By Jim Langley

Last week, I shared a warning about the dangers of incorrect torque wrench use from Park Tools' John Krawczyk and Calvin Jones. If you work on your bike and use torque wrenches, you don’t want to miss it, so click here to read that first.

Now that we know how to correctly use a torque wrench, this week I’m looking at a full range of Park’s Torque tools. To determine which you need requires knowing what bicycle maintenance and repairs you perform. With that knowledge, choose the torque wrench(es) that provides the range of torque settings and also choose the specific torque sockets and drivers you need.

Tip: Click to find Park’s chart of bicycle torque specifications.

For the torque tools below, you’ll find the torque settings range in the features. And I explain how they’re designed to be used. Unlike many torque limiting tools on the market, which have fast-wearing plastic internals that can cause inaccurate tightening over time, Park’s are fully made in St. Paul, Minnesota, with durable metal internals. And before I talk about the tools individually, here's a group photo of the range of Park's torque tools.

ParkTorquetools.WEB

ATD-1 Adjustable Torque Driver (about $70)

This is Park’s T-handled adjustable pre-set torque wrench. Park says it’s so popular that they have trouble making them fast enough to keep them in stock.

No wonder, because this all-in-one lets you easily choose from five torque settings used for frequent tasks, such as seatpost, handlebar and stem tightening, plus brake and derailleur cable anchor bolt torquing. A really nice bonus is that included inside one end of the handle are 3, 4, 5mm bits and a T25 bit so you always have what you need at hand.

If you mainly do minor repairs and adjustments, this may be the only torque wrench you need.

Features:

  • Adjustable to 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5 or 6 Newton meter (Nm)
  • 1/4-inch hex drive
  • Includes 3, 4, 5mm and T25 bits stored in the handle
  • Limits torque applied to fasteners while rotating clockwise (not counterclockwise)
  • All metal internal construction for long life

TW-5.2 Ratcheting Click-Type Torque Wrench (about $116 )

Park’s 5.2 Torque Wrench handles all the tasks their ATD-1 does, plus tightening requirements of up to 14 Nm, which allows bolt-on wheel tightening and mounting bolts like stem binders, brake and derailleur attaching bolts, as well as some crank bolts.

To use a click-type tool, you have to set the torque. This is done by pushing in and turning the knob on the end of the handle clockwise while watching the gauge built into the handle until it shows the correct torque setting for what you’re working on.

And after use, it’s important to unscrew the knob to zero out the tool. Because if it’s left set to a certain torque it can change the tool’s accuracy.

This sturdy steel wrench weighs 185 grams and has a hard plastic handle for a sure grip. A thumb lever on the head allows setting tightening or loosening, and there’s a push-button for holding onto and releasing sockets and drivers. The 1-inch wide head (2.5cm) is nice for fitting into tight spaces on bikes.

Features:

  • 2–14 Nm range (18–124 Inch Pounds)
  • Adjustable in 0.4 Nm increments
  • Ratcheting 3/8-inch drive
  • Reads and registers for both right hand (clockwise) and left hand (counterclockwise) threading
  • Dial-adjust system for desired torque setting
  • Nm to Inch Pounds conversion scale on tool body
  • Calibrated to be accurate to +/- 4%
  • Length: 9" (22.9cm)
  • Includes protective storage case

TW-6.2 Ratcheting Click-Type Torque Wrench (about $133)

Park’s 6.2 Click-Type can handle the highest torqued components, such as threaded bottom bracket cups, pedals and lockrings. It works exactly like the 5.2 but is significantly heavier duty at a weight of 769 grams with a 1 3/8-inch wide head (3.5 cm).

To go with its beefier weight, construction and higher torque abilities, it has a 5 3/8-inch handle (13.6 cm) - almost 2 inches longer (5 cm) than the model 5.2 to make hitting those higher torques easy.

Note that ratcheting torque wrenches like Park’s 5.2 and 6.2 are measuring instruments and are not intended for use as general-purpose ratcheting drivers. It’s fine to use the ratcheting feature to snug bolts to the point of torquing. But you could damage a tool if you used it to try to break free a frozen bolt, for example.

Features:

  • 10–60 Nm range (88–530 Inch Pounds)
  • Adjustable in 0.25 Nm increments
  • Ratcheting 3/8-inch drive
  • Reads and registers for both right hand (clockwise) and left hand (counterclockwise) threading
  • Dial-adjust system for desired torque setting
  • Nm to Inch Pounds conversion scale on tool body
  • Calibrated to be accurate to +/- 4%
  • Length: 14.25" (36.2cm)
  • Includes protective storage case

SBS-3 Socket and Bit Set 37 pieces (about $120)

To go with torque wrenches, you need sockets and drivers to fit the bike parts you plan to work on. You can buy individual ones as needed and gradually build up a complete set. But it’s easier to buy a comprehensive kit like Park’s SBS-3.

The 37 included sockets and drivers are everything you’re likely to need for most torquing tasks. All are beautifully chrome-plated for durability. I especially appreciate the included plastic tray that holds and organizes the tools for easy access. It’s only made of plastic but it should last a long time if kept in a drawer. And you get a clear cover that helps keep the tools in place and protects them.

Features:

  • 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 14, and 16mm hex bits
  • Long reach 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, and 15mm hex bits
  • Long reach T20, T25, T30, T40 and T45 Torx style bits
  • 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19mm and 1" sockets (The 1" socket fits various Park Tool Freewheel, Cassette Lockring, and Bottom Bracket tools)
  • 24, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32mm flat sockets for suspension fork fittings (27mm socket has external taper for narrow access fittings)
  • All sockets and bits are 3/8-inch drive

Finally: It’s not included in the kit, but since it’s challenging to tighten BBs just right, Park also offers bottom bracket cup tools for getting their torque right every time. You’ll find their three models, the BBT-69, 59 and 49 (each about $27) here.


Jim Langley is RBR's Technical Editor. He has been a pro mechanic and cycling writer for more than 40 years. He's the author of Your Home Bicycle Workshop in the RBR eBookstore. Check out his "cycling aficionado" website at http://www.jimlangley.net, his Q&A blog and updates at Twitter. Jim's streak of consecutive cycling days has reached more than 8,000. Click to read Jim's full bio.

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