Tools and maintenance

Park Tool ATD-1 Adjustable Torque Driver

Another workshop essential in iconic Park Tool blue

Park Tool can never be accused of resting on their laurels. Every year the American brand unveils a host of tools ready to bolster your bike maintenance armoury – and one of our latest favourites is the ATD-1.

The ATD-1 is an adjustable torque driver which has five pre-set settings (4, 4.5, 5, 5.5 or 6 Nm) built into one tool, along with 3, 4, 5mm and T25 bits.

Why would you need a torque driver? They’re an essential for the shop workshop, but can you also benefit as a home mechanic? The short answer is yes, especially if you own expensive carbon components and/or regularly fettle with your bikes.

By regulating the amount of torque that can be applied when tightening bolts on your bike, you remove the risk of over-tightening which, with the bike industry pushing materials and construction to the absolute limits, can result in stripped threads and components damaged beyond repair.

RCUK 100 2017 - Park Tool ATD-1 Adjustable Torque Driver

There’s no shortage of torque options on the market, from pro-grade wrenches to simple beam-type tools but, for us, the new ATD-1 strikes the best balance of adjustability, usability and quality construction.

The five torque settings cover the basic range for most components on your bike that will need regular adjusting, like the stem and seatpost, and you switch from one to another by turning the chrome dial using a 6mm hex key. That seems a little counter-intuitive, having to use another tool to adjust the setting, but on the other hand it does provide a guarantee you won’t accidentally up the torque.

RCUK 100 2017 - Park Tool ATD-1 Adjustable Torque Driver

Park Tool ATD-1 Adjustable Torque Driver

On that note, the ATD-1’s clutch mechanism mean it’s impossible to over-tighten once you’ve reached the pre-set torque setting. On top of that, all of the internals are made from metal, so they’re built to last.

At £74.99, there’s no getting away from the fact the ATD-1 is significantly more expensive than similar pre-set tools but the well thought out and compact design, build quality, range of settings and accuracy make it a smart investment for the keen home mechanic.

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Selected for The RCUK 100 2017

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