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Torque Wrench Question
#1
Hi guys,

Just a quick one for anybody in the know.

I bought a torque wrench today, one of the old style ones that aren't as compact as the newer ones.

Only thing is it's fairly obvious it's not going to fit any of the various hex keys, nuts or bolts on my bike.

So I may sound stupid (which I am) but are there a particular set of sockets you need to buy to go with it?

Muchas gracias senors

Si
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#2
What size is the torque wrench? If you purchased one that measures inch-pounds, it is most likely a 3/8" drive (going by Imperial measurements). I haven't seen any torque wrenches smaller than 3/8" drive. For the amount of torque that is required for bicycles, any 3/8" drive set would be fine. You may want to look on-line for places that you can get 3/8" hex head sockets in both imperial and metric. Make sure that you don't get the stubby type or else you may not have enough of a reach on the hex key to do what you need to do. Remember, the cheaper the price, the less they temper the steel for the hex key, therefore, the more torque applied to the key could round them out.

You say you got the old type. I assume that it does not have a dial to set the torque and has a plate with the torque readings just above the handle. If this is what you have (same as what I have), make sure that the handle swivels freely and is not tight as this is important in maintaing the correct amount of pressure to obtain the right torque.

If you are in the US and have a Sears near by, their Champion brand is not as expensive as their Craftsman brand and they are of pretty good quality.
HCFR Cycling Team
Ride Safe...Ride Hard...Ride Giant
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#3
(04-28-2011, 02:37 PM)JohnV Wrote:  What size is the torque wrench? If you purchased one that measures inch-pounds, it is most likely a 3/8" drive (going by Imperial measurements). I haven't seen any torque wrenches smaller than 3/8" drive. For the amount of torque that is required for bicycles, any 3/8" drive set would be fine. . .

John I agree with most of what you say, but most inch/pound torque wrenches have a 1/4" drive, for 1/4" drive sockets. See the link to Park's TW-1; http://www.parktool.com/product/torque-wrench-tw-1

You can also use an adaptor or reducer such as 3/8" to 1/4" or vice versa.

And the older style torque wrench is better in my opinion, because you don't have to continuously calibrate them, sending them into the manufacturer for calibration. The "split-bar" style can be calibrated by yourself by forcing the smaller bar to read zero with no tension. Although they aren't as accurate as the clicker style, they will be less hassle.

In fact, last winter I posted a set of deep-well 1/4" drive Craftsman sockets for sale here and they sold in about 3 or 4 weeks on Craigslist. The reason I posted here was BECAUSE of the normal 1/4" sized inch/pound torque wrenches for bicycles. The modern frames require those actually.

Dalton, I haven't had a chance to post everything on my tool site yet, http://junkyardtools.com but I can send you a set of sockets or reducer/adapter that you might need. Just PM me with your needs and budget, or email me from the website's email form. http://junkyardtools.com/contact This will give you a quicker response.

I can do PayPal for US shipments only. I do know I don't have any torque wrenches for sale yet though.

Thanks,
Steve
Junkyard Tools rescued from the junkyard!
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#4
Hey guys,

First and foremost, I'm from the UK, so I'd best update my profile to avoid any further kerfuffles eh!!haha

Secondly, I checked the wrench I bought and the only thing mentioned about size is that it has a 1/5" square drive head. So worringly for me that isn't the size either of you mentioned!! : (

Does that mean I've wasted my money then? (Cost me £12.99 or about $25-$30 in yankee money (no offense intended lads!).

Feel free to call me a limey over and over.

Si

PS: John, thanks for your advice, KC Steve, thanks for yours too and the kind offer.
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#5
Steve,

Quote:John I agree with most of what you say, but most inch/pound torque wrenches have a 1/4" drive, for 1/4" drive sockets. See the link to Park's TW-1

My bad, I didn't know that Park had a torque wrench in 1/4" drive. That is actually the first 1/4" drive torque wrench I have seen. Just looked at Sears on-line for in/lb torque wrenches and they did have around three different models, but most were 3/8" drive. The ones they had were the click type and very expensive. Mine is a beam type like the TW-2 in 3/8" drive and then I have another beam type that is 1/2" drive but it measures in ft/lb. I actually prefer them to the click type.

