Bicycle Mechanics - What torque wrench to buy?
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12-08-05, 08:05 AM
Ok so I am getting a CF framed bike with lots of CF bits (fork, seatpost, soon to be bars) and in the interest of not throwing my investment in the toilet by overtightening something I want to get a good torque wrench.
I think I am going to get the Syntace (http://www.beyondbikes.com/BB/ItemDesc.asp?IC=QTL2460) unit or maybe the Pedros (http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/TL602J01-Pedros-Pro-Torque-Wrench.aspx&sc=bbbsearch&x=y). Any thoughts on these or something not branded by a bike tool company? I have looked on sears.com, lowes.com, mcmastercarr.com, and harborfreight.com for other alternatives but nothing there seems to put me in the range I want to be in for torque unless you spend a ton.
I am looking to spend $200 or less...what is the best option out there?
12-08-05, 08:31 AM
There are basically two types, beam or "click" torque wrenches. Both are accurate, I have one of each that I bought from Advance Auto parts. The beam is the cheapest, less than $25 if I remember correctly. With the beam, you have to be able to look at the scale to see what the torque is. I bought the click type for automotive work because a lot of time, especially when under a car, its hard to be able to see the scale. With the click type you don't need to see the scale, you set the torque and when it gets there you feel and here a click.
The beam is really all you need for a bike, just be sure to get one that reads the torques you will most often be using towards the middle of the scale.
12-08-05, 08:46 AM
Look at Sears beam-type wrenches. They are accurate, reasonably priced and the warranty is the best in the business.
Clickers are convenient but expensive and not needed for any bicycle use. You can always see the scale so there is no need to torque by sound.
12-08-05, 08:49 AM
If you aren't already familiar, it may be worth your while to browse through ParkTool's page about threads. Understanding the notion of thread preparation is critical when using a torque wrench.
The link takes you to a cached page. When ParkTool switched to their new site, AFAIK, they didn't create a new version.
BTW: I got a click-type 1/4" that measures in in-lbs for about $30 from Harbor Freight Tools online site. That and a (maybe $9) set of 1/4" hex bits from Sears (Craftsman) works just fine.
J&L Industrial Supply has a few different kinds.
Page 1572 (http://catalogs.shoplocal.com/jlindustrial/index.aspx?pagename=circularlarge&pagenumber=1576&storeid=1038424&circularid=7228&fsid=&sf=&jsessionid=4ytcd0c1sq0w5laubiwcfevmcqfc0iv0&loggedin=false&itemcount=0)
Page 1573 (http://catalogs.shoplocal.com/jlindustrial/index.aspx?pagename=circularlarge&fsid=&storeid=1038424&jsessionid=4ytcd0c1sq0w5laubiwcfevmcqfc0iv0&loggedin=false&itemcount=0&pagenumber=1577&circularid=7228)
I don't think you can go wrong with mountz or strap, I mean snap-on.
We have a few Mountz from work, one that goes up to 60in-lbs, then 1500in-lbs, and 12000in-lbs.
I like the ones with the light that tells you when you're there.
Mountz offers a wide range of torque wrenches. Conventional wrenches click when torque is reached, dial wrenches accurately measure torque and cam and break-over style wrenches prevent overtorquing. Here is a brief rundown of the wrench that Mountz offers.
Click Wrenches typically emit a loud audible "click" when the set torque is reached. Most click type wrenches break about 3 degrees after set torque is reached and then become positive. This positive action can cause over-torque conditions. Proper use and maintaining is required so that operators stop pulling the moment the click sound is heard or felt.
Break-Over Wrenches are essential to limiting the amount of torque applied to an assembly or fastening. Break-over torque wrenches, typically deflect 20-90 degrees on torque delivery, thus indicating torque has been reached. Many break-over wrenches require manual resetting, while others have an automatic resetting feature.
Dial Wrenches are robust and durable. Dial wrenches are typically used as a quality control instrument to verify or monitor torque. However, some customers find them a resourceful production tool.
Cam-Over Wrenches are perfect for maintenance and production applications where over-torque conditions are not tolerated. Each cam-over wrench utilizes a ball and lobe design allowing the wrench to slip free when torque is reached, eliminating the possibility of over-torque. Cam-over wrenches are non-length dependent and effectively take the guesswork out of torque delivery. The use of cam-over wrenches takes operator influence out of the torque equation and offers more accurate and repeatable results than a standard click type wrench.
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