If you’re tired of using small allen wrenches or multitools to put together your bike, install new racks or fix a problem midride, the Topeak Ratchet Stick is an incredibly useful and easy tool to solve all your bolt tightening problems.
The Ratchet Stick is similar to a socket wrench you may have in your home tool kit. Those wrenches have a head that you attach various sockets to that allow you to tighten or loosen a variety of bolt sizes with quick back and forth motions that don’t require pulling the tool off the bolt, or spinning the tool a full 360 degrees.
The Ratchet Stick works similarly but rather than using sockets the Ratchet Stick comes with a variety of bits that slide into the female head of the tool. The connection is great. The pieces are easy to slide in, solid when they are in use, and easy to remove.
The Ratchet Stick comes with 2, 3, and 6 mm allen bits, longer 4 and 5 mm allen bits, T10, T15, T20, and T25 Torx bits, as well as a #2 phillips head screwdriver bit.
When you put the bit in, the ratchet has a quick, smooth, and easy ratchet mechanism. The entire tool head is also incredibly thin, which makes it easy to squeeze into tight places, and we all know bikes have plenty of those.
The best part though is that the Ratchet Stick body can hold five bits so they are ready to hit the trail or ride to work with you. A plastic sleeve slides over the body of the Ratchet Stick, covering the bits and keeping them in place, but it is easily removed with the push of a button. You can stash the rest of the bits in a plastic sleeve that snaps on the outside of Ratchet Stick, though we found the connection between the plastic sleeve and the ratchet lacking, meaning the bit sleeve regularly slid or snapped off from the ratchet.
The compact design is easy to slip in a pocket or small tool bag, and really does make assembling or tightening a piece on your bike so much easier. We do wish, however, that we could use it as a torque wrench, a feature that we learned is available in the Topeak Torq Stick.
It’s a great tool that works well, but if you have extra funds, we’d recommend going for the Torq, as it makes tightening the sometimes delicate parts of your bike, not only easier, but incredibly precise.