Lezyne makes lovely shiny tools including a range of multi-tools suitable for carrying with you on a ride. Now you can carry a torque wrench with you, so if you need to make some mid-ride adjustments you need have no fear of over-tightening bolts and damaging some featherweight carbon bits. The Lezyne Torque drive includes all the bits you'd likely need out on the road and comes in a compact and eminently pocketable case. It uses a torsion bar rather than the click mechanism typically seen in workshop torque wrenches, making it slower to use, but that's less of a concern for occasional use than it would be for a shop mechanic.
- Pros: Very lightweight and pocketable; good range of bits; nice case; usable from 2-10Nm
- Cons: No click so you need to go slow and watch the dial carefully; handle needs assembly each time you take it out of the case; expensive
A torque wrench is basically a socket spanner that can prevent over-tightening of bolts on your bike (or elsewhere). Lightweight bike frames and components can be damaged by over-tightening bolts, and you can also strip the threads or round off the hex hole, especially on smaller bolts or those made of aluminium. Look on your stem or seatpost clamp – it will likely have perhaps 5Nm or 7Nm printed there. An experienced mechanic will generally have a good idea of what 5Nm feels like, but you'll often see shop mechanics using torque wrenches on customer bikes (particularly really expensive ones!) even if they don't bother on their own bikes.
The Lezyne Torque Drive uses a torsion beam mechanism – there is a carefully dimensioned axle down the middle of the shaft which twists a known amount for each newton-metre of torque you apply, and a visual gauge to show the torque applied. It's how old-school torque wrenches like the Park TW-1 used to work and has little to go wrong and doesn't need recalibration. Most modern torque wrenches now use a "click" mechanism, so when you reach the desired torque it gives way a little with a pronounced click. This makes for faster spannering as you don't have to keep a careful eye on a gauge, so shop and pro mechanics have mostly switched to this type.
I've used a number of click-type torque wrenches and they're pretty nice to operate, so I was initially pre-disposed against the Lezyne – £50 seems an awful lot for a posher version of what Decathlon will sell you for £7. It does come in a nice zipped case, and the quality CNC'd finish is what we'd expect from Lezyne, but still – £50?
The first job I set out to do was to swap cleats on two pairs of shoes – 12 screws needing torquing to 6Nm. Contrary to what your muscle memory wants to do, you're best holding the tool still and rotating the shoe, so that you can keep an eye on the gauge on the tool to monitor how much torque you're applying. This is not much of a problem with shoes, but on something like a seatpost clamp it's not really possible, so you have to torque it a little at a time.
There's no two ways about it – it would have been a significantly quicker job with something like the Park Tools ATD-1.2, which you can quickly tighten until the click tells you to stop. In terms of its efficiency as a tool, then, the Lezyne is lagging behind alternatives.
When you open the case, you remove the main wrench and then assemble it with the gold tommy bar before you can use it. One of the knurled ends of the tommy bar unscrews, allowing it to thread through the end of the black shaft. Again, if you're in a hurry, having to assemble the tool itself before use is unwelcome.
Also in the case are 11 bits, comprising 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5 and 6mm Allen, T10, T25 and T30 Torx, plus Phillips and flat-blade screwdriver. These will sort most of your mid-ride fettling needs and the bits are decent quality chrome-vanadium steel which Lezyne describes as "anti-corrosion". There's a good strong magnet inside the chuck of the tool, enough to retain the bit and most ferrous screws too – a welcome touch.
The case has an internal mesh pocket which could accommodate tyre levers and patches. As you could fit this case and a compact pump together easily in a jersey pocket, that would get you out of most mid-ride mechanicals. And really, it's as a pocketable tool that the Lezyne makes the most sense. At 180g it is lighter and more pocketable than most adjustable torque wrenches. On the road, you're likely just to have one or two screws to tighten and – if your ride buddies are nice – the fact that it's not the fastest tool to use won't be a big deal.
For home or workshop use, this would be a long way down my list – if you were assembling a whole bike then there are easier and faster tools for the job. The Lezyne's torque scale goes up to 10Nm, so it will cover most bolts, but not things like Shimano HollowTech crank bolts which need 12-14Nm. Torquing up cassette lockrings needs more still; that's obviously not something you'd do with a tool like this.
My views on this tool are inevitably influenced by the fact that I've never felt the need to carry a torque wrench with me. I'd want one in the garage, but would be happy using feel for minor mid-ride adjustment. So for my use-case, this isn't a particularly great option – it has limited torque range, is quite slow to use and is quite pricey. I'd sooner go for the X-Tools Essential Torque Wrench or the Park Tool ATD-1.2. If you want to carry a torque wrench on your rides, and don't mind dropping 50 notes on it, then this will satisfy your likely needs beside the road.
Lightweight and well made, but expensive for a simple torsion beam wrench; best if you want a torque wrench to carry with you
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lezyne Torque Drive
Size tested: 2-10Nm torque capacity
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?
Lezyne says: "Pre-calibrated, torsion beam-style torque wrench. Machined aluminium construction with removable handle and integrated magnet to hold tool bits in place. 2Nm – 10Nm torque capacity. No preset necessary-simply twist until marker lines up with desired torque setting. Includes soft shell carrying case with storage cutouts."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Hex 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6mm
Torx T10, T25, T30
Nicely made, as we'd expect from Lezyne. I like the good strong magnet in the chuck. The body is all aluminium and the bits are described as "anti-corrosion" and seem of good quality.
It works fine and is pretty straightforward to use. You need to look fairly closely to read the gauge; it's a little slower to use than a click wrench as a consequence, but this is probably not an issue for a home mechanic. The maximum 10Nm is enough for most but definitely not all the bike-related screws you may need to torque up – chainset arm bolts often require more. It's much better suited for someone who wants to carry a torque wrench on a ride – for home mechanicking, I'd opt for something with a wider torque range and a click mechanism.
Not much to go wrong.
This is very light compared to a typical workshop clicky torque wrench, so works well if you want something pocketable to carry on rides or a tour. I'm not really persuaded that a torque wrench is necessary mid-ride, but I'd take it on a cycling holiday.
Torsion bar torque wrenches are typically at the lower end of the price range, so I'd say £50 is quite steep for this, even though it's nicely made. A click torque wrench can easily be had for this sort of money (although the high-end ones can go for much, much more).
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Fine – not as quick as a click wrench and you have to look closely at the scale while operating it, but a home mechanic will have no trouble using this.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Nice compact case and light overall weight; all the main bits you'll need out on the road.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Having to assemble the handle each time you take it out of the case; I prefer a click wrench.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There is a very broad range. It is high compared to something like the X-Tools Essential Torque Wrench or the Birzman M Torque which isn't adjustable. The BBB Torque Set can now be had for around the same price as the Lezyne, with a wider range of adjustment and a click mechanism. Decathlon makes a torsion beam torque wrench for an incredible £7.
Check our torque wrench buyers guide linked in the review – notably (and to my surprise) all the comments at time of writing are in favour of torsion beam wrenches.
Did you enjoy using the product? It was fine.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's well made and does what it claims, although the price is quite high for this type of torque wrench. Other wrenches (some cheaper) are a lot faster to use, though, and I don't quite buy the idea that you need to carry a torque wrench with you.
About the tester
I usually ride: On-one Bish Bash Bosh My best bike is: Rose X-Lite CRS
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels. His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding.