Topeak offers one of the largest collections of cycling multi-tools with functions and uses aimed at all genres of riding. Most compact multi-tool designs are a variation of the classic Swiss Army knife, with various functions unfolding in a similar manner. While these tools are often compact and useful in a pinch, many trade function and usability in favor of size and ease of carry.
The Ratchet Rocket takes a different approach to the mini-tool concept, built around a reversible mini ratchet tool. Featuring 15 functions, the Ratchet Rocket Lite DX is contained neatly in a small, easy to carry durable nylon case.
Each of the bits are securely stowed in a package that contains a useful assortment of tools that include:
- T10 & T25 Torx bits
- 2x Tire Levers
- #2 Phillips Bit
- 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5,6 and 8mm bits
- Reversing ratchet with magnetic bit holder
- Patch compartment in the case
- Bit extender with magnetic holder
On the trail
On the trail or in the home shop, the Ratchet Rocket Lite is a pleasure to use, thanks to the smooth, clean action of the ratcheting mechanism. I recently installed a few bottle cages, something I usually use allen wrenches for. Using the ratchet made the task go by more quickly and much easier. It can be difficult to reach and adjust brake levers or perform various repairs on the trail with typical folding multi-tools; working with the ratchet and extension is a pleasure in these circumstances.
On the trail it could take a few more seconds to select the correct bit than a folding tool. However, many situations where I would find the multi-tool slipping become much easier thanks to the ratchet and improved ergonomics.
The downside to the Ratchet Rocket Lite? You’ll still need a chain tool and a spoke wrench to cover all the bases in the event of a trail side mechanical. Topeak’s Link 11 folding chain tool or the Specialized SWAT top cap mounted tool would be a good compliment to bring along on the ride. Some riders prefer a dedicated chain tool anyway; Topeak has you covered there, with several different options available.
My biggest issue with the Ratchet Rocket? I only have one at the moment, and several different packs I rotate between. Ideally I’d have one in my pack, waist pack, in the car, and in my tool box at home. There’s also the possibility of losing bits on the trail. Fortunately the bits are standardized and finding a replacement shouldn’t be difficult.
Topeak also makes a variation called the Ratchet Rocket, which utilizes the same ratchet mechanism as well as an integrated chain tool. This variation doesn’t include an 8mm wrench, which could be an issue for older model cranksets.
The Ratchet Rocket Lite DX lists for $34.99. Check it out at Topeak.com.
Street price seems to be less; at the time of this post we were seeing it sell for $24 shipped on Amazon.com