Review: Effetto Mariposa Giustaforza II Pro Mechanical Torque Wrench (UPDATED)

effetto-mariposa-giustaforza-mechanical-torque-wrench-review

We have three torque wrenches lying around the Bikerumor office, but the only non-digital one is Effetto Mariposa’s Guistaforza Pro. It offers a range of torque capacity from 2Nm to 16Nm, more than enough for most bicycle repairs and adjustments.

What sets it apart from the digital units, other than the lack of batteries and LCD screens, is the industrial feel and weight of the CNC’d aluminum body. It’s not heavy per se -under 200g- but it feels rugged and solid, with a healthy click at the torque limit and knurled grip to keep it from slipping.

Several versions are available, including a standard (aka non-Pro) model and a longer 10-60Nm model. Click past the break to see what makes this one special…

effetto-mariposa-giustaforza-mechanical-torque-wrench-review

To set the torque measurement where the wrench breaks away to prevent over tightening, simply twist the knob at the end until the white line sits aside the desired number. Super easy, and super quick. The dial is tensioned, so it requires willful turning, then holds in place during use. It won’t slip or self adjust when you’re not looking.

The Pro model adds a ratcheting head, letting you keep the bit in the bolt while tightening rather than having to remove it to rotate the tool – a real time saver, particularly in tight spots where you can’t get a ton of rotation per twist. Technically, it means you can reverse the direction and loosen bolts, too, but we generally recommend avoiding that with torque wrenches to maintain their calibration.

effetto-mariposa-giustaforza-mechanical-torque-wrench-review

The deluxe kit includes a number of standard 1/4″ bits (listed in pic above) as well as three 100mm long bits (4/5/T25) in some of the more common sizes. There’s also a 100mm long extension piece with a female end to hold any other 1/4″ bit.

effetto-mariposa-giustaforza-mechanical-torque-wrench-review

Effetto Mariposa guarantees accuracy to within +/-4% for 5,000 clicks, after which they recommend sending it in for calibration service (€35 plus shipping). The Giustaforza II Pro kit retails for $249.99. The standard version is about $185. They’re available in the  U.S. through Cantitoe Road.

We really like the solid feel and firm “click” when the desired resistance has been met and screws are properly torqued. That, and the hard anodized red finish looks boss.

UPDATE: The Pro model reviewed here includes one free calibration, including shipping to/from. U.S. customers will be serviced through Cantitoe Road, and subsequent calibrations run $50. CR’s Andy Frothingham says “5000 clicks is a lot for an average consumer, it usually takes many, many years to get to this point. Shops may need to re-calibrate every few years. The only time we see wrenches need re-calibrations any sooner is if they neglect to un-tension the wrench after use.”

EffettoMariposa.eu

Comments

Ryan - 05/21/14 - 3:10pm

Aside from a quality stand, the only “expensive” bike tool that I feel I need.

Kovas - 05/21/14 - 3:40pm

Why are torque wrenches so darn expensive? Is it the calibration? Precise manufacturing tolerances to be accurate? Low production runs? I’m curious.

Also, after the 5000 clicks, can you get the wrench re-set or re-calibrated? Is it possible or is the tool spent at that point?

Psi Squared - 05/21/14 - 3:50pm

@Kovas

This: “Effetto Mariposa guarantees accuracy to within +/-4% for 5,000 clicks, after which they recommend sending it in for calibration service (€35 plus shipping). “

Torquen Berry - 05/21/14 - 4:05pm

Kovas,

Torque wrenches don’t have to be so gosh darn expensive. Beam wrenches, with proper care, do the job nicely, at the same +/- 4% accuracy. The Park TW-1, for low torque values (e.g., stems) is around $40. The Craftsman beam torque wrench for higher torques (e.g., crank spindles) is even less expensive.

anonymous - 05/21/14 - 4:18pm

Tests of the harbor freight clicky wrench show the torque to be spot on when new, and certain a lot cheaper at $10 a pop than sending this in to get recalibrated.

Charango - 05/21/14 - 4:39pm

With a range of 10-60 Nm the pro model probably isn’t very useful for cycling (or is the low end a typo?).

anonymous - 05/21/14 - 4:48pm

There’s a lot in between a HF $10 torque wrench and a $250 tool though. The Park clicky types are slightly over $100. Pedros makes one that is similar.

