There are a ton of different ways to bring your tools along for a ride, yet, no matter how many we try it seems like there are always drawbacks. Because of that, tinkerers, tool makers, and riders are all constantly trying to rethink the multi-tool. The latest fruit of that iterative process comes to us via PrestaCycle. Known for their collection of tools that includes everything from the PrestaFlator tire inflator, to the original PrestaRatchet, PrestaCycle is always working on something new.
The latest additions to the catalog include the new PrestaCycle TorqRatchet and the T-Handle 3 Way Ratchet, shown here in the Deluxe package which includes an EVA foam lined zipper case and 12 1/4″ bits ($59.99).
At its core, the TorqRatchet is a standard 1/4″ ratcheting wrench which is designed to withstand up to 60Nm of force. The ratchet seems like it’s of pretty high quality, and it includes a thumb wheel and is reversible in direction of ratcheting.
On the other end, it gets a little unique with a 2-10 Nm torque wrench built into the handle. The torque scale is printed on both sides so that you can use it in either direction, and torque measurements are made using the simple beam style torque measurement. This means you just push on the end of the wrench until the arrow lines up with the correct torque.
In practice, this is a bit more difficult than it sounds since the striations are so close together – you really have to look close, or just count the hash marks which makes it kind of tedious to use. It’s also not quite as convenient as a click type torque wrench for obvious reasons, but the benefit here is that it’s small, light, and durable enough to bring with you on a ride.
The killer for me comes from the bits themselves, and not the actual tool. Since the included PrestaCycle bits don’t have the little chamfer cuts, they tend to pull out of the tool if the bolt head is at all tight. Essentially, there is just a tiny spring in the ratchet that is meant to hold the bit in place, but without the recess provided by the chamfer, there isn’t enough friction to hold it in place.
Great news – apparently the bits I was sent were pre-production, and the bits shipped out to customers will have the chamfers as described below!
Strangely, I tried some of my own bits that I already had (that look like the one above with chamfer cuts), and they stayed in the TorqRatchet much better, and didn’t once pull out accidentally.
Unfortunately, all of the [pre-production] PrestaCycle bits are made without those chamfer cuts, including their new 50mm extra long bit set. However, this is only an issue with the TorqRatchet due to the design – the T-Handle Ratchet is another story (see below).
If having the exact torque is of utmost importance to you while on the trail, this might be a good tool to carry a long, but for me it’s a pass.
Fortunately for PrestaCycle, the T-Handle 3 Way ratchets is another story entirely. This is a tool I would gladly buy, as it’s super versatile.
Starting with the same patented ratchet mechanism, the handle of the T-Handle can be used as a standard 1/4″ ratcheting wrench. If used with the standard PrestaCycle bits you will have the same issues of the bit pulling out, but there are enough other ways to use it that it’s a non-issue.
The main handle turns into a T-handle by sliding the extension all the way through the middle. To do this, line up the dotted line with the red dot, and push through as shown above. This makes it into a super handy T-Handle and both the end of the ratchet and the end of the extension have magnetic bit holders to make sure the bits stay put until you absolutely want to pull them out.
Or, instead of the T-Handle, you can use the extension as a way to get into tight places like the bolts on a dropper seat post. I checked to see if the standard length bits would work on a SRAM GX1 derailleur, and they do – though things like the front brake nut on a road fork would require the longer 50mm bits.
Overall, the T-Handle 3 Way was the surprise stand out. This is the tool that will go in my pack. The TorqRatchet is still a good tool, as long as the included bits come with the chamfers mentioned above. Both are fairly light (68g for the TorqRatchet, and 88g for the T-Handle including the extension), and are small enough to easily fit in a jersey pocket, pack, or bib pocket.
There are multiple ways to buy the tools above including just the T-Handle Ratchet, just the extension, just the bits, just the tools, or the full kits. Available now.