15/08/2013 | 8 comments
For those of you who don’t know what a torque wrench is, or why do you need one, you know all those funny numbers that now seem to be printed next to almost every bolt on your bike, well they are the recommend torque settings (how tight you should do them up) for that particular bolt. If you’ve ever studied them closely you might have also noticed that they vary quite a lot, some things need doing up bang tight, whilst others just need nipping up. Obviously those descriptions are pretty vague, whereas setting a torque wrench to the required torque means that you’ll get it spot on every time.
Why should you care about getting this spot on? Well there are two outcomes if you don’t get it right; the first of which is that whatever you have tried to do up will come loose (which will probably ruin your ride, and possibly even that part of your bike), and the second is that by over tightening it you might cause permanent damage. This last scenario is especially likely if you’ve got any fancy carbon bits, but you can also easily cause damage to metal components by either crushing things or stripping threads.
This ‘Torkey’ torque wrench from ICE Products has been designed specifically for bikes in that the torque range covers the vast majority of bolts that you’ll find on a bike (2-24 Newton-Metre). If you go into a general tool shop and buy a standard torque wrench the chances are that you’ll find even the minimum setting is higher than what’s required on most of your bike. This one is easy to use too, just twist the handle until the red marker lines up with the desired setting, and then tighten away until you hear/feel the tool ‘click’. Then you’re good to go.
Apart from the actual wrench which has a socket set style ratchet mechanism, you also get a selection of ‘bits’ which are once again tailored for bike use. There are 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10mm allen keys, an extra long 5mm allen key, and T25 and T30 Torx keys. If the event that you happen to have something on your bike that requires a size other than those then the tool fitting is just the same as a small sized socket set so if you should be able to easily pick one up at your local hardware shop.
Finally, yes this tool isn’t exactly cheap, but it has the potential to save yourself a lot of money in the long run. Plus, I have come across some cheaper alternatives in the past but the accuracy of them often leaves a lot to be desired, and if they’re not accurate then there’s really not much point in using them. Only you can decide if this tool is an investment worth making, but the next time you strip the threads in something I bet you’ll be wishing you had bought one!