Review: Topeak Rocket Ratchet Lite
In our latest video review we take a look at the Topeak Rocket Ratchet Lite, a tool that we’ve been using for well over a year at home and when we travel. For those that don’t want to watch the full video and prefer a written review, here is an executive summary.
Overall, the Rocket Ratchet Lite is a fun tool to use. It is somehow more enjoyable to use a ratcheting mechanism than constantly removing and inserting a tool if it can’t do a full rotation. I also think that the ratchet reduces wear on bolt heads that aren’t made of very good metal. I don’t know if it is the satisfying clicking noise or what, but it is a pleasure to use. It makes short work of installing or removing racks and fenders and other tasks where you are generally turning in a single direction for a majority of the time. We even use ours to remove pedals from bikes (our pedals have allen wrench sockets in the back).
Where the ratchet is more liability than asset is tasks where you have to reverse direction very quickly. For example, straightening or adjusting the height of a seatpost. It’s a not a big deal, but it does make the task less fluid. It is also not ideal for working on parts of the bike where you are using various bit sizes simultaneously. Another shortfall is the nylon case. The bits are held in the open sided case by small elastic pockets. Most of the time they do their job, but I have opened up my bike bag to find that some of the bits had tumbled out.
Despite these flaws I still really really like this tool. The ratcheting system is just a joy to use and makes certain tasks much faster.
+Fun to use
+Makes certain tasks easier (removing fenders, racks, pedals, etc.,)
-Slow to Switch Directions
-Slow to Switch Bits
If you liked the review, consider getting a Topeak Rocket Ratchet Lite from this link. If you want the slightly more upscale one with a hard case for better bit retention, get this one.
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Or – for better retention, just make a few “ranger bands” out of an old 2″ inner tube and get some wrap on that. That being said, I’d go for the spendy one if this is your main tool because chain tool is always handy. I’d worry about the case cracking and would probably throw some inner tube around that one anyways as well.