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How much do you trust your local bike shop?

superdomestiquesuperdomestique Posts: 18
edited June 2018 in Road buying advice
Out of 6 shops I've been to for test rides, I've noticed 5 that do not use torque wrenches.

All I ever read from bicycle manufacturers is use proper torque but if the middle men is gonna screw it up and do the damage, what's the point? Most common place the cracks show up are around the seat post or the steerer due to use of improper tools. At least that's what I've read. When I do ask them why aren't they using the proper tools, answer is they can tell by feel what force to use. :roll:

Am I blowing this out of proportion?

Posts

  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    Am I blowing this out of proportion?
    Yes.

    Aside from anything else, if they break it, they pay for it.
  • TimothyW wrote:
    Yes.

    Aside from anything else, if they break it, they pay for it.

    You sound like a guy who works at a bike shop. :lol:

    I wasn't suggesting they would crush either part, I'm talking about tiny cracks that develop in time and aren't visible right away. If my steerer goes to hell 300 km later, I doubt the shop would be willing to take any responsibility if indeed it was on them.
  • sniper68sniper68 Posts: 2,910
    I agree with TimothyW.
    I’ve been building my own bikes/MTBs for years and never use a torque wrench.The majority of stuff on a bike is 5nm which is not difficult to replicate .I’ve never had owt crack or fail.
    My mate who’s been a bike Mechanic for 20-odd years also uses the same method as I do.In fact it may have been him who showed me.
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    Don’t doubt that people get a good feel for what pressure to use but given you can pick up a torque key thing from wiggle for around a tenner it seems a bit of a false economy when tightening your 400 quid carbon steerer...
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Except you don't tighten a steerer. You may however tighten stem bolts. So a steerer will not have a torque setting.

    There have been plenty of threads with people causing mayhem blindly following a torque wrench.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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  • MiddleRingerMiddleRinger Posts: 678
    At least that's what I've read.
    There's the difference. You've read stuff. They've worked on 1000's of bikes.

    If it's a reputable bike shop with well trained mechanics then I trust them as they love bikes, take pride in their craft and love what they do (possibly wouldn't be so trusting at Bike Hut).
  • cooldad wrote:
    Except you don't tighten a steerer. You may however tighten stem bolts. So a steerer will not have a torque setting.

    End result of overtightening a stem can be a crack in the steerer. Not sure what is the point you were trying to make as I nowhere mentioned steerer torque setting.
    cooldad wrote:
    There have been plenty of threads with people causing mayhem blindly following a torque wrench.

    They need to be calibrated in time otherwise they don't serve intended purpose.

    You've read stuff.

    How else do you learn?
    They've worked on 1000's of bikes.

    Please tell me how can you possibly know that? For all I know the guy that assembled the Cannondale or Giant bike I'm interested in could be in his first week. One thing that would ease my mind is if they could follow the manufacturers instructions.

    I have no control who they employ or how they run their business, only thing I can do is walk away from handing over four thousand dollars.

    I had no idea that a torque wrench would rub so many people the wrong way. Just a question, nothing more. :o
  • londoncommuterlondoncommuter Posts: 1,550

    I had no idea that a torque wrench would rub so many people the wrong way. Just a question, nothing more. :o


    Really no point ever posting on here about torque wrenches, disc/rim, di2/mechanical or helmets :)

    My favourite uesless reply to posts (other than maybe this one) is the "don't buy that lighter component, go to the loo before setting off".

    On the torque wrench, I do kind of agree with you. Just as technology like Retul isn't better than an experienced fitter, a torque wrench shouldn't be blindly followed but doesn't mean they're not a useful tool if of good quality.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    If I torque bolts to recommend torques they sometimes slip. A good example is stem to steerer binder bolts. So these are tightened as far as I dare and even then they can slip and that's a problem. I have a feel for this. Good mechanics always do.

    A torque wrench is a tool it is useful but a mechanic should not be a slave to it either.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • warrior4lifewarrior4life Posts: 925
    If I torque bolts to recommend torques they sometimes slip. A good example is stem to steerer binder bolts. So these are tightened as far as I dare and even then they can slip and that's a problem. I have a feel for this. Good mechanics always do.

    A torque wrench is a tool it is useful but a mechanic should not be a slave to it either.

    As a mechanic I saw bolts snap well under torque and slip when torqued up to the correct level.
    Usually customers were fine with us tightening to the level we perceived but we did have occasional bikes and parts sent bank as they slipped at the correct torque.
  • MiddleRingerMiddleRinger Posts: 678
    They've worked on 1000's of bikes.

    Please tell me how can you possibly know that?

    I don't for sure, but I get on well with my LBS staff so I have a fair idea that they know their craft. They've worked on my bike when I've needed it and many of my friend's bikes when they have too. Always professionally and perfectly. They give me no reason to doubt their level of expertise.

    Maybe your LBS employs hammer fisted mechanics. I cannot confirm or refute this.

    So to answer your thread title question - I trust my LBS a lot. And to answer your original post question - yes I think you're probably blowing it a little out of proportion.
  • gsk82gsk82 Posts: 3,148
    I find that not using a torque wrench results in you applying less force
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • paulwoodpaulwood Posts: 228
    There may be a bit more to torque settings that people think..

    https://www.tekton.com/torque-wrench-ac ... alibration

    Tekton talk about + or - 4% as being sufficiently accurate. I think that is such a wide range that most mechanics doing the job hundreds of times would be within any tolerances.
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,726
    gsk82 wrote:
    I find that not using a torque wrench results in you applying less force

    I agree, I have never tightened a bolt by feel then checked with a torque wrench and found I've over-torqued.

    Also use of torque wrenches has most people torquing to maximum labelled torque which is often completely unnecessary, a maximum is a maximum not a recommended torque.

    Give a prat a torque wrench and he'll be winding everything to the maximum labelled torque thinking he's done a great job, I think this is what most idiots do when they get a torque wrench.
  • Mark AlexanderMark Alexander Posts: 2,277
    OP: Yes I do. I trust 3 people to work on my bike and I'm not one of them. All are in LBS owners/mechanics, all of them I have a chat with and are comfortable with. I make sure that I know a person who's working on a machine i'm going to ride 5-8k miles a year on at up-to 50 mph. That's common sense.

    Torque wrenches? as far as I know none of the above rely on one. I've never had ay part come loose or crack for any reason other crashes/incidents.
    http://twitter.com/mgalex
    www.ogmorevalleywheelers.co.uk

    10TT 24:36 25TT: 57:59 50TT: 2:08:11, 100TT: 4:30:05 12hr 204.... unfinished business
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    mfin wrote:
    gsk82 wrote:
    I find that not using a torque wrench results in you applying less force

    I agree, I have never tightened a bolt by feel then checked with a torque wrench and found I've over-torqued.

    Also use of torque wrenches has most people torquing to maximum labelled torque which is often completely unnecessary, a maximum is a maximum not a recommended torque.

    Give a prat a torque wrench and he'll be winding everything to the maximum labelled torque thinking he's done a great job, I think this is what most idiots do when they get a torque wrench.

    Guilty :)
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