5

When you are not dealing with carbon, is torque relevant?

I've never seen it mentioned on the hundreds of answers here, or the hundreds of how-tos I've read elsewhere.

Should I just tighten everything "hard enough"? If not, what's the best way to find the torque specs for old parts?

4

Here's a page that tells you everything you want to know about torquing bike parts. It's by the recognized leader in manifacturing bicycle specialty tools, including one of the more popular torque wrenches. (Park Tool)

3

While torque specs do definitely still matter with steel and aluminum parts, they are not nearly as sensitive to it as carbon parts are.

We often mount an aluminum stem on a carbon steerer tube, or handlebar. It is the torque spec for the aluminum stem which matters most, but the bar will also have max torque spec, and the parts used must allow the same torque range values, or they may not be used together.

The Park Tool link provided by Daniel R. Hicks is an excellent resource for learning more detailed concepts about torque, as it relates to bicycles, and finding the exact values for a particular part.

Most modern bike parts have the torque printed on the clamping portion of the part as well, somewhere near the bolt/s that the torque is referring to.

Hope that helps.

  • Slight disagreement. I'd say that Al components are very nearly as torque sensitive as CF. I agree about the Steel though, it's still important, but a much greater margin for error. – Brian Knoblauch Jul 18 '11 at 13:41
  • 2
    True, but for different reasons. The worst you'll (usually) do on aluminum is strip out a bolt hole, but on carbon, usually you crush/fracture the part you're clamping to, and at far lower torques. That all I was tying to say, but I should have been more precise. – zenbike Jul 18 '11 at 14:01

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