Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite DX - Review

Jan 10, 2018
by Mike Levy  
Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite DX


I don't know about you, but when I think of a multi-tool, I picture some sort of folding gizmo that probably includes a really awkward to use chain tool. Topeak's $34.99 USD Ratchet Rocket Lite DX is not that, however, with it being more of a pint-sized socket set for bikes than a 'how many hex keys can we squeeze onto this tool' widget.

The tiny wrench features a reversible ratchet mechanism, and Topeak includes all of the most commonly required hex bits, two different torx bits, a phillips, and a socket extension. Oh, there's also two mini tire levers to boot, and all that is tucked away in a Nylon case that can be mounted on a belt or the strap of a backpack.

Ratchet Rocket Lite DX Details

• Ratcheting socket wrench w/ bits
• 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8mm hex keys
• T10, T25 Torx, phillips
• Reversible ratchet mechanism
• Magnetic bit holder
• Socket extension
• Nylon case w/ Velcro strap and enclosure
• Case dimensions: 12.8 x 6.3 x 2.5 cm
• Weight: 155 grams (inc. case)
• MSRP: $34.99 USD
www.topeak.com

Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite DX
Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite DX
Nokia phone case for your belt or Topeak's Ratchet Rocket Lite DX?


Design

Topeak has a bunch of traditional mini-tools in their catalog, but the Ratchet Rocket Lite DX is more like a socket set for your bike that you can easily take with you on a ride. The wrench itself is 9.3cm long and is made out of chrome vanadium steel that should resist rusting and corrosion, even if it's been left in the bottom of your stinky pack for a few seasons. As small as the wrench is, the fine-tooth ratcheting mechanism still makes use of both a knurled thumb wheel and a tiny reverse lever, and there's also a magnetic bit holder at the end of the handle that's good for spinning a bolt quickly or for keeping a spare bit from rolling away.

The wrench snaps into a plastic clip that's been riveted onto the Nylon case, and the hold is firm enough that it shouldn't ever be able to rattle out.


Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite DX
Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite DX
It might be tiny, but the Ratchet Rocket still includes a knurled thumb wheel and a reverse lever.


When it comes to hex keys, Topeak has included separate 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8mm bits, as well as both a T10, T25 Torx and a suitable phillips, all of which are stored in little elastic pockets that hold them tightly in place. There are also two (short) tire levers that might be next to useless if your rubber fits quite tightly, and a little pocket that you can use to store some glueless patches or a few coins.

The Ratchet Rocket's Nylon case looks like something that someone's dad would strap to his belt to carry around an old Nokia cell phone, but it also feels very sturdy. It folds open and closed, so it's not going to keep water out or anything, but it should hold the wrench and all of the included tools without issue.


Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite DX
Stretchy pockets hold each bit separately.



Performance

Topeak's pint-sized ratchet wrench kit can be easily attached to a belt (why do you ride with a belt?) or one of your backpack's straps, meaning that won't need to go digging through a jersey pocket or the dark, scary recesses of your backpack when you need to tweak something on your bike. That might also make you the go-to guy in your group when someone needs a tool, and you'll want to keep a close eye on this little sucker if you're lending it out: it feels like it'd last forever, or at least many years of use, and I could see someone wanting to nick it for their own good.

The Ratchet Rocket wrench and separate tool bits make some jobs easier - threading in a long bolt, or working in a tight spot that doesn't allow you to spin a multi-tool all the way around - but it also means that there are ten tiny bits to lose. Unlike many multi-tools, the hardened steel bits fit bolt heads snuggly and I can see exactly zero deformation, and they snap into the working end of the ratchet wrench tightly enough to keep them from falling out. So tight, in fact, that I had a hard time pulling them out and sometimes had to resort to using another pit to push it out from the opposite side.

My one concern was the wrench's ratcheting mechanism. Have you ever been using a cheap ratchet wrench and had its internal working bits give up the ghost? It usually ends up in a big surprise and set of skinned knuckles, but the tiny ratcheting guts inside Topeak's wrench gave me no such scares. Then again, you're using a short tool on a bike part, not torquing down your car's wheel nuts, so there shouldn't ever be an issue.


Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite DX
Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite DX
The Ratchet Rocket Lite DX is designed as a trail-side tool, but it feels so well made that it's like a shop-quality wrench that was left in the dryer for too long.


While the tool itself is near faultless, the stubby tire levers that Topeak includes are near useless. They're too short to provide much of a leverage advantage if you're working on a really tight tire bead, and a tire that's loose enough to see them be helpful probably doesn't require levers anyway.



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesI'm of two minds about the Ratchet Rocket Lite DX... the tool dork in me loves that it's literally a micro-sized ratchet wrench with dedicated bits and that it, unlike many other tools that prioritize being small, feels like a high-quality item. But the prepper in me, the guy who wants to have it all and in the smallest, most convenient package possible, laments the lack of a chain tool and the separate bits that I somehow haven't managed to lose yet but likely soon will. If you lean more towards the first example than the latter, you'll probably like having the Ratchet Rocket Lite DX in your arsenal, but I think I'll stick to a more traditional folding multi-tool. Mike Levy






Must Read This Week

111 Comments

  • + 229
 Next to Brian Lopes this is the best tool in mountain biking!!!
  • + 11
 Well played.
  • + 14
 And this one definitely isn't as big.
  • + 49
 Both pack a nice punch for their size.
  • - 17
flag tacklingdummy (Jan 10, 2018 at 10:48) (Below Threshold)
 Brian Lopes rips. Fun to watch ride. Not sure why he gets a bad rap.
  • + 32
 @aliikane: You must be new around here.
  • + 4
 @aliikane: just shows you can have all the talent in the world, and a good work ethic to match, but if you park like a d*uche and punch pepole on podiums, all the sudden you just get a bad rep
  • + 1
 @weebleswobbles: From this article, he had a reason he punched the guy. Most people defended Lopes actions as being ok.

www.pinkbike.com/news/lopes-punching-kabush-after-the-race-heres-what-thats-all-about.html
  • + 1
 @weebleswobbles: Also, here is some insight on the big "parking incident" at Downieville from Lopes podcast. It doesn't seem as such a d*ck move if you listen to it. Start listen at 31:20 and you will hear his explanation. It involves Mark Weir, shuttling, and the guy driving Mark Weir's car staying at the hotel.

www.vitalmtb.com/features/Vital-MTBs-The-Inside-Line-Podcast-Episode-2-Brian-Lopes,1515
  • + 0
 @aliikane: not much parking at the top of downieville..so, its difficult to not be in the way on a busy day or weekend. From what I hear it was everywhere he parked from norcal to socal. Who am I to judge? Im just gonna go ride my bike
  • + 0
 @weebleswobbles: It is not a the top of Downieville. This was at the bottom of Downieville in the town. I know where they were parking. If you listen to the podcast. Mark Weir (WTB) was parked next to Lopes. They used Mark Weir's car to shuttle and Mark Weir asked Lopes to double park his van to save the spot for Mark Weir because they were coming back to stay at the hotel their.

Just trying to set the record straight.
  • + 1
 And once upon a time, there was a version with a chain tool! Served as my primary chain tool for quite some time and I still love it.

