“Yep, that feels about right,” you say, ratcheting down the final bolt on your expensive new stem connected to your delicate carbon handlebars. As much as we’re ashamed to admit otherwise, we’ve all put a bit too much confidence in the not-so-finely tuned touch of a human hand from time to time (or all the time), eschewing the precision of a torque wrench.
But there’s no excuse to not have a torque wrench when hundreds, even thousands, of dollars’ worth of components or frames are at stake every time you fasten a bolt. And there’s especially no excuse when the remedy is $50.
The Lezyne Torque Drive is a compact, pre-calibrated torque wrench set that’s straightforward to use. Just pop one of 11 included tool bits into this machined aluminum wrench and tighten until the marker lines of your desired tension match up. With a 2Nm-10Nm torque capacity, you’ll be able to precisely tighten the most commonly adjusted bolts on your bike.
Weighing in at 77g for just the wrench with a 5mm bit, the Torque Drive is light but still has a nice heft to it —it feels built for the long haul. Plus, it’s quite comfortable in the hand. Thanks to its long handle, we were able to reach just about every important bolt on a bike. The only bolts that really give headaches—and this is true for just about any torque wrench—is some seatpost head designs and the bottom water bottle cage bolt on the seattube.
The set includes 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5 and 6mm hex bits; T10, T25 and T30 torx bits; and flat-head and phillips-head bits. The bits fit securely in the wrench thanks to a magnetized tool chuck, and everything packs up into a dedicated soft-shell carrying case.
The set is compact, but not quite small enough that you would want to take it along on a ride. But it’s a great option for the home mechanic or as a travel set for keeping in a car for pre-ride adjustments, or throwing into a bike bag when flying.
Serious tinkerers might want to splurge for a unit where the wrench clicks at a precisely dialed-in torque setting, alerting you to stop tightening. But those can cost twice as much as this set, which, for most home mechanics, more than gets the job done.
$50; 177 grams (entire set in case—just the tool with a 5mm bit weighs 77g); lezyne.com