Mountain Project Logo

Fixe Triplex bolts with 10mm hanger, any experience?


Original Post
Brandon.Phillips · · Portola, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 55

 I bolted a route in sandstone with the intention of trying triplex bolts, but ultimately removed them in favor of glue ins.  While tightening the first triplex bolt it became pretty apparent that the rock was too soft for them.  They were also incredibly (disturbingly) easy to remove.

Anyway, I've got a pile of triplex bolts sitting around waiting for some harder rock.  The ease of removing these bolts made me wonder if they would be of any use at all to leave permanently on a route.  It seems like most people favor 5-piece or wedge bolts over these. I have also heard of using a 10mm hanger instead of the 12mm that Fixe recommends. Anyone have experience with either size hangers on these bolts? 

On a side note, when I was googling this these bolts also showed up for sale on Walmart.com.  Does this mean climbing has lost its soul and should we all quit?

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,346

The Triplex design is crap and it needs to be scraped. They are not suitable for long-term usage, except maybe as top-rock anchors for setting up TR with webbing or something of the sorts. The flange makes it way too easy for them to come out. if the nut loosens on the bolt, the entire bolt can easily be removed. I've clipped these things in the wild and been able to yank the whole bolt out with the quickdraw because the bolt was lose.

If you want to use them permanently, cut the flange off with a saw and use a 10mm hanger. Dont place the hanger over the flange because then the hanger sits out in space because of the gap between the hanger and rock created by the flange which will cause the hanger to become a spinner instantly. It also makes it really easy for the nut to loosen.

C. Williams · · the Climber Cave · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 1,254
20 kN wrote:

The Triplex design is crap and it needs to be scraped. They are not suitable for long-term usage, except maybe as top-rock anchors for setting up TR with webbing or something of the sorts. The flange makes it way too easy for them to come out. if the nut loosens on the bolt, the entire bolt can easily be removed. I've clipped these things in the wild and been able to yank the whole bolt out with the quickdraw because the bolt was lose.

If you want to use them permanently, cut the flange off with a saw and use a 10mm hanger. Dont place the hanger over the flange because then the hanger sits out in space because of the gap between the hanger and rock created by the flange which will cause the hanger to become a spinner instantly. It also makes it really easy for the nut to loosen.

This has been my experience as well. The last few triplex bolts I placed were with 10mm hangers and I sculpted the edge of the hole so that the flange would sit below the surface of the rock allowing a flush hanger placement and secure feeling bolt (a rather unscientific observation I admit). Either method seems like more work than it's worth to me. I like the triplex for temporary placements but nothing more. Using the 12mm hanger, even when I tightened to the required 25 ft/lbs with a torque wrench and added a lock washer between the nut and flange the hanger would still develop a bit of play. 

On a related note, make sure you use that 12mm drill bit. The bolt will NEVER correctly set if a 1/2" (12.7 mm) bit is used. I removed a number of triplex bolts placed with 1/2" holes this spring. Fully cranked down I was still able to pry them out of very hard rock with the blade on my hammer.

nbrown · · WNC/Broomfield, CO · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 6,856
C. Williams wrote:

This has been my experience as well. The last few triplex bolts I placed were with 10mm hangers and I sculpted the edge of the hole so that the flange would sit below the surface of the rock allowing a flush hanger placement and secure feeling bolt (a rather unscientific observation I admit). 

My experience is that these set slightly better than the 5 piece in soft (ish) rock because the cone on the 5 piece can sometimes be problematic. But they are finicky as hell. What C.Williams said above seems to work well for me.

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,346
C. Williams wrote:


On a related note, make sure you use that 12mm drill bit. The bolt will NEVER correctly set if a 1/2" (12.7 mm) bit is used. I removed a number of triplex bolts placed with 1/2" holes this spring. Fully cranked down I was still able to pry them out of very hard rock with the blade on my hammer.

