Okay, I've just got to ask this one. Why do so many shops have absolutely crappy Park torque wrenches, both the cheap beam type and the micrometer 'click' type?
In any other hobby, be it motorcycles, aviation, etc. the guys owning the equipment are very knowledgeable about how critical torque specs are on soft alloy components, and people consider a quality torque wrench absolutely critical to working on their own stuff.
Now with a shop, a professional repair facility, how does it make sense to have low quality torque wrenches? I don't care which Park torque wrench they might have, or even a Pedros, but why even bother going with such low end tools?
A quality Torque wrench is a precision tool. The funny thing is that the original patented torque wrenches of around 1938, Dial type, are probably all more accurate than anything hanging in just about any bike shop in the country in 2009.
The funny thing is that you can pick up a Snap-On dial type torque wrench, which is actually made by Precision Instruments, off eBay for less than you can buy one of these inaccurate crappy Park or Pedros wrenches. Only about $150 you can get a 0-600 in/lb or 0-150 in/lb dial type Precision Instruments torque wrench from Sears.com. These are the people that invented the torque wrench and held the original patent, they've made every torque wrench for Snap-On 'till the nineties, and they are one of the vendors for Snap-On, Cromwell, MAC, MATCO, to this day. Essentially they are the standard. There are good wrenches from Proto, S&K, and others, but Precision Instruments is the real deal. 2% accuracy. Try that with a Pedros or a Park.
The Precision Instruments split beam torque wrenches are considered the 'best' for those that want a CLICK style wrench by guys work on their own Porsches, Ferraris, and high end motorcycles. Unlike a micrometer torque wrench, it won't go out of calibration if you don't immediately return it to its lowest setting after every use (a complete pain), and yes this means that almost every Park micrometer torque wrench in the land is completely out of calibration because the wrenches using 'em haven't a clue about how to use or handle a torque wrench properly.
Which begs the question, why is it that guys that own a Porshe that's only worth a couple thousand dollars know enough to use good tools, and they wouldn't dream of going to a shop that had crappy precision tools, but guys that have high zoot bicycles think if it says Park its good?
Why is that?
You don't need a bicycle specific torque wrench, you need a torque wrench that actually works and is accurate. That ain't Pedros or Park, so why does the cycling crowd pay good money for these low end inaccurate torque wrenches?
Last question (for those working in shop), since you'll need to use the torque wrench everyday. How often does your shop have the Park or Pedros torque wrench calibrated? My guess is never...
Because if they did, they'd have the paperwork that would prompt them to buy a torque wrench that wasn't a Park or a Pedros.
They say in the other hobbies when you need a precision tool get a Precision Tool, but why in cycling do you never see the Snap-On, Mac, Proto, S&K, CDI, and the Precision Tool torque wrenches but the cheap Park and Pedros crap?
I don't know why I get so frustrated with how incompetent most local bike shops are, but it just gets me going.
Something to think about the next time you pay the ridiculous shop rates at your LBS, which by the way are typically higher than what you'd pay a Porsche, Ducatti, or Volvo mechanic. Someone who actually has certified technical training, not someone who just 'learned in the shop'.