Review: Prestacycle’s handy Prestaratchet and bit set

It’s hard to get too excited about a miniature ratchet wrench, isn’t it? After all, if tools are cool, than big tools must be cooler. And Prestacycle’s Prestaratchet isn’t big- it’s tiny. Sometimes, of course, smaller is better. Read in to learn more about how this tiny tool and wrench set has earned its own place on my tool board…

Sent out with their cool Prestalever, Prestacycle’s $13 Prestratchet is a diminutive reversing ratcheting wrench that accepts standard hex bits, which the company sells in either their chromed steel or the tested PRO hardened S2 steel Bicycle Bit Sets. Aside from being a size that’s “just right” for many bicycle applications, Prestacycle claim that the Prestratchet’s use of inexpensive replaceable bits ($13  for the standard set, $20 for the Pro set) prevents the rounding of delicate hardware by worn tools- just recycle the bits when they’ve worn and replace them with a fresh set.

In the workshop, it took a while for the Prestratchet to displace my trusty Allen and Torx Y-wrenches- but for a number of applications it certainly has. The small, angled head and ratcheting mechanism makes removing and installing disc brake hardware a breeze. Water bottle bolts are also easily handled and- in my favorite application- front derailleur limit screws are easily accessed on funky full suspension frames.  Prestacycle also recommend the Prestaratchet as a mini tool- just cut down the rubber bit carrier to carry the essentials and toss in a saddle bag alongside the 28g ‘ratchet.

Of course, most everything else on modern road and mountain bikes calls for a torque wrench- but Prestacycle’s bit set has come in handy there as well. The available $2 Torque Wrench Adapter adapter allows my 1/4in drive Park torque wrench to share the Prestaratchet’s bits, which are much less bulky than the 1/4in drive bits and required adapter that Park sell.

As tested, the Prestaratchet, Torque Wrench Adapter and PRO Bicycle Bit Set are available as a set for $34, which is ideal for home mechanics.  Sets run from $25 with the chromed steel bit set to $150, which includes a PRO bit set and ten ratchets and is aimed at mechanics who want to keep their most-used bits permanently mounted.  The Prestaratchet is a cool little tool that has come in surprisingly handy- earning itself a spot alongside my most-used workshop tools.

marc

www.prestaratchet.com

Comments

Nanci Drew - 11/30/11 - 11:33am

cool tool and all but not revolutionary. there are 1/4″ drive sockets that come with a set of interchangable bits (torx, allen, phillips, flat). sounds like this is the same as buying the “adapter”. having an adapter socket and bits lets you also attached it to 1/4″ drive screw-drivers as well. i find the screw-drive works a little more quickly for getting brake rotor bolts down to hand-tightened rather than ratcheting the crap out of them when you may not have the resistance to engage the ratchet.

royalewithcheese - 11/30/11 - 12:23pm

@nanci, It has a thumb wheel so you can get things tight enough to engage the ratchet without having to go to town on the ratchet, without taking up the vertical space of a screwdriver, or the long axis of a regular key. I’d probably still go for a standard allen key, or big ratchet when it gets to any more torque than whats needed to hold down a bottle cage though for fear of breaking the mechanism.

David - 11/30/11 - 4:01pm

From the Manufacturer: You can’t imagine the small size of this tool until you hold it. It fits in places that even Hex Keys have trouble. 1/4″ sockets with adapters take more than three times the depth. Ratcheting in tight turn areas takes seconds (especially with the thumb wheel) compared to in/out/in/out/in/out with hex keys. The long shaft Bits give you leverage with a deep reach. Using the long arm of a hex key leaves no leverage when holding the short end. Our tools are shop-tough. Our customers use them on Disc Brakes, Pedals, and just about everything else. With all the new torx sizes on bikes, you are getting one of the most complete tool sets available starting at $25. And the whole tool set fits in a pack or a small drawer. Our bit set is also the most complete solution for Torque Wrenches. Our long bits are practically the only tool in existence to get a torque wrench onto a road brake lever or some rear derailleurs with recessed bolts. 1/4″ Socket adapter available.

Marc - 11/30/11 - 8:57pm

@royale
I wouldn’t worry about breaking the mechanism- cleats and disc bolts (with their thread locker) take a good deal of force to break free, and neither has given the Prestaratchet any trouble…

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