Si,

I don't know where you picked up a torque wrench with a 1/5" drive head. I have been using tools pretty much since a teenager and I have seen tool catalogs from all over and haven't heard of a 1/5" drive. But then again, it could be new because I have never seen a torque wrench in 1/4" drive, either Smile. I don't know where you would get sockets to fit that wrench, unless someone else on the forum knows. If you got it in GB, there should be places that have the sockets for it. All I know is that it is not a standard Imperial size tool.
HCFR Cycling Team
Ride Safe...Ride Hard...Ride Giant
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#6
(04-28-2011, 06:12 PM)JohnV Wrote:  Steve,

Quote:John I agree with most of what you say, but most inch/pound torque wrenches have a 1/4" drive, for 1/4" drive sockets. See the link to Park's TW-1

My bad, I didn't know that Park had a torque wrench in 1/4" drive. That is actually the first 1/4" drive torque wrench I have seen. Just looked at Sears on-line for in/lb torque wrenches and they did have around three different models, but most were 3/8" drive. The ones they had were the click type and very expensive. Mine is a beam type like the TW-2 in 3/8" drive and then I have another beam type that is 1/2" drive but it measures in ft/lb. I actually prefer them to the click type.

Si,

I don't know where you picked up a torque wrench with a 1/5" drive head. I have been using tools pretty much since a teenager and I have seen tool catalogs from all over and haven't heard of a 1/5" drive. But then again, it could be new because I have never seen a torque wrench in 1/4" drive, either Smile. I don't know where you would get sockets to fit that wrench, unless someone else on the forum knows. If you got it in GB, there should be places that have the sockets for it. All I know is that it is not a standard Imperial size tool.

Hi John,

Cripes! It doesn't fill me with confidence if someone with what sounds like your experience tells me that! I'll just have to try to find the sockets for it then, or else it looks like it's going back.

Cheers very kindly governor!

Si
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#7
Hi guys,

I'm afraid I've been something of a royal twit.

My new torque wrench actually has a 1/2" drive head. Which seems to be quite common after having looked around.

So it should now not be a problem to obtain all the relevant socket bits!

Thanks for all your input & apologies for messing about.

Si
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#8
No problem. I figured it had to be something like that, misinterpreted size. I've never heard of any odd sizes like that except for some VERY RARE old tools made 70 years ago, and that was a 7/16" drive I believe.

Even so, I think 1/2" drive is overkill for bicycles. That size is generally reserved for automotive work and high torque measurements way beyond the scope of a bicycle's requirements. I would suggest trading it in for a smaller one because its measurement ranges are likely going to be too high to be accurate for the ranges you are working with. In other words, you will need to be measuring in the range nearer to the middle of that torque wrench range, but that one you have will likely be reading too low to be very accurate. That's just a guess without knowing what your wrench range states. However, if I'm wrong then it would be a good idea to get a reducer adapter to use sockets that are 3/8" or 1/4" drive anyway. You certainly don't need 1/2" drive sockets for sure. And the smaller ones are less expensive too!

If you trade it in, try and find a torque wrench with a range of 0 to 250 or so inch/pounds if possible.

Cheers, and happy marriage ceremony. That wedding is on all my TV channels here. The women love it. Smile

I've always thought we are the same people separated by a common language. Smile

Steve
Junkyard Tools rescued from the junkyard!
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#9
(04-29-2011, 11:06 AM)KC-Steve Wrote:  No problem. I figured it had to be something like that, misinterpreted size. I've never heard of any odd sizes like that except for some VERY RARE old tools made 70 years ago, and that was a 7/16" drive I believe.

Even so, I think 1/2" drive is overkill for bicycles. That size is generally reserved for automotive work and high torque measurements way beyond the scope of a bicycle's requirements. I would suggest trading it in for a smaller one because its measurement ranges are likely going to be too high to be accurate for the ranges you are working with. In other words, you will need to be measuring in the range nearer to the middle of that torque wrench range, but that one you have will likely be reading too low to be very accurate. That's just a guess without knowing what your wrench range states. However, if I'm wrong then it would be a good idea to get a reducer adapter to use sockets that are 3/8" or 1/4" drive anyway. You certainly don't need 1/2" drive sockets for sure. And the smaller ones are less expensive too!

If you trade it in, try and find a torque wrench with a range of 0 to 250 or so inch/pounds if possible.

Cheers, and happy marriage ceremony. That wedding is on all my TV channels here. The women love it. Smile

I've always thought we are the same people separated by a common language. Smile

Steve

Hiya mate,

Ok, I'll try to find an adapter for it because you seem to know what you're on about.

I read on a Jim Langley forum (link provided on this website) that a torque wrench in general is not essential. He says it's much better to learn the invaluable skill of being able to tell yourself when something's tight enough!

Cheers

Si
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#10
Quote:I read on a Jim Langley forum (link provided on this website) that a torque wrench in general is not essential. He says it's much better to learn the invaluable skill of being able to tell yourself when something's tight enough!

Si,

That may be a true statement, but I would be concerned with bikes still under manufacturer's warranties. If you or a LBS do the work and something fails, not having the item down to manufacturer's recommended torque levels is a good way for them to drop the warranty. Not to say that all manufacturer's will do this, but why take the chance. After warranty, its up to you.
HCFR Cycling Team
Ride Safe...Ride Hard...Ride Giant
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