General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Torque Allen Wrench? Rss Feed  
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2010-02-10 3:58 PM

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Central Connecticut
Subject: Torque Allen Wrench?
Hi All,

I'm finishing my bike-build. Since my frame is carbon, the mfg'r strongly suggests a specific torque pound per-inch on some of the allen-bolts.

I've been to Home Depot, Tools Plus and Sears....nothing. I was hoping to find a cheap'o lightweight torque-wrench and then buy an allen-wrench socket set. No luck!

Any suggestions? Does anyone know of a link to an inexpensive product?

Thanks in advance eveyone!



2010-02-10 4:06 PM
in reply to: #2666528

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Sensei
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Subject: RE: Torque Allen Wrench?

A torgue wrench is a pretty precise tool.  So I'm not sure what you budget is, but there may be no such thing as a "Cheap-o" torque wrench.

I got one from sears, but it's more for automotive use.  It does handle the bike as well, by may not be as precise at the low numbers a bike needs.

I have seen once specifically for bikes at my LBS, and I have seen them HERE.

2010-02-10 4:08 PM
in reply to: #2666528

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Austin, TX
Subject: RE: Torque Allen Wrench?
I bought one from ProBikeKit a while back, and it's worked great on my carbon bike.  It's a ratchet style, which was something I was more comfortable with.  I haven't seen it available for a while though.  There are other options:

Nashbar - $59.99 (currently out of stock)

Performance Bike - $79.99

Hope this helps.

-Joel
2010-02-10 6:03 PM
in reply to: #2666528

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Fond du Lac
Subject: RE: Torque Allen Wrench?
enduropro - 2010-02-10 3:58 PM Hi All, I'm finishing my bike-build. Since my frame is carbon, the mfg'r strongly suggests a specific torque pound per-inch on some of the allen-bolts. I've been to Home Depot, Tools Plus and Sears....nothing. I was hoping to find a cheap'o lightweight torque-wrench and then buy an allen-wrench socket set. No luck! Any suggestions? Does anyone know of a link to an inexpensive product? Thanks in advance eveyone!


as a mechanic that has more invested in my tool box & tools than most people have in their cars, when it comes to torq wrenches you get what you pay for!! keep that in mind, some auto stores (autozone,napa,carquest,advance auto,etc... )have a tool rental program might be something to look into.
2010-02-10 6:07 PM
in reply to: #2666528

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Master
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Central Indiana
Subject: RE: Torque Allen Wrench?
Park Tools TW-1.  Simple beam-style torque wrench that's great for fastening carbon stuff on bikes & not too expensive.  Well worth the investment.
2010-02-10 7:00 PM
in reply to: #2666528

Master
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portland, or
Subject: RE: Torque Allen Wrench?
As someone else on the thread posted, you get what you pay for when it comes to torque wrenches. A dial indicator torque wrench, or for that matter any torque wrench for under $100, is a piece of crap. You'll be hard pressed to find a good one for under $200.

Syntace makes a great one for ~$250. Ritchey has a really nice portable unit for ~$300.

When you're talking about tightening something at 5nm, that will break at 7nm, do you really want to trust it to a POS torque wrench?

scott


2010-02-11 2:50 AM
in reply to: #2666528

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Pro
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Greater Pittsburgh
Subject: RE: Torque Allen Wrench?
Can only reiterate what has been said, you get what you pay for... keep in mind that most cheap (or less expensive as it goes with torque wrenches) are not very accurate and have tolerances of +/-10%, which is way too much for what we need.

Personally, I use Syntace torque wrench. Yes, it's expensive, but it works really well and have a very tight tolerance span, i.e. it's specifically designed to be used on bikes.

A good torque wrench is a lifetime investment, you will only need one and looking at the cost of the stuff most of us add to our bikes, a very cheap investment knowing that we won't break something very expensive....
2010-02-11 6:13 AM
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Veteran
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Virginia Beach
Subject: RE: Torque Allen Wrench?
I agree that you get what you pay for.Having said that, here a link to a $30 torque wrench with a +/- 4% accuracy:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=2696

Good Luck




Edited by Bone Head 2010-02-11 6:25 AM
2010-02-11 7:23 AM
in reply to: #2667305

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Subject: RE: Torque Allen Wrench?

On a similar line:

A former boss/mechanic that I used to work for told me never, ever to loosen bolts, etc. w/ a torque wrench...only use them to tighten.  Loosening things can screw up the calibration.

I'm not sure if this is necessary, but I've been following this advice for >25 yrs.

2010-02-11 7:39 AM
in reply to: #2666528

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Master
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Southwest Iowa
Subject: RE: Torque Allen Wrench?
Do you have any friends that are motorcycle mechanics?  I have a ft. lb. torque wrench and an inch lb. torque wrench, because when I started doing more work on motorcycles in my garage, I noticed that I need inch lb. torque wrench.  I own a $200.00+ dollar Snap-On ft. lb. torque wrench that I bought in the 80's and have had it calibrated without any issues since I have owned it.  I then bought a Craftsman brand inch lb. for about $70.00 and it has never been a problem either but I have only had it for about 4 years.

I would never rent a torque wrench from any of the parts stores.  I have seen what people do to those tools and I would never trust the calibration.
2010-02-11 8:04 AM
in reply to: #2667399

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Fond du Lac
Subject: RE: Torque Allen Wrench?
I would never rent a torque wrench from any of the parts stores.  I have seen what people do to those tools and I would never trust the calibration.


Very vvalid point that i would have to agree with..... I'll pull my head out of my a$$ now and leave that though in it lol


2010-02-11 10:12 AM
in reply to: #2666528

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Master
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Bellevue, WA
Subject: RE: Torque Allen Wrench?
As has been said, there is no such thing as a cheap, accurate torque wrench.

I use a Park TW-5 for the small bolts on my bike like the dreaded Cervelo P3C seatpost bolts.

http://www.parktool.com/products/detail.asp?cat=13&item=TW-5 $90 on Amazon

Note that torque wrenches are frequently quite inaccurate at the low end of their advertised torque range especially if it's a wide range. So if you need to tighten something to 4 newton-meters (like the seatpost bolts), it's a bad idea to use a torque wrench with an advertised 4-50 nm range. That's why I purchased the TW-5. It's a 3 to 15 nm range.

I really wanted the Spin Doctor torque wrench set someone linked to earlier. Comes with bits, has a 1-24 nm range, etc. Perfect. But last fall when I was shopping absolutely nobody had it in stock or could say when it would ship to me if I bought it.

Edited by brucemorgan 2010-02-11 10:14 AM
2010-02-11 10:58 AM
in reply to: #2666528

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Expert
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Culpeper, VA
Subject: RE: Torque Allen Wrench?
Wal-Mart sells a decently priced set of allen wrench sockets.  They also sell the beam type of torque wrenches sometimes for about what Harbor Freight sells theirs for.  Otherwise I'm agreeing with everyone else a good torque wrench costs money... Advance Auto and other auto parts store have tool lending programs that might be the best way to go $ wise.  
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