View Full Version : Is there a shop in town that uses a torque wrench?

09-08-2006, 08:15 PM
For some reason, bike shop mechanics perpetuate an ignorant arrogance by not having/using a torque wrench to complete their jobs. They think they have the "feel." If you've ever used a torque wrench, even once, you know there is no "feel."

I moved here from the Phoenix area in April. I knew exactly one mechanic who used a torque wrench. He was an older guy, Ray, who was starting a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) career running his new bike shop after going to the bike mechanic school in Ashland. He was willing to spend extra time to get your bike pristine. He was the only one. Anywhere else in town I had work done, I always had to re-check things myself. Does anyone know of Ray's counter-part in the Portland-area?

My wife and I recently bought a bike at the Bike N' Hike on Grand for her to ride around town and to work and back. On her second ride, she was able to rotate the handlebars within the stem. Nice. The bolts were baby-finger tight. What if she had bought a road-racing type bike and her 2nd ride included a descent down Germantown or Newberry? At death do us part. I would think that *top 100 bicycle retailer* means "willing to make $80 capital investment on torque wrench." I suppose I'm wrong. I've had some work done at Veloshop and have been happy with their responsiveness, attention to detail, and overall quality of work. I can't say that I have or haven't seen a torque wrench there; I didn't notice one, but I didn't look for one either. In an ideal world, I wouldn't have to. Why is this so common?

09-17-2006, 08:30 AM
Yesterday I saw Pete, at The Bike Gallery (Hollywood) use a torque wrench, so it looks like at least some mechanics are.

09-17-2006, 12:18 PM
Sorry to hear about your wifes bike, maybe it was assembled outta the box by the shop's intern.
I think bike shops should tell everyone as a standard rule to check the tightness of critical bolts on a regular basis and on a new bike outta the box, before the second ride.
I have had a few bikes where after a good 30mile first ride, bolts would become looser and had to retighten, yeah this could have been a big deal if I did not have this knowledge and to your point could cause death.

hum personally I think there is very little need for a torque wrench, unless it's a very specific bottom bracket install or another outlier.

TCR Punk
09-17-2006, 01:33 PM
I just moved here to Portland, from Bend Oregon. i don't know much about the shops here, but I'd take the bike straight back to the shop. I'm sure they would understand. I'm supprised at that. I know in Bend, when you purchase a bike, the shops giving free adustments, and yearly tune-ups and service for the life of the bike. Plus the assembly, and checks of the bikes are documented on your reciept, the bike is checked over before you ride it with three documented sets of eyes. So when you bring the bike in for repair, or adjustments, the shop knows exactly who assembled the bike, and has be servicing it.

09-20-2006, 01:57 PM
It seems to me your biggest problem was purchasing from a mass merchant location. More likely then not, no competent wrench ever touched your wifes bike.

I own a torque wrench. The vast majority of parts do not have torque specs provided. When they do you get fun info in the paperwork with some parts detailing proper torque.

Tighten to however many neuton meters. If part shifts or moves apply more torque until part is tight. So the manufacturer provides a setting, then tells you to adjust as needed.

Sounds a lot like recommending "feel" to me....

09-22-2006, 01:31 PM
At the mention of fasteners and torque wrenches, I remembered a great article I'd read on the Park Tool website regarding threaded fasteners. It's basically a physics problem to determine the right torque. Also the article covers using thread locking compunds to keep parts appropriately snug.

Basic Thread Concepts (http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=89)
Torque Specifications (http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=54)

This site has a wealth of free and very detailed information. Really worth printing a copy and keeping around.

09-26-2006, 09:31 PM
Try Sellwood Cyclery. Erik and Steve know what they're doing and know when torque wrenches are necessary.