$100 is a small price to pay when it could save a stripped out bike part or save you from having a crash from a broken or loose part.

Also- the inexpensive beam types are great for occasional home use.

matt m - 05/21/14 - 4:51pm

Nice bike.

mateo - 05/21/14 - 4:52pm

It is pretty. The CDI Torq Control 2-8Nm is probably a better deal at $80, and still covers most of your bike related needs.

LAWRENCE - 05/21/14 - 5:10pm

Don’t know if I can count up to 5000… even if you give me a few years to do it.

Tyler Benedict - 05/21/14 - 5:11pm

Charango – the Pro model tested here is 2-16Nm. They also have a longer handled version that runs 10-60Nm for bigger jobs.

LAWRENCE - 05/21/14 - 5:17pm

Harbor Freights sells torque wrenches in the same torque wrenches for $21.99… Good enough for a bike, it’s not like those bolts are holding the rocket engine together. worked at a bike shop for over an year, and never seen any one ever used one.

Matt - 05/21/14 - 5:23pm

@Lawrence, remind me to never go to your shop.

lonefrontranger - 05/21/14 - 5:46pm

@Lawrence, yeah what shop is this so I can avoid it, especially if I have carbon pieces on my bike. Admitting you don’t use a torque wrench is admitting you’re the hamfisted sorts that crush my pedal spindles, cassette lockrings and q/rs so tight that the piece strips and/or is bound to the point I can’t remove them.

please do all of your customers a favor and look up the definition of “torque spec” – bikes aren’t jet engines; they don’t need to have their parts tightened to crush values and in fact that’s a good way to destroy expensive parts.

Andrew - 05/21/14 - 6:06pm

I have it and it truly is a joy to use. It’s maybe the one and only time in my life I’ve been happy to spend this money for a Made in Italy thing. I love my Giustaforza !!

anonymous - 05/21/14 - 6:36pm

@other anonymous
Price is no guarantee of quality, and actual testing has shown HF to be accurate and work fine. Like LAWRRENCE’s sentiments, bikes aren’t rocket engines. Even when abused, the HF torque wrench was tested accurate within +0/-10% (only minus because the spring wears out), which is more than precise enough for the vast majority of torque specs for bicycle parts, and the fact that it under-torques means there’s virtually no chance of stripping a part.

@Matt
@lonefrontranger
There are a ton of shops that don’t use torque wrench, and many have told me off for using a cheap torque wrench and insisted their arm was better. I think most mechanic arms don’t match the 10% spec of the HF clicky wrench.

goridebikes - 05/21/14 - 6:55pm

anonymous 6:36pm, out of curiosity, how was the HF torque wrench tested? By a certified lab in controlled conditions using the appropriate testing? Or you just put a bit into it, put it on a bolt and said “yeah, that’s the same as my other questionably calibrated torque wrench said” ??

This does seem a bit over-priced, and I’d much rather spend my money on Snap-On quality, or digital for this pricepoint…

Ryan - 05/21/14 - 7:39pm

Glad to know first hand that my LBS uses a torque wrench religiously.

David - 05/21/14 - 7:41pm

It’s all a matter of perspective, and perspectives vary. I’m sure the EM is a fine tool for a shop use, but I’m a garage mechanic… my bike in my garage. Consequently, my choice of torque wrench is a cheap Nashbar or Performance tool that probably comes out of the same Chinese factory as the Harbor Freight wrench. Probably wouldn’t hold cal as long under continuous use, but my use is anything but continuous: we’re talking dozens of times, not thousands. Plus, even if it’s 20% off, that still won’t break anything or bikes wouldn’t be safe to ride.

Psi Squared - 05/21/14 - 7:53pm

I’ve wanted one of these for a while.

anonymous - 05/21/14 - 7:55pm

@goridebikes
Google is at your fingertips. The test was done by carcraft.

“Snap-On quality” Snap-on isn’t quality. Snap-on is convenience if you have a truck nearby. Yes it is better quality than HF stuff, but it isn’t better quality other good tools.

Victor - 05/21/14 - 8:16pm

I have an adjustable torque tool from Nashbar that used for four years. The same exact one is available from several online sights but branded under a different name. I work at a defense company with calibrated torque analyzers. The Nashbar torque tool tested within specs only a few months ago. For bike uses, the cheaper tools will work just fine.

