Torque Wrenches



Overtightening or under tightening certain bolts on your bike can have bad, expensive, and possibly dangerous results. Overtightening a bolt can put too much stress on the bolt causing it to snap during use. Usually a bolt will snap while you are tightening it if it’s torqued too far, but that isn’t always the case. Under tightening bolts can also have very negative affects while riding. You don’t want a loose part to disconnect from your bike for obvious reasons, and certain parts such as handlebars or stems can spin and cause a crash if they are loose. If you are uncertain how tight or loose to leave a bolt with your hand, torque wrenches have come to save the day.

Two of the most important areas of your bike to check torque are the frame suspension bolts and any bolts interacting with carbon components. Suspension linkage bolts on a carbon frame are especially important to torque correctly. Loose suspension bolts are important to keep tight because when loose, they can damage both the frame material and bearings. Both can be expensive to replace. Most frames have torque specs for the bolts listed on the frame/bolts or listed on their website. It is important to torque aluminum frame bolts, but it is extremely important to torque carbon frame bolts. Over tightening carbon linkage bolts can lead to a crack in the carbon, making the frame unsafe to ride. A carbon frame or frame part can be very expensive to replace as well.

If you have a carbon stem, handlebars, seat post, or cranks, it is important to properly torque any bolts that interact with the carbon component. Just like a carbon frame, overtightening a carbon component can lead to a crack making it unsafe to ride. If you are tightening a carbon component and hear a crack sound at all, take the component off and closely examine it. Chances are it is damaged and shouldn’t be used.

Some torque wrenches are set to a specific torque setting while others allow you to change the torque setting. Single setting tools usually have a low torque setting like 4 or 5 N.m. and are commonly used with carbon components. Frame bolts regardless of carbon or aluminum usually have much higher torque ratings between 10 and 20 N.m. Most torque wrenches can only be used to tighten bolts with a standard thread orientation. This means the wrench cannot be used to tighten bolts that have a reverse thread. Reverse thread suspension bolts do occur on some frames but are rare.

If you have any questions about torque wrenches, hop on a call or a chat with one of our expert Gear Advisors today at 951-234-7554. They are always happy to help you with any questions you may have.