New Bike - stripped bottle cage mount

Hi all,

I’m looking for some advice on what to do here. I just got back from my lbs with a brand new Specialized Tarmac SL7 and when trying to mount a bottle cage on the seatube I realized that one of the bolt was simply spinning and basically was not treaded in anything. I’m a little frustrated and was wondering if the frame will need to be replaced? I think this might be fixable but should I accept it to be fixed by the lbs, running the risk to damage the frame? Should demand a new frame and not accept a fix?

I’m just looking for some insight here as this was a very big purchase for me and I do not like the thought of not having a perfect product out of the box.

Thanks all!

It is possible to fix it by yourself, without any special tools.

However, as it is a brand new bike it might be a good idea to let the bike shop fix it with the rivet tool.

Thanks for the link. I’m definitely not doing it myself as I want to make sure if something goes wrong I get full warranty on the frame. I assume this fix also applies to carbon frames?


That’s super annoying. QC on a frame of that cost should be perfect. But getting a replacement might mean delay. I’d just speak to the bike shop that built it up for you and see what they suggest. Presumably they have a relationship with Specialized so if they fix it themselves that shouldn’t affect the warranty I’d have thought; but if you do it likely would.

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I’m also afraid that Specialized don’t have much in terms of spare frames for warranty issue. I mean it really seems like someone tighten the bolt way to tight and stripped the whole insert as metal piece cam out when I was able to remove the bolt…To be fair my lbs is owned by a good friend so I won’t have issues with them, it’s what Specialized Canada might say that I’m afraid of.

Maybe I should have specified but it’s the rivnut that is stripped so I don’t think there’s any way to repair it unless it is removed and replace which to me seem like is doable without partially damaging the frame…seems to me there’s no way around getting a new frame under warranty.

LBS should advise you whether it’s an easy fix they can do or there is risk of damage to the frame. If the former, then I’d go with that. If the latter, then they should replace the frame - not up to you to take on any actual risk of damage to a new frame due to a manufacturing defect.

My lbs is not touching it as they wouldn’t want to damage the frame any further. So let’s see how good Specialized is with warranty claim. Wish me luck!!


Take back to the LBS. if it’s the seat tube one it’s probably and easy fix. The down tube maybe not so easy. Let them make the call. They are a lot more familiar with what Specialized will want to do.

Good luck with it. You may end up waiting a while but it will be worth it.

Rivnuts can be replaced, you won’t need a new frame. The bike shop should be able to do it. Though they might want to cover their backs and get out of a fiddly job and warranty the frame. But talk to them.

They said that the rivnut seems to be bonded with epoxy to the carbon frame so not a straightforward job and I do not fault them to not even trying.


That sounds dodgy, get a new frame if you can.

How far down is the hole stripped?

Easiest way to F-up a threaded hole is to tighten a screw that’s too short. it only grabs onto one or two threads and pulls them out.

What happens if you use a longer screw?

The bike shop looked at the rivnut and it seems it was not treaded at all so it was was probably defective when bonded to the frame. There might have been some treads initially but when the bolt was treaded in it broke the remaining treads.

There are inserts to re-thread holes, such as heli-coil. Nine chances out of 10 that’s what Specialized will do if the shop returns the bike; they’re not going to scrap a frame for a stripped cage screw insert.

If it was never threaded then maybe it could be tapped in place?

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I had a rivnut issue with a Rocky Mountain that came through the shop last year. They replaced the frame. We, unfortunately, had to scrap the old frame even though it was totally fine just down a bottle cage.

It hurt to cut that frame up.

Hope replacement went OK. It’s worth pointing out that the way rivnuts work is that the first 5mm or so is not threaded so a short bolt may not reach the threaded section. The top part compresses when its installed (the rivet bit) and the lower half has the thread. Sorry if I’m teaching grandma to suck eggs!

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The frame was sent back to Specialized Canada and they were able to quickly repair the defective rivnut, not sure what they did but no apparent sign of work on the frame so it was definitely done properly.

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