Robbo - 05/21/14 - 8:24pm

To those ragging so hard on others for not using a torque wrench; perhaps a little lightening up is in order? I’ve been wrenching for 25 years – 35 if you count repeatedly rebuilding and tweaking my first BMX – and I’ve never used a torque wrench.

The hundreds of bikes I’ve repaired, built, assembled, rescued-and-recycled – not to mention the scores of happy people – haven’t minded one bit.

I learned at the hand of a vastly experienced wrench who taught me that slow, soft n’ steady wins the race when it comes to nuts and bolts on bikes. I’m teaching my 12yo the same ‘soft hands’ approach.

I’ve crushed zero bars, stripped/broken very few bolts (learned early to stay away from using alloy under stress) and no one’s bike I’ve looked after has suffered a bolt-related failure that I know of.

Torque wrenches are nice to have, sure, but I’ve seen bolts and nuts fail in race car applications because ‘the torque wrench/bar said it was right’. I trust my fingers much more than a device that gradually falls out of adjustment over time.

Mattbyke - 05/21/14 - 9:29pm

I agree with Robbo. I’ve wrenched bikes for 25+ years . I own a great torque wrench. It sits idle. My wrist tells all. My knowledge and feel is spot on. Tested against the torque wrench many many times to develop a feel. Only accumulated experience will give this feel, that and growing up with a German engineer and tool maker !
That said . The average or aspiring home mech. Should absolutely own and use a torque wrench! Why chance it. Working on Your own rigs is very satisfying , till You crack that nice carbon bar , or strip those soft alum. threads .
Never be afraid to work on your bike.

hahahahahaha - 05/21/14 - 9:46pm

I notice lots of mechanics without torque wrench suffer from Dunning–Kruger.

Pacific - 05/21/14 - 10:25pm

Dunning–Kruger. Priceless. You win bro!

MulletRacer - 05/21/14 - 10:47pm

I loved my last Mariposa that burned in a fire. The replacement(fizik brand mariposa) was WAY out of calibration out of the box… Overtourquing fasteners by about 130%.

It has been collecting dust and I Havent had a chance to send it in yet…

efrain - 05/21/14 - 10:50pm

Torquen Berry
the reason the click style torque wrenches are better then the beam one is because you can set the right torque without it going over. Where as with the beam ones you can easily over torque a bolt

Mattbyke - 05/21/14 - 11:03pm

LOL!
Yes Dunning- Kruger. Don’t be without or reluctant to use. Just not always needed. Except when working on paid jobs.

Psi Squared - 05/21/14 - 11:32pm

I can’t remember the source of the study or the date, but I remember hearing about a study that found mechanics weren’t as accurate with their finger torque as they think.

Dunning-Kruger……two thumbs up!

wrenchard - 05/21/14 - 11:39pm

+1 Robbo. As a professional mechanic, I’ve broken/damaged more fasteners with a torque wrench than without. In most shop settings, the mechanics share tools. Torque wrenches get dropped, or they just get heavily used and the calibrations can be waaay off. An experienced mechanic knows what adequate torque feels like – between fastener sizes, material types, and component-specific designs. An experienced mechanic knows that manufacturers’ recommended torque values are not always practical or safe.

Another point – I see lately a lot of manufacturers putting cured threadlocker where it doesn’t belong (e.g. stem bolts). You want to trust a torque wrench and undertighten that bolt because all that force was wasted on overcoming the excess friction from the threadlocker? Be my guest.

k - 05/22/14 - 12:19am

I have a 4nm, 5nm, 7nm, and 14nm torque wrench at my bench. Good for stems, other bits, hollowtech cranks, and other assorted items. I bust out the big gun for SRAM cranks which is 50nm or so IIRC.

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jason - 05/22/14 - 1:07am

You guys bicker like grumpy old fishing buddies!

NASH - 05/22/14 - 4:08am

Torque wrenches are a great idea on a nice clean new thread with a nice clean new bolt free of oxidising and lightly lubricated. Sadly very few parts on my bike would fall into this category so a torque wrench is complete waste of time as the torque specified would never equate to actual clamping force required for stems etc. That said, the length of a most tools is torque restricting by design.

Matt - 05/22/14 - 11:16am

For all those that say they do not need a torque wrench (especially shop mechanics) when specifically working on situations where there is clamping force placed upon carbon fibre, you are just wrong. Even a pre-set 5nm type of wrench (Bontrager makes a cool one) is better than nothing. I would ask those that don’t, to please only work on your own bike.

