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Torque wrenches - Talk to me
CREATED: 07/30/09 by Lunchbox REPLIES: 5
Lunchbox's ravatar Lunchbox    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 31
Torque wrenches - Talk to me
POSTED: 7/30/09 4:24 PM

I want to get all the sizes and torque ranges I need for the fiddling and maintenance I'll do on a carbon frame and various carbon bits and pieces.

I have never so much as held a torque wrench.

I have many questions, and there are no doubt questions I'm too clueless to know enough to ask.

Do I need many?
One with interchangeable ends of dif sizes?

What range of inch lbs/foot lbs/Nms should I be looking for?
Should I go for something from Park tools or Home Depot?
Electric, if there is such a thing?

Any specific model recomendations?

Thanks in advance

philotri's ravatar philotri    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 253
RE: Torque wrenches - Talk to me
POSTED: 7/30/09 10:36 PM

I know that we have at least two different sizes at work for both the small torques (say 5nm) and for larger ones (and I'm sure that isn't the right technical term). And we have interchangeable ends to fit into all of the different bolts - at least a 4, 5, 6, 8, 10. I can double check to get you more specifics.

But I do know without checking that you'll get a much better price at Home Depot than you will from Park Tools.

vatriathlete    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 685
RE: Torque wrenches - Talk to me
POSTED: 7/30/09 10:42 PM

wow this is something that very few people know about much less ask about, but here goes.

what you will be looking for is something in probably inch/pounds and the single to teens in N/M ( it really doesn't matter if you use newton meters or the english system as most torque wrenches have both scales on them and if not you can easily just convert them) as most of the smaller bolts and such are the ones you are concerned about, there are very few things on a bicycle that need to be tightened down with the higher ft/lbs increments or larger n/m.

here is the catch, torque wrenches are basically precision instruments be prepared to pay upwards of 100-300 dollars for a high quality instrument that is accurate to within 2-5% error, i other words you are paying for something that is basicallly lab quality.

usually home depot/lowes does not stock the type of torque wrenches that you would want, ie the smaller increment ones.

one popular one for cyclists is this one:

this one is very popular and is $184 because it uses all the standard allen key sizes that you will need for delicate things like stem bolts, seat bolts, derailer bolts, etc. basically things you are concerned with overtorquing or stripping out bc you are tighting either into carbon, magnesium or aluminum all soft materials.

now if you do a search on the net you will find that tool companies like snap-on, mac tools, all the name brands that you hear auto tech shops using all make comparable high quality torque wrenches in the same ranges and approx same price. so you do have choices

another thing is that syntace and park tools makes a torque wrench also that they sell for the same price or within 50$ of the one above, basically again its probably good quality.

the ones you see at home depot the beam style ones are not really what you want for the more delicate pieces as they don't go down to the lower numbers you need, they are good for things like the freewheel lockring or BB tightening and such that require much higher torques than say a stem bolt that is tigheed into a magnesium stem. you get the idea.

trust me i know what you are going through i looked at this very issue a year ago, didn't end up bying anything but if i did i would get the one above as its very compact, easy to use and appears to get very good reviews in basically every cycling magazine.

kev7's ravatar kev7    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 470
RE: Torque wrenches - Talk to me
POSTED: 7/31/09 6:57 AM

I own the Giustaforza Torque Wrench and it works great! It is a wise investment particularly if you own a carbon bike.

Lunchbox's ravatar Lunchbox    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 31
RE: Torque wrenches - Talk to me
POSTED: 7/31/09 1:51 PM

You all should join forces to write Torque Wrenches for Dummies.

Empfield has nothing on you.

Empfield review

These folks sell the Giustaforza for $150. One will be en route to my cave today.

vatriathlete    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 685
RE: Torque wrenches - Talk to me
POSTED: 7/31/09 2:07 PM

good job, just make sure when you get it that you follow the proper maintanance and storage advice that comes with the torque wrench so that it stays calibrated correctly for a long time.

like any precision measureing tool it will eventually need to be re-calibrated if used extensively, which for those of us that don't work in a bike shop could be years.

good luck.

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