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December 16, 2017
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Abbey Bike Tools Fit Kit detail
  • AC

    There’s a third camp – those that are picky about fit and recognize the utility, but can’t justify the price (because home mechanic, not a pro).

    • I’m in this camp. I’ll ask my bunch if people want to split the cost for this. It’s not something you’d use every day so it’s the perfect tool to share within a group.

      • AC

        That’s a great way to deal with expensive tools that aren’t frequently used. I’ve done that with two friends for headset tools. We have a toolbox that floats between houses with a headset press, nut setter, crown race removal tool, etc. We each use it maybe once a year. Works out well for all of us.

        • Crash Bandicoot

          We’ve done this as a team too. I remember having a crank that need a crazy torque setting which would have necessitated me buying a new torque wrench for the 2x a year I’d take my cranks off I was able to borrow it. Now if I could just get my BB press back……

    • Dave Rome

      Fair point!

  • Superpilot

    With an MTB, commuter, road bike and a cross bike, this is something I really fuss over. Repeatability of a position (and then modify according to use i.e. shorter reach and saddle bar drop on a cross bike) is something I think a lot about, and really struggle with. This is exacerbated for the fact I have never found a saddle that works for the current fit I have. Had back issues, so a shorter position than most. Have numbness issues at the saddle, or with a cutout no numbness but then I have sitbone pain. And ulnar compression seems to be coming up on the left side. So I have multiple different saddles from narrow to wide, cutouts and non cutout, and long or short, and I gotta try get some semblance of a central position across multiple frames.
    I always measure the saddle point at 100mm width, approximating sit bone width. This takes away the issue of saddle transition curvature at the sides from nose to tail, and the differing lengths of saddle and their respective noses. Never understood why people measure reach from saddle nose, unless you have your lifetime saddle and will never change, but it will also only apply to bikes with that one saddle i.e. not transferrable across genres or differing saddles.
    Same with handlebars, I measure reach and stack to the tops, and try to have similar handlebar reach and drop (compact) across all my drop bar bikes.
    I had an official fit done, which took away back pain, so use that comfortable fit as a base.
    Rough seat height adjusted, then set the setback of 100mm on the saddle to the crank centre based upon the measurement of these from an appropriate bike fit.
    To me, the saddle height and the saddle setback provides the centre around which you setup the rest of the bike. Your hips and legs are in the correct angles (drop saddle height for MTB and CX slightly though) in this known dimension.
    Then I set bar drop and reach as close to the master fit as possible, taking into account the adjustments for different types of riding. My 2nd hand CX is some 5cm shorter reach (very short stem) and 4cm taller at the front and looks horrendous. But I thought I’d give it a crack, and it was comfortable. I put this down to having the right setback and saddle heights.
    What I am getting to is that there is no jig I’ve found that takes out the variability of saddle dimensions (such as I’m attempting to do with measuring to the 100mm point) so that a setup is transferrable across bikes. It is a clumsy mess of sitting calipers at 100mm and then holding a metre ruler perpendicular to measure the reach, then the almost impossible task of balancing a metre long builders level vertical and perpendicular with a metre ruler butted horizontally into the calipers.
    Not that I could afford such a jig anyway. This jig, being worth more than most of these bikes cost me, seems to accommodate and fix several clumsy points in this measurement chain, but again is saddle dependent.
    Looks high quality, I think they’ve done a good job building what they wanted to build!

    • Josh

      It’s hard to replicate fit across a road bike and mountain bike due to the different pedals stack heights and shoe stack heights

  • Lyrebird_Cycles

    Regarding the comment about having the kit fit a defined saddle width, it would be very easy to 3D print a plastic part that adapted the existing aluminium tab for this purpose. That way you could make it in the width that suits your purposes (eg 100mm for poster above)

  • dllm

    it’s almost a solution to a non-exist problem.

    but i still thank them for the ideas. will now make a cheap UCI measurement tool by using a $1 plastic ruler and make a notch somewhere….

    • Dave Rome

      It’s definitely a solution to a problem that exists amongst race mechanics and professional bike fitters. That said, the majority of riders have probably never had to consider such a problem.

      • I’d add that the problem also exists amongst bike reviewers (an admittedly tiny proportion of riders). I can set my saddle position fairly reliably with a spirit level and tape measure, but it takes time and there’s always a bit of error because saddles don’t have any convenient landmarks. I’ve yet to use this tool, but it promises to make the process of setting up a saddle at least a little bit easier. However, I’d like to see some “feet” in the form of wedges or domes that could be adjusted so as to steady the board on the saddle to account for rounder saddle shapes.

        • Chester Chihuahua

          Adjustable feet ? Sure, but then the price is $1000.

  • Roger That

    It doesn’t look very comfortable.

  • Sunny Ape

    How about a handlebar tape spacing and tensioning tool?

    Or a tyre measurement tool that links via BlueTooth to your Garmin for live information feeds on current air pressures in 30 second increments? Maybe it could also use laser interferometry to determine remaining tread depth.. then do predictive failure mode analysis based on recent road surface trends compared to power and torque data from your crank based accelerometers.

  • Tim McGrath

    I have one and I think it’s very good but you still need to be careful to set it up right. If you’re using a digital level you can set the floor as reference zero and work from there.

  • Sean

    Just what i’ve been looking for.

  • Looks like decent value compared to their Titanium hammer! https://www.abbeybiketools.com/collections/all/products/team-issue-hammer

    • Stewie Griffin

      Titanium is an expensive material and it’s easily ruined by overheating and welding, so yeah, titanium hammers are expensive. You don’t need them a lot though, a nylon hammer (which is very cheap) is mostly sufficient for working on a bike

  • Eat More Lard

    There is an easy way to measure saddle setback. Put your bike against a wall with the rear wheel touching the way, Measure to the centre of the BB. Measure to the nose of the saddle (or whatever point on the saddle you use). Subract BB from the saddle numbers to get the setback. No swinging plumline required.

    • Dontlookatme

      Its best use wasn’t even mentioned. Looks like it would make a great snowshoe during the off season.

  • by7

    My home made tool was a putting together 3 L-shapes rulers (one long 1m and 2 short ones) with some rubber bands (so that they can slide up/down on each other). I can use it to measure in one go all the offsets and saddle height and incline, handlebar stack, etc. Cost around 10 USD…
    Very valid point made about the actual bone contact point and real horizontal position of the saddle: maybe the manufacturers should start to mark some reference points to help with the positioning (like it is now made for bars, etc)

  • Larry @CycleItalia

    Thanks for this! I had not yet had the time to check this thing out, but now I want one! Like everything else Abbey makes, you either understand and appreciate what they offer and happily hand over your money – or you don’t. While I’m an unabashed tool junkie, this thing makes so many jury-rigged, not-so-accurate methods with straight edges and guesstimates obsolete. And sure, one could make his own version from a clipboard and various other bits, but it comes down to a) what’s your time worth? b) is what you make really going to be as complete and well done?
    There’s accurate and close-enough, it’s your choice.

  • Crash Bandicoot

    Fantastic product idea. As someone who has spent a ton on bike fits, travels frequently, and is very sensitive to fit changes this is a no brainer. Can’t tell you how annoying it is traveling somewhere and having to futz with saddle position a million times and still wondering if things are right. Luckily a good friend of mine is a fitter and we’re able to dial it in perfectly with a Retul based on previous fits when I get home but not many people have that free luxury

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