Three Tools from Topeak: Mini PT30, Torq Stick, and Ratchet Rocket LITE NTX+
We take a closer look at three new tools from Topeak, all of which boast packable designs and features that could be helpful for your next trailside repair. Find Miles’ thoughts on the Topeak Mini PT30, Torq Stick, and Ratchet Rocket LITE NTX+ here…
I find great satisfaction in testing new multi-tools, and if they make the cut, merging them into my current bikepacking tool kit. It’s truly amazing how the designers and engineers at companies like Wolf Tooth, Topeak, and Blackburn have found ways to not only reduce the total number of tools we need to carry, but make them more compact and ergonomic in the process. I remember the day when I thought my Crankbrothers M19 was the be-all and end-all of multi-tools. Not to say it isn’t a great tool, because it is, but it’s definitely a more simplified version of what companies are currently producing.
Earlier this spring, after two years of use, I shared my thoughts on the Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite NTX, and was quite impressed overall. Shortly after, I got my hands on three new tools from Topeak: the Mini PT30, Torq Stick, and Ratchet Rocket LITE NTX+. After a few scouting missions and a handful of overnighters around BC, I’m ready to share my thoughts on each.
Topeak Mini PT30
The Topeak Mini PT30, as the name suggests, is a 30-function multi-tool that sports several key features that are relevant for bikepackers and anyone doing trailside repairs. As I mentioned earlier, the Mini PT30 is a great example of packing as much as humanly possible into a tiny package. Besides the usual ensemble of hex keys and Torx wrenches, the tool includes several spoke wrenches, a knife, chain tool, and even tubeless tire repair tools. Find the complete list of functions below.
- 2L / 2.5 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 8 mm Allen wrenches
- 10 mm hex socket
- T10 / T15 / T25 Torx wrenches
- 14G / 15G / Mavic M7 / Shimano 4.5mm spoke wrenches
- Chromoly steel chain tool, chain hook, master link tool
- #2 Phillips / flat head screw drivers
- Tire reamer, plug insertion tool
- Serrated knife / saw, disc spacer
- Master link storage
- Chain pin breaker
Most of the fold away tools, which includes most of the bits and screw drivers, are made from chrome vanadium steel and tuck away nicely when not in use. None of them are particularly long, but for quick adjustments and repairs they do the trick. The tubeless plug insertion tool and opposing serrated knife also fold away, but have the added benefit of locking in their extended position for ease of use—a thoughtful feature that is often missed on tools of this size.
The chain tool is removed from the body by unthreading the pin completely, and then re-threading it to prepare for breaking a chain. I found the chain tool big enough to get a good grip on while in use, and the 4mm hex key is then used to tighten the chain breaker. The chain tool is also home to several different spoke wrenches, a clever little chain hook to hold chain tension when installing or removing a master link, and a plastic disc spacer. The whole unit can also be positioned along the chain to function as a master link tool, to remove or install quick links, but it isn’t the most seamless design. Overall, all of these components function quite nicely, although I can’t see myself messing about with the chain hook and master link tool when I’ve got my Wolf Tooth Pack Pliers with me.
- Lots of tools in a small package.
- Clever design and well made.
- Neoprene case is simple yet effective.
- Master link tool is a little gimmicky.
- Limited torque due to the size of the tool.
- A lot going on. Maybe too many functions.
- Material: Chrome Vanadium Steel / Forged Aluminum
- Weight: 169 grams
- Price: $49.95 USD
- Manufacturer’s Details: Topeak.com
Topeak Torq Stick
The Topeak Torq Stick is a slender adjustable torque wrench, complete with a reversible ratcheting head and integrated bit storage. The plastic bit storage sleeve clips onto the shaft of the Torq Stick, and slides open to access the five bits it carries inside. The torque wrench is made from hardened steel and aluminum and has an adjustable torque range from 2-10Nm. The entire package measures about 6” long x 1.5” wide, making it quite compact and easy enough to pack in a top tube bag or frame bag.
Overall, I’ve been impressed with the quality and feel of the Torq Stick. It has just enough weight to not feel cheap in my hands, but feels sturdy and useful when tightening down on a bolt. The torque adjustment knob is knurled for extra grip, and the ratcheting head emits a satisfying series of clicks that makes me feel slightly more competent than I really am. The five bit storage sleeve, which includes 3/4/5 hex bits and T20/T25 Torx bits, isn’t all that impressive considering the price tag, but Topeak offers larger torque wrenches for home use when a larger array of bits are needed. I also really appreciate how both the storage sleeve and Torq Stick head have integrated magnets to keep the bits in place, as I’m sure I’d find a way to lose them otherwise.
- Compact and easy to pack on the bike.
- Good quality and feel for the size.
- Ratcheting head and adjustable torque.
- Limited to five bits when relying on the storage sleeve.
- Expensive for its size.
- Material: Hardened steel / Aluminum / Engineering grade polymer
- Weight: 174 grams
- Price: $109.95 USD
- Manufacturer’s Details: Topeak.com
Ratchet Rocket LITE NTX+
The Ratchet Rocket LITE NTX+ is a slightly different take on the standard Ratchet Rocket LITE NTX I reviewed earlier this year. The NTX+ offers the same ratcheting driver, accompanied by an identical assortment of bits, but the tire levers and preset torque bits are replaced with a chain tool and an adjustable torque bit. All together, it’s an impressive little kit and it packs neatly inside a folding nylon case. Over the last few months I’ve tossed the Ratchet Rocket LITE NTX+ into my frame bag again and again without hesitation. Since using the previous version, I’ve grown quite fond of its ratchet mechanism—making awkward jobs a little less painful.
The inclusion of a chain tool and adjustable torque bit is a big step up from the much less impressive tire levers and preset bits in the standard NTX model. The chain tool uses the magnetic bit holder (which also doubles as an extension on the driver) as a handle and makes breaking chains a breeze. Instead of selecting a torque value, the torque bit simply swivels as torque is applied and you release when you get to the value you need. With a range of 2-6Nm, it’s only really useful for small bolts, but could work well for those running carbon handlebars.
Unfortunately, the Ratchet Rocket LITE series relies on some elastic pockets to hold the bits, and they simply don’t hold in place. After riding rough singletrack or bumpy gravel roads, I almost always find a few smaller bits down at the bottom of the frame bag, and I expect I’ll lose one sooner or later.
- Good selection of functions that are applicable to most bikes.
- Ratcheting driver works great.
- Torque bit and chain tool are a nice addition.
- Elastic bit sleeves aren’t ideal for holding small bits.
- Not a complete multi-tool. You’ll need to supplement with some other tools.
- Material: Chrome vanadium steel
- Weight: 240 grams
- Price: $79.95 USD
- Manufacturer’s Details: Topeak.com
Topeak has certainly been stepping up their game when it comes to multi-tools. They’ve got an impressive selection of compact tools that I’d trust to be part of a bigger bikepacking repair kit, as they’ve proven their quality and functionality on several occasions. I really like how they continue to incorporate ratcheting mechanisms into their drivers and wrenches, and I’m keen to see what they come up with next.
Check out my review for a closer look at the Ratchet Rocket LITE NTX.