Spotlight is a new series on CyclingTips that we’re using to briefly showcase new products we’ve just received, and/or products that require just a short review. This regular and short-form tech coverage replaces our previous Tech Round-Up series.
The Team Digital torque wrench is a fresh tool from Pro Bike Gear, the accessory arm of Shimano. This is a premium alternative to Pro’s more affordable click-type torque wrench (a product I highly recommend), and offers a wide 2-25 Nm infinitely adjustable torque range.
The tool can be switched between Newton-meters (Nm), foot-pounds (ft-lb) inch-pounds (in-lb) and kilogram-centimetres (kg-cm), and provides both visual and audible warnings once nearing and reaching the set torque figure. You can also watch the torque in real-time on the LCD screen. This is almost the same Taiwanese-made digital torque wrench that’s also sold by Topeak and Unior, and that’s hardly a bad thing – both of those brands have proven that this torque wrench is an easy-to-use, accurate and reliable option.
There are, however, a few subtle differences to what Pro sells. The torque range is wider. There are small LED warning lights added next to the torque read-out screen. And the tool is both longer and has an ergonomic rubber grip, something I found extremely comfortable and secure in the hand where the Topeak D-Torq can be a little slippery in use. Also, the packaging is different, with the Pro supplied in a plastic blow-mould case along with a generous array of bits in the form of 2/2.5/3/4/5/6 hex, T20/T25 as well as a ¼-inch square socket adaptor and 50 mm extension that all fit into the slim and fine-tooth ratcheting head.
Most adjustable click-type torque wrenches work on spring preload. As a result you should always wind them back to the lowest torque setting after use so as not to throw them out of calibration. That’s certainly one area where digital torque wrenches rule supreme, and as a result, the Pro digital will sit ready at your last torque setting. This can be a big time-saver for doing up those bolts in the 10-20 Nm range. Another added bonus is that the torque wrench will work in both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions (although it’s not really needed for this torque range).
The accuracy of this torque wrench is superb (measured within 1% of actual) and the only limitation is down to your ability to control your hand movement with the warning beeps and screen reading – just be careful as there is no mechanical warning or torque limiter to stop you going over.
All up this is a well-proven tool that’s ready to serve both the dedicated home user or professional. However, that price will surely be the limiting factor for many, and the fact that it’s effectively the same tool as what Unior and Topeak offer means you should shop around.
Price: US$250 / AU$299
More information: Pro-bikegear.com