At BikeRadar Live I was introduced to a new bicycle specific tool. One that is becoming increasingly essential in every tool kit – and not just in the professional ‘spanner’s arsenal: the Torque Wrench.
Torque wrenches are generally categorised by three elements; range, price and quality. It is unusual to find a single wrench at a reasonable price at an acceptable quality. New to the market is the Sport Torque from MHH Engineering, manufacturers of the well-known Torqueleader branded tools. The firm has designed and manufactured torque wrenches for over 50 years from its site in Guildford, Surrey. MMH offers a wealth of specialist and bespoke products, including Insulated wrenches, custom liveried products and Electronic Torque wrenches and sensors, with devices up to 2,000 nm.
MHH Engineering’s traditional markets are Automotive, Aerospace and Electronics, all of which have suffered over the last few quarters due to the global economic slowdown. Cycling, however, has not suffered to the same extent and MMH has decided to diversify into an expanding market by creating a superb, simple and quality tool in the Sport Torq.
What sets the Sport Torq apart from other torque wrenches in cycling? Firstly it is designed and manufactured by a renowned world leader in Torque Wrenches, who offer a lifetime guarantee on the product. It also offers a simple and reliable method of torque setting, and simplicity in design that belies its prowess as a valuable workshop tool.
Following years of engineering experience, I’ve found that the main elements of a torque wrench that fail is the ratchet switch (it becomes loose or stops indexing) and the ‘click’. Thankfully this wrench has neither, instead opting for a fixed ratchet drive with two opposing drive bars and a 20 degree ‘break type’ indicator, far more positive in action. The diminutive size packs a bike friendly torque range between three and 15 nm (30 – 130 lbf.in.), which will satisfy the workshop and home mechanic needs of almost every component on a bike.
Why have a torque wrench at all? You don’t need one, but you’ll increasingly find that carbon frames, full suspension pivots and cockpit controls have marked maximum and recommended tightening figures. In your workshop, you should be adhering to these figures; they are there to ensure correct tightness, prevent damage to components and to ensure compliance with manufacturers standards. If you don’t use a Torque Wrench, how can you prove due diligence in servicing bikes with torque settings, and how can you give the customer receiving a PDI on a complicated suspension setup confidence that you know what you are doing?
This product transfers to the sales floor too. Home mechanics need a torque wrench to prevent damage from over torqued bolts, and what works in your workshop can be sold to customers. Sport Torque also have a presence at races (at Mountain Mayhem, Sleepless in the Saddle and BikeRadar Live to name a few) and helping publicised the product and has driven early sales.
Every cycle workshop should have a torque wrench, but should also know how to use it. A torque wrench is not just a ratcheting bit driver and should not be abused as such, nor is it a small hammer. You should also note that as a precision item and as with all Torque Wrenches it should be recalibrated once per year.
Sport Torq is available in four different colours, Black, Blue, Red and Purple and as a Kit with high quality bits or standalone, in a neoprene zipped cover. Navigate over to www.sport-torque.com for more details.