www.topeak.com/global/en/products/mini-tools/178-ratchet-rocket
  • + 0
 @aliikane: please remove lopes' scrotum from your mouth, can't understand a single word because you are choking
  • + 1
 @weebleswobbles: Haha. Will do.
  • + 1
 @aliikane:
Agree, both parties both agreed that what happened was deserved, and both parties aren't starting a war over it. case of, I was warned/warned, did it and wore the consequences, no beef.
  • + 30
 So, a bike with Pinion huh? Tell me more.
  • + 12
 I think the joke is that A) gearbox would not need servicing B) you couldn’t service it Trail side with any tool anyways C) mike levy could work on a gearbox
  • + 2
 Zerode or Deviate, but Deviate has more chain wrap, so probably a Zerode.
  • + 1
 @lkubica: yea but the Deviate doesn't have the idler.
  • + 2
 @speed10: Well:
A) He's fixing the crank to the spindle. It is an ISIS interface right? I thought everyone disliked that interface which helped the jump towards outboard bearings. Though if I recall correctly it was actually the small ball bearings which were the issue, so the interface continued to do well on unicycles and this Pinion, apparently. On the right side it seems like he's fixing a (Magura?) brake to the handlebar.
B) Sure you can. But you need a hammer.
C) I trust Mike should do just fine with a hammer.
  • + 1
 @speed10: Mike would never rise to such slurs.
  • + 1
 Ah maaaan, I got too excited and thought it was a torque wrench as well. Now that would be nice!
  • + 2
 @richierocket: They make it as a torque kit as well
  • + 1
 Its a Zerode.
  • + 18
 How many many points of engagement on the ratchet?!
  • + 0
 Standard ratchet has 6
  • + 1
 not sure of poe, but it has 50 gear teeth
  • + 2
 If it's not 72 then it's just another cheap junk Chinese tool
  • + 13
 Got two of these, they are such a great little bit of kit. Have used them at work as an engineer to get into tight spaces many times.
  • + 56
 Hence another proof that the stereotype about engineers having a hard time getting laid is false
  • + 7
 @WAKIdesigns: there are no “tight spaces” on British birds just large and extra lrg.
  • + 57
 @Monstertruckermotherfuker: To be fair most British size XXLs correlate to American XS.
  • + 4
 @Denning76: lol. well played.
  • - 3
 British Penis is superior to American due to stiffer upper lip. Foreskin shaped this way is said to enhance stimulation in belly to belly positions. Also known as Imperial mane.
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: "British Penis". Don't joke, that's almost my name.
  • + 1
 @Denning76: it's funny cause it's true!
  • + 6
 I don't have this tool but own a similar mini ratchet tool, I have to say that when it comes to actually using a tool at the side of a trail then it is so much nice to use one of these than a traditional fold up multi tool. You can also just add the necessary bits that fit your bike.
  • + 5
 I own a Victorinox bit driver with holder without ratchet mechanism. Looks and feels like a hex-key. Enjoy to work with it very much - even at home sometimes.
s289.photobucket.com/user/WatsonFab/media/img_2838_zpsi85dlhe5.jpg.html

You can buy every bit pretty cheaply and don't need to worry if you're losing one. Standard bits, available at common hardware stores
  • + 2
 @Brightside: the brilliance of that is it’s simplicity. Nice piece.
  • + 1
 @Brightside: I own that one as well as the RR, they are both awesome
  • + 1
 @speed10:
Exactly. Small, leightweight, comfortable to work with. Perfect for carrying it on the bike imo.

I also have a tire lever and a very small topeak chainbreaker from a minitool.
  • + 3
 @Brightside: check out this dude, he combined two of these AND the topeak tool.

ak-adventurer.net/2013/05/15/pocket-ratchet-hex-bit-driver-kit
  • + 1
 @johncee: where do you find this stuff? I need your google skillz
  • + 6
 I have this tool and it is excellent. For the price the quality is incredible, there is minimal slop or play in the ratcheting mechanism. I have had other expensive folding style multitools and I will never go back. Its vastly superior tool to use on the trail. The ratchet and bits are held in place in the pouch very securely. I keep mine attached to the frame on top of a tube with a backcountry research strap and I haven't had anything come out of place.
  • + 3
 I have this tool and it's definitely nicely made and works well, but I mostly leave it at home in lieu of a traditional multitool. I have a Tulbag from Backcountry Research and in there are a multitool, legit Pedros tire levers, masterlink, extra valve core, license and CC. That fits in my shorts pocket easily.

This tool is pocektable as well, but not as easily and you pretty much can't ditch the slightly bulky case because of the bit storage. I even went to Harbor Freight and bought some cheap bits just for the minimalist storage "case" they came in. Lot of faffing to try to get the set up and carry dialed. In the end, just stuck with the tried and true.
  • + 3
 have it and absolutely love it. used it on bikes and assembling furniture Smile surprised that the ratcheting mechanism is very sturdy, i thought with the tool being small, the ratcheting system would be the first to go.

only small grip is that it has no chaintool but the ratchet rocket does take care of that (another bulkier model but generally the same items).

go buy it you will love it
  • + 6
 Why do you ride with a belt? I wear a belt. Nobody needs to see my crack on the trails.
  • + 5
 I have one of these in a plastic case with a chain breaker in it and it's amazing. Use it even when I'm in the garage, great tool for most things on the bike
  • + 3
 "Topeak's pint-sized ratchet wrench kit can be easily attached to a belt (why do you ride with a belt?)"

