A year or two after I started mountain biking I noticed there was a little bit of play in the pivots on my full-suspension bike. I pulled out a socket wrench, an extension, and a hex bit and tightened the pivots on my bike like you would the lug nuts on a car wheel.
Much to my surprise, my pivots got worse and I took my creaky, angry bike to a shop for professional help.
“All of these pivots have torque ratings, and some of them are different,” the mechanic told me.
I’ve always been the type to try and fix something myself, usually with an educated guess, but sometimes not. Had I been more educated at the time, I would have gone online and bought a tool like Prestacycle’s TorqRatchet. Oh, and I would’ve checked the owner’s manual too.
The TorqRatchet comes in a tidy, little foam padded case with twelve 1/4″ bits. For $60, buyers get the torque wrench, case, and 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm hex bits, a Phillips bit, and T10, T20, T25, and T30 Torx bits. The tool gives readings for 2-10Nm of torque and weighs 68g. That weight is friendly enough for me to throw the tool in a hydration pack.
The Torqratchet is also easy to use. I used one hand on top of the wrench, and an index finger and thumb on the bottom by the torque reading. The torque reading takes a little practice, but it’s pretty dummy-proof.
When adjusting things like suspension pivots, it’s a no-brainer to use a torque wrench. This is also true for tightening carbon components that will crack, rather than flex like an alloy part.
Prestacycle T-Handle Ratchet
Prestacycle’s T-Handle Ratchet, which retails for $30, is a lightweight socket wrench and four-inch extension that also fits 1/4″ bits. The T-Handle Ratchet, like the TorqRatchet, can handle a maximum of 60nm of force. The T-Handle with the extension weighs 88g, and out of curiosity, I Googled the weight of my compact, foldable multi-tool that I always have with me when I ride. It turns out the T-Handle weighs almost half as much, and is a lot easier to use.
I found the Ratchet easy to use like any other socket wrench, but at a smaller size that I enjoy using far more than just an L-shaped hex key, which is what I usually use to loosen or tighten pieces on my bike.
Prestacycle has done a few clever things with the T-Handle. The bottom of the wrench is open and will accept a 1/4″ bit, and the extension can be inserted into one side of the top end of the wrench to get a T-Handle.
There’s a ratchet-reverse switch on top of the Ratchet that is easy to flick over with a thumb. It’s in the same spot on the torque wrench.
Prestacycle also sells bit packages for $3-16 that include different bits, including one kit which features hardened S2 steel bits.
Overall, I’m pretty impressed with Prestacycle tools. They’re lightweight, easy to use, and the T-Handle feature on the Ratchet is thoughtful. I’ll probably be replacing my old, heavy multi-tool that I’ve used for years with Prestacycle’s light and compact tools.
Prestacycle TorqKey T-Handle Preset Torque Tool - 5Nm
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Thanks to Prestacycle for providing these tools for review.