Review: Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite DX

The Ratchet Rocket comes with a lot of stuff (minus the chainlink and patch kit)
2 tyres levers and an extender bar
10 bits and the Ratchet Rocket.
New saddle bag setup – Less individual items.
Old saddle bag setup – Lots of little bits.
Old Version (bottom), vs new version (top).

The Topeak Ratchet Rocket has long been a staple of Topeaks multi-tool range, and for good reason. I’ve been using an older model for nearly 4 years now while tinkering in the garage and I just love it. Now that’s not to say that I use it for every job (there are better tools available) but it’s size and ease of use make it a go to, especially in tight, fiddly areas like bottle cage bolts.

I recently bought the newer Ratchet Rocket Lite DX to replace the multitude of tools I had stuffed in my saddle bags. This version comes in a tough nylon fabric folding case which holds the Ratchet Rocket and all it’s accessories.

On one side there is the Ratchet Rocket handle, along with small individual elastic pockets for all the bits (2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 mm Hex bits / T10 and T25 Torx bits / #2 Phillips screw driver bit). The 2018 model also includes a T15 bit. Unfortunately, the bits can be quite easy to knock out while working and I could forsee me losing bits at the road/trail side in the dark.

According to Topeak’s website, the 2018 model has added a magnetic bit holder which might alleviate this issue. I’d be interested to see the 2018 model just for this.

The other side of the case has an extender bar and 2 plastic tyre levers as well as a small pocket I’ve put a patch kit and chainlink in. The tyre levers are quite thin, but do seem sturdy. It will be interesting to see how they fare up when used in anger to get a tubeless tyre off the rim.

I’m not sure if it’s due to how small the handle is, or the way I use it, but I find that I hit the direction switch during use and end up loosening bolts I’m wanting to tighten before realising what’s happened. It’s an annoyance I’ve learned to live with but it would have been nice if Topeak could have figured out a way to fix this in the newer models.

My other criticism is the size of the case compared to the older model I have. It’s quite a lot larger and has all the same parts (although does now include the extender bar) which does make it a little more difficult to shove in a saddle bag, especially the smaller sized ones, than the old model.

I do think Topeak has hit on a complete winner with the Ratchet Rocket, however I feel this version isn’t as good as it could have been. A more compact case and a better retention system for the bits would have made this perfect. Personally I think I would go for the regular Ratchet Rocket over the Lite DX.

8.2

Value

9.0 /10

Build Quality

8.0 /10

Accessories

7.5 /10

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Ratchet Handle
  • Included bits cover nearly every eventuality

Cons

  • Bits can easily fall out of the case when knocked.
  • Direction switch is too easy to accidentally hit.
  • Case size is on the larger size

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