Home / Blog / Torque About Tools

Torque About Tools

Jul 07, 2023Jul 07, 2023

Your August workshop tool fix

This competition is now closed

By Oscar Huckle

Published: August 1, 2023 at 11:00 am

Although ‘New Bike Day’ undoubtedly upstages ‘New Tool Day’, if you’re at all like me, at least the latter happens far more frequently.

Yes, it’s time for your latest Torque About Tools fix, our semi-regular round-up of the latest workshop tools to land at BikeRadar HQ.

In this edition, I have 10 new exciting tools to run you through, from a new torque wrench that’s fresh off the press today, to nifty electric screwdrivers, new releases from Park Tool and Pedros, and a pricey piston press.

Released today (1 August), Feedback’s Range Click Torque Wrench represents a complete revamp of its predecessor.

To set the torque on the previous Range, you had to read the dial carefully while tightening a bolt.

The new torque wrench moves to a click-type design, where you set the desired torque at the handle. The range has also expanded by 2 to 14Nm (the previous Range topped out at 10Nm).

Feedback says it has also worked on the tool’s ergonomics and ensuring a shop-quality finish.

The Range ships with 10 short 1/4in bits made from S2 steel:

There are also three 50mm-long 4mm, 5mm and T25 bits, which should be useful for hard-to-access saddle mounting bolts or shifter clamps. It’s all packaged in a compact, weather-resistant TPU case.

Feedback says the torque wrench is accurate to +/- 4 per cent for up to 4,000 cycles. The brand doesn’t offer an in-house calibration service.

Early impressions suggest the improvements make for a fine tool. The expanded torque range is appreciated because it means you can now torque Shimano crank pinch bolts and a greater range of saddle bolts.

While it’s not quite as defined as options from Wera, Park Tool or Effetto Mariposa, there’s a noticeable click on reaching the desired torque.

According to Feedback, each click of the rotating handle equates to 0.17Nm. The scale only features integers, with the gaps between them quite small, and you do occasionally need to torque bolts at decimal figures.

The tool also has a relatively short handle compared to its competitors. This means it could be a nifty travel option, although it’s too large to carry with you on a ride.

Electric screwdrivers can save time in a busy workshop and Facom’s latest option comes with a vast array of bits, producing up to 0.9Nm of torque. This makes it perfect for initial fastening and you can then use a torque wrench for final adjustments.

The electric screwdriver charges via USB-C and is claimed to reach full capacity in 70 minutes. Five LEDs provide illumination.

You get 16 1/4in bits:

The bits insert into the tool using the brand’s ‘Quick Lock Mechanism’. Simply lift the end of the tool up and insert the bit, which then locks everything in place.

The electric screwdriver is claimed to be IP54 water resistant and everything’s stored in a soft pouch. The pouch features loops for the 16 bits and there’s even a pocket to house the charge cable in.

I’ve found the tool to be quite the time-saver, particularly when tightening stem bolts, and it even got put to use dismantling and rebuilding furniture on a home move.

Even BikeRadar is not immune from cycling industry supply shortages, with this kit taking the best part of nine months to arrive.

Park Tool recently brought out its updated BK-M-1.2 and BKD-1.2 bleed kits, but if you own the original BKM-1 or BKD-1, you can effectively upgrade it with the BK-UK upgrade set.

Although the full bleed kits are pricey at £114.99 each, I’ve found them to be worth the investment. I appreciate the large number of adaptors that make them versatile across a number of different brake systems compared to a brand-tidy option.

It’s also refreshing to see a brand offer an upgrade option for owners of older-series kits.

The BK-UK contains six new parts, allowing for greater compatibility with the ever-increasing number of brake systems in circulation.

The M4 x 0.7 gold adaptors are designed to work with SRAM’s DB8, TrickStuff and Campagnolo mineral oil brake systems. Correct me if I’m wrong but, as far as I’m aware, this is the second premium offering on the market for working on Campagnolo brakes, other than its own.

Next, the thin-walled compression sleeve is not only designed for use with the internal bleed nipples on the latest-generation Shimano disc brakes, but also its older calipers.

