Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Apologies for being too wordy. i tend to write how i think.:)

Over the past while, i have slowly been purchasing tools to enable me to maintain my bike and replace basic parts on it.

I have always veered off from torque wrench due to the sheer number of them and their price (i.e. up into the 100's), as well as 'calibration' issues. Too much confusion and money for me at the time. Recently, after some research, I also learned that some even recommend having at least two torque wrenches for the lower and upper range screws.

By the way, my bike is an entry level (1 k) Giant, aluminium with Shimano parts.

For the high-range torque wrenches, which i believe are for bottom brackets and cassette lock rings, i plan to just bring it into an LBS to tighten it property.( I would do the actual BB or cassette install and replacement myself). Since these components are not replaced frequently, it may make better economic sense for me; at least for the time being. Q1: Is this a good strategy for now?

As for the lower torque wrenches.. Q2: Do I really need one?If so, are the follow wrenches decent:

X-Tools Essential Torque Wrench Set

Topeak Combo Torq Wrench

Q3: How can i tell if the wrench is accurate and how would i calibrate it?

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,427 Posts
Do you need a torque wrench?

No. If you are not torquing on carbon parts, you do not.


That said, if you are the ham fisted, "brand new to working on things" person, a torque wrench would be helpful.
I rarely torque anything, but I've also got decades of experience. I actually tested myself, and tighteded a pair of bolts, then checked the torque to see how close I was. I was within 2% of the recommended torque for both bolts.



When in doubt, crank on it until something snaps, then back off 1/4 turn. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,145 Posts
Depends what you're tightening for things like brake calipers, cassette and bb I just do them up tight. I use a torque wrench only on my stem, clamping the steerer and the bars (which are carbon) so it's more important that I get it right.
 

·
Up In Smoke
Dirt Roadë
Joined
·
3,281 Posts
What do you need a torque wrench for? Are there any carbon parts on your bike?

I’d go with a good repair stand, and a wheel trying stand first. Torque wrenches can be a bit finicky and won’t really get much use.
 

·
Wanna ride bikes?
Joined
·
9,819 Posts
The beefy components/bolts just need to be good and tight. Not super precise.

The low torque stuff needs to be precise, over or under tightening sensitive stuff will quickly yield negative results.

Generally you can judge the required torque by the size of the bolt. A 2mm bolt needs very little torque, same with 3mm. A 4-5mm bolt should still be properly torqued, not hammered on. A 6-8mm bolt can be cranked down good and tight. No need to get carried away but you're unlikely to hurt a big bolt.
 

·
Ride Fast Take Chances :)
Joined
·
3,629 Posts
I torque everything, but I use titanium and carbon parts. It's good practice to correctly tighten every bolt on your bike, but lower end parts have a much bigger range before you damage them.
Great accurate kit.
https://www.amazon.com/Pro-Bike-Too...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=9D0Y24KMKFTW46M33TRS

This is my go to torque wrench, but it is overkill for most people. I intend to give it to my grand kids someday.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00461546E/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
I may get flamed for this, but I really think that for our uses a cheap Harbor Freight torque wrench is just fine. We just need to make sure we're close to the torque spec and not to overtighten. HF torque wrenches I've tested can be as much as 5-10% off, but for tightening fasteners on carbon parts that's close enough.

In a past life I used to assemble space-qualified hardware in a clean lab and every fastener's torque had to meet an exact spec. There we used very accurate torque wrenches calibrated on a set schedule. There that level of precision is appropriate. In a garage bike shop it's not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
As for the lower torque wrenches.. Q2: Do I really need one?If so, are the follow wrenches decent:

X-Tools Essential Torque Wrench Set

Topeak Combo Torq Wrench
depends on what you think "decent" is.

the x-tools' dial is a bit vague for my taste

topeak is non click type, which I hear is fine for working on bikes, but my thought is that if you are going to spend money on a torque wrench I'd rather get a clicker one.

Certainly, like many people here with experience has mentioned, just get it tight and you'll be fine.

Check this one out, if you haven't already
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,561 Posts
You can get an idea of the acceptable torque when you loosen the bolt.
Umm, not really. When loosening a bolt one must overcome static friction to get the bolt moving which is higher than overcoming kinetic friction. When tightening a bolt the torque is generally achieved while the bolt is moving, so you are dealing with kinetic friction. You may have to apply 30-40% more torque to get a bolt moving to loosen it vs tightening it to a given torque. Then add tread locker into the mix...
 

·
EAT MORE GRIME
(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
Joined
·
7,874 Posts
you can calibrate a torque wrench at home if you have a secure vise to lock the wrench down and a calibrated weight or scale and accurate beam length

at X beam distance Y weight will put Z torque.

https://www.wikihow.com/Calibrate-a-Torque-Wrench

you really need a 5nm-7nm wrench for carbon handlebars, stems, seat components

and need ~7nm-->25nm for suspension pivots

I'd say if you had one option a 5nm is the most needed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
I torque everything, but I use titanium and carbon parts. It's good practice to correctly tighten every bolt on your bike, but lower end parts have a much bigger range before you damage them.
Great accurate kit.
https://www.amazon.com/Pro-Bike-Too...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=9D0Y24KMKFTW46M33TRS
I was in the middle of writing my reply about this one. I've just gotten it, how do you like it so far? good, I assume? or you wouldn't have recommended it.

