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Throughout the month of December, VeloNews will be featuring lust-worthy gear that you’ll be as happy to receive as you will be to give.
If you have a bike recently manufactured, you’ve undoubtedly noticed small numbers and letters printed next to fasteners, like the ones on your stem, saddle, or seat post.
These are torque specifications for the maximum amount of effort to use when tightening and clamping things. If you exceed these recommended specs you risk shearing aluminum or cracking carbon fiber — which can be a really expensive “ooops!”
The Topeak Torq Stick ($114.65) is a shop tool made exactly to prevent overtightening parts. The dial on the handle rotates to set torque from 4nm to 20nm, and the two-way ratchet at the business end works really well for tightening and loosening a variety of fasteners on a bike, or bike accessories.
What sets this tool apart from others is the accuracy, which Topeak claims to be +/- 4 percent, which should offer enough precision to prevent overtightening of most parts on a bike. Precision is set for 0.5nm, with each half-turn of the dial on the handle.
Similar tools include the Park Tool TW-5.2 ($109).
The 30mm body offers plenty of leverage, but to be sure you don’t turn bolts and fasteners too much, the Torq Stick makes an audible click — and you can feel when the clutch disengages — once you’ve reached the set torque.
The Torq Stick has some heft to it, and the dial on the handle is also knurled to make it easy to grip with slippery hands. The scale on the dial is high-contrast and relatively easy to read.
A set of nine bits — 3mm / 4mm / 5mm / 6mm / 8mm / 10mm / T20 / T25 / T30 Torx — come with the Torq Stick, in a covered organizer, to prevent them from being lost. The knurling on the tool bits makes them easy to grab and hold onto while swapping them in and out — so less chance that a bit drops and bounces under a cabinet.