Shimano’s hoses of old didn’t have a particularly stable connection, with some kits featuring hose clips to keep them in place. It was incredibly frustrating when the hose would fall off the insert part way through bleeding a brake.

Shimano introduced an integrated bleed insert on its catchily named ‘TL-BR001 bleed syringe unit’, which proved revolutionary and now Park Tool has brought out an equivalent. The insert simply plugs into the caliper’s bleed nipple.

The 11mm bleed blocks are for use with Hayes Dominion and SRAM DB8 brakes.

Specific internal cable-routing kits can save a lot of time from what can be a seriously brain-cell-depleting task.

The IR-1.3 is an update to the IR-1.2 and includes five 188cm guide cables (down from 250cm) with attached magnets and unique fittings.

The barbed adaptor threads onto the end of brake and shift cable housing, as well as hydraulic hose. There’s a rubber adaptor for holding electronic wires, such as those found on Shimano Di2 and Campagnolo EPS.

There’s a Di2-specific adaptor for EW-SD50 wires, as well as an adaptor for the thinner EW-SD300 wires found on the brand’s latest 12-speed road bike groupsets.

Like previous kits, the IR-1.3 includes a reverse polarity magnet to feed into the opposite end of the frame, so the cables can meet in the middle.

As well as a guide magnet, you also get a double-threaded barb in the box.

This is not a new design – SRAM and Campagnolo have similarly designed adaptors in their range and it’s particularly useful for attaching new to existing housing so you can just pull it through the frame.

Perhaps the biggest update is the brand putting a round tool in a round container! There was nothing more frustrating than having to carefully coil the cables back up at the end of a day in the workshop and stuff them into the original rectangular box.

I’m yet to test the new tool, but the old IR-1.2, in conjunction with Jagwire’s Pro Internal Routing Tool, are my kits of choice.

I’d use the IR-1.2 for the vast majority of jobs but the short, flexible head of the Jagwire tool is appreciated when you have to route a cable or hose over the top of a threaded bottom bracket shell.

Pedro’s has brought out three new tools – a hex key set, a bit-based stubby T-handle and a new cassette lockring tool.

As is typical for the yellow brand, the tools are priced at the mid-to-high end of the market, appealing to both shop mechanics and the home enthusiast.

Although it’s not brand-spanking new, Pedro’s has sent me its 10-piece metric hex and torx set to test.

Pedro’s says the P-handle hex wrenches feature a new handle shape with slimmer profiles. The brand claims it’s also worked on improving the tip tolerances. Like most high-end hex keys, they’re crafted from S2 steel.

Unlike other P-handles on the market, the legs are almost completely covered, which Pedro’s says is for enhanced comfort and control.

The set includes 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm hex and T10, T25 and T30 torx. You’ll need a separate 10mm and 1.5mm for other jobs.

Each tool features coloured bands for easy identification and it all comes in a neat storage pouch.

The new Pedro’s T-Handle Bit Drive performs a very similar function to the Pro Bit Driver I featured a couple of editions ago, only in T-handle form.

Weighing in at 77g on my digital scales (3g under the claimed weight), the handle slides, effectively converting the tool into an L-handle, helping you to access tight spaces. This could make it good for travel.

It can store four 1/4in bits inside – the tool comes with 3, 4, 5 and 6mm hex, as well as a T25 Torx bit.

If you’re after a greater selection of bits, you could buy the Pedro’s Multi-Torque Bit Set 8-Piece for €10.30.

Pedro’s says its new Pro Cassette Lockring Socket is fully machined to precise tolerances for an exacting fit. It is then heat treated for maximum strength and longevity.

The brand says it’ll fit all Shimano, SRAM, Sunrace, Suntour, Chris King and other HG standard cassette lockrings. It’ll also work with Centre Lock disc brake rotor lockrings with 12 splines and a 23.5mm outside diameter.

There’s a 5mm guide pin and a removable aluminium 12mm pin held in place with a magnet. There’s a satisfying ‘pop’ sound when removing the 12mm pin.