This is my go to torque wrench, but it is overkill for most people. I intend to give it to my grand kids someday.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00461546E/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1
That CDI, though. when I was researching which torque wrench I should get, I came across CDI. Then I closed the browser tab quicker than it opened. that's some high-end stuff.
 

·
EAT MORE GRIME
(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
Joined
·
7,874 Posts
also

do NOT order a -pricey- torque wrench from amazon (the bike rated spring type are ok, they don't get whacked in shipping by apes). I tried that 3 times and each time the packaging was smashed, and the wrench was wholly inaccurate upon arrival. if you are spending big bucks on a torque wrench find another supplier. all mine were handled roughly for what is basically scientific measuring equipment and each one had to be returned as failure upon arrival (massive negative and massive positive measure when should be zeroed..because it was thrown around during packing and shipping)

those little spin doctor small torque wrenches (spring) with some bits in a plastic case for roughly 40-60 bucks is a nice little kit and good enough for your bike

https://www.performancebike.com/spin-doctor-torque-wrench-set-sd-tw/p914535
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,053 Posts
Torqkeys are awesome. They're preset to only one torque, usually 4-7nm. At about 20 bucks, they're affordable.

Beam torque wrenches are very accurate and they last forever. Its plenty for bike use.

I have CDI torque wrenches at work, but its too much for home use on a bike.
 

·
Ride Fast Take Chances :)
Joined
·
3,629 Posts
I was in the middle of writing my reply about this one. I've just gotten it, how do you like it so far? good, I assume? or you wouldn't have recommended it.
I'm on their mailing list so i got the kit for 29.99. At that price it was a steal.
The bits are high quality and the wrench is calibrated correctly(I did check). Overall if you add a craftsman 1/4 screwdriver and you have something for almost every bolt on your bike. Way better setup than a Y wrench or the preset stuff. I also have a Y wrench, but it's never the first tool I grab.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,754 Posts
It's easy to check the calibration of a torque wrench with a piece of string and a fish scale. Clamp a socket vertically in a vice, put the torque wrench on it, put a loop of string around the handle and pull perpendicularly with the fish scale. Force on the scale times the distance from the socket to the string on the handle is torque. You need to convert units as necessary.
 

·
since 4/10/2009
Joined
·
34,575 Posts
I use a CDI torque key set at 5Nm for clamp stuff. Frankly, it's faster to use the torque key there, especially for stem face plates that you tighten in a set pattern to avoid stressing and cracking the part. The absolute torque is less important, but the consistency between the 4 bolts on the face plate is important. Also worth noting that dropper posts also tend to have a max torque spec, to avoid smooshing the internals and interfering with function.

I have a beam style torque wrench that I use for anything else. Crank bolts in particular. There are a fair number of crank bolts with 50Nm+/- torques, and the issue there if you don't sufficiently tighten them is that they loosen up on you. Crank bolts are tough because the crank itself wants to rotate on you and that can mess up your "personal calibration" if you have any you've developed over time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,634 Posts
There was a good thread here a month back, or a bit more. Maybe in the Tooltime area. It had a few nice links with decent products. If I get time, I'll try to find that thread and link it.

EDIT: https://forums.mtbr.com/tooltime/anyone-use-tekton-capri-torque-wrenches-1099809.html
Something worth mentioning for the consumer is to check the range of accuracy. If the values you are working with fall into the range of more accurate you'll be good.
For example, I am going to purchase an air pressure gauge for my plus tires. There is a 15psi model that claims higher accuracy between like 6 and 10psi (for example). For me the 15psi model to use on my 15psi bike wouldn't be acceptable as I can already 'guess' it's about 15 with my floor pump. I would need the 25psi gauge for increased accuracy at 15psi -based on manufacturers listed accuracy chart.

I haven't yet purchaseda torque wrench yet but I do intend to for those sensitive little suckers. Most bike fasteners I'm careful enough that I feel confident.

I may get flamed for this, but I really think that for our uses a cheap Harbor Freight torque wrench is just fine. We just need to make sure we're close to the torque spec and not to overtighten. HF torque wrenches I've tested can be as much as 5-10% off, but for tightening fasteners on carbon parts that's close enough.

In a past life I used to assemble space-qualified hardware in a clean lab and every fastener's torque had to meet an exact spec. There we used very accurate torque wrenches calibrated on a set schedule. There that level of precision is appropriate. In a garage bike shop it's not.
Why is it acceptable to over torque a brake lever to a carbon bar by 10%, but it's not okay to over torque an engine head bolt by 10%?
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top