Torque Wrenches - Does anyone use them?

I put on a new stem and bars over the weekend and of course the parts and manuals gave torque specs for the bolts. I just tighten by feel and I’ve had adjustments done at shops where the employees do the same. That got me to wondering if I should buy a torque wrench which led me to wonder if anyone outside of professional mechanics actually use them. so… does anyone?

I use a torque wrench 100% of the time when working on my bikes. There are a lot of fasteners I’d get totally wrong without one. No big deal for some things, but others are more important. I like the confidence of knowing things are done right.

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I do.

I do most things by feel. But I without question always use a torque key for tightening stem face plate bolts. I had a few crack on me years ago and ever since I always torque the face plate. I just use one of the preset ones for bars and seat posts. If you overtighten a seat post clamp you can run into frame issues but it can also prevent the dropper post from working properly.
I have click style torque wrenches that I use for suspension work.

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I have one specific to stem bolts. Other than that, no. But if I had an adjustable one I would definitely be using it for maintenance, if I did maintenance.

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I do - I have had torque wrenches for a long time due to other work I do so it was an easy step to use them on my bikes. I agree that while some stuff is not terribly important there are others where it is. And one stripped hole in your frame or another expensive part is really painful.

I can tell that once I started using one, specifically with my pivot bolts, I have had far less issues with premature bearing use.

I use one for everything. Especially if there is carbon involved.

Most bikes I’ve seen lately have the torque values listed right on the hardware.

I use one for stem bolts, brake levers on a carbon bar and all suspension pivots. I don’t use one for crank bolts, axles, cassette lock rings or anything that requires super high torque, cause my wrench doesn’t go that high. Last year @Ghost did a group order on some very good torque wrench kits from CRC and I replaced the shitty Princess Auto one I had with it.

Thanks everyone. Seems fairly conclusive that I should get myself a torque wrench. I’m getting too old to throw caution to the wind and ride a bike with incorrectly installed parts.
The hunt is on for a good 1/4" torque wrench! I have a 1/2" drive one that I bought to change car tires and I use for BB’s (cause I really don’t want to f-up my frame) but that won’t work for small bolts.

It depends on the material/component you are torquing. Working on carbon, 100% you should use a torque wrench. Pivot joints, cranks, etc. I would use a torque wrench.

You can get away with aluminum on aluminum torquing for seat tightening and some handlebar work.

I picked up this set last year. Good quality and works as it should.

For the price it seems to be a pretty good value, especially if you need the bits too (the T50 bit was the only one I had to buy separately).

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08MJ4ZZFY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_3WV6FTVBZG54CPYDBCDJ?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

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I love this trend!

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If you watch the Canadian Tire flier they put the 1/4in mastercraft one on sale for 50% off every so often.

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That’s how I got my 1/2" drive torque wrench.
I’m looking at something smaller too since the one I have is 2 feet long and probably not easy to work with for a smaller bolts.
I’ll probably go with the one @rolls recommended or this one: https://www.amazon.ca/LEXIVON-Torque-Wrench-2-26-22-6-LX-181/dp/B07M68FY3X/ref=sr_1_5?crid=BPROGL4CKZB&keywords=LEXIVON+Pound+Torque+Wrench&qid=1649687150&sprefix=lexivon+pound+torque+wrench%2Caps%2C70&sr=8-5

I don’t, but 18 years in automotive, I’m quite good at knowing my own torque values. So its experience. I would speculate that most people over tighten their hardware, so yes a torque wrench can be a good idea to save from stripping things.

I picked one up specifically for tightening pivots… they tend to loosen up every 6 weeks or so of regular ridint and the frame starts creakijg. Havent bothered using for cockpit set up

Theres several on amazon which are very affordable

Not sure if it would go against the bike manufacturers recommendation but blue threadlocker may help keep them from backing off. This will probably also change the torque value.

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The technical manual for my 2016 Instinct definitely recommended using thread locker, and even specified which type to use. I had my bearings and bushings serviced / replaced when I got the new front triangle installed, but the main pivot bolt was apparently greased instead of using thread locker, so it keeps backing out. I’ve been re-torquing after every ride, but I need to clean that grease out so it has a nice secure engagement.

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The bike tool companies have come out with some interesting low-torque tools lately, which might fit the bill. Some are even reasonably priced, for a good tool. Here are examples, but there are others:

NANO TORQBOX X | Topeak
TORQ STICK 4-20 Nm | Topeak

I have good 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 torque wrenches (and use the smaller ones all the time for bike work), but these more portable torque tools are still enticing to me for my “on the road” tool roll. I suspect they’d be just fine for most bike wrenching at home too, except for people who are fixing bikes all the time in which case a heavier more durable tool makes sense.