Yes, many buggies have belts, and NO you should never attach pieces of metal to your body while riding.
  • + 4
 What can make your casual ride better than some torx bit stuck in your liver?
  • + 5
 I'd lose half the bits before I finish typing this sentence.
  • + 4
 Which half though?
  • + 5
 I've used one of these for close to 10 years now and haven't lost any bits... Even if you do then you can just go to your local hardware store and pick up some new ones for pennies.
  • + 1
 I keep one of these in my tool kit. It cuts out any ratchet mechanism issues and you you can get a reasonable amount of torque/leverage as well.
www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p4712.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.TRS0&_nkw=2pc+HERBRAND+1%2F4%22+DRIVE+FLEX+HEAD+BREAKER+BAR+23006+USA+EXTENSION+RATCHET+SOCKET&_sacat=0
  • + 1
 You should try one of these if you ant a quality little ratchet - I have one and it is brilliant for smaller jobs like brake/gear levers etc.
www.amazon.co.uk/Bit-Check-Ratsche-SB-pieces/dp/B00BT0G5UY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1515674440&sr=8-4&keywords=wera+ratchet+set
  • + 1
 I think the one from fabric is nicer. Longer bits so I may actually dare to work with that one without taking my gloves off. And they make that direction switch redundant hence actually make the ratched mechanism more reliable. This one from Topeak looks a bit like they too something from the hardware store and put it in a pouch. Maybe nice in the workshop but I'd never dare to take it out on the trails!
  • + 1
 I had this tool when it came in a plastic case that was a bit more compact than the nylon case now offered. It worked soooo much better on anything that needed more than a half turn than any multi tool I've ever used. I did not mind carrying a separate chain tool. Word of caution, the TSA took all the bits away from me saying they were drill bits because they could be put into a drill..... Why didn't I think of that! Left me with a very handy ratchet for some hex bits that I've cobbled together. Would love to buy another set of bits from Topeak
  • + 1
 been using it for almost 2Y. Its performance and reliability are exceptional, given the price level. Never had a problem and it has saved my @ss multiple times on the trail and at my small cellar workshop. all in all, i highly recommend
  • + 0
 Not used this particular tool, but i have a very similar looking (albeit cheaper) Bahco ratchet set that comes with a load more bits (amzn.eu/7nKSUvf). Like someone else said, used it at work (as an engineer) loads of times, and even leaded it upto 20Nm with a torque wrench and it was fine!
No fancy little pouch though, but cheaper!
  • + 2
 I'm an engineer but have a 'man' to do this sort of stuff for me.
  • + 1
 This is a great piece of kit but it must be about the tenth ‘review’ I’ve seen for this or one of the other very similar models in the last 6 months.
Topeak must be really shelling out for this coverage!!
  • + 3
 Got a set of these on sale for $25. The ratchet feels solid, feels like a Matco!
  • + 4
 Awesome bit of kit. I've been using one at work for a couple years.
  • + 2
 I have had 2 during that last few years. Lost the tool. Loved the tool so much had to go a buy a new one. Wish the case that held the pieces came in high Visibility orange! Could not understand why everything is black or inside of hydration bags are black? The small size also fits nicely in the hip belt pocket of your hydration pack
  • + 4
 9.99 for the same thing at Canadian tire with lifetime warranty.
  • + 1
 Carefull now! That kind of logic gets you down votes here LoL
  • + 1
 Can I steer you towards bazillion dollar top cap sockets? I've been using, "The Island Of Misfit Toys" to pretty much generally answer all my life questions as of late. If you imagine, "The Island Of Misfit Toys" you can imagine living in a pile of this, and that, all failing to make you a whole person, and all probably not working, or being interconnected.
  • + 3
 Do yourself a favor and pick up a Topeak Torquebit to upgrade the functionalist of this tool set tenfold.
  • + 2
 I just got this and have been loving it, but yeah the tire levers are garbage. Every company should just include a set of Pedro's instead of whatever they come up with.
  • + 2
 Best tool ever on and off the trail. Great for removing shocks on Specialized yokes too. This ratchet ass bitch and a park chain tool. Go dig and stop typing
  • + 0
 I can find a similar kit at Princess Auto (Harbour Freight) for a fraction of the cost. Nice to see more options coming to market other than the std multi tools we've been used to though.
  • + 0
 This looks like a rebranded VIM tool kit. They're awesome. As an automotive tech I've been using them for several years. Mac, matco and cornwell have been selling these re-branded as theirs for years.
  • + 1
 If you've ever tried to tighten seat bolts with a all-in-one multitool then you'll appreciate this ratchet a lot more. A lot more!
  • + 2
 Love my ratchet rocket . I use this one, which comes in a smaller package. amzn.to/2qNuGv3
  • + 0
 In the world of needless "bike specific tools" this is up there. I bought something similar at my local hardware shop for a fraction of this price. It is lower profile so it gets into tight spaces (which is why I bought it).
  • + 1
 Its a badass thing to have in your garage, wouldnt take it on a ride but is nice for hard to get to bolts.
  • + 1
 If youre looking to make your on kit, Chapman makes a similar ratchet here in the USA and well ... cheaper.
  • - 1
 With a wrench that small having "fine teeth", I'd be worried about the thing stripping out and then I have a bunch of bits I can't use. Also what size drive is it? Quarter inch?
  • + 1
 Replace the ratchet with a 1/4" drive breaker bar and problem solved.I've been using this setup for a while(1/4' breaker w/appropriate bits),the nice thing is the breaker bar has a swivel head and can be used like a screwdriver after the fastener has been cracked loose.
  • + 1
 Top tool brands like Matco have top of the line ratchets with 88 and 100 teeth. I believe the Topeak has 50, so you definitely shouldn't worry about reliability, my experience with it has been stellar. And yes, its 1/4"
  • + 0
 @rinzler:

