SILCA T-Ratchet and Ti-Torque Kit Cycling Multi-Tool Review
SILCA, founded in Italy in 1917 and now headquartered in Indianapolis, has been combining premium craftsmanship with functionality for many years and I’ve come across floor pumps from the 60s and 70s that still work great. With the SILCA T-Ratchet and Ti-Torque Kit, the company has found an elegant solution to a problem facing the modern cyclist. Many road and mountain bikers these days are riding carbon fiber frames with carbon components and cranking down on these with traditional multi-tools can damage your expensive equipment. The solution? A multi-tool that incorporates torque measurement for precise adjustments while still being small enough to fit in a jersey pocket. How does it perform in the real world? Read on to find out in our SILCA T-Ratchet and Ti-Torque Kit review.
Premium Design and Craftsmanship
The T-Ratchet and Ti-Torque is a truly premium product with fine attention to every detail of its titanium, aluminum and hard steel build. Bikes are expensive and it is reassuring when your tools match that same level of quality. Everything on this multi-tool is precisely machined and fits together nicely with minimal wiggling. There are no weak points where corners were cut and the build gives the impression that SILCA made this to last a lifetime.
SILCA didn’t just make a great tool and then package it up in a cheap bag to throw it in. The T-Ratchet and Ti-Torque come in a custom-designed case with spots for the T-Ratchet, the Ti-Torque, a bit extender, and all ten included bits. Everything is well organized inside and a flap keeps the tools in place when closed with the magnetic snaps. If you want to take everything with you on a ride, you can throw this into a large saddlebag. However, when I ride, I will usually only take what I need for my bike so that I can avoid the added bulk of the case. The challenge with this is what to do with the small bits since your bike will probably need two or three. For me, my saddlebag has a little, zippered compartment and I put them in there.
SILCA T-Ratchet and Ti-Torque: A versatile multi-tool
We’ll get to the torque measurement functionality below, but first I wanted to talk about how SILCA thoughtfully made a tool that can be used in a variety of situations. The problem with most tools for cycling is that they have pretty specific use cases and don’t adapt well. E.g. you have your big t handle wrenches at the shop which are too big to carry around and you have your small folding multi-tool that often can’t reach parts of the bike and is awkward to use when out on a ride. With the T-Ratchet and Ti-Torque Kit, SILCA found a way to combine the usability and leverage of a t handle with the portability of a swappable-bit cycling multi-tool. Using magnetic attachments, you can quickly change from screwdriver to long screwdriver to ratchet to t-handle. The included high-quality bits attach magnetically to multiple places depending on orientation. Unfortunately, the titanium spring in the Ti-Torque attachment is inherently non-magnetic but the spring clip works well as a substitute. I really appreciated how the T-Ratchet is so adaptable and can work in the way that you need it to.
2-8Nm Torque Measurement in One Small Tool
Torque wrenches have been around a long time and many of us use them at the bike shop or even at home but the challenge has always been what do you do when you’re on a ride and need to make an adjustment. There are companies that make portable tools with torque measurement BUT they are preset to one exact Nm level, meaning you would have to carry multiple versions to do everything on your bike. The problem has always been that an adjustment mechanism for torque setting is pretty bulky and hard to miniaturize effectively. SILCA came up with a smart solution to this by ditching the idea of setting the torque and instead measuring it as you go. To do this, they put a highly precise titanium spring in the Ti-Torque that is calibrated to show you between 2-8Nm of force as it is tightened. As you tighten the Ti-Torque, you watch the etched markings to make sure you don’t go past the amount of torque needed. The Ti-Torque must be connected to the T-Ratchet to get the torque measuring benefits. In practice, I found this to work pretty well. The markings are pretty close together and in increments of two so you have to pay close attention and stop in between the lines for an odd number. While I’d like the numbers to be easier to read, you figure it out after a few uses and learn which lines are which. I’m amazed at the simplicity of this idea and impressed with its functionality.
SILCA T-Ratchet and Ti-Torque Kit Cycling Multi-Tool Review Summary
The SILCA T-Ratchet and Ti-Torque Kit is an elegant and effective solution to most of your on the road/trail adjustment needs. It is an incredibly well-made, versatile tool that can be used in a variety of ways to fit your situation. The Ti-Torque allows precise measurement of tightening force so that you don’t damage any of your expensive carbon components and it covers the Nm range of 99% of bike adjustments you’d make on a ride. SILCA built this thing to last and the included case gives you a great indication of its premium quality. At $98, the T-Ratchet and Ti-Torque Kit is a serious investment for a tool, but considering the thousands it can save you on a cracked bike frame, it’s well worth the price. Find out more at silca.cc.