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Thread: Getting torqued

  1. #1

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    Getting torqued

    The recent thread on torque wrenches provided some good food for thought in setting up my home shop...but I am still debating the need for a torque wrench...I know it would be good to know I've got the torque right, but what are the most common problems that people get into without one? Does everyone who works on their own bike really need this?

    thanks much...

  2. #2
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    well.. a short list of possible things would go

    busted bolts/threads
    cracked faceplates on stems
    cracked carbon-anything

    I went a long time without one and always wondered if somethings tight enough or not.... usually people err on the "safe side" and overtorque things..but given that you can get some very cheap.. why not have one?

  3. #3

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    Years ago I rode with a guy that had some light weight crankarms and the LBS installed them for him well the over tightened them and caused a small crack so they broke causing some serious injuries. It was on the old school square tapered hole cranks.

    Every since then I have always torqued ever bolt.

  4. #4

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    Sheldon's view?

    Here is a snippet from the bicycle guru/provocateur Sheldon Brown:


    Torque Wrench

    A "torque wrench" is a type of wrench with a built-in spring-loaded indicator that gives a numerical readout of the amount of torque being applied through it.

    This is primarily an automotive tool, especially useful for applications involving crushable gaskets which must be tightened evenly.

    Torque wrenches are never needed for bicycle work, although they can be a useful training aid for inexperienced mechanics who haven't learned the feel of a properly-tightened fastener.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sangmatt
    Here is a snippet from the bicycle guru/provocateur Sheldon Brown:


    Torque Wrench

    A "torque wrench" is a type of wrench with a built-in spring-loaded indicator that gives a numerical readout of the amount of torque being applied through it.

    This is primarily an automotive tool, especially useful for applications involving crushable gaskets which must be tightened evenly.

    Torque wrenches are never needed for bicycle work, although they can be a useful training aid for inexperienced mechanics who haven't learned the feel of a properly-tightened fastener.
    Pretty funny....reminds me of the response dude at O'reilly's gave me when I was asking him about tighting something and a lack of a torque wrench as suggested by Chiltons..."Dude, you know, mantight." That probably covers most torque ranges without incident.

    Odd, how I fear working on my bike more than a car...and I can barely do either.

  6. #6
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    There is more then one way to look at applying torque to a threaded connection. The first thing you should consider is what you are torqueing. For example the torque for a set of brake levers on an aluminium bar for a mtnr bike might not be critical. If it's a little loose it will move on impact and not break also you are not likely to crush the bar. A set ot brake levers on a high dollar road bike with carbon bars is a different story. Too loose and you could miss a shift and too tight you crush the carbon bars. The road bike would be a good place to use the torque wrench.
    Think function and consequence, then decide.
    It's alway fun to have an experienced mechanic try an guess the correct torque by putting a torque wrench on a torque wrench test tool. We used to do this to see who would buy the first round. Somedays a guy would be spot on, the next week out by a mile. That is the most telling reason to get a torque wrench for critical parts.
    If you get one just buy a beam type. Way down on the cool factor scale but unless you have your torque wrench calibrated on a regular basis you will be better off.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by hugh088
    If you get one just buy a beam type. Way down on the cool factor scale but unless you have your torque wrench calibrated on a regular basis you will be better off.
    I do not see any reasonably priced beam type in range of 0-150 in-lb so I just wonder is it is really necessary to calibrate the none-beam types.

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