In Issue #114 of Singletrack Magazine, Wil tested, reviewed and recommended the neat Ratchet Rocket Lite NTX tool kit from Topeak
I must confess that I’ve a fetish for ninja tools. Integrated frame storage, clever tubeless tyre plug kits, compact fold-out multi-tools – any gadget that’s well made and is properly useful gets a big tick in my book. And without doubt, the Ratchet Rocket Lite NTX has earned its place in that metaphorical book.
With a truly enormous range of tools, pumps and other bicycle accessories that seems to expand exponentially year on year, Topeak has its fair share of those ‘cor that’s brilliant!’ products, and the Ratchet Rocket Lite NTX fits the bill. The Taiwanese brand has made a mini ratchet tool for a little while now under the Ratchet Rocket Lite DX name. What we’ve got here is the same thing, but with the addition of three torque bits to present a comprehensive tool kit for use both in the workshop and out in the field.
Open up the Velcro flap of the Ratchet Rocket Lite NTX kit, and you’re greeted with a pleasingly neat array of tool bits along with the mini ratchet tool, an extension socket, three preset Nano TorqBits, and two plastic tyre levers. Like a well-designed shadow-board, everything has its own rightful place, with each tool bit residing in a small illustrated elastic pocket. For those of us who ensure our tyre logos are correctly aligned with our valve stems, this level of organisation is thoroughly pleasing.
From 2mm to 8mm, all the necessary Allen key sizes are taken care of, including that nifty 2.5mm head that many brands often annoyingly omit from their multi-tools. You’ve got T10 and T25 Torx heads, and a Phillips head screwdriver too. All the bits are made from quality hardened steel, so they’re built to last.
The preset TorqBits cover you with 4Nm, 5Nm and 6Nm options, and they’re beautifully colour-coded too. Like the extension socket, the TorqBits are also magnetic, so the tool bits are reassuringly sucked into place as you load them.
For sure it’s easy to overlook using a torque wrench for mounting things like seatposts or adjusting brake lever clamps – I know I don’t always use one. But when the solution is presented as neatly as it is here, you’ll find yourself setting the torque correctly every time.
While it is well-stocked, the Ratchet Rocket Lite NTX kit doesn’t have everything. You’ll still need a chain breaker, and it’d be great to see a little designated pouch for things like quick links and patch kits. The tyre levers are also a touch on the short side if you’re dealing with a particularly tight tyre and rim combination.
Also, the name is kinda dull (personally I’d call it something much catchier, like ‘The Ray Mears Bicycle Survival Kit’), but regardless, this is easily one of the coolest bits of kit we’ve had through Singletrack Towers.
The price may seem high, but then good tools don’t come cheap. And when they’re this well organised and this well made, doing the job properly becomes that much easier.
|Product:||Ratchet Rocket Lite NTX|
|From:||Extra UK, extrauk.co.uk|
|Tested:||by Wil Barrett for 6 months|