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The shoots of springtime have appeared, the daffodils have been and gone and the trails are dry (in places, and occasionally). It’s time to see what the team has been playing with, on, around and under for the last couple of months.

Price: Nano TorqBar 6Nm - £24.99. Nano TorqBox 5Nm - £15.99

From: Extra UK, Tested: Four months

These teeny torque tools look like something you would find in a carbon bike fettler’s fantasy Christmas cracker.

They are super small – the Nano TorqBar is the slimmest and most compact (12 x 1.6 x 1.6 cm, 62g) preset torque wrench available, and if that wasn’t enough, it can carry two of the five tool bits (3/4/5mm and T20/T25) it comes with in its handle. Not that carrying the lot would ever be a problem: the TorqBox plastic carry case that stores the tool bits and TorqSocket is of ‘workshop Barbie’ proportions (5.4 x 5 x 2.2 cm and 75g in weight).

The aforementioned Nano TorqBox is also available separately. thus you have the compact – slightly smaller than an AA battery – preset TorqSocket and tool bits plus Barbie case, but no handle/bar. Instead you can use the kit with any 5mm Allen key. With this in mind, there’s also a handy rubber strap that fits the TorqBox to the Topeak mini tool – should you happen to have one.

The tools are made from hardened steel and are beautifully engineered. Magnets satisfyingly snap your Allen key or the TorqBar to the TorqSocket at one end, and the tool bits to other end. there is a confident, precise click when you reach the preset, and, as mountain bike bolts don’t take much tightening, you can use it with ease. A word of warning about the size though: while I found the tools super easy to use (lady-sized hands), my other half (man-hands) managed to drop them every time he used it. As the tools are so small they easily roll under stuff so you can’t find them. So try not to fumble, especially if your ‘workshop’ is a rainy, rocky hillside.

The TorqSockets are available in preset torque values and colour coded for ease of identifying – 4Nm, 5Nm or 6Nm. Despite the apparent convenience, a preset wrench is only going to be good for some parts of your bike. Carbon bits and bobs are not made the same when it comes to tightening them up so you’ll need to match them up carefully (and possibly buy more than one, which makes them a bit less ‘handy’ when you’re trying to find the right one ahead of fettling on a windy car park).

These tools are, in a word, dinky: the fun-size Mars Bar of the tool-world sweet shop. Rest assured then, there will be room for either in your backpack.

I confess here, however, that I have never carried a torque wrench in my backpack before. Neither has anyone I know. “If you’ve used a torque wrench properly in the first place, why would you need it on the trail?” was the general opinion.

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About Singletrack

International Adventure: Patagonia – Barney travels to this remote region of Chilé to find some killer singletrack – and a fair bit of dust. We Work Here: Rocky Mountain – We take a trip to the distant (but still very wet) shores of North Vancouver, to see the inner workings of one of Canada’s oldest mountain bike companies. UK Adventure: Dances with Wolves – Andy McCandlish takes a chilly trip down memory lane with Ed Oxley and Andy McKenna. UK Adventure: Riding Through The Seasons – Sanny extols the virtues of riding all year round. Room 101 – Mark is the ultimate arbiter of your submissions to our Room of Shame. Classic Ride: Capel Curig – There’s more to Snowdonia than a few trail centres and a mountain. Grouptest: Wider Wheels – The Grinder team put six sub-£500 wheelsets through the mill. Bike Test: Flat-out Race Bikes – We take a look at three nose-to-the-wheel speed machines. Through the Grinder – A plethora of promising products, assessed by our accomplished assemblage of trusted and true testers. Grinder Bike: Pivot Mach 4 Carbon – Chipps takes a long look at Pivot’s swoopy carbon trail/race monster. 15 Years of Spine Lines – To celebrate our 15th year, some of the best – and the weirdest – of our Spine Lines. International Adventure: Suisse Rolling – Jérôme Clementz takes a busman’s holiday in the Swiss Alps. The Last Word – Antony de Heveningham wonders if we’re actually in the golden age of mountain biking right now.