I'm not aware of anyone using 100 teeth. Matco is 88, snapon is 80 with the exception being 72 on 1/4 drive stuff. Cornwell uses like 32 or 36, Mac just got some finer tooth ratchets that suck less than their old ones wich were 32 or 36.
  • + 1
 Loved mine until it broke trying to loosen a real wheel. I probably should have used a bigger wrench....
  • + 0
 I've got my own ratchet kit and similar bit sizes in my tool box. Not really that handy for working on my bike, but I would use this on my fridge...
  • + 2
 I don't want to put anything in my "arsenal"
  • + 1
 Is the clicker loud, how many pawls?
I mean it is the only way to test quality.
  • + 1
 It's solid but the bits have a tendency to fall out
  • + 1
 had one for ages now. it's good. no faults to report
  • + 1
 more than your ever need----it's not an I9 hub
  • + 1
 Quality tool, had mine for about 5 years now
  • + 1
 I would buy one if it had adjustable torque settings from 4nm's up.
  • + 5
 @imperial: Topeak offers "torque bits", with 4,5, and 6 Nm. I carry one with 5nm, works for most parts on my bike, at least well enough to get me home.
  • + 2
 The Ratchet Rocket NTX has a 4, 5, and 6 nM. It's honestly amazing, great for traveling when I am building up and tearing down my bike, and don't need to bring anything else. Highly recommended...and I wear mine with my fanny pack....
  • + 1
 I like it. I customize it with bit necessary for a particular bike.
  • - 1
 You can buy an equivalent mini-ratchet kit at Auto-Zone for a third of the price or even less...
  • + 0
 Nah , very happy with a small multi tool.
  • + 0
 Are you guys long term testing a Zerode Taniwha?
  • + 1
 Is that what the gripshift is for?
  • + 1
 @rclugnut: Yep and the gearbox.
  • + 2
 Yup, review down the road. Snow and ice have been delaying me a bit.
  • + 0
 no chain tool, no party
  • + 5
 I have the topeak ratchet rocket - which has a chain-breaker and tire lever included as well in a neat lil package. Plus it has a mounting clip that you can mount on the bidon for quick access. It has been my best buy so far - way cheaper than the edc and all-in multitool.

www.topeak.com/global/en/products/mini-tools/178-ratchet-rocket
  • + 1
 @DrSam: that's a cool little tool. Next time I lose mine, that may be the one.
  • - 3
 EWWWWW GripShift?!?!!
  • - 3
 Who actually uses grip shift?

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