The socket can be used on the Pedro’s Grande Torque Wrench, the Pro Socket Handle or the Equalizer Pedal Wrench – or anything with a ⅜in square drive for that matter.

The socket weighs 73g and there’s also a 54g variant that forgoes the guide pin for $29.99/€37.

Ryder Innovations is a South African brand aiming to improve on established product designs.

Its Luberetta, for example, is a silicone dispenser, which puts a single drop of chain lube on each link. The brand’s Nutcracker tool holds tubeless valve rim nuts so you can easily undo them, while integrating other tools useful for tubeless maintenance.

The Groove Tool Pro is a multi-tool that also incorporates a chain breaker. It can be mounted anywhere on the bike with the included ‘Slyder Sleeve’ mount, or you can forgo the mount and store the tool in a jersey pocket or in your saddlebag.

The tool has been designed to be ergonomic and fit neatly in the hand. Inside is space for four 1/4in bits and the chain breaker, which all attach onto a magnet. There’s also room for a quick link.

You get 6 nickel-plated hex bits to choose from – 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5 and 6, as well as a T10 and T25 Torx bit.

The tool can be used as an L or a T-handle because there are two places for the bits to mount on the tool’s body.

On my digital scales, the tool weighs 88g (8g more than claimed).

You may gawp at the price of SRAM’s new flagship piston press, but it’s an interesting take on a tool that, until now, I’ve rarely reached for.

When you change the disc brake pads on your bike, you need to push the pistons back into the bores of the caliper because they self-adjust as the pad material wears down. Moving them back inside the caliper body puts them in a ‘neutral’ starting point.

I generally use a plastic tyre lever to push the pistons back inside the caliper.

SRAM’s Ultimate Universal Piston Press is designed to evenly compress caliper pistons when servicing them and aligning or replacing pads. It can also be used as a bleed block.

To use the tool, insert it into the caliper and tighten with a 5mm hex key. As you tighten the hex bolt, the two aluminum wedges expand, pushing the pistons back inside the body.

SRAM’s tool has instantly become my piston press of choice. It’s a tool I’ll be reaching for whenever I work on a SRAM brake in the future rather than my trusty plastic tyre lever, because it’s more foolproof.

It’s just a shame (although not for SRAM) the tool is too wide to fit in both Shimano and Campagnolo calipers.

Ask a mechanic what their opinions are about three-way wrenches and you’ll likely be led down a rabbit hole over whether or not they even belong in a workshop.

I typically prefer to use a dedicated hex wrench for most jobs, although an unlikely area a three-way wrench can come in handy is for travel, especially when you have mismatched thru-axle sizes.

Topeak’s new YHex Speed Wrench will likely appeal with its incorporation of a ‘speed sleeve’ for the 5mm bit. The wrench is constructed from chrome vanadium steel and weighs 92g on my digital scales.

You can also get a Torx version with T10, T25 and T30 bits and a 2/2.5/3mm hex option.

Technical writer

Oscar Huckle is a technical writer at BikeRadar. He has been an avid cyclist since his teenage years, initially catching the road cycling bug and riding for a local club. He’s since been indoctrinated into gravel riding and more recently has taken to the dark art of mountain biking. His favourite rides are epic road or gravel routes, and he has also caught the bikepacking bug hard after completing the King Alfred’s Way and West Kernow Way. Oscar has a BA degree in English Literature and Film Studies and has close to a decade of cycling industry experience, initially working in a variety of roles at Evans Cycles before joining Carbon Bike Repair. He is particularly fond of workshop tool exotica and is a proponent of Campagnolo groupsets. Oscar prefers lightweight road and gravel frames with simple tube shapes, rather than the latest trend for aerodynamics and full integration. He is obsessed with keeping up to date with all the latest tech, is fixated with the smallest details and is known for his unique opinions.

Subscribe to Cycling Plus magazine and get a Lezyne Super Pro GPS (worth £135!) as your welcome gift! Plus, save 16% off the subscription price.

Subscribe to MBUK and get a Race Face Handlebar as your welcome reward! Plus, save 25% off the shop price!