Torque on the Fly

Torque on the Fly

No, we’re not talking about how much power you can generate on demand. That’s the stuff of Strava.

What about when you have to make a road- or trailside repair and some of your components are especially lightweight alloy or carbon fiber? If you’re like me, you noted the relative position of the wrench when you loosened the bolt and then tightened it back to exactly that position and hoped for the best. It’s an approach that has served me well so far, but I’m told that one-eighth of a turn of a bolt can take it from within torque spec to exceeding it enough to strip threads.

I’m betting you, like me, haven’t been riding with a complete set of torque wrenches.

Why would you? No one was doing that, right? But it was, at a certain level, as irresponsible as sending nude selfies to … well, anyone. Even if they’re cool there’s always hacking, amiright?

How many times have I seen someone reach for an Allen key only to moments later hear that telltale wooden crack!? It signals to all within earshot that someone is about to call the manufacturer and claim that this is a warranty issue.


Let’s not belabor the point. Topeak has just come out with a tiny set of torque bits for repairs and adjustments for when you’re away from your home or the shop. The Nano TorqBox DX comes with adapters for 4, 5 and 6Nm torque and then bits for 4, 5 and 6mm Allens as well as T20 and T25 Torx.

While Topeak makes a minitool (the Nano TorqBar) that includes all the standard tools plus this, the truly inspired insight of the Nano TorqBox is that this is simply an add-on that will work with any minitool on the market as the sockets fit onto a 5mm Allen key.

It’s also possible to purchase any one of the torque sockets and five bits individually, so if you know that nothing on your bike requires more than 5Nm of torque (or stipulates less than that), you can buy just that one socket with the group of bits and save your self some cash, and maybe some confusion.

The three-socket Nano TorqBox DX goes for $79.99, while the single socket (4, 5 or 6Nm) Nano TorqBox goes for $29.99. The all-in-one three socket multitool Nano TorqBar DX goes for $99.99, while the single socket Nano TorqBars go for $39.99.

Final thought: No more earth-shattering kaboom.

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  1. Tom in Albany

    There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom! The Alludium Q explosive space modulator. That earth-creature has stolen it!

    Sorry. The best I could do from memory.

    1. Author

      Even if it’s not verbatim perfect, thank you. I’m glad someone keyed on the joke.

  2. Robert Templin

    I did a lot of research for a home set of torque wrenches but this is the first ‘travel’ model I’ve seen. I think you probably can get away with a roadside adjustment if you check the settings when you get home. But good torque tools don’t come cheap whether home or travel models!

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