The Topeak Ratchet Rocket is one of the few tools I take on any trip, both commuting and tours across continents.
The Ratchet Rocket is a small multitool consisting of two tire levers, a chain tool, a ratchet and several bits; mostly hex/allen keys. It includes everything you need for basic bike maintenance. Different models exist, some stored in a textile bag, others in a plastic hardcase that can be attached to the bike frame directly.
Torx® Bits: T10 / T25
Tire Levers: 2 plastic
Screw Drivers: #2 Phillips
Tool Material: Hardened steel bits
Ratchet Tool Material: Chrome vanadium steel
Bag Material: Nylon
Added Features: Magnetic bit holder & Patch Compartment
Size (L x W x H): 12 x 6.3 x 2.5 cm / 4.7” x 2.5” x 1”
I’ve been carrying a Ratchet Rocket since my very first bike trip and it has accompanied me through over 100 countries by now. I never had to replace any part, nothing lost, nothing broken. I mainly use it to assemble/disassemble the bike for flights, trains or busses; adding components like bottle cages, racks; any changes on the handlebar and seat-post. Even after 7 years in use, the ratchet works like on its first day.
It does speed up anything that has to do with screws and makes some akward angles more easy to use. The chain tool I barely used, only when I replaced worn-down chains. The tire levers are pretty standard; my version included metal tire levers that I left at home, I used plastic levers from Schwalbe instead. The new models of the Ratchet Rocket do have similar plastic levers.
Since the tool found its home in my tool-bag, there was no need for the frame attachement, saving me weight and space.
The ratchet itself is one of the few items that I can recommend to anyone who wants to go bike touring; it doesn’t have to be the one from this set, take any you can get your hands on, it’s worth it.
– Small and lightweight
– Can be attached to frame
– Ratchet is far more convenient than an ordinary allen key
– More expensive than ordinary allen keys
– Bits can rust
Since the bits make this a modular design, make sure to only take those you need. If you miss bits or find bits included that do not fit any screws on your bike, remove or replace them. This way you can avoid carrying unnecessary weight and know for a fact that you can maintain all screws on your bike.
The included bits do rust, so make sure to keep them dry or at least dry the tool out after cycling through heavy rain.
155 g / 5.46 oz (Ratchet Rocket Lite DX)
$25-35, depending on your area.