What Kind of Torque Wrench Do I Need??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    The Riddler
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    What Kind of Torque Wrench Do I Need??

    I am thinking that getting a torque wrench is a good idea since i will be installing a few new parts on my bike this winter. I will be installing rear der., grip shifts, and disc brakes. What size wrench do I need, and is it all I need, or do I need to get bits and stuff. Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
    nobody
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    Something with small torque increments

    if you're going to try and hit the specs on small bolts for shifters and brake levers. I've got a clicker type wrench with the lowest torque setting being 5 ft lbs and I can increment in 1 ft lb steps. This works out well for me as the specs for all my rear linkage bolts are 5 ft lbs or greater and my pedals and cranks take @ 30 ft lbs and those are the primary reasons I bought the thing in the first place.

    The specs for many small parts is given in inch pounds and I generally don't worry about these as I think I've developed a pretty good feel for how tight these bolts need to be. If you want to properly torque every bolt on your bike then I'd suggest listing out all your torque specs and then go shopping for a wrench that will work for the whole range.

    I like my clicker but there are some good bar torque wrenches out there too. There's something reassuring about hearing that click but that's just me.

    As far as the sockets, I picked up a metric set of hex sockets made by stanley in 2.5,3,4,5,6,8,10 for about $10 at Wally World. I had to buy a 1/2 to 1/4 inch adaptor to use these since my torque wrench is 1/2 in drive but that was also fairly inexpensive.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    stay thirsty, my friends
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    What should I get . . . wrench with 3/8 drive or 1/4 drive?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LBguy
    What should I get . . . wrench with 3/8 drive or 1/4 drive?
    Both? The one with a 1/4" drive probably won't go high enough for things like bottom brackets and crank bolts, and the one with a 3/8" drive is probably overkill for low torque stuff like stem bolts, etc.

  5. #5
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    I bought two torque wrenches on eBay last year for both car and bike repairs. I spent more money than most might spend, but got the following:

    SnapOn 1/2" 50-250 ft-lbs
    Matco 3/8" 0-60 in-lbs

    This way I have the ability to go through just about the entire range up to 250 ft-lbs. The lower torque settings are better to have something that works in in-lbs because of the fragility of the hardware and how small the specs usually are.

    Larry

  6. #6
    Loose Nut Behind d' Wheel
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    On sale at Sears

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaparzo
    I am thinking that getting a torque wrench is a good idea since i will be installing a few new parts on my bike this winter. I will be installing rear der., grip shifts, and disc brakes. What size wrench do I need, and is it all I need, or do I need to get bits and stuff. Thanks for any help!

    25-250 in-lbs, which I have:
    http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...id=00944593000

    And 10-75 in-lbs:
    http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...id=00944594000

    Not on sale, but 5-80 in-lbs:
    http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...id=00944596000

    I'm looking for something to handle the <25 in-lb jobs, but I'm not sure that second Craftsman goes low enough. Might go for the digital one.

    Kathy :^)
    Last edited by Lucky; 09-30-2004 at 10:05 AM. Reason: Found another
    Look where you want to go. This is as true in life as it is in mtbiking.

  7. #7
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    Torque wrenches

    I'll add my .02.

    First for type of wrench. The click type are easier to use because you set them for the desired torque and when you reach that torque it lets you know.
    The beam type are nice because, unless you damage the tool, you can re-calibrate them yourself. But, you have to be more careful to keep the tool in proper alignment to get accurate readings. Also you really only want to use the beam type for the final torque, not all the fastener turning before that. A good ratchet handle will be faster anyway, since you'll have the sockets for that fastener out to use.

    If the beam type is acceptable to you, the two Park wrenches will cover the range for all common bike torque specs.

    Last, you'll need sockets for the fasteners on your bike. You can get a set of metric hex sockets that range from about 3mm to 10mm and a set of standard 12 point sockets to fit the nuts for fairly cheap. You might think about getting some Torx sockets too (T25 and T30 come to mind, but there are others), since disc brakes use them and they are starting to appear on some other parts too.

    Happy trails,
    Bob

  8. #8
    On MTBR hiatus :(
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndyFan
    The click type are easier to use because you set them for the desired torque and when you reach that torque it lets you know.
    I think it's important to point out that with the clicker type wrenches, it's easy to miss a "soft" click under slow-turning situations, usually when dealing with low-torque fasteners (such as those found on bikes).

    Beam-type and dial-type wrenches, on the other hand, allow you to "see" the torque build via movement of the indicator across the guage.

  9. #9
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    I have to agree with SpeedubNate

    I personally like the beam type. Of course I'm a firm believer in "simpler is almost always better". For instance, my screen name refers to my bike, an Indy Fab Deluxe "Special Edition" with the appropriate bits to make it a bicycle. Obviously for the cash I laid out I could have gotten a really nice two spring bike, but I like the simplicity and challenge of a hardtail.

    Back to the tools. I've used the other torque wrenches and appreciate how operate. But I prefer the simplest for my own use. I don't loose any speed, because I only use them for setting the final torque. I also mix torque wrench use and use of a technique I learned at Barnett's, the "length of tool/pressure" technique. (OK, I KNOW there are snickers going around the board at this point; "length of tool" and "pressure", way too tempting. Let's stay on track though.) This is handy in an environment where torque wrench use is encouraged on a limited number of fasteners on the bike. The bike shop I work at is like that. At least they recognize the value of the torque wrench when they do.

    The "length of tool/pressure" technique is performed by judging the controlled amount of pressure against the length of the handle on the tool you are using. If you're unsure of the length of the wrench, measure it. I certainly hope you keep a metric/SAE tape in your tool box (for bike set-up, quick measurements of parts, etc). If you are trying to approximate an in/lb value, try to hold your tool's handle at 4", 6", and 12" increments. Then you can adjust your pressure accordingly.

    I hope some of this is useful.

    Happy trails,
    Bob

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