Spoke torque wrench

Feliz

Well-Known Member
Hi, can anyone recommend a decent spoke torque wrench for a decent price? Ive accumulated a few bikes and it would make it easier to keep tabs on the spokes with a wrench. I checked Amazon and there's a few for around the same price, I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience using one of these wrenches. I've rode bikes and motorcycles all my life and know how to check spokes by sound etc and I can true wheels/rims etc, I just think it would make maintenance easier/faster with a bycicle specific torque wrench.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
Hard to tell if you are looking for a tension meter as listed above or a spoke key? If the latter these are by far my favorites as they have lots of contact with the nipple and the flat paddle is easier on the fingers than the Park type

https://www.wheelfanatyk.com/store/spokey-spoke-wrench/

There is no specific torque value to the nipple but even spoke tension is a factor,
 

Feliz

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the posts. what I'm looking for is a spoke torque wrench that enables the user to tighten the spoke to a specific torque, say in nm. Lots of these available I was just wondering if anyone had a preference.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
Maybe show an example of one of the “lots available” so we can better understand? Otherwise Nublar or I have answered your question as far as bicycle wheels go.
 

Feliz

Well-Known Member
Maybe show an example of one of the “lots available” so we can better understand? Otherwise Nublar or I have answered your question as far as bicycle wheels go.
I just saw quite a few on Amazon but my experience using them has been on motorcycles. Maybe they're not a good idea on bicycles.......I'm always willing to be educated. I don't understand the tension thing.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
Some people do there's videos on utube, not a lot though.
I have been building my own wheels and for others for over 25yrs, including at one time owning a Phil Spoke cutter never should have let that go..., and trued and tensioned many more including beside the trail.

I have never heard of a bicycle spoke torque wrench and as I am always into learning something new I did in fact just go to youtube to see a video on them and their use. I must have a different subscription because there weren't any on there other than for motorcycles that I could see. But truth be told I wasn't even aware of their existence. At one time I tried a spoke wrench that had a ratchet inside similar to a socket wrench, it worked ok but the nipple contact wasn't great.

However I have had a WheelSmith spoke tensionometer for years that I use, but quite frankly not all the time. As I am pre-stressing the spokes by squeezing them while rotating the wheel in my stand over the years I have gotten a feel for proper (enough) tension, which can be different for different size rims/spoke lengths btw. I would never trust the nipple to provide an accurate reading as to spoke tension because there can be enough variation there as felt by a plain spoke wrench yet checking with a tensionometer the spokes are within spec. Not bragging but I have had a pretty much 100% success rate and wheels that have lasted until the sidewalls failed from braking friction.

I wish you luck on your quest but if I was you I would just stick with the tried for years and true method.
 

Felix

New Member
I have been building my own wheels and for others for over 25yrs, including at one time owning a Phil Spoke cutter never should have let that go..., and trued and tensioned many more including beside the trail.

I have never heard of a bicycle spoke torque wrench and as I am always into learning something new I did in fact just go to youtube to see a video on them and their use. I must have a different subscription because there weren't any on there other than for motorcycles that I could see. But truth be told I wasn't even aware of their existence. At one time I tried a spoke wrench that had a ratchet inside similar to a socket wrench, it worked ok but the nipple contact wasn't great.

However I have had a WheelSmith spoke tensionometer for years that I use, but quite frankly not all the time. As I am pre-stressing the spokes by squeezing them while rotating the wheel in my stand over the years I have gotten a feel for proper (enough) tension, which can be different for different size rims/spoke lengths btw. I would never trust the nipple to provide an accurate reading as to spoke tension because there can be enough variation there as felt by a plain spoke wrench yet checking with a tensionometer the spokes are within spec. Not bragging but I have had a pretty much 100% success rate and wheels that have lasted until the sidewalls failed from braking friction.

I wish you luck on your quest but if I was you I would just stick with the tried for years and true method.
Yes I agree, I wasnt trying to change the world I just came across the videos of folks using the torque wrench and it piqued my interest. I did just purchase the tensioner from ChainReaction.

I also just went by feel for years, I got REALLY good at it back when I competed in mountain biking and of course my wheels would need work after every ride, I did the same as you and just went by feel squeezing spokes together.

I restored and raced vintage (British) motorcycles and did all my own wheel work somewhat successfully. I did have a torque wrench which I rarely used, i got pretty good at just going by sound (ping). Now that i think I of it the motorcycle and bicycle spoke torque wrenches are probably the same just using different size fitting for the nipple.

I went back to YouTube to make sure I hadn't been dreaming and I couldn't find them again but then after I bought the tensioner I went back again to watch tensioning videos and they were back on. Did you look on Amazon, I know some where there on the US sight and I think I there was six on the Canadian site. They were more money than I wanted to pay and I agree with you about the accuracy of measuring the force required to turn a corroded dirty old nipple on a corroded dirty old damaged spoke.

I just noticed my name changed I'm on a different computer and account.
 

batmick1

Active Member
I'm with JRA on this one. Have also been building wheels for many years in a shop and freelance. Not a single failure reported.
My most important tool (also my cheapest) for fine tuning a newly laced wheel is actually a guitar pick. I find that going by sound I can get very even tension across spokes and by hand I can feel if they're tight enough to begin with.