In our latest video review we take a look at the Topeak Rocket Ratchet Lite, a tool that we’ve been using for well over a year at home and when we travel. For those that don’t want to watch the full video and prefer a written review, here is an executive summary.
Overall, the Rocket Ratchet Lite is a fun tool to use. It is somehow more enjoyable to use a ratcheting mechanism than constantly removing and inserting a tool if it can’t do a full rotation. I also think that the ratchet reduces wear on bolt heads that aren’t made of very good metal. I don’t know if it is the satisfying clicking noise or what, but it is a pleasure to use. It makes short work of installing or removing racks and fenders and other tasks where you are generally turning in a single direction for a majority of the time. We even use ours to remove pedals from bikes (our pedals have allen wrench sockets in the back).
Where the ratchet is more liability than asset is tasks where you have to reverse direction very quickly. For example, straightening or adjusting the height of a seatpost. It’s a not a big deal, but it does make the task less fluid. It is also not ideal for working on parts of the bike where you are using various bit sizes simultaneously. Another shortfall is the nylon case. The bits are held in the open sided case by small elastic pockets. Most of the time they do their job, but I have opened up my bike bag to find that some of the bits had tumbled out.
Despite these flaws I still really really like this tool. The ratcheting system is just a joy to use and makes certain tasks much faster.
+Fun to use
+Makes certain tasks easier (removing fenders, racks, pedals, etc.,)
-Slow to Switch Directions
-Slow to Switch Bits
A couple of weeks ago we were in Klamath Falls, Oregon for a shoot. We stayed a few days afterwards to do some bike and rod exploration of our own. What we found is that Klamath Falls really has great bones to be an awesome outdoor destination. We rode some of the new trails on Spence Mountain which are nicely designed and professionally built trails. Although we are admittedly newbies when it comes to mountain biking, the trails were enjoyable and scenic. After a quick lunch we swapped out all our gear to chase some trout in the Wood river. Although we didn’t get any on this outing, we would definitely come back for more!
Last year at Salsa Ride Camp we surreptitiously took out some bikes and went fishing at the Namekagen river. This year, it was officially part of the program! The enthusiasm for this “niche” activity was awesome. Over the course of the weekend about 40 people went out to try flyfishing by bike, for no less than three hour blocks! It was awesome to introduce people to this fun sport to combine with cycling.
This past weekend we got to collaborate with our friends at Swift Industries on a Bikefishing Class at the Stay Wild Adventure Expo. For longtime readers, you’ll probably remember our trip with Swift a few years ago on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. Since then, we’ve both been getting more into fishing and it was probably only a matter of time when we would do another project together. What we didn’t expect was for our class at the Adventure Expo to sellout and have a waiting list!
Our class was full at 12 people, which was a good number because it gave us time to really work with individuals. We had great gear sponsors from Tenkara Rod Co. and Redington, that helped outfit participants with a ready to fish package. Tanner from Tenkara Rod Co. helped us teach some casting and also answered specific questions about their rods. We kicked off the class at Rivelo and then rode along the Springwater to various spots where we gave instruction and had lunch. At the last destination, we let everyone loose to play with their new gear and put into practice what they just learned!
Our primary goal was to have fun and give people enough information to get them going on their own bikefishing adventures. We know from personal experience, how intimidating it is to get into flyfishing. A lot of shops are old school (a lot like some bikes shops!) with salty guys behind the counter that aren’t really interested in helping out beginners unless they are going to do a guided trip. We wanted to save people a lot of that anxiety and frustration and present the material in a real approachable, beginner friendly way. I think we succeeded! Everyone at the end of the day had smiles on their faces and some even caught a few tiny fish.
We had more fun than we expected doing this class, so there might be another one in the future. Stay tuned!
In this vid, we interview our friends at Swift Industries about two new bags they are releasing. One of them is specifically made for the popular Wald 137 basket, which we are super excited about. Watch the vid to get an exclusive sneak peek.