Nick H - 05/22/14 - 11:34am

The main difference between the inexpensive torque wrenches and the more expensive is the way they calibrate them. Unfortunately, Park Tool prices their torque wrenches as if they were one of the nicer ones but calibrate them like a low-end torque wrench. The difference is either calibrating +/-4% of the max value of the wrench (low end) or +/- 4% of the displayed value (high end). I think this is where many people end up having mixed results with torque wrenches. For example, if a low-end wrench has a max value of 100 in-lbs, then it’s degree of accuracy is within 4 in-lbs. This isn’t a problem if you need to torque something to 100 in-lbs, however, what if you needed to torque something to 15 in-lbs? Again, the wrench can only do +/- 4% of the max value. So, now you are torquing something that is specified to 15 in-lbs and can be off by 4 in-lbs. That’s a significant amount of variability.

I’m assuming this torque wrench in this article is a higher end one that is calibrated for its accuracy based on the displayed value. That said, it is still way overpriced. I’ll stick with my CDI wrenches that are just as good at half the price.

MaLóL - 05/22/14 - 12:05pm

+1 Robbo

A GOOD mechanic put bolts with torque, of course, but the perfect torque comes with your hand. L shape tools also, help; for low torques, always use the short side.

For bad home mechanics; get a good torque wrench.

It’s always been like this, and always will.

Max - 05/22/14 - 12:13pm

If you’re not using a torque wrench in a shop, you are doing it wrong. I worked with a guy who insisted that his hand was well-calibrated enough to be a good torque wrench because he did, after all, have 20 years of wrenching in bike shops under his belt. We checked his work with a well-calibrated torque wrench and found, unsurprisingly, that he was way off, almost every time. Maybe it was fine 20 or 25 years ago to not use a torque wrench, but nowadays, with components made of carbon and thin-walled aluminum, torquing those bolts down is worth the hassle. Also, have you ever tried to warranty something that a hamfisted mechanic overtorqued? It doesn’t go well.

A good mechanic obviously knows not to just go crazy tightening everything, but “the perfect torque comes from your hand” is just wrong. The perfect torque comes from a good torque wrench. “Eh, it’s probably fine” comes from your hand. Don’t confuse the two.

Seraph - 05/22/14 - 1:11pm

Huh, their torque wrench looks exactly like the Ritchey torque wrench which is also made in Italy and can be had for under $200 online. Save your money unless you absolutely MUST have a red wrench.

Dennis - 05/22/14 - 4:09pm

Just a heads-up to those using the cheaper torque wrenches out there: the first torque wrench I bought a couple of years ago was Sette brand from Pricepoint. My first indication that it was miscalibrated was when it tore a horizontal across a Thomson stem faceplate. I checked it later using a calibrated 3/8 torque wrench from work and it was incredibly far off…5 NM corresponded to over 12 NM IIRC.

Since then I bought a simple Park TW-1 beam style torque wrench, which I feel more confident about. I’ve since also bought a HF torque wrench, but I always double check it against the TW-1 for a reality check.

Does anyone know of any downsides to the beam style torque wrenches? I realize that they are a little more difficult to read as you are tightening, but I assume that they don’t need calibration unless they get damaged.

BTW, I’m an engineer by trade and just wrench on my own bikes and seldom handle any carbon parts.

Victor - 05/22/14 - 8:39pm

Seraph,

I’m guessing Ritchey licenses the design from this company and puts their brand name on it. Also, the $200 on you are speaking of is a lower end model (no ratcheting head) which Effetto Mariposa also sells for under $200.

edubfromktown - 05/23/14 - 4:35pm

I’ve used a torque wrench on aluminum block auto engines for more than 30 years and I use one on the bikes I work on for others and my own as well. Some spend a lot of money on built bikes ($8-10K USD is not uncommon these days- I would NEVER spend that myself!) not to mention serious coin on individual parts. I do not want to risk damaging components or harming someone by over-torquing a component that causes it to fail.

I’ve seen plenty of butchered bike parts: cracked stem caps most often and a smattering of cracked weight weenie parts and severely weakened bolts.

I purchased a Guistaforza II a few years ago on a stupid crazy online web site sale for like $125 then purchased the storage box for like $20.

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