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I have a double chainring on my road bike but one of my chainring bolts has broken so I'm left with only 4 out of the 5 I'm supposed to have. Is it safe to ride? (just until replacements arrive)

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    Should be OK so long as you don't overstress it or bungle too many shifts. I would not hesitate to ride it, say, commuting 10 miles in fair weather, where a "rescue ride" was reasonably available if something wet sour. And I'd check the bolts daily. I wouldn't take it off-road or whatever (but then I don't go off-road anyway). – Daniel R Hicks Aug 27 '12 at 21:21
  • (And I'd bet that there are folks out there who've been riding for years with two missing bolts.) – Daniel R Hicks Aug 28 '12 at 1:02
  • If your cranks don't work you're walking, but any bike shop should have the bolts. I limped 4 miles back to a bikeshop successfully with 2 missing out of a 5-spider but I wouldn't have ridden it out the next day if the shop had been closed. (I additionally had to ride several miles over cobblestones to reach decent tarmac and was afraid that that would shake more stuff loose and my command of the local language was just not that good.) – Mike Samuel Aug 28 '12 at 6:41
  • My big question would be why did the bolt break and does whatever caused it to break mean that the others are in some way weakened. – Peter Green Jan 8 at 14:26
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As long as you don't take your bike on a long strenuous ride or torque the snot out of it, you should be OK. Make sure the remaining 4 are properly tightened. Normal commuting should be fine.

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