Yep, and I've been able to pull them out with little force as well. Fixe needs to start communicating this information to the public better. A 12mm bit is an uncommon size in the USA and most people view 1/2" as good enough, but it's not. I’ve even seen experienced developers with 10 years of bolting experience use ½” bits on Fixe Triplex installs.

Kent Krauza · · Vancouver Island · Joined Dec 2018 · Points: 0

Dormant thread but what the heck . . . .  I've placed lots of 12 mm Fixe Triplex bolts in sandstone conglomerate with good success.  Tips - 1) absolutely use a 12mm bit, not 1/2".  Hard to tell, but some of the previous posts stating easily removed bolts may be due to this. Or maybe not. Once the bit is even remotely worn, switch to a new one. 2) Place the hanger between the sleeve flange and the rock, as recommended by Fixe. Do not place between nut and flange. This of course means you need to use a 1/2" or 12 mm hanger, not a 10 mm hanger. 3) Due to point #2, the hanger will be more prone to spinning than with conventional expansion bolts, even if the bolt is torqued down properly. This is because the usual 'nut to washer to hanger to rock' compression sequence is not happening here. Instead, you have the possibility that the hanger gets 'orphaned' away from the rock face if the flared bottom of the bolt begins to expand the sleeve into the rock before the flange is flush to the hanger and the hanger is flush to the rock. Hope that made sense. To combat this, do two things: first, chisel out a little 'nest' in the rock in a tear drop shape for the hanger to nestle into. Second, a technique I learned by watching Kevin Daniels in the Fixe 'how to' videos but is not covered in the very limited Fixe literature - as you are tightening the nut, when the nut gets 'snug', tap the bolt gently a couple times with your hammer, then tighten the nut a bit, then tap again, then tighten again . . . repeat until desired torque of 25 ft-lb is reached. Take these steps and the hanger will not budge, and the bolt will certainly not pull out.  In fact, I've had to use considerable force to remove the "removable" bolts when I have wanted to relocate them. Yes, I backed the nut off completely and tapped the bolt in before trying :).

Timothy Fisher · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 0

I also now only use triplex for temporary in soft sand stone. I only use a "worn" 12mm bit also.

If you can push it in by hand pull it out and put something bigger in.

climb2core · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 436

I bolt the Red quite a bit.  How well will this bolt work for temporary placement while bolting a route on rappel with glue ins, using a 1/2" bit.   Just needs to hold me in while I place a glue in on steep rock.  I use RBs and the occasional natural pro when I can... but it'd be nice to have a cheaper option. 

C. Williams · · the Climber Cave · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 1,254
climb2core wrote: I bolt the Red quite a bit.  How well will this bolt work for temporary placement while bolting a route on rappel with glue ins, using a 1/2" bit.   Just needs to hold me in while I place a glue in on steep rock.  I use RBs and the occasional natural pro when I can... but it'd be nice to have a cheaper option. 
If that's the game you want to play it would be a good idea to drill the initial triplex installation with the intended 12mm bit and then re-drill to 1/2", unless you can sneak your preferred flavor of glue-in into a 12mm hole. It's fairly established that a triplex bolt placed in a 1/2" hole can fail at around 2 kN. Tha'ts body weight plus a hard wiggle or bounce, something that is common when bolting steep terrain. You might just continue using those RBs...
climb2core · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 436
C. Williams wrote: If that's the game you want to play it would be a good idea to drill the initial triplex installation with the intended 12mm bit and then re-drill to 1/2", unless you can sneak your preferred flavor of glue-in into a 12mm hole. It's fairly established that a triplex bolt placed in a 1/2" hole can fail at around 2 kN. Tha'ts body weight plus a hard wiggle or bounce, something that is common when bolting steep terrain. You might just continue using those RBs...

I'd just bring a 12mm bit and switch em out.  Just takes a second... as long as I don't drop it!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Fixed Hardware: Bolts & Anchors
Post a Reply to "Fixe Triplex bolts with 10mm hanger, any experi…"

Log In to Reply