Ritchey Torque Key $16.95

Bicycles and carbon are becoming synonymous these days. Walk into most bike shops, and it would be hard to spot a bike without a bit of carbon on it. Carbon offers a light, stiff, and comfortable ride in a way unsurpassed by any other material. The downside, however, is that carbon requires more care. With the use of the Ritchey Torque Key, you can be confident working with carbon components.

The Torque Key is a simple, inexpensive cousin to the traditional torque wrench. It comes preset to 5 NM, which is a common torque rating for many manufacturer’s seatposts, stems, and handlebars. The hex bit is a very common 4 mm. To use the Torque Key, simply start with a loose bolt and tighten it until the tool clicks in your hand. After the tool clicks, it prohibits you from tightening the bolt further; lessening the chance of damaging the carbon.

The uncomplicated nature of the Torque Key is also its biggest disadvantage. While its torque setting and hex bit are common, not every carbon components calls for that setting and size. Also, neither can be changed, so this key has a very specific market. Another drawback of the Torque Key is ergonomics. People will big hands will find it hard to get a grasp on the key, while people who aren’t very strong may find it hard to tighten a bolt fully.  Check it out at www.RitcheyLogic.com

GirlBikeLove Conclusion: The Ritchey Torque Key is a simple, inexpensive tool that allows you to properly install or adjust most carbon components. While it’s not adjustable, it does one job and it does it well.

By Katie Arehart-Rose – Boulder, CO