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Tuesday, June 13

Running out of room for all the sashes

I recently agreed to be a Topeak ambassador.

An offer I coulda refused, but didn't.

I have plenty of Topeak products that I rely rather heavily on in my bike room.  The digital air pressure gauge and torque wrench (also digital, natch) would be topping that list.  As expensive as the torque wrench is, it was cheaper than replacing crushed bars, stripped stems, wallowed-out slider bolts, ruined EBBs, etc.  I've had it for more than five years now... I think.  It sits nestled in its case, in a drawer, at the ready always.  The pressure gauge also has its own place, in an old Oakley case, on a shelf made from a fake PA license plate.

Other tools get mislaid about the bike room on a pretty consistent basis, but these will always be returned to their proper place.

There's at least three or four other Topeak items in my possession... the very portable floor pump that I keep in my car that I never use but my friends who seldom check their air pressure before leaving Charlotte do, the nicest chain tool on my pegboard... I can't remember everything.  I sure do like what I have tho, so why not support them?

As seems to be the case with taking on an ambassador role, I'm asked what I would want from said company, said company then sends me some of what I want, some things I didn't ask for... and a softball hat.

I'll get to the things that I didn't necessarily want because I didn't think I'd need them but are just handy enough that I can't deny how nifty they actually are eventually.

This is something I wanted:

The Ratchet Rocket Lite NTX.

I was thinking about how sweet this would be for traveling.  It has three different Nano TorqBits for 4, 5, and 6 Nm.  That's dope as hell, because I really don't wanna be guessing my torque if I'm tightening up a stem or brake lever at the Breck Epic.  I also don't like traveling with my D-Torq Wrench DX because it costs like a million dollars, and the internet pundits would have me believe that if I look at it the wrong way, it's gonna need to be sent back and calibrated...

Because a torque wrench that's in a home shop sees so much use and abuse?

So this little guy, the first night that I had it... it was sitting there on the bench.  I was replacing the broken lever blade on my XTR Trail brake.  There's a stupid set screw that's just as much of a pain in the ass to get to with a 2mm wrench as the reach adjustment on the XTR Race brakes.  I know just the tool on the pegboard I use for that job, a bent Allen key... no idea how I bent a 2mm Allen tho.

As I was reaching for it, I looked down at my new tool thing, all sprawled out earlier so I could admire it, and realized this was about 100% molar betterer than my bent Allen key.

Tiny ratchet plus extension plus 2mm bit was all the buenos in this tight spot.

While the Vertigo was already being worked on, I figured I'd take a look at my Viscoset.  See about mebbe swapping some plates around and adjusting the damping (or dampening if you're the type of person who says "front forks").

Pull everything apart, adjust some things, start to put it back together...

And realized that mebbe I could try one of the Nano TorqBits for the job.  Thomson recommends 5.5 Nm, but I've had some slippage in the past, so I go for 6 Nm.  The red bit.

So, I shoulda read the instructions first.  I'm used to my 4 Nm Ritchey Torqkey that I use on my stem face plate when I travel.  It kinda "releases" when you reach the proper torque.

This doesn't do that.

It lets out an audible click.  "Audible" if you don't have music playing loudly in the background... which I did.

Fortunately, I just missed the click.  I thought I was getting heavy handed, but when I double checked with the digital wrench, I was right at 6 Nm.  I tightened the other bolt with the music turned down this time...

*click*

Oh, there it is.

It is quiet, but when you know what you're listening for, it's noticeable enough.

Even tho it's not my bag, I would think that the size and versatility of this bundle of toolage would be good for Amateur Homeless Personing™.  Mebbe.  Dunno.  Seems like it tho.  Very complete and tidy.

I should really read instructions... and open my eyes a little bit.  I didn't even notice that the ratchet part could be used two different ways until I was over on the Topeak site grabbing images.

This is definitely going into my traveling tool bag bundle (AKA re-purposed toiletry bag).

Which, by the way, why doesn't someone make a tool bag like this?  It's the most practical thing I've ever seen for bike tools.  All those purpose-made tool rolls with slots for things just don't make sense to me because I carry mebbe two or three things that would work in them, but what about sealant and lube and brake pads and spare valve stems and patches and a chain ring and chain and CO2 and tubes and Dynaplugs... and stuff.

Something with just the right amount of organization and not everything tossed into a sack.  Am I asking for too much?

Prolly or else someone would already be making it.

More Topeak related posts when I have time to play with... two floor pumps?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I shoulda read the instructions first. I'm used to my 4 Nm Ritchey Torqkey that I use on my stem face plate when I travel. It kinda "releases" when you reach the proper torque."

I just bought one of these and tried it and thought... this thing is broken. I will have to re-try it now that I have your knowledge of how it works. Thanks Topeak Ambassador!!

Anonymous said...

see, that's a funny comment. Good job anonymous #1.

FarmerG said...

As some who supports computer users.

RTFM!!!! (Read the F'ing Manual).

If your relying on 2nd hand info from Dicky, you're doing it wrong.