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I'm thinking about finally dropping the dough on a torque wrench, now that Nashbar has this one for $40:



Since I've never used one before I have a couple of (dumb) questions.

How would I go about using this (or another model) for tightening something like a cassette? I don't think my Pedro's lockring tool is 3/8 inch drive.

Is this a better design than a beam type (Park)? The Park seams to have a better range (The MIT is 120-960 inch-pounds, Park is 0-600), but I don't really like the beam type.

Lastly, is it even worth getting a torque wrench?
 

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I've been thinking about getting a torque wrench myself. Most people seem to prefer the clicker type like the Nashbar over the beam type like the Park. A couple of points to consider:

1) Is it reversible (i.e. can it be set to read torque both clockwise and counterclockwise)? If it isn't, you can't use it to torque left-hand threads like bottom bracket cups, which for me is one of the main reasons I want to get one in the first place. Beam type wrenches are inherently reversible.

2) Can it be calibrated. There are many services out there that will calibrate/service torque wrenches (e.g. TeamTorque.com), and they will have a list of the makes/models they support. You should make sure you have some place to take the wrench to periodically have it calibrated (though at that price it's probably nearly as cheap to toss the wrench and buy a new one every few years). I suspect that these no-name wrenches are all made in the same few factories in China so most service companies probably can get parts for them. From what I've read the beam type wrenches don't need to be calibrated, but are harder to use which means you probably won't use it as accurately in the first place, so it's probably a wash.

As for tightening cassettes...I don't know which Pedro's tool you have, but my Park BBT-5 has hex flats on it that fit a 1" socket. So I would just attach a 1" socket to the torque wrench and then use that to drive the lock ring tool. 1" sockets are a bit hard to find with 3/8" drive but Sears carries them, or you can use a 3/8-1/2" adapter. Also, some people like to hold the lockring tool in place by screwing their QR skewer in over the tool. If you do this you will need to make sure your socket is tall enough to accomodate the skewer nut. Also, there is some debate over how to accurately measure torque on a lockring because the locking teeth mess up the reading.

For other parts of the bike, you may need to use crow's foot wrenches or other special tools so it may not be worth the effort/expense depending on the components in question.

As to whether it's worth it, it depends on your level of experience. If you've done a lot of wrenching you may have a good idea of what "tight enough" feels like on most parts of the bike. For a beginner it is probably worth $40 for peace of mind, IMHO, especially in areas that impact safety like brake pivot bolts, BB cups, crank fixing bolts, etc.

P.S. Anyone know if the Husky torque wrenches sold at Home Depot are reversible?
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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AppleCyclingComputer said:
I'm thinking about finally dropping the dough on a torque wrench, now that Nashbar has this one for $40:



Since I've never used one before I have a couple of (dumb) questions.

How would I go about using this (or another model) for tightening something like a cassette? I don't think my Pedro's lockring tool is 3/8 inch drive.

Is this a better design than a beam type (Park)? The Park seams to have a better range (The MIT is 120-960 inch-pounds, Park is 0-600), but I don't really like the beam type.

Lastly, is it even worth getting a torque wrench?
It's definitely worth getting a torque wrench. I find I get much better performance (and peace of mind) from using one. Proper torque will greatly decrease the possibility of fasteners backing out, and eliminate the possibility of damaging fasteners by over-cranking on them.

The beam-type wrenches are a little trickier to use (read the instructions, is all), but are generally more accurate (and as pointed out, don't need recalibrating). I have both, because the range on my beam wrench is lower than I need for things like cassette lockrings.

If you are really anal about torque (and I'm not) you'll need two different wrenches--a smaller one for small fasteners, and a larger one for larger fasteners. All torque wrenches work best toward the middle of their range. I do smaller fasteners by feel, as they're usually in less-critical areas.
 

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Spicy Dumpling
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Save a couple of bucks if you have a harbor freight store nearby. They have the same thing for $28.00. I bought one about a week ago. Even has the same box. I bet it is identical..
 

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n00bsauce
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I got this exact wrench from one of those travelling tool sales for $15.00. It works fine but it doesn't torque in reverse. I also got a cheap beam wrench from the same sale for the higher torque applications and the reverse thread situations. Together I didn't spend over $25. Since most torque settings are in a range I don't get too concerned about hitting the exact setting but I like the clicker style because you definitely know when you've reached the set point and it won't over torque. I think a torque wrench is an improvement over the old "tighten it as tight as you can get it" method, especially with more delicate carbon, magnesium and aluminum parts on modern bicycles.
 

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Yup! Same wrench.

VaughnA said:
Save a couple of bucks if you have a harbor freight store nearby. They have the same thing for $28.00. I bought one about a week ago. Even has the same box. I bet it is identical..
Also bought mine at Harbor Freight. Same price. Had to buy my 1/4" drive Metric hex wrenches on eBay, but they weren't expensive.
 

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Spicy Dumpling
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RickC5 said:
Also bought mine at Harbor Freight. Same price. Had to buy my 1/4" drive Metric hex wrenches on eBay, but they weren't expensive.
Harbor Freight had the full metric set of hexes for 11 bucks when I got mine. Needed a 1/4 to 3/8 adapter set (4 bucks).
 
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