Written by Wally Wallace Thursday, 31 January 2013 14:21
"Torque wrench? I don't need no stinking torque wrench!" Famous last words my friend. Save yourself some serious hassle and grab one of the new Ritchey torque wrenches, cleverly dubbed the Ritchey TorqKey, to go along with that fancy new carbon part of yours. We live in an age where lightweight carbon bicycle parts have become very common. They're lighter, stronger, smoother riding, and make you more attractive to the opposite sex. Well, that last part isn't entirely true.
What is true, is that you run the risk of ruining your new fancy carbon bits by just reefing away mounting bolts unchecked. We see it all the time here at Bikeman HQ. It used to be that you had drop some serious coin to get your mitts on a full function torque wrench. Ritchey released the original TorqueKey a few years back to try and help with that. This was in no small prt to their receiving a lot of calls about stems breaking, and seat posts and handlebars getting crushed due to over tightening.
The original TorqKey was inexpensive and effective. Bikeman sold lots of em' and has one in his own personal tool box. One major gripe about the early version was it's lack of bit sizes. On the original, the 4mm hex bit was permanently attached. The new version comes with a 3/4/5mm hex bit and a T-20 tork bit. This is in part due to the fact that all of the new Ritchey C260 stems have a 3mm allen bolts all around. Either way it a great update to a cool inexpensive tool.
While we're on the subject of carbon parts, torque wrenches, & and catastrophic failure due to over tightening, we should mention a couple other items that might help you attain total spiritual creaminess. For starters, Ritchey Liquid Torque. It's basically a paste that you apply between carbon parts and their clamping surfaces to make sure the hold tight even at the low torque values they require. Another cool tool is their full functioning Ritchey Torque Wrench. Just in case you want to tighten all your bolts to the appropriate torque or just have a fetish for cool tools. This puppy has a range of 2-16nm and comes with 17 bits to cover all your bases. I mean geez, take a look at bolt head on a bike these days and there is almost always a torque value around it somewhere. Happy tightening!