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The Topeak Ratchet'n Roll Elite really is a ratchet in a roll, so you can (maybe) excuse that name. It's also a tubeless repair and CO2 kit, in case your tyres are more given to pop.
Check out our guide to the best bike multi-tools for other portable means of fixing and fettling.
There's a lot to be said for carrying a ratchet instead of a multi-tool, so long as you're not relying on that multi-tool for specialist things like chain breakers or spoke keys. If you're just after hex, Torx and screwdrivers, a ratchet can be lighter, slimmer and nicer to use.
Topeak hasn't gone for tiny and light with this design, though, instead favouring clever packaging (I'm not talking about the slightly naff plastic sleeve or the rock 'n' rolling name here...) to mash various useful functions into one neat little bundle.
The neatly machined handle of the reversible ratchet holds a plug insertion tool and an adaptor for sticking CO2 cylinders onto your Presta valve. It all screws together securely, and on its own weighs just 40g. The hex/Torx bits weigh 5-6g each and the four provided tyre plugs (without the 9g holder) are another 5g, so if you do want to go light then it's easily done by cherry-picking parts and ditching the roll.
All up, this collection weighs 180g, and a relatively large chunk of that (31g) is the steel bit-holder extension with its aluminium 'Speed Sleeve' that spins independently. This sleeve is a nice touch, works perfectly well and realistically adds little to no weight, but isn't really that necessary or useful on this small, slow-moving tool – it's not like a big T-handle where you can spin long bolts in to save time.
All that steel keeps it strong, though; it's rated to 30Nm, which is pretty high for a bicycle – seat and bar clamps, for instance, are typically around 5-6Nm.
The 'PU leather' roll, which will feel more like thin plastic to young people and a Darth Vader action figure's cape to older ones, has 10 labelled pockets for the bits. It also has pockets containing two rubber loops and the long extension, plus riveted-on clips to stop the ratchet and plug holder just sliding out the end of the roll.
The 10 bits in question are T10, T15 and T20 Torx, hex in 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5 and 6mm, and a PH2 (Phillips) screwdriver.
The rubber loops pass through slots in the Velcro strap to hold CO2 and/or tyre levers (not supplied), and I found them a tight and secure fit on a 16g cartridge. The strap is long enough to wrap around the roll, pass through your saddle rails and then wrap a fair way around again before sticking down securely.
Having struggled with some disastrously unsticky hook and loop on the Topeak Elementa Strap recently, I must admit I was a bit paranoid about this roll staying on my bike, but it was fine. This is different stuff, hangs on tenaciously, and works just as it should.
While the plastic roll works just fine – it keeps flying water off effectively and never gains weight by going soggy – it doesn't look as good as what's inside. The matt finish and contour line graphics are nice enough, but it lacks the premium feel you might expect given the price.
Though the CO2 head lacks fancy things like controllable valves or elaborate machining, it's pleasingly minimalist and works really well. You push it onto your valve and then screw in the canister; that pierces it, which you can't even feel (or hear). To actually release the gas, you then unscrew it, gently twiddling to control the flow. It does all you need.
If you need to repair a cut tyre first, the ratchet handle also contains a plug insertion tool with a rough file section on its steel shaft, plus a plastic case holding four plugs. The tool is solid and easy to use; there's even a rubber o-ring in a machined notch to stop moisture from getting in and corroding it while it's stored. That's a really nice touch.
There's no neoprene sleeve or anything to protect you from the rapid freezing of the metal as you inflate a tyre, but I found my gloves (windproof full-finger ones with no insulation) worked fine, at least for holding the canister; the adaptor itself gets too cold for comfort.
The combination of ratchet and CO2 dispenser is pretty unusual, so there's not much to compare this to directly. However, you can buy a ratchet and a CO2 system – often with gas included – separately for less.
I tested the very good Lezyne Ratchet Kit last year, which you could add to either of these for £40 and still be well under the price of the Ratchet'n Roll. You'd also have gas and/or tyre levers, rather than having to buy those separately. Okay, the Lezyne Ratchet is 139g on its own, but that can also be significantly reduced by ditching the case and taking only the hex bits you actually need.
Overall, this is a good little kit, and the ratchet is far nicer to use than most multi-tools – especially around cables. The CO2 head works very well too, and the overall tool design is both clever and neatly executed. It all makes a tidy and secure package on your bike (if not with quite the premium look the price implies) but there are cheaper, lighter ways to get the same results.
Clever design and impressively machined, but the roll feels cheap – and it's an expensive solution to your problems
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Topeak Ratchet N Roll Elite
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"A compact roll-up, multi-function ratchet tool set with tubeless tire repair / CO2 inflation kit has everything you need to fix and make precise adjustments to your bike while on the road."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
"Features a fine tooth ratchet mechanism with reverse lever and thumb wheel for quick rotation and control in tight spots and includes Speed Sleeve bit holder, hardened steel tools in 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6mm hex, T10, T15, T25 Torx, #2 Phillips bits, Aluminum CO2 inflator, Stainless steel 3.5mm Plug Insertion Tool, and tire repair plugs. The ultrasonic welded roll-up pack keeps things organized and secure, and even has a pocket to store two silicone straps for carrying one 16g CO2 cartridge and two tire levers."
The tool is great, and though the sleeve works fine it doesn't look as premium as the price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It all functions very well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Clever design, nicely machined ratchet, effective in use.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No gas or tyre levers included, expensive, relatively heavy, plastic roll looks basic.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The combination of ratchet and CO2 dispenser is pretty unusual, so there's not much to compare this to directly. However, you can buy a ratchet and a CO2 system – often with gas included – separately, for less.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe – the price puts me off.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Both the ratchet and the roll work well, as does the unreferenced CO2 dispenser.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,