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Old 10-20-09, 08:33 AM   #1
4evrplan
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which torque wrench

What kind of torque wrench do I need to buy to tighten the allen head bolts on my stem, and how much can I reasonably expect to pay? Also, is there a generic torque spec on stems, or is it stem specific?
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Old 10-20-09, 08:54 AM   #2
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Well, you could buy almost any torque wrench, but you might want to buy some allen head sockets. I do a lot of automotive work, so I have a top of the line craftsman torque wrench. It snaps when the set torque is reached. There are other kinds (that have a pointer on the handle) that are fine if you can see what you are doing. Should be good for bike work.
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Old 10-20-09, 09:01 AM   #3
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This is probably the easiest and cheapest option:

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Old 10-20-09, 10:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evrplan View Post
Also, is there a generic torque spec on stems, or is it stem specific?
Torque is stem-specific. There's probably a general range into which many stems fall, but I have at least one stem with quite a high torque specification stamped on it.

What I don't like are stemps with no markings at all about torque. For those, I go by feel and by guess. But with a torque wrench, I can even then make sure that at least both bolts are tightened identically. Even without a torque spec, I believe there is value in having both binder bolts at equal tension.
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Old 10-20-09, 10:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwmcginn View Post
Well, you could buy almost any torque wrench, but you might want to buy some allen head sockets. I do a lot of automotive work, so I have a top of the line craftsman torque wrench. It snaps when the set torque is reached. There are other kinds (that have a pointer on the handle) that are fine if you can see what you are doing. Should be good for bike work.
No, you can't just buy any torque wrench. The torque spec for stems will be too low for most torque wrenches, especially those used for automotive work. My 1/2" drive wrench *starts* at 25 ft.*lbs (40 N*m). You'll want to find a torque wrench with a minimum torque setting of 2-4 N*m (25-40 IN*lbs.) to be able to use it on stems and other hardware on bikes which tend to have a torque spec of 5-7 N*m. I have a 3/8" drive that goes this low but most will be 1/4" drive. You will need hex bit sockets though to work with the wrench. Don't skimp on these.
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Old 10-20-09, 10:51 AM   #6
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torque driver

I like torque-drivers for lower torque value fasteners.
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Old 10-20-09, 10:51 AM   #7
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I'd use a 1/4" drive beam wrench. It needs to read low range torque accurately.
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Old 10-20-09, 12:31 PM   #8
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I really like that Ritchey tool, but I think I'll go with something more general purpose so I can use it for unrelated future projects. Perhaps a Craftsman beam type that measuers in-lbs. Thanks to all for the input.
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Old 10-20-09, 12:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
No, you can't just buy any torque wrench. The torque spec for stems will be too low for most torque wrenches, especially those used for automotive work. My 1/2" drive wrench *starts* at 25 ft.*lbs (40 N*m). You'll want to find a torque wrench with a minimum torque setting of 2-4 N*m (25-40 IN*lbs.) to be able to use it on stems and other hardware on bikes which tend to have a torque spec of 5-7 N*m. I have a 3/8" drive that goes this low but most will be 1/4" drive. You will need hex bit sockets though to work with the wrench. Don't skimp on these.
Excellent point, get a wrench that supports the level of torque you will want.
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Old 10-20-09, 01:43 PM   #10
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Other than the obvious part about buying a torque wrench which ranges around the torque you want to measure, don't buy it from a bike company. Mind you I'm sure the torque wrenches from Park work great, as do the one from the guy I met at Interbike a couple years ago. However, they cost at least twice as much as a comparable one from a place like Sears, and I'm not convinced that they are any better.
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Old 10-20-09, 03:33 PM   #11
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What I don't like are stemps with no markings at all about torque.
Because they will have provided this with the instructions or another document.
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Old 10-20-09, 06:47 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 4evrplan View Post
I really like that Ritchey tool, but I think I'll go with something more general purpose so I can use it for unrelated future projects. Perhaps a Craftsman beam type that measuers in-lbs. Thanks to all for the input.
Best way to go. It's great to have the right tool for a job.
The beam type are the most accurate.
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