Tips for Removing Stripped Bolts:
There are so many specialized tools for removing stripped bolts that the market for tools in this category is huge. However, most people would like to avoid buying a special tool.
If it is a stem faceplate bolt that is stripped, remove the other faceplate bolts to release tension off the one remaining stripped bolt. Without that tension, it shouldn’t be too hard to get that bolt out.
If the problem bolt is on the steerer clamp, tighten down the bolt that is good to take tension off of the stripped bolt. This is often all you’ll need to get the job done. Which brings up another good point: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
When you are loosening pinch bolt assemblies, be sure to back off each bolt a little at a time so that one bolt isn’t left holding all of the tension. Likewise, always avoid over torquing the bolt during installation.
Using precision tools also goes a long way to prevent bolts from damage. For other situations with stripped bolts, things aren’t always as bad as you may think.
Usually, adding some penetrating oil will help break up any corrosion under the bolt head or on the bolt threads. Then, take a high quality tool and drive it in as far as possible. A light tap with a hammer or mallet will help with this. Push the tool into the head while backing out the bolt so that the tool stays engaged with what little material is left for the bolt to engage with.
Sometimes a slightly bigger torx tool will fit into the damaged bolt head. The splines on the torx tool will latch on to whatever material is left and help get the bolt out.
If these tips don’t work try specialty tools for stripped bolts.