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  1. #1
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    Does anyone here use a torque wrench to tighten your wheel nuts?

    The reason I'm asking is because my wife's track bike keep losing chain tension after she's been riding for 2-3 hours. This only happens after I do some kind of work on it, so I know it's my fault. Today her chain got so loose it looked like it was going to start rubbing on the chainstay. When we started the chain tension was as tight as possible while still able to spin freely.

    The nuts were as tight as I felt comfortable tightening them. In order for me to make it tight enough to not ever slip, I really have to crank that thing down. I worry that I will damage those thin drop outs!

  2. #2
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    One of my favourite things are old Sturmey Archer 3 speed washers which are nicely knurled and very toothy.

    My fixed wheels do not slip and although I torque the nuts down tightly it's the added lock washer that really keeps things secure.

  3. #3
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Perhaps the chain is too long? Here is Sheldon Brown's dissertation on the subject:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/derailer-adjustment.html#chain

    Other than this, I haven't thought of using a torque-wrench while tightening wheels into the dropouts. I haven't had a personal bicycle that needed to be tightened manually in quite awhile. My present stable is all quick-release. But when I did - I'd torque the nuts down quite firmly. Never thought to measure this, and never had a problem as you describe.

    Best of luck!
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    One of my favourite things are old Sturmey Archer 3 speed washers which are nicely knurled and very toothy.

    My fixed wheels do not slip and although I torque the nuts down tightly it's the added lock washer that really keeps things secure.

    Just approx, what would you say you're torquing them to? 25? 50? 150?

  5. #5
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Nutted rear wheels can be torqued anywhere from 260 - 390 inch pounds / 21-32 foot pounds as per Park's tables on such things.

    After you turn wrenches for a very long time your sense of how much torque gets very acute and when I have checked things like how much torque I have put into a rear wheel nut it has always been within the advised range.

    I work on a lot of old Raleigh 3 speeds with Sturmey Archer hubs and because the nuts are very soft and easy to strip you do need less torque and this is why their lock washers are so very good.

    I am not a very big or imposing guy but have had people come back to me asking how to get their wheel nuts off after I have installed them...

    With a fixed gear the nut is only part of the equation as a really good lock washer is also required to keep the wheel from slipping... you would be surprised at how much torque an average human being can put to the back wheel.

    I do some really intense climbing where the short burst output is the same as a track sprinter's and have to know my wheels are not going to budge.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies. I use track nuts on her bike that I purchased from a prestigious velodrome shop downtown. I purchased them to upgrade from the standard Bianchi ones that came on the bike and was blown away when I found out they were something like $10/pair (Yeah, that's $20 for four nuts!) Both brands have lock washers built in.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    Nutted rear wheels can be torqued anywhere from 260 - 390 inch pounds / 21-32 foot pounds as per Park's tables on such things.
    You just resolved the issue for me. They were only torqued to about 150 inch pounds. It was probably only 75 before when she was riding! We'll see how 270 goes. WOW that felt weird turning it that hard!

    If 260 is the standard, I'm surprised 75 didn't just slip all the way across the dropout!

  8. #8
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    I do for my car. Not for my POS hybrid.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  9. #9
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Vertical dropouts don't allow for any lateral slip and although I don't know the torque equivalent for a QR they can apply a great deal of force on the axle.

  10. #10
    cab horn
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    This could be more than just a simple "not enough torque" situation. Other things that can lead to a axle walking forward under riding conditions

    1) Mangled dropouts
    2) Crappy axle nuts
    3) misaligned dropouts
    4) Not enough complete axle left over for said tracknut
    5) Chromed dropouts

    Post a picture of the dropout area, and one of the track nuts you are using. What kind of a tool are you using to tighten said nuts anyways?
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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