • Thanks Sean, I am loving the new bike. These inexpensive used steel 29ers are the High Sierra of our day! Even better, they are cheap and robust, and do not mind some extra holes.

      • A 29er is most likely in my future. But for now, these “do anything ATBs” are the jam on my toast! I love their versatility and rugged comfort. Have you seen my post on my “new” Bridgestone Mb-5? Also, I recently acquired another Mb-5 for Beth and we are building it to suit her needs. I’ll post about it when we are done.

  1. I believe King Cage is making a “Manything cage” that is less prone to failure than the Salsa’s have been. In the location you’re mounting it I don’t think it will be a problem but just in case you are interested. I attempted to use an Anything Cage on my Fargo but I have the 1st gen where the fork holes don’t line up and it’s not recommended due to danger of sucking your stuff sack into the wheel.

    Cool blog, good stories, inspirational. Thanks for posting. If you come to Tucson let us know

    • Mr. Dirt, I spotted the Manything Cage at NAHBS this year. It looks like a great (steel, MUSA) solution to the Anything Cage. As you mention, under the DT, the cage is under very little stress. I have been using mine for a year, including many dirt touring miles, and much mountain biking and commuting. From what I have seen, the Salsa AC fails due to catastrophe, such as snagging on a rock or limb. In regular use, even with a 1/2 gallon bottle as I have used, it can withstand the fatigue of daily riding forces. Currently, my 64 oz. Klean Kanteen is severely dented, yet the AC is alright. I would never consider using one on the fork, for fear of shearing it from it’s mounting points.

      For the record, I have seen about a 50% failure rate on the Salsa AC.

      • All of the Manything cages (as of NAHBS) are Ti. Salsa is redesigning the Anything cage so, hopefully, the new version will be a bit more durable. What would be cool is if they recalled and replaced all of the old style cages. I would have guessed the failure rate was over 80%.

        It seems some big companies (Cannondale?) were using riv-nuts for their bottle bosses back in the day?

    • Dexey, Brazing an external fitting may be ideal for the seatstay rack mounts. It concerns me a little that I have drilled such large holes in such small tubes, although it is a challenge I am willing to accept. Unfortunately, I do not have easy access to brazing equipment, for I would have considered it.

      Alternatively, for typical frame mounts (such as H2O fittings), one local builder has suggested that rivnuts are superior to brazed fitting on an existing bike as the flux used in brazing is highly corrosive. When building a new frame, it is possible to rinse the entire frame in water after welding/brazing. When modifying an existing, painted, fully built frame, flushing the flux away from the steel is not practical. Rivnuts do not burn the painted finish, nor do they introduce a corrosive agent to the frame.

      Ultimately, time will tell. Sometimes I wish I could build my own frames. Most often, I am happy to buy (and modify) inexpensive steel frames.


      • Thanks for that; I hadn’t thought about the corrosive qualities of flux.
        I think I would use P clips for rack mounting but will try the Rivnuts for cages.
        I’ve owned bespoke built frames but am just as happy with On One steel frames. I think in the mountain bike style there is plenty of adjustment available by changing stems, handlebars, cranks and the like to get a good fit.

      • I would have been content with using p-clips, except last time I attempted to use them in a similar setting they eventually slipped down the seatstays. On the Pugsley, they were supported by the cantilever brake mounts, which kept them from slipping.

    • I have always used steel rivnuts when both are available, for the additional thread durability. I wouldn’t hesitate to use aluminum, as I do not frequently thread and unthread bolts from the frame.

      • I’m looking at them for an aluminum frame, so aluminum rivets would probably be advised since the steel can introduce a galvanic reaction.

  2. Did the same to Krampus, 4xH20/Anythings on the fork, a la Joe Cruz. Looks like a four pack and works a treat.

    The hole on the seat stay does look kinda big for that slender tube. Fingers crossed for robust steel frames!

    As far as I can tell, at least one of my Anythings cracked from vibration alone – mine have all been mounted to the fork.

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