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Thru Axle Tightness

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Thru Axle Tightness

Old 07-07-20, 09:32 PM
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RowdyTI
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Thru Axle Tightness

Mine says max tension 11 nm. How tight should this feel when I am using my pocket tool? Right now I just go until it feels snug. Is there a particular torque wrench you recommend for this job so I can be more confident I am getting the torque just right?
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Old 07-08-20, 02:41 AM
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bikeme
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Snug is subjective. I have a Pedro's 2-15 nM mini torque wrench (my axles are labeled 10-12 nM) That taught me so I could learn by feel. Now I just use a long allen key. BTW, BikeTiresDirect.com sells the plain wrap version of the same Pedro's for a lot less and you also get a set of allen bits.
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Old 07-08-20, 05:09 AM
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tomtomtom123
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I have a Feedback Sports Range torque wrench that goes from 2-10Nm. It's fairly compact and usable. 10Nm is kind of difficult with the short length of the wrench but doable. It does teaches you a little bit about 'feel' but it's going to feel different every time without a torque wrench.

The Feedback wrench is expensive at around $60-70, and is based on a cheaper Presta Cycle version for around $40. They're a beam design so it should be fairly consistent. The difference is that the Feedback uses something like a dial wheel on the readout scale while the Presta Cycle just has a simple line and marker on the beam. The dial has the marks spaced out much further apart so that it's easier to read and more sensitive, however there is some friction on the dial at neutral position, so setting the zero point is a little difficult to get precise. I found that it would be off by around 0.5 Nm, so when you're either pressing or releasing the beam, you could be off by either -0.5Nm or +0.5Nm depending on whether you're pressing or releasing. I tested the scale by loading stuff onto the end of the wrench and found the inaccuracy to increase from +/-0.5Nm at 5Nm to around -0.6 to -0.8Nm at 10Nm. But I think it's ok and much more convenient to carry around instead of having a big and heavy torque wrench.

I haven't used the Presta Cycle version, but the lines drawn on the scale is very close together so I'd guess it's more difficult to read. But they're drawn on both sides of the wrench so that you can still see it when you're using it upside down.

The nice thing about both is that you can use the wrench in either direction and it has a ratchet.

I had a look at the newer Topeak torque wrench adapter thingy (torqbit) that goes from 2-6Nm and it was huge and bulky, and wouldn't fit in tight spaces. I can't remember but I think the instructions said that it can only be used in clockwise direction, so if you're unscrewing, you'd have to remove the bit. I did not look at the fixed, 4, 5, 6 Nm version. But there is a generic copy version from X-tools with the fixed 4, 5, 6 Nm bits with a copy of the Topeak Rocket Ratchet. The Rocket Ratchet is incredibly small and lightweight. I have this too, so that I have 2 ratchet wrenches when I have to use one on each side of a fastener.

Last edited by tomtomtom123; 07-08-20 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 07-08-20, 05:42 AM
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Think of that as about twice what you would use for stem bolts and similar. You probably can't over do it with a multi tool. Of course a torque wrench would be ideal but you won't have one out on the road to change a flat. I'm a fan of thru axles but I know two guys who've had them come loose. Acknowledged user error but still scary. Snug it down good and tight.
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Old 07-08-20, 06:30 AM
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RowdyTI
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Remember it says 11 nm is the maximum. I get the feeling most people do theirs up too tight. I notice the wheel runs slightly less free and easy when it's done up too tight. Just snug should be enough. The screws shouldn't be loosening during riding. My front one says 8 to 10. I'm assuming that's another way of saying 11 nm max. I will put my tool in there once a week just to be sure it's still snug, but I don't expect it to be a problem.

Edit: when I say snug, I mean just as soon as I feel the bolt getting tight and no movement in any of the stationary parts along the axle. I really think this is ideal versus the typical inclination to make things very tight for fear of the wheel falling out.
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Old 07-08-20, 06:40 AM
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shelbyfv
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Originally Posted by RowdyTI View Post
Remember it says 11 nm is the maximum. I get the feeling most people do theirs up too tight. I notice the wheel runs slightly less free and easy when it's done up too tight. Just snug should be enough. The screws shouldn't be loosening during riding. My front one says 8 to 10. I'm assuming that's another way of saying 11 nm max. I will put my tool in there once a week just to be sure it's still snug, but I don't expect it to be a problem.

Edit: when I say snug, I mean just as soon as I feel the bolt getting tight and no movement in any of the stationary parts along the axle. I really think this is ideal versus the typical inclination to make things very tight for fear of the wheel falling out.
Sorry, I thought you were asking a question Your bike, but "just snug" sounds pretty subjective.
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