With bicycle components forever pushing the boundaries of the materials they’re built with, torque wrenches have quickly gone from a workshop-only to a must-have item.
And with such demand for these tightening torque measuring tools, we recently compiled a large grouptest to see which is best. Sitting as the only digital model in that test, the Topeak D-Torq proved to be the most accurate.
The D-Torq is fairly simple to use. Set your desired maximum torque on the LCD screen, and then tighten the bolt until the tool beeps. Alternatively, you can just closely watch the ‘live’ torque measurement on the screen, and stop when you see a desirable number.
Built with a strain gauge and without mechanical clicking parts, the D-Torq proved immune to torque reading inconsistencies. In fact, it was exactly equal to our digital torque wrench-testing machine at the tested 3, 5 and 8nm settings.
While newton meters (Nm) has become a wide standard in cycling, the D-Torq does cater to other common torque measurements too. For this, a simple press of a button can toggle between Nm, kg/cm, inch/lbs or ft/lbs readings.
With a torque range of 2-20nm, just about all the delicate aspects of bicycles are covered. Although it’s worth mentioning that this range isn’t suited to higher torque applications seen in bottom brackets or pedals, with Topeak offering the D-Torq DX for that.
The d-torq comes with a zippered case and the bits are all easy to access: the d-torq comes with a zippered case and the bits are all easy to access
Padded case included
The benefits of this tool continue with an ultra compact head that still offers a fast ratcheting action. The bit sizes you’ll likely need are included in the smart zip-up case, but additional sizes can be bought at any hardware store.
So far it’s all praise, but there are crucial reasons for why this torque wrench isn’t the benchmark.
Firstly, without a mechanical indicating click it’s all too possible to over-torque this wrench. The beep is subtle, and can be tough to overhear with blaring music or if someone is talking – it’s certainly something you need to pay close attention to when using.
Dial in your maximum torque and the tool will beep at you once this is reached: dial in your maximum torque and the tool will beep at you once this is reached
Battery powered function
Secondly, the digital nature means you’re susceptible to typical electrical issues. Corroding internals or dead batteries are both things to be wary of if storing in your damp garage between uses.
For us, battery life was decent and it’s easy to replace the single AAA battery, but it’s still an issue that doesn’t exist with mechanical wrenches.