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by Dave Rome
May 1, 2020
Aching for a tech fix now that the annual Sea Otter Classic trade show has been pushed back to October? Never fear! In its place, we bring you Pond Beaver 2020, our own virtual trade show where we’ve gathered up a mountain of information and images of new gear to come this season, all of which we’re rolling out to you in a satisfyingly steady stream.
Who doesn’t love #newtoolday? Just me? In that case, I’ll just tell myself about the new items from the purveyors of premium quality cycling hand tools, Abbey Bike Tools.
Abbey Bike Tools’s original pedal wrench combined a 15 mm open-end spanner at one end with a swivelling 6 and 8 mm hex bit at the opposite end. The idea was that one tool could remove any pedal on the market, and at least for pedals requiring a hex, it could do it quicker and with more leverage, too.
However, the original (and still available) pedal wrench was designed predominately with the travelling mechanic in mind, and as a result it arguably lacked the free-that-stuck-pedal leverage that shops mechanics seek. Well, Abbey’s new Shop pedal wrench (pictured up top) answers that with the same clever features but in an 18-inch (45 cm) tool — 6 inches (15 cm) longer than the original. That extra length hasn’t come with a price increase; instead the US$120 Shop Wrench is made with Chromoly steel and has been given a Cerakote coating instead of the stainless steel construction of the original.
That original pedal wrench continues in the range but now receives some weight-relieving cut-outs along its length. Those cut-outs also do double duty, allowing you to hang the tool on a pegboard or similar.
Abbey now also offers a Team Issue version of that original pedal wrench. This one sees much of the steel metal milled away to produce an ultimately light tool for travelling mechanics who normally cop overweight baggage fees. It’s probably not quite as unbreakable as the original or new Shop pedal wrench, but hey, it is lighter!
The swivel 6/8 mm hex bit is a key feature of Abbey’s pedal wrenches.
The black Cerakote coating adds corrosion resistance.
Only available in a 12-inch length, the Team Issue pedal wrench has plenty of its material removed for reduced weight.
A closer look at the Team Issue pedal wrench.
The tool that started Abbey Bike Tools, the Crombie cassette tool, has received a small update for 2020. The single-sided versions of this tool previously featured 3/8in handles, while the dual-sided versions featured larger 1/2in handles. Moving forward, all Crombie tools will feature that larger and stronger 1/2in handle designed to cope with certain new threaded freehub designs that are, um, tighter than they used to be.
New Crombies now all feature the same sized thicker handle.
The Crombie Tools are still designed to slide into the handle of the company’s Chain Whip for more compact storage. And Abbey will continue to offer the option for a slimmer version of its Chain Whip for those with the legacy 3/8in-handled Crombie.
Abbey Bike Tools is known for its lavish lightweight titanium hammer. Initially the request of a WorldTour mechanic who wanted a light hammer to travel with, that small and rather expensive item quickly became a staple in Abbey’s tool range.
Now, Abbey is offering the most striking of tools, a hardened and polished stainless steel hammer. Like the titanium hammer, this one retains the welded construction, ESI silicon grip and replaceable soft-face, but does so with a longer 355 mm handle, a harder-hitting material and plenty more “I wasn’t asking” weight.
The head is 38 mm in diameter (the titanium hammer is 25 mm) and comes stock with a hard plastic face opposite the stainless steel face. Abbey will also be offering an optional brass-head for an extra US$20. The Shop Hammer retails for US$100 (US$80 less than the titanium hammer), a not-so-small price to pay for the ability to whack shiny things with shiny things.
The new Stainless Shop Hammer weighs a claimed 566 g.
There’s an optional brass head, too. This is useful for when you want a metal striking surface that’s a little softer than the metal you’re hitting.
Finally, Abbey has announced that its US$1,350 Team Issue Toolbox is now a fixture in the range. Turns out this thing was more popular than first anticipated.
And while I’m talking new Abbey Bike Tools, there’s the recently released Harbour Bridge Gauge dishing tool. This was previously covered in our Daily News Digest, and I’m mentioning it again just in case you missed that.
The Harbour Gauge is a wheel dishing tool that’s used to centre the rim over the hub axle. Such a tool is already a staple in most professional workshops, however, Abbey’s version adds an impressive all-metal build quality, stand-off pegs for use with tyres installed, and an ultra-fast/repeatable spring-loaded drop plunger. Plus it’s green.
The dishing gauge retails for US$250, which sounds like a fortune, but there are others on the market that are double that. This tool is quite close to my heart as my partner arranged what was then a one-off version of the tool for my 30th birthday. It’s really cool to see it in production, and with a few extra features.
Abbey Bike Tools’ new Harbor wheel dishing tool is absolutely over-the-top. And it’s absolutely lustworthy.
Spacers can be added for checking the dish on wheels that already have tires installed.
To take a measurement, all you have to do is set the tool on the wheel, push the brass button, and let the weighted pin fall into place. It’s wonderfully simple.