Originating on Kickstarter, Silca’s T-Ratchet and Ti-Torque tools raised $303,725 in crowdfunding — 1,200 percent of its $25,000 goal.
We’ve just got our hands on a set and can now say with certainty that every bolt on every bike currently at the Australian HQ is perfectly torqued.
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Silca T-Ratchet and Ti-Torque kit highlights
- Entire package including bits and case weighs 225g
- Multi configurable
- 10 magnetic bits
- 72-tooth ratchet
- 0-8nm range
- Easily fits into a jersey pocket
- Claimed 5 percent accuracy
The idea behind this new kit from Silca is to create a highly accurate and portable tool to allow users to confidently change their saddle height or tilt their handlebars on the road or trail without fear of over or under tightening bolts. Among seasoned mechanics and tuned-in DIY-ers, some can hit a torque measurement on the head just by feel. However, if you’re like me, I’m a bit like a bull in a China shop on the tools and cannot be trusted without a torque wrench.
As with every Silca product I have previously come into contact with, the quality and finish of every component is impeccable. The tolerances of each fitting are tight and the clip spring used with the ratchet provides a firm hold.
At the heart of this tool is what Silca calls Ti-Torque. Using a similar idea to Topeak’s Combo Torque wrench, the Icetoolz Ocarina, or the now discontinued Park Tool TW-1 beam style wrench, torque is measured by how much an internal metal bar deflects under force. The internal torque spring on the Silca tool is rated for readings between zero and eight newton meters (nm) with specific instructions not to exceed the max torque, because it may damage the bar and put the tool out of calibration.
With no preset torque there is also no click to let you know when you’ve reached the proper tightening force and as you tighten a bolt the tool shows a live torque measurement. Because there is no click, and with minor twists needed to provide the torque reading, it takes a bit of practice to get the hang of using the tool to achieve the correct tightness, but the learning curve is quick.
The tool seems accurate too and I’ve verified its reading against three other torque wrenches, including a recently calibrated Effetto Mariposa Giustaforza II Pro wrench.
The only trouble I’ve found so far with the Silca Ti-Torque is the size of the markings, they are very small and test the limits of my eyesight — which at the ripe old age of 26 is still pretty good. With only even numbers marked and the markings placed extremely close together as well, it takes a bit of finesse to hit an odd number.
This new kit from Silca is accurate, extremely portable and should prove to be useful for finite adjustments out on the road or trail, but I think the T-Ratchet will likely find its way into regular rotation in the workshop too.
The ratchet itself has 72 points of engagement and a six-degree engagement mechanism, and uses a surprisingly strong clip spring to secure the bits — it’s actually pretty difficult to get the things out of the ratchet and with sweaty, possibly sunscreen covered hands, might be damn near impossible. While each of the other interfaces is magnetic, titanium is not and therefore requires other means to keep it attached to the driver.
We’ve previously discussed how much easier mini ratchets can make life and with the T-Ratchet’s size it is extremely useful for areas like seatpost cradle clamps, bottle cage bolts and anywhere else tool clearance is limited. Made from cold forged stainless steel, the ratchet and extension swaps from a standard ratchet to a T-handle in seconds and can be used like a screwdriver too.
Also included are ten high-quality hardened steel bits and the tolerances are extremely tight at both ends, providing for a solid interface with both the wrench and bolt.
All of this comes in a waxed canvas wallet, which keeps each piece in its own elastic slot that indicates the bit’s size above. Silca has also opted to use magnetic closures, which will hold the bits so you don’t risk losing any if you’re working on something that uses a few different sized bolts. The pouch itself measures 80mm x 115mm and is about the thickness of a standard wallet, weighing 225g all up so it’s very jersey pocket friendly.
Silca T-Ratchet and Ti-Torque pricing
Unfortunately, as with every other Silca product, the T-Ratchet and Ti-Torque kit doesn’t come cheap, priced at £TBC / $98 / AU$180 or £TBC / $50 / AU$90 for the T-Ratchet kit with bits and case.