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The Lindarets Terske Travel Disc Brake Rotor Lockring Tool is a super-light and compact solution to Centre Lock woes, at least for those times when carrying a foot of steel with a regular tool on it just isn't going to work. Your bike will need 12mm thru-axles with decent wall thicknesses and externally-notched rings to make it work, though – plus using it to the usual 40-50Nm torques can be hard – so it's a pretty niche device. If it suits you, though, it's great.
Anyone who's packed a bike into a case or a car likely knows the annoyance of finding, within just a few turns of the cranks at the other end, that a rotor got bent in transit. Cue suffering the noise and drag, plus the faffing trying to get the rotor true using your fingers, as you almost certainly didn't pack a rotor truing tool.
The answer is to remove your rotors and pack them carefully away where they can't get whanged. But the tools required are typically large and heavy – at 40-50Nm typical lockring torque, you need heft to deliver the beans.
The issue is leverage – how do you get the length needed to deliver the torque? Not from a stubby multitool, that's for sure. But now axles have pretty much standardised at 12mm, at least at the rear, you have around 130-150mm of bar already there on your bike.
US design house Lindarets came up with the idea of using the axle as a lever, and this is the result (it also does a 6/8/16mm hex tool for pedals and Race Face Cinch cranks).
The tool is machined from 6061-T6 aluminium, then laser-etched. It's gorgeous, and at 17g it's also ridiculously light for something capable of handling 50Nm torque. The secret is in how the tool spreads the force from the axle across two wide, hollow ports, each with a rubber ring inside to prevent the axle slipping out.
The tool is 4.6mm deep, giving maximum opportunity to mate with the lockring. Some lockrings can run pretty thin, and Lindarets warn to 'take care to ensure full engagement and avoid stripping.'
40-50Nm is a fair amount to shift if you can't get your full hand around a handle, and that's an inherent issue with removing or installing a rotor lockring. If you are running a big rotor (160mm or larger) and you're using a front axle as the handle, it leaves only 2-3cm outside of the rotor, and part of that is aggressively threaded. I found it best to wear gloves to cushion my palm and to protect in the event of slips.
Don't be tempted to use your foot, a rock or any other extra leverage, warns Lindarets – and make sure your axles have a 3mm or thicker wall (so a 6mm max central hole).
Having tested with a torque wrench, I can confirm that 40Nm is a fair amount of welly to apply in this manner. With practice you appreciate how much is enough – I've been securing rotors after travelling for years with other tools, and have yet to experience any subsequent looseness.
I find there's a lot of safety margin in the typical 40Nm spec, and any working loose of the lockring will be evident due to rotor rub / noise long before it becomes dangerously loose.
I once completely forgot to add a lockring in a flurry of sleep-deprived pre-ride excitement, only realising when I got to the end of a long campground driveway having braked multiple times. Not recommended, but goes to show the Centre Lock standard can survive torque variances without bursting into flames.
I found the amount of force you can comfortably and safely apply here is more than adequate. If you're in doubt you can always whip the tool out mid-ride and see if anything's changed – if there's slippage it's easily rectified by applying more force, until you settle on how much is enough. I trial-and-errored at home until I recognised roughly how much oomph to give, and then rode the bike hundreds of miles without any slipping at all.
Note this is for externally-notched lockrings. There also exist internally-notched lockrings, which use a standard Shimano internally-splined cassette lockring tool, and it would be nice to see Lindarets offer that option too. Still, if you're keen (and your rotor has the clearance with the caliper) you could always swap to external lockrings.
There's nothing like it on the market. A normal full-size version like the LifeLine Shimano Steps Lockring Tool and a 1/2in drive breaker bar will cost you about the same, but will obviously have much, much more weight and bulk. For travel, the Terske is in a class of its own.
If you're rocking external lockrings (preferably at low torques), chunky 12mm axles and need to remove / reinstall them wherever you are, this is a neat, clever and very light solution.
Unique, lightweight tool that uses your axle as a handle, if a long way from universally useful
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lindarets Terske Travel Disc Brake Rotor Lockring Tool
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?
Lindarets says: "Every once in a while we find ourselves on the trail or away from home needing a tool that's really, really hard to fake. Say, for example, a 16-notch tool to tighten external Center Lock and AFS disc brake rotor lockrings. And that's exactly what this is for.
"It works with a 12mm thru axle (a rear will give you the most leverage but a front will work too) and fixes a problem that doesn't come about often but can ruin your day if it does. Consider it part of your extended travel tool kit and toss it in your 'big day' bag, flight case, or the tool wrap that lives in your trunk.
"This tool was designed with air travel in mind, when it's all too easy to leave rotors on wheels and spend your vacation listening to your rubbing brakes and generally kicking yourself for skipping the simple step of removing those rotors."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Precision machined from 6061-T6 aluminum
Weighs just 17g
For use with 12mm thru axles with a 3mm minumum wall thickness
50Nm Max torque.
How much is that? It's as if you were hanging 34lb of stuff from the handle, 100mm from the center of the tool (roughly the middle of your hand at the end of a rear thru axle). Most rotors specify a 40Nm torque (about 27lb of stuff). Any more and you're going to want a beefier handle.
Use one hand to hold the tool against the lockring and the other to tighen or loosen using the handle.
Some lockrings, especially front wheel lockrings, are awfully shallow. Take care to ensure full engagement and avoid stripping.
Use only with 12mm thru axles with a 3mm (1/8in) or thicker wall (6mm max thru hole).
Common sense is your friend: super-light parts don't like to be used as handles, but those with a 3mm wall (3-3.5mm is common) will give you a good margin of safety when the maximum torque value is observed.
This is a hand tool: Don't use a cheater bar, hammer, foot, rock or anything else that isn't your hand to apply force.
If you overdo it and bend your axle, don't put it back in your bike! One, it could get stuck. Two, it could be weakened and fail somewhere down the road. You don't want that and we don't either.
Wear eye protection. Seriously. You only get two and they're awfully hard to fix.
It's eye-wateringly nice.
Dependent on your through axle length and rotor size, it can be challenging to use, and gloves are a must.
Wowsers, ridiculously light.
Limited here by length of through axle and need for gloves.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Works fine, just do yourself a favour and (using a proper tool) set your lockrings to a hand-capable torque before setting off on your travels.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The concept and execution.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Leverage can be an issue.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There's nothing like it on the market. A normal full-size lockring tool like LifeLine Shimano Steps Lockring Tool and a 1/2in drive breaker bar will cost you about the same again, which puts you at the same price but with much, much more weight and bulk. For travel this is in a class of its own.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
This is hard to score, because it's beautifully made to a clever design and works pretty well... so long as you have externally-notched lockrings, reasonably small rotors and 12mm axles with walls at least 3mm thick. Ideally you'll also have gloves and have already loosened your lockring to lower than the usual spec, too.
If you satisfy all these requirements it's both great and fairly priced, and as there's really nothing else like it this thing is almost invaluable. In truth though, it's only going to work for a pretty small number of riders, and even you may have issues. Overall though, it's good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Sonder Camino Gravelaxe My best bike is: Nah bro that's it
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, general fitness riding, mtb, G-R-A-V-E-L