The Garage Files
For the advanced mechanic:
Bicycles are becoming ever more complex and precise. The
lightweight and high-performance parts on a high-end bicycle
nearly require that an advanced home mechanic have a torque
wrench to prevent damage from over-tightening delicate parts.
Keep your eyes peeled on your components. Most manufacturers have made it easy to spot torque ratings printed right
in plain sight. For example, this stem’s faceplate requires 5–6
Newton meters of torque on the faceplate bolts.
Every torque wrench is different, but our basic Birzman torque
wrench uses a rotating handle to adjust the torque settings.
Simply turn the handle clockwise until the top of the handle
lines up with the desired torque. In this case, right between 5
and 6 Nm.
Now, use the wrench to tighten the bolts evenly. When you
reach the proper torque, you will hear and feel a click, and you
can remove the wrench. There’s no need to click the wrench
more than once here. Once you hear the click, you’re done.
A torque wrench is like the Yoda of your tool bench. Treat it
well. To keep the wrench accurate, never use it for loosening
bolts, don’t drop it, and always store it at the zero-torque setting. For good measure, keep it in a place where it won’t get
knocked around with the rest of your hand tools too. ;