Overall Verdict: A tool every serious cyclist should have in their tool box. You pay thousands of dollars for a bike, you should take care not to damage it by over tightening your bolts. While a little expensive the piece of mind that comes with it is worth it.
The Topeak Nano TorqBar review starts with us installing some new bottle cages onto a carbon road bike frame. Frustration sets in that we don’t know what to torque the bolts to for a water bottle cage. Unlike stems and seat collars that often have inscribed indications of what the torque spec should be the bolt cages were lacking. A quick google search led us to a guesstimate of about 2 or 3Nm. Again frustration sets in, the Nano TorqBar only came with 4,5 & 6Nm preset tokens. OK, so where do we start now?
We move up to the stem as we were just replacing a 100mm with a shorter 90mm after a bike fit we had done last week recommended some of the knee pain I have been fighting is likely caused by the far reach putting my knee over my toe. The Ritchey stem had torque specks stamped on it. It stated 5Nm max, so to start out we put on the 4Nm token. It’s very important to mention that you should not have the torque head on for common removal and install of bolts. It should only be used as the final step for checking the torque as it can become uncalibrated if used to remove bolts. And while more expensive larger torque wrenches are able to be calibrated, these tokens are not.
We used the allen key to lightly tighten down the stem. Next, we used the Nano TorqBar to finish up the job. I was surprised at how much tighter I was tightening the bolt that I would have if I was just doing it by feel.
Fast forward a few months now and we have been using the pocket size torque wrench for a while now. There were a couple things that didn’t immediately stand out when we first started using it. The nano torqbar can be used as a regular bike tool if you leave the torque heads off and just install the bit. Also, you can store two bits inside the handle making it super small and compact tool on the go. Although you can only take two bits with you, you’ll have to decide whats going to need to need adjusting during your ride and hope you didn’t bring the torx bit when you needed the allen bit. It can also hold one torque key in the end of the handle. It’s not much more room to bring the entire kit with you and it doesn’t weigh much more that a regular multi tool.
- 15 Functions
- Torque Value: 4, 5 & 6Nm
- Allen bits: 3,4 & 5mm
- Torx bits: T20 & T25
- Body: Aluminium / Engineering grade plastic
- Integrated compartment for two bits
- Carry case
- Size (LxWxH): 12×1.6×1.6cm / 4.7”x0.6”x0.6”
- Weight: 62g / 2.19oz (Tool w/ 1 Torqbit & 2 bits)
At the end of the day, your going to pay close to $60 usd for this tool. It’s much more expensive that a lot of other bike tools in your gear bag, but it comes with piece of mind. Additionally, it can be used as a multi-tool in a pinch, so you get some added value with that in mind. The build quality it top notch, its a hard metal outer case and a durable hard plastic body. It locks closed with a button and has magnets to keep the bits in place. It’s locks closed with a button to release. We found that while it’s missing a 2 or 3Nm key, 4, 5, and 6Nm are the most common on our mountain bikes and road bikes. A couple down sides are that you do not know if your tension setting get off with the different heads, so keep that in mind if you feel like you are cranking down a little harder that you think you should.
We often find discounts from the many hundred of retailer we search for Topeak tools. Have a look on GearChase.com and see what Topeak Tools on sale are currently available.
Or Check out the Topeak NanoTorqBar DX on Amazon