X-Tools is the in-house brand of products from Wiggle & Chain Reaction Cycles. For those wondering, X-Tools is the re-branded name of Wiggles Lifeline range. With the brand tagline is – ‘Pro-level workshop tools for the home mechanic’ – the products are aimed at those wanting to take on their own bike maintenance and repairs. The product catalog features just about every tool you could need for bike and wheel servicing. Sadly we have a budget (and workshop space) limits us on the products we can test and review. But we have been playing with the X-Tools Essential Torque Wrench Set.
The X-Tools Essential Torque Wrench set comes nicely presented in well made, hard-plastic box. Inside contains a wrench with a ‘micro-metric’ adjustment handle. Just above the handle there is a Newton-Meter indicator gauge. The torque measurements are from 2NM up to 24NM (Newton-Meters). This should cover most (if not all) bolt tensions on a bike.
The head of the torque wrench features a 1/4″ square drive on one side. This is to hold the tool head socket securely in place. On the back of the head is a sprung release button to remove the tool heads. There is also switch that adjusts the direction of the ratchet setting.
The tool heads are sized to fit just about every bolt on your bike. The hex heads sizes include 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10mm heads. There are also two Torx heads – T25 and T30, as well as a 5mm hex extension which is a useful addition.
X-Tools Essential Torque Wrench Set In Use
The X-Tools Essential Torque Wrench is designed to be an easy to use tool for anyone wanting to do their own bike maintenance and adjustments. The length of the torque wrench allows reasonable leverage for loosening tighter bolts. Whilst the plastic handle is easy to grip. Setting the torque is easy with a twist of the wrenches handle and the tension displays the gauge. However, it seems a bit strange that the gauge measurements are in twos. I say that based on the fact that a lot of finishing kit bolts require 5NM and its not really clear where this is. Whilst setting the torque on the wrench is easy, the handle would sometimes twist during use. This meant that the that meant the torque setting adjusted and need to be reset. I found this more of an annoyance that a problem but it was frustrating when tightening smaller bolts. Some kind of locking mechanism when the torque is set would have be a useful addition.
The selection of hex and Torx tool heads were suitable for all of the bolts on my bike. When these are connected, they fit securely on the square drive. I was a little frustrated by the ratchet system for tightening and loosening bolts. I found that tightening smaller bolts made it a little difficult to get a biting point. This meant that I had to tighten/loosen with the wrench in one hand – whilst holding the tool head against the bolt with the other hand. The wrench clicks when you have reached the optimal torque – but it doesn’t really do this with any significance or force. Sometimes I would think ‘did that click’ before loosening and re-tightening the bolt to make sure.
I have become a bit of a fan of DIY bike maintenance. Its a good way to learn about you bike and exactly how it works. A key part of this is having a decent set of tools to help you. They don’t always have to be expensive but they need to work well. The X-Tools Essential Torque Wrench Set has some niggles where you can’t help thinking “this could be better”. But if you are wanting a basic tool to make quick adjustments and tighten bolts pre-ride, it is not a bad tool. If you are looking for a higher quality tool that offers better precision, I would probably spend more money. However, – at £29.99 RRP, the X-Tools Essential Torque Wrench Set is good value.
X-Tools Essential Torque Wrench Set is good value if you are wanting a quick use tool for pre-ride and basic maintenance.