All those carbon bits on your new bike are pretty sweet, but they come with fine-print. Look close and you’ll find a smattering of torque requirements that will leave many home mechanics scratching their heads. A full torque wrench is always best, but in a pinch, the Ritchey Torqkey is a nifty tool to have.
Ritchey Torqkey Multi-bit Features:
- Includes 3, 4 & 5mm hex and T20 Torx bits
- Preset to fixed 5NM torque
- Magnetic bit retention
- MSRP: $19.90
Torqkey Offers Pocket-sized Confidence
Whether you’ve got aluminum or carbon cockpit bits, they all come with max recommended torque settings. The proper tightness is key to safety and the longevity of these critical parts. The last thing you want to do is damage that set of $300 carbon drop bars, so investing a few extra dollars on a torque wrench is a worthwhile investment.
Many full-featured torque wrenches can set you back upwards of $250, but cheaper alternatives are available (see the Venzo Torque Wrench for $59). These adjustable range torque wrenches are great for the home workshop, but on the go, it’s awesome having the Ritchey Torqkey. This pocket-sized, pre-set wrench has you covered for all Ritchey carbon components and the majority of other cockpit bits on the market.
I’ve found the Torqkey easy to use and have kept it in the back of the Subaru at all times — just in case. Any cockpit adjustments are then easy to do and don’t require a full-tilt torque wrench. The previous model had a fixed 4mm hex bit, but the updated model (tested) includes a magnetic, interchangeable bit. Swapping the bits is as easy and other size bits are readily available at your local hardware store.
When heading out for the first time after a major cockpit change or aboard a new test bike, the Torqkey always gets dropped into my jersey pocket, just in case.
It’s not the most ergonomic design, but it works well in-hand and the design itself prevents you from over-torquing. Speaking of torquing, you’ll know when you hit 5 NM because the wrench will click and give way — thus preventing you from over tightening. You may wonder if it will remove bolts torqued beyond 5 NM. The answer to that is yes it does.
- Preset 5 NM torque setting covers a variety of components
- Pocket-sized form-factor makes it easy to take along
- Interchangeable magnetic bits makes changes easier
- Only one torque setting
- Not the most ergonomic handle
- In-handle bit storage would be nice
The Bottom Line
While the Ritchey Torqkey should not be your only torque wrench, it is an affordable and portable torque wrench that should cover a variety of cockpit bits on your road or mountain bike.
Buy Now: Available at CompetitiveCyclist.com